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About 0bnxshs

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    Central Florida
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    Cruising, travel, motorcycling, our mini schnauzers
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    anyplace a 'dam ship is

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  1. I would hazard a guess that those who get checks may have purchased FCDs (or other refundable purchases) on what is now a expired/replaced credit card; those who get the credits on their cards used cards that are still valid for refund purposes at least.
  2. Exactly, so long as you use a traditional method like a brick-and-mortar or online bank or financial institution. The "corner check cashing place" might require more information along with taking a bite out of the check though. However, electronic copies of cashed checks are made available to the payer, so anything you do write on the back can be seen by them, one reason banks have encouraged endorsers NOT to write account numbers on the endorsement block any longer. Bounced checks will also generally incur a charge by the bank. I agree with RuthC, the amount strongly suggests a refund of an expired FCD or two. If you have been doing business with HAL for at least 4 years it seems reasonable to assume you can deposit or cash the checks.
  3. That number has never worked for me. I had to use 206-270-6080 to get it through.
  4. I was just on the Noordam the week of 4 July doing the same itinerary (ports) as you've listed. In Anchorage/Seward, we were on AKDT (GMT -8 hrs). You will stay on this timezone until you have left Ketchikan, heading to Vancouver. The night you leave Ketchikan you should (Noordam did) lose 1 hour and will be on PDT (GMT -7 hrs) and spend your day before disembarkation day on this time. Ship's time and port times were always synchronized. The time on your phone may differ for several reasons as mentioned by others above. You can always go into setting and set the time to manual time update and then set it yourself, but you'll want to remember to return it to the original settings once off the ship. I always have a simple watch to set to ship's time as I leave the ship and take a photo at the gangway so that I can verify all aboard times. Hope you have a great cruise. It was VERY smoggy in Anchorage/Seward from fires, somewhat smoggy in Glacier Bay and Haines when we were there. Juneau and Ketchikan were clear though. Hopefully it's all cleared up when you are there.
  5. Frank, I absolutely agree with you about this; the ship wasn't informed by Seattle that there was an oversold situation and they really dropped the ball. To add insult to injury, they don't seem to care. The key to getting bags on the bus, or "direct to bus" as the program was identified to us, is the CBSA form. As you didn't get one, the result was 11 upset guests wandering around Canada Place with their bags. HAL should have been sensitive to you with this very legitimate complaint. I would very much hold the same attitude as you under the same circumstances. You mentioned another thing that I agree with; the only thing HAL is becoming more consistent about is inconsistent service. There seems to be a very noticeable lack of focus on the "paying customer" from HAL. I wonder if it's CCL wide?
  6. Captain Draper simply stood with Mark Pells at the head table during the toast by the Entertainment Director. I then watched as he casually chatted for several minutes with those around him, including guests. As I was surprised he did not speak I watched as he and Mark strolled to the entrance of the MDR where he continued to chat with guests waiting to enter for regular lunch. Perhaps he had something more important to attend to but there was no sense of urgency in his step or manner. His noon position report was delayed until nearly 12:30 which was fairly consistent with when he left the MDR. I'm not criticizing him and I've never sailed with him before, I'm only making note of differences I'm seeing over the several years I've sailed with HAL. This particular one was a first for me.
  7. I was just a bit surprised and disappointed that neither of them said anything and barely seemed interested in greeting Mariners as they entered the MDR, somberly nodding as they stood shoulder to shoulder as if at a funeral. Perhaps there was a reason to behave thusly we didn't know about. I expect it does get old but, they choose the profession.... ..🤷‍♂️
  8. Captain was Henk Draper. HD was Mark Pells.
  9. HAL passengers are not "cleared" by USCBP before arriving at the border, we answered CBSA customs form questions and then the luggage was sealed. The 2 agencies "cooperate" with each other for border crossings; the driver said he's had a couple of crossings since driving for the program where everything is unloaded and checked but none this season so far.
  10. I think a Signature Suite may be bigger but verandah a bit shallower. Check halfacts.com for photos of both. Might give you an idea.
