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  1. 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.
  2. Still working on our review of our first trip on HAL, but wanted to share a link to pictures of MDR menus and food here. I know food is subjective, but we really enjoyed most of our meals.
  3. Twin stacks from two sisters; Eurodam at Berth #1 and Nieuw Amsterdam at Beth #2 in Ketchikan, AK
  4. Hi. We recently did a 7 night Danube cruise on Crystal Mozart and had a great time. We are contemplating to do an another Crystal river cruise, perhaps in 2021. We think we would like to cruise on the Rhine next, probably in the fall (before the Christmas Market prices kick in). We are thinking about the 7 night Amsterdam to Basel, or the reverse. It appears the ports of calls are identical whether it is southbound or northbound. Has any of you done one or both of these cruises on the Rhine? Is there a not-so-obvious pros/cons of the southbound vs. northbound? Our initial thought is that we would prefer northbound because then we can spend a few days in Basel (where we have never been) before the cruise, and am hoping that there are more convenient flights out of Amsterdam (where we have done most of the typical sights before) if we want to fly home at the end of the cruise.
  5. HOLLAND AMERICA BOARD'S FUTURE CRUISE LISTING Updated August 16th, 2019 We all love to hear what cruises you are booked on. I post the Bon Voyage threads 7 days before sailing so, to be included in this, you need to post your details here to allow sufficient time to be on the updated Future Cruise Listing. It’s better to post earlier than later but if it is later please post THREE weeks in advance to make sure it doesn’t get missed. We would also be interested to know if this is your first cruise, your first HAL cruise or if you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary. Details needed are in the 2nd post of this thread. Please use REPLY and not QUOTE when posting to this thread. Using 'Quote' makes a very long thread and difficult for others to read. While this list is a lot of fun, please don't mistake it for a Roll Call thread. You can go to the Roll Call Section here on Cruise Critic and find your cruise to sign up there too. That's where your Meet & Greet planning, tour sharing, and other activities specific to your cruise will be happening. This week’s additions and changes are in BOLD and highlighted in aqua (sea colours). AUGUST 2019 Eurodam - 17-Aug-19 - 7 day Alaska Cruizer Bill & Cruizer Diana Rotterdam – 18-Aug-19 – 20 day Icelandic Fjords & Greenland Explorer dfish N Statendam - 18-Aug-19 - 7 day Viking Sagas we're sailing away.... - B2B2B2B2B2B2B following Aug. 4th & with Aug. 25th, Sept. 8th, 15th, 27th & Oct. 7th Empress of the Seas (RCCL) - 18-Aug-19 - 6 night Western Caribbean rafinmd - 1st time as Diamond Plus N Statendam - 25-Aug-19 - 14 day Jewels of the Baltic asebastian we're sailing away.... - B2B2B2B2B2B2B following Aug. 4th & 25th & with Sept. 8th, 15th, 27th & Oct. 7th Cailey53 - 1st sailing as 4* Mariners N Statendam – 25-Aug-19 – 53 days - ? we’re sailing away…. Veendam - 26-Aug-19 – 12 day Voyage of the Explorers JR42 ksmaxey & DW Amsterdam – 26-Aug-19 – 14 day Great Alaskan Explorer StLouisCruisers – celebrating 50th wedding anniversary on board Av8rix N Amsterdam - 31-Aug-19 - 7 day Alaskan Inside Passage crunchii & Zarmengar SEPTEMBER 2019 Oosterdam - 01-Sep-19 - 7 day Alaskan Explorer/Hubbard operakatz Zuiderdam - 03-Sep-19- 12 day Colors of Canada & New England vms & majormomma- mother - daughter trip lynanken Eurodam - 07-Sep-19 - 7 day Alaska Explorer R/T Seattle Gonzowifey - 1st HAL cruise & 1st Alaska Oosterdam – 08-Sep-19 – 7 night Alaska Explorer razzinger – 1st time on HAL & to Alaska, 9th cruise overall N Statendam - 08-Sep-19 - 7 day Norse Legends we're sailing away.... - B2B2B2B2B2B2B following Aug. 4th, 18th, 25th & with Sept. 15th, 27th & Oct. 7th Amsterdam - 09-Sep-19 - 14 day Great Alaskan Explorer IrishSmileyM3 - 3rd HAL cruise, 1st Alaska, celebrating 