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Everything posted by fatcat04

  1. We were on NA earlier this month. Yes there were a bunch of completely unreserved deck chairs on the promenade deck. The NAs promenade is very nice and wide, our favorite place to walk.
  2. By gratis I am guessing you assume we parents don't actually PAY anything for our kids to cruise. I hate to disabuse of this fantasy but we have never NOT paid for our kids, usually their fare is $250-full adult fare for a week to 10 day cruise. And considering many parents with kids cruise during the most expensive times, that can get pretty pricey. Also of note, when they are 6-12 they generally don't eat near as much as an adult a so there is a savings for HAL. Also when kids are enjoying their cruise via fun orchestrated programming in a safe and supervised environment, their parents are off many times doing things that make the cruise lines money, like the spa or casino or specialty dining. We parents like to have date nights and some alone time on our vacations too. As too supervising our kids, I haven't seen anyone here say they plan to let their kids run loose but some parents, facing the surprise revelation that HAL no longer has a supervised kid's program on the cruise they booked before HIGH SCORE was even announced and only find out of the change when they board, may not be so conscientious and thoughtful toward other passengers as to monitor their kids 24/7. If folks want a completely kid free cruise, I suggest you go to a kid free line like Viking or Virgin.
  3. See, our PCC got a very different answer form "the powers that be" when I emailed her. Sigh. I wish they would just get their ducks in a row and give us a single definitive answer. As it is, I will be on NA in March (she is supposed to get HIGH SCORE in February) and will ring answers out of anyone I can find as this impacts everyone, not just those who have kids. Remember, those of you who repeatedly say "Cruise DIsney because I don't really see children on my HAL cruises", we took our son on a HAL cruise many years ago with over 300 kids onbosrd (Vista ship). I only ever saw them at the lido pool or in herds when they were doing organized stuff with their kids club group. I was impressed by how they kept them busy having fun. Our son had a blast. While it may be that you are cruising on itineraries that are unpopular with families or longer cruises in non school holiday times which would be close to childless even on a Carnival ship, it could also be that all those little moppets have been busy in Club HAL making crafts and watching movies and decorating cupcakes and having slumber parties and you name it and thus out of your hair. HIGH SCORE if it is indeed a replacement and not an addition to Club HAL will change that. Enjoy.
  4. I second, third, and fourth this! We adore Tamarind. Even my mom who is not a very adventurous eater loved Tamarind's menu and atmosphere. I had the lobster and the seas bass this last cruise and both were stellar. We always eat at PG once but without a doubt we would eat there more if they expanded this to all the non Tamarind ships. This just proves they can do it at least on Vista ships so if the higher ups are listening, I think many would welcome this tasty and fun addition. Hint, hint. 😁
  5. Thanks for the honest review. I am glad you enjoyed Edge and your cruise. We have weighed trying Celebrity multiple times. I have run the numbers and weighed the itineraries and amenities but HAL always comes out on top for us and we have so far been very happy with the HAL product. But who knows. HAL's big wigs makes wacky choices sometimes and if they screw up too much, Celebrity will probably be where we go first so it is good to read others thoughts.
  6. Report back to us if you can. I just detest the idea of taking time on my cruise to book another cruise. I have other things to do. One of my "just off my cruise blues" cures is planning another cruise and the Welcome Home promo is a big incentive for me to book it sooner rather than later. 😀
  7. We had two cruises on her before she started EXC cruises. She is a lovely smaller ship, classic, very comfortable, easy to get around. She doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the newer ships but that wasn't a hardship for us as we enjoy the smaller ship atmosphere. And from my understanding with the new EXC programing, she has a separate identity from the other ships in the fleet so definitely research what those EXC cruises mean in terms of entertainment and educational opportunities. But the ship herself... we adore her. A very special ship in our opinion.
  8. That is curious. We were on NA January 4th cruise and there was a well delineated priority and CO check in area (huge sign) and it looked to us a reserved seating area for those folks. We were nobody no priority folks and yet we checked in at around 11am in boarding group 9, on the ship and in our cabin by noon and at lunch in the mdr at 12:45. It was the easiest embarkation we have ever had.
  9. Words to live by. Not to pile on but I am a fine print reader. Interesting in that same fine print was "Benefits apply only to the booking number listed and are not transferrable nor refundable." They didn't have to give a refund as it is clearly stated it is not refundable but they did due to good and helpful customer service. It seems no good deed goes unpunished.
