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Found 236 results

  1. On the Jan-Feb 2019 cruises (at least) on the Koningsdam, the CD Thomas Weber has been hosting a series of "Meet the Artist" sessions. These were about an hour long, and consisted of Thomas asking a few background questions and then taking questions from the audience. These featured the Lincoln Center group, the BB King group, the Rolling Stone Rock Room group, and the Billboard duo. Attendance was good, the questioning was lively, and the performers seemed happy to participate. Thomas said that this was somewhat of an experiment. Through the years I have noted on the HAL after-cruise surveys that it is unfair and disrespectful that the performers in its entertainment groups are not identified. Who were the HALcats, and the Neptunes, and the Adagio, and the Singers and Dancers ? At any other entertainment there would be a playbill, or handout flyer, or at least a poster naming the performers. There has been some progress on this - there now are occasional flyers with short bios of the Lincoln Center performers, and on the Koningsdam one of the video panels cycles through these. Due to an overlooked comment card I was able to meet the HD Santosh and he connected me with Mikey, the Entertainment Coordinator. He said that this issue has been discussed and some thought is being given to it. The Lincoln Center info is available because it is produced by RWS Entertainment (the contractor for LC Onboard) and given to HAL. BB King and Rock Room are contracted from Beale Street Blues Co, and they have not been providing that sort of directly usable promo material. The "Meet the Artist" sessions are nice, but they do not really address the need to identify the performers. Artists deserve that recognition. Clearly HAL knows who they are - it would not be very hard to put a poster with their names in each venue - even it it had to be updated every three months when the contracts changed. And it shouldn't be too hard for the HAL IT department to put up their bios on the video panels since they have the LC as a template.
  2. Hold onto your hats folks because it’s going to be a very busy day in Port Everglades for this one. The three newest blue hulled beauties (N Statendam, N Amsterdam & Koningsdam) in the fleet will all be sailing away in Port Everglades and the gracious flagship, Rotterdam will be sailing out of Tampa. Nieuw Statendam is scheduled to be at pier 26 & will be doing 2 different itineraries. The first is the 7 day Western Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Feb d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (18 Feb 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (20 Feb 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (21 Feb 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (22 Feb 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Feb 0700-1700); Nassau, Bahamas (25 Feb 0800-1600); San Juan, Puerto Rico (27 Feb 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (28 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (02 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (03 Mar a0700) And the second is the 14 day Western Eastern Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Feb d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (25 Feb 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (27 Feb 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (28 Feb 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (01 Mar 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (03 Mar 0700-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (05 Mar 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (06 Mar 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (07 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (09 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (10 Mar a0800) Nieuw Amsterdam is scheduled to be at pier 19 and is doing a 7 day Eastern Caribbean itinerary: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Feb d1700); Nassau, Bahamas (25 Feb 0800-1600); San Juan, Puerto Rico (27 Feb 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (28 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (02 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (03 Mar a0700) Koningsdam is set to be at pier 21 and is doing two different itineraries. The first is the 10 day Southern Caribbean Seafarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Feb d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (25 Feb 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (26 Feb 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (27 Feb 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (01 Mar 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (02 Mar 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (03 Mar 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (06 Mar a0700) And the second is the 21 day Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Feb d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (25 Feb 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (26 Feb 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (27 Feb 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (01 Mar 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (02 Mar 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (03 Mar 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (06 Mar 0700-1700); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (09 Mar 0800-1600); Castries, St Lucia (10 Mar 0900-1700); Bridgetown, Barbados (11 Mar 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (12 Mar 0800-1700); Basseterre, St. Kitts (13 Mar 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (14 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (16 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar a0700) Other ships in port sailing way are: Regal Princess (pier 02), Harmony Of The Seas (pier 18), Carnival Conquest (pier 04) & Adventure Of The Seas (pier 29). The webcams are located at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com The Rotterdam will be sailing out of Tampa on a 7 day Western Caribbean: Tampa, Florida (24 Feb d1700); Key West, Florida (25 Feb 1100-1800); Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala (27 Feb 0800-1800); Roatan, Honduras (28 Feb 0800-1700); Costa Maya, Mexico (01 Mar 0800-1700); Tampa, Florida (03 Mar a0700) The other ship in Tampa is the Carnival Miracle The webcam is located at https://www.porttampawebcam.com For the Sail Away Addicts - the Oosterdam is in Key West on this date. And on February 25th, the Nieuw Amsterdam will be in Nassau & the Rotterdam will be in Key West. Next up - Zuiderdam on February 27th.
