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margar

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Everything posted by margar

  1. Glad I’m not the only one who thought it was a poor design with the showers in the same area. Wonder why they designed it like that. Bad in my opinion. Yes the snoring was awkward but I tried to ignore and just turned my new age “spa” music up a bit more on my earphones! After a bit, I just decided I’d had enough and left. Guess it didn’t bother anyone else 😊 For the next cruise, I am investing in high quality noise canceling head phone. That should take care of any noise issues for me - or at least I hope so! 👍🏻
  2. Headphones worn while on the heated ceramic loungers helps a bit when there is a “talker” in that quiet area. Next cruise I am investing in noise canceling headphones! I hate when I go there to just zone out and relax and some people are carrying on a loud conversation. Very inconsiderate. But then there is occasionally the loud snorer near by too! 😱 While on the NS, I did enjoy the spa area, I found the way they designed that ceramic heated lounger area to not be the best for quiet relaxing. The crew kept coming in and out to fiddle with the water dispenser and the plastic cups. The showers are directly by the heated ceramic loungers and when they are being used, it is on the loud side. Depending on where your lounger is located. As that whole heated lounger area is connected to the shower area, which I find odd and a bit of a bad design. JMHO. when using the thermal pool I did not come across any loud talkers. Mostly just the pulse of the water which is relaxing. Guess I was lucky in that respect. Now if you ask me about the loud mouth balcony people, THAT is another story! Talk about inconsiderate! WOW!
  3. Yes agreed with 7seas! The shower on the Nieuw Statendam is heaven! You will not miss a bathtub. For me personally, I prefer the wonderful and spacious shower on the NS than one with a smaller / cramped tub any day of the week!
  4. Yes, maybe that is their escape hatch (catch). Very vague. Your PCC seemed to be as clueless as mine. When the V&V sale came out and I spoke with my PCC about this free wi-if perks, he was clueless at first and appeared to not know anything about it. Then he checked into it and agreed it was a perk of the sale. I’m not sure it is worth dealing with a PCC at HAL. I like to have more control over my reservation so I have been dealing with HAL’s PCC. But, I am some loosing additional money (now a store gift card instead of OBC) as I could very easily go back to the Big Box travel agency I have used several times in the past.
  5. It is for December 2020. And was one of the cruise dates that qualified for the V&V sale. When booking the cruise, the V&V sale is what was shown on screen. So it was eligible for the promotion. I guess the issue is that it turned out to not be eligible for all the promo benefits due to the casino rate (that I was unaware was included). It is just hard to decipher what rate you are booking under as in this case the particular “casino rate” was hidden to me. I think the online booking process needs to be more transparent so a passenger can fully see what rate they are under and what is included. But before they book and pay the deposit. BTW, I did speak with my PCC when I put my cruise on a Courtesy Hold (which was 4 days before paying my deposit) and I questioned him about this Free Premium Internet promo and if it was “attached” to my Courtesy Hold. He told me it was not attached to the booking. But to let him know if I decided to go through with the booking and pay the deposit and he would just add it to the booking. So I assumed (always a bad thing to do!) that is would be added with no problem once I paid the deposit. I wound up paying for the deposit on the HAL website as it was the weekend and after hours (no PCC or reservations open) and I wanted to get the deposit in before the deadline of Saturday 2/29. Then called PCC Tuesday and spoke with him and supervisor and all this was found out. To me its pretty confusing and convoluted.
  6. I tried doing that to compare fares prior to booking. I would log in with out my Mariner number (made sure to clear my browser history /clear cashe before proceeding) and I received the same fare cost as with my Mariner number so I assumed it was the general fare for the V&V sale. Do not remember any price difference if I was logged in or out. That was why I just thought the booking was with the V&V sale. But it turned out it was not.
