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Found 193 results

  1. Anyone been on the Oosterdam recently? We have been on many HAL ships and are considering a Panama Cruise in April on the Oosterdam and wonder about the library and a movie theatre now , two important features we always loved about HAL as they really made our trip. Not interested in the National Geographic shows, we have seen them so many times, they need to offer something new.
  2. What an exciting day in Port Everglades this will be. Along with it being a VERY busy day, the Nieuw Statendam has her christening ceremony today. Nieuw Statendam won’t sail a way until Feb. 3rd but she is currently scheduled to be at pier 26. The ceremony takes place at 2 pm EST and is being streamed live on the HAL blog for anyone who wishes to watch. Here is the link https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/cruise-ships/ms-nieuw-statendam/nieuw-statendam-dedication.html Oosterdam is set to sail from pier 21 on a 7 day Tropical Caribbean itinerary: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (02 Feb d1700); Key West, Florida (03 Feb 0800-1600); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (05 Feb 0800-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (06 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (08 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (09 Feb a0700) and the 14 day Tropical/Western Caribbean itinerary: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (02 Feb d1700); Key West, Florida (03 Feb 0800-1600); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (05 Feb 0800-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (06 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (08 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (09 Feb 0700-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (10 Feb 0800-1600); Falmouth, Jamaica (12 Feb 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (13 Feb 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (14 Feb 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (16 Feb a0700 Other ships in port and the piers they are currently scheduled to be at are: Royal Princess at pier 02, Celebrity Infinity at pier 19, Adventure Of the Seas at pier 25 and Carnival Conquest at pier 04. Here are the webcams - https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com The Volendam is sailing out of San Diego on two different itineraries. The 15 day Incan Empires : San Diego, California (02 Feb d1600); Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (04 Feb 1200-2300); Huatulco, Mexico (07 Feb 0800-1700); Puerto Chiapas, Mexico (08 Feb 0800-1700); Panama City, Panama (11 Feb 0800-1700); Manta, Ecuador (13 Feb 0500-1900); Salaverry (Trujillo), Peru (15 Feb 0800-1700); Callao (Lima), Peru (16 Feb a1000(+0)disembark) and the 30 day Incan Empires: San Diego, California (02 Feb d1600); Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (04 Feb 1200-2300); Huatulco, Mexico (07 Feb 0800-1700); Puerto Chiapas, Mexico (08 Feb 0800-1700); Panama City, Panama (11 Feb 0800-1700); Manta, Ecuador (13 Feb 0500-1900); Salaverry (Trujillo), Peru (15 Feb 0800-1700); Callao (Lima), Peru (16 Feb a1000); Pisco, Peru (19 Feb 0800-1700); Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica (23 Feb 0800-1800); Corinto, Nicaragua (24 Feb 1000-1700); Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala (25 Feb 0800-1800); Manzanillo, Mexico (28 Feb 0800-1700); Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (01 Mar 0800-1700); San Diego, California (04 Mar a0700) The San Diego website is located at http://sundiegolive.com Should be a fun day indeed 😄
  3. I'm going on an Alaskan cruise in July on the Oosterdam. Does anyone know if they have karaoke?
  4. We will be boarding the Oosterdam next Saturday and I have a question about laundry. As there are no self serve laundry facilities aboard the ship, do they offer the "full bag" special during the 7 night cruise? if so, what is the cost? In addition to the 7 nights on the ship, we will be gone another 5 nights so will definitely need laundry done. Thank you
  5. DH and I recently sailed on a 7-day Oosterdam Eastern Caribbean itinerary. Last time we sailed on HAL was on the 10-day Zuiderdam Panama Canal itinerary in Nov. 2016. I was amazed at how passengers were so much more casually dressed on the O than on the Z or on previous HAL cruises. Not making a judgement comment at all, just an observation. We brought more casual clothes ourselves than usual and I worried we would feel out of place. Not at all. We live in FL, so drive to the ports and not a question of having to bring extra clothes on planes. Many people changed back into shorts after dinner, too, when in the past most dressed up for dinner and stayed that way after dinner. DH was turned away at dinner because he had on shorts, but he just returned to our NS and changed into long pants. We started cruising in 1994 and dressed to the nines on gala nights and DH wore coat and tie for other dinners. This was our 48th cruise overall, 8th on HAL, and it has been interesting to observe how the times have changed in regard to dress. We sail mostly on Carnival and the same is true on those cruises, too. We don't mind it a bit!
