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  1. I hope not! I have a western transatlantic from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale booked for November. It will really depend on when the ports open again and travel can start up. Perhaps they will reduce the number of ships allocated to Europe as they currently are listing Nieuw Statendam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Zuiderdam, Veendam, Zaandam and Rotterdam. I can envisage them sending just the 3 larger ships for a shortened European season 🤞
  2. 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.
  3. We previously sailed on the Amsterdam and spent many evenings in the Crow's Nest Bar. We booked on the Nieuw Amsterdam for Thanksgiving, so I was browsing photos of the ship. Did they turn the Crow's Nest into the Explorations Cafe? Is there no longer a bar up there???
  4. today is Go for Broke Day, and National Dandelion Day The official military brat flower is the dandelion. The dandelion itself is very much like a military brat. Its seeds can be scattered by the wind and puts its roots down anywhere. Meal suggestion - BLT Pasta Salad Stirrip Cay Grand Bahama Anchorage Nieuw Statendam Veendam Zuiderdam Volendam Nieuw Amsterdam At Sea Atlantic Koningsdam east of Brazil destination Christobal Panama eta 4/10 Fort Lauderdale Rotterdam (with Passengers) Zaandam (with Passengers) Puerto Vallarta MX Eurodam Maasdam La Paz Anchorage Westerdam Cabo San Lucas Anchorage Oosterdam At Sea Pacific Noordam destination San Diego CA eta 4/24 Durban South Africa Anchorage
  5. today is Solitude Day Grand Bahama Anchorage Nieuw Amsterdam Nieuw Statendam Veendam Volendam Zuiderdam At Sea Atlantic Koningsdam east of northern Brazil destination Suape Brazil eta 3/31 Puerto Vallarta MX Westerdam Eurodam Long Beach CA Oosterdam At Sea Pacific Amsterdam destination Durban South Africa eta 4/5 Maasdam (with Passengers) Destination San Diego eta 3/27 Noordam destination San Diego CA eta 4/24 Rotterdam west of Panama sailing to meet up with Zaandam Zaandam (with Passengers) Destination Fort Lauderdale west of Peru eta Balboa PA 3/27
  6. My grandparents lived very near Port Everglades after they retired. I often spent several weeks with them in the summer (they also lived near the beach!). My grandmother would take me to visit cruise ships -- if you were a past passenger you could usually call your TA and arrange for a "pass" to get on the ship. We visited some really great older ships that were probably past their prime even in the early 1970s but were beautifully decorated, such as the 1937-build Nieuw Amsterdam, which for many years was considered the 'ship of state' of the Netherlands, much as the Normandie was for France. She was gorgeous, but then I've always liked vintage things....
  7. today is International Waffle Day and Manatee Appreciation Day Grand Bahama Anchorage Nieuw Amsterdam Nieuw Statendam Veendam Volendam Zuiderdam At Sea Atlantic Koningsdam east of Suriname destination Suape Brazil eta 3/31 Puerto Vallarta MX Westerdam At Sea Pacific Amsterdam destination Durban South Africa eta 4/5 Eurodam Destination Puerto Vallarta eta 3/24 Maasdam (with Passengers) Destination San Diego eta 3/27 Noordam destination San Diego CA eta 4/24 Oosterdam destination Long Beach CA eta 3/25 Rotterdam sailing to meet up with Zaandam west of El Salvador Zaandam (with Passengers) Destination Fort Lauderdale west of Peru eta Balboa PA 3/27
  8. Looking at the Marine Traffic map, it appears that Rotterdam has a tender in the water. Nieuw Amsterdam is nearby, maybe a transfer of crew is taking place?
  9. The Signature Sisters are making their last visit to Juneau this season. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2200. She will be headed to Hawaii and the Mexican Riviera before heading to FLL on November 16. Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. She will be leaving for FLL on September 28. NA will spend the summer of 2020 in Europe. Also in port are Carnival Legend at the FKL dock from 0700-1600 and Norwegian Joy at the AJ dock from 1500-2300. It will not be a very nice day for those visiting Juneau on Monday. The high will be 53F/12C and the low 45F/7C. There is a 100% chance of rain and "cloudy with periods of rain" is predicted. Sunrise is at 6:45 am and sunset at 6:54 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: a triple play on Tuesday with Oosterdam, Westerdam, and Noordam all in port!
