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About SilvertoGold

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    Cruising with HAL
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  1. Some thoughts: So, ZPM is likely gone, too? As for OBC, HAL has been offering some with proms lately. Hmm. I noticed a big box Canadian company that used to give OBC on a sliding scale in respect to how much you spent on the cruise. Now, I notice that the credit amount (as a gift card) is for spending in their stores, not on HAL. This new formula for the FCC "punishes" pax for booking higher categories. Everyone is now equal. How good is that? :)
  2. Not really sweet. I prefer the creamy ones, but some like the ones without cream because they are very fruit-forward. As noted, these are not something you get every day and there is appeal in that. HAL's regular soups have been demoted to a tablespoon or two (rarely two) of veg and/or meat and a lot of broth. Not worth the bother, so the chilled fruit soups hold even more appeal.
  3. I wonder if HAL will honour the "old" amounts?
  4. First night, last night: there can be problems with staff turn-over. Staff getting ready to disembark or staff just onto the ship can make a difference to the kitchen. We've had good and bad on embarkation day, terrible for lunch on last day. We now avoid these days.
  5. We have special ordered them a couple of times. No problems with doing that the night before.
  6. We walk the many neigbourhoods. You will likely dock right near the old town area. The Alfama hills, right across the street, are wonderful to wander about in, lots of churches, cafes. The main part of town is within easy walking distance: Chiado for shopping, Baixa for architecture and bakeries! Bus to Belem (close to the ship), for the historic sites, is easy and cheap. A map and you're off!
  7. Agree. Sockeye is the best of the salmon you can get in Alaska.
  8. We stick with Pacific smoked mostly because we find the Atlantic not as robust a taste. Those waves weren't really bad. A fair amount of movement but it was quite smooth movement. The wind made walking the deck quite tricky, though. We deviated the course to sail through Unimak Straight to escape the storms and it was fine.
  9. Glad to steer you away from the smoked salmon, just to name one item, on board. Even at 50% off preposterously expensive, compared to on shore. Taku Cannery in Juneau (google: taku store) is very good, great variety. Take a look at some of the fancier shops in Juneau. You can tell just by looking at the window displays which ones are special. Love that cruise, done it twice. Noordam? Hope you have calm seas and not the 25 foot ones we've had, with Force 11 winds.
  10. Spirit pricing is good. Be aware that onboard Alaska merchandise is very expensive. This is just what we personally shop for but we always buy our smoked salmon in Ketchikan and other items in some of the excellent shops in Juneau. There is quite a variety of shopping and some very nice higher-end ones with unique items. I would not wait until late in the cruise to make the purchases onboard. Hope your group has a great time!
  11. The Rotterdam has a great laundry, fast and efficient. I have never had any problems with fragrance on any HAL ship. Beware HAL's bar soap: very strongly scented (to me). I use the bath gel (much lighter fragrance). Enjoy this lovely ship!
  12. If Tamarind took over the Club HAL area (The Loft, too?), would they put in a kitchen up there? Use the Lido kitchen? Most interesting idea!
  13. Your TA will be happy to use them for you.
  14. I can see the tour company wanting to go with HAL. It is often said that HAL goes 50/50 on these shorex prices, so the tour company would be making a lot more selling to HAL.
  15. Excellent. Small but a nice location. Glad you got a deal!
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