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

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Time for Royal Dutch Tea!

 

It was finally tea time! I was very much looking forward to it, since I had read so much about it online. We proceeded to the elevators and arrived back on Deck 5 (MDR).

And wow, the line up for it was CRAZY. It stretched from the main dining room, all the way to the middle of the Explorer's Lounge. (a small stretch away (aft) from the Piano Lounge.

Let me give you a mental image. This is the ship, Deck 5

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[signature Alcohol shop]~[More Shops] [Theatre]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~[-----Explorer's Café ------------]~~~~~~[Hudson Room]~~~[---------Casino------] [------Atrium-----------]

[--Rotterdam-----]~~~[Elevators][stairs]~~~[Future Cruises Desk]~~~~[Elevators][stairs] {Jewelry Store} [------Atrium-----------] [Elevator/stairs]

~~~~~~~~~[(pretty) Bathrooms]~~~[-------Explorer's Lounge-----]~~~~[Piano Lounge]~{Jewelry Store}~~~[-----Ocean Bar-----]~~~~~~~~ [Theatre]

 

-------^-----------------------------------------------^

that's where tea takes place___________THE LINE UP WENT TO HERE

 

 

 

As in, the right bracket of the Rotterdam was the entrance where the line up started. O.M.G. Bro & Sis started to complain that they didn't want to go anymore because of how long the line up was.

That's when I pulled out the birthday card.

"It's my birthday, I'm 17 now and I want to go to the tea!" *nagging voice*

>:)

So basically, I got what I want. The line started to move and I got more excited (btw, sorry if you don't understand my ship map :( )

 

 

When we got to the front of the line, we were given hand sanitizer and I could see how they were trying to arrange it. They had a T shaped table that split the people up into 2 lines.

<- T -> So basically, you got to pick food from your side of the L. (The food was the same on both sides anyways).

 

 

This is when I got a little frazzled. I was trying to take pictures,but I was also handed a tiny plate. O_O I only have 2 hands you know. So I didn't know what to do.

My dad noticed, so he took my plate and told me that he'd hold it, and I could pick what I wanted while taking pictures. (: Thanks Daddy.

 

 

So out of my 20 pics, I chose my best ones. (Some of them turned out kind of ugly because I was so frantic) I kept trying to choose what I wanted, while taking pictures of the table in between a

moving line of people getting food. O_O talk about stress.

 

 

I have nicer proper pictures after I sit down though haha (:

 

 

These little open faced sandwiches were available at every single tea time. My favourite was the smoked salmon one because I'm not really one for cold cuts and hams.

 

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I remember liking the pink one. I have a real sweet tooth, so cake is my thing (: It was a mixture of mousse and sponge cake.

 

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I recall really liking this pink one too LOL. Did I mention, pink's my favourite colour? :D

 

*btw, haha, Spell Check is trying to correct my Canadian way of spelling colour and favourite :D

 

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This was okay, kind of squishy though. Not my favourite texture.

 

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This was Chicken A la King that would go into my English Pastry.

 

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Next up, some of the Royal Dutch Tea snacks that I didn't try! They sure were pretty though!

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Can't wait for tea!:)

 

I've finally finished it! :D

 

Really enjoying your reports and photos of the Volendam.

Thank you.

 

Thank you! My back hurts from leaning forward toward my laptop now o_o haha.. hard work!

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These were some of the tea snacks that I didn't actually try. Cookies aren't really my thing unless they're filled with chocolaty goodness and are chewy. ^^'

 

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Neither are buns or bread for that matter ^^', I usually only eat bread if it's under pizza or covered in other savoriness (ex. cheese, meat etc)

 

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After getting all of our desserts and treats, we were led to a table for 6 (there are 5 of us). I promptly sat down at our first window seat of the cruise and settled ourselves. (Me pooped from the picture taking)

 

Almost immediately, our Royal Dutch Tea was poured into our cups. All servers wearing white gloves (: . The silverware is actually also quite beautiful.

 

Here's what my tea looked like:

 

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And this is my tea after adding milk and sugar. Pretty right? Should taste good right? WRONG. My suggestion: Don't add milk to it :( it tastes a bit weird.

 

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This kind of tea is not designed to be like milk tea. Just drink it straight, don't add anything else to it. Especially with the taste of cake in your mouth.. o_o

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After everyone finished doing whatever to their teas, we had all our plates of goodies spread out on the table.

 

Here was Bro's plate:

 

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He likes things like prosciutto and ham, which I don't.

 

Here's my sister's plate. Her taste is a mixture of Bro & My taste, minus the seafood & cheese.

 

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Here is what Mom's plate looked like:

 

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Lastly, here are what Dad & My plates looked like:

 

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This one was technically my plate, but we ended up just putting everything we liked onto both of them ^^'

 

Here's Dad's (my) plate:

 

