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Found 476 results

  1. Day #1 - After a leisurely breakfast on the 23rd floor of the Pan Pacific, we rolled our luggage downstairs to the co-located Canada Place cruise ship terminal (the hotel has a dedicated "cruise ship level" elevator.) It was an easy hop, skip and a roll to the porters. From there, it was the actual cruise ship check-in which, with four ships in port, was a busy affair. After check-in, it was a bit of a "zig-zag livestock style" meander to get to shore-side security screening of individuals and carry-on luggage, and then another "hurry up and wait" for pre-clearance border screening, not by Canadian CBSA, but by officers of the United States Customs & Border Protection (CBP). You see, the United States federal government operates border pre-clearance facilities at a number of ports and airports in foreign territory. The process is intended to streamline border procedures, reduce congestion at U.S. ports of entry, and facilitate travel between the pre-clearance location and U.S. ports of entry unequipped to handle international travelers. After the obligatory welcome aboard pic by the ship's photographers (hey, no one is holding a knife to your throat to later purchase these pics!), we took one of Nieuw A's scenic elevators to Deck 7 and to our floating crib. Dropped off the carry-on's and headed for the Lido Marker for a salad and soup lunch. As we were leaving the abode, our luggage was delivered pronto; fast service by Nieuw A's Housekeeping Dept.! The 4:00 PM mandatory passenger emergency safety drill was one of the fastest and most efficient "mustard" drills that we've seen in twenty-seven years of cruising. Everyone showed up, got scanned in by the asst. boat commander and, at least as was the case with our boat, #10, paid attention/quit flapping their lips" as Captain Marco Carsjens and CD Rebecca read their safety and health schpiel via the ship's P/A system. We were dismissed exactly nineteen minutes after arriving, a fact which drew an applause from many of our fellow shipmates! Impressive feat! After unpacking, we did some jelling and vegging until it was time for dinner (we chose a casual one in the Lido and had Rigatoni). From there, it was a beeline for the last portion of the first set (8:30 PM) of the B.B. King's All-Star Band which, we found out, was standing room only, not one available seat in in the house! The band sounded spectacular as usual, with lead female singer Stephanie Bolton standing out. We stuck around for the entire second set (were able to locate two front row seats) and then finished up the night with the two Billboard Onboard pianists/vocalists Ivy and Jonathan. The main entertainment in the show lounge tonite was the movie "Avengers Endgame"starting at 8:30 PM Pic is the reason behind this ship's name prominently displayed opposite the Deck 2 port-side scenic elevators. New York City's nick name "The Big Apple" was first popularized in the 1920s by John J. FitzGerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph.
  2. My d/w and I will be finishing a transatlantic and Norway fiord cruise aboard the Niew Statendam in Early May 2020 and am having a hard time with post cruise hotel in Amsterdam. Will probably stay in the city 3 days or so. Can anyone recommend a hotel central location that doesn’t break the bank?
  3. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Monday is looking to be the nicest day of the week with a 0% chance of rain and a high of 63F/17C but a chilly low of 44F/7C. Sunrise is at 5:28 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  4. We will be flying from the US to Amsterdam Schiphol, but cruising out of Rotterdam. We will be staying in a Rotterdam hotel (not yet selected), for 2 or 3 days before our Oct 3, 2020 cruise on the Rotterdam for 29 days. What is the best transportation from Schiphol to a downtown Rotterdam hotel ? There will be 4 of us. We are considering staying in the SS Rotterdam Hotel, which is the old HAL cruise ship which is now a museum and hotel. But the main concern is decent transportation from Schiphol to Rotterdam.
  5. We are traveling with carry-on luggage only. My suitcase is very lightweight nylon, with no structure to it. It is a carry over shoulder and convert to backback style (about 22 pounds). My question is: Can I carry it on? The bag would be squished if piled with other luggage on top of it. I have had my flatiron for my hair damaged before.
