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Found 377 results

  1. Looking at booking an aft Vista Suite on Nieuw Statendam for January. It is currently 1/2 the price of the Cat. SS! Any recommendations on which aft cabin? All on Deck 7 are available, and according to the deck plan, the middle cabin looks skinnier than the two at the side next to the Cat. SB wraparounds. Is the deck plan correct? Thanks for any info on these aft Vistas!!!
  2. We're going to be on NS April 7-14. Just wondering if past passengers might offer any food or dining tips - you know - "be sure to try this" or "go here". ....menu hidden gems...anything that really caught your taste buds or whatever...🤗 Don't want to miss anything good! FYI - just talking about within the "included" dining options here, not interested in the extra-charge or specialty dining. Anyone care to share?
  3. Just returned from a 7-night cruise on NS. This is a brief review. It is my opinion and reflection, and I won't take any offense to anyone who disagrees (especially if it is based on their personal experience). Background My wife and are in our lat(er) 40's, with no kids. We were traveling with another couple (and their two boys, 11 & 15). This is our 4th HAL cruise, but we've mostly been on Celebrity the past decade. We live in South Florida. The Ship Very nice. Elegant without being stuffy. Lots of places to sit and chat, read, drink, or play games. Artwork that seemed appropriate (although I liked some of the creative music-themed items and not others; but that's art!) The Clientele This cruise was over the spring break (week off) for local schools. We had about 275 children aboard, according to the Kids Club manager. Adult passengers ran the full gamut, from honeymooners to "experienced retirees". A really nice mix. We chatted with folks from South Florida, Virginia, Idaho, Holland, Belgium, UK, Germany... at least those are the places we remember. I would "guess" that the average age was 3-5 years older than Celebrity on this particular cruise/week. The Cabin We were in a standard veranda (category V). It was very similar to the Soltice-class ships on Celebrity. Perhaps a bit more storage space. I also like the shower on the NS better (better water pressure and larger). The two down sides in comparison to Celebrity -- the balcony doors open out (instead of sliding) and the table is tiiiiiiiiiny. Bed was comfortable. The Main Dining Room VERY pleasantly surprised. We ate in the MDR on 6 nights. The food ranged from good to very good. Our first night, however, was a service disaster. They seated us on a table where my wife was hit in the head twice as waiters walked by with trays. It was also too loud to talk to eachother, as the waiters were talking loudly. On the way out, I spoke with the Matre'D and calmly explained that it was not a good experience. The remainder of the time, he seated us in a table in the middle with an outstanding waiter (Budi). It made a huuuuuge difference in our enjoyment. The food quality was good (as always, it is subjective), and most of the dishes we ordered were nicely seasoned and cooked to our requests. We did have a gluten free diner with us, and Budi gave her the next night's menu so she should order and they would make hers without any gluten. To keep up with the "extra charge" discussion, we were not charged extra for multiple entrees. The boys generally ordered two entrees and two appetizer/salad/soups each. With the exception of a soup they didn't like the taste of (and two asparagus spears that one didn't like), there was no waste. The adults generally ordered 2-4 appetizer/salad/soups each, and one entree. Plus an extra 1-2 entrees for all of us to try (ex: guinea fowl --- winner! and asian duck --- loser!) Specialty Dining We ate two lunches in Pinnacle. Excellent. The cheese board by itself was worth it. The ambiance, service, and the food all made it a special, very enjoyable meal. Definitely would do this again. We ate dinner in Tamarind. We went because so many people loved it. It was, by far, the worst meal we had on the ship. The service was odd -- lots of people stopping by, but not clear roles. We were asked the same thing multiple times by different people (specifically ordering food and water; one even asked us if we were ready to order -- AFTER our menus were taken away???). We have a good, authentic Thai restaurant at home. The food at Tamarind was ok. The appetizers were certainly edible, but not well executed. The "seared scallop" was either steamed or prepared by someone who doesn't know how to sear a scallop. The seasonings were muddled. It also felt like a fast food restaurant in that there was no pacing of the meal. My wife and I ate (4 appetizers, 2 entrees, and 2 desserts) in 47 minutes. Maybe everything is pre-prepared. Anyway, OUR experience was quite disappointing. So we won't be going back to that restaurant! The Music In a word... excellent!!! I'm not a music person. Just not my thing, except for classical (and Billy Joel / Elton John). However, the BB King group and the Lincoln Center Stage group -- wow! Great performances. Really, really nice. The rock group was also good.... the dueling pianos weren't really dueling. They were working together, so it kind of lost some of the energy in my book. Enjoyable, but not on the level of the BB King / LCS groups. Those were A/A+. The Service Typical HAL quality. The room steward (Asis) kept the room very tidy and our ice bucket filled. Any question we had, he answered. Always with a smile and remembering our names. The accommodation by the Matre'D (whose name I don't remember because it was very long and I'm terrible with names), the food service by Budi, the wine service by Rex.... all reasons why HAL's service seems above our experience on Celebrity. Random Notes - Blend happy hour was 9-10 most nights. No one was there, and you had to ask at Club Orange for the "wine guy" to come out. It was BOGO on $17 glasses. Very enjoyable wines (both Cabs & Merlots; didn't try the others) - Formal nights were nights after visiting HMC and after visiting Grand Cayman - Chocolate croissants should be illegal because they tasted so good - Key cards were excellent (the RFIDs worked flawlessly and we didn't spend a minute each time trying to insert the key card and pull it out just at the right speed for the lock) - Lots of "buzzers" were around for obtaining drink service - Mixed drinks were the smallest pours I've ever seen on a ship - Dive In burgers were well executed as was the NY Deli & Pizza (pagers were very nice -- no standing around waiting for your food; when it vibrates, come back and pick up hot food) The Suggestions Not everything was perfect. 1. The "price matching" in the on-board liquor stores took 40 minutes because no one could find the manager and he was the only one who could approve. If you advertise this in multiple places, it should be a standard process that works whenever the shops are open. 2. No Dam merchandise. We really wanted some Dam shirts. And there were no prizes for trivia (like Dam mugs or Dam shirts). Those were really fun things!!! 3. But the big thing.... the SMOKING IN THE CASINO!!! We didn't play any craps or blackjack (first time in a while). The combination of the smoking and the lack of a high-quality filtration system really made it difficult to walk through, let alone play. Also, the smoke wafts down into the music rooms below. The smoking thing is a biggie. As much as we loved this cruise (and we did!!!) we aren't sure we'll book another HAL cruise on a ship that allows indoor smoking. And I love a cigar on a cruise, I really do. But never inside where the smell just lingers. Overall, a really fun cruise. Very pleased with this HAL product as we experienced it. If there are any questions I can answer, I'll try.
  4. How late could we disembark in Vancouver. We need to arrange transportation.
  5. We booked this cruise on February 15th and it sailed on the the 24th . Unfortunately , all of the Neptune Suites were sold out but they did have our favorite aft view in a VS verandah # 5200 . This was our 10th aft view verandah and it turned out to be , by far , the smallest . We thought that we would try the Club Orange to receive some of the NS type of perks . After clearing security we went to the express check in where the camera wasn't working . They used our Zaandam photos from December . After dropping our bags we headed to the MDR for lunch . The elevators were quite warm and with all the lights and reflective surfaces reminded me of the old toy Easy Bake Oven . The Lobster Shack looked good so we ordered it for the next day at Half Moon Cay Lunch at a table for 2 with a view . The service and the food was very good in the MDR and it was nice and quite .
  6. Planning to cruise the Mediterranean 2020, previously enjoyed Neptune Suites, veranda, Lanai, and interior rooms. We would appreciate any experiences that would recommend reserving an aft veranda.
  7. 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.
  8. we're going to be on NS April 7-14. Just wondering if past passengers might offer any food or dining tips - you know - "be sure to try this" or "go here". ....menu hidden gems...anything that really caught your taste buds or whatever...🤗 Don't want to miss anything good! FYI - just talking about within the "included" dining options here, not interested in the extra-charge or specialty dining. Anyone care to share?
  9. Hello all, I am relatively new (only two in the past 20 years) to cruising, but have two cruises booked for this year😁. One is RCI and the other is HAL. I had OBC and used it for a beverage package on Harmony of the Seas, easy peasy. I called Big box yesterday and they they said the OBC from both Big box and HAL would not be usable until on ship.🤨 I was going to order a few things and the Big box rep called HAL and they said no. The Big box rep told me to call back, maybe they would change their policy. The OBC is almost 500$! Thoughts?