  6. The Oosterdam is set to sail out of Port Everglades and, of course we are all hoping that our captain’s finger will get ‘stuck’ on the horn again. She is doing two different segments for this one and is scheduled to be at pier 26. The first is the 7 day Eastern Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (16 Feb d1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (18 Feb 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (19 Feb 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (20 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (22 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (23 Feb a0700) And the second is the 14 day Eastern/Tropical Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (16 Feb d1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (18 Feb 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (19 Feb 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (20 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (22 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (23 Feb 0700-1700); Key West, Florida (24 Feb 0800-1600); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (26 Feb 0800-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (27 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (01 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (02 Mar a0700) Other ships in port are the Carnival Conquest (pier 04), Coral Princess (Pier 02) and Adventure Of The Seas (pier 29). The webcams are located at: https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com For the Sail a Way Addicts - the Koningsdam is scheduled to be in St Maarten. The website for it is located at https://www.portstmaartenwebcam.com Next up - a busy blue hulled beauty day in Port Everglades on February 17th with the Zuiderdam, Nieuw Statendam & Nieuw Amsterdam all schedule to sail.
  7. What like the following information please Where is the Welcome Onboard Mariner Society Reception held and is it still between 2-3PM? Is the Mariner Champagne Brunch at noon and is it in the Lower or Upper Dining Room (read it's in the Main Dining Room and if true which is the Main)?
  8. We are veterans of 58 cruises with 20 on HAL. Thought I'd give a little review of our Nov 24-Dec 1 cruise on the Oosterdam, we have now sailed on all the Vista class ships and the Oosterdam just became our favorite ship. The ship to us is just a little prettier than the other Vista ships, the decor was outstanding. The ship was spotless, probably the cleanest ship we have sailed on. I believe the ship is now 13 years old and is in great shape. Service everywhere on board was outstanding from the MDR to the cabin steward to the Ocean bar to guest relations to the Lido buffet. Embarkation and dis-embarkation were both a breeze. Kudos to Alvaro who was the main server in the Lido buffet line, very friendly with always a smile on his face. The food in the MDR and the Lido were to us the best food we have eaten on a ship. Can't comment on any of the specialty restaurants as we passed on them. Entertaiment was very good in the Mainstage with a very funny comedian/magician and another comedian. Production shows were very good. We have now seen BBC Planet Earth twice now and HAL needs to give us more entertainment and skip stuff we can see on on TV at home on the National Geographic channel. We love the 3 other entertainment venues as they always have great performers in BB Kings, Billboard On board and Lincoln Center. I'm not going to review the ports as the only place we left the ship was in St. Thomas as I have a thing about watches and always buy one in St. Thomas to add to my collection, St. Thomas is the greatest place on earth to bargain with the salespeople. San Juan is also a favorite of ours but we were just there in September so decided to stay on board. Could care less about Turk and Caicos. Our only problem on the cruise was an issue with hot water in our cabin, it was tepid until I complained on Sunday and we had hot water for 2 days with back to tepid most of the remaining time. Passengers in other staterooms on our deck had the same problem but everybody else we talked to had no problem. Any questions, feel free to ask.
