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"Live from" ms Volendam to Alaska! My First HAL Experience


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We have had Cruise Directors who have told us that the rule is that you gain a pound a day - so you are right on par. Well done! Actually, that would be a reason to stay with one-week cruises. Imagine what would happen if one were on board for months at a time...... :)

You'd gain 2-3 lbs.

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We have had Cruise Directors who have told us that the rule is that you gain a pound a day - so you are right on par. Well done! Actually, that would be a reason to stay with one-week cruises. Imagine what would happen if one were on board for months at a time...... :)

I feel like I'd get REALLY fat o_o LOL, perhaps by the end of my cruise, I'd be rolling myself off the ship :D

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Yaaayy~~ I'm free! I'm done all of my exams :D Finally, now I can do this without worry ^^

 

Glad that's done. I'm sure you will have done really well. I'm sorry - I hope you don't mind my dropping your name in the Antarctic thread - I thought you were a really good (and fun) example for any young people cruising. :)

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Glad that's done. I'm sure you will have done really well. I'm sorry - I hope you don't mind my dropping your name in the Antarctic thread - I thought you were a really good (and fun) example for any young people cruising. :)

Me too, haha & Thank you! I hope so!

 

&& Of course not! I'm honoured to have had my name mentioned elsewhere, aside from this thread right here ;) It actually made me super happy! :D

Edited by lovely_serenity
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While we were eating, we heard a "BAM" followed by a Basik (if you forgot, our head server) lips shut, grabbing his right hand. We all looked at him with concern, wondering if he had burnt himself or something. That was when we was his assistant server Hank giggling to the side as Basik hopped around in pain funnily. We saw Basik shove his hand in a barrel of ice (that's used for champagne and whatnot) and guessed that he had burnt himself.

 

When he and Hank came over to bring the rest of our food over, I asked, "You okay? Did you burn yourself, or close that door on your hand? ^^;" He smiled and said that he had closed the door on his hand. "Ahh, I see." He then followed up by saying that this was actually the second time today that he had almost killed himself.

 

Apparently, earlier today, he had run face first into an open cabinet and almost broken his nose. He laughed and said, "I don't know what wrong with me today!" :D LOL

 

Anyways, since it was our last cruise day, I opted for (for the last time), my cruise must: "Baked Alaska"

 

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Tonight, it came with "warm brandy-Bing cherry sauce". Pretty good. Still, it was their weird tart style-only-one-kind-of-ice-cream-filled Baked Alaska.

 

Sis had her usual type of thing, some Strawberry Ice cream:

 

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Bro ordered (sorry for the ugly shot, I moved D;) the "Kiwi and Passion Fruit Pavlova":

 

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This one I didn't really like. It's just a pile of cream with some pour stuff on it. :/ Bleh.

 

Now, they had the tradition you're-leaving-so-let's-sing ceremony. :D One of my favourite parts. The chefs and the servers ran around singing with REAL Baked Alaskas and everyone waved their napkins about, clapping to the beat. Basik came over to our table (his only table with kids, in the whole restaurant pretty much for that matter o_o) and plopped this down:

 

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Parents: "Nono, we couldn't possibly finish that! We just finished our meal!"

 

Us kids: "LOL HAHA MAYBE YOU." *starts digging in*

 

Something that was a concern for me was whether or not this one actually had all 3 flavours of ice cream in it. I halted the destroying of the Baked Alaska ("Bro, Sis, WAIT!") and cut the thing open to check out the inside. First here's the marshmallow-like baked meringue:

 

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and then here's the thing cut open:

 

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Indeed! All 2 flavours! Neapolitan! Yay! :D We seriously (even after eating our entire meal), successfully cleared the inside of its meringue-y shell. Personally, I thought that was pretty impressive. Even on an empty stomach, we basically downed an entire ice cream cake ^^. ~

 

Once our entire meal was complete, we got up, bid farewell to our servers for taking such good care of us all week ie, shake hands, wave, bye-bye! c: (I even told Basik that we seriously managed to finish up the entire Baked Alaska! He was like, "Good! :D"), and we exited the dining room.

