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Nanner

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About Nanner

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Michigan, USA
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    HAL

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  1. We have done as Krazy Kruisers suggests. For our upcoming cruise, I have paid for our anniversary night. Usually there is no issue with asking the Pinnacle manager to use one of our freebies for a reservation night and getting it refunded. The only problem is if there is a special event in the Pinnacle, such as a pop up of Sel de Mer or a special dinner (Cellar Master/Master Chef, etc.) on the night you really wish to attend. Whether or not you book in advance, that can be an issue.
  2. We are heading to Homer in June, and I have a couple of questions. 1. Do to school bus shuttles from the pier to town stop at the Islands and Oceans museum? We might choose to go there if the shuttle gets us at least close by. 2. Mako's water taxi lists a wildlife tour to Gull Island and looking for wildlife for 2 hours, minimum of 4 people. HAL is offering a tour that sounds pretty similar, though they say it runs 2.5 hours. Does anyone know if Mako's is the company handling this for the cruise line(s)?
  3. In Juneau you can do Mendenhall on your own, as well as the tram. The latter is great on a nice day. There are trails on the mountain and great views. Our first visit it was so foggy you could barely see where the tram was going up the mountain. We did a whale watch on that first Juneau visit, and even that was pretty limited visibility. Sitka is a great town to walk around on your own. If the tram to the totem pole park is operating, that is a help. The park is worth visiting, but a bit of a hike from the dock. We are returning there this summer, and I've heard good things about the Fortress of the Bear and the raptor center, so we might go there. It appears our cruise isn't offering an excursion there this time. In Ketchikan, a flight with Island Wings is amazing. We went to see the black bears on a rainy day, and our trip back was a real adventure since they could not fly in to pick us up. We still made the sailaway with time to spare, due to their creative problem solving, so I really am impressed with them.
  4. We have never tried salmon/halibut fishing from a boat and want to try on our upcoming Alaska cruise. There are several decent ports for this. If anyone can give suggestions on what might be the best choice in mid-late June, that would be great! We are stopping in Ketchikan, Sitka, Homer and Kodiak. We've been to all but Kodiak before, and we'll be too early to watch the bears there.
  5. Mysticsailor, I like your idea! We did the AA in 2014 and thought about doing it again. Due to the length of the cruise, it was definite that many aboard were 4 or 5 star Mariners. We made a couple of friends on that trip that we still stay in touch with. So let's tell HAL that we miss the itinerary and would love to see it return. It really was a great experience, and we wouldn't mind repeating it someday. Yes, we have other places to see we have not been, but many of the ports on the AA are well worth a second viewing.
  6. Your post is a bit confusing. First you state you are ambulatory, but use a cane. In the next paragraph you state you use a wheelchair, not a cane. Be that as it may, I think the big concern here is scooters, and people who cannot lift their legs much at all. Perhaps Cienfuegos has a lot of tidal action and at times the tender dock has a very large gap from the side of the tender to the level of the dock. I have seen on several occasions where the dockside workers and those on the tender almost had to lift the able-bodied to get them from one level to another. I've seen them struggle to move scooters on/off the tender. Frankly, at one port I was shocked they let scooters on the tenders, as it looked like a great way for crew members on the tender and ashore to injure themselves permanently. It was very difficult to disembark the tender if you were ablebodied, and dang near impossible for some. So that is likely why the disclaimer is there. I was actually glad to see it the first time I noted the written option for the captain to disallow scooters and those who would not be able to safely disembark from leaving on a tender. Safety of everyone is important, and that includes the crew and portside workers.
  7. Elaine, I always ask for extra laundry bags and sort my darks and lights before I send out the laundry. I also write washing instructions on the sheet. We haven't had shrinkage issues, though I will admit to having a couple of items pressed at too high a temperature, and those items were permanent press and really didn't need to be pressed. Still, we have been happy with the service overall. And they are honest. We had cash left in a pants pocket by my husband returned to us.
