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Old March 7th, 2008, 08:07 PM
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Default Question....I have heard

I have heard that all of HAL customers that cruise to the Caribbean are oldtimers and that the ship is pretty well shut down and everybody in bed by 10 pm....Is there any truth to this? Would my 48 year old wife and me, 43, enjoy a cruise with Holland?

Tnx for the input, this is a serious question!

Tim
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Old March 7th, 2008, 09:36 PM
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Not true - I don't who told you this but it's a fallacy.

We started cruising in our 40's and there were nights we saw the sun come up over the horizon.

Maybe on long cruises, like 30 days+ you will find an older crowd, but in the Caribbean there are a lot of younger people and the Crow's Nest and Disco are busy and stay open 'till the wee hours of the night.
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Old March 8th, 2008, 10:16 PM
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WE were on a 10 day Panama canal cruise and yes, the only problem we had was the lack of energy. We are in our early 70s, very early and most everyone was our age or older. We loved the ship and the cruise line, but yes, by 10pm most everything was pretty quiet. There were a few activities later. A week long Caribbean cruise will be a little more active.

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Old March 8th, 2008, 11:08 PM
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Sometimes you have to really be careful when they start the wheelchair races--- you don't want to be caught in the way. Once a guy was run down by an elderly lady jogging with her walker
Most go to bed by 6-9 pm and sleep in til around noon.
Boring--very boring-- but, you can hear anything.

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Old March 9th, 2008, 11:12 AM
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We cruised to Alaska last August and yes it was the most peaceful and the best vacation of my life.I am 55 and I really enjoyed the seniors aboard the ship.They were polite,intelligent and,vigorous. The evenings were romantic and respectfully subdued. Speaking for myself it is the style I prefer and partying all night and sufferring all the next day are great if not so great days of the recent pass. But hey,you go for it.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 12:31 PM
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Default HOLLAND AMERICA

You have been given ridiculous information. There are 2 live shows each night and many people go to the late show at 9pm. Although there are older people on board there are also mixed ages and a kids area so I have seen families who park there kids there for entertainment while they go and enjoy themselves. If you like a lot of noisy partying then HAL is not the ship for you. Their clientele are more sophisticated. However, if it's partytime you want try Carnival or Princess - as long as you dont mind hard beds. Celebrity is also a choice but be careful where your cabin is located. Find out from agent what is above and below cabin if you want a good nights sleep and stay away from area near kitchen and engines! Hope that helps.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: HOLLAND AMERICA

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Originally Posted by bed7ford
You have been given ridiculous information. There are 2 live shows each night and many people go to the late show at 9pm. Although there are older people on board there are also mixed ages and a kids area so I have seen families who park there kids there for entertainment while they go and enjoy themselves. If you like a lot of noisy partying then HAL is not the ship for you. Their clientele are more sophisticated. However, if it's partytime you want try Carnival or Princess - as long as you dont mind hard beds. Celebrity is also a choice but be careful where your cabin is located. Find out from agent what is above and below cabin if you want a good nights sleep and stay away from area near kitchen and engines! Hope that helps.
My how we all have our own ideas. I have never heard of anyone referring to Princess as a party ship like Carnival. Maybe RCI, but not Princess. We found Princess to be almost as subdued as HAL, not quite. BTW, Princess is putting new beds in all their cabins. We were not lucky to be on the ship with the new beds a couple of months ago. They were being replaced as we disembarked.

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Old March 9th, 2008, 03:56 PM
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I will give you my take on this subject, on the 2 HAL cruises we have been on, both ships were like ghost ships at night. On top of that my last cruise, we had such bad service issues in the dining room, unless we sailed with a Cruisemates Group Cruise, I would not choose HAL again:(
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Old March 11th, 2008, 12:08 AM
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This is my first cruise and I booked HAL because of my long-time cruiser friend's recommendation... Now, I read more and more complaints about HAL services among other things... I'm already not pleased with the hours available at each port so really I'm crossing my fingers here for our coming cruise in May!
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Old March 11th, 2008, 01:05 AM
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Go on your cruise and have a great time. You will see people of all ages on a 7 night cruise. When you read these posts of complaints consider that the people are comparing other cruises that they have been on. The service on HAL has always been great with us. Enjoy the shows, meet new friends. When you meet people that have cruised before they can share some of things that the ship offers that you may not otherwise know. One other thing we have been cruising since 1982 and never get to bed by midnite. 8)
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Old March 11th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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Quit simply, what you have heard could be nothing further from the truth.

