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About Topsham

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Interests
    Ships, Seafaring & The Sea
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Saga, HAl, Cunard
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Outdated? Veendam is now what is called a 'classic' and is a better looking than most ships... even the new HAL ships! The ship is only 23 years old. This ship can last a lot longer. The old NOORDAM and Nw AMSTERDAM are still running.
  2. Happy Nieuw Year! Hello to many good old friends. Have been swamped so don't post much. I read through frequently. ;-) Thought you might think about this new ship, due out this June. Roughly the same as the R Class.... 58,000 tonnes. Passengers Max: 999. No inside cabins. ALL balconies. 100 Single balcony cabins. No obstructed views. Main Dining room, Lido restaurant. The 'special' restaurants.... one steak house, one fish restaurant and one 'Asian' restaurant. No any extra charge for restaurants. All one sitting. Dinner 6.45pm to 9 pm. Show lounge. HUGE library. Gym and spa with inside pool. Outside pool. 'The Bunker'... Golf simulator. Card room. Art & Craft for art instructors. All inclusive... includes drinks, wines etc. Dress code: Average week: 2 formal, 2 informal, 3 casual. Dress code enforced in ALL restaurants including Lido. Small shop. No casino. Two captains working this ship. One from Cunard's Queen Elizabeth and the other is ex Holland America Line. Spirit of Discovery. Second ship due 2020, Spirit of Adventure. Age limit: 50 and up.
  3. Little Saga Pearl 2 is THE real gem! Lovely ship. From what I have heard about Fred Olsen, Saga is a few notches above. On of my good friend went on the Pearl. They have sailed with Olsen and many other cruise lines, including high end. One comment he said, "The crew are some of the best that I have seen on many ships and the food on Saga is much better too!" I agree. If you are doing a short 'taster', please talk so Saga and ask them about dress code. For a four or five day cruise you are unlikely to have a formal and might not have any informal, or perhaps on. For these, don't worry about the dress code. Simple blazer and slacks is fine. Tie if you prefer. Again... this is a sampler cruise. Beware the times for the mina dining room, yes the dining room opens at 6.35 and it closes at 9 but please, do not come back at five to nine. If 99% in the dining room are dining early and the other 1% expect to walk, well, honest, it is completely out of line. No need to be at starting time either, take your time but honestly, most passengers are at table by say, 7.15 to 7.30, that is fine. A few will come in between 7.30 and 7.45, that is fine. If you want you food well prepared, come as I point out here. After 8 is not good. Two restaurants, Main Restaurant and the Lido. The food is the same. Dress code is the same. Every is the same! The rooms look different but when they are set, BOTH look great. Perhaps the Lido might feel a touch casual. I have enjoyed BOTH restaurants. You might dine with friend in one for tonight and with others in the other on the other night. It is all your choice. Some people will eat only in the Main, a lot of others prefer the Lido. Mainly main have beer with their meals? I have seen women drinking beer too! Don't sweat. Drink what you want. No one is going to say anything one way or the other. Likewise drink in the bars before dinner or lunch. Drink what you want... even fruit juice!!!!! No packages for alcohol because there is no need for it. The drink at lunch and dinner are free. If you want ten or if you want none, that is your choice. No, you will not get a discount if you choose not to drink. That would be no difference if you want two drink every even or you want twenty.....you pay the same price for you ticket. Oh, if you want room service, great service. You can choose from a simple service menu OR, call room service and they will bring the restaurant menu to you. No problem. Will drinks too, but not if free. Enjoy the PEARL, I would take PEARL over Queen Mary!!!! Stephen
  4. Back in 1995 for 118 days in the good old ROTTERDAM, I bought 12 cases of wine. I ordered through HAL and when I boarded the wine was already in the wine store. I spoke too the wine steward and told him that when the bottle was empty bring the next one up! It worked. In the end I used only ten cases. Between 1996 and 1997 I used up most of the left. It was on inventory as 'Topsham -Private Stock'. In 1998 I was on board REMBRANDT. The Bar Manager told me that he found a few bottles with my name on them so it was served in the dining room.
