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

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Enjoying your review - will be on the same cruise July 24. Being one of the "oldies' should fit right in. Once school gets out there shold be more kids on the ships.

Haha, I'm sure (: And yeah! I think there'll be more kids, but not as many as you'd think.

I hope you enjoy your cruise and you tell me all about it afterwards ^^

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Hi Sarah we are Getting ready for the Oosterdam in 9 days. Looking forward to reading the rest of your review. We have never been to Alaska :eek:

Well gosh darn it! Then you've just got to try it! I hope you enjoy your up and coming cruise on the Oosterdam! It's a much bigger ship and I've heard that those Dam ships are more fun to be on!

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Thanks for the really detailed and entertaining report! I love your photos!

Thank you! :D nice to know other people are enjoying my report, just as much as I am writing it.

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Thanks for your review,and photos. We have two cruises booked on the Volendam, Alaska in September, and the Far East next February, so I'm looking forward to more photos of the public rooms!

 

We must be alike, people laugh at me on a cruise, because I have my camera out all the time at mealtimes! We had a comedian on our last cruise who made fun of all of us who spent our time photographing the food we were about to eat! So true..... Ann

Haha, I felt pretty silly at times too. There was literally not a single day that I didn't have my camera around my neck!

 

I actually noticed (when I was preparing for my cruise) that not many people (er..not any at all) have trip reports/photos of the Volendam! That was when I made a pledge to myself that I would do the most detailed "Live from" HAL, anyone could ever do! :D

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First of all, thanks for following! (: Secondly, the Skytrain is a great mode of transportation! It's efficient and smooth. What we did was take to Skytrain all the way to the last stop (which is Waterfront). After getting off the train, you follow the crowd through a hallway. Next, you go up the escalator (or elevator available) into the station. It's a big, big brick building. (keep your ticket) We then went forward toward the kiosks and exited left (it very obviously leads to more trains) and went forward until we were met with a whole bunch of exits. Pass the stairs that go down and exit left. (Shortcut to Canada Place!) The sign will say "Millenium Train". Go there anyways. Ride the escalator down and walk through the train area to the end. Don't take the train. When you exit above, you will be right infront of Canada place.

 

What I suggest for you is (if your friend is willing to ride a distance) is to (after leaving the elevator), exit right, out the main entrance of Waterfront Station building and make a right. Walk until the end of the block and made a second right. You should be able to see Canada Place by now.

 

Sarah,

 

Thanks for the directions. I may be a little fuzzy on the details. Mainly, why wouldn't you recommend the short cut? Is it because it is a little more complicated? Is that the "glass box" you can see from Canada Place? (I don't remember that having an elevator which Mike HAS to have.)

 

I am clear on the first directions. It sounds like the reverse of what I did when I took the train to the airport once. Really not too far.

 

Thanks!

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Mom decided to have the Pan-Seared Rainbow Trout:

 

8722803720_54fa5c43aa_b.jpg

 

She thought it was ... meh. Dry and not that good.

 

After eating 70% of our Prime Ribs, and the other entrées, Basek (Head server) and Hank (his assistant),

 

8724830412_f47b601ae2_b.jpg

 

Brought us the tonight's dessert menu.

 

8721683551_07d90379c5_b.jpg

 

8722804524_ed4a3c2249_b.jpg

 

Available Daily:

 

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Let me just note again that we're a family with kids, so we share our food. As in, we ordered stuff we liked and plopped them into the middle of the table.

 

When your dessert is good: "I got it to share some with you guys".

When dessert is not so good: "I got this for everybody (: *pushes it to middle of the table*" :rolleyes:

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Sarah,

 

Thanks for the directions. I may be a little fuzzy on the details. Mainly, why wouldn't you recommend the short cut? Is it because it is a little more complicated? Is that the "glass box" you can see from Canada Place? (I don't remember that having an elevator which Mike HAS to have.)

 

I am clear on the first directions. It sounds like the reverse of what I did when I took the train to the airport once. Really not too far.

 

Thanks!

Yup! The short cut is the glass box! That's an opening to the train station.

