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Krazy Kruizers

Westerdam - January 16 - 23

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Sunday, January 16 - we had a rough morning arriving back in Ft Lauderdale. The day was cool and cloudy. We docked at pier 26 - our normal pier. We were late leaving Ft Lauderdale (again) - left around 6. The seas were very rough. People left the dining room early. Dishes were falling everywhere. The wait staff were having a difficult time carrying their trays - a few didn't make it. More dished broke in the Neptune Lounge. We went to the suite cocktail party at 7:30 in the Neptune Lounge. There were about 20 of us there and 10 of us had been on the ship the previous week. The seas were 27 feet with swells up to 33 feet. They had to empty out the pools. The hydro pool was only partially drained - the water still went everywhere. Don't know why they didn't completely drain it.

The seas remained rough till around 11 PM. By that time many people were sick and the show room was empty - only about 40 people went.

The seas calmed down for a few hours but by 3:30 we were rocking and rolling again.

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Monday, January 17 - Half Moon Cay

The seas were still rough - we arrived around 8:30. It was difficult again getting people in and out of the tenders. We chose to stay on the ship. Very few people went ashore - about 300. Many people were still sea sick.

Forgot to mention that last week in St Maarten, they had trouble getting tender 13 back in place. The rear davit wasn't working correctly. So tender 13 wasn't used last Saturday when we were at HMC and it wasn't used again today - nor was it used at Grand Cayman.

This was a casual evening.

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Tuesday, January 18 - A Sea Day

Lots of activities - partly cloudy but we did manage to get a few rays of sun.

Formal night.

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Wednesday, January 19 - Ocho Rios

We got there early. Beautiful weather in the morning - cloudy in the afternoon. Things were a little more organized this year at the Reynold's Pier (the old James Bond Pier). We just wanted to go over to the Island Village - took the bus instead of walking. It was $2 per person and they assigned everyone a bus and gave out receipts - bus driver got a receipt and couldn't make his own deals. We toured all the shops there - some are really nice. There is a beach there - they charge a couple of dollars to walk on it and $5 to rent a lounge chair. They also rent lots of other water stuff. Went over to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville and had a couple of drinks and their volcano chips and salsa - great! The place also has a pool and a water slide for the children - free. By noon the place was packed. We got there early enough to get a table by the low wall overlooking the beach and ocean. The sun was out and the breeze was great.

Mariner of the Seas was in port with us.

Poeple reported that there were huge conga lines at Dunne's River Falls. We did that tour many years ago when it wasn't crowded. The one tour we would have liked to do again was Rose Hall - but it wasn't offered.

Tonight was a casual night.

Tonight was also the "VIP" or "Whose Who" party or whatever you want to call it. It was held in the Hudson Room.

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Thursday, January 20 - Grand Cayman

We were the next to last to arrive here so we had a long tender ride into the pier. We went over early and were glad that we did. We sat for only a little while in the bay area before our tender could dock. Carnival Victory, Carnival Conquest, and Mariner of the Seas used the island's big double decker tenders and they had priority in the water and at both the North and South piers. Westerdam had one very small area reserved at the South Pier. When the Star Princess arrived around noon, they also used their own tenders and got a small space right next to us at the pier.

The stores are open and the town itself is doing quite well since the terrible hurricanes. The new Bayshore Mall already has some occupants including Kirk's - they have a lovely, huge store there compared to the old one back in the center of town. Hopefully the mall will be able to rent out all the stores. The second story still isn't completely finished.

We chose to have lunch at the Paradise - just a short walk from the Bayshore Mall. Again we were lucky to get a table by the railing and enjoy the sun and breeze while watching the ocean and tenders going back and forth.

Getting a tender back to the ship was another matter. It took us forty minutes from the time we stood in line, waited for a tender, and then got back to the ship. Others said that they spend over an hour getting to shore and more than that getting back to the ship. Some passengers said it took them so long to get ashore that they just rode the tender back to the ship. We watched as many as three tenders floating off shore awaiting their turn to drop off and pick up passengers.

Since we were so far from the pier we were able to see where the hurricane came across the island at 7 mile beach. We watched the bull dozers working. We watched one building that was a beautiful red color be torn down in just a couple of hours. This part of the island will take a while to be restored. Several of the hotels aren't open as they are still being repaired. There aren't many palm trees left in some places. A couple of the hotels we saw sections that were partially collapsed that have yet to be demolished.

Tonight was formal. We saw more people dressed for these 2 formal nights than we did the previous week.

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Friday, January 21 - Cozumel

Bummer - we are docked at the Puerta Maya pier - in our estimation, of the piers, this is the worst one. The shops are on the cheap side. There is a Fat Tuesday there for drinking and eating (not recommended by the ship) and Pancho's Backyard (recommended by the ship). Pancho's isn't really on the beach as described. There is a very narrow strip of beach with a couple of beach chairs. We chose not to have anything to eat or drink at either place. We walked around the area and stopped in several of the shops.

It was a hot and sunny day.

It is $6 a cab to go into town - but you must have 4 in your party. Having been to town many times we chose not to go in.

The pier we like the best here is the new Punto Langosta pier. There is a beautiful up-scale shopping mall across the street from the pier. We have been there a couple of times. It is also within walking distance of town.

The Carnival Conquest was docked next to us. They were scheduled to leave at 4 but the Tulum tour didn't get back until 4 and even with 2 entrances to the ship, they couldn't get everyone processed. They left around 5.

