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Found 257 results

  1. Any news on when Club Orange will be available on Nieuw Amsterdam? Cruise booked for Oct 2019.
  2. How late could we disembark in Vancouver. We need to arrange transportation.
  3. 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.
  4. Could someone please explain the difference between a V and a VD cabin. Many thanks
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. I haven't seen a roll call for the Ft Lauderdale to Barcelona cruise, April 15-28, 2020, so here we go!
  9. 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 🙂
  10. 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.
  11. I’m a first time (solo) cruiser looking at booking a Canada and Alaska cruise extension for Sept. 2020. So far, the possibilities I’ve come up with are two, similar travel Calgary to Vancouver and (I think) the same ports of call in Alaska. The difference is either sailing on Volendam or Nieuw Amsterdam. I’d appreciate advice from seasoned HAL cruisers as to what the main differences might be and any recommendations. tia Graham
  12. Can anybody tell me if there are separate free saunas for men and women on deck 9 of the Nieuw Amsterdam? I'm looking at the deck plan and only see one sauna... Thanks in advance.
  13. 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
  14. Does anyone know if the televisions on Nieuw Amsterdam and closed captions on most, or all channels? Thanks.
  15. We've sailed in a Signature Suite on the Westerdam and there was a large, wall mounted TV opposite the bed. Can anyone tell me if the Nieuw Amsterdam Signature and Neptune suites have this feature as well? I looked, but I can't find any info. Thanks!
  16. For those of you who have sailed her with HAL. On 29 Oct 2018, Marella Cruises announced that their Marella Spirit had been sold for scrap. Marella Spririt is the former Nieuw Amsterdam III (her sister was Noordam III, currently still sailing for Marella Cruises as Marella Celebration). Nieuw Amsterdam III was built at Chantiers de l'Atlantique in St. Nazaire, France and delivered to HAL on 1 July, 1983 as the first of two identical sisters which would be known as the "N"-class with HAL. Her younger sister, Noordam III followed just under a year later from the same yard. They would be the last new-builds for the, at that time, Dutch-owned Holland-Amerika Lijn. She was the third ship to bear the name Nieuw Amsterdam in Holland America Line’s then 110-year history. Nieuw Amsterdam or New Amsterdam, was named after the 17th-century Dutch colonial settlement on the island of Manhattan that served as the capital of the New Netherland territory and later became New York City. The ship is currently in Piraeus, Greece awaiting her last voyage to the breakers (more than likely Alang, India) for which she has been renamed 'Mare S' Nieuw Amsterdam’s keel was laid on 14 November 1981 and her hull floated out on 21 August 1982. Successful technical trials took place off the Normandy coast on 12, 13 and 14 March 1983. The official delivery was scheduled for 11 May 1983. Then the problems started! First, a strike by Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard workers forced the hand-over date back to more than a month later, to 17 June 1983. This is when HAL actually took possession of the vessel and on 23 June, Nieuw Amsterdam departed St. Nazaire for Le Havre, France with a number of VIPs onboard, arriving there the next day. The naming ceremony as well as her maiden voyage was scheduled to take place two days later, on 26 June 1983. On 25 June however, one of Nieuw Amsterdam’s main electrical switchboards burned out which resulted in severe technical problems. HAL was forced to postpone the dedication ceremony and several of the VIP’s and naming ceremony guests had no choice but to return home. Replacement parts to repair and rebuild the ailing switchboard were actually removed from her younger sister Noordam, still under construction in St. Nazaire, but the process took almost a month to complete. Now two weeks behind schedule, the lead ship of the “N” class was finally named by her godmother, HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, on 9 July 1983. Nieuw Amsterdam then departed Le Havre on a trans-Atlantic crossing to New York City on 10 July 1983 under the command of HAL Captain Frederik “Freek” van Driel. She arrived in New York Harbor, complete with two stowaways from the African country of Ghana, on 18 July where she received the traditional fireboat welcome from the FDNY. As part of her inaugural visit and maiden voyage festivities, Nieuw Amsterdam sailed two cruises to ‘nowhere’ on 19 and 20 July 1983 from New York for VIPs, travel professionals and media representatives. On 21 July 1983 she departed New York with her first revenue passengers on her maiden voyage, a roundtrip bound for Hamilton, Bermuda, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI. For the 1983 winter season, Nieuw Amsterdam repositioned via the Panama Canal to San Francisco, CA on the U.S. west coast, from where