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Everything posted by FlaMariner

  1. Great pics. Great cruise....We board the Oosterdam Friday......Smooth sailing into Port Everglades...
  2. Carnival Mardi Gras (the first Carnival ship) in 1989.....4 night trip to Freeport and Nassau from Port Everglades....been hooked ever since.
  3. Thanks for sharing your experience..... We are hardcore HAL 4* Mariners who graduated from Carnival 25 years ago.....but we have booked a Carnival repositioning cruise from Singapore to LAX this fall.....The price and itinerary sold us and we think the itinerary will keep the perceptions we have of Carnival (loud party ship w/walmart atmosphere) at bay..... This review helps confirm our Carnival choice....and we are looking forward to the "fun ship" cruise.....
  4. I've found that cruise prices are fluid and they ebb and flow similar to airline fares. Up and down based on supply and demand and the big computer in the basement. If the fare looks good to you when you see it, book it....as it is is subject to change....at anytime....up or down.
  5. Agree. Very efficient in Port Everglades..... The boarding folks are friendly, helpful and welcoming.......the process is efficient....you end up continuing to walk.....and not much of a line....at least our most recent experiences.....This area has been much improved from the old days. Much better than what we have experienced in San Diego, CA....
  6. choose another cruise line or deal....that's what I would do!
  7. I think that is an example of what the chair hog will say...."I was just gone x minutes"....No matter when authorities remove the stuff, the chair hog will come back and not be happy...and therefore, it's a no win for the accused "chair hog" if you remove his stuff.....
  8. What am I missing? I think the "chair hog" situation is a no-win...because..... Right Thing: "Thank you for moving their stuff off the chair because it has been unoccupied for x minutes" Is someone else's.... Wrong Thing: "We just went to lunch and the bathroom...where's my stuff and why can't I have my chair back" Same song and dance for kiddos in the library. Or adults talking loudly in there as well. Seems like a "no win" to me....Someone is not going to be happy no matter what is done? Again, what am I not understanding?
  9. Same delicate issue with chair hogs.....When I head to lido pool and the only open chairs have stuff on it......and on and on with other rude behavior by folks that are what we call "adults". Rude behavior, unfortunately, is with us from all ages....And is, I agree, a bit of a "no-win" situation for the crew/officers.
  10. Understood. But the specific assigned TA we use (after burning thru a few) is HAL knowledgable, shoots straight with me and I am (at least in my own mind) knowledgable enough that I just need her to primarily book the lowest price and keep me "between the buoys". Lowest price is my primary focus when booking a cruise....And not into phone calls and chit chat and wasting her/my time....and prefer emails for corresponding.....Stretching our retirement travel budget to the max to cover the most ground is our primary goal...... Enjoy the journey....no matter the TA or the travel goals
  11. I understand but not sure it is a different cruise line....Kids, since we graduated to HAL from Carnival in 2002 (on the Zaandam) have always been welcomed onboard and kids activities and promos for the kiddies were available and were what snagged us to bring the kids and give it a try back then..we've been loyalists since then and the kids, now in their early 30's enjoy HAL and are now 3 stars....And I'm certain they will be bringing my grandchildren onboard in a few years and I'll be all about a 7 days cruise with them onboard! HAL for us, seems to welcome all....and does not discriminate based on age......
  12. We only cruise 7 days when we are with the extended family..... One trick we learned is we booked the family on Thanksgiving knowing it would be a zoo and then we stayed on for the following week and it was back to being our low key, HAL cruise. Live and learn..... As with any demographic, ethnic group, age, nationality, size, handicap, I try not to stereotype or judge...and as far as children, I do not judge all of them together nor do I judge all the grumpy, lido line skippers, lido deck table hogs, complainers, whiners, chair hog, seat saving, slow old folks with one stereotype brush either.....especially since I was a child once, we cruised with our "well behaved" children once and we need to embrace living in a world with all kinds of folks.....so I've been told....so it should not stop or be different for children, Right? Enjoy the journey and the fellow children onboard.....well behaved or not. I look forward to the spears headed my way now.....LOL.
  13. I would think exactly where you booked....You will enjoy a FF cabin or something HAL defines as an upgrade.
  14. So we use a big, online, internet TA and for years I would read on here all about this magical upsell offers that would be forwarded from their TA.....I then inquired with our big, online TA and I asked her to send the upsells my way. She said she did get $$$ for upsells but the back and forth with the passenger and the cruise line (have to call, wait on hold, back and forth with decisions and they are gone sometimes while trying to complete the sale) was not worth it. I told her I understood but would promise to be decisive and understanding.....and since then, she has sent them to us....but I also call HAL directly.
  15. I agree. We'd decline that as well. My reasoning is that is $20 bucks (total for two) a day for really not that much more space.......Perhaps they will come back around w/a lower number but even then, we were rather underwhelmed by a vista suite and not sure we would pay anything extra for it. Now if it was that price and a signature suite, we'd be all over it. Enjoy the cruise......
  16. Or perhaps.... ....book the cabin you would enjoy and in the rare event you get an upgrade offer at a great price, enjoy an even nicer cabin at a great price..... We've been able to snag what we think are great deals on upgrades (rare, but happens) to signature suites that were not in the budget at booking.....but the "paid upgrade" price made it happen. Enjoy the journey
  17. Never understand the point of "no sugar added"...I stay away from faux desserts...LOL.
  18. Her Majesty simply add her brassiere to the laundry check off list and in the laundry bag it goes....right along with my socks and underwear and all our other dirty clothes....She says it comes back all nice and clean.
  19. We had a paid upgrade from VF balcony to Signature Suite and our original booking included a "paid gratuities" promo.....(Westerdam 10/23). We were charged the upgrade fee only. We were not charged more for the change in tips (included gratuities meant just that, included gratuities no matter the cabin). Also, as an FYI, the Mariner points double bonus for a suite does not count if it is a paid upgrade from non-suite to a suite...The Mariner points are based on what you originally booked. Enjoy the paid upgrade....
  20. Suggestions: For paid upgrade: 1). Ask the TA to make sure to send you any upgrade emails received from HAL 2). Call HAL two week before....and as it gets closer to sail time.....have your Booking# and credit card available, along with deck plan if you are picky....and ask if there are any "paid upgrades". 888.628.8107 3). Call the TA and ask them to contact HAL and find out what you can pay now to upgrade For free upgrades: 4). If you see that the price has dropped, contact the TA and ask the TA to contact HAL and see if they can upgrade you (for free). IMO, none of those options have a high probability of succeeding......as @julia references, it is peak season in Alaska and it's a 7 day cruise....so unlikely to have unfilled cabins. Always good to book the cabin you will enjoy and consider upgrades (paid or free) as a bonus. Welcome to Holland America Line and enjoy the Alaska cruise.....
  21. We were upgraded to the spa deck once.....We like the location (near the spa, gym, crow's nest, lido deck) but the VF cabins on deck 8 forward are much less $$$and serve the same purpose for us. We would gladly go the spa deck if it was a free upgrade but would never pay/book.
  22. ok, questions while we wait.... is the NA at terminal 26? and is the terminal behind the ship?
  23. 5,518 passengers on that ship....I'd rather go get a root canal than book passage on that thing....talking about that "condo of the seas" ship that just went by.
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