  9. This was our 8th HAL cruise, 48th cruise overall, first time on the Oosterdam, and 5th Neptune Suite. The ship was in good shape, dinner at the Pinnacle Grill was very good, Lido Buffet food was also very good (especially the Italian station and ice cream), room service breakfast was excellent, and the crew was exceptional. Having said the good things, one of the bad things was our horrible location for a Neptune Suite (Deck 4 way aft with a wrap around deck). We always book specific Neptunes on Deck 7 close to the Neptune Lounge because I have mobility issues. However, in order to receive a great casino rate and free casino Fun Play, we had to book a Guarantee. At booking, I told the agent about my mobility issues and she said she would send a message to the Inventory Dept. with my request to be assigned a Neptune between the forward and mid elevators. I also contacted the Special Needs Dept. with my request. We received our cabin assignment a week before sailing and it was 4180....as far from everything as possible. I called HAL immediately and explained my situation. The agent gave me the Inventory Dept. fax number and told me to send them a letter with my situation and ask for another assignment. Well, a better assignment didn't happen and my cruise was definitely impacted by our horrible location. Also, that Neptune was much smaller and with so much furniture it was hard to get around without knocking into something. The casino was way forward and didn't go every day because of the walking distance (I did have a rollator to help me get around), but I ended up bringing home all the casino cash I brought with me due to good luck on the slots, so a good thing. The casino is tiny and crowded. We ordered room service breakfast every morning (love those free Mimosas), ordered MDR dinner through the Neptune Lounge Concierge most evenings to eat in our suite, and had most lunches in the Lido Buffet. Never did get to the MDR, so can't comment on service. Enjoyed the Lincoln Center Stage musicians, the Billboard had a good male piano player but were horrible singers, especially the female who couldn't carry a tune, DH said the magician wasn't very good. Definitely not the professional singers/dancers shows as before on HAL. Passengers with mobility issues did not have to attend the muster drill at the lifeboat stations - we could sit in a lounge nearby and crew members demonstrated the life jacket stuff for us and we could hear the safety information on the PA system. Lesson learned was not to ever book a Guarantee if you have mobility issues and need to be located mid ship. We have booked Neptunes before with casino rates and always got to select our cabin, so this booking Guarantee was a surprise. I won't do it again in spite of a fantastic offer and free casino money. My mobility issues are fairly new and walking long distances or standing for a long time are somewhat difficult. The Guarantee for the Neptune Suite was not worth it as it negatively impacted the cruise for us.
  10. Just returned from the 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on Oosterdam. Had a great time, and looking forward to taking another one. But wanted to consult the hive mind to see if anyone knows or can find out more about an incident onboard on 31 Jan. That evening (a sea day, after leaving St. Thomas the previous afternoon) at about 8:00, the cruise director came on the PA and announced that there was a medical situation involving a passenger. An urgent blood transfusion was needed, so she asked any passengers with type A+ blood who were registered as blood donors to come to the Hudson room immediately. About a half-dozen passengers got up and left the mainstage immediately, the show started a few minutes late, and I half-expected to hear a medevac helicopter overnight. The next day (yesterday) was at Half Moon Cay. About 2:30 in the afternoon, as we were preparing to leave, the captain announced on the PA that an attempt had been made to medically evacuate the patient, but weather conditions in Ft Lauderdale prevented launching the chopper. We would therefore make for Ft Lauderdale at best speed with an ETA of 5:00 this morning. Watching the location display on the in-cabin TV was showing cruising at 21 kts, the fastest I'd seen on the trip. This morning, after we docked (at about 7:00), the cruise director announced that the patient had been transferred to the hospital and was in stable condition. Anyone know any more detail about this situation? And just how advanced are the medical facilities onboard?
