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Krazy Kruizers

Comments - our Zuiderdam Cruise

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Am not going to go into detail about each day.

We had heard and read many accunts about the crew beng unfriendly. We found that not to be so. Everyone always spoke and asked how your day was. We knew several crew members from other ships. There was one bar server who never smiled and most people avoided her.

Th first week, the VIP (or Who's Who) Party was held Tuesday, May 11, in the Hudson/Half Moon Rooms from 7:30 - 8:15 - only about 50 people there (very few suite people). Th second week the party was held on Wednesday, May 18 - same place - same time - about 70 people (including the other CC'ers).

Our waiter in the dining room did manage to make time to talk with everyone at his tables - he had 26 people to serve. Rarely saw our assistant the first week as he was constantly running for orders.

Of the 3 ships that we have been on in the last 5 months, this was the best food food in the dining room. All the ships have the same mnus but each chef prepares the dishes slightly different. i.e., different sauces and sometimes different accompanients, etc. Baked potatoes come right on your main entre dish rather than on a separate side plate. And th sour cream with chives and bacon bits comes in a small dish like those that you get for ketchup and mustard. The mussels, Oyster Rockerfeller & Escargot were the best we have had in a long time.

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On May 7, Embarkation day we had a little bit of excitement. At 2:58 PM the fire alarm sounded. The captain came on and said that smoke had been smelled in the incinerator room and that he would keep us informed of the situation. At 3:04 all fire crews were called out to Zone 2 and all commanders and traffic personnel were told to report to their stations. The area around the Explorer's Lounge (Deck 2) and the Photo Gallery (Deck 3) were restricked. Within a few minutes, Dane made an annoucement that they thought a dry belt for the air conditioning system had failed. A few minutes he came back on and said that the problem might be a fan belt and that they were continuing the investigation. At 3:30 the Captain, himself, came on and said that everything was alright. A contractor had been hired to replace some of the fenders on some of the lifeboats and tenders. He chose a place to cut the rubber which was right near a vent that spread the smell of the rubber burning as it was being cut into various sections of the ship.

As a result all luggage was stopped being delivered to the cabins as they use the elevators in the stern of the ship to move the luggage and those elevators are in Zone 2.

Lifeboat drill went on at 4:15 as scheduled.

We got our last 2 pieces of luggage at 5:15. Some people didn't get their luggage until after 5:45 dining time began. The dining room said nothing that first evening about people wearing shorts to dinner.

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The entertainment was very good. We were fortunate to see Joel Mason (Elton John) again - loved his show on the Westerdam in January. His show this time wa even longer - ran from 8:30 - 9:45 - and it was fabulous! We were surprised to see that not as many people attended the show as when he appeared on the Westerdam in January.

Can you believe our luck - Alfreda Gerald (singer) came on the ship the second week. She was on our Westerdam cruise in January. Once again - another great show.

Loved James Cielen - magician. Got to personally meet Coda (his white poodle) one day while walking around the ship.

The 2 production shows - "Under the Boardwalk" & "Stage and Screen" we had seen before. So we chose to go to one week and the other one the second week. Both great - great singers and dancers.

As I mentioned before we felt the music in the Ocean Bar, Aft Pool and Crow's Nest was too loud at times. Especially in the Crow's nest - our server couldn't even hear what we wanted to order for drinks one evening.

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We had quite a time the second week getting our pictures to appear on the computer at the gangway as you enter and leave the ship. Unlike the Oosterdam and Westerdam we weren't able to get our pictures taken in the Neptune early or activate our cards early. We got our new cards the morning of May 14 and had to wait until evening to get our pictures taken at the front office.

 

When we went to go ashore the next day at HMC, our pictures didn't show on the monitor. The security man knew us from the previous week so he took down our names and cabin number. There were a couple of other names already on the list. When we got back to the ship, we went to the front office and they retook our pictures even though their computers showed our pictures taken Saturday evening.

Tuesday as we went to leave the ship again in Tortola - no pictures showing on the monitor again. Security man took down our names again - his list was a little longer than it was on Sunday. Once again when we got back to the ship we went to the front desk - pictures showed up there. After going back and forth a couple of times, new cards were issued and the pictures that were taken on Saturday worked. Several other people also had to get new cards issued. The cards worked for our cabin and the Neptune Lounge but didn't work at the gangway.

Didn't have any problems getting off or on the ship in St Thomas or Nassau.

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Weather - not the best for the most part.

 

Saturday, May 7 - beautiful sunny day.

Sunday, May 8 - HMC - started out as a partly cloudy, cool day - 65 degrees. By 10:30 the sun came out and it warmed up a little.

Monday, May 9 - Sea Day - partly cloudy day again.

Tuesday, May 10 - Grand Cayman - partly cloudy again - some sun in the afternoon.

Wednesday, May 11 - Costa Maya - rain squals off and on - windy.

Thursday, May 12 - Sea Day - partly cloudy - seas were a little choppy for some people.

Friday, May 13 - Key West - Beautiful sunny day.

Saturdy, May 14 - Ft Lauderdale - Beautiful day.

Sunday, May 15 - HMC - cloudy skies again.

Monday, May 16 - Sea Day - overcast again - seas a bit choppy (12 ft waves - that's nothing).

Tuesday, May 17 - Tortola - rain showers off and on in the morning, then cloudy.

Wednesday, May 18 - St Thomas - partly cloudy again - while shopping in town, the power went out in many of the stores. Some stores have their own generstors. While shopping st the Crystal Shoppe, the clerk (who knows me from shopping there many times) said that another passenger said we had a rough time getting there because of rough seas. I looked at her dumb founded. I told her that we didn't have any rough weather. I don't consider 12 foot waves to be rough weather.

