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About RevNeal

  • Rank
    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Royse City, TX, USA
  • Interests
    Cruising. Reading. Writing. The Internet.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. The first cruise I paid for myself was in late 1994 (I think it was around Thanksgiving) aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam III. I'm pretty sure it was a 14 day Cruise in the Caribbean and I was sharing a large outside cabin (I think they called called a "mini-suite") with my grandfather, who was 94 at the time but still in superior condition. Earlier that year I had successfully completed the defense of my doctoral dissertation, and this seemed like a great way to celebrate. This was was my grandfather's last sea voyage, and he had a great time showing me around the ship and some of the islands. As for how much it cost, for some reason I seem to recall that I paid $1400, which was an enormous sum to me at that time. Granddad took care of all of our onboard expenses, for which I was deeply grateful.
  2. Thanks for the superb pictures! Love the shot of the blessing with holy water.
  3. If I were to stay for more than a day on either side of the cruise, I'd probably prefer to do the same.
  4. I've stayed in many different Ft. Lauderdale properties over the years. Rarely do I stay in the same place twice, but I've usually stuck with Hilton properties. For my January 2020 cruise, I'm currently booked into the Hilton Garden Inn Ft. Lauderdale Airport-Cruise Port for my pre-cruise stay on January 1-2, and the Hampton Inn & Suites Ft. Lauderdale Airpot/South Cruise Port for my post-cruise stay on January 12-13. These two are close together and just south of the airport. I've not stayed at either of these specific hotels, but I've been in many Garden Inns and Hampton Inns ... they're good hotels. I keep checking prices and availability, and may change one or the other or both, but I always book something immediately after booking cruise to make sure I'm forced to take something I don't want or can't afford.
  5. I would agree. I've had a forward-facing cabin on an R-class ship (the Amsterdam - 6102) and it was wonderful to have the forward-facing view out the window during the day (at night the shades had to be closed for navigation reasons). There was also an access hatch out in the corridor which led out to the forward observation deck (6 forward). While wonderful for scenic cruising in Alaska or going through the Panama Canal, when the ship was out on the high seas we stayed away from that outside deck ... the wind was horrible.
  6. Ok, that would clearly answer the question ... those lucky people in those two far-forward suits get to access the forward observation on those two decks ... but that's all. Oh, well. 🙂
  7. So ... how does one get out on those forward observation spots on Decks 10 and 11 on the Koningsdam? There's got to be a way to access them.
  8. I used to be one of those who wore Tuxedos on Formal Night, and loved it. There's really no other place that I ever get to dress like that, and so it was fun. Yes ... if I was working the cruise as a chaplain, or for variation when not, I'd wear clerics, but that was just easy. On my last cruise (2 years ago ... ugh!), I wore dark grey slacks, white dress shirt, tie, and black jacket on the Gala nights. It was easy ... the slacks were not heavy (indeed, they were much lighter than jeans), the white dress shirt got worn three times on the cruise, and the 3 different ties I brought for variety on those nights weighed next to nothing and took up almost no space rolled up in a corner of my carry-on. I didn't even have to pack the jacket ... I wore it on the plane (and, in addition to Gala nights, a few other nights on the cruise when I felt like dressing up a little bit and when we went to the Pinnacle). The Gala Night outline of what is expected is, essentially (for men, at least), the old Smart Casual minimum. Slacks and a collared shirt are an easy guideline to meet. If someone decides not to play along, I really don't care any more. I dress to suit myself (pun intended).
  9. That's great. I'm glad you had a great time ... and perhaps taking your husband on another cruise or two will turn him to the "light." LOL.
  10. Male. I wear a pair of black dress Gravity-Defyer shoes on the airplane and for Gala and Smart-Casual Nights. I wear them for travel because they're heavier than the other pair of shoes that I pack ... but are just about as comfy. I pack a pair of Gravity-Defyer walking-athletic shoes for shore excursions and everyday daytime wear. If the cruise includes a beach (i.e. HMC) or other warm weather where I might wear shorts, I also take a pair of sandals that I have ... comfy and airy but not heavy.
  11. Read this on the news today. Further south at Carnival Corporation’s Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line said its island was only “minimally impacted” by Hurricane Dorian. “There was some minor beach erosion, which will be cleaned up, but no structural damage,” said Holland America spokesman Erik Elvejord. “The horses and stingrays are all doing well.” Holland American plans to return to the island on Oct. 21 as scheduled. Carnival Cruise Line, which also operates ships to the island, has cancelled upcoming stops to Half Moon Cay. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.orlandosentinel.com/weather/hurricane/os-ne-hurricane-dorian-cruise-update-20190903-4tancqlkuffcflcr4yffk5qdtm-story.html%3foutputType=amp
  12. If you have the SBP or the EBP and want to order a glass (or 3) of wine in the MDR at dinner, do you order from the Wine Steward, as you would if you had a Wine package or were buying bottles one at a time? In the past I've always gotten a wine package, but this time I'm going to have a beverage package.
  13. I WAS your partner in crime in that heist!!! Hard to believe it was that long ago.
  14. Other than on cruises where I'm continuing on a b2b or another segment, I'm usually off the ship before 9am so I can make it to the airport for my flight home. On those rare occasions when I'm staying in-port for a day before flying home (as I will in January 2020), I usually ask the Front Desk for arrangements that allow me to stay aboard until the last-call to disembark the ship (usually 9:30 am). I've done it before and it makes things easier: finding bags is a snap, taxies to get to the hotel are easy ... and it makes the wait at the hotel less annoying for check-in (I usually can get an early check-in arrangement at a Hilton Property).
  15. But wasn't that the time when you got to take a bit of the ship home? 😉
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