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About rothbury

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Williamsburg, VA
  • Interests
    video editing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Too many to list

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  1. It would have been 1971, NY to Nassau/Freeport. It was a charter cruise on the TSS Olympia. Paid about $150 for a shared room. Just recently transferred old 8mm film to DVD and had that cruise on it. First cruise for DW and me was our honeymoon in 1975 on the Flavia from Miami to Nassau/Freeport. Total for airfare and cruise was around $600. Those were the days. Still cruising but so many changes over the years. Used to be every night was formal; long gowns for ladies and tux for men. Definitely easier to pack now!
  2. I can't help but read some of these posts and smile. DW & I took our fist HAL cruise in 1982 on the Statendam from NY to Bermuda. We have sailed exclusively with HAL ever since. We recently earned 3 stars and have yet to reach the first medallion level. It's not important to us what level we reach. We cruise for the enjoyment of the cruise. Not all of us have the time or money to cruise more than once every couple of years and then only as our time would permit. I don't fault any of you for what star level or medallion level you are but think for a minute how fortunate you have been to have those experiences.
  3. I still believe that ultimately HAL is going to enforce this in order to not offer the embarkation lunch in the MDR. If you read the notice the first boarding would not be until after the MDR would normally close. Having said that, last year we arrived at FLL and boarded sometime around 11:30 and dropped our carry-ons and went to the MDR. There was not very many people eating lunch in the MDR.
  4. Agreed. I have my hotel reservations already. I just put this out there for people who may not know. I already had a roll call member have to change airline reservations and is now staying about 2 hours away because he couldn't get reasonable hotel reservations.
  5. I know this was mentioned back in the Spring but with Caribbean cruise season just around the corner I thought it might be worth mentioning again. The Super Bowl for 2020 is scheduled for Sunday, February 2, 2020 in Miami, Florida. I did a little "digging" and see the Nieuw Amsterdam and the Zuiderdam are embarking new passengers on February 1 along with 2 other cruise ships. On Februaury 2 the Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam are embarking new passengers along with 3 other ships. So, I did some checking on hotel availability in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area for January 31 and February 1. Let's just say "boy howdy"! We normally stay in a Comfort Suite in Dania Beach which is about 15 minutes from the port. A room goes for around $200 a night. Since the Super Bowl is in town a room would be $1000 a night but as with most hotels the entire area is sold out. I saw some rates as high as $3000/night. This doesn't even take into account the traffic on I-95 and I-565 going west towards the stadium. I have no idea whether airline reservations would even be possible for these dates. I would suggest if anyone is taking any of these 4 cruises you need to secure hotel and airline reservations now. HAL has a contract with some hotels in the area so that might be the better option this time around.
  6. Kind of off topic but we do the happy hour the night before and get 2 bottles of water. We've actually gone to breakfast in the MDR and been locked out of our room on return. Had to get steward to let us in to collect our carry off luggage.
  7. We don't fly either. Ironically, the last 2 times we flew were for cruises and both times the airlines absolutely destroyed our luggage. Coming back from Alaska they cancelled our connecting flight and put us up for the night in a Motel 6. This was a prominent airline booked through HAL. So, that being said, we now drive from VA to FL and take 2 days to do it. Do we miss out on cruises that we would have to fly? Sure, but we just told ourselves we were done. Took a couple of river cruises in Europe and they were outstanding so we know what we're missing. Has nothing to do with a fear of flying or airports but the seat pitch has gotten so ridiculous I don't care to fly with my knees in my chest. DW is also tall and claustrophobic so the closeness of the seats finally did us in.
  8. Turtles06, I wear BTE also. There is an over the ear clip that hasn't been a problem for me. I equate it to the earpiece on a pair of sunglasses. Actually, I have worn sunglasses AND the clip along with BTE aids and still not had a problem. Unless you are profoundly deaf the speaker piece is about 3/4" in diameter and sits in front of the ear canal but not in it. It would be almost like the cheap foam covered headphones you see often. They actually are disposable, I believe. I don't think they reuse them when your cruise is over. It is not a headphone band though. It's just on the one side. The QuietVox or Whisper has a volume control so you can adjust how loud you need it. I actually experimented with a patch cord that I bought and plugged the patch cord into the QuietVox and the other end into my video camera microphone jack. I then ran the QuietVox ear speaker through the headphone jack on the camcorder. It worked great! I don't think you are going to have a problem. All I know is it worked fine for me. I just found a picture online. I'll try to attach it.
