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Posts posted by cruzingnut

  1. From what we were told by the captain on the K'dam, the "library" will be electronic. I'm thinking that you may be able to download books to your tablet. They just don't have the room for a big library like the smaller ships have. Not without getting rid of revenue generating spaces....and you know that's not going to happen. The captain has been involved with the new builds/planning so I assume he knows of what he speaks. I have a terrible memory but he is the captain that lives in Eastern Canada.


    Linda R.


    Just off the Koningsdam and the captain said that the Nieuw Statendam will have a library and that the Koningsdam will be refigured with a library as well. Hope that info is correct. Bob

  2. The Prinsendam will be retired eventually and there won't be a replacement (size wise). I was told this by the current captain on the Koningsdam. It's unfortunate, but the small ships (specifically doing the long itineraries) always operate at a loss. If we want small, we'll have to go with another company....I need to get to the rest of the world that I want to before the P'dam and the A'dam are retired!!


    Linda R.


    I have no idea what they're going to do, but if they retire Prinsendam I bet that they won't consider it to be without a replacement, given that Seabourn runs similarly sized ships on similar itineraries albeit at a radically different price-point. Folks here on the forum have made it very clear that Prinsendam is special within Holland America, and as such it wouldn't be surprising to see CCL decide that such specialness should be accompanied with a substantially higher price tag.

  3. Ahhhh, Trivia......oh yes, I know exactly who you are talking about. I wonder if Gene will (or has he already) invoked the "she who will not be named" rules again for trivia? As in, the team that corrects your paper is the one to hand it it (so that "she" can't hand in the team corrected one instead). At least, if I'm correct, you all won't have to deal with this after Singapore. In '15 that person got off there and I swear that I heard the entire ship cheer as we sailed away that day! I believe that the same thing will happen this time too.

  4. Originally Posted by bUU viewpost.gif

    It seems to me that the difference between Signature and Pinnacle is pretty minor. What am I missing about Signature?


    There is a huge difference between Signature and Pinnacle. It's not what Signature has, but what Pinnacle has. Personally, I greatly dislike the Signature class ships. The flow on the deck with the shops is a major choke point, the Queens Lounge/Culinary Arts Center/Nighttime entertainment venue is too small. How they do cooking in there is beyond me. On the K'dam there is a totally separate space for that where the cooking classes have many stations with only 2 people per; a huge improvement over everyone huddled around a couple of burners. In the evenings they have a dinner with wine included ($ fee). K'Dam has many public areas to find a quiet spot during the day to read/relax whereas the Sig class doesn't (library is the exception). The few rooms that they have are taken up by sales or the (scam) art auctions.


    The main things I don't like about the K'dam (Pinnacle class) is the lack of Promenade with no lounge chairs and that there is no library (this is being addressed). Big issues for many, for sure, me included. The 2 deck pool area on the K'dam is actually pretty nice! The movie screen wasn't as bad as I feared; it wasn't really intrusive during the day and at nite (10PM movie specifically), it was very pleasant to lie out there and watch a movie.


    I hope this helps; I feel like I've rambled a bit with my comments....


    Linda R.

  5. On our 19 day Caribbean cruise, we had lunch with the Captain (Mariner reception). I asked him about the ships and he said that they will be building 5 or 6 more like the Koningsdam. No more small ships; they simply do not make money on them. There will be some "adjustments" to the following ships as they have learned things with the K'dam.


    I also asked about the Promenade and the reason for the size of it and the life boats being there. There is NO requirement that they be there; they are being put there now so that they can have more unobstructed view cabins.


    For my own 2 cents, as a 5 star, we were actually pleasantly surprised with the K'dam. We certainly prefer the smaller ships (most of our time has been on the A'Dam and P'Dam) but this ship surprised us. We really enjoyed the eating venues and a biggie for us was the fact that it was easy to find a quiet place pretty much at any time during the day to sit and read. There are enough public rooms that they can't (thankfully) fill them all up with presentations, art (crap!) shows.


    The disappointment is that with the demise of the smaller ships, the nice long cruises that go to remote places might end. I do hope that they will keep some of the long ones...the Grands...but those are the ones that they really don't make money on. We don't drink much, go to the casino....do our own tours....on those long ones.


    Linda R.

  6. The World and the Grands usually leave late...sometimes as late as 11PM (ET) from the east coast. There are a lot of provisions to get on along with the luggage, etc. A couple years ago they waited til the last second for people to come aboard....imagine coming down for the WC in January...from Nova Scotia the DAY the cruise leaves! That's just nuts.


    Muster is the usual time; even though the ship leaves much later, you still have to be on by the "usual" time.


    I'm waiting for the ship to sail (watching webcam) and I am sooooo stinkin' jealous..... We've been on 3 WC's but I tell ya, it never gets "old!!!

  7. I'm glad I found this thread! My DH and I have most likely been on some of the WC's and Grands with you on the Amsterdam (my fav ship). I'll be looking forward to your comments and thoughts on this very different ship. As long time sailors of the Amsterdam, we are used to the peace and quiet (and less people) than on larger ships. We will be on the B2B starting 12/4.


