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Everything posted by Billthekid

  1. A couple of years ago we knew the Environmental Officer very well. Hosted our table several times. He said this will be his last cruise because HAL was eliminating his position. Since then at the greet the officer meetings there has never been a designated Environmental Officer presented or listed. Even photos of the officers in the hallways there is none. I have not contacted HAL to verify, but if someone wants to pursue this further I think that would clarify the question.
  2. Last time I took the pay shuttle to town one way and took the train for the return. it is a lot easier going downhill. Yes it is a huff and a puff climbing up, but a stroll going down.
  3. HAL had an officer who was a designated Environmental officer, but the officer position was eliminated and his duties assigned elsewhere to other officers with or without knowledge of the regulations.
  4. The 2nd officer may have been assigned those duties in addition to his other duties, and he may have a set of the current regulations, but it is not his principle responsibility.
  5. HAL got rid of their environmental officer a few years ago.
  6. Just calculating numbers. Assume the Maasdam sails full with 1,258 passengers, and a crew of 558, 365 days a year. Assuming each passenger pays the hotel service charge of $15, the total would be $18,870 per day, or $6,887,550 per year. Each crew member would then receive $12,343 per year. Now how many cruise members participate is totally unknown. Some are bar staff, some engine room personnel, and some are contract employees who may or may not be in the data. Also, how much more does HAL augment those numbers is also an unknown. Lots of assumptions and we all know what "Assume" means.
  7. Thanks for the copy of the Menu. I see two big changes. Baked Maine Lobster has finally been changed to Baked Maine Lobster TAIL. I have discussed this with HAL over the last couple of years trying to get them to change the description. Finally. And the after dinner coffees are not listed. Does that mean they are not available, or there is no charge? Wishful thinking on the no charge, however.
  8. Here is my 2 cent opinion. A cabin on the lower promenade on the Zaadam near an exit door gives you the opportunity to float back and fourth between Port and Starboard with ease to view what is going on either side. Problem is the early birds who slam the doors running in and out which is not that big of a problem. Plus when it is cold you can run out get your photo shot and run back in to your cabin. Then look out your window for the next opportunity. East versus West. After Antarctica it is pretty much downhill going East to West. Glacier Alley is bland, Fjords are just a quiet cruise with nominal views. Saw no wildlife in those areas. Also there are nine sea days post South Pole and HAL has extremely limited activities besides bingo and trivia. I will waiver the 2 cents.
  9. This is a tale of "Things Happen" We were cruising out of Buenos Aires in December 2019. Our tale starts at Miami Airport where we had a three hour layover before our 11:30PM departure. We boarded and got all set up for leaving. Time passed and after 25 minutes an announcement stated the pilot had a family emergency and had to leave and we were waiting for the backup pilot and those who want off may do so. We stayed on and then they realized if we were on the tarmac for over two hours they would have to compensate us so everybody told to get off. Next announcement was those who used their phone for the boarding pass come to the front desk because the boarding pass disappears at midnight. So big line to get paper ticket. Finally pilot shows up after hour and half and crowd claps. Everyone is a fairly good mood. We are about to land and told airport is crowded and must circle for a while. Turns out to be 45 minutes. Land and cleared immigration and customs with no lines. (told later others were in line for over two hours, lucky we were late.) Found HAL's transfer bus and told would be a few minutes. Turns out over 30 minutes. Get to terminal and carryon bags checked by HAL scanner. Next immigration scans our bags, then customs scan our bags. Next we must catch a bus to ship which is a five minute walk. Big line and we finally get on third bus. Told an area is being saved for a handicap passenger. Bus moves forward 10 feet and a gentlemen on a scooter is waiting. He is unable to stand up and so scooter and him must be picked up together since there is no ramp to help him board. Two guys try and can not lift him and scooter. So need two more individuals and finally he is on the bus. Minute later we are at the ship and back door and middle door open. Those in back get out but scooter is blocking middle door exit. Bus driver can not help because he has barrier in front of his door. So here we are unable to get us or him off the bus. Finally four people assist lifting him off the bus because again there is no ramp. We head up to the ship but instead of a flat ramp there are 36 steps to the ship requiring us to carry our luggage to the ship. We did not stay around to see how they were going to get the gentlemen and his scooter onto the ship. Flash our cabin key and then no one to greet us and tell us where our cabin might be located. We are not alone and newbies were is total confusion. We gave directions to several and found out cabin. We were hoping the Mariners reception was taken place but no. So greeter is eliminated and reception is also eliminated. Spouse and I are starting to bark to each other after such a long day and night. So up to lido for energy, unpack and dinner late seating. Table for eight, but we are alone. After dinner look for entertainment, but there is none. So to bed and slept until 2PM the next day. We are sure others have tales to tell, but this was our tale and possible an episode for Comedy Central.
  10. Happy Hour was at 4-5PM in the Ocean Bar and 9-10PM in the Crows Nest. Second drink was $2. Entertainment on the main stage was mixed with the usual comedian. piano player, 50's band, juggler, and production show, as of Dec. 2019 on 22 day cruise. We were not awestruck, but it was something to do since other options were not available. Piano Bar was crowded with out available seats. No one in the casino and quartet in Ocean Bar was playing music that was not to our liking. Your results may differ.
  11. That clears it up a little, and I know you don't go from inside to outside. Since there are four ypes of outside cabins (port hole. fully obstructive and partial obstructive view and full view) are they all in the same meta category? Inside is inside each with different letter category, but different decks, and suites are suites with different letter categories, and verandas are of course verandas. So with CO I can purchase the lowest price cabin in a category and hope there will be an upgrade to "better" cabin correct?
  12. What I was referring to was the club orange benefit of an upgrade in the same catagory. I.e. obstructive cabin to an obstructive cabin. Is there such a thing in that catagory? A better view of the obstruction, it was sacasiam. Jupp
  13. I was wondering if I purchase a cabin and purchase Club Orange and HAL upgrades me to a "better cabin" does HAL have a complete list of "better cabins" in all the categories available. If so where can I get a copy of that list? Or if there is such a list do agents have a copy and direct their clients to those cabins first, leaving the "less better cabin" for the Club Orange members to upgrade to. Another thought. If you purchase a partially obstructive cabin would the upgrade be to a better partially obstructive view if there is such a thing. The deck is not going to change just location and choice of forward or aft only.
  14. Sometimes the extension cord gets in the way, so we ask the cabin attendant to have some one tape it up off the floor and out of the way. They did an excellent job and it was nice and neat and I did not trip on it in the middle of the night. Also our TA sprung for the distilled water. A bottle of wine would have been better however, but it was a nice thought on their part.
  15. Thanks Copper10-8. Never saw one on the ship. Bag looks great. Makes it all worth while.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Thanks for the research. Wish I had that on the cruise/menu they sound interesting. Thanks.
  19. South America and yes they sounded Spanish to me and it would be nice to know which country and what is it.🤩
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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. 😁 😪
  23. 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.
  24. Received a reply from the Zaadam ship coordinator, basically no discount:
  25. 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.
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