  3. Just wondered if Koningsdam has any laudromats on board?
  4. My family and I just returned from the Koningsdam 11 day cruise. I went on this cruise unsure how I would like the style of the K, I am happy to report I LOVED the ship. Here is a brief review, please ask any questions, I will try to answer best I can. First this was a group of 19 family and friends, 4 of them were my cousins from Nebraska whom we haven't seen in a very long time. The time we were able to spend together was invaluable. Embarkation on was quick and easy. We arrived at the port about 10:30 am and were onboard by noon, cabins were ready when we boarded. Cabins - we were on on deck 6 aft balcony cabins. These cabins were definitely a tad bit smaller than the Vista style but they were not terrible, still well appointed. The verandah's I found to be the same size we enjoyed on the Vista style, we thoroughly enjoyed them. The bathrooms, while the toilet is angled slightly weird, it wasn't all that bad. We loved these cabins, for us they worked well. Service, don't need to say much here, the Phillipino and Indonesians are terrific, over worked, but still never a complaint and always service with a smile. Food, MDR we found to be excellent as well as the Lido, but I am happy when I don't have to prepare, cook and clean up the dishes, so take my food thoughts with a grain of salt. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill with their new menu, not impressed. Service was sporadic, some in the group were served quicker than others. Food quality was not what I remembered, I had the Alaskan Crab Legs and they were delicious, I ordered the lobster as an added cost, coming from New England, not worth the up charge. Desserts were ok but they no longer offer the chocolate volcano cake 😟. One thing they did not offer in the MDR which I was really disappointed with is no escargot on the 2nd Gala Night, but they did have delicious jumbo shrimp so I was ok with that, but still disappointed. Entertainment, I only went to a couple of shows and they were good, BBKings I found to be excellent, but the Rock Room, disappointing, this group seemed to be going through something, they just couldn't get it together, but by the end of the cruise, they seemed to be a lot better, so perhaps they had a new band member or two, not sure. All in all I think these two venues are a great addition. Casino, I did not spend any time in here as the smoke was thick, I can't stand to be in a place like that. The smoke did whiff into the halls, be aware if cigarette smoke bothers you. We we did book onboard for 2021 on the Nieuw Statendam, we really enjoyed this style ship, there just seemed to be something for everyone in our group. We had a great time and cannot wait for our next cruise. Please let me know if I can answer any questions.
  5. Sailing on the Koningsdam in March - first time on this class of ship. On other HAL ships, we have enjoyed the lounge chairs on the Promenade decks looking out over the ocean. I understand this is not available on the Koningsdam. Where can one enjoy the ocean and relative quiet on a lounge chair in the shade on this ship (we do not have a verandah)?
