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Any help or comments??

Discussion in 'Holland America Line' started by Mike Havlat, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. Mike Havlat

    Mike Havlat Guest

    My wife and I are getting ready to book our first cruise this week and am going to put down our deposit. We looked and looked and here is what we are going to get.

    Holland America – Amsterdam
    Alaska Cruise Seattle to Seattle
    June 28, 2003
    Cabin Category A, Mini-Suite with Verandah (Suite 6139, 6141)
    Flying from Denver
    Early Seating

    I think we have decided on everything we need to. If anyone has any suggestions, comments, help, anything please feel free to contact me at mhavlat@yahoo.com or just reply cause I check the board often.

    I had contacted at TA here in Loveland, Co (Wagonlit) 2 months ago but haven’t heard from them at all so I’ve gotten prices from Lori at Skyscrapertours.com, Kim’s Kruises and Cruisequick.com. They all are close price wise. Again, any comments?

    Thanks for all the help I’ve gotten from reading this board. By the way we are 46 and 55 and not into partying incase that makes any difference.

    Thanks again and happy cruising.

  2. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    Mike...Amsterdam is a gorgeous ship. She and Rotterdam are HAL's flagships and it is Amsterdam that now does the world cruise. That would probably indicate she is well loved by HAL and well taken care of.

    We have booked back-to-backs on her for December and can't wait.
  3. lougee1043

    lougee1043 Guest

    my only suggestions would be to fly into seattle at least one day early for some sightseeing and to make sure you have ample time to make a flidght adjustment just in case something happens to your original flight

    would also suggest the late dinner - because if you take the early you will have to cut your days ashore early so you can get back to the ship and prepare for an early dinner meal ---even if you are used to eating early dinner at home there is so much food on ship that you may not be hungry at 5:30


    we sail on the 3rd
  4. MarieA

    MarieA Guest

    Mike, I haven't found a TA here in Denver (or in the Denver area) that really knows cruising or sells enough volume to get any kind of a deal. Since this is your first cruise, you may want a little more TA contact than you get with cruisequick. I'd recommend them for a little more experienced cruiser, but sounds like you're on the right track. If you're looking at doing HAL's air, be sure to check around first and see if you can find cheaper air fare on your own. If not, I really recommend paying the extra for air deviation and go in a day early.
  5. janet

    janet Guest

    Mike, I am a real believer in travel insurance, since I shattered an ankle last year on my way to the airport. If we had not had the insurance, all money spent on the cruise would have been lost!!!

    However, I am not a fan of Holland America's insurance plans. They seem very expensive for what they cover.

    Would suggest that you compare Travel Guard and Access America plans.

    Have a great trip.
  6. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    I am a long time HAL fanatic, but, I would definately look at Access America's insurance plan vs, Hal's. For sure fly in a day early, and check those air rates.
  7. CruisinTex

    CruisinTex Guest

    Mike, I would also recommend insurance, but not HAL's. Lori at Skyscraper is great and can get insurance for you if you book with her. Many people on the c@ board use Lori and have been very happy. Having the mini-suite and balcony will be great for Alaska - be sure to take binoculars. We always get early seating for dinner and only a few times ran into a problem with needing to get back to the ship early for dinner. It didn't interfere with any shore excursions or port tours, though. Eating early is good because you can go to the show, spend a little time in Crow's Nest having a drink and dancing, and then still get to bed at a reasonable hour.
  8. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    We never book HAL's insurance either. I refuse to pay a premium based on full book rate of the cruise when that is not what I paid, or what I would be reimbursed if we had to put in a claim
  9. Suzie

