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About Fred321

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  1. No. We got the 100 euro quote from the taxi driver who took us to the Rotterdam train station.
  2. We recently got off the Rotterdam in Rotterdam stayed there a few days and then did the reverse trip to Amsterdam. We stayed at the Hotel New York which is just across the street from the pier and was the old location of the Holland America Line. It was ok but really wasn't convenient to the center of Rotterdam. The old SS Rotterdam liner, now a hotel, while worth a look is even less convenient for seeing the town. There is a train which runs from Schipol into Rotterdam Center City. Think it runs about every 30 minutes. If you take the train I would consider staying at the Marriott in Rotterdam which is directly across the street from the train station as well as almost all of the tram lines that run around the city. With 4 people you might want to compare the price of a transfer by car from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. Can't remeber what the train tickets cost but we got a price for a private car going the other way of around 100 euro for the 2 of us. When you factor in the ease of a car compared to humping your bags thru the Amsterdam airport and onto the train it starts to make sense.
  3. We have been to Casablanca twice. Your ship may provide a shuttle to the park across from the Hyatt hotel. From there it is a short walk into the Souk. Be aware that it will probably be very hot so wander around but be careful about overheating. Souk is not as exotic as you might imagine but is still interesting. My wife and I (late 60's but good shape) walked through much of the souk and the town and never felt unsafe but pay attention as in any big city. Once you are finished with the Souk you might want to go to the Hyatt hotel for a drink and to cool off. It is a beautiful hotel. From the hotel you can probably get a licensed cab to go to the Hassan II mosque. (We walked but wouldn't recommend it for Mom). It is an amazing building. After that I'm not sure that there are any more "must sees" as Casablanca is much more a modern city than you might think. Some tours go to Rick's Cafe but that is a rather recent addition and for us seems like a Disney ride but to each his own. There are also a number of restaurants down the hill from the park that may be interesting for lunch.
  4. My error. We were on both the Zuiderdam and the Rotterdam the last few months and I got them mixed up since they are both now in Northern Europe. Rotterdam had a great dance band in the Ocean Bar. Zuiderdam did not.
  5. You will have a wonderful four piece band in the Ocean Bar that plays 3 or 4 sets a night and is very enthusiastic to play for dancers.
  6. Bill and Mary Ann Thanks again for taking us along. Please say hello to Aart and Ellen for us. We had drinks with them this winter on the Zuiderdam with Jeff and Ian when it stopped in Curacao. Looking forward to seeing them again in the Crows Nest for the evening cocktail on next year's world cruise. Glad to hear Aart is feeling better and we look forward to seeing all of you next year. Rich and Peg
  7. Currently the Rotterdam has a four man band in the Ocean Bar. All four of the guys are from Mexico but they are the best quartet that we have ever seen including the old time Rosario strings on the Prinsendam. These guys play the classic american songbook (think Cole Porter, Johhny Mercer) as well as Brazilian and Mexican classics. They encourage dancing and the Ocean Bar was full on almost every night of our month aboard. They said they would be on until September.
  8. Just got off Rotterdam on April 29 after a transatlantic repo. They had a string quartet called Adagio who performed. However, during the crossing they had closed the Explorer's lounge and contractors spent the crossing turning the area into a Lincoln Center venue. Similar to the Lincoln Center venues on the Vista class. No idea when they plan to transition to Lincoln Center performers but the foundation was certainly laid.
  9. Thanks so much for taking the time to post a great report. We have almost 600 days on HAL's smaller ships but decided to try Koningsdam last year just to see what a larger ship was like. Was ready to hate it but really enjoyed the entire experience, especially the Tamarind and Dutch Cafe and the music venues. BB King and Lincoln Center were excellent. Officers and crew were wonderful as usual so we will be back on her for a month in the Med. this summer. We board the Rotterdam this weekend for a couple of weeks in the Carib. and then a reposition to the Netherlands. Any idea who the captain and CD will be? Thanks again.
  10. I would second the suggestion to use Friend in France if you are still looking for a transfer. We just spent almost 3 months in an apartment outside Nice and we used them for our own transfers and when we had friends come to visit. They were always good. Nice equipment and pleasant drivers. Think they may also do day tours but train or bus are not bad options.
  11. I agree you could do both on the train but you may spend more time worrying about the schedule than you would like. If I had to pick one I would pick Nice. Not as glamorous as Monaco but more to see and do. Promenade des Anglais is a great walk, Matisse museum is interesting as is the Roman ruins right next door. Old city and the market in Nice are both worth some time exploring. Russian cathedral is also worth a stop. You can also do it by bus. Both the 100 and the 81 bus stop in Villefranche and will get you to Nice in about 10- 15 minutes for 1 Euro 50 per person. Tickets sold on the bus by the driver, no need for exact change. 100 ends at the marina in Nice and the 81 goes into the Promenade des Arts. 100 runs about every 15 minutes and 81 about every 30 minutes. If you take the 81 your bus ticket is good for another connection on their system ( bus or city tram) so long as you get on within 75 minutes of your first trip. If you are interested in a day tour run by a tour company look into a company called Friend in France. My wife and I just got back from 2 1/2 months in an apartment in Beaulieu sur Mer (next village over from Villefranche) We used them a couple of times for airport transfers from Nice airport for us and some friends that visited and they were very good. Always on time, nice cars or vans and english speaking drivers. I know they do day tours and would think they are just as professional there too. Whatever you do don't over stress your decision. The area is beautiful the people very nice and you will enjoy whatever you pick.
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