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About Desdemona01

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    St. Somewhere
  • Interests
    reading, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    almost anywhere

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  1. Good morning, We have 21 cruises with HAL under our belts
  2. we made a sign on one of those magnetic sheets about 10 years ago and have never found a door on a HAL ship that it will stick to. I still use it on every cruise and I just use 4 squares of the two-sided removable adhesive (I think it's 3-M) and it always stays on and removes cleanly.
  3. room service is a limited menu--as a vegetarian my choices are a wrap or a pasta dish--the same ones that have been on the menu since our first cruise. Yes, you can request something off menu but they may or may not be able to get it for you. Since the Dive In no longer offers veggie burgers (just mushroom caps--no thanks) my lunch choices have been reduced unless I want to take on the feeding frenzy in the Lido. Good thing I always bring a box of meal replacement bars with me when I travel :rolleyes:
  4. Boarding was delayed quite a bit for the NA. Friends who get priority boarding were just allowed to board at 2:45. No lunch and no time to unpack before muster drill. Sent from my XT1254 using Forums mobile app
  5. thanks so much for responding! I didn't have high hopes so it's not terribly surprising. We gave up on the HAL singers and dancers many cruises ago and we don't care for magicians and/or jugglers. We've found it is rare to find someone of the caliber of Jimmy Maddox in the Piano Bar, or Joel Mason in the main show lounge. When we were on the Ryndam this past March the pianist with the dance combo in the Ocean Bar, a Scotsman named Andy, was fantastic! We heard that he was going to be performing in HAL piano bars in the future so we'll keep our fingers crossed that we sail with him again someday. Lucky for us we booked another cruise in a few months with the aforementioned Mr. Maddox :D
  6. I was hoping that someone who just disembarked from the Noordam on 12/15 could offer some insight on entertainment on board--specifically the Piano Bar and any entertainers in the main showroom (other than the HAL singers and dancers). Thanks in advance for any information :) Also wondering if there is a guitarist performing in the Crow's Nest in the evenings. Des
  7. our cruise departing 12/22 shows several Neptune suites still open. We received an upsell offer last week to go from SY to Neptune--for $1049/pp:eek:. We declined. We have accepted other upsell offers in the past but we always book the specific stateroom that we know we will be happy with--and we are :)
  8. Like Ruth, we have always (knock wood) gotten our luggage in time to unpack and settle in before muster drill. But, since we know there can sometimes be hang ups, my DH always packs a pair of dockers and a collared shirt in his carryon. As we do when flying, we make sure we have a change of clothes with us apart from our checked luggage.
  9. I really, really wish CC had *Like* buttons--I would click on every post! You guys are just hysterical!
  10. Vague? She said they were wake cabins and on deck 6--I think you just *assumed* she meant the wrap cabins and didn't read it correctly. I got what she meant and I DID check the deck plans :rolleyes: I appreciate when people go the extra distance because I am one of those who would prefer not to have a HC cabin--and yes, I don't book guarantees for that reason. But there are many people who would not realize that could/would happen.
