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About MickeyG

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  1. Greetings! My wife and I will be on Celebrity Eclipse this summer, cruising to Alaska. We are planning to book shore excursions for each of the ports. Taking into consideration the month of the cruise (late August), our eastern time zone sleep patterns, and taking in as much as we can on land and sea, is there a preferred dining time we should request? We have dined early, late and anytime dining on past cruises and am wondering if there may be a benefit to a specific time, given our cruise destination. We also enjoy the shows at the main stage but realize this may have to move down the priority list when taking into account excursions, dining, relaxing on board the ship, sleep (time change), etc. We would appreciate any and all suggestions from past Alaska cruisers. Thanks so much....Mick
  2. We will be on the NS in a few days. Quick question.....Is HAL's Signature Beverage Package accepted at all bars & restaurants on board the ship (staying under the $11 per drink limit)? I understand that in-room beverages and room service drinks are not included in the package, as well as the drinks on HAL's private beach. I hope we are able to visit any bar, restaurant and cafe on the ship and use our SBP perk for cocktails and coffees. Thanks so much...Mick
  3. My wife and I will be on our first HAL cruise later this month. On our previous cruises we have always had a set dining time with the same guests and waitstaff. On our upcoming cruise we will have 'as you wish' dining, which has open seating between 5:15 - 9 PM. Since this is a new concept for us and are not entirely sure how this works with respect to selecting a time to eat, do we walk up to the host stand between 5:15 and 9 and request a table? Can we select a preferred dining time and table size once we board the ship? Can we call ahead before our cruise begins and request a specific dining time for the length of the cruise? We enjoy meeeting new folks at dinner and would like to share a table if possible. If we share a table would they seat us at a table where the other guests have already begun eating dinner? Any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks....Mick
  4. My wife and I will be on the Nieuw Statendam for Christmas cruise this year. This will be our first HAL experience. We wanted to choose a ship that would be extra-special for the holidays. After reading several reviews from experienced HAL cruisers, we decided to go big with the Nieuw Statendam. Looking forward to meeting our fellow cruisers in a couple of weeks. Best...Mick
  5. A question for all seasoned HAL cruisers.......Our ship is returning to Ft. Lauderdale between 7-8 AM. Is 3 PM a reasonable time to book a flight on the day our ship returns to port? We are flying out of Ft. Lauderdale. We'd like to get to the airport no later than 1PM. Thanks....Mick
  6. My wife and I have not cruised on any of the HAL ships. We are about ready to book a holiday trip for this year. My question is...all things being equal with the exception of cabin selection, should we do an inside cabin on the Nieuw Statendam or a balcony on the Nieuw Amsterdam? The cost is roughly the same for the inside and balcony. The Nieuw Staendam is a relatively new ship, and the the Nieuw Amsterdam was recently refurbished in 2018. My thinking is since there is limited daylight hours to enjoy the balcony, perhaps the inside cabin on the newer ship is the way to go. But I would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions from folks who have cruised on either or both ships. Thanks so much! Mick
  7. Greetings! My wife and l will be taking our first cruise on a HAL ship next month and am wondering if there is an appreciable difference between the Signature and Elite Beverage packages. We've done the Premiere Beverage Package on Celebrity and that has worked well for us. Do both packages offer specialty coffees, high end liquors, beers and wines by the glass? Would appreciate any feedback from anyone who has purchased either beverage package on HAL. Thanks so much!!! Mick
  8. Thanks so much for eveyone's replies. You've been very helpful!🙂
  9. Greetings! My wife and I (mid-60's) are considering a Christmas cruise this year. Celebrity has always been our cruise line of choice but we thought about trying a HAL cruise this time. There are two cruises that fit our schedules and both seem to be very nice ships...The Eurodam and the Nieuw Statendam. We would try to secure an oceanview or verandah cabin. The ports of call are not that important to us on this trip. We would primarily like to enjoy the ship and all it has to offer (food, beverage, shows, meeting new people at dinner and around the ship). I guess we are looking for something laid-back, having some options for entertainment and having a great time on board the ship. We would appreciate any information regarding how these two ships compare and contrast, cabin options (ocean view vs verandah), and the best option for a first time HAL cruise. Also, does HAL compare favorably to Celebrity? Thanks so much. Mick
  10. Cruisen Elf and Heidi13...thanks very much. I'm learning quite a bit about cruising Alaska. Expert opinions always welcome! 👍👍
  11. Since the 14-night cruise is essentially two 7-night cruises with about an 80% overlap, I would instead pick a single 7-night cruise (Vancouver to Whittier or Whittier to Vancouver) that goes to both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier National Park and add on 4 or 5 nights on land. And it is very easy to arrange a DIY land tour with a little research. Very good suggestion...trading one half of the cruise for a wilderness land tour.
  12. The ports are vancouver (twice), skagway (twice), ketchikan (twice), juneau (twice), glacier bay national park (twice), and anchorage. There is scenic cruisning through hubbard, glacier and college fjord. Been on a dozen cruises but never to Alaska. My wife suggested we split the scenic wilderness cruise snd the scenic glacier cruise into two separate cruises: 1.the beauty of water/ice - 2. and the beauty of the wilderness. We really don't want to hit the port's touristy attractions. I agree we can probably accomplish the same effect at WDW. I apreciate the thoughts and suggestions from all of you who have cruised Alaska. This is where I rely on the experts who have been there and done it before.👍
  13. Thanks for everyone's input...much appreciated and very helpful. I checked some of the other cruiselines and it appears HAL offers the Tundra Wilderness Tour. We may have to rethink this trip and perhaps do a longer Grand Princess cruise for an up-close view of the glaciers and book a future cruise with HAL for the Tundra Wilderness Tour/cruise.
  14. Good point about the Royal's size. Thanks.
  15. Planning our first Alaskan cruise for late summer, 2020. We are looking at Princess since they seem to have a good track record for Alaska. The two itineraries I'm looking at - 1. A 14 day cruise out of Vancouver aboard the Royal Princess. This cruise highlights most of the major glaciers, including the inside passage and 11 ports of call. 2. An 11 day Denali (4 day land, 7 day) cruise out of Vancouver aboard the Grand Princess. This cruise highlights 3 ports of call and 2 major glaciers. Not much difference in cost. Would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions (ship, itinerary, cabin location, wow factor, etc) regarding a first time Alaskan cruise. Thanks! 🙂
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