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Found 189 results

  1. My DH and I just arrived home from our first HAL cruise, Quebec City to Fort Lauderdale on Zuiderdam. We’ve been land travelers for many years, and only recently started cruising. This is cruise #3...the first a multigenerational Alaska Cruise on Royal Caribbean and the second a transatlantic on Regent. Obviously two very different experiences, but both good for the audiences we were traveling with. The HAL cruise added a new dimension to our cruise experiences. All in all we had a very good time. It was difficult not to compare the cruise lines and respective experiences at least a little, but we tried to look at the new cruise line and ship for their own merits. The service was excellent...from start to finish...in every venue! The crew appeared to be genuinely happy to be there and their inevitable response of “my pleasure” seemed genuine. A number of crew members (beyond our cabin stewards and MDR waiters) got to know our names and greeted us warmly whenever we saw them. That made for a more personal experience. Our Signature Suite was lovely, spacious, well appointed and always taken care of by our wonderful stewards. We were especially impressed by the number of outlets and USB ports. More than enough for our purposes. The separate shower was pretty tight, but tub shower was nice. We both liked the double sinks, bath amenities and huge bath towels! I liked the vanity for doing my hair and make up. The balcony was very spacious, though the weather was too cool most of the trip to make much use of it. The food ranged from acceptable to very good. We enjoyed the dinner experience in the dining room most evenings, but were happy there was a casual venue at the Lido, on a couple nights we just felt like having a quick bite. We enjoyed coffee and fruit each morning in our room, followed by breakfast some days at the Lido and others in the dining room. Both were good, with plenty of choices. Lunch was either at Lido or Dive In. The burgers at DI were amazing! And the salad bar was fresh, with so many delicious choices. I also loved the made to order pasta and DH enjoyed the carved meats. We both loved all the delicious breads! If we had one food complaint it would be the temperature of food in the dining room at times. It wasn’t always as hot as it should be. One thing I liked very much was the crew in Lido serving most of the food. Many less hands handling utensils! And much of what was self serve was already plated. Entertainment was quite good, with many different venues for different tastes. We most enjoyed Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard. Excellent musicians in both! The main stage shows were hit or miss for us. We loved the Planet Earth production! The Zuiderdam dancers/singers were sometimes very good, sometimes a little off. We enjoyed some movies and especially the BBC Planet Earth documentaries. The screening room was great! But you needed to arrive early because it usually filled up. We missed having a lecturer....DH especially likes that. The interdenominational church service on a Sunday at sea was so well attended we had to bring in more chairs. Two ministers on board did a great job with the service. I’ve read comments from those who don’t like the changes in the Crow’s Nest. But we thought it was a warm and inviting space, though it could get very crowded on sea days. But since there were so many public spaces, we never lacked for a place to sit, read or just watch the world go by. The interactive maps in Explorer were fun and we often saw them being used. Gale force winds forced us to miss the port at Charlottetown PEI, which was disappointing. But we appreciated that the captain put the safety of the passengers first. We liked his daily reports but appreciated that there were not announcements continuously throughout the day like there were on Royal Caribbean. We enjoyed a Q and A with the captain as well as a couple personal interactions and found him friendly, humorous and above all, capable. The cruise director Sabine was very personable and approachable. And her staff seemed to follow her lead. We took a few HAL excursions and did our own thing in a couple other ports. The excursions were very well done, with excellent guides. Perhaps we were fortunate in that regard. I’d highly recommend “Intimate Look at Acadia National Park” in Bar Harbor. We appreciated that there was generally some form of shuttle transportation in most ports for those who wanted to explore on their own. Based on this experience we wouldn’t hesitate to sail HAL again. Judy
  2. We are looking at a cruise on Zuiderdam in Feb 2019. We have never stayed in a cabin that was "up front" but are considering either 4018 or 4017. Neither of us have ever experienced motion sickness but we are wondering if anyone can offer any feedback regarding motion in these rooms. The cruise is a 10 day partial canal voyage. Any feedback would be helpful.
  3. Oosterdam will be at Pier 26 from 0600-1600 (starboard to - unusual this year for Pier 26). She is going on a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise. Saturday, November 17 Fort Lauderdale, FL Sunday, November 18 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Monday, November 19 At Sea Tuesday, November 20 Falmouth, Jamaica Wednesday, November 21 Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Thursday, November 22 Cozumel, Mexico Friday, November 23 At Sea Saturday, November 24 Fort Lauderdale, FL Also in port are Crown Princess at Pier 4 from 0430-1600, Royal Princess at Pier 2 from 0500-1600, and Independence OTS at Pier 18 from 0515-1630. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com. Zuiderdam will be in Aruba from 1300-2300. The PTZtv webcam can be found at http://www.portarubawebcam.com. Next up: Nieuw Amsterdam and Volendam on Sunday, November 18.
  4. I read that the sports court on the Zuiderdam includes tennis. Has anyone used it or know when it's available to play tennis?