12.5th anniversary N Statendam – 15-Sep-19 – 12 day Iberian Adventure travelqueen101 - celebrating 60th birthday we're sailing away.... - B2B2B2B2B2B2B following Aug. 4th, 18th, 25th, Sept. 8th and with Sept. 27th & Oct. 7th Zuiderdam – 15-Sep-19 – 12 day Quebec to NYC mamaofami – 60th anniversary trip Amsterdam - 23-Sep-19 - 35 day Incan Empires ArtsyCraftsy woodworker & knitter Veendam - 25-Sep-19 - 23 day Panama Canal Av8rix N Statendam - 27-Sep-19 - 10 day Mediterranean Mosaic we're sailing away.... - B2B2B2B2B2B2B following Aug. 4th, 18th, 25th, Sept. 8th, 15th & with Oct. 7th Eurodam - 29-Sep-19 - 16 day collector R/T Vancouver - Hawaii & Pacific, Mexico pizzadog -celebrating 54th wedding anniversary cemnm18 - celebrating DW's birthday gypsymama5996 Westerdam – 29-Sep-19 – 13 day North Pacific CrossingK rwams – with granddaughter OCTOBER 2019 Rotterdam – 05-Oct-19 – 14 day European River Explorer doncarlos & Fishbabe N Statendam - 07-Oct-19 - 10 day Mediterranean Dream I like vacation - celebrating an anniversary & achieving 3* status we're sailing away.... - B2B2B2B2B2B2B following Aug. 4th, 18th, 25th, Sept. 8th, 15th, 27th N Statendam - 07-Oct-19 - Best of the Mediterranean Dismomx5 - celebrating 35th anniversary on their 4th HAL cruise Koningsdam - 31-Oct-19 - 13 day Passage to America vinonme2 -with sister, DS's 1st cruise, pre-cruise stay in Lake Como & Tuscany for 2 weeks Eurodam - 15-Oct-19 - 4 night Pacific Coastal msmayor - B2B with 7 night Mexican Riviera Koningsdam – 18-Oct-19 – 13 day Mediterranean Legend we’re sailing away…..- B2B2B with Oct. 31st & Nov. 13th Koningsdam – 18-Oct-19 – 26 day Mediterranean Legend & Passage to America Sailingdutchy Vict0riann Cruizer Bill & Cruizer Diana Queen Mary 2 - 18-Oct-19 - 7-night Eastbound Transatlantic rafinmd - B2B2B with Crystal Bach Oct 25 and Crystal Serenity Nov 5 Eurodam - 19-Oct-19 - 7 night Mexican Riviera msmayor - B2B following 4 night Pacific coastal N Amsterdam - 19-Oct-19 - 7 day Eastern Caribbean DFD1 N Amsterdam – 19-Oct-19 – 14 day Eastern/Tropical Caribbean saturn93 Rotterdam – 19-Oct-19 – 32 day Holy Land and Passage to America aliaschief & DWaliaschief Cinder Again Oosterdam - 20-Oct-19 - 17 day Circle Hawaii cat shepard Zuiderdam - 20-Oct-19 - 10 day Panama Canal Sunfarer RetiredNow AMA Amacerto - 27-Oct-19 - 7 day Legendary Danube (Nuremburg - Budapest AZNATIVE2000 - visiting Prague Oct. 21st precruise Crystal Bach 25-Oct-19 - 10-night Enchanting Moselle rafinmd - B2B2B following QM2 Oct 18 & with Crystal Serenity Nov5 Amsterdam - 28-Oct-19 - 51 day Tales of the South Pacific Traveling Dot FlorenceItaly Veendam - 30-Oct-19 - 7 day Eastern Caribbean anderson1203 - first HAL cruise Koningsdam - 31-Oct-19 - 13 day Passage to America we're sailing away.....- B2B2B following Oct. 18th & with Nov. 13th NOVEMBER 2019 Eurodam - 02-Nov-19 - 7 night Mexican riviera dobiemom Crystal Serenity - 5-Nov-19 - 19-night Explorer Combination - Barcelona to FTL rafinmd - B2B2B following QM2 Oct 18, Crystal Bach Oct 25 and with Symphony Nov 24 N Statendam - 10-Nov-19 - 7 day Eastern Caribbean Crazy For Cats the2ofus- B2B with Nov. 17th Judyrem - first HAL cruise, 70th birthday celebration Himself DFWGUYZ - achieving 3* on this sailing Koningsdam - 13-Nov-19 - 11 day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer we're sailing away.... - B2B2B following Oct. 18th & Oct. 31st Celebrity Silhouette - 14-Nov-19 - 8 Day Southern Caribbean Cruisinetta N Statendam - 17-Nov-19 - 14 day Western/Tropical Caribbean taxmantoo the2ofus- B2B following Nov. 10th Volendam – 20-Nov-19 – 30 Night Amazon Explorer Loreto – celebrating 50th wedding anniversary Chergs N Amsterdam - 23-Nov-19 - 7 day Tropical Caribbean Cruise twin - with twin & a friend celebrating the twins' belated birthday grest - celebrating Thanksgiving birthday N Statendam - 24-Nov-19 - 7 day Tropical Caribbean HELENPSL - annual Thanksgiving cruise with Angelo N Statendam - 24-Nov-19 - 14 day Tropical/Eastern Caribbean oldpharmguy Koningsdam - 24-Nov-19 - 10 night Southern