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mdjohn5

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About mdjohn5

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Minnesota
  • Interests
    Cruising!
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America, Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    St Martin

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  1. Two cruises with RCI where we needed a pack and play. We reserved one both times through our TA. First cruise was no problem, it showed up within minutes of us being in the room. However, the second cruise we never got it. We went back and forth with multiple people and they could never produce one for us. After a week at sea sleeping in the bed...the boy refused to go back to sleeping in a crib once we got home. Ah fun times! If you have it with you anyways, I would probably just throw a tag on it and send it up to your room.
  2. On the Zuiderdam from 3/20 through 3/31 and there was no upcharge.
  3. That's interesting. I thought I was being careful managing the cards...I had 4 to juggle...but on the last day I tried to use the last one and they told me the balance was 0. I was confused, but just assumed I messed somewhere up and threw away the wrong card...but I bet I had the same issue. Overall I am not a fan of the beverage card system. Live and learn I guess.
  4. no problem. One of the differences from RC to HA is how its staffed. On Royal the room is open all day, but the concierge as specific hours he/she is in the room. On HA they have 1 or 2 people in there all the time (during normal operating hours).
  5. 1) Its not open 24 hours. I can't remember the exact hours but its like 7:00 AM ish to 9:00 PM ish...basically during the day. 2) No. Royal Caribbean has those in their suite lounge but not Holland America. That's aid, on our last cruise there was a reception in the Neptune the second night with free wine, but not an open bar like RC has and not every evening. 3) not sure on SD 4) Yes. They will leave you a bag to fill and a form to fill out. It usually comes back clean the next day. If you need more than one bag, you just need to ask the room steward or the concierge. 5) Not sure on Tea 6) when we have had open seating we go the first night and get seated at random. If we like the wait staff, we just make reservations there at the same time for the rest of the cruise. 7) Yes. Its the same breakfast food as the main dinning room, just served in the Pinnacle. They will ask to see your key card the first day, but once they recognize you, you can just walk in. You tend to get better/faster service and your own table than you do in the MDR.
  6. We were given some $100 beverage cards for our Zuiderdam cruise last week from our TA. We normally purchase a wine package when we cruise and I had planned to use the beverage cards to offset that cost. Unfortunately, they would not let us use the beverage cards for the wine package. There was some explanation about not being able to use them with discounted beverages, but I wasn't really following the logic. I am sure if you purchase them yourself there is probably some fine print that explains the limitations, but these were just given to us and I just assumed we could use them for any beverages. We ended up using them on individual bottles of wine and a few mixed drinks, but it was pretty frustrating to not be able to use them on the normal wine packages. Just wanted to give a heads up to anyone planning on using them for the wine packages.
  7. $50 per person per day seems a bit expensive for the current benefits. Might as well pay for the NS at that point. However, I suspect Club Orange will morph into a spiff they can give people as a customer resolution tool. Something with perceived value that doesn't really cost them anything to give to people on an as-needed basis to resolve an issue.
  8. We had the same experience on NA last year. For whatever reason the breakfast service in the NA PG that cruise was bad.
  9. Yes, sorry if that was unclear. For breakfast the Pinnacle Grill food is the same as the MDR. Once it turns over to the steakhouse it is a different menu with better quality meat.
  10. They do use the steakhouse (Pinnacle Grill) for NS breakfast. It is the same food as the MDR, but a nicer, smaller setting. Even with the loss of the free drink happy hour going from Royal to HA, I have found the concierge lounge on HA to be a better overall experience than on Royal. On Royal, they have 1 person, and everyone lines up to talk to them during their set time in the lounge. If there are lot of Diamond level peeps on the ship it gets pretty crowded and hard to get your stuff taken care of. On HA, they have people staffing the room all day. There are times it gets busy but most of the time you can walk in and talk to someone quickly...and without 5 people lined up behind you. They also seem to get things done better for whatever reason.. Don't sleep on that free laundry either.....that's a nice perk!
  11. The Neptune Lounge on Z does not have a bar like the Royal ships. Unfortunately, they don't do the free drink hour like Royal does. However, they have a little spread of snack food and beverages (coffee, tea, water, etc) that are always out. They are also staffed all day, unlike on Royal ship which is nice. You don't have to try and catch the concierge during their "office hours" in the lounge.
  12. Your fist stop should be the Neptune Lounge and introduce yourself to the concierges! They can actually take care a of a lot of things for you right there without having to track down all of the individuals in different departments.
  13. If you are arriving early, another option is to rent a car for a few hours. We have done this several times and it works pretty well. Dollar has a car rental location right at the entrance to the port . When you return the car there, they have a free shuttle to the ships. I have only used Dollar, but I think most of the major car rental companies also have Port Lauderdale locations. That also gives you some freedom to do a few things in Fort Lauderdale before going to the ship.
  14. We surprised our kids (7 and 9) with a Disney Trip last year. The day before we left a box appeared in the house with a note that said, "Open me tomorrow". There was a lot of speculation that evening on what was in the box, but no one guessed a trip. We had to be up early the next day to catch our flight, so I woke the kids up about 5:00am and told them I couldn't wait...open the box. The box had a Disney balloon in it with a note that said, "Get dressed, we are going to Disney World"
  15. Our family of 4 (kids are 8 and 10) have done several cruises in Neptune suites. We have been very pleased with the suites. The bed and couch provide a lot of sleeping room, especially when two of them are kids. The couch is not the most comfortable, but its fine for the kids. The bed is actually big enough for an adult and two kids....if I tuck the family in and hit the casino for a few hours I frequently find myself relegated to the couch by myself... Neptune lounge is nice to have close by, they always have cookies and snacks out for the kids to grab something quick. Its not a place we really hang out though, more like pass through and grab something. They concierges are always welcoming to the children. We have never felt out of place. They ask that kids be supervised in the lounge, which has never been an issue for us, we don't send them down there by themselves. Our kids don't drink a lot of soda so the drink package never made sense for our family. You can get lemonade and ice tea for free in the lido and the lounge always has water, juice, milk etc set out. We just buy soda the few times we want one.
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