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  1. They were on the Prinsendam on April and May this year too. I guess I had better pack some candied ginger and dates for DH. Sheesh 😞 I’ll report when we get on the Zuiderdam next year. I totally confess that this is a change I wouldn’t are for.
  2. Leaving New York at night is a delight. Departure time was 8PM so city lights were fantastic to view first from my port side Neptune Suite and then from my friends’ Starboard veranda, we passed in awe the Statue of Liberty. I was again cruising solo as my husband is no longer able to travel and I was with our friends from Corona del Mar celebrating her 80th birthday. This was a port intensive cruise with three known tender ports, Newport, Gloucester, and Bar Harbor and two additional tender ports added, Sydney, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, PEI. So many cruise lines are now doing this New England/ Canada Itinerary that there is not enough docking space at the smaller ports. Also, at ports of Halifax (4 ships in port) and Quebec (3 ships in port), the Zuiderdam did not get prime dock space so shuttles were provided to get us from the outlying docks. I had my favorite cabin on deck 7, near the center elevators. It seemed like I had my own private elevator since these outside elevators do not seem to be used much. I seldom shared a ride with anyone. My friends had been upgraded at no cost from an inside to a VB veranda on deck 4, possibly because it was her 80th birthday or random. I never know how the upgrade system works. We were all happy campers with our respective cabins. Having booked far ahead, we had early fixed dining at 5:30PM with outstanding servers. Our table was around the circle part of the dining room close to the serving and wine stations which was no problem at all. When traveling solo without anyone else, I normally eat in the Pinnacle Grill or in the Lido. The MDR experience on the Zuiderdam was excellent. The food was very good, portions just fine, and service impeccable. 3 course meals (4 courses on Gala nights) and we were finished within 75 minutes every night. As I mentioned on another post, there were 6 Club Orange travelers who had priority seating in the dining room on deck 2 to the right of the check in stand. Club Orange also has a special menu, which I was told, has one additional entrée. Neptune and Pinnacle Suite people have this menu also. I turned it down. This seems very much like Club Class on Princess Cruises. On sea days we had lunch in the dining room on Deck 2 and this was always speedy. We had our breakfasts in the Lido. I continue to say that HAL has the best Lido breakfast choices of any cruise line I have sailed. However, the ship did run out of berries, granola, and pecans by the 8th day. They did save some berries for garnish on desserts etc. I have come to like the Music Walk Concept. The Lincoln Center Stage Quintet was excellent; it was a full house plus for every performance. They piped in the music to the Explorers Lounge as it was full also. We went to at least one performance every night. All five musicians were American and they did provide extensive introductions to the pieces being played. The Billboard on Board duo was very popular as well as was BB Kings (although too loud for me and I’m partially deaf). On the Main Stage, there were three performances by the Step One Dance Group, not my favorite, as I have mentioned before. William Caulfield, Comedian, Emily Yates, Singer(Las Vegas), and Mark Donoghue , Musician, (Las Vegas) were terrific as was the BBC Planet Earth in Concert, which I had seen before. They need a new visual for that. I am not a big fan of the new position of Cruise and Travel Director. I miss the EXC talks by those who are experts in the areas. Also, the EXC Guide had office hours if one wanted to ask more questions or for individual advice on the ports. Jonathan, the C and T Director, 5 months with HAL, in his first talk, said the combining of the positions was in response to HAL cruisers wanting more in-depth information on the various ports. I give him credit for trying but I think, although I could be wrong, his talks were written by someone in Seattle. He said they are rolling this out by area with the Caribbean being next. There were 1292 Mariners aboard so there were two luncheons. I went to the Mariners’ Reception where many bronze medals were given as well as one silver. Those of us with silver, gold, and platinum medals were asked to stand. One Presidents’ Club couple had 1499 days. I did not attend the luncheon afterwards at 11AM. The second luncheon was at 1PM. I had been to all the ports of call except for Gloucester, MA and Saguenay, Quebec. My new most favorite place is Saguenay. What a delightful and friendly little town. We got to dock here while the second ship did not. Some of the cast of La Fabuleuse, (more later) in period costumes, were on the dock to greet the ship with singing and dancing. As I left the ship, I was handed a Saguenay flag, took a spin of a dance with a local, handled one end of a saw as we cut a piece of a branch, was given a piece of blueberry pie and maple syrup on a snow stick. Such a warm and friendly welcome. Most of the tours go elsewhere in the area, but I walked along the harbor and visited the Catholic Church where I was warmly welcomed. In the afternoon in Saguenay, I and passengers filling six school buses were taken to a local theater where we saw the “La Fabuleuse Histoire D’un Royaume” which tells the story of the area from the time of settlement to the present. It’s in its the 32nd season. I have never seen anything like it – lights, fireworks, sound effects, cascading waterfalls, a cast of 150, six horses, a pig, geese, antique cars, and my favorite -paratroopers dropping from the ceiling over the audience during the WW2 segment. Truly fabulous as its name implies. We didn’t stop in Charlottestown, PEI. The Zuiderdam drew the anchorage and it was so windy the Captain made the decision, after much effort on his part, to abort. There were some unhappy people but they did not riot as recently happened on NCL. Later in his Captain’s talk he said although it is considered an anchorage port, he does not agree as there is no room to maneuver. He also said in his talk (and I think I have read this here on CC) that there is a rumor that HAL is going to build one more small ship and it will be the Prinsendam. He cautioned us twice that it is only a rumor. A couple of negatives which did not impact the enjoyment. The Gerbera daisy arrangement I had ordered for my cabin died by the 4th day. Gerberas are hardy so I suspect a bad flower supplier. I should have known I might have problems with my photo when the check in woman had to get a supervisor to help her. I successfully boarded the ship and got off and on in Newport. In Gloucester I was told by security that my photo was a blank wall, and I had to identify myself and get a new photo when I returned. No one had any idea how this could happen – lots of shrugs and who knows? So, I dutifully had another photo taken. Lastly, running out of berries – gotta have them. Although billed as a Fall Colors cruise, we really did not see any red, yellow, or orange leaved trees until Quebec, although I did see a couple of trees turning red in Portland, Maine. In Quebec, the Zuiderdam again drew the commercial dock and a shuttle was provided to town. I had decided when I booked, that I would leave the ship a day early, having been to Quebec, several times. The Neptune Lounge Concierge made the arrangements and helped me with luggage as far as she was allowed to go. On the ride to the airport, the fall colors were in full bloom and lovely. The Quebec airport has massive windows with views of the trees of gold, red, and orange in the distance. Quite a sight. Lots of travelers taking photos. My plane was an hour late leaving so it was a race at O’Hare to go through Customs and to get to another terminal for my flight to Tucson, which I made running. Then in Tucson, the plane was assigned a gate at which there was another plane. So, we had to wait for the “tug” to tow us to another gate. A funny end to a good cruise.
  3. Was this New England and Canada? I'm surprised it would happen there. I've seen it frequently in South America (mostly the same ports on Zaandam, Prinsendam, and Crystal Symphony). Roy
  4. Both Royal Caribbean and Holland America include a wide variety of ships, but there are also differences in the corporate cultures. The mega ships and the Vision and Radiance as well as Empress are very different but so is the Maasdam very different from the Koningsdam. The corporate culture is more refined, laid back, and sophisticated on HAL vs nonstop action and entertainment on Royal Caribbean. I much prefer the HAL signature atmosphere but there is some overlap based on the classes of ships. I've sailed Royal mostly for their itineraries out of Baltimore but have recently become smitten with the much smaller and older Empress. Of course my favorite HAL ship was the Prinsendam and sadly it's in the past now (many lasting memories) while the Empress is almost as much an exception with Royal. It is clearly not their future but I will be enjoying it while it's around (next trip Hamilton and St. George). There are many factors in what makes a great cruise and while Holland America has more pluses for me there's an overlap. Roy
  5. I think the answer depends on how one travels and what one values. I do not travel in a balcony. I also do not gamble, so the casino matters little to me. While I agree HAL still has nice itineraries, Azamara generally offers more hours in port, including more overnights. They also have lecturers, even on cruises as short as one week. On HAL, nothing is guaranteed unless you are on cruises longer than 14 days. This is also a BIG deal maker or breaker for me, as I am not yet retired and can rarely take off more than 2 weeks at a stretch. With the loss of Prinsendam, there are a number of ports that even HAL's smaller ships cannot access. But ships the size of the R-class can make those port calls. Also, it is hard to put a value on subtle differences, but as I mentioned, there was a huge difference in the MDR -- not in the food served, but in the service itself and in the atmosphere in the room -- not too large, not overcrowded, and with waiters who didn't seem like they were running for their lives every moment. I'm sure some will say that they just eat in the specialty restaurant every night to avoid the MDR -- but by doing that, you're also adding to the cost of your HAL cruise.... I put a high value on these kinds of things, as well as being on a small ship -- and am willing to pay more for them. If it was just a matter of paying the difference between HAL and Azamara for one person, I'd do it regularly. However, having to pay the higher fare PLUS 200% for a solo does make it difficult.
