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About kwb101

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  1. We had a lanai on Maasdam (Veendam's sister ship), two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, be aware that it takes a bit of strength to open the sliding door to the Lower Promenade deck, as well as either a bit of strength to hold it open long enough to go through, or the ability to move fairly quickly, or both. My good wife and I are about 6', but the door was daunting at times. Also, you will have to carry a second keycard for that slider, separate from your standard HAL ship's card. I would describe the stateroom as cozy, since it's slightly smaller than a standard OV on the same deck (the door mechanism takes up about 6 inches across that end of the cabin). Still, the door to the deck and reserved deck chairs made all the difference. Enjoy!
  2. I can tell you specifically that Firefox works fine (at least version 68.2.0 does). One question: can you view Adobe Reader pdf files from other sites in your browser? If not, you may be missing a plugin that allows this. Good luck!
  3. We were on Maasdam during April and May 2018, from San Diego to Boston. At least one-quarter of the passengers disembarked in Fort Lauderdale, so things were much quieter...and it was $100 cheaper for the extra five days. We made one stop in Charleston, and it was all very relaxing...especially because we were going to visit our kids and their families (eight, count 'em, eight grandchildren) in NY and NJ, so the sea days were most welcome.
  4. We'll be ending a voyage in Quebec City next month, and our boarding passes also show a 5am disembark time. Woe is us.
  5. From the confirmation for our last voyage (on Maasdam in May: "Complimentary shipboard gratuities" "Prepaid gratuities (Hotel Service Charges) - Holland America Line pre-pays room gratuities on behalf of guests. Gratuities for bar, dining room wine accounts, or spa/salon services are not included." Call it tips if you'd like, but it's clear what it covers, and what it doesn't.
  6. Sorry, I wasn't clear: we tried to get a box lunch for each of us the day of our Tundra tour, but they were sold out. We had the chance to order the day before, but didn't. If we had, we'd have picked it up the morning of the tour. The sandwich we did get was fresh, just not what we wanted, although we tend to eat just about anything. The snack box had several yummy items in small quantities, but not enough for a meal, and with quite a bit of starch and carbs. Hope this helps.
  7. A caution on getting a lunch on Tundra Wilderness Tour day: if you decide to get a box lunch (or just a sandwich) at the coffee bar at the lodge, be sure to order the day before. We didn't, and got sick with a less-than-mediocre vegetarian sandwich. The snack box on the bus was tasty, but no substitute for a box lunch.
  8. It's not much of a walk to Prospector's, maybe 150 yards from the main building, straight across the highway (and there's a traffic light to help you cross). We liked it: the clientele looked like mostly locals, not tourists like us, and lots of historical photos on the walls.
  9. Karstens is probably about 100 yards downhill (and a fairly good grade) from the main building. There is a shuttle that runs around the property that will take you to both. (This is based on my experience from two years ago.) Prospector's Pizza is directly across the highway from the main building, and their food is pretty good. We enjoyed the elk meatball and reindeer sausage pizza. Happy trails!
  10. You may well be able to play CDs, but the speakers on the flat-panel TV leave much to be desired. Nonetheless, enjoy!
  11. But isn't that the point in buying a package? Imagine the cost (and inconvenience if you were able to assemble your own. Years ago, HAL offered some options on the Alaska tours (adding nights at a couple of the hotels, or different day-long excursions) but stopped doing that after a short time, probably because it was a logistical nightmare.
  12. We were on Maasdam in May, and I'm pretty sure they just play standard DVDs. The TV is standard definition, rather like watching a movie through a screen door :( I can post pics of them, if you're interested.
  13. Unless I missed it, no one has mentioned that HAL owns Westmark, so I'm pretty sure you don't have a choice of lodging on any of their Alaska or Yukon land trips. We stayed in six of their eight locations two years ago, and found them off varying quality. They were clearly purchased piecemeal, so they're all different, with no consistency. McKinley Chalet in Denali had just been refurbished, and the rooms were nice, especially with the Nenana River behind most of the buildings. Fairbanks was by far the nicest (it's the convention center hotel). Whitehorse was the poorest of the lot, and the restaurant wasn't very good (we were there only about 15 hours, fortunately). Skagway was almost quaint, and espresso was made in shot glasses. Overall, it wasn't a stellar experience, but the rooms were clean and quiet, and restaurants and services at all of them were within close walking distance.
  14. I suggest you tell your steward not to bother, but I think many of us enjoy the whimsy, so please don't ruin it for us.
  15. We have seen the steward making the day's critter, and the towels are in a container under the bed. We move them off the bed and put them on a flat surface to admire. They've always been reused the next night. On Maasdam in May, we noticed (in port) yp that a couple of OV cabins had one or more towel creations on their windowsills.
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