  10. 4/21 Constellation > Currently enroute to Agios Georgios (Greece) Eclipse > docked in San Diego, CA Edge > doing a big loop off the Bahamas Equinox > sailing off the coast of south Florida Infinity > enroute from Tampa to Miami Millenium > docked in San Diego, CA Reflection > anchored off Coco Cay Silhouette > anchored off Coco Cay Solstice > off of Bali Summit > enroute from Tampa to Miami or Bahamas Is Celebrity using any ships to transfer crew home? HAL, Princess and Carnival have started a pretty massive (and logistic nightmare) to use ships to transfer crew home. Many to Asia, Europe and South America. Veendam, Volendam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Island Princes and Crown Princess will all sail from Florida and the Bahamas to Asia in order to get crew home.
  11. We were booked on the Eurodam, scheduled to depart April 15 on a Circle Hawaii itinerary. It was cancelled and we opted for the FCC & OBC option. When talking with our PCC yesterday, she confirmed that she could see the FCC in their system. We are hoping some kind of 'normal' will return and have booked a B2B on the Nieuw Amsterdam for December 2020. The FCC will cover most of the cost; we did pay a reduced deposit and received prepaid HSC on the booking. Our PCC said it is incredibly busy with people asking about their refund(s) and/or FCC, explaining the details, responding to enquiries about upcoming travel and making new bookings. I think you have to be a special person right now, in any industry, to do Customer Service work. Hoping everyone gets their issues resolved soon. We like having a cruise to look forward to!
  12. Hi all, I am trying to decide between two cruises: one on Crown Princess and one on Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam. Both are the same week and about the same price. I've cruised on Princess many times, but never HA. Crown Princess 10-day Would be an obstructed view room with a window. I've been to three of these ports before. I've never sailed in anything less than a balcony. Princess Cays St. Thomas Curacao Dominica Bonaire Grenada Holland America 7-day Guarantee veranda, never been to any of these ports Key West Half Moon Cay Amber Cove Grand Turk Grand Turk has been on my list for a while. I think overall I would prefer the Princess 10-day, but the obstructed window has me questioning. A balcony room on Princess would be about $1,000 more, which I am not doing. And, NA and Holland America would be something new. We are in our mid-40s. Which would you choose? Thanks in advance for your help!
  13. Thanks for posting. For those who missed Nieuw Amsterdam yesterday, check out the sailaway post.
  14. Both ships offer the full promenade deck for walking. Many of us like that 😉 Veendam is a smaller ship so that means less entertainment but a more intimate feeling. It also has no aft pool as some dork at HAL decided that the hot tubs were better. Only two ships suffered that until everyone revolted 😉 Nieuw Amsterdam is a larger ship (not large compared to other mass market lines but for those used to HAL - larger). It offers the Tamarind Restaurant (Asian) which the Veendam will not have. Many like the Nieuw Amsterdam because of that option and increased entertainment options. For me, I prefer the smaller ships. Rooms are larger, more crew to passenger ratio, etc. I haen’t been on the Veendam - it has had some issues and I wasn’t keen on the aft. But, I needed up on the Rotterdam which had a “birdbath” for it’s aft (the only other one it was done to) and I honestly enjoyed the ship and the crew. So, I have decided never say never 😉 But NIeuw Amsterdam has a lot of fans. A LOT. If you were looking at one of the other smaller ships, I”d vote for them, but the Veendam has had issues. Unlikely as it is for me to say this (those on CC know me ) if the choice was between those two ships, I’d choose the Nieuw Amsterdam. JMO
  15. Well, we've been home just over a week and I finally get my trip review written and submitted so I am posting here as well. Thank you to everyone who contributes to this board as I spent hours reading through threads in preparation for our trip. Hopefully this review helps someone else. We decided about 18 months ago to take a trip for our 15th anniversary and we went with close friends who were married the same year. We are 2 couples ranging in age from mid-40's to early 50's, We selected Holland America because of their history cruising in Alaska.We also liked the idea of a smaller, quieter ship. While we are not seniors we tend to go to bed early and don't need the night life that some other ships provide.We booked 18 months in advance and selected an aft balcony and our friends chose a port-side signature suite. Just before final payment the prices dropped considerably so we contacted the travel agent. Because of the promo we