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First time cruiser - need help choosing Alaska Eurodam cabin and finalize booking


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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone, first time cruiser here and would appreciate your advice! I want to take a 7-day cruise on the Holland America Eurodam from Seattle to Glacier Bay next month with my husband (early 40s, no kids). We've never been on an overnight cruise before so it would be great to get some tips here on choosing a cabin. I do get motion sickness, but when I took the Clipper from Seattle to Victoria, Dramamine helped (it just made me very tired/sleepy although it's non-drowsy). I've thrown up on small boat rides around the San Francisco Bay, and haven't experienced any boat ride worse than those yet.

 

I know to avoid the FWD of the boat for motion sickness. I like to take photos so originally I wanted to book Deck 8 which was the highest level available. Speaking on the phone to the Holland America Rep, they recommended Midship Deck 5, but I was hoping to not spend that much. They said midship lower deck is better for motion sickness, and I should avoid Deck 8.

 

I'm looking at a balcony room. If I'd like to spend the least on an upgrade, what are some rooms/decks I might consider? Is AFT really not recommended? I tried googling for the exact rooms but not many reviews come up.

 

AFT Deck 8 - Navigation $0 (rooms available: 8122, 8127, 8129, 8171)  

AFT Deck 7 - Rotterdam +$10 (7118)

AFT Deck 6 - Upper Verandah +$37 (6119, 6123, 6173, 6154, 6162)

AFT Deck 5 - Verandah and Deck 4 - Upper Promenade + $47 (lots of rooms available)

 

Midship Deck 8 - Navigation +$67 (some between 8047-8063, 8093-8117)

Midship Deck 4 - Upper Promenade + $67 (4053)

Midship Deck 5 - Verandah + $133 (5100, 5104, 5058)

 

pdf of all decks: https://www.hollandamerica.com/content/dam/hal/inventory-assets/ships/ED/pdf/hal-ed-deck-plan-050822.pdf

 

Also I've read on Cruise Critic and heard others suggest booking with a travel agent for cruises as they can offer on-board credits and other discounts. I'm used to booking directly so this is new to me. I submitted a request on **** and so far got 2 offers - one for Have It All and one without. Any thoughts on travel agent ****? They gave a good deal.

 

I don't plan to do the Have It All Plan as I rather pay ala carte after seeing what we like; we're not heavy drinkers. I also plan to book nonrefundable with no cancellation protection since my credit card offers trip protection. 

 

On this trip I hope I'll get to see glaciers up close from the boat. I went to Anchorage once before in the winter and loved it - did the dog sledding, glacier hike, etc. I visited Canada last year and am familiar with ArriveCAN.

 

Thank you!

 

 

Edited by Host Kat
Per OP in post #4.
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Welcome to Cruise  Critic.  Since your post mainly concerns HAL, you should ask your ship or cruiseine specific questions on their forum.  https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/103-holland-america-line/

 

Also, Cruise Critic forbids discussion of specific TAs. If seeing glaciers up close is a main reason for this trip , make sure Glacier Bay is on the itinerary. 

 

For seasickness- try doing a search on the topic. There are a myriad of threads. Personally, I've found that Bonine (meclizine) taken once a day at bedtime prevents my seasickness without drowsiness.

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to cruise critic.  One of the major rules of CC, you cannot name or discuss travel agencies or agents.  You might click on the three little dots in the upper right corner of you post, and report…ask the mods to please delete agency names.

Also, as all of your questions involve one ship one one line, it is best to post your questions on the board here for that line.  A new member might be excused for thinking all those forums under Cruise Lines A-O, etc, are direct links to the cruise line websites.  But they are boards where people who sail those lines ask questions and share their experiences.  EM

 

For seasickness, I wear sea bands.  

Edited by Essiesmom
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Posted (edited)

thanks for the suggestions! sorry I saw the note about TA's after the fact and can no longer edit. I'll ask the mods to help me move the thread and delete the TA's name. 

