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blythe

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About blythe

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    East central IL

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  1. We are just off the Zaandam 8/3-8/10 NE/Canada cruise from Boston to Montreal. Embarkation seemed well-organized and fairly speedy. The muster drill, however, seemed quite disorganized. Lots of passengers had gathered on deck near their assigned lifeboat station prior to the drill. But they then made everyone go back inside and reassemble again. It was a mess but didn't last too long. We had to tender at Bar Harbor, which is usual, and then again at Sydney, which can sometimes occur if there is another ship that takes precedence at the main dock. Then, at Quebec City, we had to dock quite some distance from the usual dock at the base of the Old City. They did provide shuttles. The docking situation was disappointing but nothing that one cannot manage. I never felt crowded except at the Lido, which we avoided whenever possible. We almost always dined in the main dining room. The service was fine and the food was generally good. We had an ocean view cabin, 1873, which was mostly quiet and spacious enough for a 7 day port-intensive cruise. There was a surprising amount of storage. I was impressed by that. The bathroom contained a tub/shower combo which was fine for us but I don't see how anyone with limited mobility could climb into and out of the tub. I would recommend taking a nightlight to plug into the bathroom outlet. The wall hairdryer worked fine for us as we both have short hair. Be aware that the handle gets extremely hot if you have it on for long. Cabin service was just fine. I had low expectations for this ship but, overall, was pleasantly surprised and generally pleased. This being high tourist season, all ports were extremely crowded and I would not do this itinerary at this time of year again. But we still had a good time!
  2. Thanks for the input. I may have to rethink having lunch in the PG. Perhaps dinner would be a better option. It's been many years since we have been on a HAL ship and I don't recall much about the food. Anyway, I am sure we will be able to find something that we will enjoy.
  3. We are considering either lunch or dinner in the Pinnacle Grill. Have never eaten there before so would appreciate some input about the menu, service, etc. Thanks.
  4. Thank you Ruth C. Am I correct that breakfast options include the main dining room, Lido, or room service? We plan to lunch in port, at least on a few occasions, as we want to try a lobster roll!
  5. Thank you so much for the information. That helps a lot. How early can you get your tender tickets? We have a private excursion scheduled for 10:30 so I am hoping that will allow enough time to tender into Bar Harbor. The group we are with also has scheduled a tour to Peggy's Cove in Halifax. Other than that, we are taking a very laid back approach to activities. I'm sure we will find enough to occupy our time. May I ask what cabin were you in? We are also on Dolphin deck, in an OV.
  6. We will be on the Zaandam next week and I would love to hear about the food, entertainment, specialty restaurants, anything that you could share. Also, what did you do in each port? Thanks!
  7. Thanks, AryMay, for your comment about the smoky smell in your cabin (#1824) experienced at tender ports. I was able to look up the location on the deck plan and am glad that our cabin is located more mid-ship, starboard. I'm hoping we don't have any problems. I'm very much looking forward to sailing on the Zaandam.
  8. Thanks to all who responded. I am delighted to hear that Zaandam has a fine library. Although we do plan to have some sort of activity to experience all the ports, we still want to leave some time to relax and enjoy the ship. We thought we'd do a short tour of Acadia NP via one of the independent tour companies; maybe just walk around the port at Sydney; do our own walking tour of Quebec City. The group we are with has already scheduled Peggy's Cove for Halifax, plus a tour in Montreal. We are undecided about Charlottetown. Everyone's input is very helpful and I appreciate it.
  9. Thanks for the replies. I would like to know about the tendering process at Bar Harbor. Is it easy to be off the ship early enough to make a 10a.m. private excursion? Also, where does the Zaandam dock at Quebec City? Is it right near the Old Town and easy to do one's own walking tour?
  10. Sorry, gmg613, we are on the August 3-10 cruise, otherwise would love to share a tour!
  11. QHsailor, thanks for your input. How was the tender service at Bar Harbor? Did you take an excursion? We are considering either a short tour of Acadia National Park or simply walking around the town and along the scenic ocean trail. Also, what did the Viatour of Chateaux Frontenac involve? Does the ship dock near enough to old town to just walk around on one's own?
  12. Thanks for the replies. The link to the Sydney info is great.
  13. How is the food in the Pinnacle Grill?
  14. We will be aboard the Zaandam in August with a stop in Sydney from 10am to 6pm. Also in port will be the Carib. Princess. I'm debating just booking a ship's tour (yes, I know, more $$$) due to convenience but am seeking input about reliable indy tours that might be just as safe, considering the large number of cruisers in port that day. Thanks for any help/suggestions.
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