booked under they wouldn't credit us with the difference but they offered to upgrade us to Neptune Suites which we happily accepted. We ended up on Deck 6 port side and our friends were on Deck 7 starboard.Embarkation - I had heard that embarkation can sometimes be long waits at Port of Vancouver. We arrived around 10:45 and we were on the ship by 11:20 with no wait at any point of the process. Very smooth.Cabin - we were in 6064 and our friends had 7051 and we were all happy with the accommodations. The room stewards were so friendly and attentive. Our friends were directly across from the Neptune Lounge and we were one floor below which I honestly didn't mind.Neptune Lounge - the concierges Carina and Kristine were both lovely, welcoming and helpful. We didn't really use their services much except to cancel a pre-paid dinner and make one dining reservation but they were always happy to answer questions. Having access to tea/coffee and snacks was a nice bonus. I would often wander up there early in the morning to grab a tea and a croissant to bring back to the room.Lido - We went to the Lido for only 3 meals the entire cruise, mainly because it was like feeding time at the zoo! I found it chaotic, crowded and only mediocre food. Don't get me wrong, no one was going to starve and the food wasn't bad, just not good enough to make up for the atmosphere.Main Dining Room - Despite booking super early we had open dining. While we liked the flexibility of the Open dining I think it also affected the service in the dining room. We only ate dinner there 3 times and while the experience got better each time it was still not up to the level of past cruise dining experiences. I found the main dining room crowded, noisy and rushed. I felt like our waiters made no effort to connect with us, nor did their service elevate the meal in any way.Tamarind - FANTASTIC!!! We loved the food and service here so we ended up going twice. The servers were so welcoming and they memorized your names. When you saw them later in the cruise in a different location they remembered your names. So personal and lovely. Food was delicious. They even brought me a special cake for my birthday.Pinnacle - As Neptune suite guests we had access to the Pinnacle for breakfast and I have to say that was the best suite perk that we had. Breakfast choices provided a lot of variety and it was delicious. Staff in the Pinnacle were so welcoming and always remembered your requests from the day before. We also had one lunch and one dinner in the Pinnacle and they were both delicious.Excursions - We booked two different excursions through Holland America and we were happy with both. In Skagway we did the White Pass Rail to the Yukon which was a full day tour, including lunch. In Ketchikan we did the Wilderness Explorer Cruise and all-you-can-eat crab feast. Both excursions were well done. In Juneau we opted to rent a car and explore on our own.Entertainment - We visited Billboard one night. The female piano player had a beautiful voice but the man was not great. Mid-week we discovered BB Kings and we wish we had made the effort to check it out sooner because it was great. They do 3 sets every night and the place was packed! We didn't do any of the EXC talks in the main theatre as that's not our thing. We did watch the comedian Jim Short and the illusionist Leon Etienne. Both were great. They also did a variety show on the last night with both of them. We had planned to see the dancers one night but they were cancelled for their safety due to high waves and rocking ship.Disembarkation - We were in the first disembarkation group which was announced at about 7:45 am but since we didn't have a flight to catch until later in the day we had a leisurely breakfast before getting off the ship at about 8:30. From the time we scanned off the ship to when we were outside the terminal was less than 12 minutes. Super fast and efficient.Overall Impression - We found that the things people paid to upgrade (Neptune Suite, specialty dining, etc) were fantastic and provided the experience and level of service we expected of the cruise as a whole. Those things which were included (Lido, Main Dining Room, etc) were not up to par with what we were expecting. We didn't have a bad experience but our experience in the upgraded areas certainly made the cruise that much better. It's just unfortunate that we had to pay for the level of service that has been included on past cruises with other companies.
  16. Captain says "To CC, on behalf of all of us on Nieuw Amsterdam, take care and see you in November"
  17. Thank you Captain and Nieuw Amsterdam. You win the longest toot of the year! Wishing you and your crew the best.
  18. Farewell, Nieuw Amsterdam. Is she heading away now, and not going to the Grand Bahama Bank? Has she already collected crew to take home?