  10. We were ensconced in one of 11 Signature Suites. Noordam had over 40 Must attend Muster Drill put 2900 tired pax on deck 2-3 at 3:45. Elevators tied up well past 5pm Lido tables have a button you press to summon a drink steward Portions of Lido buffet has tiles and heavy chair scaping was very loud Some window seats in Lido look down onto portions of deck 8 balconies Aft lido pool deck smaller than Vista class but lots of chaise loungers up on deck 10-11 Crow's Nest café opens at 8am not 7 Happy hour is way down on deck 2, Crow's Nest was a like a morgue...sigh Main stage show was packed at 7pm, selection was poor. Music venues were well attended in the eve as well Our suite had no night light in bathroom Cotton balls and q tips on counter in bathroom Large shower with wand, side jets, a seat and shower head No CNN on tv Balcony had lots of seating and a table high enough to have a meal Some room service breakfast items cost ie...smoothie, $5 or Steak and eggs $9 Library had a few new books with HAL stickers inside cover..bring a book, leave a book 13,000 sweaty sailors meandering the cobblestone streets of San Juan Hope HAL bans spray sunscreen cans as some wait til on crowded aft deck to anoint everyone downwind with heady fumes!! Bath robes around your bathrooms please not in Lido
  11. Does anyone know if HAL provides binoculars on the Nieuw Amsterdam Inside Passage Cruise ?
  12. The insurance through Holland America seems expensive. Has anyone bought trip insurance from someone other than a Holland America? If so who? Thanks. Too old to go without but retired & watching my money.
  13. Could someone please explain the difference between a V and a VD cabin. Many thanks
  14. Any news on when Club Orange will be available on Nieuw Amsterdam? Cruise booked for Oct 2019.
  15. Saw a post on Facebook HAL fans group from person on NS reporting that there are engine problems and they are skipping HMC and heading back to PE. Only report I've seen- will be interesting to see when she gets into PE
  16. Hello and welcome aboard our cruise on the Nieuw Statendam starting tomorrow. Currently we are leaving cold Ohio and heading toward warm Ft Lauderdale. On on our trip, I’ll be providing information and photos of the ship, hotels and food. If if you have questions, please ask. Thank you you and welcome aboard!
  17. Viking Sky is reported having engine troubles in a storm near Norway and drifting to the coast. Apperantly she has sent out a mayday and is beeing evacuated! https://news.sky.com/story/cruise-ships-1-300-passengers-to-be-evacuated-after-engine-failure-11673395 https://www.euronews.com/2019/03/23/cruise-ship-adrift-off-norway-to-evacuate-1300-passengers https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/23/reuters-america-update-1-cruise-ship-adrift-off-norway-to-evacuate-1300-passengers.html Hoping all passengers and crew will be in safety soon!
  18. Background: Nearly 30 years cruising. Diamond on Royal Caribbean, variety of other colors and jewelry across NCL, Carnival, MSC. Couple near 40, son will be a bit under age 5 at proposed time of sailing. Feel service is declining on Royal Caribbean. Don't care for some of the rowdiness have found lately on NCL and Carnival. Looking for decent kids club and activities; nightly entertainment until 10-11pm is plenty for us really. Good included in fare food; whether this be lido, pool deck, or MDR we expect good quality. Want to try a somewhat quieter and less crowded ship than the mega ships we have been going on. Like the Key West/San Juan/Grand Turk itinerary which can do on either ship it looks like. Which ship would you recommend, and why, for a young active family but not looking for a sports bar party like Carnival or NCL. Expecting something distinctly cut above Royal Caribbean, not necessarily fancy. Does NA have a full walking track around ship? That is something to consider for us also.
