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sansterre

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About sansterre

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Central Florida
  • Interests
    relaxing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska

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  1. A group of seven of us saw the causeway from Belfast last August when in port from 8-5. We took the "Top 5 Tour" which included a stop for tea and scones and several other stops (Belfast church, Dark Hedges, and a couple water views) so I believe you have plenty of time for the causeway and one or two more stops. Make sure to take the shuttle bus from parking lot to causeway. (The walk will add nearly another hour to the trip.) I created this fabulous tour with Tours with Locals. The guide we used was Joe McCollough. He was the best ever guide anywhere! Go to Tourswithlocals.com and click on Belfast. I hope that will connect you with Joe for your tour.
  2. Ahhhh. yes! I'd like to see the Statue of Liberty when headed into New York City.......much like my grandmother would have seen it at age 16 a hundred+ years ago. (But her ship took several weeks and I'm sure she didn't have a balcony cabin.) Perhaps leaving Southhampton, there is a place on the Starboard side to see some of the highlights mentioned y Bluemarble (above)? I do enjoy sunrises and sunsets at sea, but seeing cities, islands, geological formations, etc are even more interesting to me. Thanks to all for all the information helping us select our cabin location. Close to entertainment is nice too, but probably not as important as food and trivia for us.
  3. Thank you for the mid-ship to mid-art suggestion. I'm now wondering why Navybankerteacher suggested the port side. Probably because on a Western cruise, it would be the sunny side of the ship? Anything else we should consider?
  4. Thanks - this is just the info I was looking for. Walking is not easy for me, especially in active seas. So convenient to Dining is important....also trivia, wherever that might be played.
  5. My husband and I are considering returning from Europe to New York on Cunard. We have done many Atlantic crossings - all on Holland America, either from Ft. Lauderdale or from Boston/Halifax. Appreciate any and all advice as to what cabin to choose, dining, and what else we should know about Cunard.
  6. Thank you for posting this recipe. Interesting that there is mustard and orange zest in the marinade. I'll try making it at home without the clothesline.
  7. Bacon is my favorite food, but I was disappointed with HAL's clothesline. The presentation is not right for the Pinnacle. I was actually embarrassed when it arrived at the table with all the other attractive food. And then puzzled how to eat it without using fingers. I think it would be great in a pub restaurant, or sport's bar etc. The maple adds a nice touch, but pickle did not nothing IMO.
  8. This was my blog on the Voyage of the Vikings 2019: If you read through the blog, you will see weaknesses like, poor entertainment, no flowers on the lido tables, lamps that didn't light instead of flowers on the MDR tables, no one to do trivia games, etc. But there are also photos of us with the captain, dining staff and room stewards, and lots of great times on the Zuiderdam too! Did I enjoy the cruise? Absolutely yes. Overall, was it as good as Voyage of the Vikings 2018? No
  9. DH and I were on the Voyage of the Vikings in 2018 (Rotterdam) and in 2019 (Zuiderdam). While we enjoyed both cruises, they were totally different. My survey was not very kind after our 2019 Voyage. I agree with the OP except in two areas: 1. We liked the captain, and saw him often. But I do recall three times he mention that we should buy a drink! Not sure if that was coming from the Hotel Director (that we never saw) or what. 2. We had a great service in the dining room. Our major disappointment was the difference in the food. Maybe we were spoiled in 2018 when lobster (as much as you wanted) was served every Gala night. Shrimp cocktail was on the menu nearly every other night in the MDR. This year, lobster was on the Gala Dinner menu just twice. However, you could purchase lobster any night for an uncharge of $25pp. Our waiter would get a special dinner or some time off for every lobster he "sold"! Another disappointment was the Cruise Director and Assistant Cruise Director (both apparently weak or novices). If one of them had a day off, didn't feel well, had dinner in the MDR, etc. there was no one else to take over for them. Many times the main stage entertainment started and/or ended by itself - no introduction and/or no wrap up. The Assistant Cruise Director did both afternoon and evening trivia. But a few times she wasn't available so trivia was cancelled.. In past years the librarian or a singer could read trivia questions. But there is no one else anymore! How about someone from guest relations or the purser perhaps? And as we disembarked, expecting to finally see the Hotel Director, and the Cruise Director, only a waiter and two women from the front desk were there to say good-bye. The entertainment was a joke. Several nights we had to decide whether to see a movie on the big screen or back in our cabin. Either some talent didn't show up or HAL in Seattle dropped the ball. (Someone mentioned the need to get used to less cocktail parties; there were none......none in 35 days.) I could mention more, but overall we had a great time on the Zuiderdam. One thing that was better in 2019 than 2018 were the larger tenders. Thus the process went faster and it also changed for 4 and 5 stars. In 2018 every one had to get a tender ticket and wait until your number was called. In 2019, 4 and 5 stars could go to the Ocean Bar, get a ticket, and then go directly to the tender! The difference from one year to another year was huge. We had talked to Hotel Director Darren 5 months before the cruise (cocktail party on Panama Canal cruise on the Zuiderdam) about how much we enjoyed the food on the Rotterdam in 2018. We all hoped it would be just as good this time. But this time we had the Lobster at a $25 uncharge. I have to wonder who made that decision? and why?
  10. I avoid sending my most delicate things to the ship's laundry. But I must agree that overall HAL laundry does a better job with the laundry than I do at home. (I don't underwear and put it in a basket with tissue paper.)
  11. Enjoy your voyage. Are the leaves on the trees changing? I imagine they might be where you are now. How lovely it must be! We were on the Zuiderdam in August for the Voyage of the Vikings. It's been two weeks and I miss it being on board. If you see MDR servers Roy, Denny, Iga, or Wayon, please tell them Jean and Ralph send best regards.
  12. Thanks all. Kazu, this thread pales in comparison with the one you did recently on the Prinsendam. I don't know how your posted all you did on that very busy itinerary. After doing this one, I appreciate you and your efforts even more!
  13. Thank you for sharing this wonderful news. We live just an hour away from Tampa and enjoy the Tampa sail-aways very much.
  14. The Embassy Suite (near Logan Airport in Boston) has 24 hour shuttle every 15 minutes to the airport, but not to the cruise port. This year we had a bus full to the cruise terminal - filled by travel agent. Last year (we also did the Voyage of the Vikings in 2019) we used a taxi. Seems like it was $20-$25. This Embassy Suites includes a nice breakfast. They also serve some food from 5-7 to which worked as a light dinner for us (weary travelers too tired to go out for a big dinner in town).
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