  11. Port Everglades is going to be busier for this one! There’s just one blue hulled beauty sailing and that’s our Oosterdam. She’s headed out for a 7 and a 14 day cruise and will be at pier 26. A 7 day Western Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (09 Feb d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (10 Feb 0800-1600); Falmouth, Jamaica (12 Feb 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (13 Feb 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (14 Feb 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (16 Feb a0700 And a 14 day Western/Eastern Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (09 Feb d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (10 Feb 0800-1600); Falmouth, Jamaica (12 Feb 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (13 Feb 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (14 Feb 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (16 Feb 0700-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (18 Feb 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (19 Feb 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (20 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (22 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (23 Feb a0700) Other ships in port are Celebrity Infinity (scheduled to be at pier 19), Independence Of the Seas (scheduled at pier 18), Caribbean Princess (to be at pier 02) and Adventure of the Seas (schedule for pier 29). The Port Everglades webcams are located at: https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com & https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com For the Sail a Way Addicts - the Zuiderdam is schedule to be in Aruba today. The webcam for Aruba is located at https://www.portarubawebcam.com Next Sail a Way is Feb. 10th when the N Amsterdam sails out of Port Everglades and the Rotterdam out of Tampa.
  12. Does anyone know if Oosterdam has non dairy choices at their coffee bars such as almond milk, coconut milk or soy?
  13. my sister got off the Oosterdam on January 19th, and just made it home yesterday due to the extreme winter storms. She was telling me tonight that the aft pool -Seaview pool- was closed the entire cruise that week. Has anyone experienced this before? The aft pool/deck happens to be our favorite place to hang on sea days and though we don't cruise until March 16th, but it is a concern for us with our upcoming cruise.
  14. HAL ms Oosterdam Western Caribbean: 12/29/2018-1/5/2019 TL;DR: Enjoyed the cruise, would happily sail HAL again. Programming and “tempo” skews noticeably older and slower on HAL vs. PCL, and if you want a younger feel I’d suggest X over P or H. We flew in the evening of the Dec. 28th and stayed at Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale/Plantation, 29th-Port Everglades ; 30th-Half Moon Cay; 31st-Sea; Jan 1st-Falmouth, Jamaica; 2nd-George Town, Cayman Islands; 3rd- Cozumel, Mexico; 4th-Sea; 5th-Port Everglades Background: DW and I are both mid-30’s, we’re from Western NY (though we lived in Manhattan for a few years), and have been cruising fairly regularly now for the last several years. We were new to HAL, and our two most recent trips were Alaska in 2017 on Coral Princess and 2018 New Year’s sailing on Crown Princess. We aren’t terribly picky eaters or high maintenance, although we have eaten at enough restaurants, seen enough shows on Broadway, and been in nice resorts and hotels to be informed consumers. We are also reasonably outdoorsy and active, but our idea of a dream vacation would not include a multi-day backpacking trek through the mountains fwiw. Trip Planning: We did a 2018 New Year’s Cruise, that was booked after final payment, so I had an idea as to what I was considering a “good deal” for a New Year’s cruise this year. We had originally planned to sail either Princess (PCL) or Celebrity (X) but ended up getting a much better deal with HAL and favoring the HAL itinerary and dates a little. (Tip: I prefer New Year’s Eve to be a sea day, and depending on how much you like to party you may want to write off the first part of the morning of New Year’s day). Pre-Cruise: We flew into FLL and used the hotel shuttle to get to the airport. The wait for the shuttle was about 25 minutes, but it felt good to stand after the flights. We got to the hotel about 7p and checked in quickly, then headed to the mall across the street to get dinner. After a travel day we were fine with basically fast food as we weren’t terribly hungry or feeling up to a sit down dinner at one of the nearby casual restaurants. We’ve used this Hampton Inn before, and they offer free airport pickup and a free shuttle to the cruise port. There’s a Target within easy walking distance, although far enough that shlepping a case of water would probably be better done with an uber back to the hotel. Day 1 - Port Everglades Embarkation: We used the free shuttle to port, took the 10 AM slot and were to port by about 10:30. Dropped bags off with porters and breezed through checkin and found a seat. We were given a #6, but that ended up being the 2nd boarding group called (first group was suite/past guest/wheel chair, second group