she operated 14-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera, as far south as Acapulco in the state of Guerrero. In 1984 she was registered to Sint Maarten-based Holland America Tours N.V. while being managed by Seattle, WA-based Holland America Line-Westours. Also in the summer of that year, she operated her first Alaska season from Vancouver, BC calling at Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Valdez. The 1984-1985 winter season found her sailing 7-day cruises to the Western Caribbean out of Tampa, Fl. With port calls at Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, Mexico, Ocho Rios, Jamaica and George Town on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. And this pattern would continue for the next several years. As the HAL fleet grew from the late 1980s onwards, Nieuw Amsterdam’s itineraries widened to various destinations around the world. A longer, thirty plus day South Pacific cruise was on her agenda in the fall of 1991. In 1996 she began using New Orleans, LA as a seasonal home port for some of her Western Carib cruises, substituting Montego Bay for Ocho Rios. Nieuw Amsterdam would wind up serving the Holland America Line for seventeen years. On 10 August 1999, American Classic Voyages, then parent company of Delta Queen and American Hawaiian Cruises, announced that it had purchased Nieuw Amsterdam from Holland America Line for $114.5 million dollars, to operate an inter-island Hawaii service alongside their ss Independence. After her final Alaska season in 2000, Nieuw Amsterdam sailed, without passengers, to Sydney, Australia where she served as a hotel ship for the Summer Olympics between 12 September and 3 October 2000. Following those games, she sailed to Honolulu, where about 60 crew came aboard from the newly formed United States Lines (under American Classic Voyages) and then continued on to Portland, Ore. On 18 October 2000, American Classic Voyages officially acquired the ship with the transfer occurring in a somewhat unusual ceremony at sea, approximately fourteen miles off Portland. At the same moment her registry was changed to Honolulu, she reverted to the U.S. flag, and was renamed ms Patriot. Patriot proceeded to Cascade General Shipyard in Portland, Ore, arriving on 18 October 2000, where she underwent a multi-million dollar dry-docking and refurbishment afterwhich she sailed to the Hawaiian Island. Upon arrival in Honolulu, she began operating 7-day cruises for United States Lines on 9 December 2000, departing every Saturday evening with port calls at Nawiliwili, Kauai, Kahului, Maui, Hilo, Hawaii, and Kona, Hawaii, before returning to Honolulu. On 19 October 2001, American Classic Voyages, Inc. announced that it had filed for bankruptcy/Chapter 11 protection and would cease most sailings. Both ss Independence and ms Patriot stopped sailing on Saturday, 20 October after completing their cruises and were laid up at pier 24 in Honolulu. Patriot’s main creditors at this time were still the Carnival Corporation (also the owners of HAL) and they sought a federal court action to, among other things, prohibited the ship from leaving port. As a result, Patriot was arrested in Honolulu harbor on 26 October 2001. On 27 January 2002, she was auctioned off at the federal court in Honolulu. Carnival Corporation took possession, and the ship reverted back to her original name of Nieuw Amsterdam, however under Bahamian flag and registered to HAL’s subsidiary Wind Surf. Nieuw Amsterdam departed Honolulu on 15 March 2002, initially for dry-dock at Freeport, the Bahamas. Those plans, and her destination, were changed on 28 March 2002 and a new course was set for Charleston, NC, where she arrived on 2 April 2002 for a wet-dock and general maintenance work. Approximately two weeks later, it was announced that Carnival Corporation had reached a 10-year bareboat charter agreement for the ship with Cyprus-based Louis Cruise Lines. This was followed by another announcement on 18 April 2002 that Louis, in turn, would sub-lease the ship to Luton, England-based travel operator Thomson Holidays/Thomson Cruises, initially for three and a half years, and then changed to ten years. On 3 May 2003, and now renamed Thomson Spirit, she operated her first cruise for Thomson Cruises, a Mediterranean itinerary from Palma de Mallorca, one of Spain’s Balearic islands. Thomson Spirit usually sailed in the Mediterranean during the northern hemisphere winter season and could be found in Northern and Western Europe in the summer. Following the announcement on 09 October 2017, that Thomson Cruises would be renamed Marella Cruises, the owners, TUI Group, also announced that Thomson Spirit would be renamed 'Spirit' at the end of October 2017. In December 2017 however, Marella Cruises revised this decision by announcing that the vessel would be renamed 'Marella Spirit'
  17. I can't find it but I thought I saw a chain of posts where people post the room number and reviews of that room for a specific cruise ship, such as Nieuw Amsterdam. Does anyone know the link to that? Maybe it's a different web site.
