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Found 174 results

  1. With an unusual visit to Juneau, Maasdam gives us three HAL ships to watch. Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300. Maasdam will be tendering from 1400-2300. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. We are back to typical weather in Juneau with a 90% chance of rain (1/4 inch predicted) and a high of only 56F/13C and a low of 52F/11C. Sunrise is at 3:53 am and sunset at 10:02 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  2. My husband has a severe peanut/shellfish allergy, about which we have already alerted the ship and will follow up once onboard. We are very careful about what he eats when we eat breakfast/lunch and normally we restrict ourselves to set dining in the MDR when we cruise to ensure there are no problems. I am wondering how this issue would be addressed should we want to try the Pinnacle or the Tamarind restaurant. We will be celebrating our anniversary on this cruise and I thought a special dinner would be nice.
  3. All, My parents have decided that (based upon much of the feedback I got here) they will be on the Nieuw Amsterdam for a Caribbean cruise! Very excited for them... However, I'm not familiar with the ship and wanted some recommendations on VF/VE cabins. I believe VF cabins have the metal (non-see through) balconies, whereas VE has plexiglass (see-through)... Is that correct? I'm thinking they'll be happy on deck 7 with a VE cabin (cabins above and below, so not too much noise). I was thinking cabin 7017 or 7107 (yes, I did have to double-check those since they are so similar in number)... can anyone provide feedback / insight? Thank you (again) in advance!
  4. Planning a 14 night to Caribbean in November on either of these ships - similar prices - suggestions one over the other?
  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. There is a 50% chance of rain with the forecast for occasional showers. High will be 58F/14C and the low 47F/8C. Sunrise is at 3:59 am and sunset at 9:54 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  6. We enjoyed our stateroom, 6051, on HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam recently during our first Alaskan cruise from May 11th to May 18th, 2019. The category V stateroom on Deck 6 is a balcony stateroom and is adjacent to an accessible stateroom with the larger angled balcony. I made a video about this stateroom for future guests and it's now available on YouTube along with other videos about our cruise. Enjoy! Scott
  7. Good evening: A question for those of you familiar with this ship. There is a gray area down from where the Atrium is shown. I am guessing, since this is a bottom level deck, that this might be some mechanical area. It is also where more ocean view cabins show up as available! If this is true, what is the noise factor for the cabins in this part of the ship? Thanks in advance
  8. Is "HAL" demographics right for me? It has been asked 1000 times. The clear meaning is: "I've heard that “HAL” clients are very old and tend to travel with their parents". Well, it's a really important question if you are going to look for a fiancée on a cruise ship. Is there anything else that may draw your attention? Let’s say, such small things like a beautiful ship, good food, amazing itinerary? How old is the Caribbean Sea? Not too old for you? Maybe you need to look for a newer, more ”technologically advanced” sea? Unfortunately the sea is very old. It’s even older than the sandy beaches on paradise islands. And the Caribbean sun? The sun is terribly old. Now let’s be seriuos and discard that garbage about “HAL” clients. Have you been (like us) tired of the hustle and bustle of your work, lectures, exams, driving, phone calls, company’s reports? Yes? Then be my guest. I will show you how to ‘dam it! So.... Before I share with you my short review of the wonderful 7-nt cruise of love and romance on the #1 luxury cruise ship at sea, let's bear in mind something important about "HAL". First of all, never, never, say "HAL", say what ship. Of course, if you want to confuse someone, or be confused – say “HAL” and ask about “HAL” on cruise forums. Lack of information feeds stereotypes. The sleep of reason produces monsters. One of a few most reputable brands in maritime history (from 1873), Holland America Line is now a cruise line that actually operates four different groups of ships - more different than some cruise lines differ from each other! What is different: size, amenities & comfort, atmosphere, dining options, itineraries, clientele, cruise length, prices, etc. The whole experience is different. Please note that saying"I have cruised on HAL", "I decided to try HAL", “HAL vs whatever cruise line” means nothing really unless you say what ship. Let’s see my photos... 1. Holland America's Top League - Luxury resort cruise ships. Most advanced cruise ships for self-sufficient cruisers of all ages. MS Nieiuw Amsterdam (2010) MS Eurodam (2008) Both ships have tonnage about 87,000 GT and carry about 2,100 passengers. Nieuw Amsterdam Eurodam 2. HAL workhorses AKA Vista-class ships (four close sister ships: mid-size, mid-age) Who is it for: mature clientele get quality product for reasonablemoney. Zuiderdam 2002 Oosterdam 2003 Westerdam 2004 Noordam 2006 All four ships are near 83,000 GT and carry about 1,900 passengers Zuiderdam Oosterdam Westerdam Noordam
  9. The Signature Sisters will be spending Memorial Day in Juneau. Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200 and Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Here's a forecast that you don't hear for Juneau very often -- "mostly sunny". The high will be 71F/22C (!) and the low 51F/10C. Sunrise is at 4:10 am and sunset at 9:39 pm. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  10. Once again I call on fellow cruisers for help ! Does anyone know the cell voice service/ texting rates (sending and receiving ) while onboard Nieuw Amsterdam when the ship is not in port ?
