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Everything posted by jeh10641

  1. Hi, "Catlover54", I tried unsuccessfully to answer this on my phone. I am now back on my desktop. When I travel in the U.S., Hampton Inns, Best Westerns, Holiday Inns, et al are just fine for my needs. When I travel in Europe, I look for hotels that have a little history (NO COOKIE CUTTERS!). For instance, in Florence I booked a hotel built by a Russian Prince as a palace 400 years ago, in Vienna, a hotel that has been owned by the same family for over 200 years and in London, a hotel owned by the Duke of Bedford since it was built in the 1780s. We do not travel to Europe in the summer, so A/C is not a problem. A lift/elevator is a plus but not a gamebreaker. Jim
  2. Great job of comparisons. We are going to Las Vegas in October and HAL in January to Hawaii. Jim
  3. Royal has some short cruises on its largest ships. Many fewer fights are reported on Royal ships. Royal has a few older ships (read cheaper) ships in its fleet. Not offering cheap cruises is one more reason they are considered more upscale. Jim
  4. Here one major difference between HAL and many Carnival ships. When was the last time you heard about a drunken brawl on a HAL ship? Almost monthly there is an altercation on a Carnival ship. Granted, Carnival has many more ships with larger passenger totals. And they call themselves the "Fun Ships". Jim
  5. Here is another way to define "mass market", numbers of cruisers per ship. HAL's largest ships hold 2660 (or so) people. For most of the "mass market" lines, that would be a small ship. Anthem OTS had 4,000 plus in October. Icon OTS holds around 6,500 to 7,000. That is "MASS" market. Even though its prices are "premium". Jim
  6. I have heard that HAL's World Stage productions are repetitive. They probably are but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I was on Anthem OTS in October for 15 nights. We saw "We Will Rock You" once on that trip. It was excellent. Would I go see it again on another Anthem cruise? Absolutely! Apparently on our cruise, there were people who had seen it multiple times as there was a lot of audience participation that I did not "get". We saw a British singing group called The Boulevard, twice. They sang music from the 50s and 60s. I would have gone a third or fourth time as well but they left after two shows. Thus, I repeat, repetition is not a bad thing. Jim
  7. Although we have many friends and family living in Florida, I will never book a 14-day cruise (or two back-to-back 7-day cruises) that has a day in Fort Lauderdale in the middle of a trip. Similarly, we will not book a cruise that includes one or more days at a private island. To me, those are Sea Days. We are not beach sitters or thrill ride seekers. That is why HAL is our preferred cruise line. I have heard good things about Princess (part of Carnival as is HAL). My parents did a couple of Princess cruises back in the "Love Boat" days and enjoyed them. Jim
  8. I am a HAL cruiser since 1959. I have tried Costa when it was still Costa (very nice Caribbean trip, not part of CCL) and Royal Caribbean (twice, 2008 and October 2023). I am going on Koningsdam in January 2025 to Hawaii. Anthem OTS was a fine ship (2023, 15 nights) but too big for me. Lots of tempting things to do but missed many of them because what I did go to were fun. I am a classical music fan so will miss Lincoln Center. I did like BB King, Rolling Stone and Billboard as well. I enjoyed the production shows on Anthem but preferred the Big Band music and the Calypso band so attended them both more than once. They also had a British group who sang 50s music. I saw them twice before they left the ship in the Canary Islands. We had good food on Anthem including the buffets, the MDR and two specialty dining venues. No complaints. As a matter of fact our MDR dinner servers may have been the best I ever had since 1959 on HAL. On Rotterdam in 2021, we ate at 4 pay to dine venues plus the buffet, NY Deli, Dive In and MDR. All were top notch except for NY Deli. We are ex-New Yorkers and were very disappointed in what was served there. I have "a champagne" appetite for cruising but travel traa "soda pop" budget. I have been lucky to find good bargains in recent years for my cruises. Happy cruising however you go! Jim
  9. I guess this is one more reason to sail on Pinnacle Class ships so that the NY Deli and Grand Dutch Cafe are in play. Jim
  10. Not only streamers but on-board visitors on Boarding Day! Jim
  11. My first cruise was a transatlantic on the 1938 edition of the Nieuw Amsterdam from NYC to Rotterdam in late June 1959. We ran into the worst storm I ever encountered. A highlight was meeting a drunk Clark Gable after midnight. He was lost and we got him "home". It was part of a student "Grand Tour" with 16 days going and coming on ships and 39 days on land. Return trip was uneventful from Genoa or La Spezia to NYC in late August. I got home in time to report to my freshman year in college. You can view my cruises in my signature below if you expand it. There were two delay in cruising from 1966 to 1989 and from 1989 until 2008. Not COVID related. Jim
  12. My family was on Costa Riviera in August of 89 to the Caribbean. I remember great food and a hurricane! Jim
  13. I have only done the Canal once from FL to Seattle. Inside cabin. I spent the time on deck going from side to side to see as much as I could. Jim
  14. Hi, Cruisin', I look forward to HAL's talks. I am sorry that they did not live up to expectations. I hope they improve for our next cruise to Hawaii in January. Jim
  15. Keep her healthy as we travel on her next January to Hawaii. Jim
  16. We try to book different ships but from the same company. We also try to find new to us ports of call. We are running out of options. I want to go to Alaska even though I spent six weeks a year there for 20 years for my publishing job. Madie has never been there. I traveled to such exotic cities as Nome, Kodiak, Petersburg, Wasilla, Kenai and Homer as well as most of the big-ship ports of call (Fairbanks even though ships do not actually go there). Jim
  17. To Mary229, I found the link (below) to my Rotterdam review. I hope you can open it. Let me know. Thanks. Jim Holland America Rotterdam Cruise Ship: Review, Photos & Departure Ports on Cruise Critic
  18. Hi, Mary, I will stay in touch. I will look for my review of Rotterdam and try to give you a link. Jim
  19. Hi, Mary, Our only other Pinnacle class cruise was on Rotterdam in December 2021 when she was only six weeks old. Koningsdam will be our second trip on this class. My only complaint on Rotterdam was the smoke from the casino rising up into the Music Walk, at times almost overwhelming. Now, I am complaining about the lack of Lincoln Center and country music (the latter may be baseless according to some comments I have on another thread). As always your comments are most welcome. Jim
  20. What great explanation. Thank you for this detailed answer. Gold stars! Jim
  21. I heard that HAL is still offering twice a day cabin service. Is that true? Or does it vary by ship/ market? Jim
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