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Found 258 results

  1. Just got back from the Aug 24 Nieuw Amsterdam 7-day Inside Passage and wanted to give a shout out to our portrait photographer, Melinda. Melinda is one of the two "Black Label" portrait experts on the Nieuw Amsterdam and we (DW, DD, and myself) decided to sit for a session with her. Melinda was a delight to work with and captured some of the best portrait photographs we've ever had taken of us. Even DD, who was convinced that B&W photos are dumb and has the normal body issues of a 15yo, loved the results. Yes, the prints and/or digital files are expensive, but we were so pleased with the results that we ordered the digital files for nine of the images. It added up to a lot, but now we have plans for holiday presents for the grandparents, so that's good . So, if you're on the Nieuw Amsterdam and thinking about getting a portrait done, ask for Melinda!
  2. Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam will be spending Labor Day in Juneau. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Typical Juneau weather is back for this week with mostly cloudy skies and a good chance of rain each day. The prediction for Monday is for overcast skies with some showers. High will only be 55F/13C and the low 51F/10C. Sunrise is at 5:59 am and sunset at 7:55 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  3. The thing about this cruise – don’t go to a charity auction, don’t drink that last glass of cheap chardonnay and don’t sit in the front. Do that and you will end up on an Alaska cruise that is no bargain! Well, that is exactly what I did and that’s how we found ourselves on the Nieuw Amsterdam August 17-23 round trip cruise from Vancouver. Our long-suffering and exemplary TA helped me book our cabin, 8125 – Navigator Deck, aft (ish) category VE. (More about the cabin later) and as a side note because this was a “gift certificate” booking she did not get her usual commission. Cheap shot Holland America. After much back and forth we decided to fly into Vancouver from Portland a day in advance and stay at the cruise hotel with HA transfers from airport to hotel and hotel to cruise terminal. We were booked into the Westin Four Seasons for the night of the 16th. Normally speaking I am an extremely organized person, famous for my spreadsheets and lists, but everything about this cruise was abnormal for us. Our son visited just prior to our cruise and took over my packing room until just two days prior to our departure, which really threw me for a loop. I usually start packing a week or so in advance with a detailed list, but not this time. That’s why I plead not guilty (or insanity) for the number of suitcases we took. So, here’s the summary. Holland America – Nieuw Amsterdam RT from Vancouver Stateroom Category VE – Deck 8 Precruise stay -JW Mariott (was supposed to be the Four Seasons) Cruiseline transfers Tracy Arm Excursion through HA Skagway – Dyea Dave – independent booking Ketchikan – no plans. Oh - about us - Kim and Kathy ages 72 and 63 (I was the trophy bride - ha!). We have 7 cruises under our belts and this would be our third to Alaska. We mostly cruise Princess but this will be our second on Holland America. Departure/Vancouver BC We left the house by 8:00 a.m. to drive to our son’s where we would park the car and he would take us to the airport in plenty of time for our 11:30 flight on Horizon/Alaska. Obviously I have too many bags, what was I thinking! We were unable to check-in for the flight the night before so up to the ticket counter we rolled with all our bags. They checked us out and in and yeah! all the bags made the weight limit. For the first time ever we had a drug sniffing dog at security so two by two we marched to pass it, but the line moved swiftly and before long I was debating the “hey, we’re on vacation” Bloody Mary but opted to be a good girl and have a mocha instead. We finally meandered down to the Horizon gates in the A terminal and before long we were boarding, where once again they checked our passports, apparently there have been incidents of passport/id switching after security, so things were tight. This is when I got my first glimpse of the Horizon Air prop jet. Holy Mary, Mother of God I should have had a Bloody Mary and left the rosary in my purse! Thank God it was a short flight. The line for Immigration in Vancouver was like a line at Disneyland and of course we had a problem with the kiosk, but a very nice young man took pity on the old people and helped us through. We retrieved our bags and joined another queue to exit. Finally, we found the cruise counter where after some consultation they decided to put us in a cab and send us to the JW Marriott, but I’d planned it all for the