  5. Zuiderdam will be at Pier 26 (port to) from 0600-1700. She will be heading out for an 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer cruise. Wednesday, October 24 Fort Lauderdale, FL Thursday, October 25 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Friday, October 26 At Sea Saturday, October 27 Aruba Sunday, October 28 Curacao Monday, October 29 At Sea Tuesday, October 30 Cartagena, Colombia Wednesday, October 31 Panama Canal (Partial Transit) (Cruising) Wednesday, October 31 Colon, Panama Thursday, November 1 Puerto Limon, Costa Rica Friday, November 2 At Sea Saturday, November 3 At Sea Sunday, November 4 Fort Lauderdale, FL Also in port is Celebrity Infinity at pier 18 (d. 1600). The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ . For the addicts: Rotterdam will be the first HAL ship to visit Key West this season on Friday 10/26. She will be in port from 0800-1700. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.keywestharborwebcam.com/ . Zuiderdam will be in Aruba on Saturday 10/27 from 1300-2300. The PTZtv webcam can be found at http://www.portarubawebcam.com/ . Next up: Nieuw Amsterdam will be in FLL and Rotterdam in Tampa on Sunday 10/28.
  6. Where does Zuiderdam dock in Curacao? Carol
  7. There’s a 15-day lull in the webcam sailaway season between the last ship in Juneau and the next sailaway from Ft. Lauderdale. The first of the other 3 sailaways on PTZ cameras is Wednesday in New York as the Zuiderdam makes her final visit there of this year. She will leave on a New England Cruise ending in Quebec and her return journey will end in Ft. Lauderdale where she will start her Caribbean season. The ports on this cruise are Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, and Saguenay. On her last New York visit Zuiderdam was diverted to Brooklyn due to damage to the Manhattan Pier. That will not happen this time as there is only one other ship in port, the Oceania Insignia. Zuiderdam’s scheduled hours are 7AM to 8PM while Insignia’s call is shorter, 8AM t0 6PM. The New York webcams do not normally cover arriving ships the way they do in Juneau. On sailaway (and likely during the day) the ship will be on the port webcam: http://portnywebcam.com Eventually the ship will show up on the harbor webcam. While this has great long range resolution the front of the ship will be dark so it will not appear until it gets closer to that camera. Hopefully the port camera will follow the ship quite a way down the river. The port camera is http://nyharborwebcam.com Next up is the Volendam in Aruba October 15. Roy
  8. I have some questions about our upcoming cruise on the Zuiderdam and you will notice they are in no particular order, here we go: I am seeing that the Casino is now totally no smoking;is that correct? Are there any Dance classes during the cruise? We chose Open Dining in the MDR –is it better to make a reservation? If not, what is the best time to go? This time it is just the 2 of us, so we would like to meet others, and sit at a large table, does that work well? I have read so much about Panama Rolls – are they in the Lido for breakfast? I read they serve them on the day they go to the Canal. Anyone familiar with free Wifi in Aruba, Curacao or Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. Suggested locations? Considering the $25.00 Beverage Card for Fountain drinks (get $50.00 worth), does anyone know if they have ginger ale at thefountain? (I know that is a silly question, but that’s the one I like, and try to stay away from caffeine now) We are in a VC Veranda cabin, I think the deck has 2 chairs & 1 little side table. Is it possible to request a sturdy table so we can eat on the deck on occasion? I have not seen anything about things to do when we dock in Costa Rica. We don’t want to take a ship excursion, or a bus tour. Just meandering around, or maybe grab a taxi to a location for beach and a drink or two? Any thoughts? And are there nice restaurants close to the port? We are really not experts at snorkeling, and really true rookies. Can we rent some fins & masks in port for a reasonable price? Thanks for any feedback and insights you might have!
  9. I don't want to step on Scrapnana's or Boytjie's toes but with Cruise Critic having been down overnight I don't think they do a lot of morning posting so here goes. We have Nieuw Amsterdam on a Malt Shop Memories charter 7-day cruise to Grand Turk, San Juan, and St. Kitts. She came in really early this morning. Zuiderdam is 10-day Partial Panama Canal cruise to Half Moon Cay, Aruba, Curacao, the canal, Colon, and Puerto Limon. She came in later this morning. Also in port are Anthem of the Seas and Celebrity Reflection (both briefly), Carnival Conquest, and Adventure of the Seas. In Tampa the Rotterdam leaves at 5 for a 14-night Southern Caribbean cruise to San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Johns, St. Lucia, Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Cayman. Also in port are NCL Pearl and Carnival Miracle. The Tampa webcam is http://portttampawebcam.com and for Ft. Lauderdale http://ftlauderdalewebcam.com and http://portevergladeswebcam.com
  10. We usually cruise with RCCL and arrive for boarding in Port Everglades around 11 am. We will be on the Zuiderdam in 2 weeks. Will we be able to board around 11 am on Holland America also ?