  19. I haven't seen a roll call for the Ft Lauderdale to Barcelona cruise, April 15-28, 2020, so here we go!
  20. I Have benefited from numerous reviews so I thought it was time I returned the favor. Here is my review of the 2/24-3/3 Western Caribbean itinerary on the Nieuw Statendam. There were four of us – DH, DS and DD. We had two cabins. DH and I were in a Neptune Suite and our adult children were in a veranda room 7134. Nice size veranda but the smallest bathroom I have ever seen. Embarkation – easy we arrived at the cruise terminal around 11 and were on board by 12 noon and both rooms were ready. FYI – there were seven cruise ships in port that day. Several of them seemed to follow us all week. There has been a lot of chatter on CC regarding Club Orange. Since Club Orange is included in a NS I purchased the upgrade for our children so they could embark with us and join us for dinner and breakfast. I loved Club Orange. I did not feel like I was in a fishbowl or on display in any way. I appreciated the quiet attentive service, the soft jazz music playing in the background that added the perfect touch of ambiance without being intrusive. The staff is top notch and they got to know our family quite well. We dined there for dinner four times and breakfast twice. It never seemed too busy and that’s the point. I liked the calm quiet atmosphere. I am not sure how many extra passes were sold. I would be interested to know. I think there are 20 NS on this ship. The food is the same as in the main dining room with an extra entre offered each night. Most of the meal is prepared in the kitchen within CO. As I mentioned, I feel CO is a wonderful benefit for NS guests. However, I don’t think I would purchase it separately if I were in a different room. Because it is expensive. Retreat area – We purchased two retreat cabanas for the trip. The family cabana is not big enough for four people and I did not want to break the rules and try to stuff four into a standard cabana. It was hot up there but we had shade and a private hot tub which was really nice. There were three stewards taking care of the guests all week. Jeff, Gerald and Alwine. Great guys, helpful and accommodating. You can order lunch and drinks. The area is open 9-5 each day. This was my happy place for the week. Ports – Truth be told we do a Caribbean cruise to relax not necessary to get off the ship. However, we did do an excursion on HMC the ECO Bike and Kayak. DS, DD and I were the only three on the excursion which took us around parts of the island – stables, stingray cove and to the Bone Fish Lagoon where we kayaked. This was a fun way to spend the morning away from the crowds and to see parts of the island I had not seen before. And there were crowds the Koningsdam was also in port that day. I have never seen so many people on HMC in the four times I have been there. We left early to go back to the ship. We don’t like the BBQ lunch so the Lido Deck was calling. Ocho Rios – Reynolds Pier - WHAT A DUMP. Holland America should be embarrassed to dock at this pier. It looks like abandoned industrial pier. It is a good half mile from the shopping area in the main cruise port and from fellow passengers told me who attempted to walk it, not an easy walk or pleasant. You walk on the side of a busy road around construction while local children try to sell you trinkets. My DS and DD did do a ship tour the Tranopy & Bobsled tour and enjoyed the experience. Georgetown, Grand Cayman – Knowing there were seven ships in port that day so we arranged a private catamaran tour on Sail with Friends. We took a taxi to the Cayman Island Yacht Club, easy and Alice from Sale with Friends called head for a taxi to meet us when we got back. It was a great day and a highlight of our trip. Cozumel – We only got off the ship to have a drink at Margaretville. Dining: We ate once in the main dining room which was a disappointment. That night the menu was not that good. We ate twice in the Pinnacle Grill which was delicious both times. We each had something different each night and never had an issue with the quality of the food. Lido Market was really good, we ate B/L there most days. The Dive In is wonderful. The NYC deli sandwiches are good according to DH and DS. Entertainment: we listed to the BB King band – good; the classical music group each night – very nice and the dueling piano players once – just okay IMO. The in room movie selection is great and there is a different movie in the Lido pool area each night. Disembarkation - Again easy we took the Holland America bus transfer tot he airport. The ship is beautiful and the staff is amazing. We had a wonderful time. If anyone has any questions I will be happy to try to answer them. Bon Voyage!
  21. Hello! I have called ship services and they weren't able to answer my question. For those of you who have sailed on the Nieuw Statendam or Koningsdam, are they able to accommodate 11 people in the main dining room or in a specialty dining restaurant? Ship services said no to the main dining room, but they were unsure of any specialty restaurants. We are looking to keep our group together for the first night and the remainder of the cruise, everyone will pretty much do their own thing. Thanks!
  22. 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.
  23. Can anyone tell me if the Nieuw Statendam casino has a Let It Ride Poker gaming table?
  24. It will be another busy day in Port Everglades. And we have 2 of our newer blue hulled beauties set to sail for this one. Nieuw Amsterdam is scheduled to leave from pier 19 and leave at 5:00 PM. She is doing the 10 day Southern Caribbean. She is also scheduled to do a 13 day cruise which doesn’t show on itineraries, basically returning back to HMC. Here are her itineraries: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (20 Jan d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (21 Jan 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (22 Jan 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (23 Jan 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (25 Jan 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (26 Jan 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (27 Jan 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (30 Jan a0700) Nieuw Statendam is scheduled to leave be at pier 26 and leave at 4:00 PM. She is doing a 7 day Soul Train Charter. No map for this one, but here is her itinerary: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (20 Jan d1600); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (22 Jan 1000-1800); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (26 Jan 0800-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (27 Jan a0700 Also in port is: the the Celebrity Edge at pier 25, Celebrity Silhouette at pier 29, Harmony of the Seas at pier 18 and Royal Princess at pier 02 The websites to see the sail a ways are located at https://www.porteverlades.com and https://www.ftlauderdale.com For those that like to check out San Diego, the Eurodam is leaving from there for her Mexican Rivera cruise. Here is the link - http://www.sandiegolive.com And, for the Addicts - the Koningsdam is in Aruba https://www.portarubawebcam.com Next up - January 22nd, the Amsterdam as she and all her lucky passengers set sail on their WORLD cruise.
  25. 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.
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