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  1. After reading so many threads, I've now lost the thread where it discussed the hidden spots (gems) on Nieuw Amsterdam to lounge outside and inside as well as hidden gems of treats. For example, I remember reading a post about emergency exit doors that are not really emergency exit doors and take you to a quieter outdoor deck area. Or one that stated how to get to the Crows Nest. Also, any other hidden gems like the Tea Time (that too looked fun). Thanks!
  2. Y4L – Alaska, Yukon, Double Denali May 27 – June 8, 2019 Nieuw Amsterdam Ship May 26 - Anchorage Arrived in Anchorage a day before our trip began. It was around 7:00 when we arrived and the Westmark is an easy cab ride from the airport. We checked in and headed across the street to the Glacier Brewhouse for a beer and a small bite before turning in for the evening. May 27 - Anchorage We woke up early as we were still on east coast time. We walked a few blocks to the Snow City Café as we read they had great breakfast food. Arrived ahead of the crowd and had a delicious breakfast served by a very pleasant waitress. We came back to our hotel and walked over to the visitor center. The combination of early season plus Memorial Day meant that there was not an early shuttle to the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Instead, we walked a few blocks to the Anchorage Museum and waited for them to open. It was a great way to spend the morning. We learned about the native Alaskans at the Smithsonian exhibit – crafts, life stories, every day items, etc. The art gallery wing was also wonderful with some beautiful oils of Denali. In the afternoon we took the Flattop Mountain Shuttle from Downtown Bicycle Rental. Pete gave us a narrated tour of Anchorage as he drove us to the mountain. We had 3 hours to hike Flattop Mountain which is the most hiked trail in Alaska. Still some snow on parts of the trail and the last 20 feet at the steep summit. Wonderful views of the city and Chugach Mountains. Highly recommend even if you don’t go all the way to the top. Not too crowded in late May but still lots of people and dogs. After our hike we returned to our hotel to meet our Journey Host Kaylyn. She gave us packets with information for the next day, had us take care of some paperwork and we were on our own until the next morning. We left the hotel and took a short walk along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail before dinner. Lots of bikes, walkers, skateboarders, families and leashed dogs. Pretty views and an easy way to get some exercise. Lots of bike rental shops in Anchorage if you prefer biking. A very nice meal at Orso which was across the street from the hotel. Same owners as Glacier Brewhouse. Recommend both. Had read some negative reviews about the hotel. A little old fashioned but the room was comfortable and clean. What more can you ask for? Tuesday May 28 - Anchorage to Denali Bags were out early and we met at 8:15 to transfer to the Alaska Railroad. Our trip to Denali was as pleasant as any 8 hour train trip could be. Comfortable seats, big windows, and the opportunity to move around. We had decided in advance that we would eat both breakfast and lunch on the train as it would give us an opportunity to leave our seats. Meal seating is in shifts in the bottom level and viewing and general travel in the top of the glass domed car. Both breakfast and lunch were quite good. The scenery in the beginning of the trip as we left Anchorage was interesting. In the middle hours there was not as much to see and the trip was starting to feel long BUT then we arrived at Hurricane Gulch and the views became more and more interesting and made the entire trip worthwhile. We were enchanted all the way to Denali. We were picked up at the Denali Train Depot and on the way to our hotel a moose decided to slowly cross the road in front of our bus and linger to munch grass at the side of the road. It was a prime picture taking opportunity and the perfect welcome to Denali. We checked in at our lodge and were out the door to grab a quick meal before heading out almost immediately to our shuttle to visit the Husky Homestead. As we got off the shuttle, we were handed two-week old puppies! Who on earth can resist such sweetness. We learned a lot about raising and training dogs, and preparing them to race. Jeff King was even more engaging then his staff and told us all about the Iditarod and his experiences with the dogs. It was a very interesting and fun evening. Denali was off to a great start! Wednesday May 29 - Denali TWT Wilderness Tour #9 with Glenn at approximately 8:30. Glenn was a wonderful engaging driver who shared lots of information about the park. We went to mile 53 at Toklat before turning around. Seven hours in the bus was plenty for us. We saw Denali from multiple locations and got some beautiful pictures. We also saw moose, bear, caribou and Dall sheep. As we started our tour, the driver realized the bus camera was not working, but it did not matter. The scenery in the park changes at every turn. It was just magnificent. After our tour we asked to be dropped off at the Visitors Center where we picked up the trail to Mt. Healy. We were worried about making the last shuttle back to our hotel but no need to have worried. We were up