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About Billthekid

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Las Vegas

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  1. Thanks Copper10-8. Never saw one on the ship. Bag looks great. Makes it all worth while.
  2. On Gala nights there were special deserts, but the rest of the nights it was the same old things. A sundae, a fruit tart, a fruit crisp, crème brulee (6 nights), a mousse, and a cheese cake. Nothing too fancy.
  3. We are just back from a holiday cruise on the Zaandam. On embarkation there was a separate check in line for Suites, 4/5* mariners and ORANGE CLUB members, but only one agent and a long line. We (4*) just stepped over to the other agents where there was no line. Never did see anyone with an Orange Key. (picture please if you have one) No separate dinning area for Orange Club. There was separate lines for the dinning room, guest services, and excursions, but except for the guest services line, there was never a line for the other locations. Never did see a special exclusive tote bag (1 per cabin although you pay for 2) In fact we never receive the regular tote bag and had to go to guest services to receive one. Priority tender were issued along with 4/5* in the ocean bar. Lowering the value of the Mariners benefits. No idea what a special bathrobe looks like and does it come with orange slippers? At the regular price of $50 per day per person ($100 per cabin; $700 for 7 day cruise) there is no real value to eating in a sperate area, having a orange key, special bathrobe and tote bag, and first in line (after the excursions buyers) to board a tender.
  4. Thanks for the research. Wish I had that on the cruise/menu they sound interesting. Thanks.
  5. South America and yes they sounded Spanish to me and it would be nice to know which country and what is it.🤩
  6. Just completed a holiday cruise on the Zaandam. On the MDR menu they had five appetizers and five entrees. Included in each category was an item marked "Exc. Port to Table." which I believe was an attempt to have a cultural experience in international foods. The problem was we never knew which country or culture the item came from. The servers did not know, the cooks were vague and the actual food item was unknown to ever one. You could guess and be way off. Some individuals may be familiar with the dish, but I was not. Here is what was listed on the Menu. Short Rib Empanada green onion, egg, green olives, tomato salsa STARTERS • SOUPS • SALADS smoked carne asada rice, black beans, guacamole, warm flour tortillas MAINS Sopa De Aapallo Brandada Bacalao Cumin Lamb Al Azadora Chicken Croilla Ninos Envueltos I love trying different foods, but I am not use to just pointing and hoping for the best. HAL needs to provide more information for this great idea.
  7. Just off the Zandam and American Test Kitchen's contract expired `12-31-2019, to be replaced by ships' staff and guest chefs so we were told. So the ships' recipes are for 500 persons and you would adjust the recipe accordingly. Instead of 5 pounds of butter you would use 2 tablespoons for example.
  8. Just off the Zaandam January 9. 2020. Orange Party held in Crows Nest at 10:15PM after happy hour ended at 10:00PM. Big turnout including officers and passengers. Some snacks and dancing. Left at 10:45PM but party was going full blast. As usual HAL was trying to make a big bucks. All throughout the 22 day cruise the shops had Orange Things for sale, most of which were extremely overpriced. Scarf $20, Orange wrist band $10. Wigs $20. Tee Shirts $20. We had nothing orange and were totally embarrassed and had to leave. 😁 😪
  9. On our last galley tour I took a picture of the coffee machine used in the MDR. As you could see all staff has to do is push a button for the desired style of coffee. The prices listed are the cost to have that style of coffee. Regular coffee no charge, but the next button down is labor intensive and therefore cost $3.50 to push that button. On top of the coffee machine is a barrel of coffee beans used for all the styles of coffee.
  10. Received a reply from the Zaadam ship coordinator, basically no discount:
  11. We are on a Holiday Cruise on the Zaadam to South America. Viewing my itinerary on line on January 1st under Specialty Dining is a new listing for First Annual New Years Brunch (should be inaugural) with bloody Mary, mimosas, etc unlimited and a very nice brunch selection being held in the Pinnacle Dining Room. Question is: Will Mariners discount be applicable to the $35 price. HAL has been contacted, but it was mixed responses.
  12. If your cruise records are up to date and available it would be interesting to determine which of the cruises that you took, and which one did you like best. Then look at the price you paid per cruise night and the date of that cruise. Try to remember what amenities you had on that particular cruise. Then review cruise prices today and what amenities you no longer receive, then in your own mind determine if in fact you are receiving the same value. The price may be the same, but the joy may not be.
  13. We always do a Christmas Holiday Cruise. Previously the Gala night was Christmas Eve, but on our last cruise it was noted in the program, Gala would be on Christmas Day. We ran to the Hotel Directors right away and ask why the change. His response was the officer will be in their "Dress Blues" both nights. We said we will go Gala on the traditional eve. I would say we were not alone and a high substantial number of the guest did the same. No idea what happened Christmas day because we went to another dining location.
  14. Menu will be in peso, if not, it is a tourist trap. The restaurant will have their own exchange rate which may be better or worse of the interbank rate. You have to be aware of the official rate and the blue rate which are posted on line. So if the rate the restaurant wants to give you is off base, then use an credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee. The fee the credit card company charges the merchant is excessive so ask the management for a better exchange rate and they probably will grant it.
  15. Argentina devalued their peso 10% today. So you get 10% more to spend your pesos is you can find some.
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