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Ken the cruiser

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About Ken the cruiser

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Interests
    Farming, bees and cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Crystal and Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Galapagos and Antarctica

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  1. The shows put on by entertainers seem to repeat themselves when they are performed at the end of one leg and they stay on to perform it again the start of the next leg. But that’s pretty common on most of the cruise lines we sail. As far as the guest chefs, there was a lecture given at 1 pm today, but we missed it because we were at lunch. Are they entertaining or is it just someone showing you how to cook something? As a tidbit of information to pass along, we learned at lunch today you will only get a bowl of bread if you ask for it. It seems a lot of bread was going to waste during lunch in the MDR with folks not eating it. Seems like a smart policy change, both for them and us! Now we won’t be tempted to eat it while we wait to place our order and subsequently wait for our soup! Those extra unnecessary calories seem to add up over a 40 day period. I know, who knew??
  2. In the case of the Amsterdam and other similar ships with a lot of Vista Suite A category cabins, my guess is all they would need to do is convert about 10 of them in the center on both sides of deck 6 (20 in total) to CO rather than all of them. This would leave plenty of A cabins for those like yourself who didn’t want to pay for the extras. But I must say having a separate anytime dining area would be a nice perk for those VS and SS suite guests who are willing to pay a little extra for a better cabin location, canapés around 4 or 5, priority attention during tendering as well as embarkation and disembarkation, and for all OC, NS and PS suite guests anytime dining in the morning and evening without having to wait in line during prime time dining between 6 and 7 pm. But, I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see what the HAL CO visionaries will come up with next.
  3. IMHO in order for CO to work on non-Pinnacle ships, they are going to have to follow in Princess’ footsteps a lot closer that they are now before they will be able to designate a separate MDR area. For example they could get rid of the volunteer option of CO and switch some of the top category Signature and Vista suites to CO suites on their respective ships, adjust their price accordingly, add some additional perks like Princess does, and then they should have a quantifiable count every cruise to fill that area. This way those non-Neptune “suite” folks could start reaping some additional benefits for being in a suite.
  4. As long as the expansion to other HAL ships is in the form of more in-depth lectures rather than by canned BBC Earth presentations and they provide quality guest entertainment every night in the main theater, we might even consider booking more HAL cruises in the future.
  5. We’re in Cairns today and went on a 5 hr HAL excursion to a Tropical Rain Forest park which had a wild life park, an Aboriginal culture presentation and a Duck tour through the tropical rain forest section in the park. Fun times, but didn’t see any wild life in the tropical rain forest portion of the tour except for a big spider. But that’s ok as they had plenty of variety in the wild life park. Entertainment last night was provided by the Sandman who was quite accomplished in his art as well as very entertaining. Simply put he created beautiful pictures using either sand or paint in the time it took to play a song. We were quite impressed!
  6. BTW you are welcome to post away on this thread if it has to do with your experiences on the Australia circumnavigation cruise we’re on now. It’s always interesting to hear how different folks are experiencing the same cruise. For example we were walking on the VS deck 9 and heard a lady quite upset about not having lights in her cabin. Later on we asked our steward about it and he said there was a block of rooms without power because some folks had brought onboard their own power strips, hair dryers and irons rather than use the HAL approved ones. It seems if you overload a circuit in one cabin, it appears in some cases a block of cabins can be effectived. He, of course, didn’t know for sure, but that’s what he had heard happened. Of course the person that potentially blew the circuit probably knew what they had done and put the “evidence” away before maintenance arrived. Just a guess ....
  7. We were in Townsville today and had a great time on a 7 hr HAL excursion to a UNESCO tropical rain forest. We drove by a bunch of 3-5 ft termite mounds on the way and received a fascinating explanation of how they critically fit in the ecosystem here. Once we arrived at the rain forest, we had a nice hour long guided tour before heading to our Bar-b-que steak lunch. Definitely a fun excursion all the way around!
  8. Sorry to hear that. We usually eat at a table for 2 both at lunch and dinner and are usually done within the hour for lunch and 75-80 minutes for dinner, but have never had to wait more than 5-10 minutes between servings. As far as being like the HAL of old, I agree things are of course not exactly the same. For one thing there isn’t any more tasty treats at the Explorers Cafe. But at least there are plenty of things to do on sea days, especially if you like going to lectures.
  9. Has anyone heard when HAL is going to post their Summer and Fall 2021 cruises for Europe and the Transatlantics?
  10. I wanted to give you all an update on the food in the MDR and the evening entertainment so far on the first 13 days of our cruise. First, the food in the Maasdam MDR has been great every night and we have found it to be just as good if not better than the other cruises lines we have recently sailed on. As far as the evening entertainment in the main theater, it has also be great every night! No exceptions! Over these first 13 days, we have had 3 comedians, a mentalist and a variety of singers, all of which have been top notch! But I must say Patrick McMahon, a guitarist and singer, that was on stage tonight from Western Australia was simply fantastic!! So, with our cruise only a third of the way over, we have no problem saying HAL is definitely hitting a home run so far with us regarding the entertainment, the in-depth EXC lectures and the food on the Maasdam. What’s also interesting is that there are no art auctions or Peter Maxx presentations, BBC Earth, Club HAL or music walk venues anywhere to be found on the Maasdam. However, they do have a Lincoln Stage type setup in the Explorers Lounge in the evening for those that enjoy classical music. In other words from our perspective, it’s a lot like the HAL we remember back when we first started cruising with them in 2012.
  11. Went on a 7 hour tour today on a crocodile safari and had a great time! Saw some crocodiles in the wild as well as several kinds of birds and a wallaby. We humans are so easily entertained! Tomorrow we arrice at Townsend where we’ll be on a 7 hour tour to a UNESCO World Heritage Rain Forest. Hopefully we’ll see all kinds of cool animals and plants.
  12. For example we went to a talk last night given by one of the guest lecturers about the indigenous people in the northern tip of Australia just south of PNG which was quite interesting.
  13. Something tells me the list I posted are just some of the planned talks. With 14 sea days on this 30 day cruise, with an average of 4-5 talks on each sea day, I’m sure there will be some cultural lectures thrown in there along the way. At least that’s the hope. The movies so far on our first 2 sea days to get us warmed up for the adventure have been Australia and Crocodile Dundee. Both were fun to see again!
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