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Everything posted by bcummin

  1. There are lists of 4-star mariner benefits. Surely you will appreciate the free laundry. Priority tender boarding varies from ship to ship with circumstances, but Btimmer reported last month that it had become very good on the Maasdam. You will enjoy your voyage. Barbara
  2. Our first cruise was about 1966 when my DH was stationed in Greece with the U.S. Navy. R&R put together a three or four day cruise for $50 apiece. The itinerary was from Pireaus (Athens) to Crete and Rhodes and Mykonos, IIRC. It was on a Greek boat, nothing fancy. Our cabin had a porthole and bunk beds that we shared with our 13-yr-old houseguest from England. Bathrooms down the hall. The dining room had one long table with benches on both sides. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Barbara
  3. Those are some good deep thoughts. Your mind is in gear, and the EXC In-Depth program is working. The past Grand Voyages and our 2017 Voyage of the Vikings did offer some great lectures. But our world is changing and there are more subjects to consider in addition to deep history, culture, etc, etc. Hopefully the EXC In-Depth program will continue to evolve and grow. Barbara
  4. Thank you, They sound sort of like personal glass bottom boats. It could be tricky holding onto the zodiac handles and trying to see down into the water. You are blessed to have Dr. Christina Damiano and Chris Cook aboard. Impressed that Dr. Peter Carey is back on board. I was deeply disappointed not getting to meet him last winter. Barbara
  5. I would love to see the Maasdam go to South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Africa in the coming years. Barbara
  6. It is best to follow the rules. Last winter we forgot to remove the two bottles of wine from one of our checked bags. When it finally reached our room, it was badly torn and labeled "alcohol." The bag had been searched, and one bottle of wine had been removed. We complained to the front desk, and our second wine bottle was delivered to our room the next day. Barbara
  7. Last January we took a shuttle bus from the dock to the city waterfront. A tent was set up with tourist information. The nearby local museum was interesting, and we walked around for a while. In the afternoon we took a Holland America ship's tour to Twilight Beach, which was lovely. Barbara
  8. It was Hotel Director Florin Dragomir standing next to Captain Arno Jutten. Thank you, Bellair, for another superb video. Barbara
  9. Thank you for blogging this Maasdam voyage. Four of our friends are sailing with you. Although you have had a rough start, I hope that it turns into a wonderful positive and memorable experience. Last Dec and Jan we delighted in many Australian ports while on ms Maasdam. New Zealand should also be exquisite. Enjoy! Barbara
  10. Happy 51st Anniversary to Angela & Tim. It looks like each Maasdam EXC In-Depth segment is unique to the itinerary and the presenters. The good ship Maasdam is the constant security blanket. We became attached to our good presenters, and when KK arrived in Singapore 1/26 she was a bright light to make things even better. I suspect that her brilliant library shelves for the current itinerary have fallen by the wayside. New presenters and leaders each have different priorities. Tim, thank you for bringing us along to experience your long voyage. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Barbara
  11. Yesterday I came across this conversation on the October 17, 2019 30-day Australia Circumnavigation roll call. Barbara 22 hours ago, Pam derek said: As a matter of interest I spoke to HAL Sydney office last week who advised that due to the level of complaints received they have upgraded the entertainment offering on this cruise (Ken the Cruiser) Can't wait to see what that actually means. Did they give you any hints? (Pam derek) No just that there had been a lot of complaints, did mention it would not include their usual singers and dancers
  12. Congratulations on your gold medallions! It was a nice surprise to see the Pacific Aria. Thanks for all of the gorgeous photos. Barbara
  13. Tim, I have another question. Is the special area in the library for EXC In-Depth subjects still there? When we were near Sri Lanka, KK called a Voyagers gathering in the library to show the two shelf areas that she had dedicated to our itinerary information. I am wondering if it is being updated for the current itineraries? Thanks again, Barbara
  14. Gorgeous photos. Exquisite. The leaf/plate brings back memories. Thanks again for sharing so much. Barbara
  15. Tim, you mentioned some very nice photos in Ghizo. Do we get to see any of them? Barbara
  16. That is a shame. We had some extraordinary Australian EXC In-Depth Presenters, who really went the extra mile with us. Part of me wants to cobble together another list of critters seen or living before and after Sri Lanka. And the rest of me hopes that the papers will be resumed for the benefit of future Maasdam adventurers. Barbara
  17. Enjoyed reading both of your Solomon Islands blog posts. It is nice to see that HAL has learned to honor five star mariners in the tendering process. Tim, after the Maasdam left Fremantle 6 Jan 2019, Jack & I were given summary papers for the previous segment. “List of Species sited on Sydney to Fremantle Voyage” and “Resources List Australia”. Then after leaving Singapore 26 Jan 2019 we received “List of Species sited on Fremantle – Singapore Voyage” and “Guest Presenters suggested Books & Websites”. Are similar papers still given out after each Maasdam segment? More important to me, did they give out papers like this after we left the ship on 15 Feb 2019 (Singapore to Sri Lanka, etc. and back to Singapore) and you remained aboard? Thanks, Barbara
  18. You must have some enthusiastic passengers aboard. I wonder if they will again try presenting the full house programs two times to reach everyone? I assume that the only talks repeated on TV are for the ports and shore excursions? Thanks again for bringing us along. Barbara
  19. Enjoyed reading about Madang and the Garove Caldera. Icing on the cake! Barbara
  20. Thanks for fixing the photos, Tim. You really had a memorable adventure in wewak, PNG. Madang looks interesting too. Had no idea that cassowaries had such nasty and dangerous temperaments. We were surprised in Exmouth, Australia to find emus strolling the streets, hoping for handouts. They looked fairly gentle from a distance. Barbara
  21. Something is different about your blog photos. I cannot get them to open. 😞 Barbara
  22. You brought back memories of our 2015 disastrous embarkation to Guam. Your four coming Lido Market dinners look tempting. (Heritage, Indian, French, and Australian-South Pacific) Barbara
  23. Thank you, Tim for sharing so much history and details of Iwo Jima and Saipan. So good of your captain to get Tinian Island included. I am pleased that the trees on Saipan seem to have recovered since the 2015 typhoon just before we visited. Nice photos from Guam. I was surprised how much resentment our 2015 guide there had for the Spanish colonists, which included some of his ancestors. Barbara
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