  6. Your experience can really vary depending on the ship. When we had it on King’s Day, there was much ado on the Prinsendam and it was a blast. The second time was the ‘regular’ Orange Party and it was nice in the Crow’s Nest, munchies, etc. ( but you get those anyways at happy hour) and a few staff in orange. It was nice but nowhere near as fabulous as the previous one. IME only, if you are sailing on the real “orange” day (King’s day), it’s quite special. On the scheduled Orange parties, it’s been nice but nowhere near what the other celebrations were. It’ll be interesting to see what it is next year since we will be on board for King’s Day again 😉
  7. We've always preferred the smaller ships--Prinsendam being our favorite... Now I suppose it's the Maasdam until she & her sisters are all retired. If there's a compelling reason--usually itinerary combined with future cruise credits or special deals--we'll bump up to a larger ship, but we like being able to dock in smaller ports, with therefore less common itineraries. The ship's design is a big factor too. For our first-and-only Carnival cruise, we tried the redesigned (post fire or whatvever disaster experienced) Sunshine. It was pretty darn hard to find a view of the ocean! Plus we LIKE cruising on HAL's old-people ships! People are much more interesting; traditional dining still functions with large tables of "strangers," as opposed to mostly families who refuse to engage in conversation ("stranger danger"? Gimme a break). Once on the Brilliance, on the first night at an 8-top--when only one other couple showed up (50% discount for first night specialty dining, doncha know), they tried to bring a family over to sit with us; the man shouted, "But we don't KNOW those people!" Yeah, we don't want you here either, buddy. (That was a great table: all English speaking but from Bermuda, Ireland, Sheffield...) We meet losts of Australians and Canadians of our own age. And there are more open slots on certain tours that require exertion...And there are now more late-night activities with the advent of BB King's--and we know all the tunes, lol. What's not to love?
  8. We LOVE Azamara. We have only been on the Quest twice and compare it to the Prinsendam which we loved. We went on the VOV thinking that the service and everything else would be better based on the price. Wrong. The staff on Azamara was so happy and it showed. They way HAL staff used to be. The food was good, it was more laid back, and the officers were very a noticeable part, participating in onboard cooking, mingling with the guests. The wine flowed freely and if wanted a drink at the pool you raised your finger and someone was there immediately. The average age of guests was younger and more active. It just fits us better and will be our choice for the future since we have become disenchanted with HAL.
  9. We have some great memories of the four times we sailed with Captain Chris Turner on 4 different ships , the Zaandam , Prinsendam , Zuiderdam and the Volendam and we really enjoyed being twice at the Captain's Table in his company which was a wonderful experience . Martha and I wish him a long and wonderful retirement , we will be missing him on our future cruises . Tony
  10. Loved his talks on the Prinsendam's final voyages. Learned more about the history of the industry than after twenty years of cruising.
  11. Sorry Hank, but yes, I got fresh eggs in both those locations. Did I see them crack the egg? No. Do I need to ? No. I know the difference in the taste and the liquid concoction and I don’t get along. So, if they weren’t fresh eggs, believe me, I would have known. Happened on the Rotterdam a couple of years ago and two cruises on the Prinsendam this year and last.
  12. Captain Turner was the Master of the Prinsendam on our first cruise in 2007. He stopped by our table to wish my daughter a Happy 9th Birthday. She has never forgotten it! Have a wonderful retirement Captain Turner-you will be missed!
  13. We got to sail with Captain Chris Turner on the Volendam in the fall of 2017 from Vancouver to Hong Kong. He wanted to sail in Asia before he retired. I called him the “kissing Captain” as he kissed all the ladies when giving them their medallions at the Marines award ceremony. I was very disappointed when he retired as he was one of the friendliest Captains I have had the pleasure to sail with. Captain Gundersen also retired before I had an opportunity to sail with him again. Had hoped to see him on the Prinsendam during her last voyage. Holland America did offer him a free cruise for his wife and him. But unfortunately it wasn’t to be. award ceremony.
