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Ray in NH

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About Ray in NH

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Southeastern, NH USA
  • Interests
    Cooking, Wine, Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, HAL, RCI
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anything In/Out fo Boston

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  1. Maybe it is just "lazy" me, but really why sweat what the boarding photo looks like? Probably best to leave it to Azamara. How often, if ever, have we needed to have a photo of what is recorded during our boarding our boarding process? My feeling is if they do not "require" me to present the photo, let them take it. NRayH
  2. Please do write a review of your experience. We have done a number of ACL cruises (in addition to quite a few ocean cruises), and are giving consideration to this particular itinerary. Hope you find you ACL experience as enjoyable as we have found them to be. NRayH
  3. Thank you -- another option to consider. We will be disembarking in Vancouver, where we have visited previously. I was hoping to just hang about the ship as long as possible and then head to our hotel. If that doesn't work out, the hotel will hold our luggage until our room is available. Often times we have been given access to our room, upon an early arrival (when available). NRayH
  4. Do I detect a bit of "cynicism"? Why would/should this be classified as "cost cutting"? If customers are missing something they had, and still get it by request, how is this a "take-away"? If they never had the option, or are not interested in it, the "take away" doesn't exist. If it is still available (upon request), where is the "Harm"? Just my feelings on the matter, others have different feelings. I view "Cruise Critic" as venue for sharing experiences/opinions, not a court of "good/bad". NRayH
  5. I also completed the survey. This type of cruise may be the only way I "might" be able to convince my better half to try some of the itinerary "different options". NRayH
  6. Thank you. Not exactly the answer I was hoping for, but "it is, what it is". NRayH
  7. As a first-timer (on Azamara), what is the latest one can disembark the ship at the end of the voyage? We will be disembarking in Vancouver, and staying an additional night before flying home. We would like to hang about on the ship as long as possible, since early access to our hotel cannot (will not) be assured, at this time. Does category of stateroom come into play? Also due to many Celebrity cruises, we are Discoverer Plus status - if that matters. Thank you, NRayH
  8. I think, for whatever it is worth, you are doing the "right thing". If what you were previously doing wasn't giving you the satisfaction you were expecting, time to try other options. If nothing else, you will at least have the satisfaction of having tried other options. Enjoy the "new" options -- Happy Hunting. NRayH
  9. On their newest ships, all the cabins have balconies (which for the most part) are larger than some of the small balconies of previous ships. So, it has been a point of emphasis in much of their recent advertising. the folks that we spoke with, who had taken advantage of "breakfast on the balcony" seemed to have enjoyed it. it is just something that we do not usually partake of. on the older ships, with smaller balconies, we think, it would be somewhat restrictive, if even offered. NRayH
  10. We departed the Constitution on 16 April. Room service was available (not sure about disembarkation Day -- I would doubt that). We did not use it however -- we prefer the Dining Salon. Creatures of routine, I guess?? NRayH
  11. Hi there, Our next ACL cruise is aboard Song in October, doing the Northwest Pioneers Cruise, on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. As to the dinner service and cocktail over-lapping, that was new to us. I had some initial concerns about some folks getting appetizers whilst others were getting their main course and others finishing desserts, but it seemed to work pretty well. They had a few "hostesses" greeting folks and ushering them to tables where the courses could flow more smoothly. Of course if you wished to join a particular table, that had space, you could do that. Did not hear any complaints about the staggered seating times. It may well have put added pressure on the wait-staff, but they seemed to handle it pretty well. In any event, it was not an annoyance to us. The "Late Bar" seemed to work well and did not seem to cause any disruption to the entertainment. Folks interested in obtaining drinks during those times chose to sit in areas where they could walk to the bar for drinks (no table service) without disturbing others. The Chesapeake Lounge has a built in bar away from the "stage" area. It did not seem as though most folks were really interested in additional drinks. I hope that does not cause ACL to halt this added "benefit". Also, I failed to mention previously that the evening entertainment is also broadcast over the ship's internal TV system. So you can watch from the comfort of your cabin, perhaps with a drink from the Late Bar. The evening entertainment followed the "Next Day Briefing" which was scheduled for 8:10 P.M. each evening, so the "real" entertainment usually started at about 8:30. Art Class Presentations were at different times, depending upon ship's placement and scheduled tours/excursions. The On-Board Artist would demonstrate various "techniques" and styles and offer assistance to those wishing to try their hand at painting, either for the first time, or to improve/attempt to improve a current technique. We did not attend any, except the final "showing", but a number of folks said they really enjoyed the sessions (especially at the price of $0.00 per session). They were held in the spacious Sky Lounge on Deck Four. Hope this helps. NRayH
