Formal attire for a 35-day cruise — you can observe as many or as few formal nights as you wish

By Tim O’Keefe I have worn a tux to dinner on cruise ships and I would do it again but . . . I’ve added 20 pounds that won’t into my tux. Every cruise line has its own dress code. On Holland America (HAL) and the Maasdam, women have more choices for formal nights. They can wear a suit, cocktail dress or gown. Men are confined to a jacket and tie, either with a dark suit or …

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A 35-day cruise – Forget driving and parking

By Tim O’Keefe Although the following nuts and bolts relate to my extended 35-day cruise, the situation applies to everyone wanting to slash both their travel costs and port parking charges. My 35-day Caribbean cruise aboard the ms Maasdam departing Nov. 12 from Fort Lauderdale comes with a few problems. Most important is determining the most efficient (cheapest) way to travel from the Orlando area. Driving my own vehicle is out of the question with Port Everglades charging $20 a day for …

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A 35-Day Caribbean Cruise? For Real?

By Tim O’Keefe The typical seven-day Caribbean cruise may be fine for most people but I find them disappointing. Just as you’re becoming accustomed to ship-board life, it’s time to return to port. And seven days, even from Florida, doesn’t offer the chance to travel very far. Still, when I spotted a 35-day Caribbean cruise aboard the ms Maasdam on a cruise website, I thought it had to be a misprint. Thirty-five days is a third of …

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Our cruise winner Frank Farber reviews his recent cruise on the HAL Eurodam

In September, frequent cruiser Frank Farber of Pembroke Pines, Fla., won an AMA Waterways river cruise from AllThingsCruise.com. It was a random drawing. His winner cruise review was for the Emerald Princess. Last week, Mr. Farber sailed on HAL’s Eurodam and we invited him to submit his impressions. Here is his report: By Frank Farber AllThingsCruise Guest Reporter Saturday morning and friends are dropping us off at Port Everglades. One of the great things about living in …

Read moreOur cruise winner Frank Farber reviews his recent cruise on the HAL Eurodam

Cruise companies do a lot of good through their philanthropic programs

This is the time of year when most of us give some serious thought to doing good. We try to help others as best we can either through donations or actions. The cruise lines also do a lot of good through their various philanthropic programs. My good friend, cruise writer Marcia Levin, compiled the following list of what various member lines of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Foundation (FCCA), do to help others: • As one of South …

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HAL is adding a high-end new lounge called Mix to five of its ships

As part of  ongoing  enhancements, Holland America Line will install five Microsoft® Surface® units in Mix, its newest lounge venue with three specialty bars – Martinis, Champagne, and Spirits & Ales.  Already in full operation on ms Veendam, Mix and Surface units will be completed on ms Rotterdam by mid-December, followed by three additional ships. An exciting new entertainment space, Mix is a destination lounge where guests can meet and mingle throughout the day and night.  Mix …

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HAL features Windows 7 at computer parties

As Microsoft Corp. rolls out Windows 7 worldwide, Holland America Line joins in the fun with a month-long series of festive High Seas Launch Parties of its own across its entire fleet. Holland America Line’s parties – the only cruise industry events scheduled – celebrate Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 7, which powers the line’s series of complimentary onboard Digital Workshops. “Holland America Line is excited to be a part of this far-reaching global launch with on …

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HAL’s new plan: Guests can cancel for any reason

Holland America Line guests who purchase Cancellation Protection Plan (CPP) can cancel their cruise for any reason whatsoever to receive a refund of up to 90 percent of the cruise fare paid. Two variations of the plan allow cancellation of a cruise up to 24 hours prior to the cruise or cruisetour departure for Standard CPP and right up to departure for CPP Platinum. “With Holland America Line’s CPP plans, guests can rest assured they don’t have …

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Travel insurance? Yes…

Many people neglect to buy travel insurance for their cruises, often to their regret. A couple of years ago my daughter and her husband were facing canceling a cruise because of health concerns…then they discovered they would lose their entire cruise payment. So they went anyway, had a great time but now are believers.

I am a strong proponent for travel insurance. Face it, you may be perfectly healthy and fully intend to go on that cruise but then your father-in-law becomes extremely ill, or a family member passes away, or one of your children has a crisis that requires that you assist them. Face it, –it happens.

So that is why I am so pleased with this new insurance being offered by Holland America Line. Read on:

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