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Ineke

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About Ineke

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Vancouver, B.C. area
  • Interests
    Gardening, reading, travel, crafts

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  1. Yes, have a wonderful cruise, because if you do, we will as well, ‘cause we’ll be there! See you on board next week! 😊
  2. AryMay, we asked our TA to contact the Mariners Society on our behalf. She wrote a letter, and we received their positive response. We will need to go to Guest Services when we board, with their letter, to let them know that our status will change after the first segment. So it definitely is worth it to be proactive.
  3. Our daughter travelled with our active 2 year old grandson several years ago, She had similar concerns (I really get it!) so for her own peace of mind she bought a special harness with a long strap, and put that on him whenever they went out on the promenade or Lido decks, or when disembarking etc. The harness was soft and cute (I think his looked like a teddybear backpack). It was great, and after a few days she discovered she needed it very little, as there were many activities to keep busy. Have a wonderful time,
  4. We’ve done it many times, with excellent results. Especially is you do not need to fly, it’s a wonderful way to get away at minimal cost. We book the kind of cabin we’d usually book (OV or partially obstructed OV) unless a verandah cabin is available at an equally attractive price. If flights are required, we first check availability and costs, see if we can use points or airmiles or if it’s not worth it. We have also booked guarantee cabins, even though it’s not my favourite way to do it, but sometimes you need to take the chance. We’ve booked direct with HAL, unless the ‘deal’ is through an agency, both work just fine. Make sure your insurance is in place when you book that close to sailing, also your passport is up to date (voice of experience here, mad dash to the passport office is not conducive to being relaxed). In short - YES, totally doable and worth it.
  5. I don’t need to become friends, and neither do they, but it sure is great to have crew members be pleasant, greet me, and remember my name. It makes for a good cruise experience.
  6. Just to add my perspective to the discussion: we love to cruise, in particular we love HAL - could be our Dutch heritage or the fact that we both came to Canada on a HAL ship many years ago. But most of all we really love HAL, warts and all. We’ve sailed other cruise lines but not nearly as much as HAL. We love the crew, the ambience on the ships, the classiness of how they look. We like the food and the presentation, even though we don’t eat very much. You get the picture. But we also part of that older demographic, and on a fixed income so our travel budget is limited. So yes, we shop for cruises we can afford, we only take a few tours, we drink very moderately. But we are never treated any differently than someone who does go all out. We are grateful for being able to cruise, and we take bumps in our stride as they come. Nothing and no one is perfect, we know that. And finally, one thing we do is leave a generous tip for those who’ve looked after us so well, and write those comment cards and drop them off whenever called for. Oh, and mention crew members by name in the post-cruise survey. And in the meanwhile, we are looking forward to our next cruise, later this month.
  7. We have stayed in several hotels over time, all have shuttles available to the cruise terminal. And cabs are very reasonable.
  8. When my sister does it, who lives on Vancouver Island, they use the HAL transfer to the airport, where they catch an express bus to the ferry terminal. Taking Canada Line to the airport is less costly and more flexible. Renting a car is an excellent option as you will then have transportation on Vancouver Island as well. Also, a Harbour Air flight is an efficient, quick way to get there, well worth investigating as you can walk one block and be at the terminal.
  9. I’m interested as well, our next cruise will have 3 segments - well, actually 4 if you count embarkation in Seattle. So Seattle Sep. 23, Vancouver Sep 24, San Diego Sep. 30, , and Lima Oct. 14. How many lifeboat drills is an excellent question, since many folks will be on tours on the days there are late departures.
  10. Our TA booked us San-Diego to Vancouver with HAL, and we were very pleased with the cost, less than half of what we paid last year, which in itself was a very good seat-sale price. Definitely going to do that again!
  11. I enjoyed your posts on the HAL board when you were doing those (my, how your children have grown!), and was so happy to see you were back to cruising, and reporting better than ever! Thank you for this lively report and the great photographs! So much appreciated!
  12. I have always loved reading your posts, ever since I joined in 2006. Thanks!
  13. Ruth, I understand completely. I now use a chair for as much as I can, I stand up to do what needs it, the rest is done sitting down. As stated earlier, for things like putting jewellery in pouches, folding or rolling stacks of clothing, my wheelie chair is right there. It is set up just for me as far as seat height, pitch, support etc. It makes such a difference. I use it for many mundane household tasks as well, folding laundry, vegetable prep, and so on.
  14. My nephew was a lighthouse keeper for several years. He loved it! There are at least two people to take shifts, regular supply ships and/or relief keepers to do just that, an amazing number of boaters stop by, especially in the inside passage area, rescues, emergency calls, unparalleled nature, and when not on shift, peace. He read, worked on his thesis, photographed wildlife, and stormwatched, too. It was great.
  15. Actually, we always had a good group on all our cruises. I know others had different experiences, but not us. So that’s one voice in the wilderness...😋
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