  14. Our memory of Capt. Turner is from 2010 on the Zuiderdam in the Caribbean. We were just getting into cruising, and were considering a transatlantic on that tiny ship, the Prinsendam. Capt. Turner sang her praises, saying she was much more seaworthy for that type of voyage than the larger ships, and that he had sailed her as captain, too. We signed up for that voyage while on the Zuiderdam, and never looked back. We have Capt. Turner to thank/blame for 2 voyages on the Prinsendam and our status now as HAL 5 star Mariners. He was everywhere on the Zuiderdam and one of the friendliest captains we've met in the fleet. I'm sad we won't get the chance to sail with him again, as our paths never crossed after that first, indelible impression.
  15. Happy retirement Cpt, sailed with him on the Prinsendam, nice pic of Cpt Jack, Cop...
  16. For several years (until quite recently) Crystal Serenity had a live aboard, Mama Lee Wachsteader and I'm reading her memoir "I may be homeless but you should see my yacht". She lived for several years on the Prinsendam, I think moving to Crystal when HAL stopped having dance hosts on every cruise. In her opening chapters she shares stories on unusual events and one chapter is on Piracy. She includes a letter from Captain Turner as master of the Prinsendam; I hadn't realized that ship was in his past. Does anyone know how long Captain Turner served on the Elegant Explorer? Roy
  17. Yes, you are referring to my favorite HAL ship...or I guess I should say ex ship. DW and I loved the Prinsendam. To the best of knowledge HAL had a real sandwich bar on every ship of the fleet until about 3 years ago when they revamped the Lido. I guess many of us might agree there was good and bad with the change. They went to the permanent Code Orange concept, eliminated the sandwich bar, changed the old eggs benedict station that had about 8 options to a new smaller concept with only 1 rotating daily special plus the regular eggs benedict. They also completely eliminated the entire salad bar and replaced it with salad bar stations where one has to wait in line to have a crew member assemble one's salad. This kind of salad thing seems to be unique in the cruise world as we have never seen it on any other cruise line. Personally, I think HAL's lido is just OK. Not great, not awful...but just OK. Other lines have implemented much better concepts (IMHO). Princess has opened up their Lidos and are still in process of implementing some new stations. On our recent Caribbean Princess they had an excellent Mongolian BBQ station which generated very long lines. You took a bowl, loaded it up with all kinds of goodies (self service) and then handed it in to be cooked. They gave you a beeper so you could do other things, sit down, etc...until your BBQ was custom cooked in a wok. At breakfast that same station (actually 2 stations) became an expansive Omelet bar. You took a cup and filled it from a large selection of omelet items. Once you were finished you turned in that cup, were given a beeper, and then later summoned when your omelet (which you configured) was ready. One morning when I was sitting at a table waiting for my omelet the beeper went off. Before I could get out of my seat a crew member asked if he could go get my Omelet :). What was nice was folks did not have to stand around waiting for their custom made eggs. You just went about your business, got other things to eat, drink. etc. Only when your eggs were ready did you need to go...and then there was a separate pick-up station with no line. And this was on a ship with over 3000 passengers! Hank
  18. Yes, that's true (K'dm movies not being that loud)--except if we wanted be by the pool to either eat or hang out in that lovely space (really gorgeous at night--should be soothing and calm), we had to be exposed to it. I unwillingly saw much of a shoot-em-up one evening, lol. But I think just knowing what to expect makes a "new ship" cruise much better. I know that they tweak ships as they roll out and see what works; we were thrilled that the Sel de Mer was an actual, permanent restaurant on that ship, instead of a pop up--ooh lala, the food! Too bad it's apparently been limited to once a cruise. And the now discontinued temporary restaurant (something Central?) in the America's Test Kitchen space was EXCELLENT. We ate there 3 times. Plus the happy and excited staff and the energy (great music!) were just fantastic. A shame that quickly has gone by the wayside--it was always packed. But hurray for the new Rolling Stone venue! We've loved BB King's but not for every single night, lol. What was that great 7-8 course dinner they offered for awhile in the Pinnacle? Not the Le Cirque--De Librije! I hope that will be offered again on the Nieuw Statendam in Dec--anyone know if it's just certain nights? They didn't have it on the P-dam in June. As a 4-star Mariner, I heartily agree with what's been said in the many posts above, all the wonderful aspects of HAL. We do prefer smaller ships and greatly mourn the loss of the Prinsendam... (The Dutch tradition fading away has been recouped a bit in my mind with the new Dutch Cafe; that's where all the officers seem to eat, lol. But we still have our traditional hats they used to hand out at dinner on Dutch night!)