  11. A Great Hello to ALL; We are doing the Zuiderdam in SEPT. of 2019 which does the "COLORS OF CANADA & NEW ENGLAND. Has anyone out there done this particular cruise??? It starts out in Quebec City, the goes to the following ports: Saguenay, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Saint John, Portland, Maine, Boston, and finally New York City. Its a 13 day cruise. Iam particularly interested in the Canadian Ports of Call and was wondering what was your "Favorite" things to do and maybe even your "Least" favorite things that you did. Any words of wisdom and advice will be TRULY APPRECIATED. I know on the Holland America website it says to bring a warm jacket and even gloves so that I have duly noted. Oh I forgot to mention it also stops in Newport, Rhode Island too. THANK YOU TO ALL and I will acknowledge all who help me out. Chuck PS We have opted for the SIGNATURE SUITE which I do consider way over priced but you are only on this old earth for a very short period of time so I splurged. Navigation Deck 8 Starboard Side.
  12. Hi-- A Roll Call has been created for anyone taking this cruise, but it's very "light", only about 10 posters at this point. We ARE trying to establish a HAL Meet & Greet, very informal, so that we can......Meet & Greet! We would love to have fellow cruisers attend to compare notes, excursions - and maybe make new friends. The Thread is: November 25, 2018 - Zuiderdam 10 day Panama Canal Sunfarer, date tentatively is Tuesday, 11/27 @ 11:00am - deltadoug13 is the Coordinator, I'm just his Secretary - he just doesn't know it!
  13. Fifty days until we leave on the Zuiderdam.... any recent cruisers able to verify if they still have the Eggs Benedict station?
  14. We are cruising soon on Zuiderdam to Panama Canal -- we are Diamond on Royal and have been on others but this will be our first time on Holland in a Signature suite. Are those like junior suites on Royal? Hard to tell from the pics online. Also this is a new itinerary for us, so any recommended excurions (easy or maybe moderate, not strenuous) for Half Moon Cay, Aruba, Curacao, Colon, Puerto Limon, Gatun? Thanks!
  15. My wife and I returned last week from the Zuiderdam’s 20-night Viking Passage, an incredible adventure (Copenhagen to New York by way of Norway, Iceland, Greenland, and the Canadian Maritimes). It was by no means our first cruise, but it was our first on HAL, and I want to thank the folks on this board for all the help and advice; it was great to go into something new as well-prepared as you all helped make us. We’d had our eye on this itinerary for a long time, but would not book with HAL while smoking was allowed on balconies. As soon as HAL announced that it was changing that policy, we booked this cruise. The itinerary was as amazing as we’d thought it would be; HAL will definitely be in the mix for us going forward, and we purchased future cruise deposit certificates while we were on board. :D Among the things that we particularly enjoyed about HAL were: the open bow during sailaways (weather permitting) and narration by a member of the EXC staff; the food in the Dining Room, which was quite good overall, and the excellent service we received there; the table service for beverages (water, lemonade, coffee, etc.) in the buffet, and the fact that passengers are NOT allowed to serve themselves most food there; room service, with hot food arriving hot (and, with so many early-morning excursions, we really appreciated that breakfast orders were consistently delivered at the start of the half-hour window we’d requested); a port guide in our stateroom upon embarkation, with a map of each port, points of interest, places to eat, etc. -- although we’d of course researched our ports in advance, this was a helpful addition (it was a bit disconcerting, however, that the guide showed us calling at Saint John, New Brunswick, when in fact we were scheduled to visit St. John’s, Newfoundland :eek:); the Navigator intranet site (great to have the day’s schedule on our phones!); and, the easiest disembarkation we’ve ever experienced in terms of the factors within the ship’s control. Adding to our enjoyment was that we had booked a Signature Suite on Deck 6. It was spacious and comfortable, and we really appreciated that on such a long cruise. It was also very conveniently located, and we never felt as though we had to go far for anything. I also want to say that this cruise posed many challenges for Captain Bart Vaartjes, and for the passengers as well: we missed two ports due to weather, had an extra day and a half in another, also due to weather, and missed a third port so that we could assist in the search for a person who had jumped overboard from the AIDALuna. (He was not found, and that was an incredibly sad day at sea.) I thought that Captain Vaartjes handled all of these challenges and changes well,and kept people informed about what was going on. Of course, nothing is perfect. ;) Here are some of what we felt were negatives: limited