HAL is a great line with quality passenger who like to have a good time just like everbody I have ever met on a cruise
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Old March 11th, 2008, 10:35 AM
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I am not a vetran as a lot of others on this board, I have only been on 3 cruises. They have all, however, been on HAL. The reason......I like the service, the comfort (the beds are so far superior then mine !) and the experience on the ships. Therefore I have no reason to try another line,,when you find something you really like don't you stick with it ???

Although one would think its mostly and older crowd, and I suppose if we did a demographic search we would see this is true, my last one on the Zuiderdam had more kids on it then I had ever seen on a ship. However, they were all outside in the aft pool and never did they ever get in the way of my enjoyment. I do wonder where they all were at night, they surely were not in the areas we were in. Sophisticated clientele with childern well behaved as they match the class of thier parents,,,and there were a ton of them.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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Default yes. HAL is older then most and quiet by 10

I go on this line becasue I dont want to be with noise.They are quiet, low key people over 50 cruises... RELAXATION is a guarantee! :-) What type of cruise are you looking for? I have been on all major lines except silversea
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Old March 11th, 2008, 05:29 PM
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fireball 11.

There will be plenty of people in there forties on any HAL cruise. If you are looking for loud obnoxious 20 somethings, I can think of a couple of cruise lines you might prefer to HAL. But if you want a fine genuine relaxing cruising experience on an elegant ship with an opportunity to meet interesting people -- HAL is for you


Even on HAL, the shorter the cruise the more young people, the longer the cruise the more older, wealthy, retired types. In the Caribbean there will be people in your age group.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 08:52 PM
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Like anything else, you have to try things, and see things for yourself . Our 2nd HAL cruise was on The Zuiderdam. We booked it with friends,who are loyal fans. Quite surprisingly, we had wait staff issues in the dining room, along with less than stellar food.

Obvious friction between out waiter and helper, made the 6 of us, at our table, uncomfortable. Had we been able to eat in the Pinnacle every night, we would have. Our dinner there was wonderful, as was the service..we were never able to get another reservation.

So, our experience was, "ours"...surrounding tables seemed to have no issues we could see. The service on our Westerdam cruise was amazing. On both cruises we had a mix of ages..We had honeymooners on one cruise, at our table.

Both cruises, were 'very' quiet at night. On the Westerdam, [old one] it was as if the sandman came and swept everyone off to bed:) The Zuiderdam too, even suprised my friends. They have since sailed with HAL again, and had very nice cruises...completely different from their "Z" experience.

Go and enjoy your cruise, everyone has their own set of expectations, and experiences things from their own point of view. If we were with a group, it would not have seemed so quiet I think...I hope you have a ball:)
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Old March 11th, 2008, 10:04 PM
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Trip,
We have over 100 days on Holland America ships and NEVER had a similar bad experience. I am really surprised. HAL's Indonesian and Filipino waiters and bar personnel are absolutely second to none in the industry as far as I'm concerned. Cheerful, excellent and accomodating to every desire.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 11:18 PM
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Rich, my first cruise, we were blown away. The service was excellent, we had absolutely no complaints in that department. The cruise line lived up to it's reputation. Our cruise, at night, was as quiet as a mouse...This was our first cruise ever, encountering this situation. Hardly a soul in the casino, and walking around the ship, it was just unusual for us to see this.