  9. Okay, my experience is going to be about 18 months old. We have done the Rhine Christmas markets and the Paris to Normandy cruises with Viking. Both ships had the same QuietVox. I also wear hearing aids so I was concerned with what I would find. There was no T-Coil on the QuietVox I was using. Just FYI but T-Coil is expensive to implement and not sure you would find it available. Where I live there are no T-Coil public or private places to visit. Anyway, getting back to my experience with the QuietVox. The earphone does not actually insert into the ear. It is basically a small speaker that "lays" against the aid or receiver. I never had a problem with using it or hearing the guide. As far as left or right ear it was adjustable. The piece that hooked over the ear could be turned 180 degrees to accommodate either ear. I hope this helps. Who knows, maybe they have upgraded their QuietVox or Whisper to T-Coil. Some people on these boards may be able to help you with the email address for your longboat. It is fairly easy to actually email the cruise director and ask what the equipment may be on your cruise.
  10. HAL did the same thing with the Feb 9 cruise on the NS. That cruise will be a charter. There were enough people already booked that a roll call was already going. Not sure I understand why HAL does this. Do they think this is good for customer relations or do they just not care anymore?
  11. I guess my only concern is where would they put the pier? Thinking about it, it seems like any pier would have to be pretty long to reach the deeper water for the ships to dock. If you have to walk a considerable distance I'm not sure it wouldn't prevent some disabled and physically challenged passengers from making a long walk to get on to the island. I guess they would make it wide enough to accommodate some sort of shuttle to drive back and forth. Has anybody seen a construction schedule? I wonder how long and when the construction and completion will take.
  12. Some hearing aids have what is called "loop technology" that allows users to hear and control volume in designated venues. Apparently some or all HAL ships have this loop installed. For it to work the hearing aids also have to have the loop technology installed. Most hearing aids don't have the technology as it drives up the cost. Not sure if this helps or answers your question. If you wear hearing aids you might ask your audiologist if loop technology is installed. Other wise as other people have stated most show venues are entirely too loud for normal hearing people. DW & I take earplugs with us. I met one gentleman on our last cruise who turned off his aids in the music and theatre settings and used them basically as earplugs.
  13. Did this tour on Koningsdam in February. I think there may have been 10 of us on the first day. The bridge tour is on a port day. It is a security thing. No video recording allowed on the bridge. They did take a nice picture in front of the control panel. The next day was a sea day and that was the rest of the tour. A few people dropped out on the second day. The engine control room was not expecting us and there was no one who spoke English who could narrate what we were seeing. The rest of the tour was the laundry and food storage area. The gift bag was the usual tote bag, one of the embarkation glasses with the flashing lights (looked used) and the cookbook. The recipes are of dishes served onboard. Probably never use it. Was it worth the $150 cost? That is subjective but I enjoyed it. Would I do it again? Probably not. I guess my overall review would have to be that everywhere we went they were not expecting us and were mostly unprepared to explain what you were looking at. That was the only disappointment. Our tour guide was not the CD and he kept repeating that crew were supposed to be available to explain things and he didn't know why there was no one meeting us.
  14. I'm shocked and saddened to hear this. May he rest in peace.
  15. Comfort Suite and Cambria Suite at Dania Beach is completely sold out. The closest thing I saw was south of West Palm Beach. About a 2 hour drive. I think there was a hotel in Boca with rooms going for $1000. Going to be interesting when people wait to the last minute to make reservations. I'm guessing there will be 6 or 7 ships in port that day. I would imagine air reservations may become a problem, too at some point. The other factor is what traffic is going to be like in that area. Could be closures and detours in place, too.
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