dining options (as good as dinner in the MDR was, we like a break from relatively long, “sit down” dining), including limited hours for dinner in the buffet, as well as a lack of variety in the dinner food offerings (e.g., the only “distant land” in the evening was Italy!) (we also found it off-putting that passengers were allowed in the buffet wearing bathrobes); limited entertainment -- while we enjoyed the Lincoln Center Stage musicians, they repeated their shore-side-dictated programs after a few days, and the Billboard Onboard singing pianists, as fun as they were, sang many of the same songs over and over and over; mainstage shows at 8pm and 10pm – since we had fixed dining at 8pm, this left us with only the 10pm show, much too late on such a port-intensive cruise with so many early port calls. One other discordant note: a week before our scheduled disembarkation at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, we received letters in our cabins telling us that we were being bumped to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal because of on-going repairs to a damaged pier in Manhattan (thank you, Carnival Horizon). The letter assured passengers with HAL transfers that they would be picked up in Brooklyn, but then curtly stated that those with independent arrangements (which included my wife and me) would need to “plan accordingly.” We were at sea (off the coast of Greenland, no less); the ship’s internet was glacially show (and not everyone had an internet package, anyway). I certainly don’t blame HAL for the change in cruise terminals, but I was surprised by the language of the letter and the lack of any offer of assistance to people at sea to rearrange disembarkation plans. (Fortunately,we did have an internet package and with a good bit of scrambling were able to rearrange things.) All in all, the hits definitely outweighed the misses, and we had the Great North Atlantic Adventure that we’d hoped for when we booked. :D I’d be happy to answer questions about the Viking Passage, our ports, and/or the Zuiderdam. In the posts below, I’ve included several photographs to illustrate the extraordinarily beautiful sights of the Viking Passage. Thanks for reading, Judith
  16. Having enjoyed and appreciated the trip reports posted by fellow CC’ers, I thought I’d give it a try. Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a bit of drivel with your morning coffee. Hopefully we will find this mutually fun and informative! IT BEGINS Earlier this year my husband and I were thrilled to book a Trans-Pacific on the Westerdam: Vancouver to Tokyo. Sadly, due to arising work conflicts, it was not to be. :( But wait! We haven’t done the Colors of Canada and New England yet! And no work conflicts!! The Zuiderdam is newly out of dry dock and calling our names. Our first sailing on this Vista-Class ship was 10 years ago, so we shall call this our 10th anniversary cruise. I believe the traditional gift for the 10th anniversary is tin or aluminum. I’m guessing a man invented that list. The only thing that comes to mind is a pot or some tin foil. I will forgo the gift. Our route has us departing from Manhattan Cruise Terminal, sailing down the Hudson, past the Statue of Liberty, and underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Since departure is at 8:00 pm we should have some spectacular nighttime views of The City That Never Sleeps. Knowing how crazy the weather can get in the Mid-Atlantic Region, we booked our flights and hotel for arrival the day prior to departure. We chose our hotel carefully. We wanted to be relatively close to the Cruise Port but somewhat away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We found a great spot between Times Square and Central Park. Time to relax. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  17. Can't tell from the deck plan for the Zuiderdam whether or not there is the full Greenhouse Retreat. It says Greenhouse Spa and Salon and shows a hydro pool. I took a look at deck plans of a few other ships and they say the same. Anyone know? Karen
  18. Does anyone know if the Zuiderdam has a craps table in the casino? Thanks.
  19. Has anyone taken the Zuiderdam transatlantic Cruise? I’d like some feedback before booking. I’ve also never cruised HAL. I’ve taken 3 on RCCL and 8 on CCL Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  20. Having been to many sites trying to find out which rooms on the Zuiderdam are which size, when it comes to interior rooms. Can't find out, for example, the dimensions of either 7141 or 5165. We usually book a veranda room but the cruise we are looking at is very expensive so we are looking at the largest inside room. Thanks for your help, fellow cruisers! Debbie:)
  21. We have been assigned this cabin due to our Rotterdam cruise being switched to the Zuiderdam. It is an adjoining cabin and could be under BB Kings, but I'm not sure. Does anyone have experience with this cabin? I am mainly concerned with possible noise issues. Thanks.
