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About pete_coach

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Coaching football, traveling, fishing
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  1. Do those status mean anything on the cruise lines? Does it mean you get more than the regular cruisers? We cruise for itinerary. Celebrity, NCL, Oceania, Scenic and others. They all have good and not so good points. There is change on all cruise lines every year. Cannot linger in the past as it will only upset you. Go on them to see the things you wish to see and make that the priority, not the amenities.
  2. From the port (left) side on departure if in Venice Maritimma port. Coming into Venice Piazza San Marco will be on the right (starboard) side.
  3. Realistically, it makes no difference as you will be open seas most of the time and not close enough to shore to see anything.. Also, you will be getting into ports very early in the morning so, again, it makes no difference. Departing will be different but, you can be on deck and see whatever interests you. Now, Venice, .....going into Venice, you will see the city (it is on the starboard (right) ) side, departing the city will be on the port (left) side, if you are going at a time where they allow the ship into Venice. If not, it makes no difference.
  4. We are going to fly into Los Angeles for a few days prior to going to San Diego to catch our Panama Canal transit cruise. A few days in LA and another few days in San Diego. What hotel does HAL use when booking for folks in San Diego? Would we be able to use the HAL shuttle to the ship even though we would book on our own? I find that cruise lines hotel cost quite a bit more than if we booked ourselves.
  5. Plus charging and entry fee to Venice. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7335651/Cruise-ships-finally-banned-Venice-following-decades-long-battle.html "Now, after a decades-long battle, residents in Venice have succeeded in getting cruise ships banned from docking there. The Italian government yesterday announced it would begin re-routing the liners away from the historic city centre, which draws some 30 million tourists a year." "By next year the plan is for a third to berth at ports well away from the city, such as the Fusina and Lombardia terminals three miles away across the lagoon on the Italian mainland." "Authorities said tourists - even day-trippers who only visit for a matter of hours - will be charged an entry fee of between two and five euros (£1.70 and £4.40) but it could go up to 10 euros (£9) in the high season. And by 2022, the city council said it hoped that most people visiting Venice will reserve an entry ticket to the city before visiting - then it can monitor tourism numbers. "
  6. We did the Budapest to Amsterdam cruise on Scenic last year (July/August 2018) and had to transfer ships 3 times. Worst was that we went through the Rhine Gorge on a regular ferry boat making more than a dozen stops to let regular commuter people on and off. This was supposed to be the highlight with us sitting on the upper deck and narration of the wonderful scenery and history and instead, we were on a very crowded regular commuter ferry boat. While the service and people on the cruise ships were great, it certainly was not the enjoyable experience we were expecting, packing and unpacking 3 times. (not being told till the night before that were were changing ships again) As others have said, Mother Nature is not controlled by the cruise companies and we are left to her ways. Also as others have said, it is a tremendous amount of money to fly from North America to Europe and the cost of the cruise for basically a bus trip. We were "compensated" for the inconvenience but really, it is more than just inconvenience. It was not the "dream" vacation we anticipated and will forever be remembered as the messed up trip, not what should have been the best trip.
  7. We are going on our first HAL cruise. I am on this forum to get info and noticed there are very many first time HAL cruisers. The magazine is not something we get so see so referencing it does not help with our questions. As an aside, I see you are in Los Angeles. We will be visiting there prior to our cruise but only for a few days.. A shame there is no private messaging in CC as I would like to ask you for ways to maximize and optimize our 2 day visit to LA. 😞
  8. What is Mariner magazine? Hard to check it out if you don't get it or even know what it is.
  9. What fool organization would even think a ship can do anything about a whale surfacing in front of them. Even at dead slow, a ship cannot just stop. I am sad he whales are endangered but, let us not try and blame one group for the endangerment.
  10. We are on Rotterdam in February. We love jazz and swing music. I went to the videos after someone mentioned it. I think the singers had great voices. Sure, I may not know some of the songs but then again I do not know or like all songs on released record either. I certainly hope they will be onboard.
  11. We booked a Panama Canal cruise and were able to get a Pre-Paid Hotel Svc Charge (the cabin gratuity) when we booked. the agent asked if we wanted to do this. All drinks will include the gratuity and will be charged to your cabin unless you buy a drink package where the gratuity is included.
  12. As far as I can tell, you use your OBC for anything purchased and used on the ship. The daily gratuity ($14.50 USD per person per day) is added on to your cabin account, as are any drinks, and if you have OBC, it will be deducted from that.
  13. As an aside, how are the river levels this year? With all the heat, are they drying up again?
  14. Let me get this straight, the $11 max drink price is gratuities included. The price of any of drinks include the gratuities or is that added on top at time of purchase?
  15. Plus sous vide takes time and is not conducive to bulk food.
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