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Everything posted by daisy-mae

  1. I have not sailed on the Noordam, but on HAL's other ships it is possible to reserve a table a day or two ahead of time. I believe that if there are no tables available the guests are given a beeper (or similar device) to alert them when a spot opens up.
  2. It will be a while yet before we can aspire to 4 star status. Meanwhile, the $25 card that gives us $50 worth of soda is a good compromise, and we also pick up a few cans to bring back on board when we go ashore.
  3. Celebrity will be marking International Women's Day 2020 in a very special way: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/21953-celebrity-edge-to-feature-all-female-leadership-team.html
  4. I'm pretty sure a priest can say more than one mass a day. My home town parish priest was responsible for two Sunday morning services, and because fewer young men are entering the priesthood, the priest in my current parish has been assigned two or possibly three different parishes that he has to travel to each Sunday. On the topic of clergy being given free passage, I was once on a Celebrity ship where the priest asked for volunteers to pass the collection plate (actually plastic bags) to help defray his expenses (above and beyond the cost of the cruise, which was free for him).
  5. I'm not sure about fountain drinks, but on our last HAL cruise we were given unopened cans of soda that we could use at a later time. We had pre-purchased a bottle of spirits (rye whiskey) that we mixed with coke to consume in our stateroom.
  6. When I first read the title of the thread I thought it was about an on board entertainer.... 🙂
  7. I have no experience with upsells, so can't provide any insight. I am wondering, though, if you will be given two adjoining cabins if you agree to the change. If being close is important to you, then it might be something to consider or confirm. Personally, if I were satisfied with the current location of my booked staterooms, I think I might find a better use for the extra funds. But it is really an individual choice.
  8. My DH and I both renewed our Nexus membership recently. Neither one of us was called for an interview, and our new cards arrived within a few weeks. According to the information that was enclosed, Nexus iris scanners are about to be replaced by facial recognition technology.
  9. We always plan to arrive the day before; there are too many factors that could cause a delay (including an accident on the way to the airport). The only time that we left home on departure day was for a cruise on the Maasdam, sailing out of Montreal. Even then, I worried that the train would break down, or maybe hit an animal on the tracks (it does happen), but we figured that in the event of a delay, we could always make it to the first port of call, which was Quebec City. Our table mates on a Med cruise out of Barcelona a few years ago almost missed the boat due to a delayed flight caused by a passenger who had fallen ill after taking too much anti-anxiety medication and who refused to deplane. So even in good weather, there could always be something else to throw a spanner into the works.
  10. We saw his show on our last HAL cruise and he was the best of the bunch that week. A very talented guy.
  11. You left out the most interesting part, and I quote: " (Even if they moan and groan about everything all the time; they all come back) " Frankly, I found it a little surprising to hear such a frank opinion relating to the cruise line's guests...
  12. I'm sorry, rjbean4, but I can't even hazard a guess at what you mean by that statement. ... someone else that died while diving at Grand Cayman who I have been told was drinking the night before which is a big no no prior to doing a dive. Surely the cruise line can't be faulted for the passenger's lack of proper care -- unless someone held him down and made him drink with full knowledge that he would be engaging in a dangerous activity the next morning...
  13. Good point. However, is there no chance that mistakes can happen with a beverage card (double charge, wrong amount, etc.)? What would be the difference between verifying your on board account and your card balance, other than the fact that the card value is declining while the charges on the account are increasing?
  14. I have been tempted to order them; however the shipping charges to Canada are usually outrageous (considering the size and weight of the items).
  15. Just a tip for those who are arriving by air and cannot put the tags on their luggage until just before the cruise. I always carry a mini stapler (and cello tape as a back-up) to help secure the tags. I also have spare copies in case the first ones are damaged. Besides having multiple paper copies of our boarding passes (my DH and I each have a set) we also download everything onto our iPads. It may sound like overkill but we leave nothing to chance.
  16. The Nexus machines at our airports in Canada use iris scanners. The last time we returned home via Toronto, all but one or two of the machines were out of order. Fortunately there were only a few Nexus card holders on our flight, so the wait was short. It would be nice if the technology were more dependable, though.
  17. There are a number of loungers on either side of the lanai cabins, along with blankets that can be used on cooler days.
  18. My recent Nexus renewal through the Trusted Traveler Program took less than two weeks, with no interview required.
  19. If memory serves, there is a smoking section on the starboard side of the pool deck; all other things being equal, I would choose cabin 50. Although your preference is for a lanai cabin, some of the other non-lanai staterooms on the lower promenade deck do offer easy access to the outdoors via one of a number of doors at either end of the elevator lobbies. We had a partially obstructed ocean view on deck 3 and were quite satisfied.
  20. The school sponsored trips in North America usually lodge the students in hotels/motels; ditto for sports groups such as teams participating in minor hockey or baseball tournaments. Having stayed in some hotels during the school year I can say that the behaviour on this side of the pond is similar. I suspect that the students on the cruise were taking the equivalent of a "cultural" tour, but with better accomodation.
  21. I did post a review of the trip, without going into the detail mentioned above. On the whole, I think that MSC provides a good product at a reasonable price. The trick is to keep an open mind, and adopt a calm and reasonable approach when dealing with management.
  22. With respect to children on MSC, we recently completed a Med cruise on the Divina with a large group of high-school aged youth. When I say large, according to the folks at customer service, there were likely about 100 students. About 20 or so kids found it amusing to roam the halls after midnight, chasing one another into the elevators and generally running riot, with nary a chaperone or monitor in sight. There seemed to be no help from security on our first night (after our call to the front desk); after our sleep was interrupted on the second night we spoke directly to customer service and explained that this type of behaviour was not commensurate with a cruise experience. We were among a number of passengers whose complaints were finally acknowledged. MSC did compensate us with some OBC and treats sent to our cabin, and told us that the group was being relocated elsewhwere on the ship. What concerns me is the fact that the cruise line would agree to transport such a large school group, likely at a reduced rate, without any thought to the comfort of the other guests.
  23. Thanks for confirming that the OBC is in US$; that is an unexpected bonus. Glad that we went ahead and booked.
  24. Thanks for the "heads up"Tony and thanks Jacqui for providing a link. We tend to make bookings at the last minute, but this time we took advantage of the sale for a cruise next June. The offer was too good to pass up.
  25. I have a Visa card issued by a small credit union; I obtained it specifically because they do not charge a currency conversion fee. My attempts to book with Amtrak as well as with a small hotel in Fort Lauderdale prior to a winter cruise were unsuccessful. Both merchants blamed the card issuer, the cc company blamed the merchants. Yet with the same card I was able to purchase a cruise with a much higher value. I suspect that some merchants or corporations set their own risk tolerance, which can differ from one to another.
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