and down the mountain in about 2:40 which left us plenty of time to get back to our cabin. Great views. Nice hike. We had dinner (and breakfast both days) at Karstens on the property. Food was good and reasonably priced. Our room at Denali was M106. It was a two-story townhouse. We were on the first floor. We had a small bedroom and sitting area. Nice bathroom. Only issue, and one we could live with, was foot noise from upstairs and the whosh of the flush but honestly, location, cleanliness, décor was all good. I note this because I’ve noticed lots of complaints about hotels on land. Nothing to complain about. Would stay here again. Thursday May 30 - Denali to Fairbanks Woke up and said goodbye to Denali. It would have been nice to have an extra day for another hike or two. Boarded the bus for the 3 hour ride to Fairbanks. We did have a rest stop with a gift shop on the way. This was our first bus ride. Our driver not only transported us safely, he gave us information about the places we passed and about Alaska in general. Little did we know that every bus ride would provide learning opportunities to find out about where we were and where we would go. Arrived in Fairbanks at noon. Most of our group took their hour to eat lunch but we walked to the Fairbanks Visitor Center. To our surprise, it had a little museum like area that was extremely interesting and we spent 45 minutes there. We learned our planned walk at Creamer Fields was about 2 miles from our hotel and found information on how to travel there. We met up with the group and were off to Gold Dredge 8. It was a planned group excursion and was much more fun than we expected. First, we had a view of, and short talk about the Alaska pipeline. Then we got on a small train that took us to the area where we would pan for gold. But first, as we traveled by train, we learned about how gold was mined in Fairbanks. My bag of dirt yielded $24 of gold and my husband got $6 in gold flakes. Yes, we succumbed and bought a charm to put the gold flakes in as a memento of our visit. Too much shopping time at the mine for us, although many of our companions did a fair amount of shopping and seemed to enjoy the stop before we headed to our hotel. We checked into the Westmark Room 632 which was a very nice clean, modern room with a kitchen area. We were off to visit a local art gallery a few blocks from the hotel and then found a local distillery where we had a vodka cocktail before heading back to the hotel. We were feeling lazy so we had dinner at the Red Lantern restaurant at the hotel. It was just ok but no complaints as we were ready to turn in early. Friday May 31 – Fairbanks to Dawson City Had time for a nice breakfast before heading on our bus to the airport and on to Dawson City on an 11:00 a.m. flight. The airport in Dawson recently had its runway paved which was big news. Smooth flight and we were at our hotel early afternoon. We were on our own. There were some sprinkles and it was cloudy so we changed our plans to hike the Midnight Dome and instead walked the 9th Avenue trail which went around the city and continued around the water. There are a number of other trails in this area. An easy walk and fun way to stretch our legs. We went to the Visitors Center as well to get maps, schedules, and walked around town peering visiting some of the shops. Dinner at the Drunken Goat Taverna. Food was excellent. Laid back place. Highly recommend. After dinner we caught the show at Diamond Tooth Gerties. Your $15 season pass is good all year. They have 3 shows an evening with singing and dancing. Shows were excellent. There is also food and gambling. A number of our group left after the first show and went to The Downtown Hotel and became members of the Sour Toe Cocktail Club by drinking a shot with a preserved toe that touched their lips. A good time was had by all. Then the partying group was back to Gerties for the remaining 2 shows and last call. Saturday June 1 – Dawson City Woke up and it was still a light rain but we weren’t going to let that get us down. We had breakfast at the hotel and were off to explore. We found out that the Robert Service cabin would not have a presentation that day as the town folk and visitors were invited to the Commissioner’s Tea from 2:00 – 4:00. This is an annual event that we did attend. Late morning, we went to the Jack London cabin and were treated to an excellent hour-long presentation about Jack London that included his time in Alaska and Dawson City and how that time influenced his writing. Highly recommend. With the rain starting to come down harder, we went to the Dawson City Museum and learned more about the local gold rush and the city of Dawson before heading to tea. Our Klondike Spirit Cruise had been moved to 6:00 p.m. so we grabbed a delicious sandwich in the hotel pub before heading to the boat. The delayed start time for the boat worked in our favor as the skies cleared and we had beautiful weather for our ride. Once again, we learned more about Dawson City and the First Nation inhabitants of the Yukon so it was more than just a ride around the river. We found the Westmark in Dawson City to be charming. Rooms were clean and comfortable. Wifi only in the lobby and not in your room. We did not use our phones in the Yukon and I could live for 2 days without wifi. Sunday