  6. Six ships are in Port Everglades for this sail a way & 2 of them are the newest blue hulled beauties in the fleet. A container ship is scheduled to be at HAL's usual pier 26. So, instead you will find the Nieuw Statendam at pier 04. She is doing two different itineraries. The first is the 7 night Eastern Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar d1700); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (19 Mar 1000-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (20 Mar 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (21 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (23 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Mar a0700) And the 2nd is the 14 night Eastern/Western Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar d1700); (19 Mar 1000-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (20 Mar 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (21 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (23 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Mar 0700-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (25 Mar 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (27 Mar 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (28 Mar 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (29 Mar 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (31 Mar a0700) The Koningsdam is scheduled to be at pier 21 and is also doing 2 different itineraries. The first is the 10 night Southern Caribbean Seafarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (18 Mar 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (19 Mar 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (20 Mar 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (22 Mar 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (23 Mar 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (24 Mar 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (27 Mar a0700) And the 2nd is the 21 night Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (18 Mar 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (19 Mar 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (20 Mar 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (22 Mar 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (23 Mar 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (24 Mar 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (27 Mar 0700-1700); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (30 Mar 0800-1600); Castries, St Lucia (31 Mar 0900-1700); Bridgetown, Barbados (01 Apr 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (02 Apr 0800-1700); Basseterre, St. Kitts (03 Apr 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (04 Apr 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (06 Apr 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (07 Apr a0700) Other ships in port are the Regal Princess (pier 02), Harmony Of The Seas (pier 18), Crown Princess (pier 19) & Celebrity Edge (pier 25). The webcams are located at: https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com The Nieuw Amsterdam is sailing out of San Diego on a 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise: The San Diego webcam is located at http://sundiegolive.com For the Addicts - along with the San Diego sail away of the N Amsterdam, the Oosterdam is scheduled to be in Key West (webcam - https://www.keywestharborwebcam.com ) Next up is the Volendam's Sail a Way on March 19th.
  7. Would like some help in deciding cabin choice. We are doing the 22 day Transatlantic/Med and are trying to decide between two cabins: #4154 - has a huge balcony, but no additional furniture #8190 - aft facing balcony, leaning this way since a lot of sea days across Atlantic. Is an aft balcony less windy? Any issue with engine or prop wash noise? Any input appreciated! Thanks
  8. Looking at getting cabin above MDR on Koningsdam - perhaps 4209, 4207 or 4180. Has anyone experienced noise issues above the MDR? Appreciate any info.
  9. Tomorrow is her 3rd birthday 🎂 I just can’t believe it was that long ago.
  10. Just off Koningsdam 10 Day Southern Caribbean yesterday. Having previously sailed this ship two years ago, the range of improvements since then are striking. First and foremost it is very apparent to someone such as myself working in the hotel F&B industry that there has been a huge customer focused service initiative and training. First night in traditional late seating the waiter says "please let me know if there is anything special or different you would like and I will try to get it for you", wine stewardess says "we are here to make your Holland America experience special", asst. maître d' stops by daily, WOW the service attitude has just gone to a new level. A quick overview of my other experiences: Embarkation - Despite being "suggested" to arrive mid-afternoon, we arrived at 11:15, whisked our way through and were enjoying lunch in the MDR at 12:10. Cabins were ready upon boarding. Food - Noticeable improvement since our last HAL cruise. Interesting to see the generic MDR dinner menus are now heavily themed to Caribbean dishes, lighter foods. fish, etc. in keeping with the itinerary. Old favorites and Everyday selections offered as well. Best Pinnacle experience we have had in a while and excellent dinner in Tamarind. Our food in Canaletto was fine but getting tired of the odd menu format and the buffet location of the venue so will give it a pass next cruise. Outstanding variety and quality in the Lido for breakfast and lunch. Dive In runs rings around the competition, NY Pizza was just ok. Entertainment - Rolling Stone is a home run. I am 60 and the age range onboard is mostly 55-75, so no longer the kid onboard LOL. Great to see the sea of white heads in the Rolling Stone nightly singing, dancing, and having a fabulous time, SRO every show. Billboard much better than two years ago, Lincoln Center unfortunately no where near as good, obviously depends on the skill and enthusiasm of the individual performers ship to ship, cruise to cruise. Superb virtuoso pianist in the World Stage one night. And yes, I can confirm the singers and dancers are no more. Ports - My favorite Caribbean itinerary, ABC's to me by far the nicest and cleanest islands, made better by great weather. focused Ship - Immaculate from recent drydock. Staff - Great service in cabin, dining, and bars. I'm sure that Capt. Darin Bowland is responsible for setting the tone onboard, great guy. Other Notes - Received our 100 day bronze medallion this trip, very nice ceremony. The new app works great and is very helpful looking up daily programs and menus and checking your account. Only a few books left in the library, mostly focused on the Caribbean region. 10 PM happy hour still held in Crows Nest. Casual nights very informal, Gala nights a few tuxes, maybe 20, in MDR at least most men wearing a suit or sport coat, many with ties. You can no longer bring a portable fan , mine was confiscated upon boarding, picked it up on the way out. Disembarkation very smooth, my group was 8:30-8:45, called at 8:32, in cab within 20 minutes to FLL thanks to electronic passport app. Bought my FCC's - just hoping my next HAL cruise will measure up to this one. Any questions, please ask.
