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About TAD2005

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Central Florida
  • Interests
    Cruising, website design
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America, Windstar
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe, Caribbean

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  1. Rum and Pepsi just doesn't hack it. But even worse is the guy who orders a Rum and DIET Coke (or Pepsi), and when the bartender starts gagging, the guy explains that he is on a diet !!!
  2. The only indication that you have exceeded the 15 alcoholic beverage limit is the receipt you will be given. The bartenders and waiters get 15% on every drink, so, unless you are sliding out of your chair, onto the floor, totally zonked, they will continue to serve you and not a word will be said.
  3. Like the old days with people sharing their drink packages with other friends onboard, I have seen people giving out their login and password to other guest/friends who have not signed up for the internet package. This sharing may be why HAL is testing the "only one device" plan. HAL identifies your device login by it's MAC address (nothing to do with MAC computers). The ship's router will detect when one login/password combination is being used by many different devices, by monitoring the MAC addresses of each device. If this "only one device policy" is happening for real, a solution is to use a travel router that will login to the ship's wi-fi with its single MAC address, and then you can connect as many devices as you want to the travel router, undetected.
  4. I was hoping that the "dueling pianos" downgrade would wait until the Dec 2020 drydock. We are on the 29 day Rotterdam to FLL cruise in Oct 2020 and we really enjoy the traditional piano bar with a single talented musician. To rip out the whole "Mix" area, including the piano bar, they would have to shut down that whole section of deck 5 for many days. I am amazed that they would do this with passengers onboard. Just the noise and inconvenience should have had a lot of passengers running to the front desk for rebates and cabin credits. What a disappointment !!
  5. That's why HAL has a 3 stage muster drill. The first 2 stages just get you to your cabins and get you ready to evacuate if the worst happens. You are not ordered to your muster station, in front of the lifeboat boarding station UNTIL the captain has determined that evacuation is necessary. So you are not standing out on a windy promenade deck with 50 ft seas unless you will be getting into those lifeboats. Until that command is given in the 3rd stage, you are supposed to be in your cabin waiting for the order. While you are in your cabin, with life jacket on, warm clothes, eyeglasses, medicine, etc, the crew is assessing the emergency. If stage 3 is sounded in a real emergency, you WILL be boarding that lifeboat as quickly as you can get there.
  6. The reason the crew removes the deck chair cushions at night is because the next morning, around 5:30 or 6:00 AM, they come by with hoses to wash the whole promenade deck down. The cushions would get soaked if they were left out. The cushions are usually returned by the crew around 7:00 AM. Lanai cabins are tight enough without storing 2 lounge chair cushions inside. Unless you like to sleep under the stars, let the crew take them into storage for the night..
  7. For round-trip domestic flights, and US to Canada flights like you are looking for, there is not much of a price difference between the major airlines and Flight Ease. For the budget carriers like Southwest, Spirit, etc, there is a bigger difference in price. Flight Ease really shines when you need a one-way or open-jaw ticket to an international destination. Those fares are far less than the same on the airline's website. Two very big advantages of booking ANY flight with Flight Ease is the fact that you get a confirmed reservation many months out, but you do not have to pay for the ticket until cruise final payment date, usually 75 days out. If you get sick, divorced, or your boss says "there's no way you're leaving on a cruise", you can cancel the cruise and the air with no penalty or loss of money. The other advantage is if your flight or connection is delayed, the ship will wait for you, up to a reasonable length of time. After that, HAL will arrange to get you to the ship's next port, depending on flight availability. If you book yourself, and you miss the ship, you are SOL, and will have to pay for a one-way flight yourself to catch up with the ship.
  8. The muster drills are very organized and calm. They are calm because they are....drills, so there's no panic. But if the worst does happen and the "evacuate ship" command is given, I want to know precisely where my assigned lifeboat is, and how to quickly get to it. I do not want to be sitting in a lounge somewhere as the ship is listing 30 degrees. The calm, chatty mood of the muster dill will be a mass panic, with pushing, shoving, running. That is the exact time you want to know where your muster station is and the fastest way to get there. That is why on most HAL ships, the muster drill is held standing right in front of the lifeboat boarding station. Having it in some lounge somewhere adds an extra step to getting passengers to the place they need to be. I'm happy to stand for 20 minutes for the drill. The thing that really frosts me is standing there waiting for folks who slowly wander in, 30 minutes late, with a drink in their hand, complaining how this drill is cutting into their happy hour.