 

*sobs* I shall miss thee, O great room of food :,(

Edited by lovely_serenity
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We came outside right when the mint-ginger-fig-date guy was starting to pack away the after-dinner thing cart, and quickly got some before he did.

 

I got my usual peppermints (there's only one in the napkin, I ate the other one & gave one to Sis already LOL) :

 

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in my special little Holland America Line napkin :D

 

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I took one last look back to the Rotterdam: (*glumly bids farewell*) D,:

 

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(The mint-ginger-fig-date guy cleaned up so fast o_o')

 

We walked super slowly (& full) to the Explorer's Lounge where one of my favourite duos were performing, Adagio:

 

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They play beautiful classical music, they were the ones who played that Youtube linked tune from a while back (:

 

This was when I realized that I hadn't a single picture of Deck 4 dining room! 0_0 I told Dad and he said that they'd wait for me. I turned around, ran to the staircase in front of the Deck 5 MDR entrance and went down stairs (THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET TO DECK 3 MDR, it is literally closed off and there is no way to walk from deck 4, to aft MDR, there's a random staircase in the way.)

 

I came down the staircase to see this:

 

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I walked down there, aimed my camera, and then some dude walked out and got into my shot. I stood there waiting for him to get out, and he stood there waiting for me to take my picture. Like seriously, he's still in my shot LOL. I took a picture of nothing and then he left. (=_= ... DUDE). I then took 2 more. One WITH A GUYS FOOT IN IT, and another that's off center and less focused. The man's foot it is I guess =_____= UGH MISTER, YOUR FOOT IS IN MY SHOT.

 

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I actually tried to edit it out, but my computer & program decided to be mean, and not save it, so whatever, I'm not doing it again just so it can fail a second time -_-.

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I went back upstairs to find my whole family lying around the Explorer's Lounge on the random couches. o_o LOL okay.

 

We all got up and to listen to live music again. We had to kill some time before tonight's final show would begin.

 

We arrived in the Piano Bar and heard a tune that had our heads turning. It was the same guy from Day 1, singing the same song that he sang on Day 1! This felt oddly nostalgic, even though it had only been a week. This represented the beginning of our relaxing vacation, so hearing it again, being sung in the same way really had us in a state of "Aw, it's like we're reliving our cruise again c:"

 

What made this song & this guy so memorable was the fact that, it was REALLY entertaining, the way he sang it. In all seriousness, this guy was ENTERTAINING (talented too). This dude played ALL the accompaniments to his songs. Be it random trumpet, saxophone, harmonica solos, as well as his main piano, this dude could play EVERYTHING! He always played so passionately. He had, like a harmonica brace around his face so that he could sing, play piano, and then do a harmonica solo in the middle of his piano playing. O_O LOL WOAH.

 

He also sang entertainingly too. He sang with like, random falsetto & alto voices, LOUDLY. And his songs were so upbeat. If the song were to be like: lalalaLA lalala lalala~, he'd be like: LALALA lalala LALALA~~ ^^" If I can, I'll try to upload a video of him singing, I took some.

 

Anyways, it eventually became show time, so we made our way to the Franz Hal Lounge:

 

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I was bored while waiting, so I took some random pictures (as usual). Here's the lights:

 

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and tonight's set for the *says in sports announcer voice: "Volendam Dancers & Singers!" (that's how they always said it ^^")

 

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Tonight's production was "Rockin' Roadhouse", a cowboy, western themed sing off between the girls & guys.

 

Soon enough, the show began. They started off my playing random music for an oddly long amount of time:

 

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Before a guy actually started singing.

 

Here, the girls & guys were having a sing-off:

 

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*NOTE: I found the cut backs obvious in the sense that, we didn't get good big production shows very often at all. The whole show schedule of the cruise went like this:

 

Day 1: Most of the whole thing just a pointless introduction of "main" crew members & half an hour of comedian Julie Barr

 

Day 2: Whole hour of Julie Barr

 

Day 3: literally NO SHOW

 

Day 4: Northern Lights musical production

 

Day 5: Comedian/Magician "the magic Bob"

 

Day 6: Dancing with the Stars (bad)

 

Day 7: Rockin' Roadhouse musical production

 

Day 8: go home

 

That is literally, only 2 big shows. I thought there'd be more :/

 

(cutbacks man, cutbacks.)