Ok now, fast forward to 2005, and the "Z". The ship was beautiful. Our table in the dining room, was on the elevated section, Our table was a banquette style, and it backed up to another table, leaving no room for the server to get to my friend who was in the corner. It was a tough table.
And again, the cruise was just too quiet for us, and believe me, we are not party people.

As far as the bad service, who knows why these 2 servers were not getting along. I am sure many of the staff don't love each other, but this time, for the first time, on any cruise, it was obvious, and we all felt it. On top of it, the food was just not up to snuff, period. Our HAl pals were surprised by this too.

As I mentioned, it looked like no one around us, had our issues, we just happened to pull the short straw:(


On our Century cruise last yr, we had service bad enough for one couple to leave the table, and dine elsewhere all week...Our Cruisemates around us, did not have these issues, thankfully. We dined elsewhere one night, but came back to the dr..The service had improved.

I try not to embellish my experiences. No one wants to complain, everyone wants a good cruise experience, but what happened, happened, Sometimes, there just are off experiences, no matter how great the reputaton, it just happens. You are fortunate not to have experienced this.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 12:27 PM
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Default Thanks to everyone!

Thanks for all your responses. We enjoyed Carnival better then Princess but on Princess we had made the mistake of booking during spring break!!! I am sure if we cruised that line at another time it would be different.

I want to try all the different cruise lines for myself and judge them but from what I have read alot depends on the ship too!

I was just wondering if there was any truth to the rumor I had heard about HAL, thats all. I am also concerned about NCL and their "Free style" cruising as I have read many reviews and most are negative.

I know that most seniors can be a fun crowd to be around, What I was concerned with was the fact that there would be nothing to do for those of us who like to stay up late.

Thanks again
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Old March 19th, 2008, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireba11
I have heard that all of HAL customers that cruise to the Caribbean are oldtimers and that the ship is pretty well shut down and everybody in bed by 10 pm....Is there any truth to this? Would my 48 year old wife and me, 43, enjoy a cruise with Holland?
That's poppycock.

It all depends on WHEN you cruise. Sure, if you cruise while all schools are in session, you're not gonna get too many younger folks with families, or if you cruise 14-day itineraries you may get an older passenger demographic, but generally the Caribbean (and Alaska) draw a younger crowd and you will find things going on until probably about midnight onboard the ship, maybe later if the next day is a sea day.

But, no, you won't find a floating retirement home onboard. You'd have to go on the World Cruise to get that.

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Old April 21st, 2008, 02:58 PM
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Everyone sharing their expereinces helps quite a bit. As you have read, different people have different experiences on different lines. That's why there are different lines offering cruises. Each line has its loyalty base.

I've cruised three times: Celebrity Century Carribean Nov 1999, HAL Rotterdam Mediterranean June 2001, and HAL Ziuderdam Carribean Jan 2008.

I'd easily return to the Celebrity experience from 1999, but I think that's changed a great deal. Everything was superb except the weather. The cruise was lively, but still elegant. The food was absolutely fabulous.

The 14 day Mediterranean HAL sailing was a great experience. The ship was very elegant and itinerary second to none, but the service was a notch below Celebrity. The ship had a wide ranging demographic, but it was slightly older than Celebrity.

In Jan 2008, the Z was showing her age, but it was only slightly noticeable. The experience was tremendous. Still less than the 1999 Celebrity experience, it was great and I'd highly recommend it. The demographic was very different here. It was an older than Celebrity, but fun.

My wife and I just split the 40 year mark. We are both athletic; we run, bike, and ski big mountains. We have six children and cruise to take a break from parenting. We are also quiet, but we like to dance, see the shows, and go for walks on the Promenade at midnight. Many of those 'older' folks kept pace or outpaced us.

Concerning the 'older' crowd: we found them delightful, friendly, stimulating, and a definite wealth to society. I hope my future can be as promising as their present!!! We saw them strolling the promenade late at night, dancing in the disco at 11:00, and watching the late shows.

Our dinner mates were just celebrating their retirement. They wore no airs and we found them irreplaceably enjoyable.

