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About Loreto

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Southern CA
  • Interests
    Painting watercolors, reading and travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    most frequent destination is Mexico, but favorite would be Europe

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  1. I agree with all that has been said! I took my daughter in law and 10 1/2 year old grand daughter on their first cruise, the Oosterdam to Alaska in July. As we were waiting to disembark I asked grand daughter what she liked best about the cruise. She threw up her hands and said EVERYTHING! She kept a journal on the ship and loved all our excursions. We had her take a look at Club HAL, but she wisely decided to stay with us and got to experience much more. She was all smiles from beginning to end. DH and I enjoy HAL and have a total of 70 days (3 cruises) booked for this year and next. Karen
  2. When we visited Boca do Valerio on the Prinsendam in 2012 we were asked to bring school supplies. The teacher was in the school room where there was a box for donations, and also a box for monetary donations. Flying from California it was not practical to bring supplies, so I opted for a gratefully accepted cash donation. This was my favorite Amazon stop and we are looking forward to returning in November. On an cruise in Mexico we went on a HAL excursion to a school where HAL provided bags of supplies by HAL to give, which I thought was a great idea. Karen
  3. Hi Jacqui, Please add : Loreto 18 March 2020 Eurodam 18 day Circle Hawaii. Thanks! Karen
  4. Thanks, Jim! I never thought to look at Walmart. The tags HAL sent me as a Mariner gift fell apart after a few uses. I got a lot from my former TA that have held up, but new ones would be nice. I have found that HAL drew a marker line across the clear plastic somewhere in the handling process that is hard to remove. Karen
  5. Thank you for posting the wine recommendations! Being from California I prefer to try wine from other countries rather than California wines. Exception would be Wente Vineyards from Livermore. HAL no longer offers Wente. I lived in Germany for 3 years and would love to see a German wine on the packages. Karen
  6. We did this cruise on the Prinsendam in November 2012, and are repeating the itinerary this November 2019. It was an incredible experience and we are looking forward to returning in November on the Volendam. High point was Boca do Valerio and the people and children, also Devil's Island. Also the Boi Bumba Show in Parintins! The Amazon is a huge wide river...reminded me of the Mississippi. It is the road of the region and the river traffic was fascinating. Seeing Manaus was incredible....such a large city in the rainforest. The fish market was amazing, and the opera house and remnants of the rubber boom sobering. The river was down 100 ft. and we didn't get to see the Victoria Regina waterlilies. Did see pink dolphins swimming in the river and the meeting of the waters. We are looking forward to more into the jungle tours this time. This sailing includes Belem, and important port for the rubber boom. We had violent thunderstorms as the ship sailed at night and there were huge harmless black beetles the size of .50 coins littering the decks each morning to be swept away by the staff. It was Hot and Humid! Seeing the region and it's people was enlightening and a privilege for us. Prices are great now...we booked over a year ago while it was still the Prinsendam. You no longer need the Brazil Visa if you are a US citizen! Go for it!! Karen
  7. I called my big box TA to see about upcoming cruises and the possibility of free gratuities. Since I already made my final payment on my 30 night November Amazon cruise, a HAL pricing specialist took a look at what we paid, got back to TA who called me and gave us a huge amount of future cruise credit. We get to keep all the other perks and are thrilled with the FCC and will definitely use it. Just an example of what calling can get! It never hurts to just ask. Karen
  8. I saw the excursion boat when we were at the Hubbard Glacier on the Oosterdam in July. Having done a similar excursion in the Tracy Arm I was interested. Watching weather reports before we began the cruise, and during the cruise, the forecast was for foggy conditions with rain, so we didn't do it. it would have been $900 for the 3 of us. Glacier viewing was ok (I have seen it under optimum conditions.) I watched the excursion boat go beyond where the ship could go, which would have been fascinating, but it wasn't a great day. I too would be interested to hear how it went. Karen
  9. I was on the Oosterdam in an SS suite in July and experienced no such problems. The room temperature was very comfortable. Karen
  10. Call them! I called the Mariner Society last week with a question about the Thank you for Sailing With Us email I received after my July Oosterdam cruise. I got a person in a short time and she added OBC to the next 2 cruises I already booked...I was surprised and pleased...a very pleasant experience! Karen
  11. I put a 1 then write in "small pot, 2 cups please!" That has always worked. Sometimes coffee is good, other times not. Once it was barely warm. Karen
  12. I unfortunately saw a large price drop in my already booked cruise. I had already paid a large deposit, but also had insured the cruise for pre existing conditions. Price dropped again and I called Big Box TA to refare and was told no, but with some pressure (I have used TA many times) and am 5* Mariner HAL dropped the price somewhat and kicked in $1000 in benefits: $200 worth of Shore ex vouchers and $200 in beverage cards plus $600 future cruise credit. Price continued to drop but that was it...could not re fare. I will never book a nonrefundable fare again...ever! I did book another cruise with Big Box and was given a unbelievable deal on an SS suite (refundable with small deposit.)I asked agent and she said HAL had some promotions going with all kinds of extras. I would like to think it is payback for my upcoming 30 day Amazon cruise. TA said HAL is the only cruise line they represent that does non refundable fares and even she got a bad deal. Karen
  13. Magdalena was the Mariner Society Representative onboard the Oosterdam last month in Alaska. She was available at the Front Desk, guest services. She called me to be sure I would be at the Mariner reception, and since DH didn't accompany me this cruise, she arranged for me to sit at the captain's table for the lunch. She also had a picture taken of me with the Captain and hotel director even though I wasn't getting an award. It was an unexpected surprise! Karen
  14. Free laundry has been our perk for some time now, and I have been very happy. On my July 7 day Alaska cruise last month the laundry department must have been lonely...laundry sent out in the morning was delivered in the evening! Included was a thank you note from the person who took care of it...first time ever for that! My strategy is that I send light clothes one day and dark clothes the next. I do include water temperature, or no drier, which have been honored. I would never send anything delicate. On some ships the hanging items have come in a bag that has the laundry paper in a clear pocket...nice touch. I love finding the iron on tags on garments long after I have cruised...a reminder of a great cruise! Karen
  15. Thanks for the reply! I have seen Billboard on a number of ships and hopefully it will be fine. Karen
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