  11. I am struggling with the search feature for this topic. We are trying to decide if we want to purchase the wine package or just wing it on board. Does anyone have a recent wine/beverage list from the NA they could share? Thanks in advance. Kathy
  12. We will be sailing on the Nieuw Amsterdam at the end of the week. We know there are a bunch of movies that you can watch on the TV in your stateroom, but we like to go to the little movie theater to watch the movies. Anyone recently home (or on the sailing now) that can tell me what movies they are currently showing? Thanks!!
  13. Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Although clouds are predicted and there is a 20% chance of rain the high temperature is going to be a whopping 69F/21C. Low will be 48F/9C. Sunrise is at 4:22 am and sunset at 9:26 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  14. How late could we disembark in Vancouver. We need to arrange transportation.
  15. Does anyone know if HAL provides binoculars on the Nieuw Amsterdam Inside Passage Cruise ?
  16. Any news on when Club Orange will be available on Nieuw Amsterdam? Cruise booked for Oct 2019.
  17. Could someone please explain the difference between a V and a VD cabin. Many thanks
  18. I haven't seen a roll call for the Ft Lauderdale to Barcelona cruise, April 15-28, 2020, so here we go!
  19. Welcome to the new Alaska season! As usual, we can expect HAL ships in Juneau on Monday-Friday except for a couple of Sunday arrivals of Maasdam before she leaves for the far east and then Australia. Here is a map of the docks in Juneau. The best location for our viewing is the AS (Alaska Steamship) dock because that is closest to the PTZtv webcam which is located in the Hangar on the Wharf Restaurant. In most cases we tend to watch the sail-in rather than the sail-out because of the times when the ships usually leave (except for night owls like me or those of you on the west coast). Also, keep in mind that the ships often show up on the webcam much earlier than the time they are scheduled in port. For our first HAL sighting we will have the Signature Sisters - Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam. Both will be in port from 1300-2200. Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock and Eurodam at the AS dock. Also in port is Norwegian Joy at the AJ dock from 1430-2300. Unfortunately, the visitors are not going to have the nicest of days. The forecast is for periods of rain (90% chance) with a high of 47F/8C and a low of 43F/6C. Sunrise is at 4:53 am and sunset at 8:56pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. There are also various webcams of the Juneau area here. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday. Question for those with PTZ premium. Are you able to get any of the webcams? I get a message about joining although it already shows me logged in. I tried logging out and then logging back in but still no webcams.