was cards 5-8). We waited about 45 minutes before boarding started, and I have a picture taken from the gangway onto the ship timestamped 11:37 AM. No MDR lunch was listed, but when we stopped down at the MDR they said the Mariner Lunch was going on and they let us in (I had 1-start status transferred in based on our past cruises on PCL). I saved pictures of Menus from embarkation lunch, the 2 sea day lunches, and every MDR dinner but I’ll need to upload those later as I haven’t gone through my pictures yet. We explored the ship a little after lunch, got unpacked, and then sort of bummed around until the muster drill. To our surprise, muster drill was on deck - which is the first time I’ve had to do that in >5 years (if not longer!). It was hot, disorganized, and we were standing around for about 20 minutes on deck. We were in shade, but not everyone was. We did 2nd seating dinner at 8p, and that evening caught the preview show in the main theater that basically was a teaser for the other two production shows. Day 2: Half Moon Cay (tender port) We were up early to try to catch the first tender or two ashore. We grabbed a clam shell right when we got there, although I doubt they’d sell out with a ship the size of Oosterdam. Of note, I saw almost no shade by late morning-early afternoon, other than a few chairs down at the far end of the beach. Plan to either bake, pay for a clamshell/manta sun shelter, or be basically first on the beach and hike to the far end to grab one of the few chairs under a tree. Beach was beautiful, but snorkeling was pretty basic and low visibility due to fine sand haze kicked up by the waves. Good place though for newbies to practice snorkeling off a beach. BBQ lunch was simple but tasty, with some grilled thin-cut short ribs that were amazing - I could have eaten a plate of just those! Evening show was the production show “Off the Charts”, which featured songs and dancing from various periods from about 50’s forward. Singing and dancing was top notch, dancing in particular was technically great, probably one of the top 1 or 2 groups I’ve seen so far on a cruise ship? Day 3: Sea day (1st Gala Night, New Year’s Eve) Did an America’s Test Kitchen demo in the AM, lunch in MDR, long nap, trivia, and then hung out until dinner. Following dinner we went back to change (and skipped the comedian in the main theater) then grabbed a spot on the deck in advance of the New Year’s Eve “party”. Party consisted of a DJ until about 11:15, where they then switched over to the BB King Blues band for the rest of the night. I thought it was a lame New Year’s Eve party - people went from dancing and having a good time to standing and watching the live band, and energy level went from like 8.5 to 6. Deck was way too crowded, and they should have had a couple different parties going across the ship. The highlight was seeing the Captain dance about 10 minutes before midnight, if he ever wanted to join the production crew I think he’d be a shoe in! 🙂 For comparison, on Crown Princess a year before they had a balloon drop in the main atrium, a pool deck party, and a 3rd party in the dance lounge all running in parallel. Cruise Director was at the balloon drop and then hustled up right after midnight to the pool deck party where things kept rocking for hours after. Day 4: Falmouth, Jamaica (docked) We got in to Jamaica pretty early, with our EXC tours meeting at 8:35. We did the VIP Bamboo Beach Club tour, and I’m very mixed about it. Beach was pretty, drinks were strong, food good, but beach was badly overcrowded (even in the “VIP” area) and food service was slow. Also important to note is that it’s a 1.5 hour drive to the beach, 3 hours on the beach, 1.5 hours back. I’m not sure if there’s any good beaches in Falmouth… but in hindsight the drive to Bamboo was a drag. Show that evening was BBC Earth II - where they show video clips from the BBC Earth series accompanied to live music played by the a combination of both the Lincoln Stage musicians and theater band. Day 5: George Town, CI (tender port, 2nd Gala Night) We headed ashore ASAP and grabbed a taxi to Royal Palms Beach Club. Entry was $2pp, chairs were another $25, and umbrella was $15. Beach was beautiful, very nice facilities, and good food. We were some of the first guests there and grabbed front row chairs, I think anything else had partially obstructed views from the umbrellas. The place also got packed to capacity within a few hours so. We were happy with it, but it was not a super quiet and peaceful beach and chairs are sandwiched close together. Although I didn’t go, Cemetery beach was recommended for snorkeling from shore. Sounds like it’s a pretty under developed off the radar spot. Evening show was the 2nd production show “One World”. It was an “earth” inspired show and music and dancing were again top notch. Day 6: Cozumel, Mexico (docked @ Punta Langosta) We got into Cozumel later in the AM and weren’t able to disembark until about 11:30 AM. We grabbed a taxi over to Chankanaab park and met some friends there. Park entry is a little steep, but the snorkeling at the park was quite nice and it felt safe and comfortable at the