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Everything posted by farjar

  1. We took our first Holland America cruise in Dec. 2019 in a moderately priced ocean view cabin. Every night there were chocolates on the bed, towel animals, free robes to use while on the ship, ice twice a day and lobster on gala night. We are platinum on Norwegian and three months earlier on an NCL cruise in a comparable cabin we had none of these. It will be interesting to see if these amenities disappear from other cruise lines too as cost saving measures due to lost revenue because of the virus.
  2. Canada does have an embassy in Perth. Don't know what, if any, help they could be. You may wish to send them an email and see if they have any suggestions. Address: Canadian Honorary Consulate in Perth, Australia - 267, St.George's Terrace, 3rd Floor - Perth, WA 6000 - Australia Telephone: (+61) (8) 9322 7930 Fax: E-mail: canadaperth@bigpond.com
  3. We just cancelled our mid-May cruise 66 days before sailing. We had no travel insurance so were pleased to receive a total refund of cash for our taxes & port fees and a FCC for the cruise cost. Our airfare on Alaska is not refundable and they are currently not allowing free changes this far out. Worst case we loose the cost of the airline tickets. Best case the virus situation improves in the next six weeks and we can use our FCC to rebook the same cruise and use our existing flight reservations.
  4. We will be getting $200 onboard spending credit if we go on our May cruise. Can this credit be used toward future cruise certificates, daily service charges, or excursions? Thank you.
  5. We just got the $200 OBC for our May cruise to Alaska. Does HAL allow you to use non-refundable OBC to buy future cruise certificates like NCL does? If not, can it be used toward excursions or daily service charges? We still plan on going but are waiting to see how bad the outbreak situation gets in Kirkland since we have to fly to Seattle for the cruise.
  6. We will be doing an Alaskan cruise in and out of Seattle this summer. Our plan is to take a car share service ($ 36) from Sea/Tac to pier 91. On our return we plan on using Seattle's free Port Valet for our luggage and the ride share service again back to the airport. Has anyone done this? Is it a good plan? Any other suggestion? Thanks!
  7. We have our first ever guarantee cabin booked through a travel agent for an Alaskan cruise. Will our travel agent notify us when our cabin is assigned or will it just show up in our HAL cruise documents?
  8. We are looking at a future cruise. If we use a CruiseNext certificate as our deposit then cancel the cruise before final payment do we lose our certificate? Would we be better off paying the $50 deposit now, then using the certificate as part of our final payment? Since the cruise is a ways off and our plans could change we would rather risk losing $50 than a $250 CruiseNext credit.
  9. We sailed on our first HAL cruise 6 months ago and noticed 2 white robes in packages in our closet. We didn't use them but saw several people walking around the decks wearing theirs. What is the policy? Are they there to use free during the cruise, like a towel? Or are you charged if you use them? We will be sailing again in a few months and would like to be clear before we go. Thank you.
  10. I saw on the news that 4 people were taken to the hospital in LA due to a possible Norovirus outbreak when the Norwegian Joy docked after its recent 16 day Panama Canal trip. Was anyone on that cruise? How bad was it? What steps were taken to protect the passengers on that cruise plus the new passengers getting ready to board? Would appreciate hearing what you have to say and what you may have done to avoid being exposed.
  11. We used it too when we were on the Epic because it was almost always nearly empty. Much quieter and less confusion but you have to take the stairs slowly when trying to manage a plate full of food. Not for someone with balance or mobility issues. What's nice is there is a machine with coffee, hot water/tea bags, iced tea and water so no need to bring your drinks in addition to your lunch.
  12. The original itinerary was: Dec. 2 Cabo Oosterdam; Royal Princess; Seven Sea Navigator Dec. 3 Mazatlán Oosterdam only Dec. 4 Puerto Vallarta Oosterdam; Norwegian Joy; Visions of the Sea New itinerary: Dec. 3 Puerto Vallarta Oosterdam; Rotterdam Dec. 4 Mazatlán Oosterdam; Norwegian Joy; Carnival Miracle Dec. 5 Cabo Oosterdam only Since Cabo is the only port we plan on getting off the ship we actually like the change. Cabo is a tender port so the fewer people the better.
  13. I may have found the answer to my own question. After further research the new tax seems to apply only to people remaining in Baja more than 24 hours. It seems like cruise passengers will not be affected.
  14. Apparently Mexico recently implemented a new $18.50 per person tax for tourists flying into Cabo and other Baja cities collected at the airports. Any idea if they will try to collect the tax from cruise passengers when they tender in or get off the ship in port? Our upcoming Oosterdam cruise stops at Cabo, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta and we don't want to be hit with any unexpected fees.
  15. We are looking at a one way Panama Canal cruise in which the second to the last port is our home town. Are you allowed to take your luggage and totally leave the ship one port early?
