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About cwtravel

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Columbia, Maryland
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity & Princess though I am liking the Signature Suites on HAL Vista Class ships

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  1. 2I am very fortunate to have been on 5 Christmas cruises with the most recent one on HAL Westerdam in 2017 (the others were one on Celebrity and three on Princess). Our family is looking at going again in 2020 and HAL or Princess are the most likely choices. Our entire family of about 20 goes so ages range from 2 to 85. The Westerdam was a bit more low key than Princess in my opinion but all were great. I do not know if anyone in our family gave any kind of gift to any crew but if I did it would probably be a card/envelope with some cash. On the Westerdam sailing, which departed Ft. Lauderdale 22 December, Christmas Eve was a Gala night & Christmas Day was a sea day and the weather was very nice. Lots of large groups of families onboard but otherwise seemed like a usual Caribbean cruise. Ship is of course decorated.
  2. My wife and I swore no more HAL cruises after the Zuiderdam in 2004 (Caribbean) & Oosterdam in 2007 (Alaska). Liked the size of the ships but the Main factors were the smoking on balconies, entertainment (the HAL Cats did not work for us) and at the time the age demographics (we were in our early 40’s). So, we cruised only on Princess and Celebrity , are at the Elite level on both lines and had great cruises in various parts of the world on their ships. In 2017 our family of about 20 went on the Westerdam over Christmas and have since been on the Nieuw Amsterdam in 2018 and sailing again on her Saturday. While we still sail on Princess ( not so much due to pricing on Celebrity) we like the HAL experience on the Vista and Signature Class ships but will not sail on the older, smaller ships. My wife and I really like the Signature Suites with a decent size covered balcony, are fans of BB King’s, love the service (room service breakfast the final day is wonderful) love the speciality restaurants, especially Taramind and the hydro pool in the spa. The unbelievable amount of whining I read on these boards at times has me wondering what all the fuss is about when I am on the ships. We are now in our late 50’s with over 40 cruises and generally cruise to relax and recharge especially to the Caribbean. My guess is you will like the Eurodam if you liked the Westerdam.
  3. I’ve been to Emerald twice since the hurricane, in May & November 2018 & unfortunately yes. Still a good choice, especially if docked @ Crown Bay but the beach seemed smaller.
  4. - Hyatt House FLL Airport/Cruise Port has 2 bedroom suites & shuttle service to/from airport and ship (for a fee to ship) - Homewood Suites FLL Airport/Cruise Port also has 2 bedroom suites with shuttle service (fee to cruise port) - Embassy Suites does not have two bedroom suites & sleeping 6 would, in my opinion be tight. No shuttle service for free - Hyatt Place does not have two bedroom suites I and my family have stayed in all four properties along with the Doubletree. I generally stay at the Hyatt House, good breakfast and comfortable rooms. All with two bedrooms are priced about the same most of the time.
  5. My wife and I tried HAL due to many of the changes, specifically the ending of smoking on the balcony, addition of BB Kings, relaxed dress code and the updated staterooms on the Vista & Signature Class ships (have not yet tried the Pinnacle Class). We especially like the Signature Suites now. The wife & I are both 58 and we tried the Zuiderdam in 2004 to the Caribbean and then the Oosterdam in 2007 to Alaska. A combo of smoke, lousy entertainment and on the Alaska cruise literally being run over by people in their scooters kept us away for 10 years. During those 10 years we took 30 other cruises primarily on Princess & Celebrity. In 2017 we took a Christmas cruise on the Westerdam, 2018 went on the Nieuw Amsterdam & are returning to the NA in November. Celebrity Has got very pricy, and we have no desire to sail on their new ships. I really like the size/price of the Signature Suites along with the service and smaller passenger size along with a reasonable sized balcony with comfortable furniture. I also like the lack of separating suite guests with separate dining rooms and deck areas. With a little luck we hope to have another 20 or 25 years of cruising and now HAL is an option, though I doubt we will sail on the smaller ships.
  6. Hi- my wife and I enjoy our balcony when we cruise & use it for breakfast, drinks & relaxing. We are looking at a cruise on the N. Statendam and looking at the deck plans the largest balconies are on deck 4 and there are angled balconies on the bump out parts. Any thoughts on the better cabins/balconies including the aft ones. Am also considering a Vista Duite but not sure if they are worth the extra cost. Thanks - Chris
  7. My wife and I are both in our 50's and we have taken 40+ cruises. We are at the Elite level on both Princess and Celebrity and usually would switch between those lines but our last couple cruises have been on HAL on the Nieuw Amsterdam and Westerdam. I expect we will take another 40-50 cruises over the next 20 years and I am curious where our cruise dollars will be spent, though my guess is the majority of our money will go to these three lines. The NA and Westerdam both have very comfortable suites (Signature Suites) with plenty of room, nice sized bathrooms and good sized balconies and cost a fraction of the Sky Suite cost on Celebrity. We do not need Luminare or butler service (though both are nice). I especially like the little things on HAL like being able to get room service on disembarkation day and the hydro pool in the spa. I do not see sailing on the Edge class anytime soon, especially to the Caribbean, given the current pricing. Chris
  8. Was on the 11/25/18 Nieuw Amsterdam sailing and I was very surprised when I went on the balcony and saw we were at Crown Bay. The QMII was also at Crown Bay with us. Chris
  9. My father is on this cruise and we decided to have him fly back on Air France (departs 8:30am) to LAX so he can connect to a redeye back to the east coast a few hours after his LAX arrival. I believe Air Tahiti also departs late evening.
  10. Got off the Caribbean Princess this morning. I asked about unlimited service and was told it would start I believe next month. I thought the internet worked ok, much better than the Westerdam in December but not as good as the Celebrity unlimited. I did like the Princess@Sea feature.
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