  22. I was looking for something on my computer and found this on one of my hard drives. It's the activities list from early 2003. It's from a 7 day Eastern Caribbean, I was expecting it to be chock full o' fun, but it wasn't all that terribly different. Sunday: Arrive Half Moon Cay 8:00 AM 1:30 PM: Football Toss 1:45 PM: Scattergories Fun! 2:00 PM Ship Building Contest Sign Up 2:15 PM: Mixed Shuffleboard Tournament 2:30 PM: Art Auction Preview 2:30 PM: 14kt Gold Jewelry Clearance 2:30 PM: All Aboard! The last tender from shore! 2:45 PM: Team Trivia with Lori 3:00 PM: The ms Zuiderdam sets sail for Basseterre, St. Kitts 3:00 PM: Mixed Quoits 3:00 PM: Art Auction Ocean Bar 3:00 PM: Perfume Seminar, Free Raffle 3:00 PM: Reflexology Seminar 3:00 PM Gaming Lessons, Casino 3:15 PM: Snowball Jackpot Bingo 3:30 PM: Slot Clinic, Casino 3:30-4:00 PM: Afternoon Tea 3:45 PM: Basketball Free Throw Contest 3:45 PM: Interdenominational Service 4:00 PM: New Body Cycling (Spinning $11) 4:30 PM: Volleyball fun 4:30 PM: Catholic Mass Hudson Room 4:45 PM: Friends of Bill W 5:15 PM: Captain’s Welcome Reception (1st seating) 5:00 PM: New Body Sculpt, Greenhouse Gym 6:60-8:30 PM: Port & Shopping Ambassador Rick is available for questions 7:30 PM: Captains Welcome Reception (2nd seating) 8:30 PM: Showtime, Vista Lounge 9:45 PM: TV Tune Trivia, Northern Lights Nightclub 10:15-close: DJ Jazzy Jeff Spins the Hits, Northern Lights Night Club 10:15 PM: Showtime Vista Lounge 11:15 PM: Dance Request Night! Crows Nest 12:00 MN: Baby Boomers Bash! Northern Lights Nightclub Movie: Trapped, Queens Lounge, 11:30 AM & 10:15 PM Entertainment: Under the Boardwalk, Vista Lounge Tonight’s Dress: Formal: "Suit and tie required for gentlemen, tuxedo optional. Cocktail dress or formal gown for ladies". Monday: At Sea 7:30 AM: New Body Aerobics 8:00 AM: New Body Basic Pilates 9:00 AM: Catholic Mass 9:00-3:00 Best Special: Inch of Gold, Shops 9:00 AM-3:00 PM: Daily Quiz is Available 9:00 AM-5:00 PM: Library is Open 9:00 AM-8:00 PM: Sports Equipment is Available 9:30 AM: Scrabble Fun with Lori 9:30 AM: Eat More to Weigh Less 9:30 AM: Men’s Skee Golf with Catherine 9:30 AM-11:30 AM: Slot Tournament Qualifying Rounds 10:00 AM: Firming and Toning Seminar 10:00 AM: Dice Lessons 10:15 AM: Taboo Fun with Lori 10:15 AM: Ladies’ Skee Golf with Catherine 10:15 AM: St. Kitts/St. Thomas Port and Shopping Talk 10:30 AM: Men’s Ping Pong Tournament 10:30 AM: Massage Seminar 10:30 AM: Kitchen Tour & Food Demonstration 11:00 AM: Hair Show 11:00 AM: Catch Phrase Game with Lori 11:15 AM: Snowball Jackpot Bingo 11:15 AM: Ladies’ Ping Pong Tourney 11:30 AM: Team Trivia Challenge 11:30 AM: Wine Desk Opens 11:30 AM: Through the Ages, How Skin Changes 11:30 AM: Mixed Quoits 11:45 AM: Slot Tournament Finals 12:45 PM: Solo Travelers Get Together with Lori 1:15 PM: Skip-Bo with Ronnie 1:15 PM: Arthritis Seminar 1:30 PM: Art Auction Preview 1:45 PM: Men’s Shuffleboard Tournament 1:45 PM: Pictionary Fun with Lori 1:45 PM: Informal Card Players Meet (non-hosted) 1:45 PM: Aromatherapy Seminar 2:00 PM: Art Auction 2:00 PM: Line Dance Class 2:15 PM: Basketball 3 on 3 2:30 PM: Pool Games with Jazzy 2:30-4:00 Port & Shopping Ambassador Rick is available 2:45 PM: Ladies’ Shuffleboard Tourney 3:00-4:00 PM: Royal Dutch Tea 3:00 PM: Cruise Crafts with Lori 3:00 PM: Healthy Abs & Back Seminar 3:00 PM: Tanzanite Seminar/Free Champagne 3:15 PM: Mixed Golf Chipping 3:30 PM: Hand & Nail Seminar 3:45 PM: Champagne Ring Toss 4:00 PM: Snowball Jackpot Bingo 4:00 PM: New Body Cycling 4:15 PM: Outburst with Lori 4:30 PM: Volleyball Tourney 4:45 PM: Friends of Bill W. 5:00 PM: New Body Synergy 6:15 PM: Ladies Night, Greenhouse Spa, nominal fee 6:30-8:00 PM: Port & Shopping - Rick is available 7:45 PM: Liar’s Club 8:30 PM: Showtime 9:45 PM: Evening Trivia with Lori 10:15 Showtime 11:30 PM: Country Jamboree with Ronnie 12:00 mm: The Beat Goes On with Jazzy Movie: The Four Feathers 2:15 and 10:00 PM Entertainment: Paul Pappas, Songs in the Key