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About newtocruiseinblue

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    United States
  • Interests
    Travel, wine, my family
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Amex has this as well for their clear card
  2. For anyone who has taken a HAL cruise that stopped in Chania, does HAL offer a shuttle to the old town (I understand it is 4 miles to the old town) or do you take a public transportation bus? Still deciding on what to do in this port and wanted input from someone who has done HAL here. Thank you in advance.
  3. One of the reasons I have stopped coming to this board is because there is so much misinformation out there that is posted. One man had a bad experience on the Oosterdam and now everyone with children is concerned. Right after that man posted,on December 7th, HAL put a post on their blog clarifying that Club HAL is not going away. I don't think they could have made it more clear than that, but yet others (not referring to you, OP) continue to just keep the rumor mill going that HAL is discontinuing Club HAL and it's just NOT TRUE. Further, they had an entire advertising campaign last fall of "bring your whole crew" targeting families with children. https://www.hollandamerica.com/blog/topics/arts-entertainment/club-hal-and-high-score-update/ HAL is NEVER going to be Royal Caribbean or NCL but people on this board are so scared that they are going to move in that direction, that they will literally trash HAL to parents so we don't bring our children. HAL does NOT want to be Royal Caribbean or NCL. Look at their advertising - their entire brand is based on not being NCL- they are about the itineraries, in-depth excursions, foodies and music venues. This is why we love HAL: Of all the things we worry about, more than 90% of those things won't happen and the last 10% depend on your attitude and reaction to the situation. We have an upcoming Mediterranean cruise in May and we are bringing our 14-year old daughter. Now, I feel that I have to state for everyone on this board that she is well behaved and hopefully won't laugh and have fun too loud for the other passengers (insert eye roll here). As we are taking this cruise, I did feel the need to do that same as you and clarify about the Club HAL activities and yes, they are still in place and no, they aren't closing. (insert another eye roll here). I totally respect your decision to move your business elsewhere considering they did not respond to your email and I hope you find a better fit someplace else. I just want to clarify for the rest of the world what the real story is. I will come back after my cruise and offer a review of my perspective of cruising with a child when I return.
  4. Ouch. I don't think this OP "doesn't want to be with their children". I think they want to ensure that there is a varied enrichment program that is offers age-appropriate activities that will interest the children. What if the parents want to attend a lecture on the port of Istanbul? Should a 6-year old sit through that? Should the parents be left totally uninformed and miss out on all adult enrichment activities? If they didn't want to be with their children, they would leave them at home. Which, by the way, I think romantic getaways and date nights have saved many marriages. They can all still have fun together while taking advantage of all of the activities available to them.
  5. Thank you! I was reading the board earlier and was hoping you both would chime in as you seem to know your way around the lagoon. Thank you!!
  6. We are booked at Hotel Saturnia International for two nights. It is in the St. Mark's Square area, has a rooftop terrace. Is located in a 14th century palace and has a restaurant. I know it is in a busy location and that's okay with me. I like the idea of being able to step out of my door and be in the heart of things. The Hilton Molino Stucky on the nearby island of Guidecca is running a special and I would be able to stay there for the same price as Hotel Saturnia. It is a five-star resort, but it is a hotel shuttle boat ride away from the true Venice. I understand Guidecca is beautiful is away from the madness of St. Mark's square. Such as hard decision. Part of me feels that the first two nights in Venice are going to be a bit of a blur and we will be jet lagged so just stay in the heart of things. The other part of me is saying, "take the sale and stay at the resort". It is my second visit to Venice, but the first was only one day at the end of the cruise. This time we are beginning and ending in Venice so we have more time. I understand the Piazzale Roma is more convenient to the cruise port, but we are fine staying a little away from that area. Any guidance for those that have been there and can provide input? Thank you so much!
  7. We booked our return airport transportation through the cruise line (Holland America) at a cost of $39 per person and it was totally worth it not having to stress or worry about anything. Celebrity has a similar service. You will give the cruise line your return flight information and they will tell you when your bus will leave. The airport is almost a straight shot from the cruise port. We were boarded on busses and driven to the airport, then we were walked into the check in area in the airport. Doing the same on our next cruise. Our flight was at 11 am. I think we had to be on a 7 am bus that day. You'll be fine. Also, it might be worth it to check flights and prices through the cruise line. I found a huge savings to the US through Holland America. I initially was not going to use the cruise line for airfare and did not on our first cruise. Saved about $500 per person dong it this time.
  8. From how I understand the “All-Inclusive 2021 Offer”, the cabin type has nothing to do with the amount of airfare you receive. Each guests under this promotion should receive $800 per person based on double occupancy. The only additional benefits for cabin type are for suite guests, which are: Bonus offer for Suites: Free Internet Package and Free Dining Package per person.
  9. The newly released 2021 Europe itineraries offer an “all inclusive” package that includes the signature beverage package, but it is not called “Explore 4”, so HAL has not completely stopped offering the signature bev package as a benefit in certain promotions. Also, we booked a cruise in March of this year called “Early booking bonus” that had all of the same benefits of “Explore 4” but it was not called “Explore 4”. We have the signature bev package included in our upcoming cruise.
  10. Was waiting for the 2021 Europe cruises to come out and they have, but they have either the basic package with the non-refundable deposit or an all-inclusive package that includes the following: ALL-INCLUSIVE 2021 OFFER Book your 2021 Europe cruise now for an all-inclusive experience, valued at up to US$2,300 per person. Includes: •Free Air (up to $800 per person) •Free Drinks •Free Onboard Spending Money (up to $250 per person) •Free Stateroom Gratuities Bonus offer for Suites: Free Internet Package and Free Dining Package per person I’ve never seen this promotion for HAL before and was wondering if anyone else has experienced it. Thank you!!
  11. Now that HAL has officially announced on their blog that Club HAL is NOT going away, we will be doing a Mediterranean cruise with our 14 year old on the Zuiderdam. I assumed she wouldn’t be interested in Club HAL. For those that have used it, is this something my 14-year-old would be interested and what do they do? Yes, I read about it online, but wanted to get a first-hand perspective. Thank you!!!
  12. The Thanksgiving cyber sale for the US will run from Nov 27 - Dec 3 and has $25 deposits and free gratuities for veranda and suite guests. It is combinable with the summer exploration event.
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