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About jabcruiser

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    Cool Cruiser

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    cruising, travel, gardening
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    holland america
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  1. You will love the Signature Suite and we had no noise issues at all with the connecting room. The SS are so much roomier than the standard veranda cabins. Plenty of closet and storage room so no concerns there. Enjoy your trip. Don't just stay on the veranda though through the canal. Go forward and aft also for different views. They also open a deck forward, maybe level 4 or 5, very early with coffee and rolls served so try to do that if you can. Started raining hard so that was kind of a wash out on our trip. Enjoy. Jane
  2. We were in one of these on Konigsdam in Dec. Not an issue. The people above really don't stand there staring down at the balconies below I don't believe. Guess wouldn't go nude just in case, but really not an issue. We liked the large balcony. Jane
  3. Several years ago when our Broncos played we were on Westerdam and purchased this VIP package. Cost right at $50 person and included front row comfy seating, food, alcohol drinks throughout game, and dedicated waiter. HAL really put on a nice spread with lots of game day finger foods, carved watermelons and stuff, special super bowl cakes. Was really nice and we had a great time, especially since our team won. Highly recommend you do this. Funny thing about game telecast is no commercials. So during commercial breaks the CD and assistants have little games and give out assortment of prizes. I mean lots of stuff. Was fun but did miss seeing the commercials a bit, I hate to admit. Jane
  4. I'm pretty sure they opened about 9 am. We got there about 10 and left around noon and that was on a Sunday. There were already several couples there set up with beach chairs. I didn't use the restrooms but my husband did and he says they were basic but not filthy or anything. You might search "Raschal's Bar" in Barbados. Seems like i saw a picture on line, maybe TA,. with hours written on it. Jane
  5. Yes. That is correct. Per person. Jane
  6. We had VB4209 on Koningsdam recently which is aft starboard. Very deep -about 10 feet. Clear rail. Those far forward might have solid rails, but aft are clear. Found size of cabin to be adequate. Didn't notice significant difference from Vista class ships. Jane
  7. We just off Koningsdam in a connecting room very similar to your location. Never heard a thing. Jane
  8. If you decide to do this cruise, contact Woodwind in Bonaire right away to see if you can get on the snorkeling excursion. Absolutely best ever snorkel excursion. We have done many and this beats them all by a mile. Do not miss it is my advise. Also, is the $2500 for both of you? If so that is ok price. We just paid about the same for a veranda on Koningsdam that was 11 days. Got OBC that covered tips and a Tamarind dinner. Sister ship to this one. You should enjoy it. Jane
  9. You cannot sit straight on unless you are under maybe 5'3". I am 5'6 and couldn't as glass shower enclosure blocks your knees. Jane
  10. We don't normally use promenade deck much but did notice it is much narrower than on Vistas. That is why they have to do muster inside as promenade too narrow. Not room for lounge chairs either i guess as didn't see any out there and would certainly block the narrower sections. There is a running track up top on Sun deck and we did see it being used. However there are cabins there at one end so there was a sign no jogging before 8, I believe, and an evening cut off time which I don't recall. Also on Sun deck, which we found interesting, was lots of equipment for doing specific exercises. Probably dozen or so total and each for specific purpose. Thought that was interesting and an option instead of spa. We aren't exercise folks but noticed this one day wondering around ship taking some pictures. Don't recall seeing these on any of our other cruises. Jane
  11. Agree, always before there has been a card, but on our recent cruise on Koningsdam there was not and saw nothing stating this on room service menu either. But possibly I missed it as we ordered room service from MDR Gala night menus Did this both Gala nights. Of course we knew to call for tray pickup from past HAL cruises, but definitely no card stating this on room service tray this time. I was a little surprised because new HAL cruisers might not know to do this. Jane
  12. Yes, I also noticed more multi generation families on this cruise and more kids than normally on HAL. But really not at all bothersome to us. The kids seemed generally very well behaved. One evening at early BB King show some little ones really getting it down on dance floor. They were so cute and everyone having a great time. We did enjoy this cruise. Was just a little different than the normal HAL we are used to. Jane
  13. The embarkation was longer lines than we have previously experienced on HAL. More like our Carnival experiences. Probably 30 minutes in line to check in, then another 30 minutes in seating area before our group called. Heard from CrewNews that late embarkation due to workers still on board post dry dock so that may have been just an anomaly for our cruise. Debarkation was late also. We did expedited and carried off our bags. Scheduled to begin at 7:30 but almost 8 when finally opened the gates. Very long line by then, but it moved quickly and customs a breeze so no complaints there. Maybe 15 minutes to get out to shuttle pickup after debarkation began so that was good. Jane