Westin restaurant for dinner and a nearby grocery store for snacks and wine. Oh well, go with the flow. Another nice young woman took us in hand and we joined yet another line to get a taxi. We chatted with a couple from Wisconsin who were taking their first cruise on the Royal Princess (you do meet the nicest people cruising) and then finally it was our turn for a cab. Taxi drivers have me stomping on the backseat brakes but we make it in very little time and in one piece, always a good thing. Our first impression of the Marriott is very nice staff who were extremely helpful. We have yet to meet a cranky person, maybe it has to do with being Canadian? I of course noticed the bar off the lobby, surely it is 5:00 somewhere. We dropped our bags in the room and I am fading, the chocolate scone from PDX has long worn off. So down to the bar for a charcuterie plate and wine. Rejuvenated we head off to find Urban Fare (very much like New Seasons at home). We walk about 4 blocks and there it is, we were able to find waters and Gatorades but no wine. Another helpful person pointed us in the direction of a liquor store which was luckily on the way back to the hotel and we were able to get our two bottles for the cabin. We trek back with our bags and up to the room, which by the by was very luxe (at least by our standards- we could have hosted a party in the shower). I take a short unintended nap and them because Kim wants to see the 6th floor outdoor garden area we head up there. It is very pretty and makes me think about changing the landscaping in our yard, Kim is not amused and tries to distract me with wine. The weather has been overcast and somewhat threatening but warmish and we have a nice view of the stadium/arena and some of the skyline. A glass of wine and I am fading again and all plans for an anniversary dinner out fall by the wayside. We opt for Salt and Honey downstairs for a burger, which was really good. Then back up to the room where I manage dig through the bags for clothes for morning and I fade out for the final time. Tomorrow we’re off for Alaska!
  4. The usual cast of characters will be in Juneau on Monday. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Monday is forecast to be the worst of the week with rain chances lowering and temperatures rising as the week progresses. Monday has a 100% chance of rain and a high of 57F/14C and a low of 48F/9C. Sunrise is at 5:44am and sunset at 8:14 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  5. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Monday is looking to be the nicest day of the week with a 0% chance of rain and a high of 63F/17C but a chilly low of 44F/7C. Sunrise is at 5:28 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  6. We are traveling with carry-on luggage only. My suitcase is very lightweight nylon, with no structure to it. It is a carry over shoulder and convert to backback style (about 22 pounds). My question is: Can I carry it on? The bag would be squished if piled with other luggage on top of it. I have had my flatiron for my hair damaged before.
  7. So as I began contemplating a last minute Alaskan cruise this year, the limited selection (especially for cabins) at the last minute had me looking at cruises for next Summer. I was planning to take the Nieuw Amsterdam (as we did last year), BUT it is being replaced by the Koningsdam. Last year we had a Signature Suite on the Nieuw Amsterdam and, of course, I started by looking at those. As some other threads here on CC have pointed out there are VERY few Signature Suites on the Koningsdam, which was surprising to me. However, as I began to compare the online videos of the various Koningsdam suites I was surprised at the new layout for the Signature Suites. Indeed, I'm not a fan. More investigation shows that the even pricier Neptune suites on the Kdam are much closer equivalent to the Signature Suites in everything from layout to size to deck positioning and number of suites. Even then, you lose the extra little "make-up" desk on the Kdam (although Kdam's Neptune cabin is wider). One of the biggest disappointments of the Kdam's Signature suites, however, involves the size of the balcony - they are much more shallow than the equivalent NA/Eurodam SS balconies. The Neptune balconies on the Kdam are essentially the same depth as the SS on NA/Euro. At the end of the day, to get the same Nieuw Amsterdam "Signature Suite" experience on the Kdam, I feel like I would really have to "pay up" for the Neptune suite...bummer. Given how few signature suites there are, I'm not sure why HAL bothered with them on the Kdam. Definitely a bummer and a clear "revenue generation" move by HAL (not surprising of course - Corporate America FTW!). Has anyone else noticed this?
