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Everything posted by Balsam12

  1. Interesting..... We had this hotel booked prior to a NZ cruise that was cancelled due to some virus. We now have another cruise booked out of Sydney for August 2024, and have booked it again and paid in full (only a single night). I find it strange that they are taking bookings and accepting payments if they will be closed for 12 months... Do you have a source for your claims?
  2. One very big difference is that any ship sailing from Australia will have no smoking in ANY indoor areas, including the casino. You may see this as a good thing or a bad thing....
  3. I realise this is an old thread, but we have just booked a cruise using an offer from P&O players club. We have a 12 night Fiji Adventure in an Oceanview room with $300 casino money for $500 for both of us. Too good not to take. Can anyone who has used similar offers tell me how the casino money works, and if they give you free drinks in the casino? Cheers
  4. I don't think our play was huge, and I've worked in casinos since about 1988, so have a pretty good idea of what big turnover is. We played 1 and 2 cent slots, maybe averaging two to three hours per day. My other half and I play the same machine together, and we only ever put her card in the machine specifically to see if we would get some sort of offer. The best part is that we walked off the cruise nearly $1000 up as well as now getting what basically amounts to a free cruise... $420 of our $500 cost is Port fees and taxes, so the actual cruise is costing us $80.
  5. Just to throw in another view /comparison of P&O.... We did a 7 nighter on Encounter in October last year, our first cruise with them. Enjoyed the ship, food was just OK, but not bad, crew were good. Embarkation in Brisbane was slow, but from memory there was some issue with customs that caused a delay. The bit that stuck in our minds was the other passengers... if you didn't have a mullet or a rugby league shirt, you looked out of place. Did it impact on us? Not really, but Bintang singlets in the MDR isn't our idea of a dress standard. We left the cruise not saying "never again" but we would need to think carefully before booking another one. We have since just returned from a Koningsdam Alaska cruise, and have decided that HAL are definitely a better fit for us, although next time we won't choose one of their ships that allows smoking in the casino. The twist in the tale .comes with the same story as someone posted previously. P&O just keep sending us offers for cheap cruises. This culminated last week when we got the offer of any cruise of 7 nights or longer at $500 for both of us in an oceanview with $300 casino money, so we booked a 12 night Fiji Adventure. Yes, it will most likely be an obstructed view, but at least it's some light, and we can always bid for an upgrade to a balcony. Hopefully being a longer cruise and not in school holidays might mean a slightly different crowd.
  6. I'm not sure which cruise originates in Seattle in 15 September, then visits Vancouver on the 16th???
  7. Please excuse my ignorance, but what is that dish?
  8. Yes. As I noted in my post, I have read the HAL FAQ. What I want to know is the "procedure" for bringing water on board, and possibly the cost to purchase water in Vancouver prior to boarding. Thanks anyway...
  9. Hello Good People, Doing our first HAL cruise from Vancouver in September, and not sure about the process for bringing water on board. We know it must be in cans or cartons, and there is a limit on the amount you can bring. The question is about how you bring it on board? With some cruise lines it must be carried on, is it the same with HAL? If so, how early do you have access to your cabin to drop it off? We don't want to have a case of water that we have to carry around for hours on boarding day... Finally, does anyone know the approximate cost of buying said water in Vancouver prior to boarding? Cheers, Balsam
  10. The other thing to note is that with the elite package, non-alcoholic drinks don't count toward your 15 per day limit. If you like to have a few coffees and/or soft drinks, this could make the upgrade worthwhile.
  11. Interesting... one of the things we really enjoy about cruising is the opportunity to sit with two or three different couples each night in the MDR. It's good to chat with new people and get their insights into the cruise and activities, and if you get someone that you don't really like, it's only two or three hours at dinner, so not a big deal. Some nights we prefer just a two top, and if we do specialty dining, it's definitely a two top. We actually thought that cruise lines had done away with shared dining tables due to covid, but if HAL still offers this we will be rather happy.
  12. Now this pic is definitely to my taste....
  13. Apologies if I misinterpreted your post. I read: "Actually I asked a captain once and he said no guns of any kind are allowed on ship and that ban covers crew, officers and passengers. I asked twice to be sure I heard correctly." I thought you did not believe that guns were not permitted, and therefore had to ask twice to clarify the answer. From your subsequent posts, I now gather I was incorrect. It actually appears we have the same view. Peace and Happy Cruising
  14. Yes... local authorities/military with guns. I have no issues or concerns about that. My concern is the mere thought of passengers being able to have guns.
