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Found 702 results

  1. The first day of summer brings two HAL ships to Juneau. Amsterdam will be at the FKL dock (an unusual spot for a HAL ship) from 0800-2200 and Volendam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Disney Wonder at the AJ dock from 0645-1645 and Seabourn Sojourn at the CT dock from 1100-2200. A lovely summer day is in store for Juneau with a mostly sunny day. High is predicted to be 69F/21C and the low 54F/12C. Sunrise is at 3:51 am and sunset at 10:08 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam on Monday.
  2. Two HAL ships are celebrating the 4th in Juneau. Noordam will be at the CT dock from 0800-1800 and Amsterdam will be at the FKL dock from 1400-2300. Also in port are Eclipse at the AS dock from 0730-2000 and Norwegian Jewel at the AJ dock from 1100-2100. The weather is going all out for Independence Day with mostly sunny skies and a high of 82F/28C (low is 58F/14C). Sunrise is at 4:00 am and sunset at 10:04 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Volendam on Friday.
  3. Does anyone know if the televisions on Nieuw Amsterdam and closed captions on most, or all channels? Thanks.
  4. Greetings....been awhile since we did a guarantee (after an awful experience) but we are seriously considering a long trip to/from San Diego. Our agent has contacted HAL and every cabin in every class is a GTY. We are worried even an EE oceanview could result in us being in the furthest aft reaches of the ship. Any thoughts about the situation (why all GTY, for example) most appreciated.
  5. Anyone able share experience with any of these three cabins above main showroom? Bit worried we could assigned one if we do an “E” guarantee. Many thanks!
  6. 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!
  7. Anyone know where aft any noise from engines might affect peaceful enjoyment of one of these cabins if we choose an EE GTY and get assigned to this area? Many thanks....
  8. Hello, Hoping someone who is familiar with Amsterdam can help me. We were supposed to be on the July 1 Prinsendam sailing, and were so disappointed when we heard she was leaving the fleet on that day instead! We'll now be sailing on the Rotterdam on July 1, so we'll be in Amsterdam on the morning when I believe the Prinsendam is supposed to make her final sail-in as a HAL ship. My husband and I are amateur photographers and we'd love to capture this! Figure that even though we'll never cruise on her, this is the closest we'll get! Can anyone recommend some good vantage points along the waterfront where we'd have an unobstructed view? I understand all the ships in Amsterdam come in from Ijmuiden on the west side and I'm keeping in mind that it'll likely be early morning when she sails in, so it would have to be a public space that's open at that hour! I'm poking around on google maps and think I may have found a few spots, but not entirely sure if they are accessible!
  9. 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.
  10. Great shot of the Amsterdam on the port of Amsterdam webcam. Hope Ruth C is having a great time.
  11. 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'
  12. 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!
  13. We just booked a last minute trip on NS for this weekend. (My first on HAL!) Despite having a balcony (another first!) I'd like to be on deck for sailaway and watch the Dutch countryside slip away before we head out to sea, and then enjoy the fjords later in the week. I can't tell from looking at the deck plans. Are there any front-facing decks? Do they open the bow? There's always the gym, I suppose. Share your secrets.
  14. 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
  15. New Ship! Few threads and/or reviews! (1) HAL deckplans studiously avoid calling the Crows Nest, the Crows Nest. (It is the Exploration Cafe and the EXC.) Surely they know we will not be dissuaded so easily? It will take a generation to lose the name just like the Captain's Corner! We were on the Zuiderdam this spring, the Crows Nest bar and the Exploration Cafe had merged, which was fine with us as we could segue right from Lattes to Pain Killers! However, the pics on CruiseDeckPlans appear to show only an espresso bar and not a BAR set up. Tell me it is not so, if we drink coffee as long as we want to be gazing at the ocean, we will be bouncing off the walls! (2) Third person in an obstructed balcony on Beethoven deck. For sure a sofa-bed and not a drop-down Pullman (they have different symbols). But what does this photo show??? 'Cuz it looks like it shows the bed being made by flipping the entire back of the sofa over to the floor! My mom had an acceptably comfortable bed on the Zaandam Verandah where the bed "emerged" by flipping the SEAT of the soft; it's hard to imagine the pictured sofa-bed being very comfortable! That's all I can think of now. More later!