Edited by starrii
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4 hours ago, starrii said:

thanks for the suggestions! sorry I saw the note about TA's after the fact and can no longer edit. I'll ask the mods to help me move the thread and delete the TA's name. 

starrii

I would go for Midship Deck four. The cabin you mention has an ENORMOUS balcony. You need to jump on it ASAP.

Midship Deck 4 - Upper Promenade + $67 (4053)

 

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, starrii said:

thanks for the suggestions! sorry I saw the note about TA's after the fact and can no longer edit. I'll ask the mods to help me move the thread and delete the TA's name. 

Oh and I meant to say, there is no big preference for Aft over Forward if stability is your aim -- the ship is a teetertotter and when the fore goes up, the aft goes down. OTOH -- my husband readily tosses his cookies on smaller boats and had no difficulty at all on the Observation Deck up high and forward, on the Zuiderdam transAtlantic...

 

ETA: the Vista class HAL ships of which the Zuiderdam is one, are the next size smaller than the Eurodam. 

Edited by crystalspin
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Posted (edited)

Thanks, @crystalspin - do you think it'll be noisy being over the screening room?

 

Also I plan to book in the morning with the rep.

 

Would you happen to know if I book a non-refundable ticket without the cancellation protection, do I forfeit the ticket if we're unable to board due to COVID? Thanks, again!

Edited by starrii
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2 minutes ago, starrii said:

Thanks, @crystalspin - do you think it'll be noisy being over the screening room?

I am not personally experienced in what they use the "screening room" for, but as you can see it is a smaller room. I would guess there are no late-night activities here. Also, what is under you is of far less importance to what is over you (the sound and vibrations come through the ceiling far more than through the empty space below the floor). I would book this cabin in a heartbeat, and I will buy you a drink if I am wrong!

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Thanks, @crystalspin! I want to book it, but was hoping to call and ask about the flexible cancellation policy. 

https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/worry-free-promise/flexible-cancellation.html

 

Not sure if it's because it's within 30 days, when I was booking I only saw non-refundable or the Have it All Plan option. There's also a cancellation protection option when I check out. 

 

If I book non-refundable does the following part of the flexible cancellation not apply to me?

you may cancel up to your sailing date if you test positive for COVID-19 and will also receive the same remuneration.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, starrii said:

If I book non-refundable does the following part of the flexible cancellation not apply to me?

you may cancel up to your sailing date if you test positive for COVID-19 and will also receive the same remuneration.

As far as I know. I was able to cancel and move forward the payments for an October cruise past Final Payment date, using the the Worry-Free guarantee. I did not attempt to get money back but moved my Future Cruise Credit forward to end of December. Also I had the HIA/refundable, but after FP, nothing is refundable (!) so that shouldn't matter.

 

It wouldn't hurt to call and ask, though!

 

That stateroom with the big balcony is not going to last! is my prediction, so call tomorrow!

 

ETA: if you call and book through an operator, there is a third option, in the middle between non-refundable Best Price, and refundable Best Value (HIA) -- it is called Advantage Rate, and it refundable but without all the bells and whistles of HIA. I have not used it, but you should ask about it.

Edited by crystalspin
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Posted (edited)

Thanks! Was the ticket you got FCC on using the worry-free guarantee considered non-refundable and did you decline the $99 HAL Cancellation Protection? I think I saw the middle Advantage Rate on one of the TA sites, but it was showing nothing will be refunded after today since it's within 30 days. The room didn't show up on the TA sites. I'll be happy with FCC!

Edited by starrii
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Deck 4 mid-ships is an area where I have had a stateroom and I liked the location.  The most potentially stable area is the very lowest passenger deck, mid-ships, but, those are not veranda cabins.  The video shows a nice sized veranda, but, it does appear more narrow than some others.  

 

The video does show the floor to ceiling windows of other cabins on that deck that have partially or fully obstructed views.  If you decide that a veranda is not that important, those cabins are very good value and their interior is larger than other cabins such as the veranda cabin shown in the video.

 

Welcome to CC, new member!  