  20. Our Signature Sisters are back in Juneau for their second visit of the season. Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200 and Eurodam at the AS dock from 1300-2300. Other ships in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Best HAL day in Juneau of the season so far. There is a 0% chance of rain and there might even be some sun peeking out of the clouds. High temperature will be 66F/19C and a low of 43F/6C. Sunrise is at 4:37 am and sunset at 9:11 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  21. We have a stern cabin (5193) on hold for a 24 day itinerary next spring in the Mediterranean on the Nieuw Amsterdam. We have sailed on a number of cruise lines, but never in a Stern cabin. I know that the cabin is lightly larger, and that the Verandah could be significantly larger - both are attributes are very attractive to us. I have read that the view can be pretty spectacular, but how is it to alway see it from the rear, so to speak? I would Very much appreciate some feedback on these cabin locations. I did run the search engine and could not locate numbers nearby (that could be operator error). Is there very much vibration from the engines? How about exhaust fumes? Ship movement ? ( I can be susceptible to that and always take ginger, etc) Advantages vs disadvantages? Thank you
  22. We have a stern cabin (5193) on hold for a 24 day itinerary next spring in the Mediterranean on the Nieuw Amsterdam. We have sailed on a number of cruise lines, but never in a Stern cabin. I know that the cabin is lightly larger, and that the Verandah could be significantly larger - both are attributes are very attractive to us. I have read that the view can be pretty spectacular, but how is it to alway see it from the rear, so to speak? I would Very much appreciate some feedback on these cabin locations. I did run the search engine and could not locate numbers nearby (that could be operator error). Is there very much vibration from the engines? How about exhaust fumes? Ship movement ? ( I can be susceptible to that and always take ginger, etc) Advantages vs disadvantages? Thank you
  23. Nieuw Amsterdam docked in Skagway at abut 0700 this morning to steady rain and chilly. Some hearty souls headed ashore early- we'll wait until eases up as we are here until 2300. Now 1150 and rain has stopped and sun is trying to peek through- should be a nice day. We are at the dock with the bow over main street so easy in and out. NCL behemoth is at the dock at the base of the mountain. Appears there was a big landslide over the winter above the dock. I'll get a picture and post when we head out. I wonder if the Skagway final ship tradition applies to the first ship of the season also 🙂
  24. I thought I’d jot down some thoughts on our recent cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam to the Mexican Riviera sailing out of San Diego. This was our first time sailing on Holland America and our first cruise out of San Diego. We’ve cruised on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess prior to this cruise. I’d originally booked a balcony cabin, category VD, through a travel agent. She included $75 OBC and was able to offer a very good rate. Two weeks before sail date she contacted me with an upgrade offer from HAL for a Neptune Suite which I accepted. We’ve never sailed in a full suite, opting for a junior suite on other lines when the mood strikes. Embarkation: We’d spent the night in Point Loma and drove to the San Diego Airport Parking location where we parked the car for the week (at $71, a bargain) and took the SDAP shuttle to the pier. The shuttle dropped us off at around 11:00. The Disney Wonder was also in port so the pier was very busy. We were directed through security then through check-in before settling in to wait until being called to board at around 12:00. We boarded with the first groups due to our having a Neptune suite and were tucking into lunch at the lido by 12:15. The announcement that all staterooms were ready came before we finished eating. Cabin: We had Neptune suite 7051, which was directly across from the Neptune Lounge. I wondered if there would be noise from passengers congregating outside the lounge, but I needn’t have worried. Our cabin was very quite and very, very wonderful. Not only was there fresh flowers, a fruit bowl and coffee maker, there was also a bottle of sparkling wine waiting on ice. I wish I could have snapped a photo of my husband’s face when he saw that wine. He loved those perks and the attention to detail this type of cabin category provides. The refrigerator had soft drinks, mixers, Red Bulls, spirits, beer and wine available for purchase, which we never used. Binoculars and an umbrella were there for our use as well as 6 pillows, soft, medium and firm, for our use. My husband prefers a soft pillow, so he was quite happy. There are his and hers closets, or at least that’s what I’m calling them, with a large number of hangers available. Robes, slippers, beach towels, a safe, laundry bag and shoe shine basket were also in the closets. We utilized the free laundry once during the cruise, which was wonderful. I requested the laundry on hangers and I loved how it all came back. Undergarments and other items that are normally folded were