June 2 – Dawson City to Whitehorse This was a full day on the motor coach. We had a number of opportunities to stop and stretch our legs and see a few historic sites. Lunch was provided – the only land day this happened – in Minto. It was a simple and delicious lunch of soup, salad and homemade bread in a nice clean lodge. After lunch we were back on the bus to Whitehorse until our arrival at approximately 5:00 p.m. Our driver Trevor was amazing. No other word. For the entire trip he gave us Gold Rush History, and information about the glaciers and the valleys they formed. He told us about the white river ash from a long ago volcanic eruption and even recited some Robert Service poetry as he drove. The hours flew by. Scenery was beautiful. When we arrived in Whitehorse I told our Journey Host that it could be viewed in two ways. HAL could have you fly straight from Dawson to Whitehorse and get you to Skagway in a day. It took us 8 hours to travel the road but it made us better appreciate the journeys of the men (and women) that got themselves and their provisions over the Chilkoot Trail and then had to build a boat and ferry themselves down an unforgiving river to get to Dawson. I am glad I was able to experience that journey. The unspoiled landscape was pretty special too. After leaving our bags at the Westmark Whitehorse (the only hotel we felt was not satisfactory) we took a walk with some of our new friends on the Millenium Trail, a 5km paved trail that loops around the water in downtown Whitehorse. It was a very pleasant way to get some exercise before a fantastic dinner at Klondike Kate’s. Restaurant was across the street from our hotel so could not have been more convenient. Clearly popular and crowded so we put our name in ahead of our walk and our table was ready when we returned. Food and atmosphere were fantastic. Highly recommend if you stop in Whitehorse. Monday June 3 – Whitehorse to Skagway Breakfast at the hotel and then we were back on the bus with Trevor who showed us Miles Canyon, Emerald Lake, Carcross Desert and Carcross as we journeyed to Fraser to board the Whitepass Rail that would take us to Skagway. All interesting stops that we were grateful to see along the way. Our train journey was interesting as we thought about those that had braved the mountains by foot (before the train was constructed) as they dreamt of the gold waiting for them in Dawson City. The mountains had some sad tales to tell, but it was a lovely way to return to Alaska with some magnificent views along the way. Once we arrived at the train station, we went to our hotel and grabbed an extra jacket before heading off to hike Upper Dewey Lake at around 2:00p.m. There were excursions offered by HAL and a lovely town to walk around, but we wanted to hike. We passed the Lower Dewey Lake trail in favor of the 6 mile roundtrip steady climb – vertical rise was 3000 feet in 3 miles – to Upper Dewey Lake. We were not disappointed. The lake was beautiful and the views as we headed back down were spectacular as well. It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon. Trail information says roundtrip takes about 6 hours but we were able to do it in around 5. We were motivated to be down before it got to be too late! Dinner at the Skagway Brewing Company was adequate but I wish we had stuck with our plans to go to the Red Onion Saloon – a former brothel. We heard food was good and atmosphere was great. Our room in Skagway was clean and comfortable and right in the middle of everything. In the morning we had breakfast at the hotel and were able to shop before transferring to the ship. We liked the town but were ready to get on and stay on the boat by late morning. Hated to say goodbye to our Journey Host Kaylyn. She kept us organized, gave us tips on where to visit and eat. She went above and beyond every minute of every day and we are convinced that is one reason our trip was so wonderful. A Few Thoughts I felt compelled to comment on the hotels. With the exception of Whitehorse we had no complaints. They were all clean and the staff was helpful and cheerful wherever we were. So many negative comments on line that it made me wonder what to expect. If you are expecting the Westin downtown you may be disappointed, but the hotels were in character with their location. Perhaps if we had come off the ship we might have found the transition jarring but we would stay at any of the locations again. We chose to eat a number of meals – all but one breakfast and a few dinners on hotel property out of convenience. There were many choices in each location. We had a couple pricier dinners but found the food to be fairly priced (this is Alaska) and for the most part quite good. Our fellow travelers were all very nice and we got to know many of them on land and some even better on our sea days. Everyone was happy to be on the trip and the people we spent the most time with were also beyond impressed with our Journey Host. We all hated to say goodbye to her when we boarded the ship. Nieuw Amsterdam – June 4 to June 8 This was our first cruise. We had an opportunity to upgrade to a Signature Suite from a Veranda and glad we did. This put us in room 6072 in the middle of the ship. We had a larger bathroom and room to spread out. The veranda was a wonderful place to view the glaciers