    Belated Happy Birthday and have a great time!


    Linda R.

  8. [quote name=RuthC;


    HAL needs to understand that removing places that don't generate revenue' date=' and replacing them with revenue generating places, also remove many of the reasons for wanting to sail their ships in the first place.[/quote]


    You SO hit it right on the head with your comment Ruth! HAL will be loosing a lot of their faithful following if they continue with the new trend that the Koningsdam is bringing. I realize that they need to make money, but there has to be a better way to find that balance between what cruising used to be and the disaster that it has become with most of the other lines. Not everyone wants to drink until they puke, listen to the loudest music possible or buy stuff (which is usually crap!). We do have stores on land for that, let us get away from all that. And please, PLEASE get rid of the scam art auctions, particularly on the Grands and the World Cruises!


    Linda R.

  9. I looked out this morning and saw a cruise ship that looked like it was leaving Miami....but thought....no, not at 10 in the morning! Checked it out on a cruise ship tracker and saw that it was the Fantasy. Looked at its past track and it left Port Canaveral yesterday but stopped for several hours during the night about halfway between W. Palm Beach and Freeport. Resumed and then came almost all the way into Miami, then turned and left. I'm wondering if they found some migrants during the night and went to Miami to drop them with the Coast Guard?

  10. Is this something new with prices on the menu's? I thought that they had a flat rate for each restaurant. How does that with work with the dining packages?


    We chose the dining package as our "free" bennie when we booked. We were only able to book one of the restaurants ahead of time...hope we can book more once aboard. Otherwise we won't be able to use our "free" dining. Not sure how that works....



    Linda R.

  11. We've booked this too and I just found this thread. We LOVE this itinerary!! We've been waiting with bated breath for them to bring back this Grand as it's our favorite one.


    Linda R.


    According to those on the world cruise it will be an 80 day cruise round trip from San Diego and leaving October 1, 2017. They said the details would be released before the end of the world cruise. Those currently on board could put a $100 future cruise credit deposit on it if they wanted to.


    I was recently looking at some info for the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong kong and noticed the Amsterdam is due in there Nov 1st and 2nd 2017. Of course that might be subject to change.


    Someone on the world cruise was nice enough to post this picture of the proposed itinerary. I've never attached a photo before so I hope this works!!

  12. I finally made my way thru your blog this afternoon into this evening. Great blog! I did see where the Grand Asia... 2017 was being reinstated. Now, to change our WC booking to that one when it becomes available!


    I'm so glad I found your blog! Now I get to be jealous along with everyone else! We've done 3 of these WC's; 2010 (what we called the "wrong way world"), 2013 and last year, 2015.


    I have a question; is there any way you could ask whomever (sp) is the Future Cruise person/people on board when they will release the cruising schedule past May 2017? Why I ask is that there are a lot of us that would LOVE to see the Fall Grand (Asia/Australia...whatever incarnation they come up with) come back. We are waiting with bated breath for this info to come out and, from past experience, we seem to remember it coming out on the WC. I'm also curious about the '18 World.


    Now, I need to go back to the beginning of your blog and read it all the way through! What fun!




    aka cruzingnut

  13. I'm so glad I found your blog! Now I get to be jealous along with everyone else! We've done 3 of these WC's; 2010 (what we called the "wrong way world"), 2013 and last year, 2015.


    I have a question; is there any way you could ask whomever (sp) is the Future Cruise person/people on board when they will release the cruising schedule past May 2017? Why I ask is that there are a lot of us that would LOVE to see the Fall Grand (Asia/Australia...whatever incarnation they come up with) come back. We are waiting with bated breath for this info to come out and, from past experience, we seem to remember it coming out on the WC. I'm also curious about the '18 World.


    Now, I need to go back to the beginning of your blog and read it all the way through! What fun!




    aka cruzingnut

  14. I knew that all the plumbing wouldn't be replaced. One of the staff (upper, as in one who should know) told me that certain decks would be taken care of, but not all of them.


    These problems, and others, are things I addressed in my email survey after the World Cruise. It's just inconceivable that this ship that is ONLY 15 years old (typically are good for 30 years!) is this kind of condition. It's deplorable that the flagship of the line and the one that is used for the World Cruise is in this kind of condition.


    Seriously, this needs to be totally taken care of BEFORE undertaking a World Cruise. Not only the leaks, but yes, temperature problems, toilet problems and some folks even were forced to move to different cabins due to these issues not being fixed. We were lucky (this time) to not have problems like a lot of other people did.....


    HAL, are you listening? Reading this?


    Linda R.

    ....who has more days on the Amsterdam than any other 'dam ship.



    Can't address "changes" as a first time Amsterdam cruiser...although sailed HAL exclusively many years ago. Lots of changes since the "old days" which I won't get into here.


