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Found 87 results

  1. Hi guys! After 20+ cruises, mostly on Celebrity, we will embark Westerdam in Yokohama today. 2 years ago we did a Japan cruise on Celebrity Millennium and absolutely fell in love with Japan. We had to do it again... Because of a more Japan focused itinerary we decided to try something new and to book with HAL. So in the next two weeks we will have the pleasure of taking you along on our trip around Japan ... Japan Cruise 2019 - Day 1 After a 10 1/2 hours flight from Frankfurt we arrived at Tokyo‘s Haneda Airport. From there we took the train to Shinjuku Station. A loop bus runs from the station through Shinjuku and our hotel was just the second stop. The Gracery Hotel is easily recognizable by the huge Godzilla statue on the roof. The rooms are clean and efficient... but so small, they could be swallowed whole by the Godzilla. We only rested a few minutes and soon ventured out for dinner, diving into the buzz of Shinjuku. We had heard of some small alleys lined with tiny restaurants serving Yakitori skewers. Memory Lane aka „Piss Alley“ is the most famous one. It’s so narrow that two people can barely walk side by side. The air is filled with smoke from the many barbecues and the slurping sounds from the Ramen stalls. Delicious! A good start of our next adventure...
  2. Hi Everyone I am looking at Westerdam for the inside passage & then adding the land section for 7 nights to Fairbanks September 2020. I have a printed copy of the 2019 Alaska Land+Sea Journey Tips for HAL which states for the land section after cruise that you must pack separate bags to travel with as luggage will not be accessible until your final destination? I rang HAL in Australia today & was advised that luggage accessible every night at your hotel. Can anyone please clarify, thanks very much.
  3. Westerdam will be at the CT dock from 1000-2200. Also in port are Royal Princess at the FKL dock from 0630-1700, Crystal Symphony at the AJ dock from 0700-1800, and Star Princess at the AS dock from 1230-2215. Wednesday will be cloudy with occasional showers (40% chance) and a high of 66F/19C and a low of 54F/12C. Sunrise is at 5:17 am and sunset at 8:46 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Noordam on Thursday.
  4. Let me first say we loved our Alaskan northbound cruise, the scenery, the crew, fellow passengers but—I have never seen a word posted about the ventilation coming out of the ceiling, hot and cold 24-hours a day—just over our beds. I should have had the beds separated by day two, giving a few inches relief, but I didn’t. By Ketchikan, I had a full blown sinus infection. Am on antibiotics now. Meanwhile, good friend of mine got the flu on the Westerdam in early July and was led off with all the other sickies and their spouses to a separate train car, sent to a resort to recover for 3 days before Denali. Oakman58 in his wonderful Westerdam report from early June ended up at the Denali Clinic from cruise crud https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2677658-westerdam-alaskan-cruisetour-jun-2-13-2019/page/3/?tab=comments#comment-57890076 So do all the ships in this class have this type of ventilation? Am I the weakest link in our biological cruise-chain. I’m hesitant to book the Volendam for a 35 night Amazon cruise.
  5. The Westerdam approaching Margerie Glacier as seen from the Eurodam leaving Margerie Glacier last Tuesday.
  6. We tried some of the major cruise lines in the past years. Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. We like them all, some things were better on one cruise line then on the other, but nothing major that would us stop from booking one of them again. But, we liked Princess the most, and I have the feeling that HAL is like a good relative of Princess quality-wise. Now we found a very interesting cruise on the Westerdam. And we are hesitating to book because we can not decide between a guarantee Signature Suite or a guarantee Neptune Suite. Both guarantee, because the price gap between guarantee and pick-your-own is so high that in this case a guarantee-cabin is the first time we are looking into this because it is really tempting. We understand that it is roulette, and I would be a little annoyed if we would be assigned to a suite directly next to an elevator - I assume this is a noise factor. If not, please let me know. But I am ready to risk it. But now back to the main problem. Signature Suite or Neptune Suite? It is around 650$ difference per person (2) for 14 days to book a Neptune Suite. Is more room and the perks which HAL offers really worth it? We do not need things like a personal concierge or even a butler like they provide on some cruise lines for suites, but I feel the suite perks on HAL are a little...weak. I would be very happy if some of you could let me know your thoughts and input about Signature Suites, Neptune Suites, the major differences rather than size and some words about the Suite perks. We need to make a decision to book our first HAL experience 🙂 Thank you all Greetings from Germany
  7. Westerdam will be at the CT dock from 0800-1800. Other ships in port are Norwegian Jewel at the AJ dock from 0700-1315, Eclipse at the AS dock from 0730-2000, and Grand Princess at the FKL dock from 0800-2100. Lucky are those visiting Juneau on Thursday. The forecast is for sunny skies and a 0% chance of rain. High will be 76F/24C and the low 52F/11C. Sunrise is at 5:04 am and sunset at 9:01 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Volendam on Friday.