park. Beers were $3 and a burger was about $10 and a mixed mexican food plate was $12 or 13? Biggest downside on this was that the park closed at 4. At close we taxied back to port (note which port you’re docked at!!!) poked around the shops and then headed back to the ship for a snack and to relax before dinner. Show that evening was a magician named Jeff McBride. We skipped it, but people the next day said it was a solid performance. Day 7: Sea It was a quiet day, though they had a number of things going on around the ship. They ran 2 American Test Kitchen instructional seminars, and the naturalist gave a talk on sharks. The show that evening was a variety show of the comedian and the magician (we skipped it though, so I can’t comment). The dreaded packing time and bags in the hallway marked the last day of a very nice cruise! Day 8: Port Everglades Disembarkation MDR opened at 6 for breakfast, self disembarkation started at 7:30 and then proceeded fro there. We did Luggage Direct and were called about 7:55. Our bags got flagged for X-ray check, so when they scanned our cards we got a “beep” and then were walked off by a staff member and escorted to the front of the line for our passports to be scanned and then to a side room to toss our bags on an x-ray scanner and then sent on our way. I think we got from cruise ship room to airport lounge in about an hour. FLL airport was (as usual on a heavy cruise traffic day) packed to the gills with both the Delta (paid) skyclub and terminal waiting areas basically standing room only. Onboard Experience: Entertainment: Music and entertainment is very personal and dependent on one’s tastes… technically though I thought these were some of the best singers and dancers I’ve seen on a cruise ship. The “Lincoln Stage” string musicians were also an impressive group of performers. Crew: Service was universally great across the ship. Senior officers were pretty visible and approachable. A nice addition was an onboard Naturalist, an unusual feature for a Caribbean sailing. She gave some neat talks and had a creature counting game running throughout the game where you could go up to a corner of one of the lounges during “office hours” and she’d help you figure out what the fish/critter was and you could add it to your list with the group that saw the most winning bragging rights (and a small prize) at the end of the cruise. One family was >120 unique animals by the end of the week… so some big shoes to fill moving forward! Cabin & Ship: Verandah room on port side far aft deck 6 room 6144. I picked this room because it was marked as having a full tub (which rooms further aft didn’t have) and also didn’t have an internal door to the adjacent stateroom. Aside from the larger bathroom the room seemed pretty unremarkable… it had the bed, a small love seat, desk, and a decent sized balcony. Dining: We did the 2nd seating in the MDR and were able to get a table for 2 (this was requested in advance, and took no extra steps on the ship, YMMV). Service was solid, food was all quite good in the MDR. Breakfast buffet food was fine, hot was served hot and cold served cold… breakfasts got a little repetitive though. Menus for both MDR and buffet were available through the stateroom TV and the navigator site on wifi. I liked that the dinner buffet had some overlap with the MDR dinner menu, so we may have tried some items at the buffet as snacks and then didn’t feel like we were “missing out” if we skipped ordering them in the MDR. Internet: On our sailing, HAL was only offering internet as a 24h pass or remainder of the cruise pass with the added restriction of 200/300/500 mb per day. Important to note, the "Social" package is limited to only a handful of social media websites (but did NOT include email, but I think it also included airlines too though). The social package was $14.99/day while the 300 mb pkg was $24.99/day! I found out the hard way that the social plan didn't include email access and hustled down to guest services within about 15 minutes of my purchase and was able to get the purchase cancelled and refunded. $24.99/day seems like highway robbery to check email for a few minutes a day (and my international day pass on at&t cellular is only $10/day) and I encourage everyone to comment on their cruise that a pay-by-the-minute internet option should be added back to the mix. Final Thoughts: We enjoyed our vacation, although I’m finding the Western Carib itinerary to get a little repetitive and don’t really enjoy Falmouth as a port. I would definitely consider HAL as a solid option for a future cruise although it did feel “older” demographics and programming than Princess, and I could definitely envision getting bored if there were more than 2 sea days. Being a holiday sailing there were a relatively large number of kids and families, but it still felt "older". I’m 99% sure I got pictures of the MDR menus for every dinner, and I saved the ‘When and Where’ daily handouts too. If there’s interest, I’ll work on getting them digitized/sorted/uploaded and post them in the forums later this week. Thank you for reading my trip report and I'm happy to try to answer any questions.
