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  1. Just returned from the NS on a 14 day TA. Shows were as follows: Embark--EXC talk on Cartagena; day 2--PostModern Jukebox "Bandstand"; day 3--Jeff Burghart, comedian; day 4--Goronway Thom, comedian; day 5--Martin Brock, comedian and magician; day 6--Juan Pablo Subirana, pianist; day 7--Jo Little, comedian & vocalist; day 8--film, BBC's Blue Planet II (Orange Party at BB King's); day 9--Ida, Pop Opera Princesses (4 soprano singers); day 10--Martin Brock, comedian and magician; day 11--Jo Little, comedian & vocalist (new show); day 12--Juan Pablo Subirana, pianist; day 13--Ida, Pop Opera Princesses (new show).
  2. Alphen, thanks for clarifying. We have a friend who has lectured in this program for the last 8 or 9 years. He just retired from doing this last year. I guess what I was saying was, regardless of how the position is supported, I do hope that HAL will continue the program. Also, before cancelling a cruise I would call HAL and verify whether there would be lecturers on board or not. If HAL gets many of these calls, they may see that it is one of the important components their clients want when they choose to cruise with them. It feels that there may be a lot of conjecture floating around without confirmation.
  3. On NS happy hour was 4-5 p.m. in the Ocean Bar and 6-7 p.m. in the Billboard on Board. There was also one from 9-10 but don't remember where.
  4. Just returned from a TA onboard NS. There were two lecturers on board giving a lecture in the morning and one in the afternoon. We also, heard that these positions will be, for the most part, eliminated. This is one of the things that made HAL stand out from other lines and one that we found important to our overall experience. Other cutbacks/changes we noticed were no flowers on tables in the MDR, no orchids on the Lido tables, staff taking on more work, no piano player in Ocean Bar, only cookies or brownies in Explorations Cafe, fewer entertainment opportunities to attend in large theater (a magician, a piano player/comedian, a comedian, and a group called Ida which were four sopranos). Hope this is just a transition and HAL will find their way and identity.
  5. Just home from NS trip. You are absolutely correct. By having the "opening" on the holder toward you instead of away, the paper roll came off quite easily. Another instance of design/installation without actually testing it to see if there were any glitches.
  6. When we were on the K in April, some of the theater shows were at 10. We always have late main dining because we don't want to rush coming back from our port days and hurry to get ready to go to dinner. We enjoy relaxing when we get back, then shower and dress for dinner. It allows a leisurely drink at one of the lounges before dinner and to listen to the piano player in Ocean Bar. After dinner there is the (billboard onboard) piano lounge, rock room, the theater, BB King (too loud for us) or walking on deck. There were many possibilities. For us, we much prefer main dining instead of a new table with new people and new staff every night in anytime dining.
  7. ...and should have. Another way the distinction of HAL product is being made to resemble all the others.
  8. We do not and have never wiped, sanitized or cleaned our cabin when arriving or during our trip. I think that if I don't do this when I am going about my life day to day (grocery shopping, sitting in waiting rooms, visiting other peoples homes, going to museums, etc.) then there is no need to do it for us when we enter a hotel/rented apartment/cabin. We practice good hand washing and keep our hands away from our face, sneezing into our elbows and don't shake hands (we do elbow to elbow as one captain taught us). People should do whatever it is that makes them feel comfortable. We do keep our cabin neat so our steward has an easier time to do the things he needs to do each day.
  9. Like many other things, entertainment is subjective. We saw the One Step Dance Company performances and were very disappointed in them. The first, Humanity was okay, mostly because of the use of the up-to-date technology the new theaters have. The second, Stages was not at all enjoyable to us and we would have walked out but didn't want to disturb the many other passengers to each side of us. We love HAL for many things but their cutback in activities and great shows is a real disappointment and making us more open to testing other cruise lines.
  10. We have sailed the different class size of HAL ships and really like the small, intimate feeling of the Veendam. We have sailed her in both cooler and warmer climates. We love the Ocean Bar and the trio that have played there, enjoying meeting up with other cruisers we have met for before dinner drinks and some dancing. It gives the feel of cruising in earlier times. The staff (as all HAL staff we have encountered) is skillful in their jobs, friendly, and help to make the cruise exceptional. We look forward to being on her again.
  11. Thanks for the topic and posting. For us, it is disappointing...
  12. Thanks for your review. Cruising is wonderful (IMHO) and you just need to find the right line for your interests and activities. And, you can have fun trying others. We agree that BB King's is far too loud and because of that not enjoyable or attended by us. Activities need to be increased--one CD can't do it all and I think a mistake for HAL to have pared down the offerings during the day and evenings.
  13. Have been traveling many years and have always used the day to day pill organizers without any question/problems. Taking pic of containers wouldn't hurt and could help if you have a medical emergency and need to have list of all meds.
  14. My husband always takes a thermometer on our trips. Two days when we were outside looking at glaciers it was 42 and 46 degrees. Other days on shore we hit a couple high 60's and one 70 degree day. We were in Alaska at the end of July.
  15. It is so nice when you don't have to be the one doing the laundry. And, the hanging things come back pressed and in a garment bag.
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