Random HAL questions

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#1
6,210 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Begging your indulgence... And yes, I have searched these questions

1. We are bringing 4 bottles of wine on Westerdam. Best way to bring these to avoid breakage? In my carryon, which I then awkwardly carry around until I can get into my cabin? Or... Packed in some way?

2. It looks like no matter what I do I will not fit in to any of my normal cruising long gowns. I will bite the bullet and buy one in this temporary size but how many formal nights do you think I will have on this Westerdam 3/4 cruise? Two? Do you all think I should have a long gown for each formal night? And.... If I book the PG for formal night- still formal or regular nighttime wear? Also, can you take a stab at it and tell my which nights you think will be formal?

3. I just booked Maasdam 10/6 Atlantic cruise (Montreal-FLL). I booked an interior because I wanted to make sure I grabbed a cabin before everything is sold out (and vacation money is tight- we are out of here for Westerdam in three weeks). Personally I am fine with an interior, and this is an extremely port heavy cruise, so we will be up top/in port almost every morning. Then again, it will be cold at sail away. Those who have been on Maasdam/this voyage: do you think I should upgrade to an OV ASAP? The proverbial window is closing fast on that. DH is worried about the "coffin" factor but he doesn't know what he's talking about- to me an interior is more like a womb. And what about the porthole cabins? Could that possibly be worth it?

4. Trying AYW, or should I say, AD this cruise. Thoughts about what time to hit the MDR so we don't get crushed?

Thank you so much!
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#2
Florida
17,221 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
With just four bottles of wine I would carefully pack them in your carry on luggage. The new standard on Hal ships is that your cabin will be ready for occupancy upon embarkation. So you shouldn't have to tote or stow your luggage.

It has been my observation that it is rare to see a woman dressed in a full length evening gown on formal nights.

As far as your cabin of choice we have never stayed in an inside cabin but in the end it has to be your decision of what cabin category you choose. We had a VA balcony on both of our Maasdam Repositioning cruises and though at times brisk we still enjoyed them especially on the Southern portions of the cruise.
#3
albuquerque
2,505 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
test

very weird--I tried to post a bunch of times and no luck. lets see what happens...

Originally posted by Seago2
Begging your indulgence... And yes, I have searched these questions I'll give it a shot but don't have answers for all!!

1. We are bringing 4 bottles of wine on Westerdam. Best way to bring these to avoid breakage? In my carryon, which I then awkwardly carry around until I can get into my cabin? Or... Packed in some way? We usually put some in a packed bag, in some oversized zip-locks. With 4 bottles, you might be able to get an empty wine box/case and put them in, with some newspaper or other padding, and just drop it off with your luggage. thus has worked for us. You could just carry it on, in one of those cloth wine bottle holders (up to 6 bottles). With the new go-right-to-your-cabin boarding mode, this works pretty well.

2. It looks like no matter what I do I will not fit in to any of my normal cruising long gowns. I will bite the bullet and buy one in this temporary size but how many formal nights do you think I will have on this Westerdam 3/4 cruise? Two? Do you all think I should have a long gown for each formal night? And.... If I book the PG for formal night- still formal or regular nighttime wear? Also, can you take a stab at it and tell my which nights you think will be formal? Depends on length of cruise, but figure 2 nights for every 7 days, usually sea days but it depends. i completely understand the 'temporary' gown situation. i used to bring long formal gowns, but now i just bring black dressy pants and a couple of tops, and very comfy shoes. Works for me and meets the intent of formal night.

3. I just booked Maasdam 10/6 Atlantic cruise (Montreal-FLL). I booked an interior because I wanted to make sure I grabbed a cabin before everything is sold out (and vacation money is tight- we are out of here for Westerdam in three weeks). Personally I am fine with an interior, and this is an extremely port heavy cruise, so we will be up top/in port almost every morning. Then again, it will be cold at sail away. Those who have been on Maasdam/this voyage: do you think I should upgrade to an OV ASAP? The proverbial window is closing fast on that. DH is worried about the "coffin" factor but he doesn't know what he's talking about- to me an interior is more like a womb. And what about the porthole cabins? Could that possibly be worth it? To me, save the money and go interior, especially if its port intensive. It is nice to have a window so you can see what the weather is like but you can walk down the hall and figure that out! Good luck.

4. Trying AYW, or should I say, AD this cruise. Thoughts about what time to hit the MDR so we don't get crushed? We used open dining on our last cruise. We could never get a reservation, but ended up getting to dinner at about 6 or 6:30 each night. had to wait just a few minutes, if at all. I thought it was worth it not to have to rush around to make the fixed seating.