  15. January 12th will be a ship of contrasts in Port Everglades. Ms Oosterdam is scheduled to sail at 5 pm and should be at pier 26. She actually is doing 2 different itineraries. The first one is a 7 day Eastern Caribbean: Here is the itinerary - Fort Lauderdale, Florida (12 Jan d1700); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (14 Jan 1000-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (15 Jan 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (16 Jan 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (18 Jan 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (19 Jan a0700) The second one is a 14 day Eastern/Western Caribbean: Here is that itinerary - Fort Lauderdale, Florida (12 Jan d1700); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (14 Jan 1000-1800); San Juan, Puerto Rico (15 Jan 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (16 Jan 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (18 Jan 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (19 Jan 0700-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (20 Jan 0800-1700); Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (22 Jan 0800-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (23 Jan 0800-1700); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (24 Jan 0800-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (26 Jan a0700) You can view the webcams at these links: https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com Other ships in port today are: Royal Princess (departure scheduled for 4 pm) at pier 21 Caribbean Princess (departure scheduled for 4 pm) at pier 02 Independence of the Seas (departure scheduled for 4:30 pm) at pier 29 & Costa Delizosa (with a very late departure of 11 pm) at pier 19 Let's hope the Oosterdam treats everyone with lots of toots.
  16. It will be a busy day in Port Everglades for this one! The Oosterdam is scheduled to sail at 5 PM and will be at pier 26. She is doing 2 lovely winter escape itineraries. The first is the 7 day Eastern Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (26 Jan d1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (28 Jan 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (29 Jan 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (30 Jan 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (01 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (02 Feb a0700 The second is the 14 day Eastern/Tropical Caribbean: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (26 Jan d1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (28 Jan 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (29 Jan 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (30 Jan 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (01 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (02 Feb 0700-1700); Key West, Florida (03 Feb 0800-1600); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (05 Feb 0800-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (06 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (08 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (09 Feb a0700 Also scheduled to be in port are: Royal Princess at pier 21, Crown Princess at pier 19, Caribbean Princess at pier 02 and Celebrity Infinity at pier 18. The webcams are located at: https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com For the sail a way addicts, the Koningsdam will be in St Maarten. The website for that port is https://www.portstmaartenwebcam.com Next up: on Jan. 27th - Zuiderdam & Nieuw Amsterdam in Port Everglades, Eurodam in San Diego and Nieuw Statendam in Aruba.
  17. Wondering if anyone knows what times the evening show times might be on the March Caribbean sailing on the Oosterdam? Thanks!
  18. We got on the Oosterdam on Saturday and because of this nasty storm that doesn't seem to go away, we missed HMC, had Cap Cana changed to Samana and now we're in San Juan instead of grand Turk. I fully grasp why, but very disappointed. We booked this itinerary for the beaches.☹️
  19. If anyone's interested in getting a copy of the "When & Where" handouts from a recent sailing I just posted a zip file containing .jpg pictures of the daily planners as a comment in my recent trip report: The direct link to the comment with the W&W zip is: I posted this as a separate topic so people are aware of the zip file with the When & Where's, but I also would appreciate the reads on my Trip Report post - thanks!
