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FlaMariner

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About FlaMariner

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    North Florida
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America Line

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  1. Sailed Kdam and NS and they are now are go to ships and no issues with the passenger count and enjoy the larger ship with more stuff to do......It's also amazing to us as to how they have virtually eliminated lines at embarkation and tenders etc. We've been on Zandam and other 'dam ships but we prefer these larger ships. And regarding the lido breakfast crush.....We may have waited a few back or forgo our omelet for something else if it's busy and never had an issue finding a seat at the lido pool area. .....bring on the Ryndam!
  2. Cuba is not different. We choose to not spend our travel $$$ in countries that, in our opinion, are oppressive...... Being a Floridian, Cuba is a bit more closer to home and personal. We have many friends whose family members have suffered under the Cuban dictator and their first hand accounts of what happened is so chilling that I am not comfortable supporting Cuba with my measly travel dollars. And we support our friends efforts to one day see a free Cuba and the Cubans we know in Florida, want no part in subsidizing the current Cuban government. I do not judge you in your travel choices and wish you all the best in your travels, wherever you choose to go.....
  3. RE: Confusion w/the two Nieuw ships...... Was working with TA to book the NS. He quoted me NA prices. (NA was departing Saturday, NS Sunday) Once he realized his mistake (which was when it was time to book) he did what he could to make good on the disparity in price. Minor confusion but I'm certain it occurs frequently and can be a bigger problem. I'm all for dropping the Nieuw on Statendam....And looking forward to sailing on her again as well as the Ryndam.
  4. That is the best "elevator pitch" for who sails what. And I can concur as I've sailed on all 3.
  5. Good info! Good to hear more positives about Spanish Day Tours. We've already booked them for our Malaga stop where we are spending all day with them on the Alhambra/Granada tour. From what I'm reading, I think we can do what we want on our own in Seville if we can easily get there and get back without boat leaving stress. A bus with a tour guide there and back would work but we might just sign up for the Spanish Day Tour trip to Seville.
  6. For our port call at Cadiz, I'm thinking our best bet will be to take the r/t bus to Seville and then tour on our own. Seville seems compact and easy to tour the historic sites and the cruise ship r/t bus will keep us from worrying about missing the boat. Thoughts?
  7. For our port call to Cartagena this fall, I'm thinking this port would be good to do on our own. I think (?) the historic sites are within walking distance of the port and we can walk and tour and find wine and tapas for this day. Am I thinking right?
  8. Our one way Delta flight in "steerage class" from Orlando to Florence in October was 44,000 miles. I thought that was pretty good.
  9. I concur. We've always bought our spa pass after lunch and during the spa tour on embarkation day. Simple. Always available.
  10. We are 3* and most of the cruises have been Caribbean. Last one was on the N Statendam in January. I've got to say we've never experienced an issue with the lack of chairs/loungers. Sometimes we don't get our preferred location but, for instance, if it's sun we are after, we always head to the upper decks and we have them to ourselves or a few other folks. If it's lunchtime and we want to eat by the pool, we generally walk all the way around and eventually find an open table. If it's breakfast, we have no problem getting any table and that's the best time to dine pool side. If it's shade, we are in our cabin or on our balcony at the correct time of day. If it's poolside, we easily score by heading to the aft pool area. On HMC, our strategy is to walk up the beach until the crowds disappear and find those great FREE hammocks. We did arrive 5 minutes before the lido pool movie once and had to sit way in the back....but we learned and planned to arrive earlier next time. I feel sorry for chair hogs......the need to mark your territory and selfishly take up valuable real estate is sad...They must have had an issue in their childhood and as we say in the south...."bless their heart". These folks do seem to congregate around the lido pool area.. And that's too crowded anyway and, let's face it, chair hog types have other personality flaws and it's best to just stay away. I can see it now, a HAL referee at the lido pool with a whistle and countdown clock.........IMO, sounds like we have a first world problem for snowflakes.
  11. That's a great itinerary but it's 28 days with a cruise before the 14 day TA begins. And the 14 day TA can be had for what I would call a "deal" today. Both cruises show available in all categories. ....and looking at the spring eastbound TA's leaving in a few days, it looks like HAL can feed and shelter me for less than my utility bills. Since there are more cruises sailing that we have never taken, for our situation, I think we are good holding out.
  12. The salad area is a highlight of the Lido IMO. The line moves faster than back in the old days when folks would lolly gaggle through the line and build their own. Very fresh and you get what you want and they make it better than you would. Much more sanitary. Lots of choices.....Say more or less of a certain item if you prefer. Wish I could get a Lido salad for lunch tomorrow.......
  13. Great choice Holland America Line! Now, let's invite back Dutch Royalty to christen her (instead of entertainment elites) and let the traditions begin/continue! We look forward to booking passage on the Ryndam!
  14. We were on the NS in January and we never experienced lines or crowds. I don't know how they did it but no line at check in, no line at MDR, short waits, if any, at the different lido food sections....walked onto the tender to HMC and no long wait waiting to come back......15 minute disembarkation. No problem finding good seats at the dueling piano bars, shows in the main showroom, America Test Kitchen.....no issues with elevator wait times. I'm now a fan of the larger ships....So much more to do, great HAL service and they've figured out how to herd us cats without lines!
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