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About Kartgv

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Diego County
  • Interests
    snorkeling, traveling, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCI, Princess, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Australia/New Zealand

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  1. We had one emailed to us when we called to ask about not having received a tour cancellation refund. The person we talked to sent us the copy to prove that it had been credited to our account onboard.
  2. We watched the same thing in Papeete on that cruise several years ago. Our ship sailing was actually delayed because the supply barge was late arriving and unloading. There was a lot of fresh produce, so I doubt the barge came all the way from the US. What impressed me the most was watching security dogs sniffing each pallet, as well as the ship's supply officers very thoroughly checking each one. We saw some pallets rejected.
  3. We had a problem printing boarding passes using a Microsoft Surface and Edge op. system. Called HAL and the agent advised us we had to switch to Internet Explorer. He had a prepared script, so it's apparently a common problem. The switch worked, but it was very annoying to have to activate a different operating system just to print documents.
  4. Just completed our first HAL cruise on the Volendam (15 night Panama Canal from San Diego), previously sailed about 150 days on Princess as well as cruises on Celebrity and RCI. As other have said, there are things we like about the Volendam, others we did not. What we like best about the Volendam: Promenade deck, Crows Nest (a wonderful space - bigger, more comfortable than Skywalkers), more custom-prepared items and served options in the Lido buffet, never any difficulty getting a Lido table even at peak times, wonderful quiet and comfortable seating areas scattered about the ship, much better bar service than our last 2 Princess sailings, public bathrooms with paper seat covers and real towels, a much better pool-side restaurant set-up and better burgers, lovely fresh flower arrangements (orchids on the Lido tables!), very minimal waits for elevators, NO art auctions!!! Negatives for Volendam: For us, the cabin, a Vista Suite - we expected it to be comparable to a Princess Mini-Suite, but it was smaller & darker, with worse storage, bathroom counter space and dark, drab décor. Cost: Volendam was $90/per person/per day more than Club Class on last month's Princess cruise. Food: We thought overall menu variety and food quality has been better on our recent Princess cruises. Desserts (especially the Crème Brule) on Princess are much better. We found many of the food combinations rather odd (Examples: duck breast served on top of stacked creamed spinach, then sweet/sour red cabbage, then a potato/wild rice cake - a truly ugly mess when you tried to eat it - and also a potato/leek soup with prunes!). There is also nothing equivalent to the Princess International Café - there are several periods during the day when nothing is available except room service. The TV set in the cabin was almost a joke - couldn't have been over 18" size with very few options. We're not much into any ship entertainment, so wouldn't choose one over the other. Service staff as well as boarding and disembarkation processes were comparable on both lines. We'll sail HAL again if itinerary and price were right, but would probably try a newer, updated ship.
  5. Since your problem really is more about accommodations than cruising, I'd post your problem on TripAdvisor travel forums. Here's the link to their Dublin forum: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g186605-i90-Dublin_County_Dublin.html And, as others have mentioned, please break your story into paragraphs!
  6. It probably depends on the time of day and weather. We're just off the Volendam and walked the promenade most days around mid-afternoon. Most days the lounges were fully occupied at that time, though there were sometimes single lounges available. The times we walked in the mornings, they were usually available.
  7. It was on the Volendam last week.
  8. No one really 'needs' an outside cabin or balcony, a meal in an up-charge restaurant, or even a beverage package either. Isn't it up to each person to decide for themselves what they need to get the best experience they can for their vacation dollars?
  9. We've had very good experiences in CC but would cut off the acceptable price bump at more like $25-30 extra per person/per day, especially for a longer cruise. We like the exceptional service level and quieter atmosphere, and the extra dishes have been, for the most part, really special. Some of the best pasta dishes we've ever had have been those prepared in the dining room We've never had to wait and it seemed that the entire staff in the dining room gets to know you and your preferences - much better teamwork than we've seen in the MDR.
  10. You do not necessarily sail back to your original starting point on a B2B. We've done Sydney>Perth:Perth>Sydney, but also Southampton>Southampton:Southampton>New York and Los Angeles>Vancouver:Vancouver>Alaska>Vancouver. B2B simply means two cruises, usually on the same ship, with the 2nd one beginning on the same day the 1st one ends. Go to a couple of the large online book agencies, or even a cruise line online website, and do a search for a single cruise ship's sailings without specifying cruise location. The results will usually be in chronological order, allowing you to see potential B2B's.
  11. We did find the shower operation to be somewhat confusing on the Ruby in February, but you should definitely ask your cabin steward to show you all the possible variations. We had trouble getting the right 'happy medium' between very hot and very cool. You should be able to get very cool water if that's what you want.
  12. Adagio is currently performing on the Volendam every night. A few fervent supporters (maybe 50-60 people?) attend every night, but not many.
  13. Don't count on Explorers' Lounge being a quiet place on sea days. On 3 sea days on the Ruby recently, the entire lounge was taken over all day by Art Auctions, leaving very few indoor seating areas available. By the way, we're currently on the HAL Volendam, with many very comfortable indoor seating areas looking out to the sea and NO ART AUCTIONS!
  14. As stated above, the answer is "No'. But...the good news is you really don't need one. There are irons and ironing boards on each passenger deck in the laundry rooms that you can use if you feel it's absolutely necessary. We usually don't bother - we have pretty much eliminated clothes from our wardrobes that really need ironing. Also, fellow passengers aren't going to judge you for a few wrinkles - no one will really notice or care.
  15. All good advice so far. A few more: Pack for 7-10 days and plan on doing or having laundry done. Make sure to pre-pay or set up automatic payments for any bills that will come due while you're gone. Turn off heat and water in your home unless someone will be staying there, unplug appliances. In addition to prescriptions, take plenty of any personal care products and OTC medications you might typically use if you develop a cold, sore throat, aches & pains, etc. - the supplies on ships are typically very limited and very expensive. Plan a way to back up/store photos - you'll have many and may need extra storage capacity. Our longest cruises have been 24, 28, and 34 days and with a little planning they're wonderful experiences. Have a great time!
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