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15 hours ago, starrii said:

Thanks! Was the ticket you got FCC on using the worry-free guarantee considered non-refundable and did you decline the $99 HAL Cancellation Protection? I think I saw the middle Advantage Rate on one of the TA sites, but it was showing nothing will be refunded after today since it's within 30 days. The room didn't show up on the TA sites. I'll be happy with FCC!

I cancelled two bookings (on the same cruise) a few days after Final Payment (hence all would normally be only partly refundable according to a schedule provided on the payment page). However all was refunded to be used toward the replacement cruises. EXCEPT I had bought the Platinum Cancellation Protection (for a good deal more that $99!) for one of the bookings, and that is never refunded as HAL pays it out immediately to a third-party insurance provider.

 

I did not purchase that plan for the other booking because that was being paid for by an FCC that is due to expire at the end of this year. Which would normally have been lost after Final Payment! But because of Worry-Free plan I was able to apply it to another cruise sailing before the end of this year. 

 

FWIW, I deal with a PCC. After I became aware of the Worry-free program, AND after a weekend regretting the booking (!), I wrote her and referred to the webpage on that program and laid out what I wanted to apply the funds to (right down to the cabin I wanted) and she set it all up before calling me back for phone confirmation.

 

Finally, read the Worry-Free Guarantee -- the cancel-for-any-reason may in fact end at 30 days out, with only FCC for a positive COVID diagnosis for the last month.

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Thanks @crystalspin, I got assigned a PCC who is working with me on that cabin. Have you personally stayed in that cabin yourself?

 

For this route, the representative said generally odd numbers are better for the view of Glacier Bay since on the way back it'll be dark. For sunsets though, would I be better getting 4054?

https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/find-a-cruise/A2E07A/D259.html

 

I saw this photo in another thread, and the balcony doesn't have coverage on top. On one hand the views and being able to see the stars at night sound great. However, have you sailed to Alaska end August or early September (I might change to a September sailing)? Would this deep balcony with no coverage still be a good choice in rainy season? 

https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/topic/1468096-va-4054-on-nieuw-amsterdam/?do=findComment&comment=30439230

 

@rkacruiserthanks for the welcome! I think I'd prefer a balcony to a room without operable windows. 

Edited by starrii
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Has anyone been in Icy Strait Point in the evening? If sun sets at 8p what's there to do there after dark? I couldn't find much on nighttime at Icy Strait. Also if it says arrive 6p, realistically what time do you think we'd be off the ship by to start exploring? Thank you!

 

Icy Strait Point, Alaska, US
 
ARRIVES 06:00 PM
DEPARTS 10:00 PM
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1 hour ago, starrii said:

Thanks @crystalspin, I got assigned a PCC who is working with me on that cabin. Have you personally stayed in that cabin yourself?

 

For this route, the representative said generally odd numbers are better for the view of Glacier Bay since on the way back it'll be dark. For sunsets though, would I be better getting 4054?

Hi Starrii,

Glad you have a PCC! I have not stayed in that cabin. I stayed on the Main (1) Deck on Eurodam's sister ship the Nieuw Amsterdam in an OceanView and it was under the BBKing Blues Club (hence my warning about being under rather than over!). 

 

I have changed my mind and now think you should choose 7118 if still available. Cabins over and under you (and even across the hall) and a well covered balcony. and only $10 more!

 

The room would look like this (including orientation of furniture and all):

 

Do not worry about odd or even (starboard or port) because the captain will circle so all sides get to see basically all the views in Glacier Bay. Also the narrator/naturalist from the park service will be in the Crows Nest, possibly broadcast on your TV.

 

Our last Alaska cruise was mid-August. We did see some rain! My husband and I did not go ashore at Icy Strait Point but others in my group did. I think (check with the Ports of Call section of CC) you can basically walk straight into town and there is (or was) a brewpub there!

