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About BVsmurfette

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    Holland America

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  1. Agree with the poster who said it's really up to personal preference but I wanted to share that we had a really positive experience here. We went to the Canaletto in last month on the Rotterdam - it was our first time going in a long time (several years!). We were pleasantly surprised with the menu selection, how good it was, and how authentic the food tasted. The service we experienced was also outstanding. For appetizer, we loved the Melanzane dish (eggplant), really delicious, layers of flavor. For entree, my husband loved the lobster & shrimp ravioli, and since it was Sunday, i had the special which was good old Chicken Parmigiana. It was served very thin, crispy on the outside, just like it should be. Dessert, i was pleasantly surprised by the gelato trio, and my husband had the tiramisu. We had a great time, and would definitely go back. Location wise, at least on the Rotterdam ship, we thought they did a good job of sectioning off the Canaletto area. It didn't feel like we were in the Lido at all (to be safe, ask for a table AWAY from the host station - where you will sometimes have curious people walking by and looking in and/or accidentally walking in thinking its open seating for the lido like it is during breakfast!)
  2. No dueling pianos on the Rotterdam when we were on her last month! Also no BB Kings if you were wondering about that. The "Mix" area was still intact, though I don't remember what specific entertainment they had there.
  3. We were just on the Rotterdam last month for a Baltics cruise, and had a great time. It was our 1st time on the Rotterdam (been on the Vista class ships mostly), and we really enjoyed her (even) smaller size. The latest upgrade HAL has made is the Lincoln Center Stage, which we found we really liked - maybe bc the talented musicians did not just classical music but also modern/pop/rock/jazz songs, so it was lovely see that live. They had an almost-full house for most of their performances. There is also still a full library on this ship, which was nice to have on the sea days especially. The only place we noticed any "wear and tear" was in our inside cabin - specifically we had a water leakage issue. We woke up one morning to wet carpets along the edges of the cabin! HAL couldn't figure what was causing the issue, but they had a full team of people trying to fix it. They handled the situation very well and thankfully it was near the end of the trip so it only affected the last 2 days for us. We had an excellent trip overall, and would definitely sail on the smaller HAL ships again. (Edit: forgot to mention the Caneletto restaurant onboard! this was our 1st time trying it after the recent menu change, and we thought it was really excellent. chicken parm sunday night special was delicious, as was the lobster ravioli! not sure if the food is consistently delicious in all the canelettos aboard the other HAL ships, but we loved it on the Rotterdam)
  4. For the OP - do you have travel insurance for this cruise? a lot of cruise travel insurance include benefits for changed itineraries, even if it's before departure. For example, we had a Nationwide cruise policy earlier this year for our cruise, and got money back from them after HAL changed our itinerary to skip a port - the announcement from HAL regarding the change was several months before sailing. I had to wait till after our cruise was over to provide our final statement to show that we actually took the cruise before Nationwide processed the claim, but getting significant money back certainly helped! I know this doesn't help the fact that you still have to find a way to travel home, but might be a way to at least help pay for it.
  5. Ah ok, that makes more sense. I think Amex creates a new website/code each time the offer is started up, so unfortunately, the old one probably doesn't work.
  6. I have gotten this offer on my amex a few times previously, but this time it's not in my account. I didn't realize a code existed! Would you mind please sharing the code in this thread? I tried to search for the older post but couldn't find it using the terrible CC search function. Also, where did you enter the code? was it on a specific amex website? Thanks in advance.
  7. Hello, Hoping someone who is familiar with Amsterdam can help me. We were supposed to be on the July 1 Prinsendam sailing, and were so disappointed when we heard she was leaving the fleet on that day instead! We'll now be sailing on the Rotterdam on July 1, so we'll be in Amsterdam on the morning when I believe the Prinsendam is supposed to make her final sail-in as a HAL ship. My husband and I are amateur photographers and we'd love to capture this! Figure that even though we'll never cruise on her, this is the closest we'll get! Can anyone recommend some good vantage points along the waterfront where we'd have an unobstructed view? I understand all the ships in Amsterdam come in from Ijmuiden on the west side and I'm keeping in mind that it'll likely be early morning when she sails in, so it would have to be a public space that's open at that hour! I'm poking around on google maps and think I may have found a few spots, but not entirely sure if they are accessible!
  8. Don't forget that you also get the mariner discount (if you are 3-star and above) on port day specials too! "All port day spa specials are eligible for an additional 10% discount for qualifying Mariners. Port day specials vary, and will be communicated onboard."
  9. We have never paid for the onboard internet, luckily we've been able to get buy with our T-mobile plan (free 2G data in most countries), plus free wifi in certain ports. BUT, I just saw that HAL is offering the Premium plan for $175.99 for our upcoming 14-day if you buy in advance, which works out to $12.57 a day. Not great, but not terrible either, and much cheaper than the $29.99/day i've quoted for the Premium plan. Makes me wonder if we should try it out, even if it is spotty... so we can test it out. One question though - can anyone confirm if there's a limit on the number of devices that can connect? I saw in someones post that it was only ONE device at a time, which seems so archaic! that would be a deal breaker for sure.
  10. Now that we're in the new quarter (apr 1), has anyone seen a new offer pop up yet? IIRC Amex has done the offer several times before and since i have a final payment due this month, i am hoping they do it again!
  11. On the Westerdam last month, there were 2 rowing machines. We were in the gym quite frequently, and i saw them being used quite a bit.
  12. Thanks so much for doing this list every month, I find it super helpful! A heads up that while I was on a HAL cruise last month, i picked up the new 2019/20 Cruise Atlas, and in the back there is a "ships at a glance" list and I noticed that it shows various updates for the R-class ships. I am not sure if this means it'll be a dry dock, but wanted to see if anyone else had info on this??? Amsterdam - Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard "coming May 2020" Rotterdam - Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard "coming April 2019" Volendam - Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard "coming Sept 2019" Zaandam - Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard "coming May 2020"
  13. Thank you for posting, I was able to add the offer on my SPG Amex card. very pleased as we weren't able to get the offer the last go-around!
  14. thank you! calculating the distance, and given you just left Newport, I was thinking sometime after 6pm, so that sounds about right. (i've seen ships come into manhattan as early as 4am sometimes, and as late as 8am on a busy day) Enjoy the sail in, it's a beauty, as the pics above show! (thanks for posting) (PS - it's currently raining like crazy here in NYC, so hoping it's all gone by the time she sails in!)
  15. Thanks so much for posting an update!! Oh man, i'm sure it won't be pretty for HAL to get that tender repaired and then back onto the ship! Did the captain happen to give you an actual arrival time? i will hopefully be up early to wave the ship in :)
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