  11. I will be sailing on the Koningsdam this June (11 day Ancient Empire cruise) and I wanted to know if they offer an unlimited photo package, and if so, how much it would be. I have read other CC boards saying that for a time, there was a $99 deal where you could get all digital photos but one post saying that this was increased to $300)+! Is this still the case? Does HAL offer an unlimited printed photo package? We have been with RCL and purchased their unlimited photo package. We took advantage of this and took photographers with basically every photographer we could find! How available are the photographers with HAL and are there a lot of photo opportunities to make the unlimited package worth it? For RCL, we had photos in the port (on the dock), at the dinner table for their gala nights, on the promenade level before/after gala night, and other times when we would see a photographer out and about. Full folders stuffed to the brim of professional pictures certainly made the unlimited package worth it!
  12. Only one ship in Port Everglades for this one and yes, it's a blue hulled beauty. Koningsdam is scheduled to be at pier 26 and is doing 2 different itineraries. The first is the 11 day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (06 Mar d1700); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (09 Mar 0800-1600); Castries, St Lucia (10 Mar 0900-1700); Bridgetown, Barbados (11 Mar 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (12 Mar 0800-1700); Basseterre, St. Kitts (13 Mar 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (14 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (16 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar a0700) And the other is the 21 day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer/Seafarer Fort Lauderdale, Florida (06 Mar d1700); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (09 Mar 0800-1600); Castries, St Lucia (10 Mar 0900-1700); Bridgetown, Barbados (11 Mar 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (12 Mar 0800-1700); Basseterre, St. Kitts (13 Mar 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (14 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (16 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar 0700-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (18 Mar 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (19 Mar 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (20 Mar 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (22 Mar 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (23 Mar 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (24 Mar 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (27 Mar a0700) The website is located at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com No other ships in port, no other sailings for the Addicts that I am aware of. Next up - Oosterdam (Port Everglades) & Eurodam (San Diego) on March 9th.
  13. [ Tue 11-Dec-2018 ] One word: F A N T A S T I C Wow. Incredible. Awesome. Dynamic. Fun. The band rocked the room, the crowd rocked the ship! Do you like to watch, listen, sit, stand, clap, shake, bounce &/or dance? In the immortal words of Nike, just do it! Congratulations to HAL, they hit it out of the park with this one. A Grand Slam home run! For this entertainment venue alone Mrs. Dogstar & I would definitely return to the K'dam, & her sister Nieuw Statendam, again & again. Roll it out across the HAL fleet asap, please. R O C K O N ! ! ! 🤘🏻😎🤘🏻 *** Posting this from beachside bar in Anse Mitan (Martinique) so wifi is slow. Will share more photos & video later. For now it's back to the beach, ocean & bevvies! ***
  14. We have previously sailed on HAL 3 times, but that was several years ago and on some of their "smaller" ships. Since then, we have sailed only on RCCL and Celebrity, which we have enjoyed, especially the Diamond Lounge cocktail hours, as we have access to those. We are now considering an 11 night cruise on the Koningsdam for next spring, as we like the itinerary. We have tried to do research on the ship, but it seems to offer some conflicting opinions. So, if some of you that have been on it could please answer some questions, it would be most appreciated. 1. I have heard that there are very few public areas that offer views of the ocean. Is this true, as we enjoy a view.? (We will have a balcony, but do not want to spend the whole cruise on it). 2. There is a daily "happy hour" offered with reduced drinks. Is this true and if so, what time is it offered? 3. The balconies on the fore and aft of deck 4 are larger, but have steel railings rather than plexi-glass. Is this true? 4. For "My Time Dining", or whatever it is called, there are very few tables for 2 available. Is this true? 5. There is very little shaded area available near to the pools. And HAL offers more smoking areas than other cruise lines. Is this true? This may seem somewhat "picky" but we enjoy certain things while on a cruise and we are just trying to see what we might get to experience. Any advice/information on these topics is welcome. Thank you.