  8. I will be interested to hear about the experience and hope some from our roll call attend. I'll try to encourage them to write feedback here. For us, the price is a bit too dear, and if we did cocktails before a 5 course meal, and wine pairings with the food, we would be rather tipsy and too full to sleep! I do intend to ask onboard if there is or is not any discount for 4-5 Star Mariners. I sometimes find what Seattle says is not as the ship does.
  9. Last night we received an email from HAL for our upcoming TA on the Zuiderdam. They are offering a Mixologist Dinner, with a cocktail party and 5 course meal with paired wines. Cost is $120 per person. I called HAL and was told there is no Mariner discount that will apply. We have enjoyed the Master Chef and Cellar Master dinners on some prior voyages, for about half that price. I swear I recall having some discount applied for the Cellar Master dinner toward the food. I'm sorry, but if HAL thinks many passengers are about to fork over $240/couple for a dinner onboard, that's being way too optimistic.
  10. This has been an interesting read today. I'm currently on 3 roll calls due to consecutive segments, and all 3 are very active. Two have over 50 couples participating. The shortest segment is 10 days, but as it is the Baltic, it has the most participants and most discussion of shore excursions. It also helps that the first segment is a TA, and about half of those who are on that cruise are staying aboard for the Baltic. We'll be running into a lot of familiar faces by the time we disembark. I agree with those who don't want to see discussion of open spots on tours at a M&G. To me, the purpose of the roll call is to make those contacts ahead of boarding. I have not made a comment on those boards about not discussing excursions at the M&Gs. Since it is very rare to have officers attending nowadays, it is less of an issue. That said, I don't care to hear attendees saying they need 2 more couples to fill their tours. I don't think the purpose of the M&G is to hawk your private excursions. The purpose, IMO, is to put faces to the names you've seen on the roll call, meet those who you will be sharing excursions with already, and maybe find others who share an interest in bridge, trivia, etc.
  11. While I was never a fan of bathing in the tubs on HAL (or in hotels), the tubs did provide a convenient spot to put feet for shaving one's legs. Our last cruise was on the Koningsdam, and while I like the big shower, it was a pain to shave in there. The foot rest was so low I'd get a bit dizzy while shaving. Men are lucky not to have to deal with that. I did an RCI cruise with a couple female friends last year and the shower was tiny, with a sticky plastic curtain. I discovered larger stalls in the spa area, with glass doors. I would hit those early in the AM when I needed a shave. No foot rest, so I really had to watch not keeping my head down too long. What a pain that was! So while I don't use the HAL tub for bathing, they are nice for other grooming issues.
  12. buggins0402 has it right. Our flight has the 2-4-2 configuration.
  13. I checked on the Delta website and we can upgrade to Comfort for $230 per person. We are choosing to stay in our assigned seats, as they are window and aisle and we won't have to disturb anyone else to get up and walk around. I had heard that sometimes with open jaw travel the cruise lines can get you a better price. I admit to being a bit lazy for once, thinking I'd try this and see what I think. I was bummed that we were not able to request Comfort class from the start. It seemed like a reasonable request for this long of a flight, but I guess that's how they can offer the discount fares. I was willing to pay more for Comfort, but it wasn't even an option. It's also weird to me how they bundle the air, transfers and hotel together, like it's all or nothing. We probably won't be doing this again.
  14. Interesting that some of you were able to book Delta Comfort as I was told up front that it was NOT possible. I just checked, we can upgrade to comfort for $230 each. Since the plane has the 2-4-2 seating configuration and we are on the left aisle, I figure we can easily swap seats or get up and walk around a bit. waiting to hear what DH thinks about paying that much for the change. Still, interesting that some folks seem to have no issue with booking Delta Comfort using a PCC or FlightEase and my PCC just said no way, try at the gate. It is a Delta flight, not an affiliate. Thanks for everyone's input. VictOriann, we head out on Bill's retirement celebration cruise next month on the Zuiderdam. Can't wait!
  15. We are using HAL air for the first time with this upcoming cruise. Up until now, I've always handled our flight arrangements. Facing an 8 hour flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, I asked if we could upgrade to Delta Comfort. I was told we cannot, but we can try for it at the gate. I figure chances of that are slim to none, especially looking for 2 seats. Is the lack of upgrade possibility common with cruiseline air? If so, maybe I'll stick with booking our own for these kinds of trips in the future.
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