  19. Does anyone know if there are charging USB ports in the nightstands on the Nieuw Amsterdam? I thought I saw this somewhere but not I'm having a hard time using the search function within the boards. Thanks!
  20. today is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day Grand Bahama Anchorage Nieuw Amsterdam Nieuw Statendam Veendam Volendam Zuiderdam At Sea Atlantic Koningsdam off Guyana destination Suape Brazil eta 3/31 Puerto Vallarta MX Westerdam Hauraki Sea east of Auckland NZ Noordam At Sea Pacific Amsterdam destination Durban South Africa eta 4/5 Eurodam Destination Puerto Vallarta eta 3/24 Maasdam (with Passengers) Destination San Diego eta 3/27 Oosterdam destination Long Beach CA eta 3/25 Rotterdam sailing to meet up with Zaandam Zaandam (with Passengers) Destination Fort Lauderdale eta Balboa PA 3/27
  21. My wife and I sailed on the August 31 Nieuw Amsterdam Alaska cruise, roundtrip from Vancouver with visits to Tracy Arm Inlet/Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Ketchikan. I'm not writing a full review, but I wanted to share some notes and impressions from the cruise. This was not our first Alaska cruise. My wife and I took one on Princess in 2002, and I did two previous Alaska cruises in the 90's, one on Celebrity and the other on RCCL. I've been on many cruises but only once on HAL, and that was almost 25 years ago. It was the first time on HAL for my wife. EMBARKATION We took a taxi to Canada Place from our hotel, arriving around 11:00. The taxi waited in a long line in the parking garage to drop us off -- we should have left the taxi outside and walked. Embarkation was very quick and organized, with lots of staff directing people. We were able to board and go to our stateroom immediately after checking in and clearing Customs, so we were in our room before noon. The MDR was open for lunch from 12:00-1:30, so we ate there. Our luggage was delivered to our cabin around 2:00. CABIN We were in an aft-facing verandah cabin, #5191. The cabin was nice, with plenty of storage, a decent size bathroom with a tub/shower and handheld showerhead. Some of the space for hanging items was short, but I discovered you could fold the shelves up to make more space. Our cabin steward Jalu ("Lu") was very good. The balcony had two chairs with separate foot rests and a small table. The TV didn't appear to work correctly at first, but that's because you have to watch the entire safety presentation (just a few minutes) before you can access the menu. There was a limited selection of live TV, but we only watched the news once in a while to keep tabs on Hurricane Dorian (we live in FL). DINING Prior to the cruise, I made reservations in three of the specialty restaurants, Canaletto (first night), Pinnacle Grill (mid week), and Tamarind (last night). Once on board, we decided to try Tamarind on the second night. We had our other dinners and lunches in the MDR. Pinnacle and Tamarind were very good (Tamarind was better the first time), Canaletto was good but not great, and the MDR was pretty good. On Gala Nights people were not as dressed up as I've seen on other cruises. We had breakfast delivered to room each morning (including the last morning, which most cruise lines don't do). There's a limited selection of hot and cold items. A couple of mornings the order wasn't quite right, and a couple of times breakfast came either early or late, but overall it was fine. As with every other cruise line I've been on, there's an order tag you can hang outside your door before you go to bed. ENTERTAINMENT By far the best entertainment was the band at B.B. King's Blues Club, and we enjoyed that almost every night. We sat at the bar and got to know the bartenders (Jeffrey, Alan, and Luis). One night we listened to the dual piano players. They were good, and drew big crowds, but they didn't really play off each other like we've seen at other dueling piano shows. We were planning to listen to them a second time, but there were no seats available so went to B.B. King's instead. The only Mainstage shows we saw were the illusionist Leon Etienne and comedian Lamont Ferguson (two different shows). They were both good (the illusionist was better). My wife "volunteered" at Leon's show. They did a combined show the last night but we didn't go. Unlike some other ships we've been on, you didn't really have to get to the theater too early -- there were plenty of open seats up front even when the shows started. Bar service in the theater was more limited than what we've experienced elsewhere, and non-existent once the show started. The Orange Party was held at B.B. King's one night. Most people did not wear orange. The only differences between that night and other nights