presented wrapped in tissue and presented in a wicker basket. I don’t know how big the wall mounted TV was, but it’s huge with a wonderful selection of on demand movies. The live channels available were MSNBC, FOX, BBC, Prime, HGTV and I think that’s it. There are also some other shows available, but they seemed to be tied in to the cross-branding that happens on the ship: America’s Test Kitchen and HGTV. My husband and I watched a whole lot of movies from the comfort of the couch or chairs in the room. The bathroom was large with two sinks, a shower, a separate tub with jets, and an offering of soaps, lotions, potions and so forth for our use. Just outside the bathroom was a vanity with a magnifying mirror and a hair dryer that doesn’t have the button that needs to be held down. Any other cruise ship I’ve been on has always had the hair dryer that requires me to hold the button down and isn’t all that powerful. The balcony was large with a table and 4 chairs, two padded, reclining deck chairs with ottomans. and a small table in between them. I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the balcony. On my last cruise in February on Carnival, it seems the balcony wasn’t touched and had a lot of debris on the deck. It’s nice to have a clean balcony, one that I don’t feel I have to grab a wet washcloth and wipe everything down myself. Passenger mix: I’d heard there were 425 children on this cruise. The kids were noisiest in the pool, playing water tag, splashing, throwing a football and generally being kids. I didn’t notice the tykes taking over the hot tubs except for the first sea day. Outside of the pool deck, the kids were very well behaved and mindful of their parents. I did hear running of kids outside our cabin on two occasions, but that’s it. The adult population was quiet and considerate. Lots of chair hogging, but I think that’s a product of all mass market cruises. HAL places rolled up towels on all the loungers. Perhaps some were vacating their loungers without removing the towels, making others think the chairs were taken. People were always dressed appropriately, though I did notice a couple of teens with very short dresses (one with a slit so high it showed her black panties). I saw no robes at the buffet or women at breakfast with curlers in their hair, something I’ve always seen on our Carnival cruises. No drunks, loud talkers, foul mouthed Neanderthals or obnoxious bullies, either. I only saw one instance of seat saving and that was in the Blues club with one woman saving an entire front row. Nobody showed up to claim her seats during the first set. I almost wished someone would’ve come by and challenged her. We saw all ages, from infants to octogenarians, and most all were polite and thoughtful. This seemed more of a white collar/professional crowd and it was a welcome change from what I’ve seen lately on other lines. Food: DH and I are not foodies. We are willing to try new things, but feel most comfortable eating pedestrian meals. We both found the food on HAL to be quite good. Here are some of the things that impressed me about the lido deck food: Freshly made waffles, crepes and eggs Benedict for breakfast; freshly made waffle cones at the ice cream station; a whole roasted suckling pig. I’ve never seen this before and it was amazing! There was a vast assortment of fresh fruit, a daily variety of twice baked potatoes and I particularly liked the one with brie cheese. Small plates with cheeses, fruits, salads and so forth were also available. I found something each day to enjoy. Although we could eat breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill, we only did this one time. The made-to-order items at the Lido Marketplace trumped the PG. Tried the afternoon tea and I enjoyed both the food and the service. I’d have gone back at least one more time, but DH isn’t a fan. The pizza didn’t look appealing, so I never bothered with it. DH tried it once and said it was OK. He liked the Dive In burgers and fries. I tried one of the hot dogs and it seemed over-steamed with a real soft consistency. I didn’t finish it. I loved the ice cream and enjoyed a couple of waffle cones with a scoop of strawberry goodness topped with sprinkles. I didn’t try this until the last couple days of the cruise and I’m glad. I’d have eaten an ice cream cone a couple times a day every day. Not good for the waistline! We had open dining and ate at the MDR on 5 of the 7 nights. We opted to share a table each time and met some lovely people who we kept running into all through the cruise. The food was nice, but nothing was really memorable, except maybe for the Gala night lobster, which was cooked perfectly. I’ve been trying to lose a few pounds so there were nights when I skipped both the appetizer and dessert. Perhaps I missed something marvelous, but I have a feeling we’ll be back so I can try some new menu items. The service was wonderful and the dining room decor lovely. There was never a wait and we usually ate anywhere from 5:00 to 6:30, depending on what was going on that day. Although we could have made reservations, we preferred to simply show up when we were hungry. I’m not a drinker, but my husband enjoys the occasional cocktail. We never had a problem finding a server by the pool or at