The Mariner of the Seas and the Rhapsody of the Seas were docked at the International - just a short distance from us. They both left around 4:30.

Seven Seas Navigator got the best pier - Punto Langosto.

Tonight is casual and BBQ. We chose to eat in the dining room. There weren't many people in the dining room and since we were so far from town many chose to eat at the BBQ.

Most everyone was back on board the ship well before our 9 PM departure as nearly everything was closed down.

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Saturday, January 22 - A Sea Day

Lots of activities.

Casual day - time to pack.

Calm seas and sunny most of the day.

Mariner's party was at 10:30 and the suite buffet was at 12:30.

There were a lot of activities that we wanted to go to but several of them were all scheduled at the same time plus we wanted to get some more sun.

We also chose to go to the Pinnacle this evening. We had taken care of our tips in the dining room the previous evening.

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Sunday, January 23 - Disembarkation Day

Westerdam was using the new color coded luggage tags - not striped anymore. The previous day we had gotten a letter saying that if we wanted to wait until 6 AM to put out our luggage we had to make arrangements in the Neptune Lounge. We chose to put out suit cases out by the 1 AM deadline.

We were docked at pier 21 - hate that pier as I know from previous dockings there it is hard to get a cab there. Besides us, there were 8 other ships in Ft Lauderdale.

At 8:20 the front office began paging a Rose (something) to report to the immigration officials. They kept calling her about every 10 minutes. At 8:50 they asked if anyone knew where she was to tell her to report to the immigration in the Erasmus Library and they explained that she was holding up the disembarkation process. Finally about 9 or 9:05 they began to call the numbers. We were in the first wave to leave the ship. When we got outside the terminal with our luggage it was just as I had predicted - no taxis! The way that part of the pier was designed, the taxis have to pull in from of terminal 24 before they make the loop to get to 21 and 22. All the passengers from the Jewel of the Seas were grabbing all the cabs. After a few frustrating minutes DH went over to the other side and flagged down a cab. The cab driver didn't want to take anyone to a hotel but DH promised to double the fare when we got there. Problem solved. We got a cab and were at the Embassy Suites by 9:50. Orignal fare was $7 - DH gave him $15. Later in the morning we ran into several others from the Westerdam who were also staying at the Embassy Suites. They waited over 2 hours before cabs were able to get to pier 21.

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KK, reading these posts of yours.....I have taken a virtual cruise on the new Westerdam.

Great stuff. Thanks again.

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KK - fabulous reading - you've kept me entertained all day. We're sailing with HAL for the first time in December on the Westerdam, so it's been really interesting to get the feel for the ship and the cruise line. You mentioned your seas were pretty rough at times - how did the ship cope? Did you notice when trying to get your cab whether the Car Rental buses were at your pier. We're renting from Hertz on our return and are not sure whether to leave the ship early or late. We're in a Suite, but won't be able to check into our hotel till much later in the day. I guess if we hang around too much on board, the lines at Hertz will be longer. Have you done a report on your cabin yet - can't remember seeing that - which one were you in?

 

Many thanks for a great diary of your cruise.

 

Sue

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Hi Sue

We did notice some of the rental buses as we were trying to get a cab. Can't tell you if Hertz was among them. They won't let you stay on the very long as they want to get the passengers off as quickly as possible so that they can get ready for the next cruise.

We were in an identical suite last year on the Oosterdam and I did write up a room report when we got back - unfortuneately that has been lost.

We were in 7053 - midships. The suites are a little smaller than on the S and R class ships. The verandah midships is much smaller. One of the things I don't like about the Vista suites is the dressing area. Unlike the R and S ships, you enter the dressing area from the hallway as you enter the cabin. There are 2 full size closets across from the dressing area and another smaller one that contains the safe and shelves. The bathroom door opens into the dressing area. DH had to knock whenever he wanted to leave the bathroom if he knew I was in there dressing. Also if you leave the bathroom door open you can't get into 2 of the closets. There isn't any sink in there - I miss that. There are 2 sinks in the bathroom. There is a seaparte shower stall. The bathtub also has a shower. The hair dryer is in the top drawer in the dressing room - this one was tempermental - sometimes it worked and sometimes it different. It wasn't very powerful. There are only 3 drawers in the cabin for storage - near the desk area. Each of turned one of our closets into shelves - all closets are adjustable - to give us extra storage area. There are also other half closets by the desk area that have a couple of shelves for storage. There are 2 big drawers at the foot of the bed where extra duvets are kept. There are of eletrical outlets in the cabin. The modem is located by the bed.

Hope this helps.

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Welcome back KK - a couple of questions. We are on the Western trip for Easter. We will be with 4 teen girls & DH & I would like to go to the Pnnacle by ourselves one night. We are thinking that the night of the BBQ would be good, so the girls wouldn't have to go to the dining room. Do you remember what was on the menu that night (DH has his favs on HAL)? Also, (food again) we were on the 5 day Westerdam and the Lido did not have casual dinner, just Pizza & Pasta & Ice cream at night. Are they serving casual dinner in the Lido?

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Most usually in recent months/years, the night of the BBque is Dutch Night Menu in the dining room.

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KK

 

I meant to ask you earlier...did you receive your tiles on the second part of your B to B? We got a note stating that they ran out and would mail them to us. Just wondering if they "re-stocked" the supply on the 1-16 cruise.

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The first week we got the plates.

The second week we got the tiles and the books.

So they must have restocked the tiles while we were in Ft Lauderdale on Jan 16.

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