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AryMay

Members
  • Content Count

    2,611
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About AryMay

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Minnesota
  • Interests
    Photography, cruising, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America, Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    http://mysouvenirmemories.blogspot.com/

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  1. Will be sailing on the Veendam for the first time in November. I have some qualms about it after reading these posts. The good news is we are NOT paying top dollar (in fact I would consider our fare to be bottom dollar!) so if the ship stays afloat we will enjoy a cheap fall getaway.
  2. We did this itinerary on HAL in February which was a 22-day cruise. Looks like Castro (Chile) and Puerto Madryn (Argentina) are the two ports being eliminated for the 2021 cruise on the Westerdam. These were both enjoyable ports so glad we were able to experience them. I agree with scubacruiserx...we also encountered very rough seas after leaving San Antonio but luckily it was only one day for us. We also skipped our first port of Puerto Montt due to large swells which prevented the tenders from being operated, but after that we were sailing in protected waters and had a much smoother ride.
  3. Here is how you find the Flight Ease part of the website... Log in to the HAL website and click on "ALREADY BOOKED" at the top of the page and then "MANAGE MY BOOKINGS". You will see the following screen. Click on TRAVEL PLANNNING. Next, click on PRE & POST CRUISE TRAVEL and then click the box for FLIGHTS. (You can also book airport transfers through this page.) At this point you can fill in the information on dates, airports, etc. and see the flights being offered. We usually fly in a day or two early so have to adjust the dates. CAUTION!! Once you make a Flight Ease reservation, BE CAREFUL if you go back in to check for price drops, etc. It is very easy to cancel your reservations without realizing it. This happened to me when I tried to compare prices from a closer regional airport. My reservation was cancelled and it was a few weeks later before I accidentally discovered this!! No notice, no email, no nothing that let me know it had happened. I called HAL and a representative from the travel department contacted me and admitted there was a glitch in the website.
  4. The information that capriccio stated is accurate. The strenuous part of the tour is not the walking, but the ride in the 4x4. At the end of the day my iPhone health app registered that I had climbed 92 flights of stairs and that was just from the bouncing up and down in the vehicle! The trip takes 2+ hours each way so there is a good chance you will feel it the next day! Not sure when you will be in the Falklands, but if you want to book a tour to Volunteer Point (whether through Viking or Patrick) do it ASAP because the tours fill up. If you are interested in what the tour involves, I have a blog post with quite a few photos and also a link to a video that I did when we were there in February. Here is the link: Volunteer Point Penguin Tour
  5. Interesting. I will be curious to see what others say. I know we kept our phones on (but in airplane mode) when we were on the ship. Turning the phone off would mean you could not use the camera, listen to music, play games, or use any of the apps.
  6. We have done 45 days on the Zaandam in the last 14 months...a Panama Canal cruise plus the South America/Antarctica itinerary. We had cabin #1824 for the SA cruise and twice our room smelled heavily of what seemed to be cigarette smoke. Both times it was when we returned to the ship at a tender port. The second time it was so bad we had guest services come to our room and the staff member admitted that other cabins in our area had the same problem. The tender platform was right below our cabin so somehow the smell must have been sucked in through the ventilation system. They had our bedding changed and sprayed the cabin with something that seemed to take care of the problem. The previous cruise we were in cabin #3339 and sometimes had a loud banging sound in the ceiling when we were in rough seas. We reported it and had it checked, but they never did figure out the problem.
  7. We switched over to T-Mobile from Sprint about a year and a half ago and couldn't be more satisfied. Coverage in the U.S. has increased a great deal and in our area is great. We have had T-Mobile service for several cruises now and whenever we reach a port we turn our phone off of airplane mode and immediately get a text message from T-Mobile saying "Welcome to ----------- (fill in the blank with whatever country). You have unlimited data and texting." Voice calls from other countries are also reasonable (~ .25/minute). Service in Mexico and Canada is no different than in the U.S. (unlimited calls, texting & data.) We are on the senior plan (over age 55) and although the price has gone up slightly we were grandfathered in on the original price...$60 (including ALL taxes and fees) for two lines. Here is a screen shot of the benefits of this plan: I don't need to be connected 24/7 when we cruise, but I do appreciate being able to check in with family when we reach a port.
  8. Sorry for the delay in answering...have been out of town for a few days. I did not check HAL's website. We mainly went by the recommendations of the travel clinic and the CDC website in determining which vaccinations we received. Because we were going to Iguazu Falls at the end of our cruise we decided to be safe and get the yellow fever vaccines. Also got Hepatitis A and Typhoid.
