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ldlewis45

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About ldlewis45

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Houston, TX
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL, Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Bermuda and Funchal, Madeira

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  1. Good for Key West. I'll admit, I never saw the point of spending over $1000 for a cruise that stops in Florida, of all places. When I lived in Florida, I always told people, "I live in Florida, why in God's name would I spend money to take a cruise that stops here? The whole point of taking a cruise is to get away!" But, that's also why I've never taken a New England cruise or a California coast cruise. I've never really seen the point, since I take cruises to visit locations to which I can't drive (Alaska, Europe, Caribbean, etc.).
  2. I agree! I've sailed in the same deck 5 corner aft Neptune Suite (5190) twice to Alaska on the Oosterdam. The deep, covered balcony is fantastic! I just booked a transatlantic from Barcelona to Ft. Lauderdale for next year in a deck 5 aft balcony (5189) on the Westerdam. I had been waivering on booking the cruise, but when I saw that one of the deck 5 aft balcony staterooms was available, I had to jump on it. It's perfect for cold or potentially cool weather.
  3. Yeah, the cabin I wound up getting is an west-facing balcony on the 5th level, 5189. On the Oosterdam, which has the same layout as this ship, I had the suite that's directly next to it, and the balcony is about 15 feet deep and completely covered. I'm absolutely looking forward to it! With booking through Big Box, I not only get $75 shipboard credit with the FCD, I get a $310 store card.
  4. Actually, I was disappointed in the HAL rep I spoke to when I called to get more info. She was pretty clueless about the product and disinterested in selling the cruise and I had to pry information out of her.
  5. Okay, so after research and calling HAL, the prices for the apples-to-apples comparison is the same as booking through HAL, EXCEPT for the store card, which is worth $310 for the room I'm wanting. Now I have to decide whether it's worth booking a balcony or not.
  6. When I was pricing out the ones on the BigBoxCo website, it clearly indicated that the less expensive option had fewer perks and a nonrefundable deposit. But even with the more expensive option with perks, packages, and refundable deposit, the price was comparable or cheaper than the price on the HAL website that didn't seem to come with any perks at all. (Or at least, they weren't indicated as being included on my hold.)
  7. Thanks, everyone! That's exactly what I was hoping to hear. I'll still need to call HAL and see if there are any other specials going on that can't be obtained online. But most likely, if I decide to book, it'll be through the BigBoxCo, as their price is definitely cheaper than booking directly with HAL, even not considering the store card.
  8. I'm looking into booking a transatlantic cruise from Barcelona next October/November. I am looking at possibly booking through a well-known big-box store travel program, as their price is very good. I also have a Future Cruise Certificate that I bought while on board my cruise to Alaska last year. Previously, I've always used my FCCs directly with the cruise line, so can anyone tell me if they can be used when booking with the big-box store? The store's website isn't very clear, as it seems to be primarily referencing COVID-19 credits.
  9. If you like seafood, definitely go to Rudi's Sel de Mer! It's one night only, but it was incredible and definitely worth the price! Also, there is lunch offered at the Pinnacle Grill, which is a nice change from the buffet.
  10. You will LOVE 5190! We had that one booked for our 2017 Alaska cruise, and managed to get it again for our Sept 1 Alaska cruise this year. The balcony is flat-out AMAZING and almost ridiculously massive. Just be careful not to lock yourself out on the balcony! We accidentally did that during our Hubbard Glacier day and had to yell to one of the other balconies, so that they could get the attention of our steward, lol.
  11. From "behind the scenes" tours I've taken, and from having to board ships for work, the medical centers onboard aren't meant for much beyond basic first aid. I mean, CPR, attempts at resuscitation if someone stops breathing, attempting to keep someone alive long enough for transport to shore, sure. But extended care or diagnostics, nope. It's like a triage center. Can something be fixed by a bandage or some anti-emetics, or is it something that needs to be taken to shore?
  12. You misunderstood my post. I never compared the quality of a Carnival cruise to the quality of an MSC cruise. I was basically saying that, just as I have to do with Carnival, I was going to have to strongly weigh what I was likely to experience on MSC versus the cost of the cruise to determine if it was worth the price. I had a very good time on my MSC cruises, and I'm likely to take one again. I'm just not likely to take it if I have to pay a premium to do so, and that's looking more likely as their prices rise for the US market, and not if I'm looking for more time in certain ports. The
  13. Hope the wifi works in your stateroom. Mine didn't. I bought the 6 GB internet package in advance, since I do a lot of online reading, but wound up only being able to use it when I wasn't in my room. My stateroom was just off the forward elevators, too, not in some far-aft or far-forward location, so it was fairly ridiculous.
  14. For me, I have to say that I would have to weigh the cost of the cruise against what I've experienced on MSC, to decide whether to cruise with them again. I consider them to be similar to Carnival, to be honest, not in terms of the cruise itself, but the irritation of dealing with them. I LIKE Carnival, but I don't think Carnival is worth a premium price, so I'm only willing to spend up to a certain amount on a cruise with them. I like MSC. The food was rather good, especially in the buffet (although, I thought their steakhouse wasn't worth the expense). Some of the drinks are good, if I
  15. I just got off my second cruise on the Seaside this past Saturday, also having cruised with multiple other lines. I can definitely see where the OP is coming from, as both of my Seaside cruises had issues, too. If anything is an issue, expect multiple trips to guest services to get it corrected. On my 1st Seaside cruise last year, they charged my account for something I hadn't bought, and it took 2 trips to guest services to get it removed (and having to argue to both people I spoke with that, no, I didn't make the purchase and yes, I'm absolutely sure I didn't make the purchase, and that N
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