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Old March 30th, 2011, 11:41 AM
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Queen of Oakville Queen of Oakville is online now
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A few more things I posted elsewhere on this site, but forgot to add here:

Dress Code:
From what I had read on-line, I thought DH would be out-of-place if he didnt wear a tux. I saw less than 5 tuxes on formal night. Granted, we were the early seating, and it may have been more formal for the late seating. Most men had a on a light sport coat or light suit. In his dark (and well-tailored) suit, I thought DH was the best dressed guy in the MDR.

I also thought we were easily the best dressed family on the smart casual nights. In fact, our dress on the smart-casual nights was probably better than some on the formal nights.

On one smart casual night, the woman beside us had on a faded white t-shirt and tight peach capri pants. Her husband wore jeans and a grey sweatshit. This wasn't the norm - just a message that anything goes on smart casual night.

I'm not looking to start a dress-code debate (AGAIN) just mentioning this for anyone who is considering HAL but afraid the ship might be too formal for them.

Norovirus:
We were on a "watch" for an outbreak. Apparently, Eurodam has a perfect record, as do only 2 ships which sail from FLL. For the first 3 days, there were many alerts for hand-washing, and upon entering the lido, there was a steward there dispensing hand sanitizer to all who entered. Self-serve drink stations and self-serve buffet were also off limits. Everything was served by the staff. I spent the first few days watching my kids like a hawk and bathing them in hand sanitizer [or hand assitizer as my 3 yo calls it]



Gratuities
This was the MOST pleasant cruising experience where "Gratuities" were not shoved down my throat. Every other sailing, there is a CD or someone shouting TIP, TIP, TIP everywhere you go. The auto-tips or envelopes are discussed at lenght on most lines. But on HAL - this was never mentioned. On the second last day, DH asked me how tips were handled, because we had no idea. We had to go to guest relations to find out. I was so pleased not to be guilted into a "you must tip". Of course, we do always tip, but for me, it adds a "guilt" element to the trip, like I should feel guilty for being well-off and must tip, because the crew needs the tips to survive. There was none of that on HAL. On the last night, during the MCD, the singer made an announcement that we should show our appreciation for the dining staff. I thought to myself "here it comes, tip, tip, tip tip tip". But no, all she wanted was a round of applause. We did the auto recommended tips and even gave and extra cash to our dining room steward who we really thought was outstanding. He clearly did not feel comfortable taking the money, but was very grateful.
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Royal Oasis of the Seas - 2013 {pending}
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Royal Freedom of the Seas - 2011
HAL Eurodam - 2011
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