of Sea Dress: Dressy Casual: "Comfortable Attire, but please no shorts in the dining room". Tuesday: 7:30 AM: New Body Step 8:00 AM: New Body Yoga, nominal fee 9:00 AM: Catholic Mass 9:00 am-arrival: Loose Gem Stone Phenomenon 9:00 am-10:00 AM: Port & Shopping - Rick is available 9:00-5:00: Library is Open 9:00 AM: Daily Quiz is available 9:00-8:00: Sports Equipment is Available 9:00 AM: Healthy Abs & Back Seminar 9:30 AM: Make Over Magic 9:30 AM: Early Morning Trivia 10:00 AM: Men’s Shuffleboard Tourney 10:00 AM: Ladies’ Ping Pong 10:30 AM: Pajama Bingo 10:30 AM: Scattergories Challenge with Lori 10:45 AM: Ladies’ Shuffleboard Tourney 10:45 AM: Men’s Ping Pong Tourney 11:00-12:00 Port Ambassador Rick is available 11:45 AM: Quoits Anyone? 11:30-2:00 PM: Wine Desk is Open 12:15 PM: Dock in Basseterre, St. Kitts 1:45 PM: Informal Cards Get Together 2:15 PM: Badminton Fun 3:15: Team Trivia Challenge 3:30-4:00 PM: Afternoon Tea 4:00 PM: New Body Cycling 4:30 PM: Catch Phrase with Lori 4:45 PM: Friends of Bill W. 5:00 PM: New Body Synergy 5:00 PM: Cocktail Snowball Jackpot Bingo 5:15 PM: Volleyball Madness 6:30 PM: Loose Gem Stone Phenomenon 6:30 PM: Party in Paradise Dinner on Deck 6:30-8:30: Port Ambassador Rick is available 8:00 PM: Ice Carving Demonstration 8:00 PM: All Aboard! 8:30 PM: Paradise Deck Party 9:30 PM: Mega Cash Bash-casino 9:45 PM: Evening Team Trivia 10:15 PM: Game Show Mania 11:00 PM: Express Bingo Guaranteed $300 11:15 PM: Dance Party USA 11:30 PM: Adult Late Night Comedy with Bernie McGrenahan 11:30 PM: Latin Dance Night Entertainment: Party in Paradise Deck Party Movie: The Tuxedo 11:30 am & 3:00 PM Dress: Casual Wednesday: 7:00 AM: Dock in St. Thomas 7:30 AM: New Body Step 8:00 AM: New Body Yoga 9:00 - 5:00: Library is Open 9:00 AM: Daily Quiz is available 9:00 am-8:00 PM: Sports Equipment available 9:30 AM: Ping Pong Fun 10:30 AM: Yahtzee Get Together 11:30 AM: Pictionary Fun 11:30 AM: Wine Desk is open 2:00 PM: Informal Cards Get Together 2:15 PM: Volleyball Fun 3:15 PM: Team Trivia Challenge 3:30-4:00 PM: Afternoon Tea 4:00 PM: New Body Cycling 4:00-4:45 PM: Sail away Music with Caribbean Magic 4:15 PM: Basketball/Horse 4:30 PM: All Aboard 4:45 PM: Friends of Bill W. 5o PM: New Body Synergy 5:00 PM: ms Zuiderdam sets sail 5:00 PM: Snowball Jackpot Bingo 5:15 PM: Catholic Mass 6:00-9:00 PM: Silent Art Auction 7:00 PM: Choose Any3, nominal fee, Greenhouse Spa 7:45 PM: Gem Show Mania 8:30 PM: Showtime 10:00-11:00 PM: Caribbean Concert with Caribbean Magic 10:15 PM: Showtime 10:30 PM: Margaritaville Night with Jazzy 11:15 PM: Filipino Crew Show 11:30 PM: Fabulous 50’s and 60’s Party Entertainment: Comedy and Magic of Doug Anderson Movie: Blood Work: 2:00 and 10:00 PM Dress: Casual Thursday: At Sea 7:30 AM: New Body Aerobics 8:00 AM: New Body Pilates 8:15 AM: Catholic Mass 9:00AM: Spectacular Watch Sale 9:00 AM: Back by Demand: Inch of Gold, Shops 9:00 AM: Service Club Meeting 9:00 AM: Daily Quiz is available 9:00 am-5:00 PM: Library is Open 9:00 am-8:00 PM: Sports Equipment is available 9:00 AM: Spectacular Watch Clearance 9:00 AM: Ladies’ Shuffleboard Tourney 9:15 AM: Nassau Port & Shopping Talk 9:15 AM: Detox for Weight Loss 9:15 AM: Super Detox/Anti Cellulite Seminar 9:45 AM: Seaquest Madness, Vista Lounge 10:00 AM: Loose Gemstone Extravaganza 10:00 AM: Win A Cruise Bingo 10:30 AM: Color me Beautiful seminar 10:45 AM: Disembarkation Talk-required 11:00 am-12:n: Bloody Mary Hour, Outside Decks: Note: They really do cut it off at noon, and it’s really hard to find a waiter on the Lido Deck during this hour. So, stock up on them! Haha **Those comments are from the lady who typed up the list originally. I expect that the entire bar staff will snap to attention when we enter the room, as we understand the whole tipping thing.