at the club were that the cruise director and some other crew members were dancing, the bartenders were wearing orange hats, and they were serving snacks. INTERNET AND WIFI I purchased the Premium Internet package before the cruise, which you can use on multiple devices but only one at a time. The service was pretty slow and unreliable, definitely not worth the money. I also signed up for AT&T's 30-day Cruise Plan, which gave me 50 minutes of voice and unlimited text on the ship's cellular (no data). They have a more expensive plan that provides some data and unlimited voice. One of the reasons I did this is because we spent a few days in Vancouver before the cruise, and I could use the Cruise Plan there (Canada is not included in my home wireless area). The HAL Navigator mobile app was useful. You don't need to buy an internet plan to connect to the ship's WiFi, and you can view the schedule of events, restaurant menus. and make dinner reservations (for specialty restaurants). You can also send messages other people who have the app (I didn't try that). If you do buy an internet plan, you can use the app to connect. I use NordVPN whenever I'm on a public WiFi network, and I limited success getting it to work with the ship's internet. The Navigator app doesn't work correctly when you're connected to a VPN. SHORE EXCURSIONS AND PORTS The only shore excursion I purchased from HAL (before the cruise) was the Tracy Arm Inlet tour. The ship passes through Tracy Arm Inlet on the way to Juneau, so you board the tour boat directly from the ship in the morning, and then board the ship directly from the tour boat that afternoon in Juneau. Overall we enjoyed the tour and are glad we did it, though it was expensive. We were supposed to meet at 8:15 in the theater and leave at 8:30 -- we didn't actually start leaving the ship until 9:15 (we could have used the extra sleep :-). We did two other excursions with local operations in Skagway and Juneau. Skagway and Juneau have become incredibly touristy since our last visit, with many blocks of nothing but jewelry stores and other typical tourist traps. Ketchikan had a bit more character, and the tourism was more integrated and not as in your face as the other ports. Glacier Bay was awesome. We spent quite a bit of time there, and they brought a naturalist on board to narrate. DISEMBARKATION We chose one of the early disembarkation groups (but not self-disembarkation) that was supposed to disembark around 8:30. Our flight from Vancouver was at around 12:30. We heard our group called a few minutes after 8:00, but we weren't quite ready to leave. When we arrived at the disembarkation point on the ship at around 8:20, we were told we were mistaken, and our group hadn't been called yet (other passengers verified that they also heard our group being called). Once they called our group (again), we got off the ship, claimed our bags, and cleared customs pretty quickly. There was no wait for taxi, and the ride to the airport was uneventful. The lines at the airport were short, and we were at our gate an hour or less after we disembarked. There was only one other ship disembarking, the Golden Princess, so that's probably why it went quickly. CONCLUSION We were happy overall with HAL and the cruise, and we definitely try HAL again. We did both get sick (colds or flu) a few days into the cruise, but this didn't appear to be a widespread problem, and we were still able to enjoy our trip.
  22. Don't believe so, since the HAL "ferry" ships range from a "S"-class ship (Veendam), to a "R"-class (Volendam) to a Signature-class (Nieuw Amsterdam) with various different accomodation totals
  23. This is the last full week of ships in Juneau although there will be no HAL ship on Wednesday. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port is Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215. There is a 100% chance of rain with a high of 55F/13C and a low of 43F/6C. Sunrise is at 6:29 am and sunset at 7:15 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam and Noordam on Tuesday.
  24. today is Melba Toast Day, National Chip and Dip Day, Cuddly Kitten Day, and National Puppy Day Grand Bahama Anchorage Volendam Veendam Zuiderdam Nieuw Amsterdam Nieuw Statendam Bridgetown Barbados Anchorage Koningsdam Puerto Vallarta MX Westerdam Rotterdam Fremantle, Australia Amsterdam - discharging guests until 3/24 Hauraki Sea east of Auckland NZ Noordam At Sea Pacific Oosterdam destination Long Beach CA eta 3/25 Eurodam Destination Puerto Vallarta eta 3/24 Zaandam (with Passengers) Destination Fort Lauderdale eta Balboa PA 3/27 Maasdam (with Passengers) Destination Long Beach CA eta 3/27
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