On another note concerning HAL; HAL has complete promenades. What a mistake not to have a complete promenade. One can promenade on the top deck, but the wind can be extremely obtrusive. A complete promenade is a necessity for a romantic midnight stroll.

And the aft pool is another favorite. An enclosed, covered, or recessed pool can never provide the expereince of a pool/pool deck that has three side open to the sea.

Concerning nightlife, HAL provides quite a range. I love listening to the strings groups. There's ball room dancing, there's swing, and there's contemporary. The piano bar is a lot of fun. What you won't find is 300 people getting drunk in the bar.

If a 'happening' time for you requires noisy people trying to get as drunk as they can without passing out, then I would recommend not sailing on HAL.

As far as children go, on the Z I think I was inconvenienced about three mintues the entire sailing. I was sitting in the hot tub and they came and splashed water for a little while and I think they got water on my head. They were loud and smiled a lot. I'm pretty sure they were having a great time. There were probably about two dozen on the sailing and they were not an issue.

I know my post is long, but hopefully it gives you an idea of my experiences. I think you will have a great time!!

Steven
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Old April 21st, 2008, 08:17 PM
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We just returned 3 days ago from a 15 day Hawaii cruise, and I can tell you, those "seniors" cruised us under the table !

We are 59 and 61, and we were always in bed before the "old folks"

As usual, our dining experience was great, as well as the service everywhere.

We love HAL.

Pat
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 09:17 PM
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I really enjoy reading all your comments especially Steven's.
I think it's important to have an agent who has taken a lot of cruises so they can help you reserve one in a good location. My agent has taken 98 cruises so steers me to the good cabins. That can make a big difference.
The promenade deck is of course excellent and the staff make one feel very comfortable. They genuinely want to please and be helpful.
Happy sailings
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Old April 24th, 2008, 10:12 PM
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just came from a cruise on Holland and it is exactly what you heard. More wheelchairs and walkers than usual. No activity past breathing and only sparce participation on the limited activity. Shows were good but you have to feel for the performers when people sleep during the show. Even the comedian used their lack of energy to some extent. I commented to my wife that it looks like white caps on the water when the show room is viewed from behind. Crew trys hard to work around most problems. If you just want to relax and take in the sun and show it is worth the trip time. Otherwise pack black high socks and no doze.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeypuck
just came from a cruise on Holland and it is exactly what you heard. More wheelchairs and walkers than usual. No activity past breathing and only sparce participation on the limited activity. Shows were good but you have to feel for the performers when people sleep during the show. Even the comedian used their lack of energy to some extent. I commented to my wife that it looks like white caps on the water when the show room is viewed from behind. Crew trys hard to work around most problems. If you just want to relax and take in the sun and show it is worth the trip time. Otherwise pack black high socks and no doze.
I am not sure what ship you were on or the itinerary but we didn't find it quite that bad. Yes, I do agree, for people who want activity HAL just isn't for them. Some people on this board disagree, I wonder how many active, energetic cruises they have sailed? Of course every ship is different and every itinerary. The basic 7 day Caribbean cruise will not be as dead as a 10 day or longer cruise.

Your comments did give me a really good early morning chuckle!!!!