I didn't recommend the short cut for you because you said your friend has an electric chair. From my recollection, the only way down & up from the short cut is by stairs or escalator.

&&

When you exit the Skytrain at Waterfront station, you walk down the hallway until you can see ticket purchasing booths. Smack dab in the middle of the escalators & the stairs is a set of metal doors. It's an elevator! it's in glass casing.

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Yup! The short cut is the glass box! That's an opening to the train station.

I didn't recommend the short cut for you because you said your friend has an electric chair. From my recollection, the only way down & up from the short cut is by stairs or escalator.

&&

When you exit the Skytrain at Waterfront station, you walk down the hallway until you can see ticket purchasing booths. Smack dab in the middle of the escalators & the stairs is a set of metal doors. It's an elevator! it's in glass casing.

 

Got it! Thanks!:)

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What we got:

 

Mom got the Balsamic Strawberries:

 

8723718161_c303f6d39f_b.jpg

 

It was pretty good. Kind of annoying that you can't really reach the strawberries at the bottom until most of your ice cream is gone though :/

 

Dad got the Hot Fudge Sundae:

 

8723733783_c2f86eb9b2_b.jpg

 

This was pretty good.

 

Bro got the Viennese Apple Strudel:

 

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Fell apart quite easily, but nonetheless tasty.

 

Sis got the Red Velvet Cake:

 

8724852442_8d28639792_b.jpg

 

which was actually kind of dry, which is disappointing because I love red velvet ):

 

and I got a cruise must: Baked Alaska

 

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Interestingly enough, only one flavor of ice cream inside. First time I had that happen. Usually, It's Neapolitan (chocolate, strawberry & vanilla) ... not just vanilla. Oh well, still yummy. Pretty thick coat of meringue on top, not that I'm complaining :D

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We left the dining room (located on deck 5, aft) with our bellies full and our tummies happy,

 

8723760213_12636422e5_b.jpg

 

and went to explore the ship.

 

First, we took some pictures in the Atrium and checked out the onboard Signature liquor store.

Now, we were looking for something to do. We went through the casino

 

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and came upon this room!

 

8723758237_fce1fc0b7b_b.jpg

 

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after looking around for a bit, we found a mahjong set! Haha, first time I've ever found that on a cruise ship before.

 

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My family played a couple rounds (I know how to play but didn't feel like it) and I ran around taking pictures. (As you can see, HA!)

Dad played some oldies on his phone super loud and made us kids a little embarrassed ^^', until we attacked him and confiscated it.

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Note: On our way here, we actually participated in a raffle draw where the first prize was a bottle of Baileys, the second was a silver necklace and the third was some useless poster stuff LOL.

 

8723778861_e049ab0d7e_b.jpg

 

Anyways, while they were playing, I popped out of the Hudson Room to get some shots. I turned right and spotted this:

 

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There was a (kinda) narrow hallway that led to this:

 

8723780771_2b5552f63f_b.jpg

 

(Note: You see that blob at the end of the whole hall thing? That's the main dining room's Rotterdam sign)

(Note #2: The Purell dispenser you see in the picture? they were all over the ship. And when I saw all over the ship, i mean ALL OVER THE SHIP.)

 

It's a well stocked library that people were free to borrow. Something annoying was that the librarian was NEVER EVER THERE. I read that he would be the one to ask to get a deck of playing cards, BUT HE WAS NEVER THERE. HE WAS AT THE GRAND CREW INTRODUCTION DAY ONE BUT NEVER AT HIS POST.

 

*sigh* *dusts off shirt* Anyways o_o ... Ah! Yes! the library!

 

At night, the book shelves were covered by a metal cage looking sheet that prevented theft ( o_o ....)

 

The book shelves opened up to a room that had more books, computers and loungers.

 

8724900454_04052f111f_b.jpg

 

Adjacent to that was the actual café itself where you can coffee and lattés etc. They also have a glass case that has some snacks in them. The lady let me have some once, but then said (the 2nd time) that if I wanted more, I had to buy something :/

 

8723781421_5dbb757686_b.jpg

 

You see that bust of Shakespeare's head in the background? That was another room too. It was a game room that lead to a place with a big communal puzzle, some scrabble, more books/computers and some chess/checkers boards. We spent quite some time there. (I learnt how to play chess :D)

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Love your posts & photos. Gets me even more excited about our cruise in July. Thanks for doing this.