Caribbean Seafarer wdw 1972 Crystal Serenity -24-Nov-19 - 7-night Caribbean Cornucopia from Miami rafinmd - B2B2B following QM2 Oct 18, Crystal Bach Oct 25 & Crystal Serenity Nov 5 DECEMBER 2019 N. Statendam - 01-Dec-19 - 7 day Eastern Caribbean deliver42 Eurodam - 01-Dec-19 - 10 day Panama Canal partial transit DFD1 - celebrating birthday Maasdam - 03-Dec-19 - 20 day New Zealand & Pacific VK3DQ - first HAL cruise, with MIL, celebrating 95th (MIL) & 73rd (VK3) birthdays on board N Amsterdam - 07-Dec-19 - 7 day Tropical Caribbean 1ANGELCAT- celebrating with friends - 1 receiving their Platinum medallion sp2 - celebrating 23rd anniversary & sp2's birthday & their 25th cruise Rotterdam - 06-Dec-19 - 15 day Panama Canal sambamama - 1st time on Rotterdam & West to East Panama Amsterdam - 18-Dec-19 - 17 day Panama Canal Holiday Infi Veendam – 18-Dec-19 – 10 day Southern Caribbean Seafarer Holiday Crazy For Cats Zaandam - 18-Dec-19 - 22 day Holiday South America& Antarctica RetiredNow - B2B with 09-Jan-20 Volendam - 20-Dec-19 - 16 night Christmas & New Year hal lover - 1st time on Volendam Westerdam - 21-Dec-19 - 14 day Far East Discovery TN Fem Rotterdam - 21-Dec-19 - 17 day Panama Canal (FLL - SD) dbaudit & Doc Bear- 2nd Panama Canal Koningsdam - 22-Dec-19 - 11 day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer Holiday jagger16 - 1st extended holiday cruise Oosterdam - 28-Dec-19 - 7 day Mexican Riviera LynnObie - 50th wedding anniversary with 3 daughters, spouses & 2 grandchildren JANUARY 2020 Koningsdam - 02-Jan-20 - 10 day Southern Caribbean Seafarer RevNeal Amsterdam – 04-Jan-20 - Grand World Voyage we’re sailing away…. mame42 scluvsrain Scrapnana DeepWaterMariner – 2nd World Voyage N Amsterdam - 04-Jan-20 - 7 day Eastern Caribbean kcohleffel - 1st HAL cruise Volendam – 05-Jan-20 – 77 day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage Oak Hill Cruisers travellersrest TBcruiserguy N Statendam - 05-Jan-20 - 14 day Tropical/Eastern Caribbean ger_77 - escape from the frozen tundra Zaandam - 09-Jan-20 - 22 day South America& Antarctica 0bnxshs & Missy's Mom – birthday celebration on board & achieving 5* RetiredNow - B2B with 18-Dec-19 bobalink - 1st time on Zaandam & South America N Statendam - 12-Jan-20 - Eastern Caribbean pjck71 - celebrating 25th anniversary & DH's 50th birthday, 2nd time on HAL Westerdam - 16-Jan-20 - 30 day Far East Discovery Collector pictonite Koningsdam - 22-Jan-20 - 12 day Caribbean aliaschief & DWAliaschief Crystal Serenity - 22-Jan-20 - 40-day World Cruise Segment Los Angeles to Sydney rafinmd - B2B with QM2 March 5 Silver Wind - 23-Jan-20 - 11 day Eastern Caribbean Randyk47 Regent Seven Seas Mariner - 24-Jan-20 - 131 day World Cruise ArtsyCraftsy - first World Cruise N Statendam - 26-Jan-20 - 14 day Tropical/Eastern Caribbean forwardho - celebrating birthday on board FEBRUARY 2020 Oosterdam - 05-Feb-20 - 17 day Panama Canal VintageGeo-1st time through the Canal Zuiderdam - 08-Feb-20 - 7 day Tropical Caribbean OVgirl - B2B with 11 day Panama Sunfarer cruise N Statendam - 9-Feb-20 - 14 day Tropical Caribbean Typhoon1 Zuiderdam - 15-Feb-20 - 11 day Panama Canal Sunfarer OVgirl - B2B following 7 day Tropical Caribbean Feb. 8th Eurodam - 16-Feb-20 - 14 day Panama Canal (FLL - SD) RetiredMustang summer slope N Statendam - 16-Feb-20 - 7 day Tropical Caribbean Brewgirl1 - 3rd HAL cruise, travelling with parents & adult children Koningsdam - 23-Feb-20 - 10 night Southern Caribbean Seafarer esimon - Robert, Ellen, Lynn and Will Ohio MARCH 2020 Queen Mary 2 - 06-Mar-20 - 50-day World Cruise Segment Sydney to New York rafinmd - B2B with Crystal Serenity January 22 Zaandam – 07-Mar-20 – 31 day South America, Inca & Panama Canal Discovery kazu Rotterdam – 11-Mar-20 – Panama Canal San D to FLL DeeniEncinitas - B2B with Oceania Riviera – March 30th summer slope Oosterdam - 14-Mar-20 - 7 day Mexican Riviera KroozNut Westerdam - 14-Mar-20 - 14 day China Explorer LTC_Motes - daughter's graduation cruise Koningsdam – 15-Mar-20 – 44 day Voyage of the Americas – (FLL – SD) Overhead