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Everything posted by grsnovi

  1. Until there has been 100% testing of the entire worldwide population to determine how many actually had the virus but didn't know it, the mortality rates discussed are completely hypothetical.
  2. Apparently the Folgers folks have recognized the negative connotations here and have branded a "new" 1850 specialty release. Of course, it may be the same old beans in a new bag. After you go through the "conversion" from just someone who drinks to someone who cares all things are possible. I vacillate between caring too much and only caring some. At one point I ground beans every morning to French press. Then I decided that the grinding noise wasn't what I wanted to hear upon first awaking. Coffees from around the world do certainly have differing characters. These days I'm drinking pre-ground, organic Sumatra. I've never been tempted to hand grind. All in all a much better experience (I suspect) from the canned Maxwell House that my parents had in a gas stove top percolator from 6:30am until 10pm. HAL's coffee is usually OK for me. There is a difference in preference between what most Americans (in the USA) seem to like and what most Europeans seem to like. 50 years ago who would have imagined that a Starbucks brand would have a coffee shop on every corner and 17 different bean varieties in bags at the grocery store?
  3. Perhaps those of us who live in the PNW of the USA have gotten spoiled? Gone are the days when the only beer you could get were: Bud, Miller, PBR, Heineken and Lowenbrau. These days the beer aisle in the supermarkets here in Portland, OR likely have 200 varieties.
  4. We did several on Oosterdam years ago (when Jamers Deering was HM) and he subsequently reached out to participants with various perqs.
  5. Pinnacle Grill, Baltic 2009...
  6. Sounds like you had a terrible cruise Promisem. Our first cruise with HAL was on Oosterdam and we were out on her again the next year. Luckily we've had smooth seas and no backed up toilets. We did have an unacceptable (HAL) shore excursion about which we complained (on board) and which was addressed satisfactorily. There could easily be any number of reasonable factors that might explain any one of your issues but taken together they do seem to add up to fundamentally poor service. Many of us on this board have happily cruised HAL many times however there are also loud voices expressing dismay in how the service has degraded over the years. Nothing is what it was. We're looking for alternatives due to Carnival and HAL's ecological missteps. Hopefully your next cruise will be better and that you'll have time before hand to interact with the CC message board dedicated to whichever line you select.
  7. Our experience may or may not be of interest. We sailed in 2018 on K'dam to Norway and purchased the digital package. We got every shot they took on a thumb drive. Price was about $130 or something like that. We sailed this past August on E'dam and had purchased 3 staterooms for our grown children and grandchildren and VERY MUCH were looking forward to a photo option like we had purchased in 2018. It wasn't to be and the people we spoke to had no interest in discussing the value we were offered previously. As a result I think we only ended up purchasing one physical print. It was really sad.
  8. We were on Eurodam in August with 10. There are several tables downstairs that will seat 10 and I would expect that you would be able to squeeze the twins in and make it for 11. This was our first time with the whole family and my wife wanted dinner to be our daily time together. On previous cruises we were seated next to split tables (where the party's adults were at 1 table and the youngsters were at another) - I enjoyed our large table more. My wife had us go around the table each night and say what we enjoyed most that day, what we enjoyed least and then anything else that we wanted to. It was a great way to kill the time between the bread basket showing up and the salads/appetizers. About mid-week, the wine steward was showing the four kids tricks. It was a great cruise!
  9. I've eaten in the MDR on Koningsdam and I'm trying to imagine what could possibly make me dread going to dinner. Dancing on the tables? Food fights?
  10. When you're not cruising but just eating out locally, do you ask the waiter if you can have the $50 steak for $45?
  11. DW and I go to movies almost every weekend. While on a cruise we don't feel a need to park in front of a screen although if we're ever on a world cruise maybe that notion will vanish...
  12. Exactly the reason that I now ALWAYS look at what is over and under us after spending a week under the pool years ago.
  13. Yikes! What a story! Apart from the annoyances, it sounds like your wife is OK (and was OK immediately following the procedure). Sometimes you have to scratch your head in wonder at some of the hurdles life throws at us. Hopefully you'll get to experience a less stressful cruise to Alaska. Thanks for sharing your experience.
  14. HAL's "Any Time" dining option allows you to make dining reservations the day you plan to eat. You may also be able to book one day ahead but I can't swear to it. I'm sure there will be 20 or so more authoritative replies.