  15. Wow it’s a busy sail a way day. Lots of blue hulled beauties sailing today from different ports. (Sorry, couldn’t fit all the different ports in the title) Sailing from Port Everglades for this one we have the newly christened Nieuw Statendam (there may be a bit of hoopla as she sails out - fingers crossed), the Koningsdam & the Nieuw Amsterdam. The Nieuw Statendam is doing a Legendary Rhythm & Blues Charter and is scheduled to be at pier 26 - here is here itinerary (sorry, CC has a problem uploading pics tonight and itinerary maps 😞 kinf of frustrating when I’ve uploaded them 😉 ) Fort Lauderdale, Florida (03 Feb d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (04 Feb 0900-1500); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (06 Feb 1100-2000); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (07 Feb 0800-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (10 Feb a0700) The Koningsdam is headed out for a 10 day Southern Caribbean Seafarer and he is scheduled to be at pier 21: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (03 Feb d1700); Falmouth, Jamaica (05 Feb 1100-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (07 Feb 0800-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (08 Feb 0800-2300); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (10 Feb 0800-1800); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (11 Feb 0700-1400); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (12 Feb 0800-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (13 Feb a0700) as well as a 21 night Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (03 Feb d1700); Falmouth, Jamaica (05 Feb 1100-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (07 Feb 0800-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (08 Feb 0800-2300); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (10 Feb 0800-1800); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (11 Feb 0700-1400); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (12 Feb 0800-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (13 Feb 0700-1700); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (16 Feb 0800-1600); Castries, St Lucia (17 Feb 0800-1600); Bridgetown, Barbados (18 Feb 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (19 Feb 0800-1700); Basseterre, St. Kitts (20 Feb 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (21 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (23 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Feb a0700 And the Nieuw Amsterdam which is scheduled to be at pier 19 is doing a 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (03 Feb d1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (05 Feb 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (06 Feb 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (07 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (09 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (10 Feb a0700 Other ships in port scheduled are the Regal Princess, Harmony Of The Seas & Celebrity Edge. The webcams are located at: https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com The Rotterdam is sailing out of Tampa for a 7 day Western Caribbean: Tampa, Florida (03 Feb d1700); Key West, Florida (04 Feb 1100-1800); Trujillo, Honduras (06 Feb 0800-1700); Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala (07 Feb 0700-1700); Costa Maya, Mexico (08 Feb 0800-1700); Tampa, Florida (10 Feb a0700) As well as a 21 night Southern/Western Caribbean: Tampa, Florida (03 Feb d1700); Key West, Florida (04 Feb 1100-1800); Trujillo, Honduras (06 Feb 0800-1700); Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala (07 Feb 0700-1700); Costa Maya, Mexico (08 Feb 0800-1700); Tampa, Florida (10 Feb 0700-1700); Key West, Florida (11 Feb 1100-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (14 Feb 1000-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (15 Feb 0800-1700); St Johns, Antigua (16 Feb 0800-1700); Castries, St Lucia (17 Feb 0800-1600); Willemstad, Curacao (19 Feb 0800-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (20 Feb 0700-1600); George Town, Grand Cayman (22 Feb 0800-1500); Tampa, Florida (24 Feb a0700) the Tampa webcam is located at https://www.porttampawebcam.com And the Eurodam is sailing out of of San Diego for a 17 day round circle Hawaii: the San Diego is webcam is located at http://sundiegolive.com For the Sail Away Addicts - the Oosterdam is scheduled to be in Key West. Our next sail a way is scheduled for February 4th. Hopefully then CC will let the itinerary maps work “sigh” as we watch the Veendam head off for the Amazon and Carnaval.
