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Everything posted by JeanieCM

  1. For those who may not be aware, there is a luggage scale on all the ships, usually near Guest Services. Especially useful if you are just a few pounds over, as you can relocate the extra amount to a carry-on rather than pay those huge fees for overweight luggage.
  2. We took a shuttle bus from the cruise port into the city. However, we walked back & found it quite lovely & do-able on a pretty day. There is a harbor walk with nice views, safe & enjoyable. It is a bit of a distance, but my 80 year old husband who walks slowly was able to do it without a problem. He did require a couple beers when we got back, lol.
  3. We always use the stuff-a-bag. Great convenience & pricing to have clothes washed well & quickly returned. Perks are that I have turned this into a fun competition with myself to see how much I can stuff in that bag (it's a LOT!) and those iron-on tags that, months later, are a surprise reminder of the cruise!
  4. We were sorry to see the chicken cacciatore taken off of Canaletto's menu. I loved it and ordered it each time we ate there. That said, my husband is a fan of their lasagne...and we both loved the tiramisu.
  5. Female. If traveling to somewhere warm, I wear Nike sneakers on the plane, pack a pair of flip-flops and a pair of water shoes. If going somewhere colder, I substitute a dressy pair of flats for the flip-flops. So 3 pairs total. My husband wears sneakers & packs a pair of dress shoes & a pair of more casual loafers. He also takes water shoes.
  6. The Maasdam was our favorite due to its much smaller size. We could easily find a table for two in the Lido, much less chaotic. The service was superb. The dining room actually called to see why we hadn't been there yet several days into the cruise (we prefer less formal dining). And the ship sent a huge bouquet of flowers when our laundry was a couple hours late (I'd never have known the difference). Coming up close behind Maasdam was the Zaandam. Again, smaller size and looked like brand-new whirlpool tub in our verandah room that I used nightly. We've also sailed the Westerdam, Eurodam, and Zuiderdam. All fine experiences with, again, wonderful crew--but larger & the Lido was often very crowded. The first two stand out as our favorites.
  7. Sounds like excellent advice--thank you all so much!
  8. We are looking at booking the Southern Caribbean Wayfarer on the Koningsdam in January. We have a travel agent with whom we're pleased, and have a future cruise credit that we will apply. We were also sent the ZPM /ZPN code from Holland just after our most recent cruise to get additional OBC. This particular cruise offers "Ocean of Extras" promotion at this time, which also gives additional OBC. My questions: 1) Can we apply both the ZPM code & Ocean of Extras promos or is the ZPM code not "stackable" with this promotion? 2) If not, would I be better to wait to book this cruise after the Ocean of Extras promotion expires (how would I know when that would be?) but before our ZPM code expires? If the cruise does not have a promotion going on at the time, our agent usually also gets us extras (free PG dinner & $50 beverage card each).
  9. We loved Canaletto for its chicken cacciatore--delicious! Unfortunately, that is no longer on the menu. 😞 Maybe they'll bring it back at some point?
  10. Italy 52, we did eat lunch & dinner in Lido most days. The buffet is extensive, to say the least. Besides the different entrees for the day, there is always pizza, made-to-order salads, etc. And the desserts are many, varied, and always delectable. We often ordered room service breakfast, but also did the Lido breakfasts many mornings--I was especially a fan of omelets with goat cheese & mushrooms while my husband ate way too many sweet rolls. Because our travel agency had given us gift cards, we also ate dinner at Pinnacle Grill which was scrumptious (filet, sauteed mushrooms, and fantastic Baked Alaska) and twice at Canaletto (chicken cacciatore & tiramisu)
  11. We were on the Maasdam last August and loved it! The room stewards were there whenever you needed them, but not to the point of feeling you were spending the whole cruise with them. 😉 We are informal people so virtually never eat in the MDR; however, the head of dining called our room to encourage us to come eat there. We received a huge bouquet of flowers when our laundry might have been a couple hours late being returned? And they went out of their way to get us on a private kayaking tour when we were apparently the only people on ship who wanted to kayak in Maine. The ship was smaller & I don't think sold out which made it feel a much friendlier setting to us. I'd be glad to sail on the Maasdam on any cruise.
  12. We've had Half Moon Cay as a port of call three times now...and missed it all three times! Rough seas twice, the other time people on early tenders made it there...then it started to pour the rain so they all came back again. It looks beautiful and we're still hoping to actually get there one day--just be aware that, since it is a tender port, it can be iffy at times. In fact, there's a specific note in the catalog for HMC... "weather permitting". Enjoy your cruise! We did this one in January & had a great time!
  13. We are having to cancel our cruise slated to start April 13th. We have standard cancellation insurance, so while we will be out some money, it will not be catastrophic. Is there any chance that our monies paid for this cruise could be transferred to a new booking in August? And, if so, what are the guidelines on that? We do have a travel agent who has been out sick but will return in the next couple days. I'm just getting a little antsy & wanted to see if anyone here had successfully done this?