  6. I confess to being a Celebrity "lifer". However, we have booked a transatlantic on the Nieuw Statendam and have a question about the cabin as I can't find any info on line. Cabin number is 5225 which is a category VS aft facing. Does anyone have any info on this cabin? TYIA
  7. Just back from a Cruise through the Fjords of Norway on board the Nieuw Statendam. A few thoughts: Embarkation: A rather long wait- but that might be because we picked a peek time – all in all well handled from HAL Ship: The Nieuw Statendam is just no our ship- to dark – to loud in some places. No deckchairs on the promenade deck- not even in some places. The wrap around pormmenade deck is nice - but the view blockes from the lifeboats. The most irritating part is the Lido – Buffet- Restaurant. The chairs and tables are by the windows- the style of said chairs and tables – well that’s a kind of “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"- for us it was the 70´s gone very wrong! The most disturbing fact of the Lido- Restaurant is that the waiting area in front of the stations doubles as walkway to the aft poo ldeck- so there was always “ traffic”- lot´s of people bumped into each other- the ones carrying their food to the tables and others walking through. The Dutch Café and Explorations – Crow´s Nest are both wonderful and nice places- nicely furnished too- both are self service- which is - in my book anyway- a deal- breaker. Especially in the Dutch Café- which is a very nice place - but way to small- waiter service would be much better- I witnessed some passengers struggling carrying their coffee- tea or whatever to their tables- some spilling their contents, some smashing vase´s in placing the stuff on the table. If you are so lucky to get a table, you had to put some stuff at the table- to mark it – “ in use”- ( so we turned into table- and chair hogs…) otherwise you get your stuff at the counter and are at loss where to put it- if there is no table or seat – happened to us twice- and we ended up at the bar- not a problem- but not very comfortable and not my idea of a Café! Oh just to mention it we are not yet in our dotting years- early 50s! The food in all Restaurants and especially in Rudi´s and the Pinnancle Grill were outstanding good. The service likewise. No complaints here! We had a verandah cabin on Deck 5- 5051- perfect location - perfect and extra large balcony- wonderful- the best bathroom i ever had on boad a ship- with the exception of Queen Mary2´s new single stateroom bathrooms. Would we sail HAL again- well- maybe on boad of one of the older ships- and if they change to table service in the Dutch Cafe and Explorations- for the time beeing it is either Cunard or Celebrity.
  8. Amsterdam will be at the AS deck from 0800-2200 and Volendam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port is Disney Wonder at the AJ dock from 0645-1645. Mostly cloudy skies are predicted with some rain showers (40% chance). High will be 69F/21C and the low 53F/12C. Sunrise is at 5:22 am and sunset at 8:41 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam on Monday.
  9. This is a 14 day roundtrip cruise out of Seattle. Quick question - should I book Port or Starboard side for best scenery/views/ports?.
  10. So as I began contemplating a last minute Alaskan cruise this year, the limited selection (especially for cabins) at the last minute had me looking at cruises for next Summer. I was planning to take the Nieuw Amsterdam (as we did last year), BUT it is being replaced by the Koningsdam. Last year we had a Signature Suite on the Nieuw Amsterdam and, of course, I started by looking at those. As some other threads here on CC have pointed out there are VERY few Signature Suites on the Koningsdam, which was surprising to me. However, as I began to compare the online videos of the various Koningsdam suites I was surprised at the new layout for the Signature Suites. Indeed, I'm not a fan. More investigation shows that the even pricier Neptune suites on the Kdam are much closer equivalent to the Signature Suites in everything from layout to size to deck positioning and number of suites. Even then, you lose the extra little "make-up" desk on the Kdam (although Kdam's Neptune cabin is wider). One of the biggest disappointments of the Kdam's Signature suites, however, involves the size of the balcony - they are much more shallow than the equivalent NA/Eurodam SS balconies. The Neptune balconies on the Kdam are essentially the same depth as the SS on NA/Euro. At the end of the day, to get the same Nieuw Amsterdam "Signature Suite" experience on the Kdam, I feel like I would really have to "pay up" for the Neptune suite...bummer. Given how few signature suites there are, I'm not sure why HAL bothered with them on the Kdam. Definitely a bummer and a clear "revenue generation" move by HAL (not surprising of course - Corporate America FTW!). Has anyone else noticed this?
  11. We're looking at the Nieuw Statendam's verandah staterooms on deck 4 (VH) that are described as obstructed or partially obstructed view. The price is very attractive but for someone who loves to spend time on her cruise ship balcony, I'd like to know what that obstruction looks like. Hoping someone has photos or just an experience with one of these staterooms.Thanks in advance for your help. Really having trouble deciding!
  12. Thinking about a Caribbean cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam this Spring. Family of 3, including a 14 year old. We would prefer mid-ship, lower and a nice balcony. I've read about the possible view of the tops of the lifeboats, I don't think we'd care about that, but we would want a good balcony and a quiet cabin. Suggestions? Thanks.
