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Granny DI

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  1. Thanks for the info. Just ordered one soda card for our next HAL cruise. Hopefully some of the bar tenders won’t pop open the can so I can save for another time. I never know until I ask. Most will pop them open but others will just put them on the bar unopened.
  2. Been there done that.....NO! We were on the cruise right after the last POA dry dock in SF. Dry dock was supposed to be done in HNL but the Navy needed the facility so was changed to SF. Cruise was shortened, contractors all over the ship and spa closed the entire time. We knew this was a possibility but the cruise was cheap.
  3. We are Platinum on both Princess and NCL. Last cruise on Princess was a month ago on the Sapphire. Last NCL Cruise was in Jan 2019 on the Breakaway. Suites on both ships. We had booked the Crown Princess for Jan 2020. We canceled after our experience on the Sapphire. We replaced it with Nieuw Statendam on Holland America. We love NCL but the Epic is a funky ship.....especially balcony cabins. I enjoyed a solo cabin on the Epic but sister and brother-in-law did not like their balcony cabin.
  4. Our first cruise on Holland America was on the Rotterdam in 2002. We hated it and didn’t go back for 10 years. We have sailed all the lines and in the “old days” we sailed Princess and Celebrity. We tried Crystal last year and Azamara two years ago. Our go to cruise lines are now Holland America and NCL. We like the Haven and Neptune Suite products. We like most of the changes from 1997.....the lone exception being food. Food across all the lines including Crystal is just OK to us.
  5. We have sailed all the cruise lines including Azamara, Celebrity and Oceania. We prefer NCL’s Haven concept and Holland America’s Neptune lounge to any of the three above. Crystal is not worth the money and a very poor value for us. We felt the Azamara Perry Golf Cruise was good except for the miniature bathroom. The Caribbean Cruise in a suite was not a good value. Oceania is the best value of the three small cruise lines, but not saying we prefer it over Crystal or Azamara. This is only my opinion and my experience. Food is subjective but I personally think it’s all the same with the exception of specialty restaurants on NCL. Not fans of hoards of people on the mega ships but have figured a way to avoid them on the mega ships. The hoards keep our cruise prices down. We avoid the buffets and MDR on the mega ships and only eat in the specialty restaurants. We use many other strategies to avoid the hoards. We can sail in suites on the mega ships but only ocean views on Crystal. You just have to decide what is important to you.
  6. We took our first cruise with HAL in 2002 and hated it. We swore off HAL for ten years. HAL offered a wonderful Med itinerary several years ago on the Ryndam. We loved it and have been sailing HAL ever since. We are Platinum Plus on NCL, Platinum on Princess, and 3 star mariner on HAL. We just returned from a Princess Cruise but we were so displeased that we cancelled a 10 day Princess Cruise and substituted a 7 day cruise on the Nieuw Statendam. We have another HAL cruise booked along with an NCL Cruise.
  7. We are Platinum Plus on NCL and three Star Mariner on HAL. We like both lines very much. We only book suites in the Haven on the NCL Mega ships and Neptune Suites on any of the HAL ships. We really like America’s Test Kitchen on the Nieuw Dam Ships. We really like the entertainment on the NCL Mega Ships. We like the Haven Bar and restaurant and are looking forward to Club Orange on our cruise on the Nieuw Statendam in January. We love the Neptune Lounge. Food is very subjective but NCL has more variety. We do not like the smaller ships of Oceania, Crystal and Azamara. We can read books and relax at home.....and the suites on these lines are not normally within our budget. The pricing is very similar between NCL and HAL. NCL has younger clientele. We are retired but we prefer a mix of ages on our cruises.
  8. Pre- retirement Thanksgiving to New Years was a just a blur. I was teaching and had three kids with a thousand activities plus all the parties. Never considered going anywhere during the holidays except skiing in Colorado between Christmas and New Years. Now there aren’t many parties and the kids and grandkids are all doing their thousands things during the Christmas Holidays. I think this cruise will be perfect for us. If we enjoy it may make it annual thing. We’ve done Halloween and New Years Cruises....one and done. The Halloween cruise was over run with kids and the New Years was ok except for the price....high dollar cruise!
  9. Our first cruise on HAL was in 2002. We hated the attitude of the crew and the food. We didn’t return for over ten years. Once we tried a Neptune Suite we were hooked. HAL is now one of our preferred cruise lines. Our other choices are NCL and RCCL. Not a fan of the smaller ships unless it is a port intensive itinerary. Crystal, Azamara, and Oceania offer small cabins at big prices. Just off a Princess Cruise. We are Platinum on Princess but don’t plan to return until things improve. DH hated the coffee! I don’t drink coffee so wasn’t a problem to me...but the internet was awful. It seems we all like different things so continually looking for the ship that offers most of the things we like. i think all the cruise lines are declining in service and quality of food. We avoid the MDR on most cruise lines. The specialty restaurants serve the quality of food the MDR served in the “Old Days”.
  10. Thanks so much for all your input. I booked the December cruise this morning. I booked because of price and spending time in the Islands during the Christmas Holidays. I never thought there would be decent pricing in December. I guess many people don’t travel between the holidays.
  11. Thinking the same thing. We have sailed at New Years but never before Christmas. Used to live in Venezuela so visited Aruba often but never during the holidays.
  12. Nov date is near Thanksgiving and Dec near Christmas. I would think the Nov cruise would have more kids as most get a week off at Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation starts about Dec 20. The Dec Cruise is $1400 cheaper but Nov Cruise is loaded with goodies...drink package, Pinnacle and OBC.
  13. Looking at two cruises to the ABC Islands. The first is Nov 22, 2020 to Dec 2, 2020. The second is Dec 13, 2020 to Dec 23, 2020. Same cruise just different dates. Appreciate any opinions from those of you who have sailed to the ABC Islands during this time period.
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