  11. LOL Jacqui..... it was my daughter Amy and I who were on this cruise, not Deb and I. CD was Towanna Stone who disappeared about halfway through the cruise. I saw her leaving in Juneau and there was no replacement before we debarked. Mark was the HD. I spoke to him briefly (he remember the "Sailaway Gang") but not the right time for questions about the above.
  12. I could have inquired further about all this I know and perhaps should have. However, I didn't want to get too fussy as my DD was with me as sort of a "de-compression vacation" so didn't want to spoil it for her by getting frustrated. We had a nice upgrade to a SS suite. She and I had taken her first cruise 10 years earlier on the old Statendam on the north bound Vancouver to Seward cruise and so it was sort of a "let's do it again" 10 years later cruise. We had a nice time and just let these little things stack up for the survey rather than being unsettled during the cruise. Nothing by itself was too big an issue, just the accumulation of them. BTW, the HD was Mark Pells from our Westerdam "Sailaway Gang" Panama Canal cruise.
  13. Just back from the Noordam where we took both the HAL Anchorage airport to Seward shuttle and the HAL Vancouver to Seatac shuttle. Both were pleasant, easy and on time. We had been told that because we booked our hotel in Anchorage independently, we would have to go to the Egan Convention Center instead of the airport for our transfer to Seward. No biggie but because I booked a hotel (Fairfield Inn & Suites Midtown) with a free shuttle to and from the airport, I asked the HAL rep in bag claim about it and she told me I could go to either the convention center or the airport. Next morning, DD and I arrived back at bag claim and were on the first bus to Seward. Checked luggage was given over upon arrival at the airport to HAL and it magically appeared in our cabin later that day. The bus was comfortable and it took a bit over 3 hours to make the transit to Seward. Lots of road construction along the Seward Highway as it is that season. Just like 'frankc98376' describes above for a "normal" Vancouver to Seatac transfer, we filled out a CBSA form our 2d day and turned it in to the front desk for the "Direct to Bus" service. We placed our bags out like everyone else on the night before disembarkation. On disembarkation day, we waited in the Vista Lounge until our color was called so we could tromp down the "glass alley" to our bus, completely separate from others. No Canadian customs check beyond the form filled out earlier. We boarded our large coach bus for the 3 & 1/4 hour ride to Seatac with our checked luggage already placed in the sealed storage underneath. We were 20 minutes at USCBP at the border where our passports/entry documents were collected by a customs agent and taken inside. Once returned, off we went. Interestingly, while we waited, we watched as a "Quick Shuttle" bus was unloaded, all luggage and passengers taken inside who then, one by one, began to exit with their luggage again to return it to the storage under their bus. We were told that USCBP can, at their discretion, search any bus, passenger and sealed luggage compartment they wish and I guess it was "Quick Shuttle's" turn. We were also told that, so far this season, no HAL arranged bus had been unloaded by USCBP. Strangely, experiences seem to be more and more inconsistent with HAL. I would do this again with HAL in a heartbeat but can understand Roz's frustration with her experience. YMMV too.
  14. Yes, we went to both the Medallion ceremony and lunch. We stayed for the entire lunch. The Entertainment Director did the toast as neither the HD or Master spoke a word at the lunch although both were present. There were no tiles at the tables, exit, brought in and left anyplace and by the time we left the MDR was filled with the lunch crowd. I didn't bother going to or calling the front desk, half thinking they may be in our cabins, but will mention it in the survey and may call the Mariner Society. Overall, this cruise seemed to be a vaguely dysfunctional one. Room stewards, wait staff and bar service were at their usual high levels but I still feel things are changing even more for the worst.
  15. Yes, I'm well aware that pressing has always been included with laundry, I've even had handkerchiefs come back pressed. I was told that certain garments are no longer pressed including what they consider to be mens casual shirts, mens chino/khaki pants among other things. My survey will include comments about the several odd changes, perhaps related to Noordam only, but this will be included.
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