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About knittinggirl

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About Me

  • Location
    West Texas
  • Interests
    Travel, Knitting, Needlepoint, Reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. We did Fabulosa performance.
  2. You don't want to drop ALL your luggage at the pier. It's a good idea to keep your paperwork, medicine, and any other necessities with you. I think wine should also be in your carry-ons.
  3. We've used the riverboat discovery salmon from Fairbanks. We took an excursion eleven years ago, had some shipped to us, and have been using them ever since. If you buy it onboard and fly home, there may be TSA issues. At the time, they asked all of us if we had cans of salmon in our carry-ons. Don't understand their problem, because, that salmon isn't a liquid.
  4. Up until our last trip to Alaska, I would have said we had smooth water. We've been on 9 Alaska cruises. But the last one had Beaufort 8 one one of the days. We were late getting out of Vancouver and the captain chose to hit the ocean instead of spending most of the time in protected waters. If you're worried about getting seasick, pick a location in the middle of the ship. We're doing Cape Horn next year, so we opted for a midship room. Usually on scenic cruising days, we'll try for an aft.
  5. Once the soda fountain value card balance gets below $25, be sure to use it up, because you won't get a refund.
  6. We had two ports removed from our Canada/New England to Fort Lauderdale, and they lowered the cruise fare and offered us some OBC. But that was before they sold the Prinsendam. I strongly considered cancelling because we hadn't done their cancelled ports.
  7. On some of the smaller ships (Rotterdam, Veendam, etc) you need to book at least a Vista Suite to get any type of private balcony. Coming from Royal Caribbean's Junior Suites, the Signature Suite is the closest equivalent. We've never EVER gotten an upgrade, but were offered a few upsales from Vista to Neptune on Voyage of the Vikings. Unfortunately, their offer was still too high for our budget. I'd suggest doing a search for your preferred itinerary. They check out the Inside stateroom price compared to other cruises w/ that itinerary & date. Any type of suite should start at 3 to 4 times the cost of the Inside.
  8. We've done the Quebec to FLL and Montreal to FLL once. We had an aft corner room on the Serenade of the Seas. In the Saint Lawrence River area the water was smooth both times, but in the ocean the swells picked up. In our corner aft room, we cruised during the time they had the storm Patricia that went from Acapulco and we went through the remnants after it went through the US. That was the first time we saw them put out the sea sick pills at Guest Relations, and of course the sea sick bags were in the elevator stairwells. Once we returned from breakfast, we pretty much stuck to our room, ordered room service for lunch (something unusual for us). It was one of those days where you wanted to keep a hand out to grab something in case the ship lurched. Don't know what the Beaufort was, that day. The second repositioning wasn't too bad. Some rocking, we had a room that time just outside the forward elevators on the Veendam. On the other side, w/ the aft wrap, we got some nice views in ports.
  9. Coming from Vancouver to Seattle cruise we had an easy disembark. But it's a long ride from cruise port to airport. We've had weird lines at the Seatac. Once we had a forever line just to get to our transfer bus that took us to the ship, then we got in a traffic jam. TSA is horrible w/ long lines going back and forth four or five times before finally getting to the identification check. Even with TSA pre-check, they sent us down a long hallway to another gate. (Something similar happened at DFW last fall. Those seasonal events do cause traffic delays. Once we had a Grand Prix in Baltimore, and took forever to go a few miles to our post-cruise hotel. We were happy we didn't need to make a flight until the next day. Also, once we had the ship in Seattle lose our luggage, because it got sorted into the valet batch by mistake. It went to the airport w/o us and sent back to port later, then shipped to us. Flights are also getting fickle recently. Twice now, we've had to stay overnight in Dallas, because we couldn't get a good connection. We try to get a minimum of two hours when flying domestic. Has helped us in the past. Once we were in St. Louis, and had to return to the gate due to a medical emergency. Then the plane had to refuel, causing more delays. Others really freaked out about missed flights, but we knew we had that two hour connection. While these annoyances have happened over several different cruise lines and ships. they still happen. Therefore, we usually book a post-cruise night somewhere. That way we are able to get a better choice of flights. We also book a pre-cruise night.
  10. I think it's good to get two rooms. I hear those sofa beds are hard on the back. My parents booked us on a Panama Canal for their fiftyth, and they arranged it so we had two people in each mini-suite. We've done Concierge Class on Celebrity (balcony w/ benefits) and found it cramped for two people. Signature suites have two sinks, so that's a plus, but I think a signature suite would cost more than two verandas. If you're doing Alaska, it's a good idea to have a balcony, so you're not competing at outer deck space during scenic cruise day. We've taken to getting room service for breakfast on scenic cruising days.
  11. We got our hotel at the Residence Bayfront last time, but this time they were asking for over $400 per night, so we moved to a cheaper Residence. I mentioned the Residence Bayfront, it's a wonderful hotel w/in sight of the pier. But I think our taxi driver may have not taken the most direct route, because we seemed to make a lot of turns. Not sure about Ensenada. Royal Caribbean used to get a bus from San Diego to Ensenada for embarkation, and we heard the bus got robbed. Some cruises do a port of call in Ensenada to comply with the Passenger Vessels Services Act.
  12. Never seen root beer on a cruise ship. We did have a lady in our knitting group pick up Pepsi at one of the ports of call, so I'd think you could pick up a six-pack. I got the impression that after two weeks on the ship, she wanted HER pepsi. Would you be able to drink the entire six-pack before disembarkation? We prefer root beer, but simply go without on cruises. Root beer may also be something to order in a restaurant at a port of call. They won't let you slap on a luggage tag and try to check it, because they're worried about leakage if they stack something heavy on it. Were not too impressed with Seward the one time we visited. There's no covered gangplank from check-in building to ship. We had to walk out in the elements in the pouring rain. People were standing in line to board right by the ship. Long wait for the crew to help w/ wheelchairs, so I just limped onboard. On the way out of the ship in the morning (we took the ship up to Seward then back down to Vancouver), our shuttle drove past several people dragging their luggage from wherever they were supposed to meet the shuttle. There was a fair distance between the shuttle pick up and the ship, and our bus driver said they didn't want to wait. It's important to hand-carry your camera stuff. I had my camera bag in the cargo section of a transfer bus, and the porter pulled it out before I could retrieve it and started dumping heavy stuff on top it. I always put luggage tags on everything, even the stuff I plan to hand carry. If it gets left in a cab, you may have a very small chance of it arriving on the ship. I heard in San Francisco of a lady that left a bag w/ a tag in her taxi, and it made it to the ship anyway. While it it possible for you to drag a wheelie up the ramp w/ an accessory bag on the handle and your knapsack on your back. It IS a pretty steep gangplank.
  13. The aft elevators were working back in October. One thing to realize w/ those older ships. We'd sailed on the Serenade of the Seas from Quebec City to Fort Lauderdale. Everything seemed great in the northern half of the trip, but on the southern half, one of the cocktail waitresses mentioned her air conditioning being broken, and they didn't notice it until it got warmer. Our room was fine though.
  14. After you board, be sure to visit the Future Cruises desk. That's where you get the Onboard credit for your next cruise.
  15. We had 002 on the Navigation deck and boarded in Montreal. Just wanted to mention it, because we walked across the gangplank, and the elevators were right there, took one up to deck 10, and our room was right there too. Easiest embarkation ever! Long walk to dining though, but it's a small ship.
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