  9. The Lanai cabins on the R & S class ships used to be ocean views. In a drydock, HAL moved the bed away from the window and cut a sliding glass door out to the promenade deck. The cabins are the same size as the OV's, but because of the door and window, they appear smaller. The desk is definitely smaller. There's no room for a $2 rental fridge under the desk, unless you want to sacrifice any space for your knees. We have had 2 Lanai cabins and we never received the double Mariner day credits that you get with a real suite. One time, we booked a Lanai cabin on the Rotterdam, while onboard the Eurodam. You are supposed to get double cabin OBC for booking onboard. For a 29 day cruise, we only received $100 P/P cabin credit, doubled to $200 for booking onboard, which is the same as an OV cabin. I asked the future cruise consultant why the OBC was only $100, and she said that HAL has never established a category for Lanai cabins as far as OBC goes. They treat it as an Ocean View cabin with a sliding glass door.
  10. For just about any mixed drink, all beers, and most liquors, the SBP ($11 limit) will be perfect. If you are a wine snob, or like your single malt, then the elite package ($15 limit) will be better. My DW loves espresso martinis. All vodkas except 2 are included for $11 and under. Most tequilas, many scotch and brandy selections. Wines are the only area where the elite package will help, if you are picky about your wines. The SBP or EBP can be used at any bar service on the ship, including the MDR. Also, some have mentioned that the after dinner cordials on the desert menu, which come with a souvenir glass is an extra charge. We have boxes full of those souvenir glasses from many cruises, and we have never paid anything extra to take the glass home with us. actually, we have so many, we are giving them away as Christmas gifts. With either beverage package, you also get unlimited sodas, bottles of water, still or sparkling, specialty coffees, and they do NOT count towards your 15 drink daily limit.
  11. Coke vs. Pepsi is an argument that cannot be won. It's almost like politics. There are 2 camps and people hardly ever cross over.
  12. I saw that news story, and they specifically said the switch from Coke to Pepsi would be on the "25+ Carnival ships in their fleet". They did not mention Princess, HAL, Costa, etc. If you are on a Carnival ship and order a Rum & Coke, what do you get ? I guess Pepsi came up with a better deal for fleet wide supplying of beverages. They undercut Coke, so they got the contract. I would think that HAL does their own negotiation for soda and water provisioning.
  13. There is no "free lunch". The "free" internet on Oceana and Viking is paid for in their higher per day fares. And for the folks who don't need to be "connected at the hip" 24/7/365, (internet), they are paying for a service that they don't want or need. I think the "ala carte" system is better. Lower fares, and for the extra services you want, you pay separately for them. Same for drink packages. Many elite cruise lines include free drinks in their fares. But on those lines, you cannot opt-out of the free drinks. If you do not imbibe enough to warrant a drink package, you are paying for something in your base fare that you will not use.
  14. We always book the deck 4 aft (non-wrap) balconies. In those, when you lean on the railing of your balcony, and look down, all you see is water and the ship's prop wash. On any decks above deck 4, because of the tiered structure of the back of the ship, you do look down on the balconies below you. If all you want to see is water, deck 4 aft balconies are the only place to be.
  15. I agree that the website fiasco is a major contributor to HAL's problems. But when the website fails you, one option is to call Seattle for the answers. Unfortunately, the answers you get from agents in Seattle vary all over the place depending on which agent you get. It seems that the policies set by Seattle many times are completely different to actual practice onboard. One glaring example is the change of the SBP to $11 per drink max price. Some agents in Seattle are still telling guests that it is $9, a policy that changed last April. And some bartenders and waiters onboard are still stuck in the $9 world. Policy direction should come from the top, and everyone, even a Lido bar waiter should be totally trained and updated on the current policy.
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