  18. Never been on Holland America before and plan on taking an Eastern Caribbean cruise and choose a balcony for the first time (we've ONLY ever booked inside cabins). We've been quoted a Verandah Stateroom (VF) and I think the only available ones are on the 4th or 8th deck and I think the front or back of the ship (sorry not the correct terms). I always like to prefer to be lower in the ship (like 8th deck) as it tends to be less movement than upper but is there any benefit to be up higher instead from a balcony view perspective? Thanks!
  19. I have been considering continuing the process from the last two weeks with a continuing discussion. So here it is! This morning I was on Nieuw Statendam as we arrived in Fort Lauderdale. This afternoon I am on Nieuw Amsterdam getting ready to head on on pretty much the same itinerary as last week. Why? Because I can and because I haven't been on Nieuw Amsterdam yet. Additionally, it just worked out. Nieuw Amsterdam was booked several months ago. Contrary to my recent history, this was booked as a guarantee cabin like I did to begin with. I received a cabin assignment about 10 days ago getting a reasonable ocean view cabin. Last Friday I received an email from HAL advising me that my cabin had changed. That is why I am now sitting in a Verandah Stateroom on the Nieuw Amsterdam. For the record it is cabin 5100, pictures already provided to HALfacts. Because of several factors, this is not going to be an "apples to apples" comparison. The biggest reason is solo cabin on NS to Verandah on NA. I have much more room this week and a good location. This cabin is right next to the outside glass elevators on deck 5. This makes it very convenient to the Lido for meals, and equally accessible to the MDR and Showroom. The cabin is very nice, the stewards have introduced themselves and it is almost time for the muster drill. Since these cruises are a week apart, it will be easy to compare entertainment. NA has had the upgrade to the Music Walk, so the offerings should be similar. As I did for the last two weeks, the dinner menus for tonight are attached. Feb24LIdodinner.pdf Feb24dinner.pdf
  20. Just off NA and took photos of the bar menus which are the same through out the ship. The SBP limit was increased to $11 but still found the wine choices lacking.
  21. This is my second time on the Nieuw Amsterdam, the last time being in 2010, the year it was launched. The ship was in pristine condition and per usual, was constantly being cleaned by the fabulous crew. I always try to tell the cleaning crew how much I appreciate what they are doing. Having done this itinerary multiple times with my husband, who can no longer travel, I did not intend to leave the ship and I stuck with that scenario. I flew in the day before for two reasons: Southwest’s continuing negotiations with mechanics and the 737 MAX issue which was solved before I left. An hour flight from Tucson sure beats the all day flying to Florida. I stayed at the new Springfield Suites right across from the pier and was able to walk over in 5 minutes. Can’t beat that. I thought the hotel was brand new but was told by the staff that the hotel is 3 years old. I highly recommend it; nicely designed and appointed rooms and a very good complimentary hot breakfast. Some brief comments: Cabin: Neptune Suite next to the center elevators – no noise. Smaller size than on R and S class ships. Overheard a crew member say to another passenger that the larger the ship, the smaller the cabin size for both passengers and crew. Dining: Did not eat in the MDR instead I ate dinner twice in the Pinnacle Grill and 5 times in the Tamarind. The introduction of the new PG menu was on the first night of this cruise for the ship and the service was a tad disjointed. But by my second visit, things at settled down. The Tamarind was fabulous and I tried to have something different every night. The service by the women was excellent. Everything came in minimal time. This menu is going to change soon. The new menu may be already on the Konigsdam and Nieuw Statendam. All I was told was that there would not be lobster by itself but as part of a kind of surf and turf. Lido for breakfast and lunch was very good. A few times in Pinnacle Grill for breakfast also very good. As has been stated before, there is a $10.00 charge for an extra entrée in the MDR; also a $10.00 charge for an extra entrée in the Tamarind