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  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. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. I know there are retreat cabanas. The teens liked the ones by the pool on our last cruise on NA
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Does anyone know from sailing on this ship if there is a happy hour in the Crow's Nest or any bar? If so what are the times and particulars. Thank you.
  15. Hello fellow cruisers! We recently returned from a 7-night voyage on the Nieuw Statendam, and I thought I would try and write a little photo review to share with you! Just testing this photo...More to come!
  16. 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!
  17. Who can remember or knows what penny slot machines are on Nieuw Statendam ...the more the merrier thank you
  18. Nieuw Statendam Review, Land of the Midnight Sun, Departure on 7/7/19 For a little bit of background, we are mid-40’s cruisers that have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity & Disney with almost 20 cruises under our belt. This was our first Holland America experience and we chose this cruise due to the itinerary to the Artic Circle. We left a few days early so we could have time to enjoy a little bit of Amsterdam before the cruise on Sunday. We arrived into Amsterdam early afternoon and took a cab to our hotel, the Kimpton Dewitt as we did not want to transport our luggage by public transportation. We stayed at this location due to free points, but I highly recommend it as it was a short walk to all of the major sites in the city. A colleague recommended that we take the hop on/hop off on tour. I do not recommend this as it was a big waste of time and the tour highlights were not that great. We did download the Rick Steves audio tour on my Iphone, and we did two of his free walking tours and learned a lot from this and highly recommend this way to tour the city. On the Saturday before the cruise, we took the Old Holland Tour that provides public transportation by bus for 20 euros pp and it took you to Zaanse Schans, Edam and Volendam. We had a great time and they also have a walking tour that we used walking around the windmills. On Sunday, we headed to the port around noon and were on the ship by 12:30. We were really excited to be on this trip and to experience all that we could see on Norway. We were even more ecstatic because a couple of weeks before we decided to upgrade to a Neptune Suite. We have never stayed in a suite, but we pulled the plug because the cabin was an aft corner with the 2 balconies, and we wanted to be able to see as much as we could of all of the scenery both in the fjords and the Artic. One benefit that we truly enjoyed as a result of the suite was Club Orange. We had amazing food and service in this venue at both breakfast and dinner. I have a gluten allergy and they truly catered to me and I was able to have souffle and many other dishes that I have never been able to have on other cruise lines. Ports: Eidfjord. We scheduled an independent excursion through Go Fjord to see the Vøringfossen waterfall. On the way to the waterfalls, we stopped a nature exhibit. This was truly a waste of time, but this was the cheapest and easiest way to see the waterfall. The excursion limited the time at the waterfall, so I highly recommend going to the furthest platform viewing first and working your way back as it had the best views of the falls. Bergen: We first got on the hop on/hop off bus and do not recommend. The city is not that big and pretty walkable. We then walked around and stopped at the Hanseatic Museum and Bryggen. I highly recommend the museum and they have regular tours for English speakers. We did not buy tickets in advance of the funicular because I was concerned about weather. However, the weather turned out beautiful so on our walk to the funicular I bought tickets on their app and was able to avoid the huge lines waiting to buy tickets. We then had a hearty traditional Norwegian lunch at Bryggeloftet & Stuene. We then headed to the Fish Market as my husband loves all kinds of dried and canned fish. I bought some sausage (later learned you can’t bring back to USA ☹). Alesund: We took the independent excursion through Norway Excursions, Alesund from Fjords to Trolls. Our tour guide Anita was amazing. I learned so much from her about the history of Norway and their culture. This was by far the best tour with amazing scenery on the Troll Road with its 11 hairpin turns. This Florida girl was glad she was not driving. The tour also allowed several stops and photo stops which was really nice. Trondheim: We found a walking tour from Frommers that we used to tour the city. This was also another very walkable city and Nidaros Cathedral was amazingly beautiful. We also walked over the Old Town Bridge with the historic wharves up to Kristiansten Fortress which provided a beautiful view of the city. Afterwards we headed to Baklandet Skydsstation for lunch which was nice little café with outside seating and very yummy food. We then finished our walking tour and headed back to the ship. The weather was again beautiful, and we had a great day in this city. North Cape/Honningsvag: We decided to rent a car. I was a little nervous about driving and renting especially when the rental company said make sure you shut your door at the cape because she had a rental last week lose the door to the wind when he left it