on our day in Glacier Bay. We ate at the Lido buffet for breakfast and lunch all days. It was easy to go at any time and there was a huge variety of food choices. I particularly liked the omelet station for breakfast. Easy to be healthy and easy to indulge for all meals. We had dinner at the Dining Room. We had open seating and for 3 of our 4 nights were seated with other people. Again, we found the food to be delicious with plenty of choices. One evening my husband asked for extra steak when he ordered and they were more than happy to oblige. We were there for a Gala Night and we dressed up and enjoyed a special dinner. Service was great. Entertainment on the boat was outstanding. We went to BB Kings every night, the Billboard pianists were fabulous, and we went to an afternoon performance at Lincoln Center Stage. Very talented musicians who worked hard to entertain the crowd. We did not see any of the stage shows in the evening. We were too busy enjoying the music! We also used the health club. Plenty of treadmills, bikes, ergs and machines. Some free weights too. It was not crowded and we were able to use the equipment we wanted. The treadmills were placed at the windows in the bow which my husband enjoyed. I liked working out without looking out to sea so something for everyone. Our third day on the boat we stopped at Ketchican. We planned to hike Deer Mountain at this stop and since the weather was good we stuck with our plan. We grabbed a cab when we came off the ship that took us to the trailhead. Glad we did. It was an uphill walk and the cab knew exactly where we were going. We walked back into town after the hike and had some time to poke into the shops before boarding the ship. By our last day we felt we knew our way around. There is a daily schedule of activities so always something going on if you were looking for something to do. A little sad to say goodbye but the four days on the ship were a great way to relax after the busier pace on land. It was an older crowd for the most part on land and on the ship. We had a couple on their honeymoon on the land tour and there were some young families on the ship. If you are looking for the big shows and non-stop entertainment this might not be your cruise/cruisetour but it was just perfect for us. Been back for 2 days and already thinking about going back to Alaska!
  3. Anybody out there on this cruise that can offer a report?
  4. Lots of ships sailing for this one - 6 in Port Everglades, 3 in Tampa & 2 in San Diego and there is a blue hulled beauty in each of these ports. The Nieuw Statendam is sailing out of Port Everglades and scheduled to be at pier 26. She is doing the 7 day Western Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Mar d1800); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (25 Mar 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (27 Mar 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (28 Mar 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (29 Mar 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (31 Mar a0700) and a 14 night Western/Eastern Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Mar d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (25 Mar 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (27 Mar 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (28 Mar 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (29 Mar 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (31 Mar 0700-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (02 Apr 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (03 Apr 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (04 Apr 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (06 Apr 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (07 Apr a0700) Other ships in port with her are the: Regal Princess (pier 02), Harmony Of The Seas (pier 18), Celebrity Silhouette (pier 29), Celebrity Edge (pier 25) & Carnival Conquest (pier 04). The webcams for Port Everglades are https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com Meanwhile, in Tampa, the Rotterdam is doing setting sail for her 7 day Western Caribbean: Tampa, Florida (24 Mar d1600); Key West, Florida (25 Mar 1100-1800); Roatan, Honduras (27 Mar 0800-1700); Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala (28 Mar 0700-1700); Costa Maya, Mexico (29 Mar 0800-1700); Tampa, Florida (31 Mar a0700) Other ships in port with her are the Carnival Miracle & Norwegian Pearl The webcam for Tampa is https://www.porttampawebcam.com In San Diego, the Nieuw Amsterdam is doing the 7 day Mexican Riviera: San Diego, California (24 Mar d1700); Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (26 Mar 1000-1800); Mazatlan, Mexico (27 Mar 0800-1800); Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (28 Mar 0800-2300); San Diego, California (31 Mar a0700) The other ship in port with her is the Disney Wonder. The webcam for San Diego is http://sundiegolive.com For the Addicts - the Koningsdam is in Aruba. Aruba’s webcam is located at https://www.portarubawebcam.com Next up is the Prinsendam on March 25th for her FINAL sail a way out of Port Everglades. Be sure to join us for this one as we bid her farewell. ❤️ 😞
  5. We are sailing Oct 29 and have veranda cabin 6114 which is by the elevator. Has anyone had a problem with traffic on this area?