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Old April 28th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeypuck
just came from a cruise on Holland and it is exactly what you heard. More wheelchairs and walkers than usual. No activity past breathing and only sparce participation on the limited activity. Shows were good but you have to feel for the performers when people sleep during the show. Even the comedian used their lack of energy to some extent. I commented to my wife that it looks like white caps on the water when the show room is viewed from behind. Crew trys hard to work around most problems. If you just want to relax and take in the sun and show it is worth the trip time. Otherwise pack black high socks and no doze.
I'm assuming you are exaggerating. As a veteran of several HAL cruises I could not disagree more. We were just on the Westerdam in February and were never in bed before 2am--the piano bar was rocking! To say there is no activity on board is absolutely untrue--there are plenty of things to do, if you put out the effort. You can be as busy or as relaxed as you choose....
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Old May 7th, 2008, 09:10 PM
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Tim we're going on our first Hal cruise in February. We've never been on a Hal ship so I'm excited about it. I can offer something here as I have sailed on other lines. One thing I noticed on every cruise was that there are some who love it and some who hate it, whatever the ship is. Some would always find a complaint while others just had fun. And sometimes things just go wrong. I think it is the nature of the beast. What we do is select a ship whose itinerary we want and just go for it. We end up going to the places we want and doing everything of interest and the ship is just the icing on the cake. On the ships we just do our own thing and we have met some wonderful people along the way. I try to leave my picky self home and just enjoy the new experience. That is my way of saying you can't go wrong whatever ship you cruise on so go for it and bring your adventurous side with you. You kind of make your own fun on a ship anyway. At least we do. AND fun people somehow find each other, as do those who are more into other forms of entertainment or relaxation. Think of it as a little neighborhood where everyone is doing their own thing... usually with a smile on their faces.

We're absolutely looking forward to this as this round we want to veg and just enjoy the ambiance, oh and dance in a club alone or not.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip
I will give you my take on this subject, on the 2 HAL cruises we have been on, both ships were like ghost ships at night. On top of that my last cruise, we had such bad service issues in the dining room, unless we sailed with a Cruisemates Group Cruise, I would not choose HAL again
Trip, just out of curiosity ... how long were those cruises for? The reason I ask this is because yes, I agree with you ... on the longer cruises the age demographic tends to be quite high on Holland America and the ship tends to go "dark" pretty early. But if you take a "typical" seven to ten-day "popular destination" cruise (i.e., Alaska or the Caribbean), you're gonna get a much lower age demographic that will expect a nightlife around the ship. You will also get more families with children on those shorter cruises, and needless to say, things will be hopping onboard at least until midnight.

Another thing I notice on some HAL cruises, especially the longer ones, is that on the night before port days the ship will tend to go to bed early. The reason for this, I believe, is that HAL tends to do more "exotic" cruises than a lot of other lines, and when people take these exotic cruises, regardless of their age, they want to fully take advantage of the port visits. They never know when they may get back to those places again, so they want to be well-rested so that they can fully explore the ports.

But on your shorter Caribbean or Alaska cruises, I think people tend to party later into the night because (a) they are younger and can do so without impacting their energy level for port exploration; and (b) because they've been to most of those ports before and will surely visit them again. So, it's not so critical they get off the ship at every port stop ... not like they would want to if they were doing a longer, more exotic (read more expensive) itinerary.

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Old May 9th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron
Sometimes you have to really be careful when they start the wheelchair races--- you don't want to be caught in the way. Once a guy was run down by an elderly lady jogging with her walker
Most go to bed by 6-9 pm and sleep in til around noon.
Boring--very boring-- but, you can hear anything.

Absolutely Priceless! Made my day. Very funny.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 09:34 PM
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It's always funny how we can " hear" things and sometimes form opinions on what we hear, without many , if any facts.

Several years ago I had to call on a couple who had an insurance claim.
As soon as I got there the lady started in on how she had " heard " my company was no good, wouldn't pay claims , etc. etc.
After a little while I finally tired of listening her ramble on about all the negative things she said she had heard about my company and
told her I had had to stop down the road and ask directions as to where "Mrs. Jane Doe " lived and was told-- "why --didn't you know---she passed away and her funeral was several days ago." Well, this really set her off. She couldn't believe anyone would say such a thing, how awful that people would start rumors, etc. etc. She kept asking me who told me that.
Finally I just said " I'm handing you a check and you're alive enough to take it so I guess it just goes to show that you can't believe everything you hear.". Her husband burst out laughing but the lady never did get it. When I left she was still grumbling about who would start a rumor that she was dead !
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Old May 12th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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On 7 and 10 day cruises it can go either way but for the most part I have found the ship dead after 10:30 - 11:00 at night. You can find a handful of people in the lounges.
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