Thursday, May 19 - Sea Day - you are probably thinking we had another cloudy day - well we didn't - it was beautiful out on the decks for most of the day.

Friday, May 20 - Nassau - cloudy again.

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On our first sea day the first week, we noticed that we were making a slight change in our course to go to Grand Cayman. About 8 PM, an officer came over the address system and announced that we had changed course and that we would be making an emergency medical stop in Montego Bay in a few minutes. We didn't actually dock. A pilot boat came out to meet us in the Bay and the person was taken to the hospital there. We waited in the Bay until the pilot boat was safely back at the dock. We were underway by 9:05. Going out of our way didn't have any impact in our arrival time in Grand Cayman.

We had a little adventure of our own. On the first sea day of the first week we got stuck in elevator #2. We were going from deck 3 to deck 9 when the elevator suddenly stopped with bang between decks 8 and 9. We knew we were in trouble when the voice said "Deck 9, Lido Deck" and the doors didn't open. We pushed a couple of the buttons but nothing happened. DH used the emergncy phone and said that someone will be there very soon. Within a couple of minutes we heard a man working overheard. Then as he checked the various systems, the lights and air went out for a few seconds. Within another couple of minutes the elevator started and we arrived at deck 9 where we were met by the technician. In all, we there stuck for only 10 minutes.

Four days later we were riding elevator #20 when it started to act strange and would go only between a couple of decks no matter which buttons you pushed. Needless to say we got off that elevator very quickly. We noticed that it was out of commission for the better part of a day.

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We had a couple of rain squalls as we approached Costa Maya and the captain came on and said that we would wait out the winds and rain until he and the pilot felt that it would safe to dock. As the captain told us at the Mariner's party, he didn't want anything to happen to the Zuiderdam like happened to RCI> He also said that Costa Maya is not one of his favorite ports. It was a very long process bucking winds and backing into our dock area. We saw the end of the pier where the RCI ship hit it - it hasn't been prepared yet. Carnival Miracle and Explorer of the Seas were already there when we arrived. During the time that it took for us to safely dock and get tied off, no passengers were allowed off the other 2 ships and at a safe distance on the pier, passengers returning to the other 2 ships weren't allowed past a certain point. Some of them had to wait over half an hour till we were safely tied off. During the day you could fill the winds buffeting the ship. The captain told us that we broke 3 mooring lines during our stay there. Some of the passengers got soaked getting off and on the ship as the water would splash up onto the gangway. We were orginally to have stayed there until 11 PM, but when we got on the ship, there was a note that we would be leaving Costa Maya at 8:30 due to operational reasons.

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The first week we had 592 Watson Reality people on board - never had a problem with them taking over lounges, etc. Their activities and cocktail parties were always scheduled at times that didn't interfer with the other passengers and didn't make use of lounges all day.

There were also a few aviators on board.

The second week we had about 300 Spiritual Cinima people, 50 South Beach couples, and about 100 Down South Productions people on board. The Spiritual people were supposed to watch cinimas in the Vista Lounge all morning and afternoon on our first sea day and all afternoon on our last sea day. As a result the Queen's Lounge was used for the port and shopping talks as well as the shore excursions talks.

 

Suite people - the first week we had a suite buffet on the last sea day in the Crow's Nest. The second week we had a an extra cocktail party on the last night of the cruise in leau of the buffet. We did have the welcoming cocktail party in the Neptune Lounge the first night of each cruise. Besides getting the dinner menus in our cabins we also got the lunch menus for the dining whenever it was open. Each evening there was also a cloth placed on the floor on each side of the bed. As you get into bed, you read the words "Good Night' and when you got up in the morning, as you got out of bed you read the words "Good Morning".

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A couple of places where we felt improvements could be made were the juices in the morning in the Lido. You only had a choice of prune, V8, tomato, or orange. You had to ask for cranberry juice. Sometimes you got it and other times you didn't.

 

The salad was not as good as on other ships - not as many choices - there were never any olives, baby corn, cheeses, garbonzo beans, and a couple of other items that slip my mind right now.

Someone else mentioned the desserts not being that great - agree - even before the refrigeration problems we weren't impressed with the lunch time desserts. The bread pudding is still great and the sauce nice and thick.

There were dispensers for the chocolate and butterscotch sauces. We watched one women push the handle down so hard to get it to pump that she tipped over the machine and everything fell onto the floor.

I do believe that I mentioned that there weren't any flambe's either week. The last 3 days of our second the Flaming Spanish Coffee was offered in the Explorer's Lounge.

Each evening in the dining room there was the same coffee special - Holland America Luxury Expresso Martini - $5.95 - fresh drawn expresso handshaken with Absolut Vanilla and Kahlua.

Pizza - some days the crust looked very thin and there was grease everywhere. Some days it looked great. We had it only once the first week.

DH thought the Eggs Benedict were not as good as he has had on other HAL ships - sauce needed some flavor.

One evening each week the Chef's Cheese Cake is on the menu - very good - you also get a piece of white chocolate on top with Chef Rudi's name written on it in dark chocolate.

We had only one bad morning in the Neptune Lounge for breakfast and that was the morning we were in St Thomas - only fruist, rolls and cereal - everything else like the lunch meats and cheeses were being thrown out.

DH loves Kiwi and papaya - could only get them as an appetizer at dinner or insome the kiwi was used as a topping on desserts.

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Krazy Kruizers,

 

There is so much too read in so many threads. I am trying to take it all in.

 

One question. Did you have a good time?

 

Oyster Rockefeller, hmmmmmmmm, is a welcome addition since I don't recall seeing them on a Hal menu.

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