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And here's a (focus) shot of that English flaky pastry that they lifted onto my plate, took a ladle, whacked a hole in the top, and filled it with Chicken a la King.

 

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After I finished my pictures, we placed all the plates in the middle, took our own forks and demolished them. As in, kids reaching randomly across the table to get a bite of this and that :D

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There were one or two instance of reported isolation on this voyage. Not sure what for.

 

Actually yeah! When we were on the Volendam, we didn't hear of anyone getting sick. I think they managed to successfully clean the ship of disease. But yeah, I noticed that a lot of the staff didn't look happy at all :/ grumpy too. Perhaps they were tired from all the o/t .

Actually! One time I was leaving our cabin, I saw 3 doctors pass by :eek:, with purpose. Maybe someone got sick that I didn't know about?

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Thanks for your latest report and photos.

 

The English Flaky pastry with the chicken filling appears to be a Vol au Vent.

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There were one or two instance of reported isolation on this voyage. Not sure what for.

Oh! I had no idea! Well, in the public, I didn't see much sick people or anything like that :/ I guess they did get most of the germs onboard.

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Thanks for your latest report and photos.

 

The English Flaky pastry with the chicken filling appears to be a Vol au Vent.

Ooo interesting, it was yummy haha (:

&& no problem ^^

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this is great! Not only do you post wonderful photos of the food, yours are also the first photos I have seen of the public bathrooms :D gotta love it!

Belated happy birthday by the way.....

Edited by monina01

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this is great! Not only do you post wonderful photos of the food, yours are also the first photos I have seen of the public bathrooms :D gotta love it!

Belated happy birthday by the way.....

 

Hehe :) thank you, and might I note, I washed my hands already ^^

 

Thank you <3

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Thank you for taking the time to write up such a thorough recap! It really helps to give me a better sense of what I'm getting myself into (our first cruise ever with two toddlers in tow). Keep it coming. Love all the pics too.

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Thank you for taking the time to write up such a thorough recap! It really helps to give me a better sense of what I'm getting myself into (our first cruise ever with two toddlers in tow). Keep it coming. Love all the pics too.

You're welcome! And I'm glad that I can be of help ^^

Be careful, after you start cruising, you'll get addicted (:

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Your review and pictures just keep getting better and better:D

 

Just wonderful - thanks Sarah:D

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Loving your posts!

It's so nice to see a young lady with such good writing skills and so polite.

 

Hope you had a wonderful birthday

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Wonderful

My mouth is watering just from looking at all those goodies.

 

And my glucos count went sky high just doing a look at them. Now you know why I don't do "Royal Dutch Tea."

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Enjoying the posts and have a wonderful cruise.

 

Keith

I'm glad! :)

 

Your review and pictures just keep getting better and better:D

 

Just wonderful - thanks Sarah:D

Thank you! ^^ I appreciate your kind comments (:

 

Wonderful

My mouth is watering just from looking at all those goodies.

Haha, it kills me when I look through all of them :P my stomach makes gross noises LOL

 

Loving your posts!

It's so nice to see a young lady with such good writing skills and so polite.

 

Hope you had a wonderful birthday

:D You flatter me haha. And thank you! I did have a really fun birthday!

 

And my glucos count went sky high just doing a look at them. Now you know why I don't do "Royal Dutch Tea."

I have a serious sweet tooth, so my dad scolds me that if I don't cut back, I'm going to get diabetes o_o

 

Are you editing your photos? They look like magazine pics!!

No, I actually don't! The only things I do sometimes would be cropping, but that's pretty much it. Thank you by the way ((: means a lot to an amateur with a camera haha.

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A note: at our table, there wasn't any sugar (just today) so after adding milk to my tea, then realizing there was no sugar to go in it, I drank it. Ew :/

 

We left the Rotterdam full of tea, cake and salmon. So in other words, happy. :) We exited via the left passage to take a glance at what would be served tonight for dinner, so that we'd already have an idea as to what we'd like to order. We would do this periodically throughout our trip. We passed by the Explorations Café and took some pictures of the food that was on display.

 

(Sorry this one's blurry, I was in a hurry, my family was leaving me D,:)

 

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These little open faced sandwiches are quite similar to the ones they serve during afternoon teatime. We never tried any of these though, Sis wanted to but it's not really my thing :/ (I worry that I'm coming across as a very picky eater when I'm really not o_o, I just take pictures of things I don't eat LOL)

 

We then proceeded back to our staterooms. I looked in the mirror to check if my eyes were still red from last night. I accidentally fell asleep with my contacts on :( It wasn't for too long a time, but when I woke up at 4am, I was like :O !! My eyes hurt a bit and I quickly ran to the bathroom in a semi-conscious state and took them off. I used some eye drops and went back to sleep. This isn't the first time it has happened so I knew the smartest thing to do would be to rest my eyes.

 

