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  #1  
Old November 20th, 2004, 11:55 AM
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Smile Back from the 11/13-11/20 Veendam

Great cruise, great weather.

Where were all the craps players? I think they could have turned out the lights around 9:00 pm.

Yes, they now have meatloaf but no Dutch night.

Caution: Get that cruise insurance, some ended their cruise early by ambulance at the ports.

Then, there being no port on Friday, at sea off Key West, great sea transfer by the US Coast Guard. Expert flying by the helicopter crew that hovered over the bow, BELOW the top of the ship to take off a basket and a stretcher, then the Coastie by hook. Quite a sight to see with the helicopter so close and the large Coast Guard plane flying circles overhead. Three cheers US Coast Guard!
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Old November 20th, 2004, 12:44 PM
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Wow!

Sounds like an experience. Any idea why all the illnesses??

Glad to hear you enjoyed your cruise and remained healthy!
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  #3  
Old November 20th, 2004, 12:59 PM
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We have seen these helicopter med-evacas many, many times, and you have to give kuddos to the ship's crew and the helicopter crew for a job well done. Mind you I wouldn't want to be in that basket being lifted off the deck of the ship, but then if I was so ill, I probably wouldn't care less.

Last edited by Esme; November 20th, 2004 at 01:10 PM.
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  #4  
Old November 20th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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We have also been on quite a few cruises where people had to be taken off the ship by means of a helicopter.

The worst one was a couple of years ago. We had left Vancouver and had a sea day. The rains and wind were terrible. Then the captin made the announcement that we would be slowing down for a helicopter to take a critically ill passenger from the ship. The Crow's Nest where we were was packed. The helicopter tried several times before they were able to lower the basket and a medic. Getting the line reattached to the basket took quite a while. But they did it. The winds were getting worse so a decision was made to leave the medic on the ship. The only cabin available was the suite next to ours. He had to stay on the ship until we got to San Francisco. Then he had to fly back to Oregon.
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  #5  
Old November 20th, 2004, 04:08 PM
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The majority of the passengers were quite elderly. Lots of traffic jams with the scooters and the wheeled push stands.

I have to give them credit for not sitting at home.
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Old November 20th, 2004, 04:11 PM
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Details, Curt. We want details of the medical emergencies if you have info to share.
I've seen my share of evacuations over the years; I'm always a bit scared that one day that could be me. Kudos to those who take care of sick passengers.

Oh, and Curt, welcome back. Hope your trip makes for a good memory.
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  #7  
Old November 20th, 2004, 05:09 PM
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Don't really have the details other than the ones I saw going off into an ambulance were just very elderly. There was no sickness among the passengers. Perhaps a fellow passenger has more info.

One other observation. I thought it was a bit strange to have the welcome back Mariners reception at 11:30 in the morning! I've always attended these cocktail parties in the evening prior to dinner on other lines. But since this was only my second HAL cruise, perhaps this is the usual SOP?
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Last edited by cruzincurt; November 20th, 2004 at 05:14 PM.
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  #8  
Old November 20th, 2004, 05:13 PM
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This is amazing. I've been involved with rescues at sea, but never a medivac! I'm curious, though, because we had a passenger who became desperately ill onboard the Oosterdam last week and the Captain planned to take us off course to PR to get him to a hospital. I'm wondering if the Oosterdam is equipped for such a feat?

Sadly, we found out later the man died (at the time Captain Mercer merely said that "the situation had changed") and we didn't alter course after all).
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  #9  
Old November 20th, 2004, 05:24 PM
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Well, on the Veendam, they just used a clear spot on the front deck; certainly not large enough area to land. Passengers were kept from the front section of the ship during the whole process. The pick-up took at least 30 minutes to drop the line, pull up the basket, back away then pull the basket into the helicopter. Then they re-approached and did it over two more times. The captain stopped the ship and the helicopter hovered. The seas were calm and little wind. We were about 75 miles west of Key West when the evac occured at 9:00 in the morning on a sea day. Perhaps since Coast Guard station Keywest was so close, or the patient so critical, that they just decided to do the helicopter instead of putting into Key West.
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Old November 20th, 2004, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzincurt
One other observation. I thought it was a bit strange to have the welcome back Mariners reception at 11:30 in the morning! I've always attended these cocktail parties in the evening prior to dinner on other lines. But since this was only my second HAL cruise, perhaps this is the usual SOP?
Wouldn't call it SOP, but it isn't unheard of, either. I've been to the Mariners' reception noon-ish at least twice that I recall. As a matter of fact, I received my 111-day medal at a late morning reception. We weren't well dressed at all in the awardees' photo.