  8. Thinking about a Caribbean cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam this Spring. Family of 3, including a 14 year old. We would prefer mid-ship, lower and a nice balcony. I've read about the possible view of the tops of the lifeboats, I don't think we'd care about that, but we would want a good balcony and a quiet cabin. Suggestions? Thanks.
  9. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Eclipse at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. The lovely weather we have seen recently is going to slowly go back to the usual Juneau weather. Monday is supposed to be sunny with a high of 75F/24C and a low of 52F/11C. Sunrise is at 5:13 am and sunset at 8:51 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  10. Day #1 - After a leisurely breakfast on the 23rd floor of the Pan Pacific, we rolled our luggage downstairs to the co-located Canada Place cruise ship terminal (the hotel has a dedicated "cruise ship level" elevator.) It was an easy hop, skip and a roll to the porters. From there, it was the actual cruise ship check-in which, with four ships in port, was a busy affair. After check-in, it was a bit of a "zig-zag livestock style" meander to get to shore-side security screening of individuals and carry-on luggage, and then another "hurry up and wait" for pre-clearance border screening, not by Canadian CBSA, but by officers of the United States Customs & Border Protection (CBP). You see, the United States federal government operates border pre-clearance facilities at a number of ports and airports in foreign territory. The process is intended to streamline border procedures, reduce congestion at U.S. ports of entry, and facilitate travel between the pre-clearance location and U.S. ports of entry unequipped to handle international travelers. After the obligatory welcome aboard pic by the ship's photographers (hey, no one is holding a knife to your throat to later purchase these pics!), we took one of Nieuw A's scenic elevators to Deck 7 and to our floating crib. Dropped off the carry-on's and headed for the Lido Marker for a salad and soup lunch. As we were leaving the abode, our luggage was delivered pronto; fast service by Nieuw A's Housekeeping Dept.! The 4:00 PM mandatory passenger emergency safety drill was one of the fastest and most efficient "mustard" drills that we've seen in twenty-seven years of cruising. Everyone showed up, got scanned in by the asst. boat commander and, at least as was the case with our boat, #10, paid attention/quit flapping their lips" as Captain Marco Carsjens and CD Rebecca read their safety and health schpiel via the ship's P/A system. We were dismissed exactly nineteen minutes after arriving, a fact which drew an applause from many of our fellow shipmates! Impressive feat! After unpacking, we did some jelling and vegging until it was time for dinner (we chose a casual one in the Lido and had Rigatoni). From there, it was a beeline for the last portion of the first set (8:30 PM) of the B.B. King's All-Star Band which, we found out, was standing room only, not one available seat in in the house! The band sounded spectacular as usual, with lead female singer Stephanie Bolton standing out. We stuck around for the entire second set (were able to locate two front row seats) and then finished up the night with the two Billboard Onboard pianists/vocalists Ivy and Jonathan. The main entertainment in the show lounge tonite was the movie "Avengers Endgame"starting at 8:30 PM Pic is the reason behind this ship's name prominently displayed opposite the Deck 2 port-side scenic elevators. New York City's nick name "The Big Apple" was first popularized in the 1920s by John J. FitzGerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph.