** 11:30 AM: Wine Desk is Open 11:30 AM: Hand and Nail Seminar 1145 AM: Men’s Shuffleboard Tourney 11:45 AM: Taboo Game with Lori 1:30 AM: Shipbuilding Sea Trials, Lido Deck. Try to make it to this. It’s a Hoot! 1:30-3:30 PM: Blackjack Tournament Qualifying Rounds 1:45 PM: Card Get Together 1:45 PM: Basketball Tourney 1:45 PM: Pictionary with Lori 2:00 PM: Paul Pappas Classical Concert 2:00 PM: Face Facts Seminar 2:15 PM: Pool Games with Jazzy 2:30 PM: Art Auction Preview 2:30 PM: Perfume Seminar/Free Raffle 2:30 PM: Afternoon Trivia 2:45 PM: Line Dance Class 2:45 PM: Cruise Crafts with Lori 3:00 m: Art Auction 3:00 PM: Men’s Ping Pong Tourney 3:00 -4:00PM: Dessert Extravaganza, Vista Dining Room 3:00 PM: Jewelry Seminar 3:00 PM: Body Care Workshop 3:15 PM: Mixed Quoits 3:15 PM: Close Up Magic with Doug Anderson 3:30 PM: Outburst Game with Lori 3:45 PM: Ladies’ Ping Pong Tourney 3:45 PM: Blackjack Finals 4:00 PM: New Body Cycling 4:15 PM: Snowball Jackpot Bingo 4:45 PM: Friends of Bill W. 4:45 PM: Volleyball Tourney 5:00 PM: New Body Sculpt 7:45 PM: Newlywed, Not so Newlywed Game 8:30 PM: Showtime 9:00-12:00 MN Dance to the HAL Cats 9:45 PM: TV Tune Trivia Part 2 10:15 Showtime 11:15: Disco Alive Night with Rockin’ Ronnie 12:00 MID: New Years Eve Champagne Party with Jazzy Entertainment: Stage & Screen, the Move Musical Concert. Movie: Sweet Home Alabama 11:15 am & 4:15 PM Dress: Formal Friday: Nassau 7:30 AM: New Body Step 8:00 AM: New Body Yoga 8:30 AM: Arrive in Nassau 9:00 AM: Daily Quiz is available 9:00 am-5:00 PM: Library is Open 9:00 am-8:00 PM: Sports Equipment is available 9:30 AM: Wacky Golf Putting 10:30 AM: Catch Phrase Madness 11:30 AM: Scattergories Fun 11:30 AM: Wine Desk is open 1:45 PM: Informal Cards 2:00 PM: Pictionary Madness 3:00 PM: Ping Pong Challenge 3:30-4:00 PM: Afternoon Tea 4:00 PM: Final Team Trivia Challenge 4:00 PM: New Body Cycling 4:15 PM: Catholic Mass 4:45 PM: Volleyball Fun 4:45 PM: Friends of Bill W. 5:00 PM: All Aboard 5:00 PM: Snowball Jackpot Bingo 5:00 PM: New Body Synergy 5:30 PM: Set Sail 6:00-10:00 PM: Art Locker Blowout 6:45 PM: Showtime for second Seating guests 7:45 PM: The Match Game 8:30 PM: Showtime for Main Seating Guests 9:45 PM: Bingo Cards go on Sale 10:15 PM: Win a Cruise Bingo 10:15 PM: Final Snowball Bingo Entertainment: The Hilarious Comedy of Max Winfrey Movie: Trapped 11:30 am and 10:15 PM Dress: Casual
  23. OK, children are 23, 20 & 18--they have cruised DCL, RCCL, Princess, Celebrity & NCL. We all LOVE cruising. We truly aren't picky travelers--we have loved all our cruises, somethings are better than others on various lines/ships but overall we find ships to be more alike than different. Our kids enjoy meeting similar aged friends but they enjoy hanging with us & with each other. When on the ship we like some sun time, trivia, game shows, gambling, comedians, dancing. Anthem is out of New Jersey 12/29 for 8 nights to Orlando (??), Bahamas & private island. (OOPS--sorry I put 7 nights in title!) Pros: confident RCCL will be good fit; flights/dates a little more comfortable with break, larger newer ship Cons: flying in/out of NJ in Dec; cruising out of NJ in Dec. (assuming all 4 sea days are cold); Orlando as a port seems odd DH & I get balcony; kids get interior. (rooms are not deal breakers for us--rarely in a room. And balcony might be waste on this trip, but it's only $200 total more than interior for DH & I) Zuiderdam is out of FLL 12/26 for 11 nights to 7 Southern Caribbean islands. Pros: 11 nights (pro if we like the ship/line!) & it is the Southern Caribbean (5/7 new stops for us) Cons: smaller older ship; our return flight is LATE Sunday...and DH & I are supposed to work Monday and DS18 has class (we are teachers) Unknown: will we like Holland? Is 11 days OK with young adults--thinking over New Years it is OK. We all get OV. Zuiderdam is only $1250 more than the Anthem--which speaks to value (big fan of value). (was looking at a B2B on Holland for 2 weeks but the flights JUMPED while I was researching so that is off the table as it was a chunk more than either of these already) My online TA starts a huge sale tomorrow; probably more perks than anything, we shall see. Thoughts anyone??!!
