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Old January 5th, 2010, 11:26 PM
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Question Zuiderdam Panama Cruise 2/1/10 questions

My Husband and I haven't been on a cruise for almost 25 years , that was on the Rotterdam to Alaska.
I have some questions and hope someone can help me with them..

I signed up for open seating but don't really know what that means.

We are arriving in Ft lauderdale the day before, do we buy wine there and bring it with us or is there an easier way?

How formal are the formal nights? Would a sports jacket (and tie of course)be OK . (he really doesn't want to pack a suit)

Any advise on the best excursions? They all look good to me.

Any help you can offer will be much appreciated, I really don't know what to expect.


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Old January 6th, 2010, 12:58 AM
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Wow, that's a long time not to have been on a cruise.

You will see a very big difference in the ships now compared to the Rotterdam V, which I gather was the ship you were on 25 years ago. I loved that ship and sailed on her many times. Zuiderdam is completely different - we've only been on her once and had a great time.

What are your ports? This will help in suggesting excursions.

You can buy wine in Florida and take it with you to the ship;
order it through Ship's Services 1-800-541-1576 or check out HAL's website "On Board Gifts" - right hand column main page.

If you buy it in Florida and take it to the dining room, there will be an $18.00 corkage charge and 15% gratuity. I believe, but am not sure if you buy it through HAL, they only charge you the 15% gratuity, which it charges on any drinks you buy in the bars, including sodas.

A sports jacket and tie are fine for formal nights, but a dark suit might be nicer. It's up to you.

As there are no longer informal nights, (where men were required to wear a jacket), now it's only Formal and Casual/Country Club Casual nights. He will not have to wear a jacket, like in the "old days" on the nights other than formal, so he may want to take the suit.

Can't help you with Open Seating as we haven't tried it yet - we always have late main seating.

Have a great cruise and come back and tell us how you enjoyed it.

Happy Sailing!
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Old January 6th, 2010, 12:19 PM
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Default Ports

Yes, I guess including the ports would be a good idea, Thanks DeeDee.

Half Moon Cay...
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Old January 6th, 2010, 01:05 PM
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If you plan on doing any shopping for baubles, check out Effy's Jewelers in Curacao. They are wonderful to deal with and have lovely items, espcially their blue diamonds! Wow!
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Old January 6th, 2010, 02:35 PM
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A blue diamond would certainly be a nice souvenier of our trip, wouldn't it? Will check it out..Thanks!
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Old January 26th, 2010, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by lkcoss View Post
A blue diamond would certainly be a nice souvenier of our trip, wouldn't it? Will check it out..Thanks!
You can get better deals on blue diamonds in the US, easier to return if you change your mind also.

As far as the jacket and tie for your hubby, that is fine.

We did this cruise January 2 to 12th. This was our first time to the Panama Canal, and we really enjoyed staying on the ship to watch going through the locksk BOTH tiems. It was especially nice the seocnd time,as we had a better view, as many had left the ship for excursions.
Equal opportunity cruiser since 1998-4 Carnival, 4 RCI, 3 HAL, 3 Princess, 5 Celebrity, 3 NCL, 1 Disney

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146 days total
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10, 2010, ack, america, cruise, day, formal, holland, nights, panama, wine, zuiderdam

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