Fred – longest cruise ever Maasdam - 15-Mar-20 - 19 day South Pacific madera1 Eurodam – 18-Mar-20 – 18 day Circle Hawaii lakeside42 jeda -celebrating 40th anniversary - B2B with Pacific Coastal Apr. 5th CaliforniaAC - with friends Bill & Di Cailey53 Oosterdam - 21-Mar-20 - 28 day Hawaii, Tahiti, Marquesas Tomndeena crystalspin & dr'spin - belated celebration of dr'spin's retirement at end of 2019 VacationingCharlene Oceania Riviera – 30- Mar-20 – TA Miami to Rome DeeniEncinitas – B2B following Rotterdam March 11th APRIL 2020 Eurodam - 05-Apr-20 - 6 day Pacific Coastal jeda - B2B following Mar. 18th Rotterdam - 06-Apr-20 - 16 day Azores & Normandy Explorer grest Oceania Riviera - 19-Apr-20 - 10 day Monte Carlo - BCN DeeniEncinitas - Christmas present from DH Zuiderdam - 19-Apr-20 - 14 day Passage to Rome kazu - followed by visit to Galicia, Spain N Statendam - 19-Apr-20 - 14 night TA to Amsterdam TriumphGuyAL - 1st HAL cruise, 4th overall - celebrating 43rd anniversary on board Veendam - 22-Apr-20 - 17 day Azores & Normandy Explorer lizzies_mom Westerdam - 25-Apr-20 - 16 day North Pacific Crossing Taters Oosterdam - 25-Apr-20 - 7 day Pacific Coastal lazey1 - 1st time cruising as 5* & in a Neptune wrap around suite MAY 2020 N Statendam - 10-May-20 - 14 day Jewels of the Baltic rwams Zuiderdam - 15-May-20 - Mediterranean Empires gwilli Maasdam - 18-May-20 - 14 day Great Alaska Explorer TomAndJane woodworker & knitter Zaandam - 23-May-20 - 7-Day Canada & New England Discovery BRWolf - (Bruce and Karen) JUNE 2020 N Amsterdam - 03-Jun-20 - 24 day Mediterranean Empires/Adriatic Dream taxmantoo JULY 2020 Zuiderdam - 02-Jul-20 - 24 day Northern Isles & Jewels of the Baltic Lucie73821 N. Statendam- 19-Jul-20 - 7 day Norwegian fjord Bramcruiser AUGUST 2020 Viking Orion - 04-Aug-20 - 68 day Grand Cape Horn Adventure ArtsyCraftsy Zuiderdam - 09-Aug-20 - 10 day Jewels of the Baltic shudie- B2B with Aug. 19th Caribbean Princess - 16 day Greenland & Canada StartrainDD Zuiderdam - 19-Aug-20 - 19 day Viking Passage I like vacation Vict0riann - big birthday on board shudie- B2B with Aug. 9th Queen Mary 2 - 21-Aug-20 - 7-night Eastbound Transatlantic rafinmd - B2B2B with Crystal Serenity 30 Aug and Zuiderdam Sept 17th Crystal Serenity - 30-Aug-20 - 13 day TA Discovery (BCN - Que) rafinmd - B2B2B following QM2 Aug 21st and with Zuiderdam Sept. 17th SEPTEMBER 2020 N Statendam - 13-Sep-20 - 12 night Iberian Peninsula Poulsbo Cruisers - 30th anniversary cruise Zuiderdam - 17-Sep-20 - 10 day Newfoundland & New England Discovery (Quebec to Boston) rafinmd - B2B2B following QM2 Aug 21st and Crystal Serenity Aug. 30th Viking Sea - 21-Sep-20 - 10 days Empire of the Mediterranean (Venice to Athens) terrydtx - 1st Viking Ocean cruise, celebrating50th anniversary Koningsdam - 26-Sep-20 - 7 day Wine and Country & Pacific Northwest crunchii & Zarmengar OCTOBER 2020 Viking Tir – 01-Oct-20 – 14 day Grand European River Cruise (Budapest to Amsterdam) aliaschief & DWaliaschief - 1st Grand river cruise Westerdam - 07-Oct-20 - 37 day Inca & South America Discovery GeorgeCharlie N Amsterdam - 13-Oct-20 - 12 day Mediterranean Romance canadianbear - 1st time in Europe Rotterdam - 15-Oct-20 - 15 day Transatlantic (BCN - FLL) sambamama- 1st time to Africa Zaandam – 31-Oct-20 – 14 day Southern Caribbean Overhead Fred NOVEMBER 2020 Westerdam - 13-Nov-20 - 14 day South America Passage (BA - Santiago) Taters N Statendam - 22-Nov-20 - 10 day Southern Caribbean Seafarer cruiseguy56 Westerdam - 27-Nov-20 - 22 day South America, Antarctica & Solar Eclipse Loreto Zuiderdam - 29-Nov-20 - Southern Caribbean Cruisinetta DECEMBER 2020 N Statendam - 02-12-20 - 11 night Southern Caribbean Wayfarer wdw1972 N Statendam - 02-12-20 - 21 day Caribbean (B2B Dec. 2-23) cate54 - mother & daughter cruise Zuiderdam - 09-Dec-20 - 11 day Panama Canal Sunfarer Mr and Mrs CIQ -retirement cruise grest Westerdam - 19-Dec-20 - 22 day South America & Antarctica Holiday StartrainDD - pre-cruise trip Dec. 13th to Igazu Falls Noordam - 20-Dec-20 - 15-day Far East Discovery LTC