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About RuthC

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    Warwick, R.I. , USA
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    travel; music; reading
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  1. There is no valid reason. The only possible reason is that this is a Noah's Ark world, and it is still acceptable to discriminate against solos. One thing solos can do is double up with anyone who is willing to see the advantage of doing so. I am not opposed to asking people on the roll call, or even those standing in line to book a package, if they want to go in together on it with me. You don't have to go together, or even see each other again during the cruise. I am even willing to pay the other person my share in cash, and let them have the full value toward a Mariner Day. That should be a pretty good incentive to pair up right there.
  2. According to reports from some of the posters on the current World Cruise, the self-service laundries are still on board that ship. Now, whether or not they remain after the next refurbishment, remains to be seen.
  3. Stewards are primarily (if not entirely) from Indonesia and Philippines. Their wages are subject to income tax; their gratuities are not.
  4. I'm not sure which itinerary that route is, so I have no idea how to find any report I may have done on it. However, I have been to Norway more times than I can count, including several times to Honningsvag, so perhaps I can help there (sorry to derail the thread, OP). Yes, it is 'cool' in Honningsvag---in more than one sense of the word! The temperature can be pleasantly warm, chilled, or absolutely frigid with the strong wind. Be prepared for anything. In another sense, there is (or at least was; I don't know if it's still there) a really 'cool' ice bar that I thought was a lot of fun. The sail by North Cape is also pretty 'cool'.
  5. Whether it's opt-out or opt-in makes no difference in how it is considered for tax purposes. It is treated as a gratuity by the stewards' home countries, and is therefore exempt from income tax. Wages paid by HAL is taxable.
  6. IIRC, we returned to the ship sometime mid-late afternoon; your 3:30 sounds about right. I headed to my cabin, dropped off anything I needed for the tour, and headed back out to go to the Red Dog, and a couple of nearby shops. I have been to Juneau several times, and knew exactly what I was looking to purchase. The Tracy Arm tour is a good one. As a matter of fact, I booked the cruise for the sole purpose of taking that tour. Glad I did. The scenery is peaceful, stunningly beautiful. I loved getting so close to the glaciers at the end, as the larger cruise ship can't get anywhere near as close. The glaciers are much more impressive when you are in a smaller boat, close up, and right at sea level.
  7. I would choose one or the other excursion, but not both in the same day. The Tracy Arm excursion is a long day for your elderly parents. To feel rushed when you get back, and take off again for another long-ish tour would be too much for me, I know. The Tracy Arm catamaran will bring you back to the ship; when I took the tour we disembarked directly from the boat to the ship, without touching land. There was food/snacks available on the boat. Why not return to the ship, relax, then take a walk around downtown Juneau. Perhaps stop in the Red Dog Saloon, get something sweet at the Alaska Fudge Company, check out some of the shops. I am not a shopper, but I do always enjoy looking when I'm in Juneau. Just soak up the atmosphere. Or, see the town early, then head out on the helicopter tour in stronger daylight.
  8. Yes, absolutely. That's how I checked the evening menu, and various other info, on my last Prinsendam cruise.
  9. Probably. You have to be checked in 90 minutes before departure, so as long as 1.) the tour doesn't come back late, and 2.) you are back in time for muster drill, you will be all right. What time is muster? Is there time to check in, leave your luggage, and maybe drop off your carry-ons, then go back out for the tour? That would help speed things along. You'll also want time to unpack at some point, so figure that in, too. Have a great time in The Great Land.
  10. Consider, too, the ships, as they are not at all alike. I presume you mean the Nieuw Statendam, as the Statendam left the fleet a few years ago. The Veendam is one of the smallest ships, and one of the oldest, in the fleet. The Nieuw Statendam is the largest and newest. They are very different, with very different experiences. The Veendam is more traditional in style, while the Nieuw Statendam is contemporary. Activity on the Veendam is quiet, and more low-key, while the Nieuw Statendam has much more activity. There are more specialty restaurants on the Nieuw Statendam. I don't know which ship is doing which itinerary, but personally, I would prefer the second itinerary, but would also prefer the Veendam over the Nieuw Statendam.
  11. Was the "Privacy Please" sign in your door key slot? If so, they are not supposed to knock on your door. To do so would be a violation of their own policy. They can call you, but not knock on the door. Had they called, at least there would have been an opportunity to resolve the situation without you needing to get up. In any case, it was poor judgment disturbing you at a late hour. I hope they learned their lesson.
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