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@starrii

Also I did check and the Flexible Cancellation Policy reads: "Book a cruise now and enjoy peace of mind. Our flexible cancellation gives you the freedom to change plans for any reason up to 30 days before departure and up to your sailing date if you test positive for COVID-19. "

 

If you think you might have to cancel for other than COVID reasons, the Standard or Platinum Protection lets you CFAR (cancel for any reason) up to 24hrs or time of sailing, respectively. The Platinum also adds a MINIMUM amount of health coverage. 

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23 minutes ago, starrii said:

Thanks @crystalspin. In terms of motion sickness, do you think there will be noticeable difference between 4053 (mid, lower) and 7118 (aft, higher)?

Honestly, on a ship the size of the Eurodam -- I think you are good in 7118. If I didn't I would say so! 

 

My husband has a history (of mal-de-mer) that matches yours -- Tossed his lunch on various smaller boats such as fishing and Galapagos tours. We approached it gradually (hence the Main Deck oceanview on N.Amsterdam), but our last HAL cruise was transAtlantic in the top floor, far forward on the Zuiderdam (one-size-smaller than the Eurodam) and never a twinge. And that is with spending most of our time not in the room, in the Crows Nest even farther forward.

 

The rule-of-thumb the PCCs and cruise-line operators have been taught (low and mid for seasickness) was indeed true on smaller ships. We had a couple of family members who needed the patch on the Zaandam in the Bay of Alaska, for instance, even midship on deck 4. But the Eurodam is significantly longer and more massive, AND you will not be venturing out into the bay. 

 

Having a look at your prospective itinerary: We really really loved Sitka. Take an excursion in Sitka and just take a walk at Icy Strait Point! We did the triple Otters and Eagles and Bears Oh My tour. We saw closer whales on the otters boat ride than in Juneau (and Juneau has a resident pod of humpbacks). Of course I can't promise that you will have the same experience. They do guarantee you will see whales at Juneau or money back!

 

I'm getting all excited for you! 

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7118 is not "across" from the blank space, it is across from another cabin. Really the stewards are very quiet going about their work! Book it! Love it!!!

 

Incidentally, I get 90% of my info from cruisedeckplans (lifetime membership), and they show empty space; they do not "show clearly there's a stairwell". There is empty space across from 7120&7122 that could be a closet or anything else. There is an inside cabin 7116 across from 7118. And even if it is a stairwell, it has a door and the stewards do their jobs at very specific times of day -- it's not like the open stairwell in my old highschool where someone could drop a pencil on 3rd floor and have it reverberate to the basement! 

 

Just book it. Thank me later.

 

ETA: I looked at CDP for Nieuw Amsterdam, and it *does* show a stairway within the large "closet" across from 7120-7122, that the deckplan for Eurodam does not show. But I stand by my above statements. I have been on seven HAL cruises and I can say I have never heard a room steward in the hall who wasn't calling out to announce himself.

Edited by crystalspin
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@crystalspin darn - I don't think 7118 is available anymore. I left a message requesting that room from my PCC and haven't heard back yet. Is there a way to direct message you? When I click on Message on your profile, it says Feature is disabled. Thanks!

Edited by starrii
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How about these? They're all still available: AFT Deck 6 - Upper Verandah +$37 (6119, 6123, 6173, 6154, 6162)

 

Also I prefer no FWD as I hear they're noisier and rockier. 

 

With smoking allowed at Sea View Bar, as a non-smoker is it better to pick the even numbers to be on the non-smoking side of the ship?

 

Do you know previously where the covid quarantine area on the ship was? Which deck/section was that?

 

Thanks!

Edited by starrii
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I have not sailed in that area of the ship, but I think you'll be fine in, say, 6123. Three decks below Lido and slightly forward of the smoking area. That room would look like the mirror image (left to right) of this one:

I am not loving 6162 because it being a connecting room to the corner suite means the furniture is arranged with the loveseat and desk AWAY from the balcony door and the bed very close to door. 6154 is a little close to that housekeeping closet, but probably would not be too noisy (as we discussed before!), but might be a little traffic-y when your were coming or going from you cabin.

Edited by crystalspin
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