  11. Hello All, (Note: I may cross post this on the Holland America forum too) So last July my extended family and I took a round trip Alaska cruise out of Vancouver on Holland America's Niuew Amsterdam. I researched the heck out of it and specifically selected that route and boat. It was my first cruise and I LOVED IT! So this year has been insane with work, but i have a little break now and am toying with the idea of a last minute Alaska cruise here in the next few weeks for my wife and I - just to get to some cooler weather and really unwind. Of course as I look at the options, I keep coming back to the same decision points I ran into last year (ports, ship, route, time, etc.). We would only do a week so a land tour is not really on the table this year either I'm afraid. Given the last minute compromises (i.e. limited cabin choice, September weather, etc.), I am only considering this if I can do it for a tolerable sum. Having said that, a balcony is a must as is a more true "inside passage". Anyway, I have narrowed the choices somewhat to these two options: 1 - Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam - Balcony Guaranteed - 08/31-09/07 - Vancouver to Vancouver Roundtrip (note: this is the same cruise we did last year) Ship built in 2004; refit in early 2017 2 - Holland America's Westerdam - Signature Suite Guaranteed - 09/01-09/08 - Seward to Vancouver (Southbound) Ship built in 2010; refit at end of 2017 The boats are similar in size (about 2K passengers) but the Westerdam is an older class of ship (and 6 years older of course). The ports are, of course, almost identical - Glacier Bay, Juneau, Skagway & Ketchikan (besides the disembarkation obviously). However, the Nieuw Amsterdam does offer the Tracy Arm Excursion "from the boat" on the way to Juneau (assuming that excursion isn't already booked). The combined ship and airfare cost is only about $300 different for these two. The Items that come to mind on these two are: 1. Newer boat is generally going to be nicer - win Nieuw Amsterdam 2. Signature suite (which we had last year) is DEFINITELY nicer than a regular balcony cabin - win for Westerdam 3. Guaranteed cabins are always a crapshoot, BUT the Signature suites on Westerdam are virtually all located in great areas so the risk is low. Conversely, I (who am a bit prone to motion sickness), would be gambling a lot more with a "guaranteed" balcony (they are all over the ship - win for Westerdam. 4. Flying in/out of Vancouver is a lot simpler, cheaper and less tiring than flying in to Anchorage. The latter requires transport from Anchorage to Seward as well. Southbound would be ideal if we were doing a land tour, but we aren't - win for Nieuw Amsterdam. 5. As noted above, I am a bit prone to motion sickness. The Nieuw Amsterdam route is pretty much ideal for me, whereas the Westerdam crosses the Gulf of Alaska (in September) and could be rougher. If the Westerdam stopped at Hubbard Glacier it might be more "worth it" but it doesn't - win Nieuw Amsterdam. 6. The times in port are almost a wash, but the Westerdam does have a small advantage here for Juneau as it docks and leaves earlier (and in September it will get dark around 7:00 pm so any excursions running after that may not work out) - win Westerdam. 7. Overall route is almost a wash, but since the Nieuw Amsterdam does "pull over" on the way to Tracy Arm for a small boat excursion, it offers that option. Of coruse I have node idea if it is already fully booked. - win Niuew Amsterdam (small). Anyway, does anyone care to chime in on any of this with their thoughts/opinions? Anything I haven't thought of here??? No wrong answers of course!!! Itineraries:
  12. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Lovely weather with highs in the 70s is predicted for the whole week. Monday will have partly cloudy skies with a high of 73F/23C and a low of 55F/13C. Sunrise is at 4:57 am and sunset at 9:07 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  13. Before I begin, I would like to apologize for getting a late start on this review. For some strange reason I have had a hard time recovering from the “cruise ship crud” (cough.) I have never had a problem before; I guess I’m just getting old. Ok, let’s get started. Timeline:We recently returned from three consecutive cruises to Alaska: Week 1: Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam (Vancouver-Vancouver itinerary) and weeks 2&3: Royal Princess (Vancouver-Whittier-Vancouver itinerary.) We chose the two cruise lines because we wanted our Alaska trips to be all about the glaciers and the combination of the two cruise lines allowed us to do just that. About Us: Many years ago, my husband worked in Alaska on a variety of engineering projects. One year, for my birthday, he sent me a ticket to join him in Fairbanks so I could experience Alaska firsthand. Even though my stay was short, I knew there was something magical about the place. Alaska had left its mark on us and we wanted to be a part of it in some small way. So, when the opportunity presented itself, we purchased a brick as part of a fundraiser for the Alaska Zoo. We had our last name and wedding date inscribed on the brick as a reminder of the memories that brought us together 38 years ago. My husband is 73 and I am 68.
