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About Boatdrill

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    Eastern Pacific

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  1. You do know that your TA calls that same cruiseline CSR department if he/she needs help or clarification about fares and promotions on your booking, right ? 🙂
  2. Question for the OP about the Ocean Bar after sailaway from Ft Lauderdale: was it crowded during dinner hours, say at about 7:00 pm ? Thanks.
  3. There's something not right here. Perhaps a detail is left out in the retelling of what happened. After the accident, the ship was contacted by someone (port agent via St Kitts police ? ). Clearly it was relayed to the ship that the family would need to leave the cruise in St Kitts because of the medical emergency, and so ship's staff packed the family's belongings and sent them down to the family member on the dock. This was done as a courtesy and undoubtedly saved much time, so the family could be on their way. There is a lot that goes behind the scenes when passengers need to disembark early in a foreign country, especially when it's a medical emergency. I cannot imagine Celebrity, nor the port agent, not helping in some way with ground arrangements, if asked. I wish everyone in the family a speedy and full recovery.
  4. HAL uses the HSC to pay their crew. They're not really TIPs (meaning "to insure personal service") as we think of tipping, but a percentage of the payroll.
  5. This is true. However your recourse in the US is most likely better than in Belize.
  6. While many people love the ride down to Mexico and back (warm weather, quick getaway from San Diego), the problems in Mexico have been the same for a very long time. The cruise lines pulled out at one point because of the real threat of violence in the tourist areas. That included Acapulco, which used to be the gem of the Pacific Riviera. Without the cruise ships, business in those ports suffered, as did the port of San Diego, where HAL MR and PC cruises leave from. But the cruise lines and the Mexican local governments successfully worked together to bring back the ships. Acapulco has also become a stop again. However HAL tours are no guarantee of security. If anything, they signal to everyone that a bus load of Americans are traveling through, and present an easy and containable target. Many years ago I was on a horseback riding tour , as part of a Princess shore excursion on a Mexican Riviera cruise. We were bused to a rural area, for a trail ride in the country. For our entire ride (a few hours) we were accompanied by a mounted military soldier, armed with a large machine gun type weapon. That was the last shore excursion I ever took in Mexico. It's no secret that many MR passengers don't get off the ship in ports, unless to go to Walmart across the street from the PV pier 🙂.
  7. Mega ships in my book include the Oasis, et al. So far, HAL hasn't entered that derby. Here's what HAL says in its sales materials: "Welcome to Holland America Line, the cruise line dedicated to explorers, foodies and music lovers who want to pursue these passions on all seven seas and continents, on perfectly sized, refreshingly uncrowded ships filled with one-of-a-kind experiences." Other than all that, I just wish they'd put the fresh flowers back on the dining room tables.
  8. The smaller ships are nice, and preferable to mega ships. However my first impression of the Statendam many years ago (my first small HAL ship) was that it felt very enclosed. I called it "the indoor ship". I was used to the light, airy feeling and openess of the Crystal ships. However the size and other negative attributes (IMHO) of the NS and Koningsdam will keep me from ever considering them. Hopefully HAL has a new small ship in the pipeline.
  9. Even better that you had the HAL transfer. The ship has to wait for the last bus from the airport.
  10. To the OP: you will find San Diego's cruise ship experience superior to Long Beach. Alhtough the LB terminal is more modern, the San Diego cruise ship terminals are downtown, on the waterfront. The area is very pedestrian friendly. As someone else mentioned, you can walk across the street to the pier from the Wyndam, check your bags at the terminal, and go exploring before you board. Or, board the ship, get a bite to eat, then go ashore and go walk around. It's that easy and convenient. By the way, once the ship sails, it takes about an hour to clear the harbor. Stand on the port side and you'll see the aircraft carriers (if in port) lit up with white lights, at dusk. Then you'll pass by Naval Base North Island (jets and helicopters). On the starboard side, you'll see planes landing and taking off from San Diego's Lindbergh Field, then the San Diego Yacht Club (3x America's Cup winner), and the submarine base. Once you get to Cabrillo National Monument and the lighthouse, you're about to be in open water. Have a great cruise !
  11. Thanks Copper for the info. After seeing a photo of the Koningsdam CC, I was hopeful that HAL had decided that it was time to return to what was lost. I'll be on the Z in January and need a place for a small cocktail party. HAL has offered the Gallery Bar, but it's unacceptable (no windows). So, anyone have any ideas ? And no, I can't have it in my room. 🙂
  12. Question about the Captain's Corner.......before the "reimagining " of the Crow's Nest on most HAL ships, the Captain's Corner was a lovely area on the port side for private gatherings, or to enjoy a quiet cocktail near the CN bar. Then shore ex moved into the Crow's Nest and the CC became a small lecture hall, with class room seating. Does anyone know what the configuration of the Captain's Corner is now, on the Zuiderdam ? Is it still used for shore ex seminars, or has it been restored to its original purpose ?
  13. Just a guess....the 2021 schedule will be available in time for the Cyber Sale (after Thanksgiving).
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