  6. A busy start for the month of July with five ships in port. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Viking Orion tendering from 0800-1630, Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215, and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. The nice weather continues and the prediction is that it will last through the week. The afternoon should be mostly sunny with a high of 76F/24C and a low of 55F/13C. Sunrise is at 3:57 am and sunset at 10:06 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  7. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. The nice weather continues with only a 20% chance of rain and a high of 66F/19C and a low of 49F/9C. Sunrise is at 3:52 am and sunset at 10:09 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  8. Hi. Does anyone have any comments or pictures of the oversized balconies towards the aft on deck 4? VBs I think Please and thank you.
  9. Here are my impressions of our fabulous time onboard the Nieuw Amsterdam this past week. I will try to add photos as my slow internet allows. We , DH and myself, booked this cruise last year after doing this same exact ship/cruise last May. And the second time around did not disappoint. We live in WA close to the border so AK cruises are easier for us and we normally book late May or June due to work schedules. We have done most of our AK cruises on NCL, Celebrity, and most recently HAL. We have found HAL is a good fit for us - itinerary, price, staff, and food and entertainment. Last year I booked last minute and lucked into an aft cabin and for this cruise booked far out so we could enjoy an aft cabin again. About 6 weeks out after monitoring price drops, I saw an aft corner Neptune suite was available. I called big box TA and did the upgrade for $400 for both of us and got cabin 6164. And I kept it as a secret from DH until we checked IN! That was fun! I have done a suite once before on NCL, and HAL suite amenities are not quite at their level, but I really wanted this cabin for the balcony and space and location. It turned out to be perfect for Glacier Bay viewing and I am so happy I did it. Will take break and review embarkation/disembarking, dining and entertainment, and then ports and excursions.
  10. Six ships are in Port Everglades for this sail a way & 2 of them are the newest blue hulled beauties in the fleet. A container ship is scheduled to be at HAL's usual pier 26. So, instead you will find the Nieuw Statendam at pier 04. She is doing two different itineraries. The first is the 7 night Eastern Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar d1700); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (19 Mar 1000-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (20 Mar 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (21 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (23 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Mar a0700) And the 2nd is the 14 night Eastern/Western Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar d1700); (19 Mar 1000-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (20 Mar 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (21 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (23 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (24 Mar 0700-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (25 Mar 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (27 Mar 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (28 Mar 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (29 Mar 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (31 Mar a0700) The Koningsdam is scheduled to be at pier 21 and is also doing 2 different itineraries. The first is the 10 night Southern Caribbean Seafarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (18 Mar 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (19 Mar 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (20 Mar 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (22 Mar 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (23 Mar 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (24 Mar 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (27 Mar a0700) And the 2nd is the 21 night Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (17 Mar d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (18 Mar 0800-1500); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (19 Mar 1100-1800); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (20 Mar 0800-1800); Kralendijk, Bonaire (22 Mar 0800-1800); Willemstad, Curacao (23 Mar 0700-2300); Oranjestad, Aruba (24 Mar 0700-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (27 Mar 0700-1700); Philipsburg, St. Maarten (30 Mar 0800-1600); Castries, St Lucia (31 Mar 0900-1700); Bridgetown, Barbados (01 Apr 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (02 Apr 0800-1700); Basseterre, St. Kitts (03 Apr 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (04 Apr 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (06 Apr 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (07 Apr a0700) Other ships in port are the Regal Princess (pier 02), Harmony Of The Seas (pier 18), Crown Princess (pier 19) & Celebrity Edge (pier 25). The webcams are located at: https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com The Nieuw Amsterdam is sailing out of San Diego on a 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise: The San Diego webcam is located at http://sundiegolive.com For the Addicts - along with the San Diego sail away of the N Amsterdam, the Oosterdam is scheduled to be in Key West (webcam - https://www.keywestharborwebcam.com ) Next up is the Volendam's Sail a Way on March 19th.