  7. Hope some experienced cruisers can help explain something to me…… (sorry in advance for the long winded post) I booked a new 10 day cruise in an assigned verandah under the V&V sale that just expired Feb 29. V&V sale comes with certain perks as seen in the screen shot below. I received all the perks with the exception of the free "premium wi-fi". Called my PCC this afternoon and was told that I received a "casino discount" and that discount is not combinable with the free wi-fi perk. When I booked online, I had a choice of 2 rates: Restricted lower rate (non refundable deposit) or the View and Verandah promo. I choose the V&V due to all the perks it came with and the $25 deposit. Generally, if I see "Private Sale" when I am booking then that means a lower “casino rate” or some other "special" promo. But in this instance, that was not showing on the screen as Private Sale was not an option. Only “Restricted Price” or “V&V sale” price. So when I booked I fully expected to receive the free wi-fi package in addition to the other perks that HAL was promoting in the V&V sale. BUT my PCC is telling me that he cannot add that free wi-fi to the booking as it would knock off the lower "casino rate" and then the fare would be higher. Makes no sense to me as all the other V&V sale perks were included in the booking, just NOT the free wi-fi. How would a passenger who is making a new booking know that they are not getting all the perks of a promotion? No where when I was booking did it say casino rate. Or say you cannot receive free wi-fi due to not being combinable with your rate. No one would ever know this. Only after you make the booking and then I see that it is not included on the booking statement. Today I did speak with a supervisor (someone that the PCC put me through to) and she explained it the same way as the PCC did. Casino rate not combinable with that free internet promo under the V&V sale. She said she could take off the casino rate, but the rate would be almost $300 dollars (per person) higher and then she could add free internet promo to the booking. Obviously that was not an option for me. I told the supervisor that I was not happy with this as I felt the free internet should be included as it was part of the promo in the V&V sale. I felt it was misleading and that they should put it on the booking. She stood her ground and said she could not. I said then how about adding add some additional OBC to make up for this lack of free wif-fi. Again, she said she could not and that there was already OBC (part of the V&V promo) on the account and to use that to pay for the wi-fi on the ship. Sigh… I was not getting anywhere. But going around in circles. She said I could email another supervisor, but that I would get the same response. She directed me to send a letter to an email address at Reservations_submit@hollandamerica.com So, my question is why does HAL promote a set of “perks” in a particular sale, but then not allow you to have all of them? Seems very misleading to me. There are no exclusions in the Terms and Conditions that say anything about this "casino rate" (which I did not know I even had until after booking and speaking with PCC).
  8. I was on the NS earlier this month and enjoyed a one week thermal spa pass. Great Thermal pool and love those heated ceramic loungers!!! I purchased pre-cruise and paid $139 for the 1 week pass. Here is a recent thread where the thermal spa was discussed. It might offer you some additional information
  9. Your welcome! Glad all the info everyone mentioned help you make a decision that is right for you. Enjoy your cruise! I'm sure your wife will find lots of ways to spend the "saved" money!! LOL 😉
  10. Great! Glad that info helped. Have a wonderful cruise!!!! 😁
  11. I think sometimes it is cheaper to pre-purchase, but it may depend on the cruise sailing. Not sure. I usually pre purchase because my understanding is that the thermal spa is capacity controlled and they only sell a set amount of weekly passes and that is it. So I want to make sure I have access to the thermal spa, as that is my “treat” for the cruise. Also, I have read other posters mention that if the price is less on the day of embarkation that the spa will refund you the difference. In my experience, I have not had that happen (always has been more $ on the ship) but each sailing is different. Hope that helps 😊
  12. I purchased my thermal spa pass prior to sailing (Nieuw Statendam) and it was $139 for the 7 night cruise. When I was on board the spa told me the price was $199 for the week.
  13. 👍🏻👍🏻Woooohooo! Great deal!! I hope I get that lucky sometime in the near future 😉
  14. I agree Ruth, but it think the days are numbered. NS newspaper only on app. I’m pretty sure this is something that will be rolling out to all ships. Very unfortunate but sounds like it is unavoidable.
  15. Forgot to mention, that as stated by the previous poster there is NO dedicated dining room on the Nieuw Amsterdam ship. You would be in a special section for Club Orange diners in the main dining room. Advantage to Club Orange on the Nieuw Amsterdam would be no waiting for dinner. You should be seated immediately at any time you like. That would be the only advantage I could see on the NA as dining would be in the main dining room and not a separate smaller venue as on the NS or Kdam. And the upgrade is only within your category of stateroom. Example, outside to a “better” outside or veranda to a “better” veranda - which may or may not be a better one in your view, only HALs. It does not provide you with an upgrade from interior to outside or verandah to suite. The only way to do that is to pay for a better cabin or get an “up sell” from HAL. Which occasionally will happen via email about 2 weeks or so prior to sailing. Me, personally, I do not think I would do Club Orange on any of the ships without a dedicated dining venue for CO. I would probably spend the extra money on specialty dining in the Tamarind, Canelleto or Pinnicle Grill.
