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About OmarOak

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • Interests
    Wine, Food, Gardening

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  1. It is a savings if you actually want to go to all the restaurants on your Cruise. On a recent Koningsdam Cruise, reservations were a simple matter in every venue other than the Pinnacle Grille. We did not do the package and were glad we didn't. The savings (I think $20pp overall) were not worth the commitment to us.
  2. I come at it from the POV of being a partner in multiple restaurants that are known for doing similarly offbeat/innovative preparations (Foie Gras Veal Marsala, for example) and really enjoyed the Oyster/Foie dish. I ate at the original De Libijie in Holland a few years ago and thought it was marvelous and was surprised that they would lend their brand name to a venture they didn't directly oversee. I was impressed that the kitchen could pull off something that innovative and true to the original restaurant on ship. I also enjoyed both Pinnacle and Sel de Mer. Both were solid.
  3. Just off Koningsdam where we had a Vista Suite. Very underwhealming and not worth the upcharge versus a Balcony Cabin: 1. The extra square footage was minimal and the design did not use it well. It seemed more cramped than a friend's balcony Cabin we visited. 2. The layout with the seating area and desk between the bathroom and bed was not very functional. The standard of having the seating are next to the balcony is much better for us. 3. The seating was awkward and uncomfortable.
  4. We did the De Librijie Dinner on Koningsdam during our 1/4 - 1/13 cruise and thought it was absolutely phenomenal. Extraordinary complex food preperations executed flawlessly - this far exceeded our expectations. The evening was well worth it.
  5. Just off the Koningsdam on Sunday 1/13. I liked the concept of the Rolling Stone Room but thought the band was only OK. The play list was partially to blame as neither vocalist had the range to cover some of the high and low notes. The sets were repetitive. The lead guitarist Leilani was great but the remainder of the band seemed weak to me. The songs were straight renditions of the original artists so seemed like a jukebox. The BB King band was superior. Great, tight, musicianship across the board. Solid vocals, especially from the female singer. Toward the end of the cruise, I realized that the BB King Bass Player was actually a musician I had heard before a few years ago when he was part of the band backing jazz keyboardist Brian Auger. Lincoln Center Stage was good but the performances were at awkward times. Not a fan of the dueling pianos....
  6. The Koningsdam Casino allowed smoking 8 of the 9 nights of our cruise. The ventilation system is completely inadequate and the entire casino reeked. I would have played far more Blackjack if I could breathe in the Casino!
  7. On Koningsdam, the Grand Dutch Cafe was my go to for AM Americanos etc. Opened at 7. The GDC and Crow's Nest had real Espresso Machines while the Espresso in the Lido was automated machine and not very good.
  8. The Premium Package was $169.99 for the 9 days.
  9. Was in Marigot last week. The Craft Fair was open as was the enclosed Mall. Much of the town remains in disrepair but a number of restaurants are open including our favorite, Tropicana.
  10. We will be there early January and are planning on a visit to Marigot during the day and an early Dinner in Grand Case prior to getting aboard prior to the 11 PM departure. We haven't been to Grand Case before; is there anything to do there beyond the beach and restaurants (shops, sightseeing)? is it really 45 minutes to an hour to get there from the Cruise Port? It looks to be 5 miles so we were assuming 20 minutes or so?
  11. I've seen little written about this. Any experiences? Is it worth it?
  12. We are on Koningsdam in early January, our first HAL cruise after prior trips on Princess and Celebrity. Reading through various posts, it seems as if waiting to book specialty restaurants until boarding might be problematic because all the best days/times are pre-booked. Is this a correct perception? If you pre-book specialty dining does the charge get added to the on-board billing or will I be paying seperately before the cruise? Thanks!
  13. Planning a return to Marigot on our upcoming trip including Lunch at Tropicana and potentially Dinner in Grand Case as well.
  14. We'll be in St. Martin from 8a to 11p. We usually visit Marigot and on this trip, since we'll be there well into the evening, are considering Dinner in Grand Case prior to returning to the ship. Any input on the wisdom of this and specific restaurants?
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