  11. We are on the Nieuw Amsterdam 7 day Alaska out of Vancouver at the end of June. A short 2 weeks from now 😎! It is our first HAL cruise. so of course, I am spending time reading up on all the wisdom from the pros here. Is the coffee on these ships really that bad? And does it matter which boat you are on, or is this system wide? I realize I keep stumbling into many comments here and there in more general HAL reviews about how bad the coffee is. My experience is that coffee quality has a decent margin or error (i.e. most people not big connoisseurs and are fine with mostly what they get), which makes me think that it must be bad enough to stick in people's minds. Or HAL cruisers are real coffee connoisseurs. Since I appreciate my 1-2 cups in the morning a lot should I be prepared to switch to tea? Are there better places than others on NA to get a good early morning coffee? (since I am paying for the food/beverage part of the trip would prefer not to have to buy it, but also fine) I also often travel with mini-moos because I truly hate artificial coffee "whitener" or coffee-mate. (I buy them for $10 for 128 through a big box retailer and they are truly handy for traveling.) Do I need to bring a few of those?
  12. We are booking a cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam and have a cabin question. Does the cabin VB4143 (or VB4145 or VB4149) have a sofa? Any pictures would be appreciated!
  13. I am looking for information as to which days of the week the 2 formal nights take place on the Nieuw Amsterdam during the 7 nt. R/T Alaska journey. Thanks in advance.
  14. Has anyone stayed in these cabins? Ocean view and the very last cabins aft. Would appreciate any info. Thanks
  15. With an unusual visit to Juneau, Maasdam gives us three HAL ships to watch. Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300. Maasdam will be tendering from 1400-2300. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. We are back to typical weather in Juneau with a 90% chance of rain (1/4 inch predicted) and a high of only 56F/13C and a low of 52F/11C. Sunrise is at 3:53 am and sunset at 10:02 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  16. It is going to be a VERY busy day in Port Everglades today. And, we have 2 blue hulled beauties sailing from there & 1 from Tampa. The Nieuw Statendam is scheduled to be at pier 21 and is doing two different itineraries. The first is the 7 day Eastern Caribbean: And the 2nd is the 14 day Eastern/Western Caribbean: The Nieuw Amsterdam is schedule to be at pier 26 and will be doing the lovely 14 day Panamal Canal: Also in port: Celebrity Edge (pier 25), Celebrity Silhouette (pier29), Costa Delisiosa (pier 19), Harmony Of The Seas (pier 18) and Regal Princess (pier 02) The webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com The Rotterdam will be doing a 7 day Western Caribbean out of Tampa as well as a 21 day Western/Southern Caribbean. The webcam is located at https://www.porttampawebcam.com For the Addicts - the Koningsdam is in Aruba & the Volendam is sailing out of San Diego on a 15 day Panama Canal. And, the Rotterdam will be in Aruba on March 4th. Next up is the Koningsdam on March 6th.
  17. All, My parents have decided that (based upon much of the feedback I got here) they will be on the Nieuw Amsterdam for a Caribbean cruise! Very excited for them... However, I'm not familiar with the ship and wanted some recommendations on VF/VE cabins. I believe VF cabins have the metal (non-see through) balconies, whereas VE has plexiglass (see-through)... Is that correct? I'm thinking they'll be happy on deck 7 with a VE cabin (cabins above and below, so not too much noise). I was thinking cabin 7017 or 7107 (yes, I did have to double-check those since they are so similar in number)... can anyone provide feedback / insight? Thank you (again) in advance!
  18. 🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂
  19. Exceedingly smooth. Arrived Canada port 10 am and we moved like a Swiss swatch all the way to the first hold up which was an obligatory line for photos - the photos were not obligatory and we skipped them. Then we sat for a few minutes until we boarded. No line for customs - boarded11 am. Bring global entry card — not just passport as we were told by staff. I had mine but DH did not but no line so was OK.
