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About sailingdutchy

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Ontario , Canada
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    Travel, gardening , art.
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  1. scubacruiserx2 . Was your Cellar Master Dinner in the Pinnacle on the Zaandam ?
  2. If there is no Cellar Master in the Pinnacle or Tamarind Ann on our October cruise on the Koningsdam with good friends like you and Pat for sure we will do this again but we will be careful and ask for a decent table .
  3. I happen to have here a menu of the Italian Cellar Master Dinner that was held in the Canaletto on the Koningsdam in August of this year . Our judgement of this dinner , which I realize is very personal : 1) The food was very nice 2) The wines were excellent 3) The presentation of Cellar Master Ivica Kolaric was excellent ( not Italian , but fairly close Croatian ) 4) As 5 * mariners we received the $69 dollar at 1/2 price . Which is an excellent deal ! 5) The Canaletto does not lend itself as a place to have a Cellar Master dinner . There hardly is any great atmosphere in the Canaletto with loads of people walking by the Canaletto during dinner time in the Lido . The noices of the people going in and out of the kitchen with carts , dishes and dishwashers and the table arrangements in the Canaletto are not very nice at all for a special dinner like this . Over the years we have had Cellar Master in the Pinnacle Restaurant and also once in the Tamarind and they were much much nicer but I believe they were priced at $ 99 not the $69 from this evening. One of our best dinners ever was a Master Chef Dinner but I have not seen anyone of those coming up at all anymore , I am always looking for that one to come back . A couple of pictures of the dishes , taken by a non professional . Sorry missed the entrees , I guess we were too excited . Tony
  4. Did you happen to see the last update on that thread you started IrishSmileyM3 ? I wish you a wonderful time and ceremony on your upcoming cruise ! Tony
  5. Thank you very much for your kind words Mary , it sure was tears of joy all around and very fine organization of HAL . We very much appreciated the time that Captain Bowland ( from St Andrews , New Brunswick I believe ) spend with us and than he had another 3 ceremonies after us and they were all done in private . We had such a nice time after the ceremony talking with the captain that we forgot all about the treats they had for us but toasted with the champagne and afterwards went to the Tamarind for a very nice dinner together . Tony
  6. I would like to wish the two of you a fantastic cruise and a wonderful ROV experience . It was nice chatting with you on this roll call and to find out also from you and others what the ROV was all about on board the HAL ships . We just returned home from our Koningsdam cruise and the big surprise for my wife of 50 years went over just fantastic from the moment we walked into our cabin and she saw the flowers and found out what they were there for untill the ceremony on the last sea day . I can recommend this for all you cruisers that like to celebrate an anniversary to look into this . Specially with our daughter on board SIL and the grandsons who were witness to the ceremony presided over by Captain Darin Bowland this was something we will remember and talk about for a long long time and the whole thing was very well done by the cruise line . I hope these pictures will not be as large as they usually are , my appologeese if they are . Tony and Martha
  7. We just did the RoV a couple of weeks ago on the Koningsdam for our 50th anniversary that we are celebrating this year . The cost indeed has gone up to $250 USD and there is a charge ( Approx $17 ) for each invited guest witnessing your vows , we had our daughter , son in law and our 2 grandsons present. The first day we came on board ship there was a beautiful bouquet of a dozen roses in our cabin when we walked in ( included ) .Ours was held on a sea day at about 6 pm in the Hudson Room included is a bottle of Brut, there were quite a few appetizers for everyone which we did not touch because we were going to have supper at the Tamerind right after . The couple taking the vows get each one Pinnacle gril dinner at a night that they can choose on that cruise . I received a nice corsage and my wife a very nice one for on her wrist ( included ) the photographer took about 4 or 5 pictures and the day after we could choose only one of the large prints at no charge , we also received a nice HAL photo album ( included ) and in the album there were a certificate with the names of the pair , date of the ceremony and the name of the Captain presiding over the ceremony , there also is the Renewal of Vows celebration toast printed off and also a official looking sheet explaining the celebration with the wording of the vows. There also was the traditional cutting of the beautiful and very delicious cake . The ceremony was private ( 3 more were to follow us later on ) the captain was in full uniform and we had about 15 or 20 minutes time to chat with him , which was a lot of fun . I purchased 5 extra large pictures for about $ 99 . So I can honestly say it was a wonderful experience , done with class . I had booked it through my TA as a big surprise for my wife and she loved it ! Martha and Tony