  19. Here is the latest update of the Dry Dock, Charter and Groups file. Please consider this a 'work in progress' which will evolve from month to month. There is a doubt about the planned Dry Dock for Noordam, 23 November 2020 to 6 December 2020 as she is currently in dry dock in Esquimalt, B.C. until Sunday 13 October. She has no cruises currently listed for the period 23 November to 6 December 2020. The file consists of information gathered from the internet or information kindly posted on these threads by other cruisers and should not be considered a complete indicator of group activity. If you have information about groups charters or dry docks then please post here and I will update in the next file. New information is shown in Red DRY DOCKS Amsterdam : 12 May 2020 – 25 May 2020 : Dry Dock, Freeport, Bahamas Eurodam : 29 November 2020 – 08 December 2020 : Dry Dock : Freeport, Bahamas Noordam : 29 September 2019 – 13 October 2019 : Dry Dock, Victoria Shipyards, B.C. Noordam : 23 November 2020 – 06 December 2020 : ???? : Singapore Volendam : 18 – 31 October 2019, Drydock, Freeport, Bahamas. Westerdam : 04 January 2020 – 15 January 2020 : Dry Dock : Singapore Zaandam : 07 April 2020 – 20 April 2020 : Dry Dock: Freeport, Bahamas Zuiderdam : 01 – 09 December 2019, Drydock, Freeport, Bahamas. LAST COMPLETED DRY DOCK Amsterdam 28 April 2018 – 10 May 2018 Eurodam 08 April 2018 - 17 April 2018 Koningsdam 02 December 2018 - 09 December 2018 Maasdam 31 August 2018 - 08 September 2018 Nieuw Amsterdam 07 December 2017 - 19 December 2017 Noordam 10 April 2015 - 19 April 2015 Oosterdam 21 March 2018 - 02 April 2018 Prinsendam 07 December 2018 – 15 December 2018 Rotterdam 26 October 2017 - 03 November 2017 Veendam 06 April 2019 – 14 April 2019 (28 March 2016 - 08 April 2016) Volendam 24 November 2017 - 05 December 2017 Westerdam 14 April 2017 - 26 April 2017 Zaandam 02 April 2018 - 13 April 2018 Zuiderdam 23 October 2017 – 04 November 2017 CHARTERS (i.e. full ship charters) Amsterdam: Eurodam: 26 October 2019 – 02 November 2019 : Mexican Riviera : Legendary R & B Cruise 25 July 2020 – 01 August 2020 : Alaska : Gaither Homecoming Cruise 29 August 2020 – 05 September 2020 : Alaska : ??? 05 September 2020 – 12 September 2020 : Alaska : ??? 25 October 2020 – 01 November 2020 : Caribbean : Legendary R & B Cruise 01 November 2020 – 08 November 2020 : Caribbean : Malt Shop Memories. Koningsdam: Nieuw Amsterdam: 02 November 2019 – 09 November 2019 : Caribbean : Malt Shop Cruise 09 November 2019 – 16 November 2019 : Caribbean : Faith & Family Cruise 18 January 2020 – 25 January 2020 : Caribbean : Soul Train Cruise 25 January 2020 – 01 February 2020: Caribbean : Country Music Cruise 07 March 2020 – 14 March 2020 : Caribbean : JoCo Cruise Nieuw Statendam: 19 January 2020 – 26 January 2020 : LRBC Blues Cruise 09 February 2020 – 16 February 2020 : RSVP Charter 15 March 2020 – 22 March 2020 : ??? 22 March 2020 – 29 March 2020 : Inspiration Cruises Charter 31 January 2021 – 07 February 2021 : E. Caribbean : Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise Noordam: 14 February 2020 – 29 February 2020 : New Zealand : ??? 