  8. I am considering this cabin SB7088 for an Alaska Cruise. But it is in a weird location at a bend. Anyone with experience in this cabin?
  9. During our Volendam cruise in Asia in 2017 (Hong Kong to Singapore), we enjoyed the "Taste of Tamarind" menu, featured (I think it was a daily option) in the Pinnacle Grill. Is this also available on Westerdam during her Asia sailings?
  10. Anyone have any experience with onboard dining venues? Are they more Asian influenced on these sailings?
  11. Holland America Westerdam Alaskan Cruise/Tour June 1st to June 13th Of all the bears that could kill me, it will be the gummy that comes the closest. I apologize upfront, I’m like that uncle that everyone has who, when he returns from vacation invites everyone over to look at his vacation photos and listen to his boring stories. Yes, that means if you read my entire report you will be bored to tears. Alaska has been on my bucket list for a very long time. With my 73 birthday approaching, I decided last year it was time to book an Alaskan cruise/tour before the Grim Reaper could catch up to me. In May 2018 I found a cruise/tour with Holland America that would fit my budget and still provide me with the Alaskan experience I wanted. The land portion of the tour was exactly what I was looking for. I sent out an email to many of our friends and family about the trip and invited them to join us. I was surprised by the rush of people who expressed interest and wanted more info about this Alaskan cruise. When the dust settled 7 couples, including me and my wife Joyce, booked the Alaskan Cruise/Tour. With the exception of one couple, the rest of us could be referred to as seniors…and not the high school variety. We booked the Holland America D5C – 11 day double Denali trip and at the time the gratuities were included in the cruise fare as part of a fare promotion. We all put a deposit down and booked balcony cabins on the Upper Verandah deck (deck 6) of the Westerdam for the June 2nd cruise departing from Vancouver. In July ’18 we booked the shore excursions we planned to take through Holland. I know, I know, it’s cheaper to do it on your own but I prefer doing things by the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method. I’m willing to pay more for the convenience of not having to organize. The land portion of our tour would go from the debarkation port of Seward to Anchorage for a night, then to Denali NP for two nights, then to Fairbanks for one night. In Denali NP the Tundra Wilderness Tour was included in our cruise fare as was the Discovery II riverboat tour in Fairbanks. For our second day in Denali and after our morning Tundra Wilderness Tour we booked the evening Covered Wagon ride and dinner. In mid-January this year I fell off a ladder and broke my right ankle in three places and badly damaged the ligaments. After the surgery to repair my ankle I wasn’t allowed to put weight on it for seven weeks. The Orthopedic surgeon promised that I would be very mobile for the cruise/tour. There was nothing for me to do for the next 7 weeks but watch television and eat snacks. I kinda freaked me out when I saw the x-ray of my ankle and all the hardware that had been installed. After 10 weeks I started physical therapy for my ankle. In April 2019 we booked one more excursion, the Anchorage Flightseeing Safari, through Holland America. This would be a half hour flightseeing tour of the Anchorage area on a floatplane. Yikes, in mid-May there were two different floatplane crashes in Ketchikan. One crash was a mid-air collision of two planes resulting in six dead and 10 injured. Some of the dead and injured were passengers from a Princess cruise ship. The other crash involved a single plane and resulted in the death of the two onboard. After discussing the crashes with my wife we decided to go ahead and take the death-defying Flightseeing Safari. At 6 AM on May 31st we did the online check-in with Air Canada. We paid $30 each for each piece of our checked luggage. In the afternoon we drove to our hotel, The Marriott St. Louis, to spend the night and is very close to the airport we would be flying out of on June 1st. JUNE 1ST, OUR ALASKAN JOURNEY BEGINS. Although I was quite mobile, my ankle was still swollen and I had some residual discomfort from the surgery. This discomfort affected me more than I wanted and because of it I didn’t take very good notes or as many pictures as I normally do on trips. At least that’s the excuse I’m going to use. Our alarm was