  20. Are there cabanas for rent by the week on the Oosterdam like there are on the Eurodam? And if so, what is the cost?
  21. It’s another busy day in Port Everglades. Very busy. Just one blue hulled beauty but she is doing two itineraries that are probably bringing a lot of people in to escape from the grip of Old Man Winter. Let’s hope they can all get in safely with the weather we are having right now. Oosterdam is scheduled to be at pier 26 (the usual) and leave at 4:00 pm (NOTE -a LOT of ships are scheduled to leave at 4 pm. ) Her first itinerary is the 7 day Tropical Caribbean Fort Lauderdale, Florida (19 Jan d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (20 Jan 0800-1700); Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (22 Jan 0800-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (23 Jan 0800-1700); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (24 Jan 0800-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (26 Jan a0700) Her other itinerary that some are taking is the 14 night Eastern Caribbean/Tropical Caribbean Fort Lauderdale, Florida (19 Jan d1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (20 Jan 0800-1700); Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (22 Jan 0800-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (23 Jan 0800-1700); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (24 Jan 0800-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (26 Jan 0700-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (28 Jan 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (29 Jan 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (30 Jan 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (01 Feb 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (02 Feb a0700) Other ships in port: Celebrity Infinty - set to leave at 4 pm from pier 19 Island Princess - scheduled for 4 pm at pier 21 Majesty of the Seas - due to go at 4 pm from pier 18 Royal Princess - scheduled for 4 pm from pier 02 Carnival Conquest - due to go at 4 pm from pier 04 Adventure of the Seas - smart enough to leave after the rush at 5:30 from pier 29 The webcams are located at https://portevergladeswebcam.com and https://ftlauderdalewebcam.com Next up is January 20th with the Nieuw Statendam & Nieuw Amsterdam
  22. We booked a guarantee on Holland American Oosterdam. Just got our cabin assignment and it's an accessible room. Not what we wanted but was told the ship is sold out. Has anyone experienced a accessible cabin, where you happy with it?
  23. I've been searching the forums for a post on this topic and haven't been able to find anything so I thought I'd add this topic for comment. I just got back from a Holland America Line cruise on the Oosterdam with stops in San Juan, PR and Amber Cove, DR. A few days before I boarded, I was looking through the info for "already booked" and found that I could purchase a bottle of alcohol with mixers for in-room consumption through room service. I could have also ordered through the website to have it in my stateroom when I arrived on the ship. I ordered a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey by dialing 92 and when the bottle was delivered it was a full liter and not a 750ml as I expected. The price including gratuity was only $56 which is a steal considering mixed drinks for a 1.5 ounce pour were in the $10 range with gratuity. This was a no brainer as far as cost and the small inconvenience of walking down to the room to pour a drink was well worth it. Truthfully, I usually took my drinks up on deck or anywhere else on the ship that I wanted to with no questions from staff or crew. It was also a great thing to have in the room for small get-togethers with friends for shots before attending entertainment events.
  24. New to HAL - Cruising on the Oosterdam on August 4, 2019. What can anyone tell me about the Test Kitchen? I was so excited to read about it, but I can't find too much info. I am just starting to learn to cook and think it would be fun to go to class or whatever they do. Thank you for the answer!!
  25. Attached is a copy of the beverage events with prices that were being offered on our recent Oosterdam sailing (12/29 - 1/5/19) I only got the wine list for the Wine Festival event but they sounded like a pretty good array of styles and locales Whites: Danzante Pino Grigio NV(?); Nobilo Sauv Blanc 2017; Seven Falls Cellars Chardonnay 2013; Bodega Piedra Negra Alta Colección Torrontés Mendoza 2017); Leonard Kreusch Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, Germany NV (?) Reds: Clos du Bois Merlot California 2014; Bodega Cuarto Dominio Lote 44 Malbec, Argentina 2017; Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauv, Washington State 2015; Grant Burge Shiraz, Barossa 2016; Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages, France (Vintage unknown)
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