My eyes weren't really red anymore, but I was semi-blind for the whole day. (My degrees aren't too high, only a couple hundred degrees; between 100-300).

 

Since it was an At Sea day, we didn't really have anything to do. We checked out the daily schedule and saw that Skyfall was playing. Ooo :D Us kids had not seen it before and when I did, Mom & Dad had already seen it. This was a good opportunity for us to finally watch it!

 

Anyways, we headed back to our stateroom to rest a bit before the movie started. It was playing in the Wajang Theatre. Something I found out a couple days later, was that the theatre movies play on a loop on a certain channel in our stateroom! I believe so do the night time performances, but I'm not sure. We only saw a rerun of the disembarkation thing in the Franz Hal on Day 7. Another thing I noted, was that only one movie plays everyday in the theatre. Yeah. One. So some days, there wasn't even a movie I wanted to see.

 

While Mom was in the bathroom and Sis was hanging out in Bro & Dad's room, I took this opportunity to take some shots of our stateroom. (Shots are a little zoomed in, still using macro lens).

 

Our stateroom was for 3 people, 2 twin sized beds & a couch the turned into a bed.

 

My sister's bed (you can see from her backpack ^^):

 

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You can see my suitcase in the bottom left corner. My suitcase was the biggest of my whole family. (Yeah, the teenage girl's bag is always huge) As in, my bag could eat my brother's bag.

 

Here are the night stands. Something irritating was the way they designed their drawers. You notice how there are no handles? I felt like an idiot when we first moved in, trying to pry them open with my fingers. Painful too :( . My sister then pointed out that you were supposed to pull them open via the little indent underneath it. Oh. My bad. o_o

 

These drawers had keys in the top ones (different drawers with keys in Bro's room, his room had upper left and bottom right). Good if you actually have anything of value, but we were too lazy to use them.

Note: My mom is the type that hates germs so we were using alcohol wipes Day 1 to clean the drawers we were going to use. Let's just say, well used. These night stands were so disgusting when you looked closely. A couple of hairs here and there. Some sticky residue from food/nail polish or something. It was gross! That little alcohol wipe was brown by the time it was dry, and it was full of dust. Why HAL? Why? D: Other than that, the cabin was pretty clean. (kind of dusty in corners though)

 

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That pretty little bottle on the right is Elemis body lotion provided for your cabin. Smelled nice :)

 

You see that tan coloured square on the left night stand? That's the phone directory to show what numbers to call for room service, other cabins etc.

 

*Note I forgot to mention about lunchtime: MDR was ridiculously understaffed, problems in kitchen resulted in a 50min wait for our food. Some people wound up leaving before their food arrived. The issue of under staffing happened often throughout the trip.

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Speaking of phones, this morning, I was briefly woken up (at like 7am, but I went back to sleep) because Front desk was calling to tell us that there was a passport mix up between Sis and Me. We think check in lady from the terminal scanned Sis's passport twice.

They apparently had Sis & Me under the same passport number so they had to get things sorted out. This was when I thought, what if that meant they'd (HAL) forget my birthday? D': Interestingly enough, soon after fixing it, we arrived in our stateroom to find this:

 

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Opened up:

 

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Thank you Captain (:

 

Next to the night stand is my bed:

 

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They were comfy and made you want to sleep every time you lied on it :D . Something I liked was the fact that everyone got 2 pillows. ^^

 

Above our beds were 4 things. One you can't see is a square that sticks out about an inch. It regulated the room's temperature to what you wanted. Worked very well. The cabin's room temperature was easily changeable. A simple square in the wall (near couch) that had 2 buttons: Cold and Warm. It had a bigger blue/red bar for how hot/cold the room would be and a little light that lit up next to the selected bar. Easy to use.

 

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The other 3 (from closest to the window) were a sprinkler, a smoke detecter and a speaker for announcements/radio. A button above the night stand controlled the radio part (on/off). It was only used for things like alarms and emergency announcements. This meant that we couldn't hear Brett Rudolph, our cruise director's announcements without opening our cabin door.

 

Speaking of Brett, I actually didn't like him too much in the beginning :/ His laugh felt really fake and he made jokes that no one laughed at. His voice was good though, his voice was made for advertising! Loved it. He was nice to hear over the speakers everyday. It was just during the nightly shows that he was a little awkward (in our [kids] point of view). After a couple days, we were cool with him. Didn't dislike him anymore LOL.

 

Our window was pretty nice (except kinda dirty near the bottom of the glass). Had 2 layers of curtains, one transparent and one opaque.

Outside, the waters were pretty calm.

 

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This would change very soon. Soon, we would be pulling out of the Inside Passage and into the Pacific Ocean's rim where waves are hitting the shore.

I actually felt a bit of motion when we were in the theatre later. Good thing we took some Bonine :D, I'd die without it.

 

The windows used glass rods to open & close the curtains, I liked them :)

 

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