Motes - party of 7 NCL Escape - 27-Dec-20 - 7 night Eastern Caribbean msmayor - holiday cruise to celebrate with adult children JANUARY 2021 Koningsdam - 02-Jan-21 - 7 day Mexican Riviera mab4285 - first solo cruise & HAL cruise as an adult Amsterdam - 04-Jan-21 - 128 day Grand World Voyage vinonme2 Maasdam - 04-Jan-21 - 40 day Australia, Indonesia & Indian Collector aliaschief & DWAliaschief - B2B2B with Feb 13th & Mar 4th N Statendam - 06-Jan-21 - 21 day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer/Seafarer crystalspin - with dr'spin, mom & DBr0 & SIL, celebrating 30th anniversary & DB's 60th birthday Koningsdam - 09-Jan-20 - 24 day Collectors' Cruise - Hawaii & Mexico DeeniEncinitas FEBRUARY 2021 Maasdam - 13-Feb-21 - 19 day Papua, New Guinea & Phillipine Adventurer aliaschief & DWAliaschief - B2B2B following Jan. 4th & with Mar. 4th Rotterdam - 21-Feb-21 - 32 day Hawaii, Tahiti, & Marquesas Overhead Fred josumello - first HAL cruise samsonmo MARCH 2021 Maasdam - 04-Mar-21 - 25 day South Pacific Crossing aliaschief & DWAliaschief - B2B2B following Jan. 4th & Feb. 13th N Statendam - 21-Mar-21 - 10 day cruise doone - Friends & Family cruise AUGUST 2021 Oosterdam - 22-Aug-21 - 7 day Alaskan Explorer crunchii & Zarmengar HAPPY CRUISING EVERYONE! Jacqui
  6. We will be in Amsterdam October 21-24 after a river cruise. I am prebooking the Anne Frank House and museums. Is it really necessary to prebook the Ice Bar and Heineken Experience? I would prefer to do these at our leisure rather than having to make a specific time. Any advice is appreciated.
  7. Arriving in Amsterdam from ATL 5:55 AM, Viking transfer included to ship. Any ideas what to do besides resting in the ship lounge and having lunch? Not even sure what time we'll be able to board. Cabin to be ready by 3 PM
  8. We had a wonderful Northern Isles Cruise on the Nieuw Statendam!!! Pre-cruise - We flew United from Pittsburgh to DC and then DC to Amsterdam. We purchased our airfare through HAL and saved almost 50% to what we found on line. Other than a long layover in DC, which we spent in a United lounge, the flights weren’t bad and we arrived in Amsterdam on Friday morning for a Sunday cruise. We stayed at the Kimpton, which we would highly recommend. It is a short (5 minute) walk from the Centraal station (took the train from the airport) and has nightly free wine happy hours. We walked everywhere from the hotel, with the longest walk being a little over 30 minutes to the Van Gogh Museum. We had a busy few days in Amsterdam- we went on a canal tour (in a drizzling rain) on Amsterdam Boat Adventures - a small canal boat that only holds about 12 people- due to the weather there were only 4 of us on board and it was a great tour. We also visited the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank’s house (with the recommended pre tour presentation). We would highly recommend each. We purchased all of our tickets on line in advance and had no lines. We also had the opportunity to watch some of the pride parade on the canals, which was amazing. It was a very moving experience going from the pride parade to Anne Frank and then back to the pride parade. We had the breakfast plan through the hotel (we booked using points) and also ate at Max Amsterdam- great Rice-table, De Belhamel - loved the fixe price meals for 36-39 euros per person and great canal views, and the Pancake bakery - touristy - but the pancakes were good and portions were huge. Two people can easily share 1 pancake. Transportation to the ship on Sunday was a bit difficult. We were going to walk the 20 minutes to the ship- but the cobblestone sidewalks were not easy with heavy luggage- so we decided to take an Uber. Unfortunately with all the traffic in Amsterdam from the parade and 2 ships in town, the time for the Uber to arrive kept getting delayed - from 5 minutes to 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Luckily a cab showed up at the hotel and we shared it with another couple. He charged us 10 Euros per couple- Not too bad. More to come later.