  15. https://www.cruisecritic.com.au/articles.cfm?ID=811 Cruise ships will enlist assistance from local military if required. You've seen too many movies. Guns are not needed on cruise ships. I can see it now... "Pilot boarding cruise ship shot by passenger who thought he was a pirate".
  16. ...and this comment sums up the gun problem in the USA. What possible reason would you have to take a gun on a cruise ship?
  17. This sounds like a good plan... can these cards be purchased during the cruise?
  18. Hi Folks, Have booked our first cruise with HAL, 7 Night Alaska on Koningsdam in September 2023. We went with the Have It All package as it seemed like good value. I have some questions about the beverage packages that hopefully can be answered by more experienced people in here. 1. Can I upgrade the Signature package to the Elite, either prior to the cruise or once on board? 2. As the Signature package covers 15 drinks of any kind, can I choose to pay for some drinks before I hit the 15 per day limit? e.g. on a sea day where I plan on having more than 15 drinks, can I choose to pay for water or sodas early in the day, and leave the 15 drink allowance for alcoholic ones? Not sure if I would hit the 15 drink limit anyway, but it seems like a waste if I wanted a couple of bottles of water, and then had to pay for cocktails later in the day. Finally, I have seen some drink menus that list a few whiskies that are included in the Signature package, but have also seen other drinks menus that have more whiskies that are under the $11.00 limit. Can I get ANY whisky that is under $11.00, or are there only specific ones available on the package? Thanks in advance, Balsam
  19. Go to hotel reception or concierge. They will be able to bring up timeanddate.com on a phone/tablet/pc for you.
  20. I have said this in another thread, but the testing (as it currently stands) is a complete waste of time. Unless there is a requirement to have a supervised covid test, there is nothing to stop people testing positive and still boarding the ship. I can produce "evidence" of a negative RAT for any date you like, whether in the past or the future. There are people out there that will fly to a port to join a cruise, test positive, and still board the ship as they don't want to waste the money they paid in airfares. Why even bother with the testing requirement? As for masks, everything I read indicates that the longer the cruise goes, the less people are wearing masks. If you're really concerned about covid, wear your mask. Knowing that it takes a few days after being infected before you show symptoms, by day three or four of a seven day cruise, the masks are irrelevant anyway. Having said that, the prospect of wearing a mask during boarding, and in some areas of the ship doesn't bother me at all. Unless I go to the theatre, I'll never have to wear one for more than 10 minutes as I'm usually seated when inside anyway, so it's only when walking from one bar to another when I will need one.
  21. The masks and the pre cruise test are for the benefit of the passengers, as they are both there to stop people from getting Covid whilst on board. The vaccination bit has zero to do with the passengers... as we all "should" be aware by now, being vaccinated does not prevent you from getting Covid. What it does do is lessen the effects of Covid and decrease the risk the you will need to be hospitalised (or worse). The vaccination requirement is therefore for the benefit of the cruise line, as they now know that in almost all cases, the worst that will happen is that they need to isolate some passengers during a cruise. The pre cruise testing, whilst it appears to be the right thing to do, is totally useless. Firstly, if you fly in to the departure city the day before the cruise, you may well catch Covid on the plane, and your test later that day will still show as negative. Secondly, unless you do a supervised test, there is no way to prove you ever did one, let alone what the result was. All the talk about taking a picture of the test alongside your phone showing the date and your drivers license is total BS. I have half a dozen negative tests sitting in a drawer from the last 12 months. All I do is go into my phone's settings, change the date, and take a pic of one of them. I can show you the negative result of a covid test I'm going to take on Christmas day...
  22. We've done one previous cruise with Royal Caribbean, however I spent 12 months working on cruise ships back in 2004. The main reason we are going with P&O this time is because they have the $1.00 deposit offer. We have had so many cruises booked and cancelled over the last three years that we weren't prepared to give cruise lines $800 deposits until we were certain that the cruises would go ahead. We also have an Alaska cruise booked for next year with Holland America. I'm not expecting the highest level of cruise from P&O, but then we're not paying for that. I'm confident the ship itself will be well and truly up to scratch, the crew will be friendly, and the food will be plentiful. Not worried about shows, and will just be happy to be on a cruise ship again.
  23. Our first time with P&O as well. Not sure about WA being open to large ships yet. There are definitely small ship cruises happening up in the Kimberley. The first ship due into Fremantle (as far as I can find) is Coral Princess on 28 October.
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