open! However, we had no problems driving. We headed first to the North Cape and walked around and checked out all of the exhibits. Then we drove to Skarsvag and checked out the village. We wanted hike to the Arch, but I was worried about time, so we decided to skip that. Then we drove to Gjesvaer, a little fishing town. We had a great day driving around and this allowed for us to make photo stops when we wanted to. We also brought lunch for ourselves and had a little picnic at one of the pullouts overlooking the water. A gas station was right by the cruise terminal, so we had no problems filling up. Also, as a FYI, you fill the tank up first and then pay! Hellesylt: This port was a bit of a bummer because we did not cruise all the way to Geiranger. As a result, we booked the cruise excursion that provided the bus tour and then a cruise down the Geraingerfjord. There was little opportunity for independent excursions in Hellesylt and the excursion we went on was just okay. We drove by a bunch of beautiful things but did not really stop and a tour guide was decent but not amazing. Flam: Because we were in port from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., we did the Norway in a Nutshell tour on our own. This allowed us to take the Flam train up to Myrdal, then a train to Voss, then a bus to Gudvangen and then the boat down the Nærøyfjord. We would highly recommend it. We met another couple from the boat also doing this tour and was able to eat lunch with them in Voss at Tre Broer Cafe and Bar. It was really a great day. Haugesund: We decided to rent a car because there were several little things that we wanted to do and decided it was easier and cheaper to do on our own. We rented from Sixt and the representative was waiting outside for us when we arrived making it very efficient for us to get on the road. We made the following stops: Haraldshaugen (Norwegian National Monument), Steinsfjellet (panoramic viewpoint of city), Avaldsnes: Nordvegen History Centre and Viking Settlement, Skudeneshavn (fishing village) and Åkrasanden (beaches). Unfortunately, at the Viking Settlement, most of it was closed due restoration; however, the history center was really interesting. Thoughts on Holland America/Nieuw Statendam The good: The ship is new and beautiful. The food and service was amazing at Club Orange, Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind. My husband enjoyed the sushi at the buffet. We loved all of the musical acts at Lincoln Center, B.B. Kings and Rolling Stone and the themed artwork that went along with it. We enjoyed the BillBoard Bar and Ocean Bar and had really good service and drinks at those locations. We also loved the Dutch Café with its coffees and snacks. We also loved all of the free movies you could get in the room. We also attended the America’s Test Kitchen demonstrations but wished it was more interactive. We also appreciated the covered pool area especially on chilly days at sea. The so so: On sea days, the public spaces were extremely full, and it was sometimes hard to find a place to lay down and sleep or read a book especially around the pool. The EXC talks were just okay. We felt that she found the information off google and turned it into a speech. I would have preferred someone from Norway that could provide more history and culture about the areas we visited. The bad: We felt that there was a huge lack of activities on sea days or at night other than the musical acts. The ship also repeated some of the same entertainers for the nightly shows at the main stage. We also had difficulty communicating with some of the staff due to language barriers; this was not a big deal but sometimes it was hard to convey what you needed as far as drinks or food in the buffet. The drinks at the remaining bar locations other than the ones mentioned above were terrible and the service was not great. My gluten free options due to my allergy were also limited and even though I was told they have gluten free pizza crusts at New York Pizza, they said they ran out after only 2 days on the ship. We also had problems due to the lack of receipts given because we were charged for items when we had the beverage package and we wanted to have the option to provide additional gratuities for the servers in Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind. Overall Thoughts: We went on the ship for the itinerary and had an amazing time because of it. We thought the food was top notch and we loved our aft Neptune Suite. However, I don’t believe that we are the normal demographic for Holland America, and I think we would be truly bored if this had been a Caribbean sailing due to the lack of activities and interactive cruise activities that we love on other cruise lines.
  19. Booked for a Nov 2020 10 day Nieuw Statendam cruise and after reviewing HAL's site, it sounds like the typical crew-performed main theater shows we're accustomed to on the Vista-class boats aren't what's going to be on-board the NS. Several things NOT mentioned on HAL's site are comedy, magic, and the Indonesian culture-themed crew shows. Site seems to emphasize only classical music and ballroom dancing type shows? Has anyone sailed her recently that could shed any light on this? I'm fine with classical music and ballroom dancing, but the DW is NOT going to be thrilled with that type of show. Need to find out, if possible, so I can plan other ways to entertain her. Thanks for any input you can offer.
