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About mrmoviezombie

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    Santa Cruz Mountains
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  1. We were on Konigsdam in Oct. The Tamarind there is the first time we thought an up-charge restaurant was worth it. We ended up going three times. Watch out for that fortune cookie desert, it's *HUGE* and full of chocolate.
  2. But that are only applied at the end of the cruise. If you are really close to 4* you can call the Mariner folks, I've heard they sometimes allow you to get the perk for your next cruise. For us the free laundry was the definitely the best perk, completely changed how we pack. The 50% off the wine packages was was also really good, basically it returns the wine prices back to their "normal" land pricing.
  3. That is the point of the drill, because that is exactly what will happen if you actual need to get in the lifeboats. It's not going to be like a normal disembark where you wait comfortably in a lounge waiting for your group to be called.
  4. I was able to get to the HDMI port in 11026, but it was quite a tight squeeze.
  5. You can opt to pay for the flights ahead of final payment. This usually unblocks those airlines that don't allow seat assignments. On our last cruise, because we wanted to pay for specific seats on a Lufthansa flight, we did this. That got us the airline locator that we could then use to pay for the seats on the Lufthansa web site.
  6. https://www.fremantleports.com.au/the-port/harbourcams/harbourcam-2 Looks like a glorious day for your stop
  7. Bamboo Room Restaurant Haines AK https://binged.it/30Mt01r Best halibut we have had anywhere The rail really is good, but save it for a cruise that stops in Skagway, which is just about all of them. You'll be back.
  8. My advice is stay in Hanies. It's a quirky little town that hasn't been overrun with cruise ship tourists yet. Do the river rafting excursion in the morning, see the town in the afternoon. Skagway is an over rated tourist trap. (but the rail trip is nice).
  9. Do check with HAL on pricing a pre-cruise hotel, that usually includes the transfers. Both airport to hotel and hotel to ship. When we come in a day or two early to Amsterdam that has always been a very nice private car.
  10. One thing to note, those pre-cruise spending amounts don't count until after the cruise. They don't credit mariner points as you spend. They are only tallied up at the end of a cruise.
  11. That's what's confusing people, it's two different things. Read closely for the "in-depth" part. EXC is the shore excursion program on all ships. https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/onboard-activities/cruise-activities/explorations-central.html Discover the connections that unite us across borders and cultures. Explorations Central™ (EXC™) is immersive onboard programing designed to make your journey more engaging, vivid and meaningful. From EXC Talks,™ to EXC Encounters™ to a chat with your EXC Guide™, you’ll feel the spirit of a region come to life. EXC "in-depth" is the extra enrichment program on Maasdam. https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/news/2018-press-releases/news-20180215-MaasdamItineraries18.html Quote "From September 2018 through April 2019, EXC In-Depth Voyages expand on Holland America Line’s exciting Explorations CentralTM (EXCTM) programming by creating a total experience on board and ashore. " I cannot find it now, but one of the contracts I read said that EXC (and the shore excursion they offer) was a separate company not related to HAL.
  12. We used the public transit. It's been a few years but my memory of it was it being quick and easy to get around. The only issue was getting turned around on a bus to subway switch that had us going away from town until we realized and switched over to the other direction.
  13. We were also on the first 21 day loop. Outside of the extra talks, and certainly in Alaska, the EXC concept only looks like a lot of branding and nothing else has changed. For example, there wasn't any difference in the excursions that I could tell. Also, a lot of the talks overlapped with the port days and were not repeated on Sea Days, so it wasn't possible to attend them. On one of the early sea days the geologist only had one 45 min talk. That doesn't seem like an intensive enrichment program to me. For the new port stops, most were excellent. Port Alberini and Astoria were great, both were big enough to have interesting things going on. And hadn't been overrun with cruiser tourist traps, as the Astoria bus driver said, "No diamonds international here". And we got lucky with weather and visiting when a local market day was setup. The rest you have to like the sleepy, small town Alaska vibe.
  14. And we can't wait for you to get here 🙂
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