  14. Just back from 11 Day Southern Wayfarer cruise. This was our 6th HAL cruise and 4 of those were on the Vista Class ships in the past few years. For those of you wondering about any differences experienced on Koningsdam from our previous HAL cruises, here are some things I noted. Some good, some bad IMHO. Happy Hour: Yes they have it at 4:00 every day but not in Crow's Nest or ocean bar. It is in Billboard Onboard and Rolling Stone Rock Room which are right across from each other. $2 second drink.. They don't serve individual appetizers, but rather have a walk up station with about a dozen items including olives, cheeses, bread sticks, delicious pastry straws, great nuts, chips, salsa, vegies and dips and probably more items that I have forgotten. Liked this. There is also a second Happy Hour in Crow's Nest at 10:00 but we did not attend that. Also Blend seemed to have an evening happy hour with 2nd glass wine free. Not sure if that was every day, but did see it at least a few days in When and Where. Ship: Yes it is bigger, and yes it seemed more crowded than our previous HAL cruises. Lido buffet and pool areas especially where this noted. But the outside seating is a huge improvement. Lots of comfy sofa and big padded chair seating in pool area and on deck above pool and even on Sun deck which also had glass partitions which blocked the wind and provided some more private little cove areas to lounge. But believe actual lounge chairs available were fewer. Especially noted this aft lido pool area which seemed smaller in area than on other ships. Pools more crowded than have experienced previously and several days shortage of pool towels noted. Outside table seating was good and way more comfy chairs there too. Movie every night on Lido but we didn't attend any. One thing I noted was you could actually understand the PA announcements and Captain Timmers spoke really good English. Usually can't hear or understand at least half of the announcements. First time had inside muster and though more comfortable setting just did not make me feel very safe. Just don't think it would work that well during true emergency. Ship definitely lacked the classic art and sculpture we have enjoyed so much on previous cruises. Artwork looked like they just got it from the Art Auction people on board. Not our taste I guess. Lido Buffet: totally staff serve here. Even juices in a.m. behind glass. Nice Hibachi station where you pick vegies and meat and sauce and they prepare for you. Also sushi, dumplings and several pre made items here. This was very popular. Italian station appeared the same but pizza now has it's separate venue on deck above Lido. That often very crowded with 45 minute wait one evening, but Pizza very good. Didn't seem to serve as much lamb as on previous cruises. It was served couple of times but prime rib, roast chicken, steak and roast pork seemed to be the standards here. Of course always a fish item also. The many stations on Lido were nice but it just seemed a lot more crowded with longer lines than have experienced before. All pre-made sandwiches with too much mayo or butter. No more taco station back by Dive In - missed that. Did note that Lido Buffet seemed to be open longer hours than on previous cruises with limited stations open until 4:00 in afternoon and dinner maybe until 8:30. Specialty restaurants: We tried Tamarind the first evening and liked it Rather strange though that they were "out" of a couple of items on first day of cruise and first day of new menu. Pinnacle still offers lunch on sea days and we took advantage of that and loved it. Canaletto about the same. Enjoyed Grand Dutch Cafe free food items and thought that was very nice. No Culinary Arts Center and no cooking demos. Missed them. HAL Navigator: Used this every day and very convenient. Booked a dinner reservation and worked like a charm. Shops: All new and not impressed. Jewelry shops looked same to me but I have too much jewelry I never wear so didn't visit. Separate T shirt shop had 2 types of t-shirts basically. One with pocket and one without. Same logo on all that we saw. Just small HAL ship logo. That was it. Gift shop had usual liquor and tobacco but very few smaller gift type items. Nothing there of interest to us as have plenty of watches don't wear and plenty of dressy clutches don't use. Room: Yes the toilet seat is somewhat annoying but really no big deal. Nice night light across from foot of bed that lights automatically at night from movement. Glass shower doors - Yay. Storage about the same. Small round table (Veranda cabin) not suitable for in room dining so used desk. MDR: Only visited during muster. Too many stories of 30 minute waits for water glass fill, 2 1/2 hour dining times, long open seating waits, etc. My impression was that decor appeared very minimalistic. Room service: Ordered both gala nights from MDR menu as usual for us. Hope they continue this option but worried they may discontinue in future as a cost cutting measure. These are most of the differences I noted from previous HAL cruises. I am sure I missed some though. Service was good and generally on par with HAL standards. We did enjoy the additional dining venues on this ship and the new BB King Blues club was really nice and band was great. As I stated in other posts, did not enjoy the Rolling Stone Rock band but seemed busy every night so obviously others did. Just didn't think the band and especially singers were very good. New World Stage looked really nice but we did not attend any shows there. Hope this helps anyone considering a Koningsdam cruise. Any questions will be glad to give my two cents. Jane
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