set for 3:15 AM so we could take the hotel’s 4AM shuttle to the airport. It’s was a very short ride to the airport and we were checked in at Air Canada by 4:30 AM for our 6:15 flight. Our flight departed on time and we arrived in Toronto at 8:45 AM EDT. This was a small 48 passenger plane and when we deboarded we used the steps that are built into the plane. That was a first for me, I’m used to walking off planes via skywalks connected to the plane. Passing through customs was quick and easy. Unfortunately we had a seven and a half hour layover before our flight to Vancouver. Killing time in an airport is never easy. One of the couples that joined us on this trip had booked the same flights so at least we had another couple to talk to as we waited for our next flight. Our plane departed Toronto for Vancouver at 4:15 EDT and we arrived in Vancouver at 5:58 PDT. After retrieving our luggage we walked outside and caught a cab ($35) to our hotel, the Days Inn by Wyndham, which is located just a couple of blocks from the cruise terminal. The cab ride was the most terrifying I’ve ever had and that includes the cab rides in Egypt. I don’t recommend the Days Inn, the room was very small, expensive ($331.54), and there was only one small elevator to serve the 7 or 8 floors of the hotel. Three of the other couples going on the cruise with us were staying at this same hotel so we met in the lobby and went to dinner together at a nearby restaurant. After dinner Joyce and I called it a night and went back to our room where Joyce made an ice pack for my ankle. In hindsight I should have cancelled the cruise when I broke my ankle and planned a much later cruise. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20. I have to stop for now I will continued this report tomorrow.
  12. Westerdam will be at the CT dock from 1000-2200. Also in port are Royal Princess at the FKL dock from 0630-1700, Seabourn Sojourn at the AJ dock from 0700-1700, and Star Princess at the AS dock from 1230-2215. Another nice day is forecast with partly cloudy skies. The high will be 68F/20C and the low 52F/11C. Sunrise is at 4:47 am and sunset at 9:20 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Noordam on Thursday.
  13. Would please like advice relative to choosing between Westerdam and Neuw Amsterdam for an Alaskan voyage? Obviously Neuw is newer but a little more expensive or Westerdam older but can get a better class cabin. Always tradeoffs, but although both ships did a retrofit in 2017, I am guess I am asking is Neuw being slightly nicer overall since it is a newer ship worth going on relative to getting a slightly better cabin by going on Westerdam? Thanks so much.
  14. Hi , I have not been able to find out where exactly the Westerdam docks in Halong Bay or do we still have to tender as it states in the HAL Itinerary ? "What's in Port " says there is a new pier (2018 ) and cruise terminal called " Halong Bay Cai Lan Vietnam Cruise Port " and the larger ships do not have to drop anchor anymore and use tenders to go to the city's wharf . Even the Halong Bay Cruise tour companies have not been very helpful in this matter . Do passengers still need transportation to go to with the "Cruise - Junks " ? Do all the Junks leave from the same location ? ( In specific Port matters HAL usually is not much of a help at all ) I hope there are some Cruise Critic folks who have fairly recently been to Halong Bay that can help me with this .. Your help is much appreciated Tony
  15. Hi all , we were on the Volendam a couple of years ago and our cruise port in Shanghai was right near The Bund . For those who have been in Shanghai since on the Westerdam was the ship able and allowed to get to that port or did you have to go to one of the other Cruise Ports near the mouth of the Huangpu river which is a fair distance from the Bund area . I am contemplating a cruise on her in the spring and could possibly be twice in Shanghai so I think it is important to know . I appreciate hearing about your experiences . Tony
  16. Westerdam will be at the CT dock from 0800-1800. Also in port are Norwegian Jewel at the AJ dock from 0700-1315, Eclipse at the AS dock from 0730-2000, and a ship we do not see frequently on a weekday, Carnival Legend at the FKL dock from 1400-2200. Thursday is forecast to be cloudy with some rain in the afternoon. High will be 62F/17C and the low 52F/11C. Sunrise is at 4:34 am and sunset at 9:33 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Volendam on Friday.