  10. My CO email from my Jan 2020 cruise was as follows: INTRODUCING OUR EXCLUSIVE NEW ONBOARD PROGRAM - CLUB ORANGE Club Orange offers an added level of luxury onboard Holland America Line ships with priority access & exclusive amenities. Enhance your cruise with: CLUB ORANGE PRIORITY ACCESS: Priority check-in & disembarkation, Priority lines at Guest Services & Shore Excursions, Priority access to specialty restaurant reservations & tenders ashore in select ports. CLUB ORANGE AMENITIES: Stateroom upgrade (restrictions apply), Welcome glass of sparkling wine, Dedicated Concierge Hotline access, Premium bathrobes, Club Orange key card, Exclusive Club Orange tote bag (one per stateroom), Invitation to a special onboard event chosen by the ship's captain. CLUB ORANGE DINING: Premium in-room dining breakfast menu, priority seating in the dining room for breakfast and dinner with an expanded menu. TO PURCHASE CLUB ORANGE FOR US$25 PER PERSON PER DAY, PLEASE CALL US AT 1-888-628-8107 OR 206-626-7381 between 8am and 5pm Pacific Time Monday-Friday Now I took that "restrictions apply" as a clue I might need to look into what that meant. Then I easily found https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/dining/club-orange.html Clicked on the .pdf and it said "*Complimentary stateroom upgrade to the best available room within the meta category at the time of Club Orange purchase."
  11. I appreciate you were disappointed. We so far have not been enticed to buy CO for many reasons. Some research here at CC on this topic would have helped you a great deal. Truth is, it is not false advertising because IT IS in the fine print. I'm sorry. *Complimentary stateroom upgrade to the best available room within the meta category at the time of Club Orange purchase That you got your money back means the BBB won't even bother looking at this. I also don't understand why you would involve them since you were out nothing in the end.
  12. Exactly. Not only do you have more time when you get home but you can make a more informed choice.
  13. We would prefer a simple al la carte menu as well. Sometimes I don't want bacon or sausage or toast, just eggs and fruit. But I get all that and if I want fruit I have to take the yogurt and pastries too. Lots goes to waste. I have had some luck writing in my requests but other days, no luck.
  14. I sure hope not. We just used one of our old FCD's and the Welcome Home promo to book our March cruise just this past weekend and got the usual obc for both. Not knowing if other cruiselines have similar programs, I don't know how HAL compares when it comes to welcoming back repeat customers.
  15. Me too as we bought 2 each last week on NA under the old 3 tier plan.
  16. Hey Jacqui. A small correction. We will be on the 7 day March 21 Nieuw Amsterdam sailing not the 14 day March 22 Voldendam voyage, though I would certainly enjoy that lovely itinerary.... one day when the littlest is a bit older. Thanks.
  17. From page 15 of Holland America's Know Before You Go: SMOKING POLICY E-cigarettes are permitted in staterooms, otherwise only in designated smoking areas. And yet the FAQ on the website says: Electronic cigarettes are not permitted in staterooms or in other public areas of the ship other than designated smoking areas.
  18. Hi Jacqui. If you could please add our next one that would be great. We just made a new one kinda last minute as my mother in law so wanted to do another cruise this year. She really had to twist our arms lol. 🤣 Nieuw Amsterdam, 7 day Western Caribbean, March 21-28, 2020, 3 generation cruise with both grandmoms, us, and the kids.
  19. Just as an update, we just used our OBC last week on NA to buy the Elite Bev Pkg onboard at the lido pool bar and yes, they slapped a sticker on our cabin cards that said "EBP." It is also obviously keyed into the system because even when dh's sticker faded, he had no issues.
  20. Last week on NA we had a very bumpy ride. We had buckets of rain in Grand Turk, heavy winds getting to and out of San Juan, and the last sea day and HMC day were a roller coaster. We had 6 ft swells when we got to HMC, so no tendering. I think the Caribbean this winter has gone wacky. Our weather here at home in Tennessee has been unseasonably warm and windy/rainy, though it seems to have settled into more of the usual winter dreary 40's - 50's and damp atm though I think it is going to get into the 70's this week. 😮
  21. That is true. Some of the comments back then were over the top.
  22. Goodness. Who said they "hate" Oprah? I have nothing against the woman but I am not a fan. Her show just never was my thing. Others are not fond and even disagree with some of her views. I think many others never quite got the HAL + Oprah thing but none of that translates into hate.
  23. Just when you thought you had seen it all.... Well back in 2018 I think she and her minions were championing women putting egg shaped semi precious stones up our hoo haws for goodness can only guess what reason. It made the Washington Post and countless other newspapers it was so silly. AND obviously they were selling said "eggs" for $66 a piece. I personally think the woman has serious issues.
  24. Last week on NA, there were 3 7am "meditation" times that mentioned the O Magazine interspersed through out the week. That is all I ever saw. Sounds kind of like what you mentioned. I did not attend one.
  25. Here is a really great post that identifies the color number combos of the cabanas on HMC. There is a map that is easily googled that shows where they are and where they sit in relation to the various other parts of the island and the large villas.
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