  9. ms Amsterdam Homer Alaska 08:00 - 18:00 ms Eurodam Glacier Bay Alaska 07:00 - 16:00 ms Koningsdam Naples Italy 07:00 - 19:00 ms Maasdam Kanazawa Japan 11:00 - 23:00 ms Nieuw Amsterdam Skagway Alaska 07:00 - 21:00 Web Cam https://wpyr.com/sights-sounds/webcams/ ms Nieuw Statendam Flam Norway 07:00 - 18:00 ms Noordam Ketchikan Revillagigedo Islan 07:00 - 15:00 ms Oosterdam Juneau Alaska 13:00 - 21:00 Web Cam https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/ Web Cam http://webcams.thesnowcloud.com/ ms Rotterdam Torshavn Streymoy 10:00 - 18:00 ms Veendam Livorno Florence-Pisa 07:00 - 19:00 ms Volendam Cruising 00:00 - 24:00 ms Westerdam Glacier Bay Alaska 08:30 - 18:30 ms Zaandam Sydney Nova Scotia 10:00 - 18:00 ms Zuiderdam Belfast 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  10. Just recieved an offer from HAL to upgrade to Club Orange for our 14 day cruise. Cost $15 per person, per day. We are on the Amsterdam (which does not have a dedicated Club Orange room) to Alaska. Since we are 4 Star, we already get some of the items (like priority boarding, disembarkation, and tenders), but was wondering what people who have done this on an R class ship felt - was it worth it?
  11. We are thinking about booking a New England/Canada cruise for next summer. HAL has two ships sailing that area. Zaandam or Amsterdam? Are they basically the same ship? They seem to be in the same class. Thoughts or comments? Also, is there any chance that HAL will implement any of their new music partnerships such as Billboard Onboard, BB Kings or Lincoln Center Stage on either of these ships? I know they are small and have limited space, but maybe they convert some of their existing space. Thanks
  12. I most recently dined at the "pop-up" Sel de Mer at the PG on the Westerdam. I expected ala carte pricing as I had experienced on Nieuw Statendam. No ala carte pricing, one fixed charge and the Mariner discount did apply to that. I ordered precisely what I had done on Nieuw Statendam: Escargots, Dover Sole, and Baked Alaska. EXCELLENT! Just as EXCELLENT as it had been on Nieuw Statendam.
  13. My d/w and I will be finishing a transatlantic and Norway fiord cruise aboard the Niew Statendam in Early May 2020 and am having a hard time with post cruise hotel in Amsterdam. Will probably stay in the city 3 days or so. Can anyone recommend a hotel central location that doesn’t break the bank?
  14. 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.
  15. No. Only the larger HAL ships (Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Konigsdam, and Eurodam) have the NY PIzza. The Konigsdam and Nieuw Statendam have added sandwiches to the NY Pizza so are called NY Pizz/Deli. The smaller HAL ships have a Taco Bar next to the indoor pool on Deck 9 that the larger ships do not have.
  16. We are on the Reflection from Amsterdam to Rome next September. Can anyone suggest a good 4-5 day package to the Amalfi coast?
  17. We are going to be in Amsterdam on 5/3/20 and we are interested in going to Keukenhof to see the tulips. My daughter is a fulltime wheelchair user but there are family members to assist. Any recommendations on the best way to get there from the ship? Thanks!!