  20. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. There is a 50% chance of rain with the forecast for occasional showers. High will be 58F/14C and the low 47F/8C. Sunrise is at 3:59 am and sunset at 9:54 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. Hi All, This forum has been very informative and I wanted to share my experience with you all on my recent cruise. Background: This was our first cruise so it was a learning experience figuring everything out. We booked our trip through Costco Travel. Getting There: We had a 6 am flight from SFO to Vancouver. We took a taxi from the airport to 999 Canada Place. It was $35 flat rate for 4 people. The taxis up to 4 people in addition to the driver and have a pretty large trunk that can fit 3-4 large suitcases. Definitely recommend this for larger groups since the cost relatively to public transit will be roughly the same. We got to the cruise terminal at around 10. Checking in and customs took a while. On our departure date there was one other cruise ship at the terminal. We were able to board around 11:30 at which time lunch was being served. Where were went: June 8th 2019 - Vancouver June 9th 2019 - Inside Passage June 10th 2019 - Juneau June 11th 2019 - Skagway June 12th 2019 - Glacier Bay June 13th 2019 - Ketchikan June 14th 2019 - Inside Passage June 15th 2019 - Disembark Rooms: Our group was 4 people in two rooms. 1) Balcony (parents/boomers) - This was mid ship on 5th floor. The view out of the balcony was beautiful and unobstructed. We notice this room was had much less motion than the other room we had. If you think you may get seasick definitely get a room lower down mid ship. 2) Oceanview (Sister and I/millennial) - This was on the 10th floor at the very front of the boat. This room was all the way up front and had a great view of exactly where the ship was heading. This room was much bigger than the other stateroom. But motion was definitely more noticeable even when the seas appear relatively calm. Excursions: We took two excisions on are cruise which were: 1) The Grand Tour of Juneau bus tour. This took us to Glacier Gardens park, a Salmon hatchery, and Mendenhall Glacier. We had a great guide (Bryan Wilson) who was both entertaining and very informative. The Salmon hatchery was slightly disappointing because the only salmon we saw were little hatchlings in holding tanks from a distance. 2) White Pass Summit Railroad in Skagway. This was by far my favorite thing whole trip. Very scenic and great photo ops. This was 2.75hrs round trip. Our guide Tyler was very informative and pointed out all the highlights so we could have our cameras ready. Entertainment: 1) Live music: The options were very good. They cover many genres. The Billboard Onboard in particular had good audience engagement. 2) In suite entertainment: -TV: There were only a few channels but had most based covered (Fox, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, ESPN) Got lots of coverage on NBA finals even though my local team the Warriors lost.... -Movies: The movie selection was very good. It had a lot of the newer Marvel movies including Captain Marvel, which was just very recently released on digital release/Blu-ray. Food: - Lido: We ate all our breakfast, lunch, and some dinners here. Breakfast being my least favorite since selection was limited and pretty much the same every day. Best described as a continental breakfast I found a lot of the items particularly the meats to be excessively oily. The lunch and dinner menu were also roughly the same through the entire trip with minor variations throughout. Overall food quality and selection was good but not great. - Main Dining: Had 3 dinners here including a gala night that had the surf and turf. For the most part the menu is not that different from the Lido Market. Service was good and friendly but a bit slow. I felt they were slightly pushy about upselling bottle water, alcohol, and other drinks. - NY Pizza: You could select a pizza (various ones named after NY boroughs) or build your own. You could also get them box so you could bring it back to your room or wherever else to eat. Pretty quality was okay. Pizzas are only one size (roughly a small) - Dive In: Good burgers here. I particularly liked the hotdogs. Hours were a bit limited I think 11:30 - 5:30 most days. The fries and dipping sauce were also very good. Fitness: - The fitness room is a good sized. It has free weights, weight machines, and cardio machines. The free weight section is limited to dumbbells and I think they maxed out at 70lbs. Machine selection is good you can get a good upper body and lower body workout. I normally went in the evening around 8pm (it closes at 9pm) so it was never packed. I assume its busier during the day but on random times I stopped by it was never crowded. Overall I'm very pleased with the cruise and look forward to doing it again some day. If you were on my cruise hit your boy and exchange pictures/stories! Also feel free to ask if you have any questions I can help answer about your cruise.
  24. Is there any place other than the one forward on Deck 11 where I can get a Cappuccino in the morning. Or can I order it from Room Service? I am on oxygen and that's a long way to go from my cabin on deck 4. I will have the Drinks package, is a cappuccino included in that?
  25. We enjoyed our stateroom, 6051, on HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam recently during our first Alaskan cruise from May 11th to May 18th, 2019. The category V stateroom on Deck 6 is a balcony stateroom and is adjacent to an accessible stateroom with the larger angled balcony. I made a video about this stateroom for future guests and it's now available on YouTube along with other videos about our cruise. Enjoy! Scott
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