  20. Hi all, We are currently booked on the Nieuw Statendam March 15, 2020 cruise. This will be our first time sailing with Holland America. I had been checking the Holland America website to see if there were any pricing changes. As of the beginning of last week, there were still a lot of cabins available, however, at the end of the week, there were no cabins available. The sailing has now been removed from their website. I called Holland America and was advised that it is not sold out, however, they are in process of modifying something. They weren’t able to say what but said it may be the itinerary or the pricing. This was a week ago. My reservation is still showing on line. I was wondering if anyone has had the same experience in the past. I am concerned that they may end up canceling it to charter it or do repairs etc as I have seen that happen with other cruise lines. Thank you very much.
  21. Hi all! I recently sailed the Nieuw Statendam for 21 nights from June 30th to July 21st on the Voyage of the Midnight Sun in Norway. I figured since I was on HAL's newest ship for a significant amount of time, I'd write up a review. Overall, it was a great experience, and I wouldn't hesitate to sail this ship again! Embarkation: Seriously the easiest embarkation I've ever had! From the time our cab dropped us off to the port until we were in our stateroom was under a half an hour. They've got it down pat at the Amsterdam Cruise Terminal! Food: Being on the ship for 21 days, we went to each specialty restaurant twice, with the exception of Pinnacle Grill, which we only went to once. Rudi's Sel de Mer was by far the best of the specialty restaurants. We all had the grilled seafood platter the first time, and then the second time, my mom and I had the seafood platter again, while my father had the bouillabaisse. Everything was cooked to perfection and flavored well. Canneletto was also very good. The first night we went, my father and I both had the daily special: Osso Bucco, while my mom had the Lasagne. All were excellent. When we went back, we did more of a family style where we got the Lasagne, Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli, and the Veal Saltimbocca. The veal and the lasagne were great, but the shrimp and lobster ravioli had a flavor that none of us cared for. There was nothing wrong with them, just not our personal preference. Tamarind - We went here for both a meal off of their regular menu and for the Indonesian Rjistafel. The food from their regular menu was very good. We had the eggplant massaman curry, the lamb chops, and the shrimp and lobster stir fry. The Rjistafel was where our opinions differed. I loved it, my father thought it was just ok, and my mom hated it. The spices and flavorings in Indonesian food are quite different than other Asian styles, so I think it's one of those things either you like it or you don't. Pinnacle was our least favorite, hence we only went once. We usually love Pinnacle, but the food there was just off on this trip. I had the crab legs, which were ok. My mom had the scallops, which were undercooked for her taste, and my dad had the lamb chops, which were huge, but he said were just ho-hum and he had had better. Main Dining Room: Fantastic to Good. I never had a bad meal. Some were better than others. The Weiner Schnitzel and Orange Duck were clear winners for me. I also had some great fish meals. Something to add since this was a back to back for us - the first cruise's Gala Night Surf and Turf included lobster. On the second cruise, lobster was not offered, and it was prawns with the filet. Grand Dutch Cafe: Nice selection of Dutch sandwiches and quick bites for free. They also have a great selection of Dutch beers and liquors for a fee. You can also get specialty coffees here. I especially enjoyed the Croquettes and the La Trappe Dubbel Beer. Dive In Burgers and Dogs - Another great venue on the ship for a quick service meal, by the Lido Pool. Burgers and Dogs were fantastic. New York Pizza and Deli - We only ate here once, and weren't impressed with the pizza. We've had this on the Rotterdam, and it was much better on that ship. The pizza lacked flavor. Lido Market: I love HAL's "buffet." They always have great, fresh selections. I love that you don't serve yourself, and that there are many stations to create your own pastas, Asian foods, and salads. ***Hidden Food Station*** At Billboard On Board, they have a selection of hot and cold snacks available from around 9pm until around 11pm. Great for post drink munchies! More to come!
  22. 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.
  23. Hello Everyone, sailing away today! Will try and post menus and other information. I plan to get internet for sea days and use my International calling plan in port. We boarded about 12 and were on quickly. Had a problem with my sisters drink package and was happy to stand in the Club Orange line (just one person ahead of me). Photo is drink events and cost.
  24. 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, Regatta will be tendering from 1300-2100, and Solstice will be at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. The weather continues to be rainy but there is some sun predicted during the week. There is a 60% chance of rain throughout the day with a high of only 58F/14C and a low of 47F/8C. Sunrise is at 4:42 am and sunset at 9:25 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
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