Thank you so much!
#4
Virginia, USA
3,345 Posts
Joined May 2007
1. Agree....just pack in your carry on.
2. Don't worry about a long dress. On our recent cruise, I took too much room in the suitcase with formal stuff. Just get a black pair of (washable if it's a long cruise) and mix and match dressy tops. Especially with As You Wish, you don't have to worry about people remembering your clothes!

As to AYW, we didn't have problems getting reservations on the Westerdam a couple of years ago. However, we did on the Rotterdam this past January. You could get 5:15 or 8:00 and anything else was a wait. We booked the 5:15 for some of the formal nights when the menu was one we thought we couldn't get in the Lido. Otherwise there was a 6 o'clock trivia we didn't want to miss, so we ate in the Lido afterward.
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#5
Albuquerque, New Mexico
12,592 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by Seago2
Begging your indulgence... And yes, I have searched these questions

1. We are bringing 4 bottles of wine on Westerdam. Best way to bring these to avoid breakage? In my carryon, which I then awkwardly carry around until I can get into my cabin? Or... Packed in some way?

2. It looks like no matter what I do I will not fit in to any of my normal cruising long gowns. I will bite the bullet and buy one in this temporary size but how many formal nights do you think I will have on this Westerdam 3/4 cruise? Two? Do you all think I should have a long gown for each formal night? And.... If I book the PG for formal night- still formal or regular nighttime wear? Also, can you take a stab at it and tell my which nights you think will be formal?

3. I just booked Maasdam 10/6 Atlantic cruise (Montreal-FLL). I booked an interior because I wanted to make sure I grabbed a cabin before everything is sold out (and vacation money is tight- we are out of here for Westerdam in three weeks). Personally I am fine with an interior, and this is an extremely port heavy cruise, so we will be up top/in port almost every morning. Then again, it will be cold at sail away. Those who have been on Maasdam/this voyage: do you think I should upgrade to an OV ASAP? The proverbial window is closing fast on that. DH is worried about the "coffin" factor but he doesn't know what he's talking about- to me an interior is more like a womb. And what about the porthole cabins? Could that possibly be worth it?

4. Trying AYW, or should I say, AD this cruise. Thoughts about what time to hit the MDR so we don't get crushed?

Thank you so much!
You cruise the Westerdam in 20 days.... What Port are you leaving from? If Port Everglades, where are you staying and when are you getting in???

I'm with your hubby though on feeling like I am in a coffin in an interior room. I have severe claustrophobia and cannot stand to have no windows or exit at my immediate grasp to get to fresh air

Joanie
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"To me a stranger is just a friend I have not yet met."

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Past Cruises
:

Brendisi-Piraeus Jun 83

Greek Islands Jun 85
Piraeus-Venice Dec 85
Oosterdam-
VA 5054-Alaska May 08
Westerdam-SA 7076-Alaska May 09
Westerdam-
VF 8154-Caribbean (E&S) Feb 10
Nieuw Amsterdam-
SC 6164-Caribbean (W) Nov 10
Oosterdam-SC 6166-Mexican Riviera Apr 11
Zuiderdam-SC 6166-Alaska Sept 11
Noordam-SB 7142-Caribbean (S) Mar 12
Nieuw Amsterdam-SC 6175-Caribbean (W) Nov 12
Westerdam-SA 7085-Caribbean (S) Dec 12
Zuiderdam-SC 5190-Alaska May 13
Zuiderdam-SC 6166-Panama Canal (PT) Nov 13
Westerdam-SC 5190-Alaska July 14
Westerdam-SS 6052-Alaska July 14
Nieuw Amsterdam-SB-5187-E/W Caribbean 7-21 Dec 15
Noordam-SB-7142-San Diego/Alaska 5-23 May 15
Oosterdam-SB-6166-Caribbean Wayfarer 16-27 Nov 15
Nieuw Amsterdam-SC 5186-San Diego to Alaska Inside Passage - 19 Days-25 Apr through May 14 2016
Zuiderdam-SB 5190-Panama Canal (Partial Transit) 20 November 2016
(FINAL Cruise due to HAL Smoking Policy Change)
#6
Mill Creek, WA
707 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
We use either wine bags or wine diapers when transporting wine from home. Granted, this is flying from Seattle to wherever. Never had any issues. Both are available on Amazon.com. We prefer the wine bags.

As far as a gown for formal nights, I don't do nor own a gown and never will. Take a pr of nice dress slacks and fancy tops and jewerly. Have never felt out of place, but don't let that kind of stuff bother me.

Hope this helps.
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Debbie in Seattle

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#7
80,778 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
I always used to wear long gowns for formal nights but gave that up a while ago. I now wear Little black dresses/cocktail dresses.

I could not do an inside cabin. Anything that has a window would be fine but I have to be able to see outside.