  11. I'm really glad that it worked out for you--I've found that open seating is hit or miss with special dietary requests. When we had fixed seating I always ordered from the vegetarian menu for the following meal--it usually went well. On our first two cruises with open seating I tried, but found that either they couldn't find my meal or I would get it as the rest of the table was ordering dessert. It was just way too much stress for something that was supposed to be enjoyable. This cruise was the first time I'd noticed such limited vegetarian options on the MDR menu. Again, there may have been more options than I could judge but without any indication that they were veg-friendly I wasn't going to chance it. I've asked servers in the past if they knew if something had chicken broth, etc. and, again, it just wasn't worth it for them to go running back to the kitchen to find out. And, there's always the chance that they will *guess*, which doesn't work out well for me. Other than the stuffed chilies night, I made do in the MDR. I am going to suggest on my survey that they offer a pasta & red sauce and/or house salad on the "available anytime" portion of the menu (right now the only salad offered is Caesar). Thanks for all of the kind comments--we're still going through withdrawal and miss the lovely Ryndam and her amazing crew :)
  12. No, Mama Lou was not with us on this cruise. We did meet her the last time we were aboard the Ryndam and really enjoyed her--she's quite a character :)
  13. Many of the crew and staff that we spent time with will still be aboard when you sail, so I think you'll be pleased :)
  14. We just returned from our 3rd cruise on the Ryndam. To begin with, this cruise reaffirmed that the Ryndam is our favorite ship. She may have been heading to drydock after we disembarked but we never would have known from the way the crew was taking care of her or any of the services provided. The ship size, the elegance and ambiance of the Ryndam are among the things that make her our favorite. We were in a Neptune suite and the size of the verandah alone is worth it, to us. This may have been the friendliest crew we've had in several cruises. From the time we boarded until we drove away we kept commenting to each other about the smiles and enthusiasm that we witnessed among any and all of the crew members we interacted with. The food--I will say that this was my only disappointment. When we were on the Nieuw Amsterdam in December I was thrilled with the vegetarian offerings on the MDR menu, and that they were indicated with a "V" on the menu, taking the guesswork out of soups, entrees, etc. Not so on the Ryndam. No "V"'s anywhere on the menu so I passed over most of the soups, since I had no way of knowing if chicken or beef broth was used. It was not unusual to find that all of the appetizers and/or salads/soups were not vegetarian-friendly. There was only one entree each night that was vegetarian, which sent us to the Lido on the evening when the veg option was stuffed chilies (at least in the Lido I could get a plain pasta with red sauce). Before anyone suggests I should have used the vegetarian menu I will say that, with open seating, we've found this almost impossible. I've tried it on previous cruises and it's just not practical. No, I didn't starve, but it was a disappointment. Entertainment--we are big piano bar fans, when the entertainment is good (Jimmy Maddox!!). David Anthony is very talented but it was not our type of piano bar. We prefer an entertainer who is flexible, takes requests, doesn't insist on sticking to *theme* nights, and is clearly having fun. After the first night we spent more time in the Ocean Bar, and discovered, much to our delight, that the piano player/vocalist for the Neptunes, a Scotsman named Andy, was one of the most talented performers we've enjoyed onboard since our cruise with Jimmy Maddox. While the Neptunes are expected to play the tranditional standards for people to dance to, he interspersed amazing renditons of music from Elton John, Van Morrison, Marc Cohen, Paul Simon, etc with Gershwin, Porter and Bacharach. He was so kind--we requested Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" and he came back early from his break to perform it, before the dance music began again. We did notice that the Ocean Bar seemed to be drawing as many people as the Piano Bar. We found out on the last night that, after his break, he will be taking over the piano bar on one of the ships (didn't find out which one). I hope we have the opportunity to enjoy his music again on a HAL ship. We no longer attend the shows with the singers/dancers--too redundant. We did go to see Tricia Kelly, who has a great voice and did songs from Janis Joplin to Julie Andrews. The guitarist performing in the Mix, Terry, is very talented but had little interaction with the crowd. We were on board for St. Patrick's Day and partcipated in a bar hop. We started in the Ocean Bar, continued to the Piano Bar, then to the Lido Bar, and finished in the Crow's Nest. Each stop included a green, Irish-themed drink. In the Ocean Bar the Neptunes performed a very good rendition of "The Wild Rover" to start us off. In the Piano Bar, David was asked to perform an Irish tune but declined. By the time we got to the Crow's Nest, Andy (from the Neptunes) joined the HALcats and did a reprise of "The Wild Rover" for the crowd. It was a fun night and had a good turnout--I would guess 30 or so participants. Ports--we booked this cruise for the ship, with Key West being the bonus. We did go ashore in Roatan, Guatamala and Costa Maya but did not do any excursions. We spent as much time as possible on our verandah, enjoying the sun and scenery (and not missing the snow banks back at home). We received our 100-day medallions wihile on board, which was fun. This cruise ranks in the top 5 of our all-time favorites and we cannot wait to sail aboard the Ryndam again in the future. The added bonus is sailing from Tampa--what a delight after dealing with the chaos at Port Everglades. Please feel free to ask any questions, and I will try my best to answer. Des
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