Thanks for the info on the evacuation.
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  #11  
Old November 21st, 2004, 04:08 PM
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cruizincurt.... Really don't think it's that unusual to have a few go on to that "Big Cruise Ship in the Sky" on cruises. Once on a 10-Day New Year's on Pricess we lost ten passengers ....

Do PLEASE tell us a bit more about your cruise. Were there a few things you liked?

Happy Sailing! OCruisers
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  #12  
Old November 21st, 2004, 04:53 PM
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I think that explains it. When we had the problem with an ill passenger, the seas were 10 to 18' so there was obviously no hope of accomplishing such a maneuver.

Incidently, our Mariner's Reception was at 11:40 a.m. I guess they fit it in whenever they have time in the Showtime Lounge. It's pretty busy there!!!
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  #13  
Old November 21st, 2004, 07:56 PM
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We liked everything about our cruise except our donation to the casino. This was our second time on the Veendam and have no negatives; except I wish there were some craps players. I do wish they would stop going to Jamaica, but that was our choice to book that date. Some of the more notable: Padded chairs on the promanade deck, no Dutch night, fresh flowers in the room.

Oh, and to my suprise there was no steel drum band, instead there was a jazz band from Michigan.

I thought they just wheeled you into one of the freezers until you got back to home port?
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Old November 21st, 2004, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzincurt
I thought they just wheeled you into one of the freezers until you got back to home port?
Awk!

Actually, I've been told over the years that every cruiseship travels with several coffins. Not a pretty truth, but a necessary one unfortunately.
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Old November 21st, 2004, 09:25 PM
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On my very first cruise in 1982, when we arrived back in port in Fla, I was so surprised to see two coffins being taken off the ship. Guess if you have to go, no better place than on a cruise ship!!....jean
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Old November 21st, 2004, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmorejj
On my very first cruise in 1982, when we arrived back in port in Fla, I was so surprised to see two coffins being taken off the ship. Guess if you have to go, no better place than on a cruise ship!!....jean
But not so good for the traveling companion.
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  #17  
Old November 21st, 2004, 09:58 PM
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We've seen air evacuation from aboard the ships. All HAL ships can handle it in the correct conditions. The last time that I recall a helicopter 'lift', all pax were told to stay out of Crowsnest and the stairwell/elevator was blocked to anyone trying to go there. Of course, there are always a few who do not think the rule applies to them.


We have seen the 'refrigeration space' for pax who have taken their last cruise. Not the worst way to go if it's your time........
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  #18  
Old November 21st, 2004, 10:01 PM
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Welcome Back, Cruzincort.......


We are booked for January on Veendam and are looking forward to returning to that pretty ship. It has been years since we cruised her but have had some fun times on Veendam.

Hope you'll share some more comments.

How was the dining room? Service good? A/c and plumbing work ok? Was the ice cream bar open into the afternoons?

Thanks. (I agree about Jamaica)
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  #19  
Old November 22nd, 2004, 08:59 PM
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The Veendam was just great. The ice cream bar with various liquid condiments was open in the afternoon as were cookies at the java bar, the deli sandwich counter and the pizza counter. No one kept hounding us for drinks as witnessed on RCCL and Carnival.

A/C was fine, not too hot, not too cold. No plumbing problems we heard about.

Food was fine and I never met a crewmember who didn't smile and say hello. I'm not sure if the daily menu item labeled "Comfort Food" is a tounge-in-cheek joke of those that can't experiment with new food items or it is truly meant to make some diners more at ease. Our favorite wine steward is Libay and she remembered us from last year's cruise. Everytime she saw us, she came over to say hello.

The casino dealers were mostly near the end of their first contract term and were not the warmest. But, we did happen to loosen a few up and add a little fun to our losing ways. If they only realized that if they were a bit more outgoing their tip income would increase.

The only decline in service I noticed, was that some tables remained uncleared a little longer in the Lido. I think that is just a manpower issue.
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  #20  
Old November 23rd, 2004, 02:20 PM
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Thanks for the review. We're on the Veendam Jan 15 14 day sailing. We also had a coast guard evacuation on our Oct sailing on the Sun... Got some very nice pictures while the helicopter hovered for nearly an hour..

Have to feel sorry for the need but in this age group it is to be expected... We were once in the lounge for a pre-show trivia when a passenger expired..Will always remember the scene... "Oh honey, why now"
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