  16. I have never tried to do a review before, so my apologies in advance for any redundancies or boring information! I don’t want to miss anything, so I may wind up being wordy. DH and I were on the January 13 southern Caribbean cruise on the Koningsdam. We have cruised several other times with HAL, but not on the bigger ships, and we were not sure whether we would like it. We did! We were supposed to be cruising with my DB and DSIL, but they had to cancel due to family and job issues. This was a real problem, because they had a suite and we had an inside cabin. We planned on spending many evenings on their balcony! We were a little bummed, but an inside cabin is sure better than being home or at work. EMBARKATION We arrived at the cruise terminal right around 11 AM and were in group 6 to board. We were on the ship close to 11:45 and I have to say this was probably the smoothest embarkation we have ever had. We were directed to the Lido, but we took a chance that the main dining room was open and it was. After a lovely lunch, we discovered that our luggage had arrived so we unpacked and set out to explore the ship. DECOR The art is very different from what I’ve come to expect from Holland America – I really liked some of it (the cello ship on deck 12) but some of it I just did not get. I did see two of what I think were two of Captain Card’s paintings in the meeting rooms adjacent to the Crow’s Nest, which made me feel more at home. The decor overall is really lovely and understated compared to the ships we have sailed previously. The last time we sailed HAL was on the Veendam, and it was the old garish color combinations. POOLS One thing we really missed was any kind of music at the aft pool. We understand the limitations on live bands, but some kind of music would’ve made an incredible improvement to the environment. Drink service was very good in the area, and seating capacity was OK. Several afternoons there were no clean towels at the aft pool and occasionally under cover seating was slim pickings because one side was designated for smoking. Although it was not full, asthma made that side not an option for us. We did not spend any time at the Lido pool. It seemed crowded, and being mostly enclosed it was pretty warm. We had an informal meet and greet at the aft pool with our roll call, and it was very nice to put names and faces together with folks whose posts I have enjoyed in the past. A lot of great information was passed back-and-forth on our roll call, which was greatly appreciated. STATEROOM We were getting ready for gala dinner on Monday when we received a call from guest services. It seemed they have been trying to reach us since embarkation and wanted to upgrade us to a balcony room down the hall. At no charge!! I thought it was a joke, or that DH was not asking the right questions to verify the up charge! Gina from guest services came by to show us the cabin and make sure the cabin was satisfactory. What, I’m going to say “no, I’d rather be inside”??? Our wonderful cabin stewards Andry and Freddy came along to help us move and voilà! We were in a veranda cabin! Pour the champagne! That was a most wonderful moment! Note: The inside cabin was fine, but let’s be real! DINING We purchased the ultimate dining package, and would not do it again. We have loved the Pinnacle in the past and have heard such good things about Tamarind that we felt like it was a great deal. We went to the Pinnacle the first night, and I have to say we were disappointed. The food was good, but our server really gave us the impression that we were a bother. He took our order and was never seen or heard from again. In a complete contrast, Rozelle, our wine steward, was fast and friendly. I had thought to try POA1’s suggestion about ordering all of our wine at once to avoid a wait, but we never had a delay. I will definitely keep it in mind for the future though. The Tamerind was excellent, service and food alike. We actually dined there twice because guest services gifted us with dinner there due to the terrible inconvenience of moving. We did not say no. We also participated in DiLibrije, and I was again disappointed in the service. We received our sparkling wine and the wine for the first course before we ever received the amuse bouche. The food was stellar, but we had the same server we had previously and he was inattentive in the extreme. Canaletto was fine, the food was good and the service was good as well, but nothing was awe inspiring. I was surprised that it did feel like a separate area; I was concerned that we would feel like we were still in the Lido. Dive In was good, and