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Posts posted by Mary229

  1. 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. 

  2. 43 minutes ago, Ray4Fun said:

    Refundable v Non-Refundable is that the point here? 

    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 

    • Like 1
  3. 8 hours ago, K32682 said:


    I recall a cruise some years ago where the most-cruised passengers were recognized one evening at dinner. Pretty hard to avoid that. 


    There is a whiff of snobbery among the most frequent cruisers. It doesn't matter that you may have previously swam with the turtles in Galapagos, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro or crossed the Gobi Desert on a burro upon acknowledging you are on your first cruise you are immediately placed on the bottom rung of the social ladder by those whose entire travel experience is on cruise ships.

    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😁

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  4. 9 minutes ago, JamieLogical said:


    All cruise lines do this now to my knowledge... at least all of the cruise lines I price out.

    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😉

    • Like 3
    • Haha 1
  5. Just now, JamieLogical said:


    Thank you for that tip! I just checked out some photos of the Crow's Nest on Cruise Deck Plans and that does look like a perfect spot for board games with its large, normal-height tables. The bar is usually open there all day on sea days?


    That bar is open on sea days.  There are also stacks and stacks of board games shelved in the crows nest.  

    • Like 1
  6. 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. 

    • Like 1
  7. 40 minutes ago, GinaGigi said:

    Thank you, I appreciate the opinions.   I am the person who does too much research, hours and hours, so I thought I ask - might be a lightbulb moment in there....

    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. 

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  8. 16 minutes ago, Sea Hag said:

    Windows 11 PC, Edge browser latest update. I tried one random sailing and cabin selection and was able to choose cabin. 


    Editing to add that I tried a sailing in September of 2025 that we're booked on, and I was able to choose a cabin on that one too.


    I'm sure that the fact that you can't is just more of the wackiness of that website.

    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 

    • Like 1
  9. 17 minutes ago, SeaMatesNYC said:

    Thanks. I appreciate your extensive knowledge here and did not mean to suggest you had missed anything. I was confused about what was meant by self drive and you have clarified that well, so thanks once again!

    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 

  10. 1 hour ago, SeaMatesNYC said:

    Not sure what is meant by self drive: taking the Green bus to stops along the Park Road, or literally self-driving. If the latter in your own rented vehicle, you will not get past mile 15, without campground, backcountry camping or lodging permit reservations. Lacking those, only NPS buses go past mile 15 (Savage River lot). 

    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 

    • Like 1
  11. 3 hours ago, titodewy said:

    Mary 229,

    Our itinerary shows that we don't get to Denali until noon and we leave the next day by train.

    You seem sure that there would not be any substitutions other than the Natural History Tour, just wondering if you have taken Holland America 11 day signature Denali D91 cruise before? The land part is first.


    I have taken the Denali Yukon tour.  We arrived after lunch the first day. There won’t be substitutions but there will be excursions.  In other words you will not get a refund to apply to another trip and since there is an expectation that you would be on the NPS tour (about 4 hours) there will be no excursions during that time.  Of course you could find a guide yourself.  You can book an evening excursion though.  Mine started around 7:30pm and we got back around 11pm.

    Be aware the hikes are right at the visitor center and environs.  There is no off-road hiking in the park, none! at least without a permit which must be gotten in advance . . Denali is a very restrictive as to hiking.  Having visited and hiked many national parks I was rather taken aback at how restrictive it is.  Personally I would not skip the tour in anticipation of the hikes near the center .

    I agree with the idea of doing a self drive instead of the tour.  You can stay at the lodge but do your own driving. 


  12. 2 minutes ago, Sea42 said:

    Your key card is the only way to "pay" for purchases once you are onboard. Whether ordering drinks, booking excursions or buying something in the shops, you hand over your key card and the charge is placed on your account which is secured by cash, debit, or credit card.

    But you can bring a different card to the guest services desk to pay. I often do this , I secure the cruise with one card as to not have a large deposit held on my active travel card, once the trip is over I go to guest services to charge my close to final bill.  I just don’t ever recall seeing a device that reads either phones or touch cards. The technology may use cellular service that not is available at sea. 🤷‍♀️

    • Like 1
  13. 11 hours ago, titodewy said:

    Thanks good to know! This does give us some options. Unfortunately it appears that we will be riding buses all day if we don't think of something else. Didn't realize this until I started looking closer at our itinerary.

    One thing to note is the days are very long. On our first full day we had time to take the NP bus tour, hike 8 miles, then hike to the kennels watch the dog show, shuttle back, wander about the hotel before going for an evening trail ride. Due to the long days we did not feel tired. 

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