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sevenseasnomad

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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
    Alaska

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  1. Everyone has to decide what "extras" they're willing to pay for. Nothing wrong with turning down an offer to economize. Most people would say that's wise, especially if it means cruising more. YES!
  2. NO. Smoking is limited to aft Lido Deck (only one side, I think starboard) and the casino; however, on the Pinnacle Class ships, some nights are smoke-free in the casino. Whether this has to do with the smoke drifting downstairs to Music Walk is unknown. But some nights are definitely designated as "smoke free" in the casino.
  3. Amen. The next week could sell out completely before you leave. I'll echo what CruiserBruce said: If you want to cruise during that 2nd week, book now. Nieuw Statendam is a lovely ship. We sailed on her last Christmas. Do NOT expect the diversions that NCL offers. You won't find any laser tag or go-cart racing. HAL is laid-back; you basically entertain yourself during the day. In the evening, you have three venues with live bands/dueling pianists. The World Stage is a fabulous multi-screen (260 degrees) theater but is underutilized. You won't see any large production show. You also can enjoy Lincoln Center Stage, classical musicians. HAL no longer has a library on the larger ships (or some of the smaller ships, for that matter), so bring your own reading material if you like to read. If you're trying HAL to see how this line fits with your preferences, you may not want to book a second week prior to experiencing the product. What if you hate it? Booking that second week means you're stuck. On the other hand, if you love your experience, you can book another future cruise while on the ship, as the incentives are sometimes alluring. In this case, you have another cruise to anticipate. Since you're only four hours driving time from FLL, you could easily make the trip. Ultimately, what you do (booking B2B now or waiting for a future cruise) is your call. Come back and let us know your impressions of NS and HAL. Here's hoping you have a fabulous time.
  4. If a change occurs, what will they do with those Coke flavor machines on the Lido Deck? Replace them with Pepsi?
  5. Be certain to report back on your experience aboard Edge. Have a good cruise. The $10 extra fee for the second entrée angered a lot of passengers. You do know that that extra fee was a test on several ships. Once the test period was over, the charge disappeared and hasn't reappeared. It was a trial balloon that bombed.
  6. I was under the impression that all the drink packages tied to a passenger's key card. It would be most inconvenient to lug a cup or plastic tumbler around all day. May I suggest that you call ships' services (866-616-4278 main switchboard which can connect you to ships' services) and ask. I've never heard of HAL discounting the soda in a mixed drink if the passenger has a soda or Quench package. Perhaps someone else has a different experience.
  7. We stowed our cushions behind the curtains where the wall is (not where the door is). They took up no floor space. In fact, most of the time we simply forgot they were there. We were able to use the cushions later in the evening. We brought them back into the cabin and stored them, so they wouldn't get wet. Each morning, however, the stewards had placed new cushions on our chairs, so we simply kept the ones that were stored. As for why we spent the extra money on a lanai, we wanted to try this category. Now, we're hooked, so much so that we have reserved one on our 2020 14-day Christmas cruise. I loved having the Promenade Deck right outside my door. Except for certain busy hours during the day, the space felt deserted, and it was as if we had an extra wide balcony. We liked having the reserved lounge chairs, and no one ever sat in our chairs. I'd read problems with others "taking up residence" in reserved chairs, but we never had that problem. A few times, we enjoyed room service while in our chairs. Nice change of pace. I agree that a lanai cabin may not suit some passengers. Some may refuse to pay the higher price for a category with dubious value in their opinion. I understand all that. Obviously enough passengers are booking this category because my PCC tells me that this category is in high demand.
  8. Does piped-in music count? Just kidding. To answer your question, yes, this ship also has Lincoln Center Stage. If you enjoy classical, you'll love this venue, although these musicians play only two shows per day. Sometimes, they offer an afternoon concert. Make certain you attend the one with film music. It's well done and is pleasant even for those who dislike classical music. Other than these three venues, I can't think of any other music, unless a show would feature it, such as Post Modern Jukebox, which many people dislike. If you do want to attend one of Lincoln Center Stage's performances, make certain you arrive early. Seating is limited and fills quickly.
  9. Club Orange may be purchased; however, the price fluctuates. It started at $50 per person per day. Once HAL discovered that few people were willing to pay that price, they lowered it. Currently, it's $35 per person per day on the Pinnacle Class ships, less than that on the other ships. The Pinnacle Class offers a separate restaurant---the old farm to table venue---whereas the other ships have CO in the MDR. CO patrons have a dedicated space. Supposedly, the menus are a different color and have a special dish each day that is not available on the regular menu. The CO on K and NS have received rave reviews for food freshness and level of service. We have purchased it for the second week of our upcoming B2B on NS; however, I would not purchase it if we were on any ship besides a Pinnacle Class. We can't wait to see if we agree with those who have said that it was money well spent. Hope this answers some of your questions without your having to wade through thread after thread.
  10. Aft suites generally have less cabin space but offer h-u-g-e wrap-around balconies. In Alaska, outside views are where the action is, so these suites are generally already booked. If you're thinking of booking a guarantee, you can't be picky; however, as CruiserBruce pointed out, there is no such thing as a bad suite. Toss in Neptune Lounge and other perks, what's not to love?
  11. Not that I'm aware of. Check when you board the ship as offers are likely to occur then if they are offered at all. The spa (for their passes) and specialty restaurants often discount on embarkation day.
  12. Suites also have extra square footage in cabin, balcony, and bathroom spaces, but I suppose that goes without saying. Our balcony came with a decent sized dining table and four chairs plus two lounge chairs. Very nice. You'll also get a coffee maker with specialty coffee selections in your cabin. On some ships, suites have extra dressing room with vanity and additional closet space. DH and I loved it because he used the closets in the walkway while I took over the closets in the dressing area.
  13. Quad cabins have twin beds that can be made into queen bed. There is a sofa, which makes up into a third bed. The fourth bed pulls down from the ceiling. I would never place children that young in the pull-down bed particularly if they are prone to falling out of bed. Sorry, but I can't address your bed rail question.
  14. OP, sorry your cruise was so terrible that you felt the need to cut it short and leave $$ in addition to ports that you didn't get the opportunity to explore. In your place, I would have been extremely upset, furious enough, in fact, to write a letter to corporate. I sincerely hope you take the time and effort to alert them to these problems. Of course, at the first point of contact, the ship's personnel, no one seemed to address your concerns or even to inquire about your reasons for leaving the cruise early. I hope you receive a better response from corporate although nothing can compensate for enduring the problems you encountered or for making the decision to return home early. It is disappointing to hear reliable CC members voice these complaints, which I find credible, because HAL is our preferred cruise line. However, if I were to experience a cruise similar to the one mentioned here, I would reevaluate future cruise decisions.
  15. Yes, on Vista Class ships, the movie theater is slated for other uses. The only movies you'll see are on the TV. Most of the cabins have been upgraded with newer TVs with On Demand Movies. If you want Movies Under the Stars, cruise on either Koningsdam or Nieuw Statendam. The main pool area on the Lido Deck has a giant screen where they show movies nightly, different movie each night. The New York Deli is close by (on balcony overlooking Lido Deck) and serves free snacks during the movie such as popcorn, soft pretzels, chicken wings, nachos, made-to-order pizza, and any number of sandwiches (ask for extra meat). If the movies are an important part of your cruising experience, you should consider these newer Pinnacle Class ships, rather than the older Vista or Signature Class ships.
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