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About Djptcp

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Cruising, reading, swimming
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival, Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Western Caribbean

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  1. DH left a pair of glasses in our cabin once and contacted the lost and found dept. Had them mailed to us within a short period of time. Great service!
  2. Great review, wonderful photos, and I concur with everything said. We sail on the Paradise several times a year with the next one in 5 weeks. We also find embarkation and dembarkation in Tampa to be the best of all the FL ports.
  3. The elegant ships, great crew, delicious food in all venues, the Neptune Suites, the Neptune Lounges, the casinos and their staff, easy embarkation and debarkation. The only thing I don't like is the Holland website - it can be non-user friendly sometimes. Otherwise, Holland America is the best! We are sailing on the Nieuw Statendam for the first time in Dec. - our 51st cruise and 9th on Holland America.
  4. Not everyone flies to cruise ports - many people drive long distances to the ports to avoid expensive flights, uncertainty of their flights actually arriving on time, not having to worry about limited luggage, etc. We live in Florida and the port parking garages are always full plus many cruise passengers leave their cars at nearby hotels and get shuttled to the ports. I wouldn't say that the current high fare prices will affect the number of cruise passengers, if anything more will drive to the ports instead of fly.
  5. We sail out of Tampa all the time because we live less than an hour away. We always do Valet parking and it is so worth it, especially on the last day. We get a porter to take our luggage and he brings it right out to the car when it is brought. The Valet parking is right by the elevators to go up to check in, so very convenient.
  6. Getting to Miami during the holidays can be a nightmare. The only routes going south are 95 and 75 and you not only have cruise passenger traffic on the highways, but all the people from up north coming to Florida for the holidays. We have experienced significant slow downs on both highways and on the FL Turnpike going from 75 over to 95. It's been awhile since we had to do that drive as we live in FL now near Tampa and maybe it's better now and we choose not to cruise during the holidays.
  7. We've only done Anytime Dining on both HAL and Carnival ever since it was instituted and much prefer it to fixed dining. We usually go right when it opens, or within 30 minutes or so, and have the same table for two every night without making a reservation. So do most of the people at tables around us. When we leave about 6:45-7pm, there are usually lots of people waiting for tables and we wouldn't like to have to wait. Probably not so if you prefer to eat later than 7 or 7:30pm. We like the flexibility of being able to eat when we want to and prefer a table for two..
  8. Too many kids. Ships are decorated nicely for the holidays. Sometimes group Christmas Carol singing in the atrium. Have only done it a few times because the ships are much more crowded with 3rd and 4th passengers in cabins and we prefer to cruise when school is in session. Island stops on Christmas Day may find many fewer shops open. Cruise fares are much more expensive than at other times of the year. Not for us.
  9. I receive 3-4 casino offers per year and they range from free insides (we book Neptune Suites with these offers as the rates are greatly discounted) with casino Fun Play to VIP Casino cruises with more casino Fun Play, free drinks for me and spouse while in the casino, gifts, and welcome aboard parties. Deposits are non-refundable and bookings are for Guarantees only. I only play slots and DH only plays table games and I am the one who receives the offers. We take the offers several times a year - Oosterdam this past Feb. and the Nieuw Statendam this upcoming Dec.
  10. Received one for a VIP Casino cruise in late April or early May and took it - going on the Nieuw Statendam in Dec. Before that, received one for free inside with casino Fun Play and we booked a Neptune Suite on the Oosterdam for last Feb. Unfortunately, both were Guarantees which we don't like to do, but no choice in order to receive the discounted fares and casino cash. I usually receive 3 or 4 per year. Used to not have to book Guarantees with these offers, but now you do and the deposits are non-refundable.
  11. If it's not in a can, forget about it. If you put it in your packed luggage, the X-ray machine will find it and it will be removed.
  12. We always have to pay for our specialty dining reservations when we book online before the cruises on Holland America. As 3-Star Mariners, we receive a 25% discount on Specialty Restaurant dinners and the discount is paid back to onboard credit when we receive the bill. We always check with the maitre'd at the end of the meal just to be sure and our onboard account.. Not sure if it will work the same on Carnival if you have discounts for the Specialty restaurants. We have priority reservations as Platinums, but Diamonds receive a one-time complementary meal in a Specialty restaurant. I never minded having to wait a few days for an email confirmation on Carnival.
  13. We will be sailing on the newest ship, the Nieuw Statendam, for the first time in Dec. and found out everything we needed to know about it on the HAL website. Clicked on The Experience and selected Our Ships, selected Nieuw Statendam and discovered the entertainment options, activities, deck plans, etc. Also under The Experience, you can get descriptions of the dining options. If you look at Already Booked, you will see your shore excursion options, dining options on your ship, etc. I didn't feel a need to look anywhere else.
  14. We always make our Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind dinner reservations online as soon as we book our cruise reservations, or as soon as it is allowed. For our Nieuw Statendam cruise in Dec., the online booking wasn't available for about a month after we booked but we were able to make them last week. I prefer to book the times we want ahead of time instead of waiting until we board.
  15. I tried one of the breakfast sandwiches on the Miracle in April and it was horrible. Still only continental type breakfasts from room service. We order danish, aagels, cream cheese, coffee from room service and DH goes to the Lido and brings us back eggs, sausage, potatoes to have with our room service order. He used to be able to order Lox, but no more. He now brings Lox from home and keeps it in the cabin fridge to have with the bagels and cream cheese. We love Holland America's hot breakfasts with room service and get free Mimosas and eggs benedict in our Neptune Suites. Wish Carnival would offer hot breakfasts!
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