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Everything posted by Mary229

  1. Alaska has been very popular lately and I would book your most wanted excursions asap. Many of the tour operators watch what the cruise lines charge and match the prices so you will not always save money by going independent. Also many of the tour operators prefer to work with the cruise lines as the cruise lines have insurance to cover lost revenue. Either way, choose early and reserve. May will be better than June as far as availability. whale watching tours fill up quickly
  2. As recently as last spring HAL was offering their shuttle service from the Movenpick Centraal in Amsterdam. So if you want to use their affordable shuttle and stay in Amsterdam you could either stay at the Movenpick or get there. DO check with HAL to see if that service is still available . Last I checked it was $29 per person and that is a crazy good price
  3. That is exactly what we decided to do. Our lanai experience was nice but I think I will enjoy the more efficient flow of the OV. I will bookmark this thread and leave photos and comments.
  4. I love the location, the promenade is quite a bit more social than those not staying there realize. However the rooms are smaller and the layout of the furniture is not optimal to accommodate the sliding door. We are once again on deck 3 next week but chose the OV instead of the lanai. I will let you know how that works out.
  5. Since the start up in 2022 I have the crew much less reticent about confrontation. I attribute this to two factors 1. Many are novices and 2. Many more pax are much angrier and disgruntled
  6. Exactly and @sunviking90 when you refare you could be choosing a nonrefundable deposit as the new sale price may require that. I give my TA a bullet point with all of my current perks remarking on the ones I absolutely want, those that are expendable and those that make no difference. She shops the new fares with a tracker and alerts me when there is a potential re-faring opportunity. Occasionally we have been able to keep perks from the old booking in exchange for removal of a perk on the new - this is rare
  7. When I meet a person with a lot of travel experience and they are nice, decent people I ask if they mind offering me advice. I have met plenty of those. Then there are those as you describe who have flown further, traveled more, cruised the “right way” and are just bragging. I don’t encourage. The worst thing you can do is to try to get a word in😁
  8. HAL allows people to re-fare anytime before final payment. Of course you may have to add additional deposit if you re-fare. It is what it is.
  9. Just making sure you weren’t comparing last year to this year. I am pricing out TAs now, I like to take one a year. I am looking at the Oosterdam to Barcelona and it is fairly inexpensive. Once you start heading to Northern Europe prices go up. Of course I really don’t care about entertainment , etc…, I consider TAs as replacement airfare. Any cruise is better than sitting on a jet for 10 hours😉
  10. As to prices also consider that HAL now includes port fees and taxes in the fare
  11. That bar is open on sea days. There are also stacks and stacks of board games shelved in the crows nest.
  12. HAL does allow smoking in the casino on the Pinnacle class ships. The smoking section is limited to one side of the casino. There is additionally a small totally separate non smoking area which is truly smoke free. the Crow’s nest will be your go to if you want to play games and plop. You have both a bar and a separate coffee bar there. The lido and pool bars are open during the day, the casino bar is open during the day. There may be one or another bar open as well but the casino, lido, pool and crow’s nest are for sure. HAL cruisers, like myself, do not like a lot of loud piped in music anywhere. On sea day they have been showing movies in the big theater in the afternoon along with port talks and similar.
  13. You will find snobs on every cruise. Those people always find a way to puff up. I just move on because there are always plenty of very nice people everywhere
  14. Some of the well known lines like NCL, Royal and Carnival do have smaller ships. Galveston is generally cheap but New Orleans can be expensive to fly to during the tourist season and decent hotels are not cheap. When checking Fort Lauderdale air also check Miami, it is a toss up for me which is cheaper. There are many decent quality hotels in Fort Lauderdale at very good rates (book early) and offer a free airport shuttle and a small fee cruise terminal shuttle.
  15. Ok, I will have to fire up the old desktop and see if it works there just for grins. I will definitely finish my booking onboard though. Thank you
  16. We opted in and are notified of sales and specials. You can always opt out.
  17. What device and browser are you using. I tried again and could not select. Thank you
  18. Ummm. I tried on a variety of devices and a variety of fare options and could not. I will look again but then again I will be better served by waiting until next week
  19. It also seems you cannot pick your room during the sale. I have a cruise to book but I will wait until I am aboard next week and pay $300 per person . I will get to pick my room and get a larger OBC
  20. I guess that might prevent a wave of final payment date cancellations after which it is harder to fill a ship at full price
  21. Additionally if you miss a port they are not as motivated to reimburse you.
  22. It is my intention next year to redo and self drive. It is very easy and not at all expensive. The first time we did Yukon and there I did appreciate the guide service as the distances were large but next time will be independent
  23. I am talking about self driving TO Denali. A walk up person can also pay to be on a NPS school bus tour. That is not exclusive to cruise passengers. If the OP did this he could spend more days instead of being tied to HAL’s schedule. I spoke extensively about park regulations twice
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