was much quicker than I expected based on previous comments. The Lido is the Lido – lots of choices, with a better layout than previously. The salad station was much appreciated as you could ask for and receive anything in your salad that was available, and DH loved the eggs Florentine for breakfast. The dutch café was terrific. We had lattes from there every morning, and the bitterballen was superb. Our best experience by far was in the main dining room. We were upstairs at a two top, and our waiters (Abu and Silmi) were attentive and friendly. Being on the third floor makes a big difference in the acoustics, and we never felt that it was too loud. The food was very good, and because we had the EBP, we didn’t feel that we had to coordinate our menu choices the way we do when we bring our own wine. I did feel that the selection of red wines by the glass was not great, but that also be my personal taste. Lester, our wine steward was fast, made good recommendations, and was really funny. We really felt like we had our own personal entertainment in the main dining room. One of the things that was fun was when we asked about the celebration song performed by the waiters for birthdays, they arranged to have a celebrated with our neighboring two top just because! DH was the one who had been interested, so I filmed it and took the video and cake to the poker table (have party, will travel). ENTERTAINMENT We very much enjoyed the Rolling Stone rock room, and the BB Kings blues club. The pianists were excellent also, as were the Lincoln Stage performers. All drew huge crowds, but we never really had a problem finding a seat although they may have been tucked in the back corner. We also enjoyed the casino. DH came out ahead, as did I (but barely). sidebar: How can their only be 1 to 2 bottles of Makers Mark on the entire ship? I can’t see leaving the Crow’s Nest at 7 PM to go down to the aft pool to get myself a Makers Mark Manhattan. PORTS Half Moon Cay is a beautiful island, and we were fortunate in that the weather was flawless. Tendering was a breeze and the water was like glass. We did not have lunch on the island, too many options available on the ship and with no crowds! We didn’t do much on Grand Turk – we mostly wandered up and down the streets. They have some nice beaches, but we did not visit them. Bonaire has a very nice and close by downtown area. They had a farmers market going on, and many locals were getting lunch from the guy cooking barbecue. There was lots of really nice jewelry (not expensive), and miscellaneous handmade things to be had. Curaçao was our absolute favorite island. The buildings with the historic Dutch style, and the cafés along the waterway and the swinging pontoon bridge all made for a lovely day. We spent the afternoon wondering the streets, and ended with cocktails and beer at one of the waterside cafés. The weather was lovely, there was a live band performing nearby, and we were able to watch the pontoon bridge open and close several times. We left right at sunset, which was beautiful over the Koningsdam. The waterfront buildings and the bridge are lit up with multicolored lights which makes it so festive. I did not get off the ship in Aruba, but DH did. He took the path from port to town, and said it was enjoyable. I found it enjoyable that he found several little gifts to bring back to me! In summary, it was a wonderful cruise – one we would do again. Holland America has the service model down, and I sure hope they don’t fix what isn’t broken. The ship is lovely, the entertainment is great, but best of all we were on vacation! It’s hard to find fault with that. PS: I forgot to include that Elvis was on the ship!
  17. We cruised on HAL 10 years ago. Since that time, we have been exclusively Celebrity/RCCL and have "upper tier" status with both. We decided to try something different, and yesterday returned home from an 11 night cruise on Koningsdam. WOW. Loved the ship, entertainment, food, and service. I had heard that HAL was trying to appeal to a younger generation. Well, we are in our 70s and it must be our generation, because the Rock and Roll room and BB King's Blues Club were full each night with many people dancing and singing along with the songs. We enjoyed Tamarind and Pinnacle Grill, feeling both were superior to anything we have yet experienced on RCCL. We are scheduled for Zuiderdam this summer and Zaandam next January. We realize that the older ships cannot compare to a new ship, but, hopefully, the food, service, and entertainment will still be very enjoyable. I plan to share our great cruise with my friends on the RCCL board.