  8. Sorry I have no idea if there are any special updates for the Noordam . There will be a lot of painting going on , lots of new carpet installed and possibly some of the venues changed around to accommodate entertainment that is in vogue . A lot can be achieved in a couple of weeks with most of the crew still on board ship plus al of the contractors . I never put much value in big negative stories , some people are always negative and should stay at home . We have had some 30 cruises and sure there are small issues here or there but some people like to exaggerate to get at a company they do not like . Where there is sea water there will be rust , it does not matter how often they paint . Have a great cruise on the Noordam ! Tony
  9. Thank you very much for this Jacqui , yes we are almost set to go and celebrate with our family our 50th . This will be a very special cruise for all of us and we are really looking forward to it . I hope that specially our grandsons for the first time outside of North America will enjoy and appreciate this great itinerary to see the "Old World " Greetings to you and Jose ! Tony and Martha
  10. We have done this on our own instead of through HAL . We booked our flights from and back to Buenos Aires post cruise with an Argentinian Airline booked a hotel for 3 or 4 nights in Puerto Iguazu , Hotel Saint George which is around the corner from the busstation where you can get an easy ride with the bus direct to the National Park . Transfers from the airport to the town are also fairly easy with a taxi shuttle . Some people might say see the Brazilian side while others say there is not a lot of difference , there are so many beautiful falls to see from the Argentinian side If you see the falls for two days from early morning untill about 2 pm because it is so humid to us that was the fantastic memory for a life time and I think this can be done easily for half the price or less than the cruise line . It is also very nice to spend the evenings in Puerto Iguazu rather than staying in the only hotel inside the National Park which is much more expensive and than you will only see the falls and nothing else. So maybe take some time and check out your possibilities to fly to and from and book your own hotel in a convenient location , not along the road from town to the park where you are isolated. Hope this helps you Tony
  11. Thank you very much for the latest updates . With 4 cruises in my near future this can be important . I noticed that where or what the Westerdam is doing from Jan 4 until Jan 16 2020 is still a mystery . I guess I will find out what's up when I get on board on the 16th !
  12. As far as HAL screening for alcohol in passengers luggage is concerned . Yes coming on board a lot of the suitcases do get screened . On our last cruise on the Prinsendam we came on board before noon and my wifes suitcase was in the cabin within a couple of hours , mine was nowhere to be seen until I asked the cabin steward close to supper time if he could look into this after another 40 mins my suitcase showed up and when I opened it there was this note inside : Dear guest Holland America Line performs routine screenings of all luggage arriving onboard to ensure the safety and security of our guests. The screenings are done under close-circuit television surveillance in a secure area to protect your personal property. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding and wish you a wonderful sailing ahead. Sincerely Beverage department I had a 375 ml bottle of Maple syrup , a great Canadian treat , in my suitcase that I had purchased to give to a wonderful guide on one of my tours , she is a Canadian ExPat who realy missed it ! So be aware , they do not take smuggling alcohol on board lightly .
  13. Great to hear such a positive reply Copper10-8 , much appreciated , at least that is one less tender to worry about. Love to hear from somebody who was there this spring on a Halong Bay cruise and hear hoe the transition from the Cruise Terminal to the Bay -Junk was . Tony
  14. Hi , I have not been able to find out where exactly the Westerdam docks in Halong Bay or do we still have to tender as it states in the HAL Itinerary ? "What's in Port " says there is a new pier (2018 ) and cruise terminal called " Halong Bay Cai Lan Vietnam Cruise Port " and the larger ships do not have to drop anchor anymore and use tenders to go to the city's wharf . Even the Halong Bay Cruise tour companies have not been very helpful in this matter . Do passengers still need transportation to go to with the "Cruise - Junks " ? Do all the Junks leave from the same location ? ( In specific Port matters HAL usually is not much of a help at all ) I hope there are some Cruise Critic folks who have fairly recently been to Halong Bay that can help me with this .. Your help is much appreciated Tony
  15. The Bossche Bollen in the Dutch Cafe are to die for with the real pure cream . Too bad we can only afford to eat them once per cruise otherwise I will blow up. For me and I know for a lot of other people the Grand Dutch Cafe on the Koningsdam and the Nieuw Statendam are one of the best additions to the HAL ships ! I have a lot of Orange shirts to choose from , looks good with the grey hair . Tony
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