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About Beyondthe7Seas

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Milwaukee, WI
  • Interests
    Green Bay Packers
  1. Beyondthe7Seas

    Review of Nieuw Amsterdam - 1/18/2017

    Spire2000 - This cruise was their last contract and a new band boarded the same day we disembarked. We sat with the same group of people each night and a few folks told us that they reported the behavior and shortened sets to the Entertainment Director. The band members actions on stage shaped up quickly, but the sets continued to be 20-25 minutes. I also want to reiterate - the majority of the band members were very professional. It was just a few who really dampened the experience by their demeanor on stage. rkacruiser - This was a different cruise. It was an 11 day that left on 1/18/2017. I'm glad to hear you encountered very pleasant crew members. I, too, experienced crew members that were wonderful and certainly lived up to the signature of excellence as you stated. However, this was the first cruise where I felt several crew members were indifferent towards their guests. As you said, I think our experiences were probably just different. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, as well - it's always great to read different perspectives. mrspeck - I will get back to you tomorrow when I have some time to sit at my computer and type out my thoughts. :) Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  2. Hi everyone! I always appreciate reading reviews and wanted to give some thoughts on my recent 11 day Southern Caribbean on the Nieuw Amsterdam. A little background about me: I'm 25 years old and started sailing with Holland America at a very young age thanks to my wonderful parents (they got engaged on the old Noordam :) ) I have always been a huge supporter of HAL, even though I’m definitely not considered part of the main demographic. This cruise marked 100 days of sailing with Holland America and I was awarded my first medallion - it was very special. I hope you enjoy the review and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Embarkation: We were in a Neptune suite and received priority boarding so embarkation was a breeze. We arrived to Port Everglades at appx. 10:55am and we were checked in and on the ship by 11:25. The Ship: Out of the ships that I’ve sailed on (Westerdam, Rotterdam, Noordam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Eurodam, and Maasdam), the Nieuw Amsterdam is one of my favorites, second only to the Rotterdam. I think it's a good time for the NA to go into dry dock later this year - the carpets in public areas could use some major cleaning and the furniture in our room was very worn out. Other than that, the ship is still in great condition and, IMO, remains one of the most beautiful ships in the fleet. Staff: I didn't find the staff around the ship to be as friendly as I've experienced in past cruises. However, I have a feeling some of this may stem from the way a few guests were treating the staff. This is the first cruise that I have witnessed guests being blatantly rude and condescending to bar staff/waiters etc. I actually heard a guest tell one of the Lido assistants he was “an idiot” and “should be sent back home” because he brought the guest whole milk instead of skim as originally requested. So sad and completely uncalled for. Unfortunately, I observed several instances of this type of behavior from guests throughout the cruise. I can’t even begin to imagine being away from my family for 10 months and dealing with people like that - I doubt I would be overly friendly in those circumstances, either. Of course, some employees stood out throughout the cruise and went above & beyond to make our vacation memorable. We had absolutely fantastic wait staff in the MDR and they accommodated special requests without issue. Dining: The food was excellent throughout the entire trip and there wasn’t a single meal that I didn’t enjoy. We usually ate breakfast in the Lido and only had breakfast in the Pinnacle a few times as the Lido hours worked better for our schedule. We enjoyed the majority of our lunches in the Lido Marketplace and found the options to be plentiful and of high quality. I also noticed that New York Pizza had a much better flow than past cruises – the longest I ever waited for a pizza (at noon rush hour) was about 30 minutes. We ate dinner in the MDR each night and loved every meal – I already miss the rolls and I’ve only been off the ship for 4 days. Entertainment: I’m not sure where to start but I can definitely say I wasn’t impressed. There were quite a few comedy routines, 4 main stage production shows and a Lionel Richie impersonator. These were what I would consider “normal” for HAL – nothing amazing, but not horrible. While those shows were fine, my true disappointment in the entertainment came from the BB Kings Blues Club Band. I have so enjoyed the BB King Blues Club on previous cruises and it’s one of the reasons I continue to sail on HAL. It provides me nightlife that I really enjoy and felt was missing before the BB King partnership, however this cruise was a very different experience. Starting the very first night, some of the band members were extremely unprofessional. Two things that I found to be especially inappropriate: band members using their cell phones to text for minutes at a time while on stage and band members blatantly making fun of people on the dance floor. In addition to this, the band only played 20-25 minute sets for the last 5 nights on board. One of the band members said the keyboardist wasn’t feeling well, which was the reason for the shorter sets. Even so, I wish the band would have performed more than 4-5 songs per set. Not to mention, they played the same 11 songs every night for the last 5 nights – yes, I kept track! I can’t hear Chain of Fools one more time this year without losing it. ;) While the two lead singers were very talented, the BB King experience on this ship was a complete disappointment. Onboard Activities: What happened to cruise days packed with different activities? Throughout the cruise, there was no karaoke, no Lido pool barbeques, no crafts and very limited cooking shows. They only offered “Name That Tune” three times throughout the entire 11 day cruise, which is something that used to be a daily occurrence. I did enjoy the trivia on board very much – this was offered 2x per day, every day. Other than that, I felt the activities were very limited. Overall: As I mentioned earlier in my review, I have a very special place in my heart for HAL. I've also been an active promoter of Holland America for family and friends that I think would enjoy this type of cruise line. While there were some great aspects to the cruise, I was very disappointed in the entertainment and on-board activity options. I hope some of these trends don’t continue into the future. Thank you for reading!
  3. Thank you everyone! We are so excited to get away from the cold Wisconsin weather! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  4. Beyondthe7Seas