  14. So helpful--thanks so much! 😎 I do usually use the Social tier & that is enough for me, as I am able to use messenger with it.
  15. On previous cruises, I have registered my kindle when buying the ship's internet services. On our cruise next month, I'd like to register my phone for the ship's internet services instead. I will only be accessing it to interact with Facebook and Messenger and hopefully, to post pictures. My question is: can someone tell me exactly what settings to use on my i-phone to ensure that I'm not racking up bills? I've heard that I keep airplane mode ON and turn cellular data OFF, and then would be able to both take photos & post them through FB while on the ship. Is this correct?
  16. We were on Zuiderdam in late January/early February. Happy Hour was daily at 4pm in the Sea View and Ocean bars. (second drink for $2) We had no problems with the drinks at all. 😉
  17. 1) We were wanting to go to Hawaii in Winter, 2020. Has the full slate of itineraries been posted by HAL? Because it looks like we'd have to wait until March before a HAL ship sails there? 2) We did a 6 day Carnival cruise in 2013. Would we be able to credit that cruise towards our HAL mariner points?
  18. Faerievert, I am so enjoying your posts. We did this cruise two years ago & had a wonderful time. I'm so sorry that the weather has precluded your visiting many of the ports. I feel a little bad saying this, but the volcano to which others are referring was one of the top highlights of our trip. The Captain stopped the ship in front of the erupting volcano for an hour at midnight, under starry skies, and we were able to watch all the orange lava streaming down the sides--amazing! If you all don't get to experience it this time, I do hope that you will be able to take this cruise again in the future--with an erupting volcano and good weather visits in every single port!
  19. We've always just taken one of those little travel spray bottles & spritzed our clothes with water from the tap. Almost without exception, they hang out beautifully by the next day.
  20. We stayed at the Marriott Harbor Beach prior to our just-finished Panama Sunfarer cruise on Zuiderdam. The hotel was appealing--clean, brightly-lit, and comfortable. There were three restaurant options, plus a Starbucks and a "fresh market" type cafe attached. Our room had a balcony and overlooked both the pool and the beach. It was nice to take a beach walk prior to the cruise.
  21. Hope this is going in the right part of this forum. I had seen posts about the laundry and just ran across one of our laundry list receipts. We use the "stuff a bag for $20" option and get pretty competitive with ourselves as to how much we can get in there & still close the top. This receipt was our best to date--we stuffed 1pr. jeans, 2 blouses, 7 polo shirts, 10 prs. of underwear, 1 bra, 1 hankie, 6 prs of socks, 1 pr. of pants, 3 prs. of walking shorts & 1 sweatshirt in that bag! "Roll tightly & push hard" 🙂
  22. We are on the partial Panama Canal cruise on the Zuiderdam as well. Hooray, only 18 more days! Can hardly wait!
  23. We loved our Atlantic Coast Cruise! While you could indeed sightsee on your own in Quebec, we enjoyed having a wonderful guide who regaled us with lots of history of the city. In Halifax, we took a horse trolley tour; however, we then walked back through the city to explore on our own for several hours. The Immigration Museum is NOT to be missed!
  24. Our PG lunch and dinner on the Westerdam and Eurodam were not stellar. The food was "okay" (except for the strawberry pavlova which was excellent). The Westerdam atmosphere seemed a little "stuffy" and service on the Eurodam was painfully slow. However, our PG dinner on the Maasdam was superb--probably one of the best meals I've ever eaten! The filet and accompanying marinated mushrooms were to die for, the jumbo shrimp cocktail very tasty, and we both loved the baked Alaska with cherries jubilee--all of that in a much more welcoming atmosphere. We'd not have chosen PG on the Maasdam due to our previous experiences, but received it as a perk. That meal convinced me to not rule PG out in the future. We also loved our meals at Canaletto--again, the atmosphere was much more welcoming on the Maasdam. Maybe just the smaller ship atmosphere?
  25. We really enjoyed our Grand Turk excursion which consisted of seeing sea life from a submarine, visiting one of the beautiful beaches, visiting a turtle farm, and a few other stops. Our guide (Trevor?) was wonderful--a former school teacher who now does tours full-time. First time we'd ever seen a blue iguana which was also exciting. Dive-In Burger for sure. We love Canaletto meals. We've had mixed experiences with Pinnacle Grille, but this last cruise, the food was superb. Extra cost is $15 pp for Canaletto and I think $25 pp for Pinnacle? The made-to-order omelets in Lido are extraordinary, as are all of the desserts. I would also second bringing some warm clothing. It was pretty chilly when we were in the Caribbean in January. I get cold easily so I was definitely glad I brought a sweatshirt & fleece jogging pants. Sitting on a verandah when the ship is moving can be chillier than one might think. Hope your parents have a wonderful time!
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