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Everything posted by RuthC

  1. I've done the HAL 14-day Alaska cruise three times, and would happily do it again. It is so much better than any of the 7-day cruises! It goes to ports not visited as often, and gives you a better feel for the real Alaska than the southeast tourist towns do. Hubbard Glacier is much more active than any of the glaciers in Glacier Bay; it is also much, much larger. It is wide, high, and very blue. You will see, hear, and feel the calving. Do take the catamaran excursion if it's offered. Or take a zodiac excursion if you are able to.
  2. Guessing Dog Drool is talking about an S-class ship. There is a passenger deck below Main on those ships (as well as on the R-class ships).
  3. One time I was approaching the first lounger, but two women were ahead of me. I watched each of them dropp their 'stuff' on the first two loungers, and hardly breaking stride continued on to take a walk. Since walking was so painful for me, even walking to the third lounger was too much. So, I took the things off the first lounger and moved it over. If you're going to claim a chair, sit.
  4. Near the atrium there are some offices, so the space on the outside is public seating. There is railing across the walkway there. There are also outside cabins next to the doorways. The loungers in front of those cabins are public, too. I have sat out there on public loungers and not seen anyone else sitting out many, many times.
  5. It's more likely that disembarkation of the passengers and the succeeding embarkation will be on the same day. How does your confirmation read? That will tell you which day is turnover day. Other than that, your turnover day will be exactly like any other port day. You can remain on the ship, leave and return as you please, whatever you wish just so long as you are back by all-aboard time.
  6. Self-disembarkation generally begins about 7:30, give or take 15 minutes. Tag colors/numbers start about 15 minutes later, organized by on-going arrangements. People with earlier flights get the earlier disembarkation times; those with later flights, the later times. Those without time sensitive arrangements are later than those with a deadline. Final call is generally about 9:30-9:45; I have heard it more than once.
  7. Chargerback should replace it at no additional charge. You can get a brand new device out of the deal! I hope this was a travel size CPAP, and you have a full size one to use at home.
  8. Good idea when I find another cruise I am particularly interested in on Viking. I'll read through the forum and get a real feel for it before I do that, too. A while back Viking posted a cruise I was drooling over; I think it leaves this January. It's up the coast of Norway, and looking for the Northern Lights. Isn't this the cruise that started last year, and the ship got in a lot of trouble? People were rescued from the ship before power was restored? That stopped the drooling faster than fast.
  9. Isn't that a good question. It would be nice if they did any of those.
  10. This is wonderful news to me! I need the scooter on the ship, and can sometimes use it in port, if in a place where I just want to 'walk' around. I can't take a scooter on a HAL bus tour, either, so that's a wash. I can get on/off a bus, so long as the bus is either at a curb or can lower; I'm sure that at least some Viking tour buses can be lowered. Ruins have been out for me for years! I have a Viking brochure, so now I can peruse it a bit more carefully. Thank you for this info!
  11. There are pros and cons to both directions. My first time I went east to west. As we approached Antarctica we started to see small icebergs once in a while. As we moved closer they grew in both number and size, until we got to the climax of huge icebergs that were up to 300' high, or so long you could land a plane on them. It was a magnificent progression. Another time I did west to east. That time the Chilean fjords were really a good experience. They had been anti-climatic the first time, after those Antarctic slabs. However, the bergs at iceberg alley were a big nothing, again, after seeing the main event. You really can't go wrong with either direction. It might be better to pick a date that works better for you. Another consideration, although minor, is the flight home from Santiago is a big shorter than the one from Buenos Aires, since the time zone is one hour closer. If you do go west to east you should have an overnight in Buenos Aires. Consider leaving the ship on that last evening and flying out that night. You will be able to sleep later that morning, and relax on the ship all day. Then head to the airport for a late evening flight. It is a lot less grueling than a flight the day of disembarkation. Or, stay over another night in Buenos Aires to make for a more relaxing day when you fly out. Whatever you do, take this cruise while you still can! It is an experience to remember.
  12. If it is a true 14-day cruise, then there will be a lot fewer children than would be on each of 2 7-day cruises back to back/collector's cruises. Over the holidays there will be more children than normally, but not as many as on some lines.
  13. I would happily try Viking Ocean, even at their higher prices, if only they were more disabled friendly. I love the idea of their smaller ships, and the HAL of long ago type experience. It is my understanding that someone who uses a scooter on cruises is not accommodated on Viking Ocean ships. Wheelchairs users are, as well as rollators, but not the heavy equipment.
  14. Oh, ew. Not at all what I would want to listen to. Are they trying to drive people back to their cabins?
  15. A balcony is absolutely, positively, not a 'necessity' on an Antarctic cruise. I have done it three times in an inside cabin, and know I didn't miss a thing; you need to be out and about on deck to get a full appreciation of the views. You need to be able to move from side to side, or see forward or aft, depending on what is out there---and the weather. It can get pretty darned cold, with a wind that cuts right through you. You don't want to be on that side of the ship, or at least want to have the ship superstructure as a windbreak, when that happens. Other times THE view is on the side opposite your cabin side. A balcony misses half the attractions. Save the price of the balcony to upgrade your flights to business class. Those flights are exhausting!
  16. Pretty much every onboard expense attributed to your booking number counts toward your Mariner points. Casino charges are one notable exception, but purchases such as excursions, the specialty restaurants, and shops count. That's true whether the purchase is made in advance or on the ship. A HAL transfer at disembarkation, if booked on the ship counts, since it's an excursion. Even money added to your HSC (not cash distributions) counts. So, if you have onboard credit that can't be refunded and would otherwise go unused, it can be added to the crew fund and you get Mariner points.
  17. Those are placed out at breakfast only, but you can ask for them anytime someone is around one of the stations. I ask for milk at my lunchtime very often, which is generally after 2:00 PM, when the main line has closed.
  18. It's a perfectly good generic term that covers all of them. It's not as if not using their specific names hurts their feelings, or anything.
  19. That totally depends on the country you are doing the turn-around in. I have been in several countries where what you say is true, but not in the US or Japan. In the US, everyone must clear Immigration. That is done either by leaving the ship so it can be 'zeroed out', or the continuing passengers meeting in a set public room and clearing there. But you MUST report by whichever method the US authorities determine for your ship on your cruise.
  20. Everyone can list the others in their group on the disembarkation form, so that everyone gets the same disembarkation color/number. That will put you in the same time group to leave the ship. More important, it will send all of your luggage in the same group, time, and location in the arrival hall. Much easier if you are all headed in the same direction at the same time. You can all meet in one cabin to leave together, if you like, or all meet up at some public lounge.
  21. Yes, workers do go out there, so at the very least close the curtains at night (you may be able to leave the draperies open, especially if you get up before they would be working). Be careful to close them when you change for dinner, though, as the windows are not coated for privacy.
  22. The rules haven't been changed, as they were always that the person eligible for the discount, and someone else on the same booking, got the discount, too, but it was not supposed to be extended. It has been reported recently that the rule is being enforced more closely lately.
  23. If the person you are cruising with is on your booking number, then yes, that person will get all the benefits and discounts you are eligible for. However, if that person is on a different booking number, it is not likely that both of you will get the discount. The discount should not apply to the other person, but sometimes 'mistakes' have happened, and the discount has been granted. If that happens in your case, consider yourself lucky (and don't mention it!)
  24. Pinnacle dinner is $39 per person now, and has been for a while. The package is such a slight saving as to be meaningless.
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