12 March 2020 – 19 March 2020 : New Zealand : ??? Oosterdam: 22 February 2020 – 29 February 2020 : Mexican Riviera : All Star Irish Cruise Veendam: 22 January 2020 – 29 January 2020 : Cuba : Olivia Charter (ex Port Everglades) 20 November 2020 – 27 November 2020 : Caribbean : Olivia Charter (ex Tampa) Volendam: 23 April 2020 – 29 April 2020 : Pacific Coastal : Olivia Charter GROUPS ONBOARD Amsterdam: 04 January 2020 – 12 May 2020 : World Cruise 2020 : Road Scholar Group 26 May 2020 – 06 June 2020 : Atlantic Coast : Knitting Group 25 July 2020 – 01 August 2020 : Canada & NE Discovery : Road Scholar Group 08 August 2020 – 15 August 2020 : Canada & NE Discovery : Road Scholar Group 05 September 2020 – 12 September 2020 : Canada & NE Discovery: Road Scholar Group & Gospel Music Group 19 September 2020 – 26 September 2020 : Canada & NE Discovery : Road Scholar Group Eurodam: 09 November 2019 – 16 November 2019 : Mexican Riviera : Gospel Music Celebration 01 December 2019 – 11 December 2019 : Panama Canal : Road Scholar Group 26 January 2020 – 05 February 2020 : Panama Canal : Road Scholar Group 05 February 2020 – 16 February 2020 : Panama canal : Road Scholar Group 01 March 2020 – 18 March 2020 : Circle Hawaii : Road Scholar Group 18 March 2020 – 05 April 2020 : Circle Hawaii : Road Scholar Group 15 April 2020 – 02 May 2020 : Hawaii : Quilting Retreat Group 06 June 2020 – 13 June 2020 : Alaska : Quilting Group 13 June 2020 – 20 June 2020 : Alaska : Continuing Education Group 11 July 2020 – 18 July 2020 : Alaska : Road Scholar Group (Grandchild focus) 01 August 2020 – 08 August 2020 : Alaska : Don Moen Inspiration Group 08 August 2020 – 15 August 2020 : Alaska : Continuing Education Group 15 August 2020 – 22 August 2020 : Alaska : Continuing Education Group 22 August 2020 – 29 August 2020 : Alaska : Quilt Seminar at Sea Group 21 February 2021 – 28 February 2021 : Caribbean : MRC Conservative Group 28 February 2021 – 07 March 2021 : Caribbean : Quilting Group (B2B with 7 – 14 March) 07 August 2021 – 14 August 2021 : Alaska : Focal Point Ministries Group and Quilting Group 14 August 2021 – 21 August 2021 : Alaska : Quilting Group Koningsdam: 06 October 2019 – 18 October 2019 : Med Ancient Empires : Footsteps of Paul/Inspiration Group 04 March 2020 – 15 March 2020 : S. Caribbean : Quilting Group 11 July 2020 – 18 July 2020 : Alaska : Pathway to Victory/Inspiration Group Maasdam: 16 February 2020 – 01 March 2020 : Australia/ NZ : Road Scholar Group 27 April 2020 – 04 May 2020 : Pacific Coast : Knitting Group 04 May 2020 – 18 May 2020 : Alaskan Explorer : Knitting Group 15 June 2020 – 29 June 2020 : Alaskan Explorer : Road Scholar Group 13 July 2020 – 27 July 2020 : Alaskan Explorer : Road Scholar Group 27 July 2020 – 10 August 2020 : Alaskan Explore : Road Scholar Group 10 August 2020 – 24 August 2020 : Alaskan Explorer : Road Scholar Group 24 August 2020 – 07 September 2020 : Alaskan Explorer : Road Scholar Group Nieuw Amsterdam: 11 January 2020 – 18 January 2020 : Caribbean : Mercy Me at sea 08 February 2020 – 15 February 2020 : Caribbean : Gospel Music Celebration 22 February 2020 – 29 February 2020 : Caribbean : Pastor’s Wives/Inspiration Group 29 February 2020 – 06 March 2020 : Caribbean : Phillips, Craig & Dean/Inspiration Group 14 March 2020 – 21 March 2020 : Caribbean : Quilt Retreat Group 28 March 2020 – 04 April 2020 : Caribbean : Continuing Education Group 09 January 2021 – 16 January 2021 : Tropical Caribbean : Mercy Me at Sea Group 16 January 2021 – 23 January 2021 : Eastern Caribbean : Katinas & Kuzins/Inspiration Group 06 February 2021 – 13 February 2021 : Eastern Caribbean : Gospel Music Celebration Nieuw Statendam: 07 October 2019 – 17 October 2019 : Med Dream : Road Scholar Group 17 October 2019 – 27 October 2019 : Med Mosaic : Continuing Ed Group/Road Scholar Group 01 December 2019 – 08 December 2019 : E. Caribbean : Continuing Education Group 08 December 2019 – 15 December 2019 : W. Caribbean : The Nation Group 29 December 2019 – 05 January 2020 : E. Caribbean : Turning Point/Inspiration Group 02 February 2020 – 09 February 2020 : E. Caribbean : Continuing Education Group 05 April 2020 – 12 April 2020 : E Caribbean : Continuing Education Group 10 May 2020 – 23 May 2020 : Baltics : Road Scholar Group 07 June 2020 – 21 June 2020 : Voyage of Midnight Sun : Road Scholar Group 05 July 2020 – 19 July 2020 : Voyage of Midnight Sun : Road Scholar Group 19 July 2020 – 26 July 2020 : Norse Legends : Continuing Education Group 30 August 2020 – 13 September 2020 : Baltics : Road Scholar Group 05 October 2020 – 15 October 2020 : Med Dream : Mark Steyn Conservative Group Noordam: 09 November 2019 – 23 November 2019 : Australia/NZ : Road Scholar Group 18 January 2020 – 01 February 2020 : N. Z. Discovery : Quilting Group 26 February 2020 – 12 March 2020 : Aus/NZ : Knitting Group 14 June 2020 – 21 June 2020 : Alaska South Bound : Road Scholar Group 12 July 2020 – 19 July 2020 : Alaska South Bound : Road Scholar Group 26 July 2020 – 02 August 2020 : Alaska South Bound : Road Scholar Group Oosterdam: 06 October 2019 – 13 October 2019 : Mexican Riviera : UFO Group (large!/ early dining) 06 November 2019 – 23 November 2019 : Circle Hawaii : Road Scholar Group 30 November 2019 – 07 December 2019 : Mexican Riviera : Continuing Education Group 14 December 2019 – 21 December 2019 : Mexican Riviera : Quilting Retreat Group 11 January 2020 – 18 January 2020 : Mexican Riviera : Continuing Education Group 29 February 2020 – 07 March 2020 : Mexican Riviera : Bridge Group 14 March 2020 – 21 March 2020 : Mexican Riviera : Continuing Education Group 18 April 2020 – 25 April 2020 : Mexican Riviera : Flying Leap Vineyards Group 03 May 2020 – 10 May 2020 : Alaska : Continuing Education Group 28 June 2020 – 05 July 2020 : Alaska : Intentional Living Group 26 July 2020 – 02 August 2020 : Alaska: Quilting Group 02 August 2020 – 09 August 2020 : Alaska : Road Scholar Group (Family focus) 30 August 2020 – 06 September 2020 : Alaska : Deeper Faith Cruise 24 October 2020 – 07 November 2020 : Australia/NZ : Road Scholar Group 16 January 2021 – 30 January 2021 : Australia/NZ : Road Scholar Group 13 February 2021 – 27 February 2021 : Australia/NZ : Road Scholar Group 20 June 2021 – 27 June 2021 : Alaska : Quilting Group Rotterdam: 07 January 2020 – 23 January 2020 : Panama Canal : Road Scholar Group 08 February 2020 – 24 February 2020 : Panama Canal : Road Scholar Group 11 March 2020 – 27 March 2020 : Panama Canal : Road Scholar Group 18 July 2020 – 25 July 2020 : Viking Sagas : Road Scholar Group 08 August 2020 – 15 August 2020 : Viking Sagas : Road Scholar Group Westerdam: 27 November 2019 – 19 December 2019 : Alaska : Eclipse Observation Group 16 August 2020 – 23 August 2020 : Alaska South Bound : Road Scholar Group 30 August 2020 – 06 September 2020 : Alaska South Bound : Road Scholar Group 30 January 2021 – 19 February 2021 : Antartica : Quilting Group Veendam: 23 May 2020 – 06 June 2020 : Baltic : Knitting Group 11 July 2020 – 25 July 2020 : British Isles Explorer: Knitting Group Volendam: Zaandam: 31 January 2020 – 22 February 2020 : S. America & Antarctica : Knitting Group 23 May 2020 – 30 May 2020 : Canada & N.E. Discovery : Road Scholar Group Zuiderdam: 10 November 2019 – 20 November 2019 : Panama Canal : Quilting Seminar Group 18 January 2020 – 25 January 2020 : E. Caribbean : Sporthorse Group 26 February 2020 – 08 March 2020 : Panama Canal : Road Scholar Group 08 March 2020 – 18 March 2020 : Panama Canal : Road Scholar /Continuing Education Group 20 June 2020 – 02 July 2020 : European Splendour : Quilt Seminar at Sea 02 July 2020 – 16 July 2020 : Northern Isles : Knitting Group 16 July 2020 – 26 July 2020 : Jewels of the Baltic : Road Scholar Group 27 September 2020 – 07 October 2020 : Canada & New England : Continuing Education Group If anyone has any further information, please post it here and I will include it in the next update. Thanks! E & O.E.