  18. The two newest ships for Holland America are traveling together from St. Thomas to Half Moon Cay. This is Koningsdam as seen off the port side of Nieuw Statendam
  19. Could someone kindly tell us if the Club Orange is a private venue (costs?) ie., is it open to everyone or is it the "main Dining Room" for all? FC
  20. I've found the magnetic walls on Carnival ships very useful for hanging our paperwork, etc. I''ll be sailing on the Koningsdam soon and wondering if I should bring my magnetic hooks with me.
  21. 3 Star Mariner and love HAL. Did a January 11 day cruise. This is my 2nd time on this ship. Lovely ship with terrific ambiance. HAL does have a nice feel to it for me. We had done an RCCL cruise before this one to Cuba. Absolutely bare bones, small ship but one of the few choices for Cuba in January. Have been on RCCL before. Was not expecting much. We were very surprised that we liked the food on RCCL better than HAL this year. I know food is subjective. We liked the menu better on RCCL. Did eat in Tamarind one night which is wonderful. Also did the buffet one night to see if this would make us happier. Service there was awful. We had to clear our own table when it came time for dessert. Waiter was there but skirted around us and never came near us. Who knows. Absolutely shocked that we preferred RCCL food to HAL because I sing HAL praises to all my friends who cruise. Was surprised to see HAL is beginning to charge for a 2nd entrée. We saw many people eating 2 entrees in January but don't think the charge had started then. On RCCL they kept asking us if we wanted another entrée/no charge. We didn't because we couldn't finish what we had. Also not a fan of the Orange Club concept. Probably jealousy on my part but I was not willing to pay an extra $100 a day for small dining room with expanded services. Still a fan of HAL and will cruise with them again.
  22. We've had 2 different suite offers for this sailing.Has anyone else gotten them? Unless it gets pretty low,I doubt we'll upgrade as we're in a Vista Suite now.
  23. We just returned from 11 days on the K-dam, we enjoyed just about everything about the ship. The only negative things were if you wanted to see the 8:00 show you need to show up before 7:30. The position of the toilets in our veranda room, very awkward. And finally the vibrations of the ship especially when traveling 15knots and above. We were midship, cabin 5089, and the seas were only 1-3 feet and the vibration made it difficult to sleep comfortably.
  24. When I was on the K'dam a few years ago, I felt that my standard verandah stateroom was smaller than other HAL ships and other cruise lines. I see on their website that they list a wide range of square footage for the standard verandah. How does one find one of the ones with more sq ft? Is it hidden somewhere on the website? Are Vista Suites substantially larger?
  25. The Oosterdam is set to sail out of Port Everglades and, of course we are all hoping that our captain’s finger will get ‘stuck’ on the horn again. She is doing two different segments for this one and is scheduled to be at pier 26. The first is the 7 day Eastern Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (16 Feb d1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (18 Feb 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (19 Feb 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (20 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (22 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (23 Feb a0700) And the second is the 14 day Eastern/Tropical Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (16 Feb d1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (18 Feb 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (19 Feb 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (20 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (22 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (23 Feb 0700-1700); Key West, Florida (24 Feb 0800-1600); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (26 Feb 0800-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (27 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (01 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (02 Mar a0700) Other ships in port are the Carnival Conquest (pier 04), Coral Princess (Pier 02) and Adventure Of The Seas (pier 29). The webcams are located at: https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com For the Sail a Way Addicts - the Koningsdam is scheduled to be in St Maarten. The website for it is located at https://www.portstmaartenwebcam.com Next up - a busy blue hulled beauty day in Port Everglades on February 17th with the Zuiderdam, Nieuw Statendam & Nieuw Amsterdam all schedule to sail.
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