  9. I’m sorry I didn’t make that clear. Yes.…we did pay $5 per person for the short ride to the terminal.
  10. I just noticed this too. All along my departure city was listed as "Sioux City, IA", but we usually book flights out of Minneapolis. Now Minneapolis is not even a choice to pick from. I have learned the hard way TWICE not to mess with the departure city so am hoping that Princess fixes the glitch on their website. Just last week I was talking to my PVP at Princess and inquired why my home city was Sioux City. Before I knew it she had changed it to Minneapolis which automatically CANCELLED the flights we have booked for our next cruise in February 2020. 😖 I had booked our flights on the first day they became available and have only seen the price go up since then. To say I was upset was an understatement! And I should have known better than to even ask about the home city since the same thing happened last year. I had our flights booked to South America on HAL's Flight Ease but just wanted to compare prices online from a different airport. In the process our flights got cancelled without any notice. A few weeks later I discovered the flights were gone. In both cases, things were able to be "fixed", but I am pretty nervous to even try and check prices anymore! I am just curious how Princess decides what is your home city. I even cleared the cookies and history but my home city still comes up Sioux City.
  11. I wanted to report back that I made a $750 payment using my Blue Cash Everyday card on a cruise we have had booked for a long time and also made another $750 payment using my husband's card. Both times we received the $225 credit so it does not have to be just for new bookings. We have other AMEX cards, but the offer didn't show up on those. Heads up...the offer expires next week.
  12. We were in Ushuaia this past February (2019) and "accidently" found a great tour guide that I can recommend if you are looking for a small, private tour. Originally we (2 couples) had booked a private tour with Ruben (ruben-ushuaia@hotmail.com) and I think he would have been an excellent guide based on the correspondence we had prior to the trip. However, at the last minute he had car troubles and didn't want to risk taking us into remote areas for our tour. I was impressed that instead of just cancelling, Ruben got Frederico Moyana to fill in for him and meet us at the dock. Frederico is a licensed tour guide and our day with him turned out to be one of the best! Frederico was able to find ways to keep us away from the crowds (which were huge at some locations) and also make suggestions of things to see that we hadn't planned. I have written about our day in Ushuaia on my blog if you want more details https://mysouvenirmemories.blogspot.com/2019/02/glacier-alley-and-ushuaia.html. Ushuaia and the surrounding areas are breathtaking. Here are a couple of photos to give you an idea of what we saw... And a photo of Frederico... Here is Frederico's business card if you would like to contact him. He is just getting his business started and I expect it to be a big success!
  13. Thanks for watching! The video was filmed when we were in the Falklands on February 15 of this year (2019).
  14. Hi Sue! When we got to Volunteer Point, all of the Land Rovers parked together and the distance from where we parked to the main colony of king penguins was maybe 100 yards. Hopefully you wouldn't have much trouble walking that distance. The first photo is where we parked. The next photo is looking the other direction towards the penguin colony. The walk to get down to the beach was further...but you wouldn't have to go down there if you didn't want. There weren't a lot of penguins at the beach, but it was fun to watch the ones who were there. The water and waves were beautiful as well! Looking back from the beach towards the penguin colony... And although the majority of the penguins stayed huddled together in the large group, there were penguins wandering all over. How often do you see cows & penguins in the same photo!! If you are interested in this tour for 2020, you should be checking into booking ASAP since they fill up far in advance. We booked about a year and a half prior to our cruise. The ship tours to Volunteer Point would also go to the same place, but cost more than double what we paid to Patrick Watts. Even so, those were all sold out before the ship reached the Falklands so don't wait too long.
  15. Actually I do have a reason! 🙂 When we book a cruise, we purchase travel insurance right away to cover pre-existing conditions. BUT...we only insure the amount of the deposit to start with. Our final cruise payment isn't due until fall, but IF I make a payment before then I need to increase our insurance coverage within the time frame to keep the pre-existing condition coverage. (Two weeks after I make another payment...I think.) Our insurance coverage goes up in $500 increments so a $750 payment would mean another insurance payment. When final payment time comes then we will insure the rest of the non-refundable costs of the trip. Since we are booked on a long and somewhat expensive cruise, the insurance premiums will be pretty high. At this point we do intend to take the cruise, but on the outside chance we may cancel I would rather not pay more in insurance premiums which would be non-refundable UNLESS it means getting the $225 credit. In that case it is worth it to me. In the past we have used the AMEX Carnival Corporation offers multiple times on cruises that were already booked. I'm just anxious to hear if it will work on this specific offer or if it truly is only on new reservations.
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