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About Heartgrove

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Interests
    Photography, Reading, Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America Line
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Baltic Sea

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  1. We enjoyed the Vista Suite 5104, on the Nieuw Statendam last November on our Mediterranean cruise. Currently we have booked Vista Suite 6133 on the Rotterdam for the Northern Isles cruise. The layout of the room seems to work better for us, and there isn't that much difference in price depending on when you book. Our Future Cruise Consultant on the Eurodam, when we booked the suite for the Med cruise, suggested a Vista Guarantee due to the low percentage of Vista Suites onboard. His thoughts were that an upgrade to a Signature Suite or even a Neptune Suite was a real possibility. To us though where location onboard is important, we didn't do the Guarantee. But to those that do, it is definitely an option as all of the Vista Suites are in prime locations even if there isn't an upgrade.
  2. Last November we spent 20 days aboard the Nieuw Statendam cruising the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. The only instance of feeling crowded was not actually onboard. Our port call in Kotor required a 15-20 minute tender ride to shore. Disembarking was staggered by numbered group (suite and 5-star mixed in) which was fine as we were staged in a lounge. But returning, we needed to stand in line onshore for an hour. Two local tenders and two of the ship's tenders were used.There may have been an operational problem as the other ship's tenders remained in their davits. The issue of course was the distance required for the tender ride and time involved. The All Onboard last tender was 1630 - but we got in line at 1520 and did not get aboard the tender until 1625! But I wonder if this was the SOP for this port? Our port call for Monaco was cancelled but replaced by Ajaccio, Corsica which went smoothly with no noticible difference from other cruises we have taken, and Santorini tendering is done by the Boatmen there which works like a clock. Does the additional 400 passengers over a Signature/Vista -class make that much difference? The Pinnacle-class is just a modified Vista-class after all.
  3. I realize that cruise fares fluctuate constantly and so was intrigued by your comment regarding the British Isles cruise on the Neuw Statendam for 2021. We were booked on the cancelled British Isles cruise for this year on the departed Rotterdam VI. Our Vista Suite on that cruise, same itinerary, was approximately $700.00 more expensive than next year's on the Neuw Statendam. I guess a larger ship can spread costs easier. I am glad that HAL hasn't abandoned this itinerary and may attempt it in 2022.
  4. We try to support our local restaurants with take-out once a week. But we immediately dispose of any packaging that it was in, and microwave each serving of food for at least 30 seconds at full wattage.
  5. Since when is death dealt with by percentage? There isn't a "Mostly Dead" like in the movie Princess Bride. Which is better? zero or 388? .... Just saying.
  6. Canada reported Zero deaths yesterday for the whole country. The USA reported 383. But on the 10th through 12th: 1,134, 1,004, 808 respectively. Until we match or come close, I doubt that there will be any change in the closure order.
  7. We had 5104 on the Nieuw Statendam while on the 20 day Mediteranean Memories cruise in 2019. For that cruise, the pricing difference to a Veranda was not that much higher. Advantages are small to some but we feel add to the enjoyment. These include having an unobstructed view from the balcony and being truly midship. You do not have the lower portion of your view and photos being "orange." We also enjoy breakfast in our room. With the couch closer to the door, the steward is not required to squeeze past the bed with the tray. The additional square footage is appreciated on longer cruises. Currently we have 6133 reserved for the Rotterdam cruise to Iceland in August/September 2021 - provided there is a vaccine and cruising has been restarted.
  8. Is that a white hull, or would it be a primer coat? Anyone recall at this stage of construction the color of the hull for the Konigsdam or Nieuw Statendam?
  9. It is referred to as the Air Draft. And it would be too tall, in place of "too big."
  10. NBC had an example of a COVID-19 case study where one infected person passed the germ on to 91 additional people through community spread. The comment was "It spread like a wildfire."
  11. We booked our Nieuw Statendam cruise while on the Eurodam with the onboard FCC. The FCC suggested choosing the Nieuw Statendam cruise over a similar Konigsdam cruise. He was aware that enough changes were being made that he referred to the Nieuw Statendam as a Konigsdam Version 2.0. One of the reasons that the Promenade Deck narrows down at the stern is due to the larger kitchen supporting an additional restaurant and the Main Dining Room's additional passengers served. The engineers and designers have to work within given restraints. Adding additional deck to the Panorama Deck would add additional weight high in the superstructure that may affect stability. I would rather see different furniture in place of those huge couches located there. Passengers seem to stretch out on them in place of their intended use.My original thought on the huge screen was negative but I found it entertaining while having a gelato or desert in the evening. I agree that the current two ships do have shortcomings but that some are hopefully addressed with the new Rotterdam.
  12. I am amazed with all of the combined knowledge that is expressed on CC that no one mentions that the design change of the Pinnacle Class Promenade deck is due to SOLAS regulation changes required for lifeboats, later than the Nieuw Amsterdam completion. Access required for the lifeboats have been changed from earlier designs which now require lower positioning of the davits. Lifeboats must be able to fall when a 15 degree list either side is constant. This contributed to the 2012 disaster of the Costa Concordia where only 23 of 26 lifeboats were able to launch as three on the port side could not launch due to the ship's list. Also included in the updated design regulations are the requirement for disabled passenger, including access in case of an emergency. Hopefully the lifeboats never need to be utilized for their intended purpose. Also by definition a Promenade Deck is for walking, thus "Promenading." There are the deck benches on the Pinnacle class for life vest storage that can be used for short-term sitting. Yes, the view from the Promenade Deck is limited. But there are gaps that can be utilized and the large open starboard rail by the Dutch Cafe and corresponding port side rail. When we sailed on the Nieuw Statendam last year we found that we would just sightsee more from the Sun Deck. This was exceptional for the stunning views of the erupting volcano on Stromboli where the captain did a "Glacier-view" turn. We are looking forward to our next year's cruise on the new Rotterdam. For those that do require the HAL Promenade the four Vista, two Signature, and currently two remaining Rotterdam classes still have them.
  13. After our Rotterdam (VI) cruise for the British Isles this year was cancelled, we decided to leave our deposit as a FCC. With the positive talk recently regarding a vaccine, our thoughts were to at least book a cruise for late 2021. If the timing doesn't work we are prepared to cancel and wait for 2022. We settled on the then Ryndam as we really enjoyed our 20 days on the Nieuw Statendam last year. The fact that the Ryndam is to do two Northern Isle cruises seemed like a decent alternative to the British Isles cruise. One was mid-July 2021 and the other is late August 2021. We opted for the later of the two 2021 Northern Isles cruises. My thought was if the completion is delayed, we stand a better chance of actually sailing as scheduled. Even though our PCC was told by HAL that Ryndam/now Rotterdam was on schedule, he felt that maybe we were making a wise decision. The difference in the two cruises, besides a bit later in the season, is visiting Molde instead of Alesund. Much to my surprise the other day reading on CC that the Ryndam was now to be known as the Rotterdam (VII)! Delivery had been pushed back to the end of July. Our cruise has kept its original schedule - and we will sail on a Rotterdam after all!
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