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About Saphire

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  1. We had a March Caribbean cruise canceled this past week (Eurodam), and re-booked to an April cruise on the Nieuw Statenedam, also in the Caribbean. So it looks like she has been moved to the US. Even if our new booking is canceled, we are hopeful for the industry to start back up in 2021!
  2. Just the other night I was struggling with insomnia. I tried imagining myself in the spa pool, how it felt to lie back and let the warm water relax and soothe me, then I went to the center and felt the jets rippling over me. Oh how I miss it! And yes, whenever I hear ambient music it takes me back to the heavenly tile loungers. Won't it be such a thrill when we finally walk up that gangway once again?
  3. We were on the last cruise of the Koningsdam season, March 2020. We heard the news reports, and as the days passed by things became more real as to what we may be facing. That last night in the dining room, we talked with our servers and wine steward. They thought they would be heading out briefly without passengers, and resume cruising when deemed safe. Little did we know how many months it would be! I think of them often, and wonder how they are doing, What happened when they went home? Were they able to find work? How has the virus affected their world? It is hard to get infor
  4. We booked our very first 14 day cruise, a Eurodam BTB next March! Yes I am hopeful and choose to remain so. I still continue to think about the wonderful staff we met on our Koningsdam cruise nine weeks ago, and hope they have finally made their way home. Trusting we all return to the sea!
  5. We loved the Westerdam too, and their signature suites are wonderful. Here are a few pics of the Koningsdam, a lovely ship indeed.
  6. Thanks for the nice comments! Day 5: Our next stop was Martinique. We booked an excursion for a tour of a rum distillery, then on to a Caribbean Creole cooking class with a local woman who has a popular blog. The drive out to the distillery was pleasant over well paved roads, and a tour guide shared info about the island and their history. The distillery was interesting enough but I felt bad that we had people with mobility challenges, and this place was not at all easy to navigate. I am not sure if the description on HAL mentioned this, but if not, it should have. After the tour we boarded
  7. Our Caribbean cruise on the Koningsdam turned out to be the last one of the season. We knew there were things going on out there, whispers of a virus in far off places like China and only one case in California. When we boarded, the only pressing question asked was if we had traveled to China in the last two weeks. That was on March 4th. The day we returned on March 15th, we came home to a changed world. I didn't feel up to doing this review considering all that has unfolded, but a fellow traveler on our cruise encouraged me to do so, so I am finally sitting down to recall the wonde
  8. We will be sailing on Koningsdam this Wednesday, so it is too late to order flowers. I was wondering if they have them on sale once on board? Thank you.
  9. We are cruising on our very first 11 day cruise! (Southern Caribbean Wayfarer). Day 2 and 3 are sea days. Can anyone tell me which is Gala night? Thanks, just working on dinner plans. 🙂
  10. Pictures online don't show a shower curtain or shower head in the Koningsdam SA bathrooms. However, the written description says there is a shower in the tub as well as a separate stall. What about the SS suites, do they just have a shower or the shower/tub combo? Thanks!
  11. My soul is full of longingfor the secret of the sea,and the heart of the great oceansends a thrilling pulse through me.― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow For us, it all about the sea. How the water looks against the changing skies. The vastness of the ocean. We love HAL because the ships are built with sea-lovers in mind. Our lives are super busy and it so nice to escape for a brief time. We love the relaxation of the ship, and find time to truly rest. 8 more weeks. 🙂
  12. We are looking forward to staying at the Riverside Hotel on our upcoming cruise. Are there any nearby places for coffee and continental type breakfast items? It does not appear the hotel offers a quick breakfast option. Thank you.
  13. I have sailed both and loved both. For me, the benefits of Nieuw Amsterdam are: wiser spa layout and nicer hydrotherapy pool, smaller more intimate ship, beautiful wide promenade deck, glass elevators in the center (we always used these), Silk Den next to Tamarind (quiet, peaceful place for a drink), less cramped feeling around sea view pool. Things I liked better on the Nieuw Statendam: additional venues like the Grand Dutch Cafe and NY Deli, more music choices with better seating and stage area, beautiful layout of the Signature Suite including awesome shower, new ship so everything felt fre
  14. Enjoying your review, we were on the same cruise. Wasn't the weather perfect? You have a lovely family!
  15. We discovered this martini last month, it was SO good! Especially sitting in the ocean bar by the window watching the ocean swells roll by. Enjoy. 🙂
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