  16. In Costa Maya we had a wonderful time at the Maya Lost Mayan Kingdom waterpark. It was extremely clean, safe, had lovely pools and we rode the waterslides, zip lines and lazy river as often as we wanted. Everything is included in the shore excursion fee.
  17. I received an email to the account associated with my NCL cruise. You can also keep checking your edocs and look for the "Air Itinerary Confirmation" section. (Mine was on page 4).
  18. Just another suggestion. Our flights to and from Alaska were on two different airlines neither of which we had flown before. We set up "frequent flyer" accounts in advance with both so are Known Traveler numbers would be on file. As a result we had TSA Pre Check at all airports which saved lots of time and hassle.
  19. At 75 days out we were notified of our flights. Our return flight was horrible. Even though we have a PCC with NCL I called the air department myself. I did wait for 45 minutes before connecting with a very nice representative. I politely explained to her our problem and she gave us the perfect flights I had researched without even asking her for them. It took about 2 weeks for the change to be reflected in our edocs. At 48 days out the reservation was actually ticketed and we were able to make a minor seat change through the airline's website even though our original seat assignments were fine. I'm wondering if you are trying to make a change after NCL has already paid the airline. Since the reservation is really only on "hold" with the airline until they receive payment perhaps that is why were we able to change because we were in that "window" between original notification at 75 days and final ticketing at 48 days. I have often heard that when dealing with "customer service" for any business, if you don't like the answer you receive the first time, call back and speak to someone else. You may get a different answer from a different representative. It's worth a try. Good luck. I know we would have been miserable had we been stuck with our original itinerary.
  20. We just returned Sept. 2 from Alaska on the Jewel and were extremely pleased with NCL's free airfare offer. I admit our original assigned return flight from Anchorage was going to be an overnight, 14 hr., 2 connection nightmare. However, a phone call to NCL's air travel department and we ended up with perfect flights and great seat assignments both ways. What made the experience so easy was when we arrived at Vancouver airport we turned the majority of our luggage over to the bus transfer company arranged by NLC and never had to deal with it until it showed up outside our cabin that evening. It was the same when we docked in Seward. We left our luggage outside our cabin the night before and collected it at the Anchorage airport. Because NCL is aware of your flight times you are given the appropriate colored bag tags so you can depart the ship, board your transfer bus and make it to the airport on time. We would not hesitate using this offer again.
  21. Thanks everyone for the information. They say you learn something new everyday and today I have. Since we always book NCL through a PCC they have our credit card number. I was unaware they were putting a hold on it for expenses. Since we paid a travel agent for our HAL cruise I understand the reasoning behind HAL needing the number prior to sailing. I love the way Cruise Critic members step up to help clear up matters and questions other cruisers have. Much appreciated.
  22. We will be taking our first HAL cruise in a few months that we booked using a travel agent for the first time. Yesterday we started filling out our cruise profile information. Near the end HAL requested our credit card number so they could charge us $60 a day per person on our credit card for expenses we may or may not incur on our trip. Apparently any remaining balance will be credited back once the cruise is complete and all expenses have been subtracted. We are Platinum on NCL and never have we had to pre-approve such an amount. Our credit card was charged for what we spent only after the cruise was over. Is this typical with HAL or because we used a travel agent instead of booking directly with them? We think it is outrageous and, if we have to do it, will wait until just before sailing to do so.
  23. We will be on the exact cruise leaving Monday the 26th. If you could answer a few questions it would be greatly appreciated. If you used the NCL transfer from Seward to Anchorage, how did it go? We have a 1:00pm flight and need to decide what time to get off the ship. Do you know what was served in the Garden Café for Alaska Night or Fisherman's night? Can't find it now but someone posted only a picture of a buffet that included clams, mussels, crab claws, shrimp but no information. Do you know which night or which venue? Interesting info about Cagney's. We are currently booked there and are now reconsidering changing when we get aboard. Thank you.
  24. We will be on the Oosterdam later this year. Although we have sailed NCL, MSC and Carnival it is our first HAL cruise. We love NCL's Freestyle Dining so have requested anytime seating for dinner. I've read I can reserve a table for two people for three days at a time if I go to the MDR when I first get on the ship? Is the MDR open for breakfast and lunch everyday? Can you go anytime? Does the lunch menu change daily? NCL now only has one MDR lunch menu for the entire cruise. For Gala nights is a coat and tie required or will a nice collared shirt and slacks suffice for men? (Mexico cruise) Since we've sailed on Carnival I gather we will get the Embarkation Day lunch benefit plus a past guest party? Also NCL's policy is that if your cruise price drops after final payment they will give you a one time OBC of 1/4th the amount of the price drop. Does HAL have anything similar? Thanks. Any other information would be greatly appreciated.
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