  15. So, we've gotten mixed replies with regard to the need to pre-alert HAL (which we still do) however I don't believe it is as critical as it used to be. HAL is pretty good with GF and I suspect other food allergies. As mentioned above, depending on your evening dining plans, it would always be best to notify the Dining Room Manager of your condition and (if possible) try to stay in the same table (or within the area of a particular server) each evening. When you book a specialty restaurant, let them know when you call to make the reservation. The Lido is a different story - yes, there will be easily identified GF options however you can't always know about all of the ingredients in something that isn't obviously in a natural state. DW has a difficult time with the Lido but can usually find something (however she isn't Celiac). Another area that may or may not be an issue is breads and desserts. Usually your waiter will bring you a GF bread option (if dining in the MDR) however the table will get baskets of various, tempting breads whereas the GF bread will often be pretty un-inspired. Same with desserts. There will be many dessert options for most however the GF options will be slim. If coupled with another allergy (say to dairy) it can get very challenging. You'll be fine if you are cautious and take responsibility for your own health and if you are not shy about letting the wait staff know about your concerns EVERY MEAL. HAL is pretty good about GF, enjoy your cruise but be mindful that you need to advocate for yourself.
  16. We've done it 2x. You don't really get close enough to have "the glacier experience" but as mentioned if you walk out to the falls you get a nice view. I suppose it depends on the weather on the day you're there. The little museum there is somewhat interesting. It's a low-risk/low-cost way to spend some time in Juneau. We also took a helicopter up to the top where we were able to wander around for a while - that was cool (literally and figuratively). This last time we took the kids on a "gold panning" excursion followed by a salmon bake.
  17. Congrats on pulling the plug Terry, I still have about 10 months to go. We are also pondering a shift away from HAL due (mostly) to the whole way that Carnival Corp. has handled their environmental messes but also (in part) to shifting values (ours and HAL's). I've been looking at several alternate lines discussion boards here on CC and each seems to have the: "...boy, remember the good old days..." threads. For the most part Cynthia and I have enjoyed cruising with HAL but mostly it is about getting out of the box rather than what brand of chocolate is on the pillow at night.
  18. We sailed on Eurodam a few weeks ago and the photo pricing that we took advantage of last summer (2018) was nowhere in sight. In fact, the current pricing is ludicrously expensive - we purchased one digital photo but would have happily paid what was offered last year. I guess another cut in value of what is being offered?
  19. On the Eurodam last week, we got milk one night and dark the next. They alternated all week. We were in the cheap seats (plain verandah VB category).
  20. It absolutely is AS LONG AS nothing else is done to it while cooking. For some, even cooking it in a pan that has previously had some flour in it is enough to cause problems. Then there is the whole bit with sauces and glazes. Even soy sauce generally has gluten it it. We're also long-time HAL cruisers thinking about a move and like the OP, my DW is also gluten and dairy intolerant.
  21. There are usually 2 shows (one early and a repeat later) but it will depend. We tend to eat early and go to the earlier performances. Seems the early shows this time out were around 7:30 and the later were 10 or 10:30 but I'd have to look at a program to confirm (they're in piles on the dining room table). Since we had a party of 10 this time out, we had a table for 10 at 5:30 in the MDR several nights and I seem to recall that our Tamarind reservation was for about the same time.
  22. I find that it is a lot easier to pack on the last day of the cruise than it is before the cruise... DW keeps very detailed spreadsheets and continually tells me that I should do the same.
  23. It's been beautiful both times we sailed Glacier Bay. Tracy Arm was also a blue sky day for us but Hubbard (our first time up) was fogged in and we never got very close. Last week was gorgeous at each port (although it was a little damp in the morning in Sitka). This was our first trip with the kids and grandkids and the extended family had an excellent time with grandma and grandpa.
  24. ...and the Tamarind!! Yes - there is a lot of negativity here. Much of it lamenting the glorious days of yore. We have been sailing HAL for 10+ years and have begun thinking that it may be time to start looking around however HAL offers a competitive "product" and in general their cruise is what YOU make of it. As an earlier post comments: if you go expecting it to be bad, you'll find everything possible to complain about. We just sailed Alaska for the 4th time with HAL and had a really great cruise. Were there points to quibble over? Sure, what we paid for photographs last year on Koningsdam was awesome - what they wanted this year on Eurodam was ridiculous (and we didn't - although we usually do). DW would like a better selection of GF desserts and better assurances that Lido items are in fact gluten-free however GF dining in the MDR and Tamarind is easy.
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