  20. A few years ago, DW and I embarked from the Port of Manhattan (the one about 49th and 12th Ave) on the Prinsendam for a long cruise. The cruise actually started at Port Everglades, moved up to NYC to pick-up more passengers, and then continued on its voyage. When we arrived at the port around noon, there were a few folks sitting outside the terminal with their luggage. There were only about 60 passengers embarking at that port and HAL had decided to only hire a single "gang" of Longshoreman and not pay them extra to work their normal lunch hour (12 - 1pm). So those who arrived at noon had to sit outside the terminal until 1pm, because the Longshoreman were on lunch hour..and taking our own luggage inside the terminal violated their contract and they would then go on strike (this is what a Longshoreman told us). My point is that the cruise line controls embarkation by how they deal with the Longshoreman. At Port Everglades there are several gangs at each pier (with ships) and they usually start about 6 or 7. Once they start, they are paid to provide service until the ship is entirely loaded! So, in theory, at that port they should be willing to take your luggage at any time in the morning. In practice, who knows? On the other hand, any resistance to taking your luggage can likely be overcome with a $20! Hank
  21. I remember these photos from your thread Roy!! I really liked this thread on the Prinsendam you did. Denise😊
  22. Many cruise lines do towel animals. What I've found unique about HAL lately is that on my last 2 HAL cruises (Prinsendam and Nieuw Statendam) one morning the pool deck was FILLED with a veritable zoo of towel animals running from the same ones we get in our rooms to some giant ones like a full sized horse. What an amazing sight. Roy
  23. No imagining necessary.... HAL has several captains that move between Seabourn and HAL. Before the sale of the Prinsendam, Captain Dag moved between the Prinsendam and Seabourn ships fairly consistently, sailing on the Prinsendam at the end. If captains can move, I’m pretty sure other staff can, too 😉
  24. We're also on this cruise. Everyone should be aware that Turning Point Ministries is also aboard. If you're having trouble making reservations for fixed early seating, this group has reserved the upstairs MDR. Since we always book that seating (due to a disability), we moved to Club Orange with a nice discount. We're actually looking forward to trying Club Orange, although we wouldn't have normally purchased it. The group may impact all of us. Their website says they're bringing 4 entertainers aboard, so this may mean that the World Stage may be reserved at certain times too. Then again, we may not even know they're aboard. I'm hoping that's the case. The last time we welcomed New Year's at sea was on Prinsendam in 2015. We're looking forward to a wonderful party.
  25. I agree that being negative is unhealthy and generally pointless. However, I do not feel that having an opinion and responding to ‘what I miss’ threads is being negative. I love cruising on HAL and I look forward to each cruise, but that does not mean that I don’t notice the changes occuring. The reason I notice, is because I care about HAL and I am sorry to see the typically HAL experience being slowly eroded. Much is spoken about costs, but I believe the popularity of the Prinsendam ( with its higher costs ) shows that people will pay to sail on a smaller ship to special ports. Yet the feeling many of us have, is that HAL will slowly replace the smaller ships for the ever larger Pinnancle size ships in order to be more cost effective. I don’t believe it’s negative to discuss and debate this as it will affect our future relationship with HAL. I hope that Seattle will hear our ‘negativity ‘ and just maybe it will help to stem the tide and preserve HAL’s uniqueness.
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