  17. When (on which stops) will ship time not equal phone time on the Westerdam Alaska southbound cruise? Where the get-off-the-ship ports are: - Haines - Juneau - Ketchikan Do you have any tricks to help you remember when (which days) the ship time is different so that you don't miss the departure?
  18. Westerdam will be at the CT dock from 1000-2200. Also in port are Royal Princess at the FKL dock from 0630-1700, Crystal Symphony at the AJ dock from 0700-1800, Azamara Quest tendering from 0900-2300, and Star Princess at the AS dock from 1230-2215. Cloudiness in the morning will turn into rain showers during the afternoon. The high will be 66F/19C and the low 54F/12C. Sunrise is at 4:19 am and sunset at 9:48 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Noordam on Thursday.
  19. I'm confused with the changes to guest lecturers on HAL. I'm also curious about the entertainment on the longer Antarctica cruise. We realize things change, but based on your experience, what is your best guess? 1) Are we likely to have specific guest lecturer(s) on the 20 day Antarctica itinerary? 2) Will HAL staff the full music entertainment? There are more 'scenic cruising' days on this itinerary than we have ever experienced (I believe 8 days). As such, we are likely going to want full entertainment normally staffed on Westerdam: BB King/Dueling Pianos/Etc... Is it likely they will staff this itinerary with the same entertainment they would a shorter cruise? TIA :)
  20. Never been on a cruise before - we are looking at booking a Vancouver roundtrip Inside Passage cruise this September - we can choose either the Noordam on Sept 15th or the Westerdam on the 22nd (this one is a bit better deal for pricing) ... any advice or recommendations (and feedback about weather!) is much appreciated.
  21. My first time on HAL coming up. Westerdam Alaska Vancouver to Seward. Been 4 + years since our last cruise. I see there’s a thread for first timers but 168 pages.....? Not sure I can get thru that. I know from years ago there’s lots of inside info on this board on what’s good/ bad, what not to miss, and lots of recommendations that a newbie wouldn’t be aware of. I don’t think I’ll have time to get thru all the threads on here this week, so if anyone has tips I should know about please post. Never been on HAL and it’s been some time since our last cruise so I think I need to catch up. Thanks!
  22. Which bars on the Westerdam serve a Wang Wang? Asking for a friend.
  23. It's nice to have two HAL ships in port but, unfortunately, we will only get glimpses of them because of their docks. Westerdam will be at the CT dock from 0800-1800 and Amsterdam at the FKL dock from 1400-2300. Also in port are Norwegian Jewel at the AJ dock from 0700-1315 and Eclipse at the AS dock from 0730-2000. The forecast is for "considerable cloudiness with occasional showers" (60% chance of rain). High will be 65F/18C and the low 55F/13C. Sunrise is at 4:09 am and sunset at 9:57 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Volendam on Friday.
  24. from: https://avcams.faa.gov/ then click on the dot on Seward
  25. Westerdam will be at the CT dock from 1000-2200. Also in port are Royal Princess at the FKL dock from 0630-1700, Star Legend tendering from 0700-1500, Star Princess at the AS dock from 1230-2230, and Sun Princess at the AJ dock from 1300-2200. Juneau is having another nice day with only a 10% chance of rain, partly cloudy skies, and a high of 78F/26C (low is 56F/13C). Sunrise is at 3:59 am and sunset at 10:09 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Noordam on Thursday.
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