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  1. A wonderful man and leader for HAL. I will always remember one experience regarding Mr. Lanterman. A number of years ago I was on a HAL cruise, traveling with Janet's travel agency. I had on a shirt labeled with her company's logo when ordering a burger at the Lido burger bar. The HAL employee working the burger bar asked me if the shirt was from Mrs. Lanterman's company. I said yes, and with tears in his eyes he said - "Oh, Mister Lanterman is such wonderful man. Whenever he is onboard he always stops by to say HI. He also thanks me for the great job I am doing. He makes me feel as if I am one of the most important people working on board". What a lovely tribute that was to Kirk Lanterman.
  2. About 6 years ago I got a new C-Pap machine. The "new one" said that distilled water was optional. When home I used distilled water but on several, 2+ month cruises I used tap water. After my first such cruise I did have my machine checked and was told that they would never have know I did not been using distilled water. Thankfully about 4 years ago I had surgery that eliminated the need for the C-Pap. However, no promises that the need won't return (Ugh). While the possibility of return to a C-pap is not exciting, in the realm of Medical therapies, the use of the machine is a minor bother compared to what is needed by many!
  3. RuthC, Yes, both would have needed to have insurance. However, being past final payment has nothing to do with this. My traveling companion learned she needed immediate surgery three days before we were to sail. She basically received her full fair refund, I had the single supplement covered and went on the cruise. For a very recent cruise and a future cruise I looked into the insurance covereage details and they are the same as they were at the time of the cruise I described above. As an aside, we were both 'young", healthy and had never purchased trip insurance before. For this trip, we each had elderly parents with multiple medical issues and we were concerned about having to get home quickly. We NEVER though of buying the insurance because of either of us!
  4. Actually I believe that having appropriate insurance gets the most bang - cancel person gets their $$ back and you get to go solo with no supplement.
  5. About five years ago on a HAL ship a man was told to "cover up" when sunbathing totally nude on the upper deck. I only heard about if from his wife who was on the same Trivia team as I was. She was NOT happy with him stripping on the ship although they were active nudists at home resorts. She did not think it appropriate on a HAL ship. Interestingly, I NEVER heard about the incident from anyone else
  6. Sent previous message prematurely. I wanted to add that folks with mobility limitations SHOULD be realistic about what shore exc. they go on. I certainly have been on tours with folks who should never have signed-up for the particular tour. That is NOT fair to anyone.
  7. As a person who does NOT like to cut in line, if I am unsure where the line ends I simply ask - "Where is the end of the xxx line pease". Ends my confusion and saves embarrassment. Because of my career work I am used to being around people using mobility aids of all sorts and all ages (well, usually over 18 and under 100.) In my experiences, including on ships, there are about as many safe, considerate mobility devices users as people walking under their own leg power, unaided. Considerate and inconsiderate folks in each group. Now there are exceptions in my opinion, I really do admire folks who face mobility limitations but get adaptive equipment and keep going vs "giving up" prematurely.
  8. The OP lost me when referring the VOV as a "Speciality Cruise". It has been unique in terms of the itinerary, but I personally have done 2 full cruise VOVs and never heard it identified as a "Speciality Cruise". Unusual and very popular itinerary, but beyond that it is not like a Grand Voyage - and not advertised as such. (Yes, I have been on several Grand Voyages including the World so I know the difference.) More expensive per day charges than Alaska, Caribbean, Mexico and some European cruises yes - but in large part that is due to its attraction to many and folks willingness to pay more for this cruise. I did appreciate OP's describing things he/she both liked and did not like. Thank you.
  9. About 15 years ago I went through the Panama Canal. At that time the Captain told us that the fee for the ship for a transit of the Canal was in part determined by the ship's "displacement" of water.
  10. Reminds me of the time we were ending a cruise and flying home from Rome. We decided to spend the disembarkation night in Rome to avoid flight time hassles. Little did we know that the World Cup Finals (soccer to US folks) was being held in Rome that exact day we were flying out. We did find a room, but at a price of a 4 or 5 Star hotel for a 1 or 2 star room.
  11. For longer cruises I take a shower "puff" or whatever it is called. It is made of softish netting and the gels foam up much better with them. Since the cost about $1, I simply leave it on the ship. Before I thought of this I never did enjoy the gels they provide.
  12. I was able to do that several years ago - 2 different day meal for me alone. However, I would definitely speak with the restaurant manager soon after I got on the ship to confirm if that can still be done. Keep notes. Mine went smoothly and no back-up information needed but better "safe than sorry".
  13. I love(d) the fruit soups. However, seldom in my many days of sailing did any of my table mates order them. For many they were too rich for an early course in the meal. I on the other hand always ordered them as desert at the time we were ordering the main parts of the meal, just so I would not forget.
  14. double zee, Perhaps the previous "cheerleaders" are not as defensive because they are glad that the constant complainers have left HAL. Perhaps it makes their cruise experience more pleasant. As they frequently said - if you don't like it go elsewhere (not their words but message). Let me say no one ever called me a HAL Cheerleader and I have not been nor am I now, and I can only speak for myself. We have cruised on over 12 lines over the years and select primarily for the itinerary. We now also usually stick to cruises of over 30 days, longest 113 days, where the experiences are usually very different than 1-2 week cruises. Our most frequent cruise line has been HAL, because of their historically more unique itineraries, but some others are catching up. Which line for our next reservation - we shall see but as a general rule, what we get for the money paid HAL still meets our needs. We would have to drink alot more, eat in speciality restaurants more and shop onboard more to have more inclusive fares match what we spend on our whole cruise per day on HAL. That is just us - not everyone for sure.
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