  16. I am cutting and pasting my reply from another recent thread about Club Orange. Here is my personal response to a recent Club Orange experience: We were in Club Orange on the recent Feb 2nd sailing on Nieuw Statendam. We very much enjoyed Club Orange. For us, it provided some nice perks that we would have not had available to us as were are not 4 or 5 star (yet!). Or in a Neptune Suite. So it made sense for us to purchase as I really wanted to finally try it out on the larger ship with a separate dining room. Positives for me: 1) Priority Embarkation. We were at the port at 11:00 and on the ship by 11:30. Upon check in for Club Orange you are given a "Priority Embarkation" card and allowed in to a smaller room with fewer people that has coffee, juice and danishes. 2) The dining venue is very nice. It is a small room with far less people than the main dining room. More intimate and cafe like in feel. Ate breakfast and dinner every night in Club Orange and have no complaints about the food. It was very good. Much more relaxed feel to the atmosphere than the main dining room. Only complaint is that service was a little on the slow side than I had expected. BUT this was not due to the staff as they work really hard. I just feel they are understaffed and definitely need a few more waiters and bus people as some times there was quite a delay between courses or getting dirty plates taken off our table. The staff does work very, very hard but I just think they simply need more help. Also, it is possible that our sailing had more CO people as it was always at least 80% full when we ate there. 3) Behind the scenes culinary tour was excellent and yes it is different than the "normal" one that is given to all passengers if they want to go to it. Much more in-depth and we were taken to lower decks and areas that not many passengers get to see. It was very interesting! I really enjoyed that tour and and glad I was able to attend, Highly recommend. 4) Nicer orange tote bag and nicer robe in room. Just a little extra something that is not really any extra value. But still nice. 5) Special invite to private sail into (or away) port with Captain and crew at the Bow of the ship. REALLY wanted to make this but unfortunately could not get there in time. Nice little perk of Club Orange on my sailing and I am sure others. 6) Dedicated Club Orange "host" or concierge at Guest Services. This was a nice perk as we avoided getting in the line that always seemed to be at Guest Services. You just stepped up to the area where the CO host is and wait your turn. Usually there was either no one there with her or only 1 person in line. Unfortunately we had to use her services every morning for issues with the Navigator App! She was most helpful and courteous. Diane was great! 7) Priority de-embarkation. That was a big plus for us which we liked a lot. We were first (or 2nd) group I believe to be called off the ship. So my opinion is CO is worth the extra cost if you like the dining in Club Orange. To me that is the main reason to purchase. If you enjoy the main dining room or specialty dining then CO might not be something you want to spend the money on. JMHO
  17. I was on the Nieuw Statendam this month and yes, it is exclusively on the Navigator App. That is where a guest can read the news. It is offered from several countries, but can ONLY be read on the app. Guest Services definitely will not print out any copy for a guest. You have to read on your Navigator App. Which by the way, does not work well many times so you have no access to the news at those times. When the app works it is ok, if your eye sight is good and you enjoy reading things on a small screen. Which I personally do not 😞
  18. Me too, once was enough. I never really could figure out how it was supposed to work. It was an odd combination of rain type shower heads. It was confusing to try and get it to work right! 🤪 YES, the thermal pool and the heated loungers are fantastic!!! My achy joints miss them already!!
  19. Yes, I was recently on the NS and had a Thermal Spa pass for the week and there is a steam room and a sauna that is for the use of Spa guests only. There are also several different type of showers in the Spa too. There was an interesting horizontal shower where you lay down and the water hits you. Interesting shower. But there is definitely a steam room and also a sauna too. Enjoy! The thermal pool is wonderful!!!!
  20. Yes, that is correct. Beukenhorst coffee from the Netherlands. (Didn’t realize an individual was able to purchase their coffee, interesting 😃) It is talked about in the blog post I referenced in the above link. Here is a bit from the HAL blog post: Rotterdam 1873 is roasted fresh in small batches in Beukenhorst Coffee USA Inc.'s West Palm Beach facility and supplied to the ships. For more than 20 years, Holland America Line has been serving Beukenhorst Koffie imported from the Netherlands in the Lido Market, Dining Room and other venues where complimentary coffee is served. "Beukenhorst Koffie has worked with Holland America Line for many years, and it was an exciting opportunity to work together to create a personalized, premium coffee experience through our small-batch roasting process," said Hans Wiggemans, co-founder of Beukenhorst Coffee USA Inc. "Our hope with having Rotterdam 1873 available for purchase is that guests will go home and reminisce about their Holland America Line cruise each time they enjoy a cup of our coffee." The Dutch have been roasting coffee since the 16th century, with signature blends from various regions. Arabica coffee is believed to have been the first species of coffee to be cultivated 500 years ago in Arabia. The Dutch, famous for their seafaring, brought the plant from Arabia to Java where the island became a leader in coffee production. About Beukenhorst Coffee USA Inc. In 2017 Beukenhorst Coffee USA Inc. opened an espresso equipment showroom, training center and small-batch micro-roastery, 4th Wave Brew, to be able to fill the increasing demand for small-batch specialty coffees. Beukenhorst Coffee USA Inc. creates specialty blends, cold-brew coffee and private label projects using the freshest, cleanest and purest coffee available. Beukenhorst Koffie was founded in 1784 when Albert Beukenhorst settled in Winterswijk, the Netherlands, as a coffee roaster and retailer. Today, the company continues to roast Arabica coffee beans through a traditional slow roasting drum system, giving the beans time to develop their taste while retaining the important flavors.