    Suzie Guest

    Just got off the Amsterdam r/t Seattle on Saturday. You'll love it. A few tips.. save on AOL access by waiting until you get to shore. HAL charges 75 cents per minute. I think their best price was $55 for 100 minutes. In Sitka, go to the post office. They charge $4 for a half hour. In Ketchikan, go to Soapy's - $5 for 20 minutes. Also, on the last day, HAL offers a free 5 minute internet session from the ship.
    I also used the $45 unlimited laundry option and will absolutely use it again - put all dirty clothes in the bag for the cabin steward and got them back the next day beautifully cleaned, pressed and on hangers.
    Our dog-sled/helicopter excursion was cancelled at the last minute so we used 'Last Chance Tours' at the dock and got to see lots of Juneau and spent time at the mendenhall glacier for $20 pp. We even made a stop at a stream to watch the salmon. They used small tour buses holding about 12 people.
    My husband raved about the Guided Fishing and Wilderness Trek in Ketchikan. He thought less of the Sitka Sportfishing.
    We both loved the evening whale watch in Juneau. The trip to Buchart Gardens was wonderful, but it would have been even better in the daylight. I could spend a whole day there.
    We had first seating and liked it as the fishing excursions left at 7 AM. Also, we're from the east coast so waiting until 8 for dinner was just too late for us.
    We stayed 2 days pre-crise in Seattle at the Grand Hyatt and wish we could have stayed longer. Seattle was great, and the hotel was perfect.
    I know you'll have a great cruise on the Amsterdam. Bon Voyage.
  10. ashuma

    ashuma Guest

    We're on the Amsterdam this September 7 in a suite. Agree with what everyone said except the early seating. I always prefer the late seating -- but it's a personal choice -- few if any kids, no rush after excursions, no rush through dinner, etc..
  11. Mike Havlat

    Mike Havlat Guest

    Thanks to all for the replys. It is a big help as we are still just a little leary about things. But we have decided to go with Lori at Skyscaper and will be contacting her in the next few days.

    Again, thank you all. Keep it coming.

    Also, I don't see very many HAL cruise reviews.???

    Take care

  12. AnneS

    AnneS Guest

    Mike- DEFINITELY fly in a day early!!!!!! You would hate to miss your cruise because of something unforseen happening; Its also nice to settle in and get a good night's sleep before! I'm from Longmont- My kids live in Loveland -ON Horseshoe -the first house past the Boyd Lake Campground! We just took them and other daughter on Celebrity-"Millie" AND the Grands! Check the reviews here & on Cruise Critic -You'll get quite a few! There are ALWAYS people that think a "Review" is a "Critique" so will find SOMEthing wrong. Remember YOUR cruise experience is unique to YOU -so ENJOY it all! Anne :usa:CO:daisy
  13. CruisinTex

    CruisinTex Guest

    Hi Mike. If I'm not mistaken, I believe Lori is on a cruise right now. So if you don't hear back from her immediately it's because she's gone.
  14. KimberleyFLA

    KimberleyFLA Guest

    Hi Mike. I am booked for my first HAL cruise for November 2002 (Eastern Caribbean), so I don't have any first hand information about HAL. I just wanted to let you know that I was searching for a TA a few months ago. I ended up calling Lori at Skyscrapers and so far am very happy with my choice. I think I'm also going to be very happy with my decision to cruise on a HAL ship. From the reviews and bb's I've read, it sounds like you can't find better service, happy and friendly staff and beautiful ships. Mytravelco.com has 360 degree pictures of HAL (and other cruiselines) ships. It is exciting to look at them. I've been looking at the pictures of the Zaandam and the excitement builds more every time I look at them. HAL seems to be a class act. I plan to post a review after my cruise. For the 360 degree pics, go to mytravelco.com and click on 'community' on the left of the screen, then click on '360 ship tours', then scroll down and you will find the list of HAL ships. You have a choice to view the pictures in a 'small' view or 'large' view. It seems that I can see more detail in the 'small' view because the 'large' view cuts some of the picture out.

    OK, now I'm done rambling....have fun anticipating your cruise.
  15. Stargazerm31

    Stargazerm31 Guest

    sounds great. I always do the insurance. In 9 cruises, I have had to use it once and it has paid for the other times I have not needed it and more. The key question is do you feel lucky not only before the cruise but during the cruise.

    You will have a great time!!! Enjoy.


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