  18. Back from the Reflection (08 – 20 July) so if you have questions, please ask away! We were on the 06 July 12 night British Isles cruise. We picked this for the timing and the ease of the Amsterdam port (through miles on Delta out of a new routing from Tampa). Would have preferred to go to St. Petersburg and east, but the timing didn’t work for us given a narrow window for DH. Embarkation: easy, peasy. We flew in the day before and stayed one night at the Doubletree near Centraal. We took the Schipol train (5.5Euros) into Central and walked the one block. Since we had been to Amsterdam before I felt perfectly comfortable doing this, but would advise against if you have a lot of luggage. Our room was TINY, even by European standards, but for one night it was certainly fine. And it was either take that room and check in early at noon when we arrived or wait around for another one. I spent the afternoon walking around Amsterdam but hubby had not slept on the flight so he crashed for a while. We went up to the Sky Bar, which is gorgeous, but left after looking at the menu with 8E coffees and 15E cocktails. It is gorgeous, though, and open to guests and non guests. Took a quick walk to the grocery store only a few meters away and bought a couple of cold beers and two bottles of of wine to bring on the cruise and we were good! In the morning we chose to went to the port The check in was madness as everyone came at the same time but we were on the ship fairly easily. We got to our stateroom with our 2 bottles of wine that we bought and realized that we could walk out and get more wine from the vendor in the terminal. How easy! So I went out past security and bought two bottles of wine (granted, they were 6E bottles being sold at a 100% premium but at that point it’s still better than a minimum of 40- 45 on board.) Bought 2 bottles and sailed through security. The gent told me that their record was a guest coming and going 7 times for a total of 14 bottles to which I say well done, sir! Anyhoo, we dumped our carry on bag in our room right at 1pm and headed to the zoo.. er, buffet. Lunch was efficient and, of course, a madhouse. This tale would continue in the buffet but it’s nothing that we have not encountered before. Since we did not have status or a suite there was no option for a sit down lunch. Interestingly there was none of the “run around the ship and get stamps” that you have in the Caribbean. All was fairly quiet until muster and set sail. Hubs was still out of sorts with jet lag since he hasn’t learned how to adjust when flying east. Muster was easy and our bags were delivered just after so we unpacked, went to the 7pm welcome show (very poorly attended) and then select dinner in the Opus Dining room. Food: got to say we both gave it a 4/5 stars. We met the Exec Chef a couple of times and he was a delight. The French classics were lovely (onion soup, snails, coq au vin, crème brulee). The fish were uniformly overcooked but we understood that they sat in a hot box and the steaks were, meh, due to the flattop situation. If you stick to the basics you’ll be fine. Interestingly for the whole cruise all of the tomatoes were underripe and hard – must have had some sourcing issues. The homebaked bread didn’t have the crust that I prefer but the breadsticks were nice (and the 82% butterfat butter is something to be warned of!) Room Service: 5/5. On other ships and other lines we rarely use it as we get quoted a very long wait . Not here. We’d come back after a day out and order and sandwich and it would be here with steaming hot fries in 10 minutes. Glorious! Late in the evening we would call in a dessert (from the main dinner menu) and it was delivered, no problem. Loved that. Room: we opted for an inside Handicapped stateroom in order to save money for land based adventures. (DH has mobility issues that qualify him for an HC cabin.) In addition, due to the itinerary (9 ports of call in 12 days) and the time of year (with the sun setting at 10pm or later and temps in the 50s/70s) we determined that the extra money for the balcony wasn’t worth it for us. Yes, I would have loved it but really wouldn’t have used it enough to justify. Turns out DH ended up loving the cabin and we called it our cocoon from the world. Our cabin attendant was FABULOUS. We didn’t want for anything. Ship: she’s lovely and in very nice shape. No issues getting around and plenty of seating whenever, wherever we wanted UNLESS it was that 30 minute window in the morning for breakfast right before they announced that you could debark for the day. In that case the buffet was madness. Breakfast was always nice but the only thing that varied was one section with specialty breads/donuts. Otherwise the same offerings every day. There were two omelet stations (each working 6 pans) and an eggs benedict station. Beverage Package: no, we did not have one. Yes, I would have liked one but we were off the ship all day in ports. Did I miss it? Yes. Yes, indeed. If only for Café al Bacio alone but the brewed Lavazza coffee was perfectly fine and got my day going and we determined it would be less expensive to buy bottles of wine as we went along for dinner. In the end it worked out fine though the next time we are in the Caribbean we will certainly opt for the package as we might only venture out to the ports for a few hours. Entertainment: Mixed, of course. The acrobats and ribbon dancers (you know, the lithe young things that make my head spin!) were fabulous. The singers were good; the band ok. Guest entertainers were very good. The shows for us are a bonus and don’t ever make or break a cruise. Activities – got to say that they were very limited. If for some reason you didn’t go into port (which I didn’t in Le Havre because DH walked too much the day before) there was almost nothing going on in the ship. And the movies in the theatre at