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terrydtx

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About terrydtx

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    San Antonio Texas
  • Interests
    wine tasting sailing and scuba
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe and Hawaii

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  1. I have cruised on both HAL and NCL, but not on the Escape or the Veendam. I would have to agree with what you say for just comparing both lines head to head. Because NCL has so many specialty restaurants, that they want passengers to pay extra for, their MDR is very much inferior to HAL's MDR in both service and food quality. I think overall NCL's specialty restaurants are not much better than HAL's MDR. That is just my opinion as food is so subjective, but I also like the smaller size of HAL's fleet.
  2. Great advice, we booked our cruise for next September in September 2018 in a PV1 cabin. At that time the PV2 and PV3 were already sold out. We got one of the last 2 PV1 cabins. By December 2018 the cruise was 100% sold out. We also booked just before Viking changed their policy about paying in full for the cruise 12 months prior, our final payment date in in March next year, 6 months out.
  3. First time cruise with Viking. We leave on Sept 21 2020. The airlines are just now opening for our departure and return air and I have some questions. We paid the extra fee to get Viking Air Plus to pick our flights and airlines. 1) How long to do we have to wait until Viking Air can book our flights. My TA says Viking will not book until Nov 27, but the Airlines are now within the booking window, 330 days, and why is Viking having to wait. 2) Can Viking book the departure on Business Class and the return on Premium Economy? 3) Does Viking book air at the current fares online or can they actually save us on the cost? When we have used HAL and Celebrity Air for business class they are usually way under published airlines pricing. When we booked the cruise last year Viking had a guaranteed Business class fare of $4250pp. Now that the airlines are open we are seeing RT Business at $3500 or so. Doing Business over and PE on the return we see pricing around $2800pp 4) Are American and United included in the Viking preferred air partners? Thank you for any help and answers.
  4. I guess I read your post wrong I thought you meant that Red Lobster left Toronto too. The same ownership also owns Longhorn Steak House. Just down the road from our home here in San Antonio there is a Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Longhorn Steak House all sharing the same parking lot. I have been here almost 6 years and have never eaten at any of them.
  5. Olive Garden and Red Lobster are owned by the same company. Here in the US they are often side by side. That my be why they both left Toronto at the same time.
  6. I wouldn't be caught dead in any Olive Garden, just average Americanized Italian food. I found Canaletto to be as good as some of the better meals we had in Italy last year on our 14 day land tour.
  7. My wife doesn't like real spicy foods but she loved the wasabi tenderloin. I thought it wasn't over strong but all tastes are not the same.
  8. We had dinner one night at the Canaletto on the Noordam in July the food was excellent. My favorite was the Oso Bucco. BTW I think the Tamarind is the best specialty restaurant of any cruise line we have been on. The wasabi crusted tenderloin steak is better than any steak in the Pinnacle Grill.
  9. That free lobster on Gala Night is hardly anything to brag about. A 4oz lobster tail, often over cooked and tasteless, can not be compared to the whole cold water lobster offered for an extra fee in the MDR. It is nice that it is an option, if you are willing to pay the extra charge. I wonder how many ever order the Tomahawk steak? I didn't see any on our cruise in July, but I saw a couple of lobsters being served. BTW I didn't order either but the MDR food I found to be very good for the most part.
  10. I am in the water filtration business and you are correct the tap water on a cruise ship is much better than ours at home. I will not drink tap water on land but I do drink it at sea on a cruise ship. The cruise industry has been under a lot of pressure from environmentalist groups to eliminate or reduce plastic bottle use at sea. This may be why HAL is eliminating the bottle water packages to purchase onboard. We bought the 6 bottle package in July on the Noordam and for $24 is was much easier than trying to bring onboard with us.
  11. Sounds like the terrible comedian we had on the Noordam in July. She made jokes about the day of the week carpets and having scooter races on the Lido deck. I found her comedy to be insulting too. Fortunately HAL entertainment is not the reason we sail with HAL. The whole week we only made one show and it was this terrible comedian.
  12. On the Noordam this past July and the Mariner brunch was in the MDR on our second sea day by invitation from the Captain. There is no longer a Mariner welcome lunch on the day of embarkation in the MDR, the MDR is open to any passenger. This was one Mariner benefit that went away in the last few years.
  13. Absolutely you can. All drinks are buy first get second for $2. Great happy hour. Enjoy your first HAL cruise.
  14. We were on the Noordam in July for an Alaska cruise. We had Anytime dinning and walked into the MDR between 6:30 and 7:00 every night with no wait for a table. We asked for a table to share and met some very interesting people. If you insist on a table for two you might have to wait but there were plenty of the larger seating tables available. BTW we hate fixed dinning because 5:30 is way too early to eat and 8:00 is way too late. We prefer to begin at the 6:30 to 7:00 time. BTW because of the late sun sets in Alaska we always asked for a table by the window and got accommodated every night and had fantastic views out the stern windows.
  15. Our last flight from FLL was at 9:45, we walked off the N. Amsterdam at 7:30 and we were at the airport by 8am. So I would guess you are safe going off in the regular groups.
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