  12. American Revolution Cruise - 06 April 2019 Here are some quick reflections of our recent cruise aboard ACL's Constitution. We arrived in Baltimore one day prior to embarkation. ACL did not offer a pre-cruise hotel package for this particular cruise, so we made our own arrangements for a pre-cruise stay at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, in Baltimore, about 6-8 blocks from the pier where the ship would be docked. On Embarkation Day, we had the hotel valet arrange for a taxi to transport us to the pier (about a 8-15 minute ride, in Saturday morning traffic). When we arrived at the drop-off point, there were some crew members from the ship waiting to accept our luggage and transport it to our cabin aboard the ship. When we reached the ship to sign in, we were told that our cabin was already available for occupancy. We were given our ID badges/room keys and a program of the day's events. This was the first ACL ship where we used our cabin badges (via embedded chip) to also record our leaving/returning to the ship. After boarding, and whilst stowing our carry-on gear, the rest of our luggage was delivered to our cabin. We then headed to join our fellow guests in the main lounge (Chesapeake Lounge) to enjoy some snacks/refreshments and some musical entertainment -- all prior to about 10:00 AM. At 11:45 there was a Mandatory Safety Briefing, which was broadcast over the ship's on-board TV system. This was followed by lunch in the Dining Salon, at one's leisure, between Noon and 13:30. At 14:00 there was a Ship Overview presentation, an introduction of the ship's Hotel Operations Officers and Guest Speakers for the cruise. This was followed by a presentation of the excursions that would be available during the cruise. Also, each evening (after dinner) there is a briefing of the next day's events/excursions. Fortunately for us, all the excursions on this cruise would be complimentary, since we had previously completed three voyages with ACL. During dinner each evening the ship's "Ship To Shore" paper is delivered to each cabin. This provides a "run-down" of the next day's schedule and a listing of event times. Oops!! How did I forget the evening Complimentary Cocktail Hour (which actually runs from 17:30 to 19:00), the same time frame as dinner service. It is not as "choose one or the other" as it may initially sound. There is ample time to enjoy hors d'oeuvres and a drink (or two/three) prior to heading to dinner, where beer and wine are also complimentary. Something that has been added since our last previous ACL cruise is a post-dinner "Late Bar" (also complimentary), in the Chesapeake Lounge, after the preview of the next day's schedule. The "Late Bar" runs throughout the evening's entertainment, in the same lounge. Each day there were either on-board presentations and/or shore-side excursions. On this cruise, there was also a resident on-board art instructor doing presentations/classes and demonstrations, at no charge. At the end of the cruise there was an exhibition of works done by fellow passengers. The excursions we attended were all entertaining and informative -- at least to us, Some may have seemed extremely short and others exceedingly protracted. Often the case individually I guess those descriptions probably vary greatly from person to person. We found the meal service more than adequate. Yes, there were some "minor misses" and "mix-ups", but nothing that was not immediately rectified. "Some" of these dining mishaps perhaps are probably the only "problems" we find with ACL cruises. That may well be the one area that could benefit from some additional training and/or oversight. Thus far, it has not caused us to consider not sticking with ACL and offering suggestions toward improving (our) "Customer Satisfaction" even further. We hope that this helps anyone considering a cruise with ACL. We will keep an eye open and hope to meet you on-board one of their ships.
  13. Good Day, I'll not try to change your mind. After all we all need to determine what we think is best utilization of our travel funds. I personally am reluctant to make an (often-times expensive) decision on only one opinion, especially from someone whom I do not know. We have done well over 100 cruises (ocean and river -- U.S. and international). Most have been worth our time and investment (time and/or money). Some did not meet our expectations, whilst others have vastly exceed our expectations. Even when on those cruises where other folks had vastly different experiences than us we all, hopefully, found something to enjoy. We have now completed five cruises with ACL. Have they all been perfect? No, they haven't, but none have given us cause to not repeat with them. We have just completed a Revolutionary War themed cruise on the Chesapeake Bay and have another scheduled for the Columbia and Snake Rivers (Washington and Oregon) later this year. I think, on just about every cruise (on all cruise lines) we have taken, there was something that could have been presented more perfectly/efficiently, but that is just the way "life" is. Change what you can and persevere through the rest. The Hudson River Cruise is on our "someday" list, especially after the wonderful tour of the Naval Academy at Annapolis. The Hudson River Cruise stops at the Military Academy at West Point. Best of "Cruising" whatever itinerary you choose. NRayH
  14. Ahhhh ... the sweet sound of reasonable discourse. Thank you. NRayH
  15. Permission for disembarking, prior to cruise completion, is not a matter that is exclusively in the hands of the cruise lines. Many countries have varying levels of "restrictions" on who may/may not enter/leave their territories, and at what locations/times. Penalties can be very harsh. This more severe of an issue than merely deciding what mode of transfer to use from ship to landside facilities. NRayH
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