    20's Something Honeymoon

    I'm going to come at this thread from a different perspective. I'm very blessed that my parents started taking me on Holland America at a very young age - my first cruise was on the old Noordam at 6 months old. As I've gotten older, I've tried other lines (NCL & Celebrity) and as a now 25 year old cruiser, I would choose HAL over the other lines hands down. I enjoy that the ships have a quieter feel and I've found the people that sail on HAL are very kind and welcoming. The cabins are so comfortable, the ships are beautiful, the food is delicious and the itineraries are fabulous. I also love that the addition of BB King's has livened up the nightlife on board. I'm so thankful that Holland America exists as it's truly the perfect vacation for me - even being considered a "young" cruiser! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  5. Beyondthe7Seas

    NFL Playoff Games

    We have been on different ships for three Super Bowls and it has always been shown in the main theater. They do a really nice job setting up food and have drink specials throughout the game, as well. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  6. Beyondthe7Seas

    NFL Playoff Games

    Chances are good. We've been on various ships during the playoffs and haven't missed a game that we were hoping to see. With that being said, GO PACKERS! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  7. Thank you for your review! We will be boarding on January 18th - did you spend any time in the BB King's lounge? Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  8. Correct - last one was Green Bay! It was Super Bowl Sunday when we left and we wanted to represent the greatest team in NFL history ;) Thank you so much for getting a screen shot and posting it. Such a fun surprise to come home and see it on here. Elizabeth
  9. Beyondthe7Seas

    Eurodam - Changes after drydock

    [quote name='Tripper10']They do not have both pianos playing every night. From what I saw, it's a normal piano man type situation most of the time and people listen and sing along. The piano room has been updated.[/QUOTE] Just off the Eurodam for the past 2 weeks and I had a different experience. The new "piano bar" is the Billboard area with 2 dueling pianos. There would usually be 3 sets per night all with specific themes (Pop, Grammy Winning Songs. The 1970's, Disco, Oldies etc.) and both piano players were performing during the sets. It certainly wasn't as crowded as the traditional piano bars on past cruises - when I would pass through during performances, the Billboard area would be about half full.
  10. Sorry if I'm asking something that has already been mentioned in the thread. I searched but didn't find an answer so thank you in advance for the help. I am sailing on the Eurodam in 3 weeks (can't come soon enough :) ) and have the SBP. Would the SBP work for a soda purchased in a souvenir glass?
  11. Beyondthe7Seas

    Photos of new-and-improved Eurodam?

    Thanks so much for the photos InTheWASide. I'll be on the Eurodam for 2 weeks in early February and plan on doing a live picture blog.
  12. Hoping to be here but the Packers are playing at the same time... :)
  13. Beyondthe7Seas

    Eurodam dry dock

    Thanks so much - I went to college on the east coast and visited the Lincoln Center a few times for various performances. Just didn't know what the context was on the Eurodam.
  14. Beyondthe7Seas

    Eurodam dry dock

    What is the Lincoln Center?
  15. Beyondthe7Seas

    Super Bowl Sunday

    Hey now -- just remember you have us to thank for your last Super Bowl appearance. Had it not been for Green Bay's epic letdown in the last 10 minutes of the NFC championship game, the Seahawks would have been watching from home. . . :) Thanks for all of the insights everyone, I really appreciate it.