  5. Two weeks ago I tried to download all of the 'stuff', tickets, luggage tags etc. I tried and immediately gave up. I am not going to waste time on this stuff. I kept a note of the booking number and went to the pier. I didn't even need that! I told the porter. that's right the porter, that I had no papers etc. He have me a few blank baggage labels. Filled them in and attached. Next person had a manifest. Showed my passport. He found my name and I was sent to the embarkation label. Walked right through the security, two seconds, and straight to the check in counter. They took passport, showed the creditcard, handed my keycard and I was finished. From taxi to cabin was 15 minutes, Maximium! Probably one of the easiest boarding I've seen. Leaving the ship in Bermuda my disembarkation was a breeze too. Ship was sailing at 4pm. At 3pm I took to the gangway and straight to the terminal. The port agent came out just before 3.15. The sailing time was moved to 3.30 as all paz were on board. My suitcase in the agent's car and I was back in my house in less than 15 minutes. Easy... the agent is my nephew. ;-) My only regret was getting off in Bermuda. I should have stayed on board for the rest of the crossing.. Stephen
  6. AD5ZA Thanks for this. $800! Wow, wish I'd kept some. I think they were sold for $45... thirty years ago! Sounds like Bitcoin! The painting... where did you find it? What ship? Stephen
  7. If you want to reach me before the call at Bermuda, try my e-mail. Easy one to remember: prinsendam at Hotmail dot com Stephen
  8. Talking about Prinsendam, here is a photo of a new painting finished back in September. 24 x 36 oils. An enjoyable painting to do. Of course!:)
  9. Nice to hear from everyone! Merry Christmas & Best Wishes for New Year! I should be on board the m.s. 'Bermuda' for this summer. The gallery is called 'Gallery 117' just a block past the stern of VEDM. Can't miss it. If you want to meet up, just let the gallery know and they will call me. I am out in Somerset, but I can always get out of the studio for a bit of air fresh. The one man show will be in 2019. Usually have a couple of pieces showing in the gallery. It will be good to see PRDM in Bermuda and VEDM is special too. Best.
  10. Ah. Managed to resize (one of them) . Hope not too small.
  11. Hello Mariners! Apologies for not being in touch with Cruise Critic for a while. The last 18 months I have just been swamped... and guess what, the level of the water rising! This past I was working on a collection for a one-man show at the gallery in Hamilton. I thought I would be having a break, but no such luck and I am now trying to catch up commissioned works and also trying to plan for the next one-man show. This will be June, 2019. In May, a new book, 'STEAM & CANVAS'. 100 full pages of new paintings. The publisher tells me he wants a Volume 2... as soon as I can get the images together. The publisher is also making tiles. Not Mariner tiles, but rather a new series of collectable tiles, "Famous Dutch Ocean Liners". The first four tiles depict the career of the 1938-1974 Nw Amsterdam. Of course that will be followed by 'the' Rotterdam. I'll post a photo as soon as I figure how to resize it! I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Sailing for 2018! Stephen
  12. I just happen to read up on this topic a few months ago. ?According to the Code of Canon Law, receiving communion in a Protestant church is generally not permissible. According to canon 844, “Catholic ministers may licitly administer the sacraments to Catholic members of the Christian faithful only and, likewise, the latter may licitly receive the sacraments only from Catholic ministers.” The key term here is licit. If a Catholic receives communion from a Protestant minister, it is generally considered “illicit” or unlawful." Stephen
  13. PG? Go to the back the school! It is Pinnacle Grill! Go ahead. Talk to the Maitr'd and see what he says. 14 day cruise should not be a problem with changes. The young son might the food. I doubt a problem at all. The Maitr'd might even get something special for your son.
  14. Last September I was cruising the Med. No priest on board, but was able to get to Mass for four times. I bit of research before and I was set. First at the port of embarkation, Southampton. Next Lisbon followed by Civitavecchia. Day after the cruise, London. Worked out perfectly. Great way to plan a cruise port. Find the cathedral, usually times at every hour and then find a great restaurant to relax for the afternoon!
  15. Most ships will want to be BEFORE so that docking, gangways and formalities are COMPLETED before at the schedule time. This time is 'passenger' scheduled time. Ship's expected time is usually earlier, just so that there is no delay is getting passengers ashore. Nothing worse than expecting to be able to get off 'immediately' and you can't. Imagine if you have 4,000 passengers trying to get off and you are the end of the line! Be early or beware! If you are booking private cars or private excursion the operators are usually well aware what time passengers are free to get off. Check them before by e-mail if possible or phone. Save the hassle and worry.
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