any of the bars. I tried a couple of the mock cocktails listed in the menu and mostly liked them. DH loves his Maker’s Mark and ginger ale, so he stuck with that. At Canaletto’s, which we booked on a whim when a nice young lady approached us advertising the restaurant, I started with the Antipasto and it was very tasty. For a main course I had the Spaghetti Alle Vongole Veraci E Gamberi. I certainly couldn’t pronounce it, so had to simply point at my menu. It was very good, even though I’m not a huge fan of steamed clams. For dessert I had the lemon tart, which was just awful. The waitress had warned me that it was dry, but I thought I’d take my chances. She offered to bring an alternate selection, but by then I was full enough. Canaletto’s being a part of the lido buffet is a bit odd to me, but the glass partitions at least give you a bit of quiet from the hubbub of the buffet crowd. Although we enjoyed our dinner and the service, I doubt we’ll do this again. Ship The Neiuw Amsterdam is a beautiful ship. We discovered the EXC area (aka Crow’s Nest?) and spent some time there relaxing, watching the view and enjoying a specialty coffee from the coffee bar. We went back up there on the last sea day and it was packed, so didn’t stay long. The lay out of the ship is nice and easy to navigate. The promenade is a great feature, but I’m embarrassed to say we didn’t make daily visits to get our walks in. We spent some time at both the Ocean Bar and the Sea View bar and enjoyed the atmosphere and great service. The ship wasn’t too big or too small. In my mind, it was just right. Entertainment I’m admitting here that we spent more time in our cabin than on any other cruise. The suite was so comfortable and the balcony so large that we found the room to be a destination in itself. As a result, we didn’t go to as many of the entertainment venues and we normally would have. We never made it to the ATK demonstrations or Billboard Onboard. We only saw the performances at Lincoln Center Stage and BB King’s Blue Club one time. Both were good. We watched the performance of Humanity at the MainStage theater. I’m not a big fan of these shows, though my husband is. Although the dancers were all talented, I felt the costuming was uninspired and the show as a whole a little bit underwhelming. I guess I’m just a tough critic. We went back the following night to see comedienne Chris Pendleton. I thought she was hysterical and my husband thought she was just so-so. Her humor leaned toward that which women would understand, so maybe that explains we he and I responded differently to her performance. The CD was named Nick and he’s the kind of cruise director I like: the quiet kind. He’d make announcements, but they weren’t long or often. Our favorite entertainment was our cabin and the gazillion on demand movies. I know….why go on a cruise to watch movies? Who knows? What I do know is we had a wonderful time and my husband says he’s ready to book another HAL cruise soon. And this coming from a die hard Carnival lover! Disembarkation: Because we were in a suite we got priority disembarkation. We normally do self-assist, but none of the disembarkation literature we received in our cabin mentioned this as an option. After a final breakfast at the Lido Marketplace we waited in the BB King Blues Club lounge. We couldn’t help noticing the number of passengers loitering with their suitcases and realized we could have joined them if we wanted to get off the ship earlier. Disembarkation started at 8:00 and for the next 30 minutes the self-assist passengers filed past the Club. Our group was called at 8:30 and we had to line jump since the self-assist passengers were still filing past with no end in sight. It seemed like half the ship wheeled off their own luggage! We were off the ship and on our parking lot shuttle by 9:00. The Disney Wonder was disembarking with us so you can imagine how crowded the pier was. Final Thoughts: We enjoyed this cruise immensely mostly because of the service, the food, the beautiful ship and the mix of passengers. The service was fantastic, though there was one hiccup. My husband was nursing that bottle of sparkling wine we had in our suite. He’d come back from dinner and pour a glass, then stopper the bottle and place it back on ice. The stewardess for some reason pulled that bottle before it was empty and disposed of it. We’d come back to the room after dinner for the purpose of him pouring one of the last glasses in the bottle and found the bottle gone. I approached the concierge and explained what had happened and how disappointed my husband was that this complimentary beverage was disposed of before he’d had a chance to finish it. The concierge worked her magic and a new bottle appeared the next day. We’ll be back on HAL. I’d love to sail this line to Alaska, New England or Europe. I’d rate HAL above the other three lines we’ve sailed, though Royal really is a fun line. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
  25. On NA now. Oosterdam hit our stern this morning while she was docking. All appear to be OK. Looks like damage is mostly deck 4 verandas Will post more as we hear updates. I have a feeling we may be late sailing for Alaska today
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