    Definitely new bedding, which was wonderful - hallway carpeting also looked brand new. Was onboard from Ft. Lauderdale through to Seattle and the one bucket for the leak at the starboard entrance to the lower level of La Fontaine was replaced by 3 towels and 2 "Cuidado" signs by the 2nd to last night.


    Internet speed excruciatingly slow - often 5 minutes simply to log on. Forget trying to download anything. Temperature issues throughout the ship, and from San Diego onwards, you could hang meat in our cabin, despite the thermostat being turned to the highest setting. Luckily we found some wool deck blankets which came in very handy, as attempts to repair failed. No plumbing issues for us, thank goodness and yes, we even had towel animals!


    Minor issues indeed, all in all she's in great shape for a 15 year old ship and we enjoyed our 19 days onboard. But if we choose HAL again, will likely be on a newer vessel.

  15. I stand corrected! I had no idea that this was available. You'd think that the President and CEO of HAL would have told us this on the world cruise....


    Linda R.


    We had unlimited WiFi on Westerdam. Very reasonable IMHO. We took the mid range pkg which cost $149 for the first 16 days and $35 for the next 4 days. Worked very well.

  16. The internet does not connect to the shore based towers yet. Stein Cruse and Orlando Ashford said that is still planned (sometime in the future, not yet) when they did their yearly visit to the world cruise.


    Regarding an "unlimited" package; I've heard nothing about that. Can't imagine HAL offering that....at all. If they did, I shudder to think of what the cost would be.


    Linda R.

  17. The WiFi was "upgraded" after the 2013 World Cruise. From what I saw on this years world cruise, it was much slower to nonexistent. Naturally, when you are in the middle of the ocean and there is no landmass around (they don't beam internet to where there are no people.), you won't get any internet. But, I had a hard time using my 1000 min. that I bought due to not even being able to get on near land. Heard lots of people talking about it taking 15 min. to download an email. I ended up using my husbands tablet (he got a local SIM card) to upload my blogs.


    I probably won't bother with the ship internet next time; I'll use a SIM card in a tablet or use the $30/month ATT international package.


    I felt bad for the librarian, Emily, although she was a saint dealing with the same stuff day after day from people!


    Linda R.





    And has the internet/wi fi system been upgraded?

  18. I am interested to hear what happened at the drydock. We were on the World Cruise just prior and there were definitely problems that needed to be addressed. I was told while on the ship that they were going to begin to replace a lot of the plumbing (there were many, many leaks with buckets in the hallways on the trip!). They are also replacing carpet and all the mattresses in the cabins. We picked up a number of workmen in Europe near the end of the cruise and as we got off, a lot more were getting on and cranes were loading crates onto the top decks of the ship.


    Regarding changing the Prom Deck rooms to Lanai's....they are not doing that. They were going to but the ships that they've done that one...they are not well received so it never got done on the Amsterdam. Thank heavens...she's my favorite ship and putting Lanai's there would have severely reduced the "open" deck chair options!


    Linda R.

  19. Oh, that is just hysterical what you wrote about the water swirling around in your portholes! :eek: Love it! ARRRRRRR!!!


    As a fellow (just off the '15 World Cruise) passenger, I'm following your trip on Disney with interest. What a shock to go from no kids (well, one 13 year old the first half of the WC, and of course the Capt's kids/grands)) to, heavens knows how many! It doesn't sound like you'll be running off the ship at the end of the cruise screaming.



    AKA Linda R.

  20. Wow, where did you get hold of the itinerary for that? I like the 5 stops in Hawaii; the most we've stopped there is 3 days. Also, love the south pacific islands. Did a bunch of those a couple times and they are just beautiful!


    Still not happy that we won't get to Asia or Australia (or anywhere in between)....that cruise is one we could take every year!


    I guess I'll have to be satisfied with what we can get without having to fly....


    I think these big changes (ie: Grand Med that now goes to the Med from Fl and doesn't come back anymore) are because there are so many ships that are nearly permanently "parked" in Asia, Australia and Singapore.


    Linda R.

  21. I'm very interested in this also. Not happy that they are stopping the usual cruise though and seriously will be unhappy if it doesn't start/end in the States. I don't fly...this is my favorite Grand....oh man....I don't want to go with another line.


    Linda R.



    According to posts on this site, 2014 with be the last year for the Grand Pacific & Far East Voyage. Posters have stated that it is being replaced with a 50 day South Pacific cruise. With HAL taking their time in getting the 15/16 calender out, can anyone with knowledge shed some light on this itinerary?




  22. We have used this for years and consider it a great thing as we cruise pretty frequently.


    A question I have for anyone else that has this; have you gotten the shore excursion credit? I did it once and when we got our first bill (this was on a long cruise), it showed up and was used as general credit. Meaning, they didn't only use it for shore excursions. Wanted to know if this is how others have seen it used. I'd love to do this again but not sure if it would get posted the same way and don't want to risk not taking enough shore excursions to use up what I get.


    Hope that's clear as mud! :o


    Linda R.

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