  21. Recently off the Nieuw Statendam and enjoyed the desert treats in the Grand Dutch Cafe. Somehow or another I missed this Rotterdam Drip coffee that has been mentioned! And I love coffee! Not sure how that happened. I thought they only served cappuccinos and lates which are not my thing at the the Grand Dutch cafe. I would have LOVED a good cup of brewed coffee. (To me, MDR / Lido is just ok, not bad but not excellent). OK, I guess I’ll just have to sail on the NS again or Kdam to enjoy the coffee and be able to bring home a bag! 😉According to the below HAL blog, they sell the coffee at the Dutch Cafe. Must have missed the coffee beans for sale too! Guess I was too focused on those delicious and huge chocolate chip cookies😋😋😋 interesting HAL blog info: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/holland-america-line-unveils-exclusive-rotterdam-1873-coffee-in-partnership-with-beukenhorst-coffee-usa-inc-300781765.html
  22. More Club Orange photos from Nieuw Statendam ☺️
  23. Not sure sure why photos didn’t show up so reposting photos below.
  24. We were in Club Orange on the recent Feb 2nd sailing on Nieuw Statendam. We very much enjoyed Club Orange. For us, it provided some nice perks that we would have not had available to us as were are not 4 or 5 star (yet!). Or in a Neptune Suite. So it made sense for us to purchase as I really wanted to finally try it out on the larger ship with a separate dining room. Positives for me: 1) Priority Embarkation. We were at the port at 11:00 and on the ship by 11:30. Upon check in for Club Orange you are given a "Priority Embarkation" card and allowed in to a smaller room with fewer people that has coffee, juice and danishes. 2) The dining venue is very nice. It is a small room with far less people than the main dining room. More intimate and cafe like in feel. Ate breakfast and dinner every night in Club Orange and have no complaints about the food. It was very good. Much more relaxed feel to the atmosphere than the main dining room. Only complaint is that service was a little on the slow side than I had expected. BUT this was not due to the staff as they work really hard. I just feel they are understaffed and definitely need a few more waiters and bus people as some times there was quite a delay between courses or getting dirty plates taken off our table. The staff does work very, very hard but I just think they simply need more help. Also, it is possible that our sailing had more CO people as it was always at least 80% full when we ate there. 3) Behind the scenes culinary tour was excellent and yes it is different than the "normal" one that is given to all passengers if they want to go to it. Much more in-depth and we were taken to lower decks and areas that not many passengers get to see. It was very interesting! I really enjoyed that tour and and glad I was able to attend, Highly recommend. 4) Nicer orange tote bag and nicer robe in room. Just a little extra something that is not really any extra value. But still nice. 5) Special invite to private sail into (or away) port with Captain and crew at the Bow of the ship. REALLY wanted to make this but unfortunately could not get there in time. Nice little perk of Club Orange on my sailing and I am sure others. 6) Dedicated Club Orange "host" or concierge at Guest Services. This was a nice perk as we avoided getting in the line that always seemed to be at Guest Services. You just stepped up to the area where the CO host is and wait your turn. Usually there was either no one there with her or only 1 person in line. Unfortunately we had to use her services every morning for issues with the Navigator App! She was most helpful and courteous. Diane was great! 7) Priority de-embarkation. That was a big plus for us which we liked a lot. We were first (or 2nd) group I believe to be called off the ship. So my opinion is CO is worth the extra cost if you like the dining in Club Orange. To me that is the main reason to purchase. If you enjoy the main dining room or specialty dining then CO might not be something you want to spend the money on. JMHO IMG_2872.HEIC IMG_2875.HEIC IMG_2913.HEIC
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