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Posts posted by HMSDingy

  1. 16 hours ago, kazu said:



    My experience is the Sam as RoyalVisit’s and I’ve done a few European cruises.


    Definitely a difference compared to a Caribbean or Alaska itinerary.  

    That's what I figured.  We have in fact done have one Med cruise but it was with Royal Caribbean not HAL. Wanted to know if it was the same with HAL.

  2. On 5/18/2019 at 12:41 AM, Boatdrill said:

    And from the other side....I've worked for cruise lines (onboard and shoreside), and in hotel management,  so I've worn uniforms nearly all my life.  My first cruise was when I was 10 years old.  

    I look forward to dressing up for Gala/Formal nights. When I pack, I look in my closet and remember what I wore on which ship and the itinerary. I choose accordingly (Caribbean vs Alaska vs transatlantic, etc.).  I dress up for Gala nights not only because  that's what the occasion calls for, but out of respect for the officers (who are in their formal uniforms as well) and their ship.  That's what I was taught, and yes,  I'm a traditionalist.  I know crew appreciate well dressed guests; it's similar to dressing well for first class on an airplane.  No passenger should ever feel overdressed in the MDR on Gala Night. But that's where it seems to be headed.     


    Quick question, from your experience are pax on European cruises dressier on gala nights?

  3. 5 hours ago, canadianbear said:

    They encourage after 7:30.  However, if you go before and it’s super busy they give you a pager so you can go have a drink while waiting.  If you’re willing to sit with others it’s usually not too long of wait (except the first night we’ve found, hence we pre-book a specialty restaurant).  

    Then I guess the best thing would be to book a specialty restaurant for the first night & avoid the mayhem.  

    BTW British Columbia is beautiful as is the rest our our country!

  4. 18 hours ago, canadianbear said:

    We didn’t do the MDR night (1st gala night) when they didn’t have escargot.  We did the 2nd gala night and all 4 of us had the surf & turf. We found it excellent.  


    We book Tamarind ahead of time for the first night as always find the MDR a zoo as we have any time dining.

    Speaking of anytime dining, are they flexible with the hours.  We normally like to dine at 7.

  5. On 3/7/2019 at 1:36 PM, canadianbear said:

    We just got off the Koningsdam yesterday.  We like dining in the MDR on gala nights.  Just a heads up if you like escargot-our cruise and the one before it had no escargot.  They said they were having trouble stocking it.  


    You might like to book the first & last night at the specialty restaurants like Tamarind, Pinnacle or Canalleto.  

    Did you dine in the MDR? One of the posts above commented that the surf n turf was nothing to write home about.  We're booked in the Tamarind for our second gala night but we can change it for another night if the MDR menu is decent.

  6. 23 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

    You will not be disappointed in the Tamarind!!

    I've booked the Tamarind for the second sea night. My sister has sailed with HAL and she tells me to do a gala night in the MDR because of the special menus.  Is it really owrth it?  I can always go the the Tamarind on another night.

  7. 1 minute ago, ArtsyCraftsy said:

    I’ve always found that confusing, so when I order the package online, I just set the delivery date at embarkation and delivery to my cabin.  You can’t order the individual wines until after you board anyway, and this way I get the wine list and a card in my state room when I board.  Then when I’m ready to order my first bottle in the dining room, I just tell the wine steward which package I’ve purchased, give him/her my cabin # and my selection.  They’ll check to see if the wine I’ve selected is part of my package and bring the bottle to the table.  Easy!  


    Lana (chilling in my air conditioned cabin after trying to deal with 87 F temp and 100% humidity and deciding life’s too short to be that uncomfortable...)  😳


  8. 7 minutes ago, ArtsyCraftsy said:

    Wow! Thanks. One last question and you can go back to your cruise.  I was looking at the wine package we want on the HAL website, when it comes to ordering , they ask what date we want the wine delivered and whether we want it in the cabin or dining room.  I thought this would default to dining room and for all of the dates. One more thing, the prices on the HAL website are more expensive than the file you just sent me.

  9. 26 minutes ago, ArtsyCraftsy said:


    If you purchase the Cellar #3 8-bottle package, then yes, you can select from the entire list (Cellars #1, 2, and 3) of special package wines, a subset of the overall list of wines available on the ship, as not all wines are available for sale via the packages.  If your 8-bottle package is Cellar #2, then your allowable selections would be from the Cellar #2 and Cellar #1 lists.  Cellar #1 is the cheapest package and you’re limited to those wines that appear on the Cellar #1 list.


    Lana (currently on the Eurodam, anchored in Bora Bora)

    Thanks, that clears things up.  Do you know where I can see a list of the wines offered per cellar?

  10. 2 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

    You will not be disappointed in the Tamarind!!

