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About sevenseasnomad

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Newport News, VA, USA
  • Interests
    cooking, reading, writing, traveling, sewing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL, RCCL, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Not sure what goes on with our account, as they always post full charge for the restaurant and credit 50% of the charge in the second column, which leaves half as a charge that we've already paid. It's annoying because it necessitates a visit to the Front Desk to get it straightened out. We earned 4* status in 2015, so it isn't as though we're brand new to this level. Good to know the problem isn't prevalent.
  2. We too try to avoid rooms below public/work spaces, such as lounges, restaurants, pool areas, or kitchen. Like Mary229, I ignored common sense and booked a room below the aft pool deck on the Zaandam, knowing that we'll hear noise from crew setting up deck loungers and passengers dragging them around, etc. The outside view cabin, however, is beside a door, leading to an aft deck, which we understand is mostly deserted. I'm hoping that's true; otherwise, we've made a mistake and have only ourselves to blame. OP, since you realize the predicament you're walking into, it won't be such a disappointment. You're going in, realizing you need to be proactive to take care of the possible noise. Live and learn, right? That may become our mantra on our July 2020 cruise. After your cruise, write a review and let us know if the noise level prevented you from sleeping. I hope it's not as distracting as you anticipate.
  3. You can request that your booking be transferred to any agent or agency. You should have a name, however, to give to the Future Cruise Consultant onboard. That way she/he knows exactly to whom she needs to transfer the booking. Also, cruise critic doesn't allow us to identify our TAs or agencies. Just be aware in the future, so your thread isn't removed for breaking the rule.
  4. Bar-b-que opens at 11:30 generally. Passengers from both ships share the bar-b-que. When two ships are at HMC, we take one of two courses. We either show up early, grab our table and wait for the indication that they're ready to serve. We never encounter a line, but a lot of people don't want to eat lunch that early. The other alternative is to wait until most of the passengers have eaten. We may encounter a small line with the second choice, but wait time is generally less than 5 minutes. We've been to HMC so many times that we sometimes skip the bar-b-que and head back to the ship, where the Lido Market Place serves lunch. As others have observed, having a Carnival ship at HMC with any HAL ship would draw the wrath of hundreds of HAL passengers. If that sounds snobbish, sorry. It would be extremely disappointing if it ever happened.
  5. If you want a more traditional ship, select Vista Class (Noordam, Oosterdam, Zuiderdam, Westerdam) or Signature Class (Eurodam/Nieuw Amsterdam). The newest ships, Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, have narrow Promenade Deck with no room for deck chairs. Of course, the R and S Class ships (the smaller, older sisters in the fleet) have the wider decks too, but limited music venues. If music is "your thing", the newer ships may be your cup of tea, as they have multiple venues, such a BB Kings Blues Club, Billboard On Board, Lincoln Center Stage, and Rolling Stone Rock Room. All the Vista and Signature Class ship have these venues also, except for Rolling Stone Rock Room. If you enjoy specialty dining, Vista Class has Canaletto's and Pinnacle Grill. Signature Class added Tamarind's while retaining the other two fee venues. The Pinnacle Class (two newest ships) has all the previously mentioned restaurants plus Sel de Mer. Free choices include New York Deli and Dutch Café, a real hit that serves Dutch specialties. If excellent service floats your boat, you can't go wrong on any HAL ship. Its crews are known for their welcoming, warm, gracious hospitality and service, which keeps a legion of HAL devotees returning to cruise with them again and again. Hope this helps.
  6. Be careful here. If you order specialty dining prior to the cruise, your credit card statement will, of course, bill you for the entire purchase. When you get on the ship, they deduct 50%, leaving 50% of the charge on your onboard statement, for which you have already paid, right? Make certain you bring your credit card statement, proving payment, so the Front Desk can take off the 50% charge. Otherwise, you've paid 100%, which isn't how the perk is supposed to work. We had this problem a number of times, and it took a lot of explaining to make the Front Desk personnel understand. Has anyone else run into this problem?
  7. If the ship loses power for days on end, as a Carnival ship did several years ago, you'll be thankful for that flashlight. Plus when we go to sleep, we generally charge our phones, so if we want a quick light to get to the bathroom, the flashlight is handier on the bedside table than the phone, which is plugged into the outlet on the desk. But I understand what you're saying. Someday, they're going to invent a phone that needs charging only once a month or twice a year or maybe never! Technology advances while we marvel.
  8. Hate the inconvenience for the passengers. Good to know the "old girl" would have been okay had the lobster pot not gotten in the way. That's a lot of distance to cover with a mechanical problem brewing. Let's hope the repair occurs quickly, so the passengers can resume their cruise. We sail this ship and this itinerary July 2020, so this reinforces what I already understand about traveling: Be prepared for anything.
  9. Since it's issued complimentary from HAL, any unused portion is gone the last morning. Coming into Seattle from Alaska, I recall my husband and I ordering specialty coffee (multiple cups for him) and specialty hot chocolate for me that last morning trying to use the last little bit. Our cards were only $50 worth! Is that sad or what that we couldn't use up $50 in one week? You will receive no refund for unused $$. Pace yourself. Know how much you have to order each day, so when you get to the last morning, you have zero $ on the account. Enjoy.
  10. Oh, Kazu, I really, really like this idea. I vote for this one. So easy to do and very special. Lunch at PG is wonderful. Great burgers. Fabulous desserts. OP, definitely go with this one, unless your friends don't like to eat. LOL.
  11. Oh-h-h, may I have the Elemis bar you're not using? Pretty please!
  12. I would book jet ski excursion prior to sailing to assure you and your friends get the desired time. Also, this excursion can sell out, leaving you watching the fun from the beach. 🤣
  13. Do you want to pay now and avoid a large statement balance at the end of your cruise? Do you handle disappointment well? Your preference may dictate whether you pay now or wait until you board. If you pre-purchase specialty dining, you may select the date and time you desire. You are also assured of having that reservation confirmed; whereas, if you wait until you board, the most popular days and times will already be reserved. If a certain shore excursion marks a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see that site, pay before leaving home to avoid disappointment. Popular excursions sell out, and limited capacity excursions fill quickly. We have always waited to purchase the Thermal Suite because of the discount on embarkation day. Make sure you head to the spa first. You don't have to take the tour. Simply tell the attendant that you wish to purchase the thermal pass. Internet and laundry you can purchase on the ship with no problem. As someone already observed, you can stuff the laundry bag as soon as you arrive in your stateroom. Simply indicate that you want to buy the package. Should you purchase anything prior to sailing, bring the printed confirmations. Sometimes, mix-ups occur. The only way you can be assured of getting those items you paid for is to have the confirmation in hand. It can avoid a lot of hassle should a mistake happen. Enjoy your cruise. What a wonderful time of year to experience the Canal! Don't forget to sample the Panama buns, served only the day the ship enters the "zone."
  14. Yes, I'm excited about the new renovations in the bathrooms, but what really perked my interest was the comment about the 10 year plan. Does this mean HAL intends to keep these smaller ships? Last April, the officer who hosted our table confirmed our worst fears that HAL does indeed have all its smaller ships for sale in an effort to bring the line "into the 21st century." Of course, while they're waiting for a buyer, they must maintain the fleet, even the small, older ships. My hope is that they can strike a happy medium and boast of a fleet which includes small and large vessels (decades from now) to accommodate passengers' preferences. Let's face it, some of us love bigger, better (at least to some minds) ships. At the same time, some of us enjoy smaller, more intimate vessels. This drive toward eliminating the small ships leaves many loyal HAL fans rushing to book other lines that cater to those tastes.
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