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Love your posts & photos. Gets me even more excited about our cruise in July. Thanks for doing this.

Thank you! :) and no problem, I enjoy it!

&& I'm sure you'll have a great one

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More, More I want more....Leaving on this cruise on the 23rd...

 

Sandy

LOL posts are like drugs, aren't they?

Haha, I'm sure you'll love it (:

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Sarah,

I am enjoying reading your review. We will be heading to Alaska in late Sept. so hope to learn a few things from your experience.

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Hi guys! Sarah here!

 

before our cruise started, we received an email dictating that our embarkation would be delayed for 2 hours due to cases of gastrointestinal disease on board. This was a little worrisome since the ship would be coming directly from Japan & Shanghai where the animal flu is going around :eek:. We received this email ahead of time:

 

"Please be advised that we have recently been experiencing a heightened level of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on the ms Volendam. Therefore, the ship will follow a special cleaning and sanitizing protocol developed in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prior to our May 1, 2013 departure from Vancouver.

/quote]

 

Interesting to learn, this would indicate that the GI illness that broke out April 3 or 4 on our 14 Days Cruise April 1 - April 15 Japan/Korea/China and was never brought under Control, was still onboard on the next Cruise from Japan to Vancouver. By the time we reached Kobe April 15 the crew was said to have worked an average of 4 hrs o/t a day. Even the guy from the pianobar, singers and dancers were seen around the ship with Purell Instant Hand Sanitizers for the passengers. Passengers continuing with the ship to Vancouver were asked to go ashore in Kobe early morning and not come back before 2.30 pm to allow the crew to sanitize the cabins. USD 50:- per pax was paid out for taking lunch ashore.

 

I certainly hope the hard working crew of Volendam were finally able to get rid of the GI illness onboard! Did they or ?

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Hi guys! Sarah here!

 

before our cruise started, we received an email dictating that our embarkation would be delayed for 2 hours due to cases of gastrointestinal disease on board. This was a little worrisome since the ship would be coming directly from Japan & Shanghai where the animal flu is going around :eek:. We received this email ahead of time:

 

"Please be advised that we have recently been experiencing a heightened level of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on the ms Volendam. Therefore, the ship will follow a special cleaning and sanitizing protocol developed in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prior to our May 1, 2013 departure from Vancouver.

/quote]

 

Interesting to learn, this would indicate that the GI illness that broke out April 3 or 4 on our 14 Days Cruise April 1 - April 15 Japan/Korea/China and was never brought under Control, was still onboard on the next Cruise from Japan to Vancouver. By the time we reached Kobe April 15 the crew was said to have worked an average of 4 hrs o/t a day. Even the guy from the pianobar, singers and dancers were seen around the ship with Purell Instant Hand Sanitizers for the passengers. Passengers continuing with the ship to Vancouver were asked to go ashore in Kobe early morning and not come back before 2.30 pm to allow the crew to sanitize the cabins. USD 50:- per pax was paid out for taking lunch ashore.

 

I certainly hope the hard working crew of Volendam were finally able to get rid of the GI illness onboard! Did they or ?

 

I was on the cruise from April 1st to May 1st.

 

The cruise from Kobe to Vancouver was still beset with norovirus, despite the thorough cleaning in Kobe on April 15th, mostly due to passengers not complying with requests to isolate themselves if they were unwell.

 

Code red was finally lifted about 36 hours before we arrived in Vancouver.

 

And yes, the crew continued to work overtime for almost the entire cruise.

 

There have recently been two other threads concerning norovirus on that cruise.

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Very nice review. Love the pictures. That is amazing that you were 16 when you took this cruse and it is your 7th cruise....Lucky you:)

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I'm following your not-so-live thread. Great photo's!

My stomach is actually rumbling right now.....(note to self: do not read this thread until after I have eaten something ;) )

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