and a $15.00 charge for an extra entrée in the Pinnacle Grill. I did not see an extra charge on the Canaletto menu when viewed online. The print is very small on the menus describing the extra charge. Nightly entertainment: As previously reported by others the HAL singers and dancers and the orchestra/band were gone. The first night Bohemian Rhapsody was shown on the Main Stage. The second night the Piano Man, Brett Cave performed after the Captain’s Toast. Captain informed us there were 2260 of us on board plus a crew of about 850. Other entertainers were a Magician with a dog, a comedian, the Indonesian Cruise Show, and a dance group Step One: Humanity, a loud light show with dancing. The Lincoln Center Stage group consisted on 5 young string musicians from the Ukraine and they were excellent. There were many enrichment activities including the America’s Test Kitchen, the EXC Guide, a Naturalist, the Mexican Ambassadors, who gave talks about various aspects of Mexico as well as performances at the Seaview Pool of singers and dancers. A mariachi band performed the evening in Puerto Vallarta. I was prepared to totally dislike the EXC/Crow’s Nest Area. I think way too much space is allocated to those large exhibit tables with itinerary stuff (can’t remember what they are called), the book cubicles contain mainly reference books, and there can be issues with the sound system. I like the idea of the “classroom” on the port side where Naturalist and other talks were given. It is problematic when a talk is going on in the classroom, and another activity is going on in the main Crow’s Nest and only one microphone can be used, so the second speaker is shouting and then there is the background noise of the various coffees being made. My conclusion is there is advantages to this space but I don’t think it has been totally thought out on how best to use it. Being spring break (which seems to last two months in the U.S.), there were more variant ages than I have experienced on most other HAL cruises. There were infants to at least one man 85 years – perhaps others older. There were families with children, teenagers, grandparents, college kids, young adults and those of us in the aging generation. All seemed to enjoy themselves and it appeared HAL was selling a lot of “adult beverages” and the casino was busy whenever it was open. Embarkation and debarkation were very smooth. All in all, it was very enjoyable and I returned home rested. I would like to see at least one or two enrichment activities on port days as I observed many people did not leave the ship. And a better assortment of books in the Crow’s Nest would be nice. Barbara
  22. As I had trouble finding update menus for this cruise I going to try to post them as we go along. I'm also including in this post the menu available every evening. Tonight we actually eat at Pinnacle Grill.
  23. After 5 years, this week I received a personal message from a saved refugee, whose resecue operation we watched while were cruised on the Nieuw Amsterdam/Oct 20 in 2014. Amidst our wonderful Mediterrean cruise, the captain made an at ful sea an emergency stop in the very early morning alongside a little boat filled up with around 50 Syrian refugees. On that morning I made some footage and placed it on Youtube when I was contacted by the saved refugee this week. This person named Khaldoun, has been rescued by the authorities and therefore very grateful to the captain & crew to notify them on their behalf. He is living currently in Norway and is asking me if there are more photos available. Please spread the message and kindly upload your photos, so I can share them again with Khaldoun. Thank you! Short impression of the rescue operation
  24. I know that Nieuw Amsterdam is in San Diego today along with a Disney Ship. Webcam is very blurry this morning but looks like one of them is at the Broadway Pier- looks too far apart to be at the main terminal. Anyone know?
  25. Can anyone tell me how to search the forums? It used to be so easy. I was able to search for things within specific categories, ie: Holland America: Nieuw Amsterdam spa pass. Now, I don't see that option. Anyhow, does anyone know how much the Spa access pass on the Nieuw Amsterdam 7 day cruise is? Is there a special on board on specific days? We like to use the thalassotherapy (hydrospa pool) daily. Thank you.😊
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