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About bornfreenowexpensive

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Near the sea
  1. So to clarify the above, I am a very experienced traveler. I am a stickler for details. On the rare occasions I have used travel agents, they made more mistakes than I have ever made. And I have made some, like showing up a day early for a reservation. More than 12 cruises, more than 6 Road Scholar trips, 20 years worth of independent travel around the world, some Tauck trips, and small group photography tours and riding tours around the world. We camp, we RV, we stay in 1 Star if we have to (near Sydney airport) to 5 Stars for very special occasions. I love Road Scholar. They stay in mostly 3 star hotels, location is more important than accommodation. Most of the time the food is fine, occasionally not. But the learning and experience, as well as the fellow travelers we meet rate 5 star in my book.
  2. To those who commented: The gluten-free folks made arrangements with the TA ahead of time. They ordered meals a day ahead of time ( but only after the two of them requested this, the staff never suggested it). The meals were still mixed up, even with pre-ordering. And the normal meals were sometimes poorly prepared. Given a choice, I will sail Oceania every time. But our friends wanted this itinerary and we thought we'd give it a try. I have good friends who have like elite status on Holland and do 40 day cruises, and they are pickier than I am about food, etc. I don't get it. And yes, I am a Road Scholar. I could live in the library.
  3. We sailed to Alaska from Seattle for 14 nights on the Zaandam. We have previously sailed Carnival (1), Regency (1), Norwegian (3) and Oceania (4). Our room was nice, our cabin attendant was lovely and attentive. The ship was clean and furnishing were nice. The itinerary was fine. The price was very reasonable. The food was sometimes good, and usually ill-prepared and uneatable. This was both in the main dining room and the buffet upstairs. The orange juice tasted like powdered Tang, and the coffee was so weak you could almost see through it. Sometimes meat was so rare it was raw, and when sent back, it came back like shoe leather. Mushroom omelettes had mushrooms floating in lots of liquid. Vegetables were overcooked. Several people in our group of 7 have celiac disease. It was important to sit at the same table with the same wait staff for all dinners, so that the correct gluten free meals could be ordered. It took 4 nights to get this arranged, and that only after a discussion with the dining room manager. There were very few on board activities that didn't involve a fee of some sort. Very few lectures or educational activities. Movies were shown during the dinner hour. I told all of this to the powers that be midway through the cruise. They, of course, are unable to change the situation because poor management starts at the top down. My last Holland America cruise. Someone else can have my cabin.
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