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Thanks Sarah

We never go to the main dining room for dinner on the last night of the cruise. We prefer a quiet evening in the Pinnacle. Neither of us care for the Baked Alaska.

On 7 day cruises there are only 2 "production" shows -- which have been cut back -- time wise -- on some of the ships.

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Next time your family needs to eat once in the Pinnacle Grill. I always skip the baked Alaska in the MDR, but the one in the PG is my favorite. It's flamed at your table and inside is one of the top five ice cream flavors of all time - Cherry Garcia!

 

I'm almost as sad as you were that your cruise is ending. I've loved every moment of your review.

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Next time your family needs to eat once in the Pinnacle Grill. I always skip the baked Alaska in the MDR, but the one in the PG is my favorite. It's flamed at your table and inside is one of the top five ice cream flavors of all time - Cherry Garcia!

 

I'm almost as sad as you were that your cruise is ending. I've loved every moment of your review.

 

I was going to suggest the same thing. And they have the molten lava cake at the PG, too :)

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We arrived in the Piano Bar and heard a tune that had our heads turning.

 

In all seriousness, this guy was ENTERTAINING (talented too).

What was his name?

Thanks.

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Thanks Sarah

We never go to the main dining room for dinner on the last night of the cruise. We prefer a quiet evening in the Pinnacle. Neither of us care for the Baked Alaska.

On 7 day cruises there are only 2 "production" shows -- which have been cut back -- time wise -- on some of the ships.

 

Oh really? We had actually looked up on it to see if it was to be in our interest to check out. It's $25/person I believe ($25 x 5 = $125) and we checked out the menus and whatnot to see if there was anything that tickled our fancy. We personally didn't really see anything on the menu that made us go "Woahh, we simply MUST eat that!" , so we were like, well, I guess that $125 would be better spent on buying souvenirs etc to get its maximum utility :P

 

But perhaps next time, we'd consider trying it out, seeing how many others feel that it's something that's apparently an awesome experience ^^

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Next time your family needs to eat once in the Pinnacle Grill. I always skip the baked Alaska in the MDR, but the one in the PG is my favorite. It's flamed at your table and inside is one of the top five ice cream flavors of all time - Cherry Garcia!

 

I'm almost as sad as you were that your cruise is ending. I've loved every moment of your review.

 

Whaaa? That sounds so good!! ;D next time, I'll definitely suggest it to Dad a couple more times. Maybe we will, who knows?

 

Aww :,( I know, right? I'm getting so sad that this is ending too! Thank you for sharing my sadness D;

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Honestly the food in the Pinnacle Grill is outstanding! You want to go a little hungry hat day to take full advantage of it. I especially enjoyed the lamb skewers! Also flamed table-side. I think we had three different fires going during that meal for the two of us!

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Since DW and I are not big eaters the Pinnacle Grill is not one our favorite places to dine for dinner, however the lunches are great. As a side note, our travel agent gifted DW and I a dinner and we able to trade it for two lunches.

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Honestly the food in the Pinnacle Grill is outstanding! You want to go a little hungry hat day to take full advantage of it. I especially enjoyed the lamb skewers! Also flamed table-side. I think we had three different fires going during that meal for the two of us!

 

Here is the lava cake, to tempt you!

 

Haha, we'll see. Maybe in the future, we'll consider checking it out!

 

Oh I love lamb. C:

 

OMG LOL the pain in my stomach! ^^ *growl

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Oh really? We had actually looked up on it to see if it was to be in our interest to check out. It's $25/person I believe ($25 x 5 = $125) and we checked out the menus and whatnot to see if there was anything that tickled our fancy. We personally didn't really see anything on the menu that made us go "Woahh, we simply MUST eat that!" , so we were like, well, I guess that $125 would be better spent on buying souvenirs etc to get its maximum utility :P

 

But perhaps next time, we'd consider trying it out, seeing how many others feel that it's something that's apparently an awesome experience ^^

 

Where did you look up the Pinnacle menu? HAL's site is not always up to date.

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