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#8
Michigan/Ontario border
4,292 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
I'm another who understands "temporary size". I re-accessorize my one formal look - even with a ship's own $10 shawl - rather than packing two.

If you want to wear a gown, wear one. While *of course* the pants/dressy top look works perfectly....few people seem to understand some women prefer dresses and look better in them. A site I use for inexpensive, packable gowns - wide size range - http://www.buyinamerica.com/

I've sailed in insides on Ryndam and Statendam though not actually on identical sister Maasdam (only outside and balcony on her).

I'm very picky about my S class outside cabins. No H, no G (those 2 are the porthole categories. Too far forward, inclined to get bow wave noise.) No FF, unless they're forward. Unlike others, I don't mind the HH obstructed on lower prom, except the ones completely blocked by the crew stair. I'm also ok the part obstructed DD. Others have warned me off the lower prom cabins under the galley - roughly C366 -388 and 367 - 387.

Main deck E are also on my "caution" list - vibration from the engines.

My idea of perfect - an inside lower prom J.
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----Patricia
#9
Oklahoma City
7,256 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
We were on the Montreal to FLL cruise this past Oct.

Due to being in October, you will experience an early sunset (around 5-6 PM as I recall), therefore your views of the ship crusing will be very limited (most ports we departed around 5 PM). We had a 5:30 (or was it 5:45?) dining time and even with a great window location at our table, it was a waste due to darkness.

There were a few good view opportunities on this cruise, but you can easily experience them from the Crows Nest.

DaveOKC
#10
New Brunswick
38,581 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
I like long skirts/dresses so I usually pack one and just accessorize with different tops or whatever. This cruise will be a long black skirt (i think) and just different tops.

Different people have different feelings on cabins. If your dh is worried about being in a coffin, then I would splurge for the ov. You don't want anyone uncomfortable. Weigh it out and decide. It really depends on what is best for the two of you.

I always carry on my wine. Don't forget, you can pick it up in ports too

enjoy your cruise
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#11
Norwood, Mass. BOSTON PROUD
2,110 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
You cannot bring any liquid in carry all .. only a few onces. buy it at port
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#12
6,210 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Thank you so much for all of your excellent reponses!

To answer a few questions:

1. We are DRIVING from Buffalo- FLL. So airline liquid restrictions are not a problem. I will definitely just carry the bottles on in the manner suggested by all of you (diaper???). Joanie- when we are getting in depends on how long it takes. We were going to stay overnight on the way but DH says we can make it straight through, in which case we will probably fall asleep in the pkg lot and miss the ship. I have to price cruise-parking deals at FLL hotels and see if it's worth it to crash for a while and get the cheap pkg. Then again, do we really want to mess with a hotel shuttle on the way back?

2. If cabins are ready at embark, which is a Godsend, when do we really board? I'm used to the two to three hour window (wherein I am compulsively one of the first pax on), in which case the cabin crew are still working hard on changeover. Just wondering how HAL is managing to turn things around so fast, or if this means a longer wait in the terminal.

3. Thank you so much for all of your formal wear suggestions! I have had the same three long gowns, purchased for a song right after New Year's Eve, and they roll up in a ball, never wrinkle, and hide a multitude of sins (especially with my $10 Bijoux Terner scarf collection, woot woot! Thank you!). I like them for the picture, which we never get anyway. My last bunch of cruises have been NCL and Carnival- no formal wear. But this is just the two us, plus it's DH's first HAL cruise and second cruise overall, so I thought I might want to play ball, formal night-wise. I will bring a short dress and do the black pant thing and save the tux and gown routine for Maasdam in October.

4. Re: interior vs. OV in the fall- I had an interior once and was fine with it. DH has never even set foot in an interior, which is why I am dismissing his mild objection . Thank you so much, fann1sh, for your advice. My eyes glaze over when I look at deck plans and i tend to prefer fwd cabins. I have never sailed a ship even approaching the size of Maasdam and I need to get it together so I am not directly above the anchor chain or under the disco . I have to call HAL tmw and change the cabin or just leave it as is, wherever it is.
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#13
Chattanooga & Winter Haven
3,291 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Stateroom selection is totally personal and highly subjective. If either you you is uncomfortable in closed-in spaces, don't book an inside stateroom.

Dreading going into your stateroom would be a miserable way to spend a cruise.
#14
Albuquerque, New Mexico
12,592 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by DFD1
Stateroom selection is totally personal and highly subjective. If either you you is uncomfortable in closed-in spaces, don't book an inside stateroom.

Dreading going into your stateroom would be a miserable way to spend a cruise.
Exactly the truth!!