    Thanks I appreciate your response and all of your help here on Cruise Critics.  This will be our first cruise with HAL and like all of our cruises, I'm as excited as a kid in a toy store.  I do like the choices of specialty restaurants with HAL.

  11. Just now, simplyrubies said:

    Slightly off-topic question, but will you be travelling on the June 1 cruise by any chance? I know there are a couple of Greek island itineraries and I am wondering when ours will be!


    In terms of your question, would you be able to get a reservation if a table cancelled? I assume such would be common and you might have a chance of getting a table then, but of course you never know how many people will do it and what time their reservation is. This would be quite risky, in my opinion. 

    Yes we are on the June 1 cruise. I've booked the Tamarind & Pinnacle for  our sea days.  As for the itineraries, are you booked on the ship's excursions or privately?  

  12. Just now, terrydtx said:

    IMHO the Tamarind is the best specialty restaurant of any cruise line and better Asian cuisine than most land restaurants. . Don't waste your money on the Canaletto, it is no better than Olive Garden. 

    Definitely going to book Tamarind.  Although I must admit, the sample menu on the HAL website for the Canaletto looks appetizing. Wife and I are both Italian and we know our cuisine.  If you say it's no better than Olive Garden, then Tamarind it is.  Thanks for the feedback.

  13. 6 minutes ago, catl331 said:

    Possibly, but on the K'dam I would book the Tamarind.  

    Correction, I booked the Pinnacle for the first sea day but I wanted to book Canaletto for the second.  Tamarind is available for the second sea day but we would have preferred Canaletto.  Is the Tamarind that good?

  14. I've noticed that the gala nights on our Greek Island cruise this June are on the 2 sea days.  I'm trying to book specialty restaurants for these two days but have almost reached a dead end.  There seems to be no availabilities on the second sea day for the Pinnacle Grill at any time.  Would I stand a chance booking while on the ship?

  15. On 3/18/2019 at 1:25 PM, SeaCBear said:


    I think this may be regional difference in Quebec. 


    I've lived in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. and in my experience an entree always refers to the main course, not the appetizer or starter. 

    Actually it's not only Quebec.  It was the same when we were in Paris last year as it is in Italy.  Well at least my part of Italy.😎

  16. On 3/17/2019 at 10:27 AM, RuthC said:

    You may bring as many bottles of wine on board as you want; you are not limited to bringing only one bottle with you. You may even bring more bottles on board from ports.
    One bottle from initial embarkation will be corkage free, and will remain corkage free so long as you drink it in your cabin. The remaining bottles have the fee regardless of whether you drink it in your cabin or take it to public areas.
    If you take a HAL winery tour, you may also bring aboard a bottle from that tour corkage free, again, so long as it's consumed in your cabin.

    You mentioned that one bottle is corkage free.  Would that be one bottle per person or per cabin?

  17. Unless I'm mistaken, I read somewhere that we are allowed to bring one bottle per passenger and pay the corkage fee.  What if I want to keep the bottles in my cabin and consume them there?  Do I still have to pay the corkage fee? I will bering my own corkscrew.

  18. 7 hours ago, may1021 said:

    3 Star Mariner and love HAL. Did a January 11 day cruise.   This is my 2nd time on this ship. Lovely ship with terrific ambiance.  HAL does have a nice feel to it for me.

    We had done an RCCL cruise before this one to Cuba.  Absolutely bare bones, small  ship but one of the few choices for Cuba in January.  Have been on RCCL before.  Was not expecting much. We were very surprised that we liked the food on RCCL better than HAL this year.

    I know food is subjective.  We liked the menu better on RCCL.  Did eat in Tamarind one night which is wonderful.   Also did the buffet one night to see if this would make us happier.  Service there was awful.  We had to clear our own table when it came time for dessert.  Waiter was there but skirted around us and never came near us.   Who knows.  Absolutely shocked that we preferred RCCL food to HAL because I sing HAL praises to all my friends who cruise.


    Was surprised to see HAL is beginning to charge for a 2nd entrée.   We saw many people eating 2 entrees in January but don't think the charge had started then.    On RCCL they kept asking us if we wanted another entrée/no charge.  We didn't because we couldn't finish what we had.


    Also not a fan of the Orange Club concept.  Probably jealousy on my part but I was not willing to pay an extra $100 a day for small dining room with expanded services.


    Still a fan of HAL and will cruise with them again.

    We will be sailing on the Koningsdam June 1st for a Greek Island cruise.  This will be our first with HAL, being a Platinum member with Princess & having sailed on two cruises with RCCL.  I do agree that meals on a cruise are subjective and I hope that we're not disappointed. 


    On another note, I've noticed that people on Cruise Critic refer to the main course as an entrée. In Canada and most of Europe an entrée is what one would call an appetizer or starter.  It's usually the first course of a meal.  The second course is called the main or plat principal in French.  I believe this practice is only used in the US.  

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