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Will we have binoculars provided in our balcony room on the the Amsterdam, or should we bring our own?
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. Good afternoon from Seattle and ms Amsterdam. lll haAs I have on my last few cruises, I will attempt to give a blow by blow account of this wonderful 14 day cruise to Alaska. Pre-Cruise Stay in Seattle I actually arrived in Seattle on Saturday afternoon. Our group had a limo to take us to the hotels and he was on time and did a fine job of transporting us. Saturday evening was relaxing and trying to get used to the time change. Sunday was a nice long lunch at Anthony's at Pier 66. This is a very nice place to sit and eat while watching those who are embarking on various cruise ships. The Bliss was right outside and it was interesting to watch embarkation from the outside. Embarkation This morning was a limo ride from the hotels to Pier 91. It was a short ride and handled well by the limo driver. Because the limo driver arrived early and we were ready, we arrived at Pier 91 about 10:20, and didn't get to enter the building for quite a while. Once the doors opened the process was quick and easy as we are all 4*. The ship looks very nice. Today There is a Captain's Welcome Party going on right now. Due to the number of high star Mariners aboard it was split into 2 sessions of about an hour each. It is being held in the Crows Nest. The muster drill is at 3:15 followed by sail away at 4:00. The Cabin I have my normal outside cabin, it is 3371 and pictures were sent to HALfacts earlier. The only thing to really note is that Amsterdam has not received the large TV upgrades, at least not in this cabin, and still has the smallish TV and DVD player, along with the Ship Flicks booklet of movies to check out from the front desk. As expected, no cooler and just a Coke and water setup for the Mini Bar. Tonight's MDR menu is included, have a great day! 03JuneDinner.pdf
  22. 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?
  23. 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.😊
  24. We just got off the NA in San Diego and had a very nice cruise. As usual, the service was outstanding. Embarkation in San Diego was a breeze and the terminal is small and basic. Our signature suite was well appointed and the cabin stewards Sandri and Heru were awesome. The adult seaview pool turned into the kids pool. I heard there were 400 kids onboard, way more than we’ve ever witnessed onboard a HAL ship but it is Spring Break. There simply was not enough room in the Lido Pool to handle the volume of kids. Unfortunately, that made the aft pool kind of crazy and not very adult friendly. It seems like very few people realized the aft pool is for the adults and there is less signage than in the past. We decided to stay onboard the ship in Mazatlan and had a great relaxing day at the Seaview pool as most got off the ship. We had three dinners at Tamarind, three at Pinnacle Grill and one on our balcony. Tamarind was excellent as always but the Pinnacle was well below expectations on all three dinners. We’ve always been fans of PG and typically eat there multiple times on every cruise. I’ve always regarded them as on par with our top steakhouses in Seattle. Our first two dinners the quality of the beef was really not good. Grainy filets and grisly Rib-eye and Porterhouse. Decided to try seafood on last night and that was an even bigger disappointment. My wife’s Halibut was dry and not flavorful. My Scallops were cold and bland. I would have expected better in the MDR. I let the Maitre D’ aware of our overall experiences after our third underwhelming meal. He was apologetic and offered new meals that we declined. I brought this up as we prefer HAL for their fine dining as well as we are stockholders. I’m hoping this was simply an anomaly but three dinners in a row is not a coincidence. Hopefully they can get this corrected soon. This is our third HAL cruise in the past 12 months and we had nothing but good experiences in the Pinnacle in the two prior cruises (Oosterdam and Eurodam). Disembarkation went smoothly and was well organized. Overall this was a good cruise that could have been much better. Our allegiance to HAL may have taken a little hit even though we just got to 3 star Mariner status. I would be interested to know other people’s opinion on Pinnacle Grill. Anybody else see a decline in quality or did we just catch them on an off week?
  25. First time on HAL. On other lines we have often eaten our evening meal at the buffet. Am I correct that the Lido does not serve in the evening.
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