I did not know just how extremely claustophobic I was until the US Army sent us to Greece from Germany in 1978. We drove our cars to Italy and they put us in an Interior stateroom with Bunk Beds only (3 high) and OMG!!! It was so bad for me that I could not breath!! I ended up sleeping on deck and only going into the cabin when my hubby was there to hold the door open while I changed clothes every morning We must have had a curtain or I changed in the bathroom, I do not remember for sure, but was not in that room with the door closed!!

That was the most miserable 3 days of my life Thankfully we had beautiful weather 24/7 so was very happy on deck.

Joanie
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Email irl_joanie@yahoo.com

"To me a stranger is just a friend I have not yet met."

Our Personal Web Site for our cruises, photos, menus, activities, etc. http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/


Past Cruises
:

Brendisi-Piraeus Jun 83

Greek Islands Jun 85
Piraeus-Venice Dec 85
Oosterdam-
VA 5054-Alaska May 08
Westerdam-SA 7076-Alaska May 09
Westerdam-
VF 8154-Caribbean (E&S) Feb 10
Nieuw Amsterdam-
SC 6164-Caribbean (W) Nov 10
Oosterdam-SC 6166-Mexican Riviera Apr 11
Zuiderdam-SC 6166-Alaska Sept 11
Noordam-SB 7142-Caribbean (S) Mar 12
Nieuw Amsterdam-SC 6175-Caribbean (W) Nov 12
Westerdam-SA 7085-Caribbean (S) Dec 12
Zuiderdam-SC 5190-Alaska May 13
Zuiderdam-SC 6166-Panama Canal (PT) Nov 13
Westerdam-SC 5190-Alaska July 14
Westerdam-SS 6052-Alaska July 14
Nieuw Amsterdam-SB-5187-E/W Caribbean 7-21 Dec 15
Noordam-SB-7142-San Diego/Alaska 5-23 May 15
Oosterdam-SB-6166-Caribbean Wayfarer 16-27 Nov 15
Nieuw Amsterdam-SC 5186-San Diego to Alaska Inside Passage - 19 Days-25 Apr through May 14 2016
Zuiderdam-SB 5190-Panama Canal (Partial Transit) 20 November 2016
(FINAL Cruise due to HAL Smoking Policy Change)
#15
6,210 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Hmm!! Let's see what I can do..... I don't think he's claustrophobic (actually, I am but I just keep the bow cam on all day) but he did say he wanted a window. Honestly, we never even discussed it until a certain rock ran into a certain cruise ship recently. I had the tv and cptr on wall to wall for days- but that's a whole 'nother can of worms.

Thank you so much, everyone. I really appreciate your help.
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#16
5,606 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by IRL_Joanie
........I'm with your hubby though on feeling like I am in a coffin in an interior room. I have severe claustrophobia and cannot stand to have no windows or exit at my immediate grasp to get to fresh air
Very good point to consider if someone has never stayed in an interior cabin before.

Some people do not even realize they are claustrophobic until they are locked inside a windowless room for the first time.
It can be a miserable experience if the first time that happens is on a cruise ship that is full so you can't even get an upsell to a different cabin.

Another consideration is how well one would cope in the event of noro virus illness or other situation that would necessitate being confined inside the interior cabin for an extended period of time.

There are some people who would be okay with it, but it certainly is not for everyone.
#17
16,068 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by Seago2
Thank you so much for all of your excellent reponses!

To answer a few questions:


2. If cabins are ready at embark, which is a Godsend, when do we really board? I'm used to the two to three hour window (wherein I am compulsively one of the first pax on), in which case the cabin crew are still working hard on changeover. Just wondering how HAL is managing to turn things around so fast, or if this means a longer wait in the terminal.
.
The crew do their best to have the cabins ready at 11.30 am,....... unless the ship is late arriving or some other problem.
Staff are sent from other areas of the ship to assist the room stewards on change over day.
#18
California - Italy - Switzerland
6,210 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
I get a lot of my dressier cruise clothes on ebay - look for the Alex Evenings brand and you can find some really special separates or gowns that others used only once themselves that are perfect for what you might want for onboard formal - this brand packs really well and can be light weight too. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from...All-Categories
#19
Michigan/Ontario border
4,292 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
SwissMyst - thanks for the Alex Evenings tip. Have saved a search in my size.
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----Patricia
#20
California - Italy - Switzerland
6,210 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by fann1sh
SwissMyst - thanks for the Alex Evenings tip. Have saved a search in my size.
I just ended up buying another one now myself right after I posted this! Aren't they perfect for cruising, packing and comfortable wearing? The quality is very high and you often find them at stores like Nordstrom out west. They come in both number (8-10-12-14 etc) and letter sizes (SMLXL etc) so search both. And often they also are sold NWT - new, with tags. They have beautiful plus size designs and one can find dresses and top with sleeves as well, or mesh-weight cover ups that work well over a little black dress.