  14. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215, Regatta will be tendering from 1300-2100, and Solstice will be at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. The weather continues to be rainy but there is some sun predicted during the week. There is a 60% chance of rain throughout the day with a high of only 58F/14C and a low of 47F/8C. Sunrise is at 4:42 am and sunset at 9:25 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  15. The Signature Sisters will be making their weekly visit to Juneau with Eurodam at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Seabourn Sojourn tendering from 0800-2000, Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215, and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Monday is shaping up to be the nicest of the next 5 days with only a 10% chance of rain and partly cloudy skies. The high will be 73F/23C (the highest for the week) and the low 55F/13C. Sunrise is at 4:28 am and sunset at 9:39 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  16. My wife and I are sailing on the Nieuw Amsterdam from Vancouver to Alaska and back to Vancouver soon. The ship arrives Vancouver at 0700 and we are planning on doing walk off with our luggage. Anyone been on the Nieuw Amsterdam recently who can tell us approximately when you were off the ship and through Canada customs to get an idea when to book our return flight to Toronto.
  17. Hello, Does HAL usually have any kind of Halloween night party or event on Nieuw Amsterdam? We will be sailing on 10/31/19 and am wondering if we should bring even the simplest of costumes to make it more festive. Thanks!
  18. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Weather is back to normal in Juneau - rain is predicted for each day this week - there is even a flood warning for part of Monday. The high temperature will be 65F/18C and the low 54F/12C. Sunrise is at 4:15 am and sunset at 9:51 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  19. We are sailing Oct 29 and have veranda cabin 6114 which is by the elevator. Has anyone had a problem with traffic on this area?
  20. We were on NA in April of 2017, and the casino was non-smoking after renovations to the piano bar area across the way... I had assumed it would remain non-smoking, but the HAL website - supposedly updated to June 2019 - does NOT list Nieuw Amsterdam as one of the completely non-smoking casinos. Can someone who has sailed recently tell me whether HAL has reverted to smoking in the NA casino? Our booking depends on the answer... Many thanks!
  21. A full house in Juneau with five cruise ships on Monday. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Seabourn Sojourn tendering from 0700-2300, Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215, and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. The first half of the week has nice weather forecast (the end of the week is looking rainy). Monday is supposed to be partly cloudy with a high of 78F/26C and a low of 58F/14C. Sunrise is at 4:05 am and sunset at 10:00 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  22. After reading so many threads, I've now lost the thread where it discussed the hidden spots (gems) on Nieuw Amsterdam to lounge outside and inside as well as hidden gems of treats. For example, I remember reading a post about emergency exit doors that are not really emergency exit doors and take you to a quieter outdoor deck area. Or one that stated how to get to the Crows Nest. Also, any other hidden gems like the Tea Time (that too looked fun). Thanks!
  23. 🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂
  24. Earlier today I decided to see if I could find a more recent picture to see what Our beloved Nieuw Amsterdam III looks like as she is being scrapped. Se was our firs HAL ship back in December, 1988. We were on board for her 12 day Christmas Cruise when we did the partial canal transit on Christmas day with the Rotterdam V. We have been at sea for the Holidays every year ever since. I am actually currently working on digitizing the pictures from that cruise by using a negative scanner to scan the negatives and then some photo editing software to clean them up as much as I can. Yes I still have the negatives for the cruises we have done till going digital in 2004. When I found this picture I was speechless and thought about all the memories from the time we cruised on her. Till this day we have more days on her than any of the other Dam Ships we have been on at a total of 107 days (9 cruises) but our days on Nieuw Amsterdam IV are #2 (96 days & 13 cruises) so the next time we can get on her will hopefully be enough to take over the top spot for us.
  25. My kids and I sailed from Vancouver, round-trip to Alaska, in August 2018. For a full review please visit:
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