  24. Hi! We're currently booked for the Panama Canal Sunfarer cruise for this fall in aft cabin 6173 (not a wrap). I'm debating changing to deck 4, aft cabin as well, only because the balcony looks bigger since we spend a lot of time out there. I've read that the balconies on 4 don't have very much cover, but it doesn't look like the ones on 6 have much cover either. We're not worried about this as we do not mind the sun at all since we're from south Florida and quite use to it! We're definitely not interested in the cabins on 5 since they have almost total coverage. Aft cabins on 7 are already sold out. Anyone have any info on comparing an aft cabin on 4 or 6? Is the coverage similar? Are the balconies on 4 bigger...or is it my imagination? Is either one better for going through partial panama canal? Thank you for any assistance! I keep going back and forth, and looking at cabin pictures! ;p;p
  25. We have been back from this cruise for a bit over a week and at this point and, now that the laundry has been done and "real world" reality has set it, we offer the following observations about this trip. General: For those wise enough not to read further, the verdict was very favorable. Overall, we had a wonderful trip, aboard a terrific ship, with pleasing companions, and were happy to return to home and hearth. The specifics: Embarkation: We were informed a couple of days before departure that the ship would dock in Brooklyn, because of damage done to the Manhattan pier. For the first time ever, we had booked air and airport-ship transport with HAL, and were glad we did, because doing so meant only a longer bus ride to the dock. The arrangements were relatively smooth at the airport, the bus was fine, and the ride was entertaining. We were checked in promptly, and boarded immediately. Sail-away: The departure from NY was magnificent, as we cruised past the Statue of Liberty and illuminated skyline. Ship: All of our other HAL cruises had been on Eurodam or Nieuw Amsterdam, and this was thus our first trip on an older vessel. In a word, we found it to be fine -- well maintained, clean, and comfortable. Our cabin was an aft-facing veranda, which we enjoyed very much because of a somewhat larger balcony. Our single plumbing issue was addressed quickly and efficiently. Staff: Wonderful, as always. Frankly, I would beat my head against the wall if I had to be so polite to so many people. Somehow, the staff and crew manage to pull it off, to the extent of actually convincing us that they really enjoy themselves. This rather broad judgment applies to the room attendants, dining room staff, bar waiters, and all the rest. Meals: We found the Main Dining Room to be excellent, with the best food we have had in that venue and wonderful waiters and wine steward. The two Pinnacle meals were better-than-satisfactory. The Lido was busy, but efficient, with better food than might be expected in such apparent chaos. We settled on the Ocean Bar for pre-dinner cocktails, and enjoyed both that atmosphere and our waiters. Indeed, our only carp addresses the Sel de Mer dinner. On our last cruise, my spouse and I found this to be by far the best meal we have ever had on a ship. This experience caused us to influence our traveling companions to book this meal as well on this cruise. Although the atmosphere and our waiter were wonderful, and while we enjoyed the appetizer and dessert, we found the entree (sole meunière) to be almost inedible and the service to be unbearably slow. Trouble is, it was so late by the time the entree was served that we were too tired to wait for a corrected dish. Given the cost of this meal, it will be hard to persuade ourselves to book this dinner again. Ports: We thoroughly enjoyed the stops in Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sidney, Charlottetown, Saguenay, and Quebec. Boston was absolutely packed on a busy Saturday, and it was frankly hard to make our way along the "Freedom Trail" without fighting through the crowds. We successfully and enjoyably rented cars in Bar Harbor and Charlottetown, with excellent results. Peggy's Cove was spectacular, and the "Anne of Green Gables" house was cheesy, but a required stop. We used Olie's Trolley in Halifax, with good results. Our only ship's "tour" was La Fabuleuse" in Saguenay. Although we could quibble, this was an interesting, energetic, albeit disconnected performance by a bunch of volunteers and, against all odds, we really enjoyed it. We also found the folks there to be almost unbearably welcoming and friendly, despite gail-force winds that challenged our ability to walk across the port area. The other stops were "on our own," and we managed to entertain ourselves without professional help. Suffice it to say that all of these stops deserved far more than a single day. Dis-embarkation. We arranged to stay an extra night in Quebec, and made good use of that time. This city is very hard to adequately see in two days, let alone three. In any event, the process of leaving the ship and securing a taxi was very organized -- much more so than we have experienced at Port Everglades. The HAL--arranged flights home were also fine, despite the inevitable delays along the way. This was a wonderful trip, and it is entirely possible that we converted our much-younger traveling companions to HAL in the process. While we would likely not take it again, all of our expectations were fulfilled (and then some), excepting only the disappointing Sel de Mer experience.
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