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Loreto

Members
  • Content Count

    1,847
  • Joined

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 was told there were no chilled soups on Alaska itineraries when I inquired while on the Oosterdam last month. Maybe they will be on my Amazon Explorer 30 day cruise in November....I hope so! I have mentioned that I love them and miss them when I write to HAL after each cruise. Karen
  2. In 2016 my husband and I took a 21 day HAL cruise that embarked in Rotterdam. We booked the Holiday Inn Express in Hoophdorf on our own(not sure of spelling)not far from AMS airport for 2 nights. A hotel shuttle took us from the airport to the hotel. We were on our own for this, no one from HAL met us. The morning of the cruise we took the hotel shuttle back to AMS to meet our transfer bus to the port of Rotterdam. The representatives (in red) were there for us in baggage claim, along with a number of other passengers. They made sure we all stayed together in one area. It was well organized, much to my relief. I prearranged the transfer to Rotterdam through Holland America, we just had to be in baggage claim at the appointed time. The transfer went smoothly on a large bus and I was glad we chose to do the transfer through HAL. If you booked your hotel stay through HAL they will meet you in baggage claim and transfer you to the HAL hotel. We did this in Athens and Vancouver, where HAL had a taxi for us. Your transfer to the pier will pick you up at the HAL hotel, you won't have to go back to the airport. Karen
  3. We did a 14 day Alaska Explorer cruise a few years ago in September, the last cruise for the itinerary, and fully enjoyed it. We didn't notice any difference in the ship/service on board compared to when we have done the same itinerary in earlier months. Karen
  4. I don't know if there are any "live from" reports, but we did it as a 31 day round trip from San Diego in November 2014. It is a great itinerary with interesting ports. We took it on the old Statendam just before the ship was sold. I would not hesitate to do it again. We were fortunate to have a fantastic lecturer and CC member...I think his name was Charles Macnamera...or something like that. Hope you choose this cruise! Karen
  5. I second everything that has been said! Cruising Antarctica is an unworldly, unbelievable experience!! We had 2 picture perfect days and are booked to return for the Westerdam Solar Eclipse/Antarctica 22 day cruise in Nov. 2020...can't wait! Karen
  6. We have been in staterooms in the same area on the Amsterdam 2 times in the past on 14 day Alaska cruises and consider them a great value! We have done HH and had no problem with noise from the dining room above. The deck is just steps away and you are close to the dining room and Lido. We have chosen the lower promenade aft on many other HAL ships as well. We have had connecting cabins and noise has never been a problem....just had one on the Oosterdam last month. Rooms to avoid are under the main galley. Your choice is fine. Enjoy the Amsterdam, she is a beautiful ship! Karen
  7. Hi Jane...good to see you posting! I agree with you and it has been my experience that they will tell you to contact your travel agent. I have gotten future cruise credit after final payment. Karen
  8. Our wine steward on my Oosterdam cruise last month mentioned that I could purchase a bottle of wine with the beverage card that would be more economical than wine by the glass. I wanted to try different wines, but appreciated his input. We always buy a wine package with our 5* mariner discount, which we wouldn't get with the beverage card. Karen
  9. We stay at the Best Western Yacht Harbor whenever we cruise from San Diego. They have a shuttle to the pier and we enjoy the dining options across the street at the yacht harbor. As to booking a hotel HAL uses on your own and hoping to use the HAL shuttle to the pier, forget that....they won't let you. You will have to go to the airport and catch the paid HAL transfer. I asked if I could use the HAL shuttle from the Seattle Hilton if I booked on my own and they said I would have to return to the airport and get the transfer there. Karen
  10. I have found HAL to be very generous in calculating the pre and onboard spending cruise credits! Karen
  11. I agree with you, Roy! We booked what would have been the final cruise of the Prinsendam, the Amazon Explorer, and were looking forward to sailing that itinerary on her again. That changed when the ship was turned over in July and now it is the Volendam. I would say we have always had a great cruise on the Zaandam (4 times). The crew has always been very upbeat and the ship well cared for, which makes for a wonderful experience! Karen
  12. I, too, am having trouble with the HAL website just now. I was, after being asked to log in many times, able to view my booking and shore excursions, but could not look at any itineraries. Very frustrating! Glad it isn't just me. Karen
  13. Valerie Perry, the cruise director on the 7 day Alaska cruise on the Oosterdam gave several excellent presentations as the EXC Guide during our cruise. I have been to Alaska 7 times and have attended many presentations on Alaska. She was very professional and came with impressive credentials! Karen
  14. I had problems on Saturday night. My mariner status dropped to zero (I am 5*) and I had no future cruises booked (I have 2) By Sunday morning everything was back to normal, thank goodness! Karen
  15. Sorry, I didn't look in to the lower dining room, so I don't know where it was located. Karen
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