  13. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Eclipse at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. The lovely weather we have seen recently is going to slowly go back to the usual Juneau weather. Monday is supposed to be sunny with a high of 75F/24C and a low of 52F/11C. Sunrise is at 5:13 am and sunset at 8:51 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  14. We are considering a cruise next month on the Amsterdam. We have cruised on the Amsterdam many years ago, when she was brandnew, and experienced much noise in our Oceanview cabin. It was not possible to be moved that time. This past December we had very similar problems on the Volendam, and we thankfully moved to the other side of the ship, which was blissfully quiet. We really do not want to have another cabin with much engine noise, so which cabins should we avoid? Thanks!
  15. We are thinking about booking a New England/Canada cruise for next summer. HAL has two ships sailing that area. Zaandam or Amsterdam? Are they basically the same ship? They seem to be in the same class. Thoughts or comments? Also, is there any chance that HAL will implement any of their new music partnerships such as Billboard Onboard, BB Kings or Lincoln Center Stage on either of these ships? I know they are small and have limited space, but maybe they convert some of their existing space. Thanks
  16. We will be on a long cruise next year on the Amsterdam. Our choices were few as to cabin availability and prices. Has anyone been in 3416 or close by and were there any issues with noise from the dining room above? This is also a connecting cabin and we are also concerned with noise from that. Thank you in advance.
  17. We are spending Christmas week on Niew Amsterdam this year, just my 14 year old (she will turn 14 during the cruise) and myself (34). I have been on a number of Royal Caribbean cruises but have never been on HAL. I’ve also never been on a cruise for the holidays. I’ve heard that HAL is geared towards older passengers, which is okay with me, as we are quiet, laidback vacationers. I do have a few questions though - Can anyone tell me what to expect on HAL in terms of differences from other cruise lines? Are there any major differences with the culture/dress code/activities onboard? Will there be more kids than usual over Christmas week? What can I expect for the holidays onboard? Do they do anything special that I should be aware of? Can I arrange any kind of birthday surprise for my daughter onboard? And one last question from my daughter - we know that pajamas are frowned upon outside of your stateroom, but would they be allowed for breakfast on Christmas morning? Or would be just look ridiculous and receive negative looks? We have an annual matching pj tradition for Christmas and are just wondering if we have to forgo wearing them for breakfast this year 🙂 Thanks in advance!!
  18. Still working on our review of our first trip on HAL, but wanted to share a link to pictures of MDR menus and food here. I know food is subjective, but we really enjoyed most of our meals.
  19. I know there are retreat cabanas. The teens liked the ones by the pool on our last cruise on NA
  20. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Lovely weather with highs in the 70s is predicted for the whole week. Monday will have partly cloudy skies with a high of 73F/23C and a low of 55F/13C. Sunrise is at 4:57 am and sunset at 9:07 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  21. Just got the email from HAL. Our 14 day back to back March 8th on the Nieuw Statendam is canceled. They’re offering us $75 per person ( veranda) to rebook on a different date in March. Glad I bought travel insurance. I had all my flights and hotels set up. Maybe they have a charter?
  22. New to this both HAL, and cruising in general) and am unable to locate answers to a few questions on the HAL website. Hoping people here can help me out... We are booking a September Inside Passage cruise, roundtrip Vancouver. Does anyone know what time the HAL counter, for check-in, actually opens up (as opposed to the time it might state on the travel documents)? Have people had success with turning up much earlier and being able to get through before the crowds show up? We need to make arrangements far in advance for when to arrive at the port, so it'd be very helpful to know what the earliest time people have found they can check-in might be. The other question we have is whether or not we will be allowed to bring bottled water and cans of ginger ale with us, as either carry-on or checked baggage? Thanks!
  23. I will be sailing on the Nieuw Statendam soon and was wondering how the new arrangement for Lincoln Center Stage is in the Queen's Lounge on this ship rather than the dedicated space on the Koningsdam. It would seem to be a much less intimate. Do they set up chairs theater style? Is it now a quartet rather than a quintet? I read that somewhere and I was wondering if that was an error. Hope so! Needless to say, for me this is one of the highlights of my cruise.
  24. Hi 😊 Could anyone who has recently been on the Ms Amsterdam please advise me on the below questions? 💪 How much are the Spinning classes (and if also known, how long do they last and frequency onboard?) 💪 Do they have yoga mats available to use in the gym? 💪 How much are the Yoga classes (and if also known, how long do they last and frequency onboard?) 💪 Do any of the pools make it possible to swim lanes or too small? Thank you!
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