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Everything posted by Balliett

  1. On the Aug28,22-Sep11-22 cruise, the departure was changed, a few week prior, from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. Our experience was that we Ubered from Ams to Rotterdam dock on the day of departure. A nice sedan, for about $100. On the day of return, we rode the HAL bus back to the Ams airport. The busses were late, packing up the luggage into the bus was a crowd scene and we wish we had arranged an Uber. The ship was the Rotterdam.
  2. I was wrong about significant changes to all NS cruises this summer, but examples of what some passengers found to be "drastic" changes were on NS 7-26 and 8-23 itineraries. Besides the 8-9 cruise.
  3. Correction: I am referring above to the July 26-Aug2 cruise.
  4. Yes we on the Aug 9 cruise received an email with the new itinerary on March 21, although there were those rumors as SueMo notes. I see that the Aug 9 revisions now have six tender ports. It may be that the problem NS is having is a maneuverability problem rather than a speed problem. The tender ports require less manuevering, I suppose. On the scheduled Aug 2 NS cruise, the roll call posts show passengers received this message by email on February 21 "Please be advised that due to operational considerations, the call dates to Geiranger, Norway and Alesund, Norway have been reversed. Nieuw Statendam will now call to Geiranger on Saturday, July 29, 2023 from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Alesund on Sunday, July 30 from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Additionally, we will no longer call to Bergen, Norway on Monday, July 31 and instead will spend the day at sea. As a result of this change, we have added a call to Gothenburg, Sweden on Tuesday, August 1 from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM."
  5. The Nieuw Statendam cruise itineraries are being revised, it appears, from now until drydock in November. These revisions result in less time in ports and more time at sea. Some ports are missed altogether. Excursions are canceled because the date for the port changed. The cruise review by Jsom98 details this experience in March. HAL says "operational difficulties." I believe that the NS can't sail at her usual speed due to mechanical difficulties which can't be repaired until they cancel a cruise or two. For our own situation, we were booked on the Aug 9 cruise, 14 days. Due to the revised itinerary we couldn't visit Cork, and changing our planned excursions was not always possible due to shorter port times. We were offered $100 for our inconvenience. We had refundable air arrangements. so we canceled the trip without penalties. My complain here is that HAL has not been transparent about the problem, and that the inconvenience compensation is inadequate. I will say that HAL was quick to refund our deposit and payments we had made for excursions, Club Orange, and premium meals.
  6. Marriott. As has been said, reasonable walking distance to the museums and the Concertebouw. You can buy tickets to this lovely concert hall online. Also, we arrived without luggage which didn't arrive for 56 hours, stuck in Rotterdam. The hotel was tolerant of our wearing the same gift shop tee shirts for days, picked up our bar tab once, and after we left, repatriated my mate's cell phone by fedex (for a fee). The M-Club lounge is excellent. Very good food tour by Viatour. . Do watch out for bicycles. They have the right away everywhere, apparently.
  7. always bring your paperwork showing your offer. always.
  8. Same thing happened to us, DaveOKC, last summer on the NA. Guarantee Neptune SB (hugh balcony) "upgraded" to the forward cabin Neptune. Never again guarantee when the "upgrade" could be to the front spa Neptune. Useless balcony is the worst part.
  9. Here's a recommendation for a private or group guide: Stefan Vallson. You can check him out on the internet or by Tripadvisor. We two booked him for a tour in 2020, then 2021 both cancelled by the pandemic then the cruise line. The first year he refunded our deposit. The second he said no deposit needed. and finally we met him from the ship for a ten hour day last summer. Not inexpensive but great reputation. Our experience was first class.
  10. Of no use on travel to San Diego and boarding ship in December, 2023
  11. Lincoln Center groups are our favorite in HAL ships.
  12. I read somewhere that Italians could tell Americans by their white tennis shoes. So I wore black walking shoes in Italy. I probably still looked American. But black running/walking shoes would probably pass the "no sports shoes" rule.
  13. Mimosas were offered daily at breakfast on the Koningdam, Orange Club, in December. This ship does have a separate breakfast-dining room.
  14. We are just back from Christmas on the Koningdam. We have been on three cruises this year with a Rolling Stone Rock Room group. They seem well chosen by someone because they have all been personable and good rockers. They always fill the room + for their 45 minute sets. Here are some selections they played for us, usually extended version covers of these tunes: The Chicken Jaco Pantorius No sunshine when she's gone Bill Withers I shot the sheriff Eric Clapton Running on empty Jackson Brown The Wizard Black Sabbath Rebel Rebel David Bowie A town called malice The Jam I still haven't found what I'm looking for U-2 Rocking all over the world Jon Fogerty
  15. We booked a private tour with Stefan was it 2020? and put down a deposit. Then Covid. He refunded our money. Next year, we tried to book and said OK, no deposit needed. The cruise canceled. So 2022 we succeeded! We two seniors had a good day 9 hours from Reykjavik with our private guide who met the ship. https://stefanguideiniceland.com/ A good guy.
  16. We left our ship on our own at about 7:30am, had a taxi right away and were at the airport before 8:30 for an 11:30 flight.
  17. Hi Seaver. No way you can get in forty miles a week on a ship. Your best shot is researching running possibilites when you dock. Running is a great way to see a city. I'm an old/former marathoner who has been there.
  18. In August, when the Rotterdam switched from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, due to low water in the canal, the pax were about 60% American and 40% Dutch. Announcements were in both languages.
  19. We had one, also from a "guarantee" in July on the Nieuw Amsterdam. Deck 10. Alaska. Imagine my surprise, since I booked an SB (wraparound veranda) guarantee. I kind of hated it because of the tiny, steel walled deck. Wife liked the cabin. No motion of the ocean, which was good. And it was Alaska, which means not much sitting out on the "deck" anyway. Wife liked the big front windows and the lots of storage. Great view. You don't say where your ship is going. No place warm, I hope. What to do about it, I dk.
  20. We almost always have breakfast in the cabin, in a Neptune Suite, Veranda cabin or veranda with Club Orange. We have always used the door hanger and have sometimes written in modest special requests. Wife was writing pancakes on the menu and they were served. The waiter said that he got them from the Pinnacle. We think that room service delivery deserves extra appreciation.
  21. The Neptune Spa suite is at the very front of the ship and has only a tiny veranda with a steel railing.
  22. We had an SB guarantee on the Nieuw Amsterdam in Alaska in July. It was "upgraded" to an SQ, which is at the very front of the ship. It was a bad suite in that the veranda was tiny. Otherwise fine, with big front-view windows. Wife liked it. I had wanted the SB with a wraparound veranda. No more Neptune guarantees for me.
  23. As of July, on the Nieuw Amsterdam, the neptune lounge had food, fresh fruit, expresso, etc, at various times of the day. Always a concierge at the desk. And Club Orange has a podium outside the main dining room, so check in there for the "special" section and slightly different menu.
  24. We are just back from the Rotterdam (8-28 to 9-11). We loved the Club Orange dining room. The ship was full but we NEVER had any wait for a two-top when arriving anywhere from 5:30 to 6:30. The tables were farther apart than in the main dining room. The server stations were at the edges of the room, never near your table. Service was always prompt. No ocean views, but I loved being able to see the open kitchen. We dined breakfast room service except the last day when we visited Club Orange for breakfast. Club Orange dining room is more valuable for us than Neptune Lounge.
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