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About baggal

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  1. I don't understand the negativity toward people who are looking to share private tours through the roll call. Isn't that the point - to have the ability to meet fellow passengers on your specific cruise? "China Shrek," you may not be aware that travel agents and tour guides are prohibited from posting on Cruise Critic. HAL is a mass market cruise line which appeals to passengers with varying interests and budgets. And even if you're not particularly budget minded, some people just prefer a small group experience over the 40 passenger bus tour. If you find it distasteful, no one is forcing you to participate.
  2. If I wanted to only eat, read and watch movies (I have Amazon and Netflix along with the usual 600 or so cable channels) I could stay home, order in every meal, and catch up on my binge watching. But on a Caribbean cruise, which we take during the winter to escape the northeast weather, I want, no I need, more! And, the "Music Walk" just doesn't do it for me. I want "entertainers" not "musicians." They are not the same. We're currently booked on the Nieuw Amsterdam this winter. But both the brand new Celebrity Edge and Princess Sky are sailing in the Caribbean that week as well. While I'm still in the cancel without penalty time period, I'm going to take a better look at those cruises.
  3. Thanks everyone. We are looking at the Nieuw Amsterdam which doesn't quite have all the musical "bells and whistles" that the Kdam and NS have. We've been on all 3 previously and know what they offer. Celebrity Edge and the brand-new Sky Princess are sailing in the Caribbean the same week as the Nieuw Amsterdam. I'm going to take a more serious look at those ships and itineraries. I'm beginning to think that HAL really wants its passengers to have an early dinner then go back to cabin to watch a movie. Take notice HAL - I could just as easily stay home, order in meals and binge watch Amazon and Netflix for a week. Thanks
  4. Given that there are no longer production shows on HAL, what are they substituting instead? We're looking at a 7 night Caribbean cruise this winter and I wonder what type of entertainment HAL will provide. Any recent experience or expectations for the future? Thanks.
  5. Yes. If you're going to push me aside when you're going through security to get back on the ship before me or elbow me in the Lido buffet to reach over me to grab an item, you are going to get a not-polite "Really? The line is behind me." Which is always surprising to me since I'm a woman that stands 5'6" and I would not consider myself petite. I have stunned some people by my comments. I don't like speaking up but I dislike being pushed around even more.
  6. This is the dumbest move HAL can make. No evening entertainment besides some questionable musicians in some venues and now this. Count me out on any future HAL cruises.
  7. How do you handle rough seas? Yes, the ship may sail and not take a direct hit from a hurricane, but the seas can still be very rough on your itinerary. No sense going on a cruise if you can't leave your cabin. I once lost 6 lbs. on a cruise when the captain tried to evade a "rogue" storm in early December in the Caribbean. Couldn't manage more than a a green apple (great to alleviate motion sickness) and tea for days. I personally avoid cruising the entire East Coast of the U.S. all the way up to the Canadian Maritimes as well as the Caribbean during hurricane season, August through November. But that's me.
  8. Yes, United now does have one non-stop from Newark to Venice. No need to add the snarky comment. Its not helpful to anyone.
  9. Just to clear up any confusion: the Nieux Amsterdam is newer than the Zuiderdam, but its not HAL's newest ship. That would be the Nieux Statendam. I'm a bit surprised that cabins are "super limited" a year in advance - especially in the the Med. Unless you're looking at a very unique itinerary, we never book this far out and have always been able to book a cabin that meets our needs. People book and cancel cruises all the time. Are the fares the same? Do the ships embark from the same ports? Is it easier for you to get to one port than another? (For example you can fly non-stop from the U.S. east coast to Barcelona or Rome but not to Venice.) These are some additional points to consider. And finally, if it were me on a 24 day cruise, I would choose a Signature Suite on the Zuiderdam just for the larger cabin and bathroom.
  10. Actually, in most cases, its up to the Harbormaster and not the Captain if the ship can wait for you, regardless of whether you're on a ship's tour or private excursion. Especially if the ship is docked at an active commercial port. And then there's the tides and impending weather. Over the years I have read a few threads here on CC about ships having to leave the port in a HURRY before the excursions got back to the dock. One that comes to mind was a ship in the Med which had to leave in hurry due to high winds, etc. from a storm coming across the Med. Of course, the ship made arrangements for the passengers to be transferred to the next port to meet the ship. But yes, it can and does happen. There is no absolute guarantee that the ship will wait for anyone.
  11. On Valentine's Day of this year Princess was running a $1 deposit promotion for that day. We booked a rather expensive cruise to South America and about a month later we found out we had a scheduling conflict so had to cancel. When DH called to cancel, he generously offered to let Princess keep the deposit. No! They credited the $2 deposit back to our credit card. I imagine HAL will do the same. We just called our PCC to book a Caribbean cruise in December. Surprisingly, she answered the phone (usually we play telephone tag for at least a day) and booked our cruise. We were waiting for Explore 4 this summer. The $1 deposit sealed the deal.
  12. You are missing the point completely. It has nothing to do with one individual discount but the bottom line for the company. Oceania could not stay afloat very long (pun intended) if they chose to sail half full on a routine basis.
  13. This is an outlandish, ridiculous statement. Oceania is owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines which in turn is owned by the Genting Group which is a huge, multi-national, PUBLICLY TRADED resort and gambling company based in Malaysia. They have a fiduciary responsibility to their stockholders and board. They are not a private club who can pick and choose the "right" people. They'll try to fill those cabins anyway they can too - but the discounts don't reach those lower levels and they may be more discreet. I have sailed on Oceania and have been pushed aside in their buffet line as well as being a witness to other rude behavior around the ship. I don't think any cruise line is immune.
  14. On the Vista class ships the self-serve taco bar always reminded me of a breeding ground for "who knows what." I wouldn't touch it regardless of how much I would have like some chips with my "adult beverage."
  15. For me, its the size and spaciousness of the bathroom that makes a signature suite worthwhile, especially with an upgrade. Its really difficult to go back to a standard balcony after enjoying that bathroom!
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