night were at 10pm which was not going to happen given the itinerary and early ports of call. We did go to a fabulous guest lecturer series and participated in the Captain’s Club wine class and cocktail parties. Both were very nice however for the wine class there were maybe 50 people who attended but they had poured glasses for at least double that. We sat there, horrified, as the sommeliers came and picked up all of that wine and dumped it. So sad, but company policy. Oh, almost forgot – we went to the Cruise Critic meet up and it was really well attended. Lots of the officers came and it was a nice way to meet up. The ports were great with Zebrugge for Bruges being our favorite. I do think it was a bit chintzy of the cruiseline to not have had free shuttles out of the industrial ports. I’m not saying shuttles all the way into town, but at least to a drop off outside the port since many were non walkable ports. We ending up spending quite a bit in taxis to get in and out of town in addition to our daily planned activities. To note: we had several issues with arrangements that had been made in advance that didn’t quite pan out. In one we agreed to share a cab for 6 but they sent a cab that would only hold 4, so we backed out. In another a van was sent for 8 but the 8 (DUH) included the driver, so they could only hold 7. Again we backed out and had to find alternate transport. So word to the wise is to confirm the number of PASSENGERS because if a taxi says it is for 8 then one is the driver J In all, one of my favorite cruises. We went in with the idea to have adventures, which we did. We made a point to “go with the flow” as my mother would say. The ship was our hotel and food arrangements so it was a bargain to get to 6 countries in two weeks that way without unpacking. Speaking of, we did use the laundry service mid cruise and I followed the very wise advise of others. By placing a plastic bag INSIDE the Celebrity laundry bag it reduced the friction, so it did not rip, and I rolled, very tightly and strategically our clothes in basically 4 burritos that I packed in. When our clothes were washed and returned they filled up 2 bags. Definitely worth sending out the laundry and packing in only carry-ons. Happy to answer any questions.
  19. Hi, I booked two cruises during the $25 deposit promotion: (i) Nieuw Statendam, 7-day Tropical Caribbean, Feb. 16, 2020 and (ii) Amsterdam, 7-day Canada/New England, Aug. 22, 2020. I was very pleased with the prices that I received on both cruises. Chuck
  20. Hi, we are from Carmel Indiana, next door neighbors.....We are doing Crystal Rhine this October..Basel to Amsterdam. We are doing 8 days in Switzerland before our cruise. If you have done Amsterdam, fly into Zurich then go to Basel, and then you can fly home from Amsterdam....the ship spends the last night in Amsterdam, so you will get a little more of Amsterdam, but you can spend the day outside of the city. ENJOY
  21. I only remember St Petersburg having an actual border office that wanted to see a passport. I looked up how Amsterdam Airport handles "in transit" passengers which is quite similar to visiting a port in an 8 hour window (when lucky). https://insideflyer.nl/schiphol-central-security/ I haven't flown in 10 years so may be I misunderstand but this is what I gather. Pax on planes are certainly not allowed to go see windmills, tulips or the Rijksmuseum but are basically "locked up" till their next flight. The only reason not to go through full checks once again is when your flight to Amsterdam was "clean", meaning the airport relies on the previous airport which can only be in Schengen area, EU or US.
  22. Of course most of the cruisers are on vacation and very welcome to come spend their money. So are most visitors coming by plane. The vast majority of people on planes don't carry cocaine. The vast majority of people on planes don't flush their passports. 5000 pax could be checked once when visiting Norway. Amsterdam airport had 200,000 people a day on average in 2018, it would be just an annoying "muster drill" in Oslo that you need to attend. I mean, there's a huge difference between ships and planes for as it appears not much more than lawmakers thinking "these are people who even like formal nights, who cares. And there is a manifest and everything. Let them roam our country for a few seconds (ok, that's my pet peeve) and they'll certainly be on board when the ship sails". Anyway, did the lines or CLIA actually make such a deal with 190+ countries having ports visited, or wasn't there an actual deal and it just stayed the same as it was 50 years ago?
  23. We will be disembarking Viking cruise in Amsterdam in June. Our flight leaves AMS 2:50 pm on day of disembarkation. Are there any tour options that would let us see a bit of Amsterdam before flight time? I've read that Viking does not offer any.
  24. After completing her last voyage for HAL on July 1st in Amsterdam, Prinsendam sailed to the Blohm + Voss yard in Hamburg, Germany where she will undergo her conversion to Phoenix Reisen's Amera. Some pics:
  25. If you are writing a review of your cruise could you please add the name of the hotel, if any, you stayed at pre or post cruise? It would be so helpful to other CC readers if we could get ideas of were to stay in cities we haven’t been to. We will be in Amsterdam in May 2020 and trying to find an hotel but are unfamiliar with this city. I’ve read so many post cruise reviews where CC members state they stayed a few days but do not indicate the hotel name and if they would stay again. Actually a few did in other cities but not Amsterdam. Anyone else who would find this helpful? I have found CC to be a wealth of travel knowledge but this seems to be one area that is lacking or am I not looking on the right boards? Thanks everyone.
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