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Kinda "Live From" - CSI: NA (Nieuw Amsterdam, 11/16-11/23/2014

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CSI-NA.jpg

Good evening, all! We're starting a one week cruise on Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam tomorrow. It's a seven day western Caribbean itinerary with stops in Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Key West.

 

I was struggling trying to find a catchy title for this thread. Sure, I could have used, "Live from the Nieuw Amsterdam," but quite frankly, you deserve better.

 

Despite the fact that you deserve better, you're not going to get it.

Instead, you're going to get "CSI: NA - Club Sandwich Investigation: Nieuw Amsterdam." I know what you're thinking: "Couldn't you have made the acronym stand for 'Cruise Ship Insider: Nieuw Amsterdam?'" Yes, gentle reader, we could have. However, we're not the kind of people who give up a chance to beat a theme to death, so Club Sandwich it is!

 

We're doing a back to back on the Nieuw Amsterdam starting on November 30th, so there's a chance that we will have a better title for that thread than "Live From." (Odds are against it, and we will probably think of something equally stupid between now and then -- but you can dream.)

 

00-Intro.jpg

 

Most people treat a cruise as nice, relaxing way to unwind. Not us. We view this as an opportunity to answer the profound questions that keep you, our dear readers, up at night, tossing and turning fitfully in your beds. Questions such as:

 

  • Did they really get rid of the Wang Wang?
  • What's up with the Creme Brulee?
  • Who's playing in the Piano Bar?
  • Did laundry go up in price?
  • Does the ship's Internet access suck more, less, or about the same?
  • Does the Holland America Club Sandwich really change your life?

I'm sure that there are other burning questions that you may have. Feel free to post them. Our dedicated team of researchers will try to get you some answers.

 

I have to be running along. Apparently you're supposed to pack in advance....

Edited by POA1

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OK, OK, I'm up all night and those questions just keep jumping that darn fence with the sheep.

 

So I'll sit up every night till you provide the answers to my sleepless night's. I need to get some rest so I can pack and then just laze about the ship since you will have done all the work.

 

Thank You in advance.

 

Helen

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I'm already loving the beginning, can't wait for your reports to come in. Will you be waving tomorrow, where should we look for you, what will you be wearing and will you have your air horn??????????? These are all the things I will be worrying about tonight as you are packing.:D:D:D

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Pulling up a chair and loving it!

 

You left us wondering and I still wanna know- was it a "shaggy dog"?

 

Something tells me we're in for another HAL CC Classic Thread.

(Like the Apple Pie, Poa's previous Wine and Corkage Thread, Westerdam's Captain Doesn't Wait.... Etc.)

Edited by TiogaCruiser

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Waiting with bated breath for answers to all those questions - and more.:D My chair is pulled up and ready, I'll be waving you off.:)

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From the land of a Government hell bent on coal production :eek:, with severe scepticism in climate change :eek:, I look forward to your reports from the beautiful NA our home away from home :) !

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For once, I am glad that I am not cruising. Now I will be able to follow this thread. The Club Sandwich Expose. But more importantly.... the status of the Wang Wang. ;)

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I'm already loving the beginning, can't wait for your reports to come in. Will you be waving tomorrow, where should we look for you, what will you be wearing and will you have your air horn??????????? These are all the things I will be worrying about tonight as you are packing.:D:D:D

 

Cruz Chic invited DW and I over to her "house" for sail away. She's on Deck 7. midships. DW is a brunette and will have on a black & white top, and black shorts. I have brown hair, but have lately been adding more and more silver highlights*for a "moon-kissed" look. I'll be wearing a Hawaiian shirt** and blue shorts.

 

I'm not sure what Cruz Chic will be wearing, but she has short, blonde hair.

 

* - This is a nice way of saying there's a heck of a lot a gray going on up there.

 

** - I was trying to figure out how to describe the shirt. We picked it up in Honolulu almost 20 years ago. It turns out that Tori Richard still makes it, which is nice, because I can just show you.

 

0_190_03001133.jpg

 

http://www.toririchard.com/browse.cfm/marquises/4,49.html

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Pulling up a chair and loving it!

 

You left us wondering and I still wanna know- was it a "shaggy dog"?

 

Well, it probably would have been, but now that I have the CSI:NA graphic, I'm more or less committed to an actual ending.

 

In case someone was wondering, here's what a shaggy dog story is.

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I'll be wearing a bright pink blouse, white tank and navy blue pants. My question is, does POA sleep:D?

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01-2014-11-16-FLL.jpg

 

This voyage was a last minute addition to our schedule and marks the first time we didn't plan a cruise months and months ahead of time. We have a back to back (B2B) sailing on the same ship, the Nieuw Amsterdam, scheduled for November 30th through December 14th. So, we've decided to call this a Front-to-Back-to-Back (F2B2B.)

 

We're on the ship this week. We hop off for Thanksgiving. Then we get back on with DW's father the Sunday after Turkey Day.

 

A little about us: We live in South Florida, but like most people down here, we aren't Florida natives. We are in our early 50s and late 40s. (I'm the 50+ one, and I am not allowed to forget it.) We've been cruising since 1994, when we took a 7 day cruise out of New Orleans on the old Noordam. We've cruised primarily Holland America, but we have also taken trips on lines ranging from Royal Caribbean to Silversea.

 

Since we're planning to do a comprehensive trip report when we sail on the B2B, I was initially on the fence about whether or not to attempt a "live-from" for this week as well. I figured that I needed an angle, a concept, or a hook to help differentiate this week's reports from the ones that are going to start in two weeks when we repeat this exact same western Caribbean itinerary. So far, I got nothin'. I'm hoping that some sort of inspiration will strike as the week progresses. If it doesn't, at least I'll be available to answer your questions about the Neiuw Amsterdam, Half Moon Cay, Cozumel, and Key West.*

 

* Editor's note: Because we have big excursion plans for our B2B, we're basically just winging it this week. So, by being "available to answer your questions," I'm referring to the kinds of questions you might ask someone who really didn't have a whole lot scheduled in any of those ports. You know. The kind of people who just wander around in their bright white, American tourist sneakers, poking their heads into the shops without actually buying anything.

 

Please don't ask what we've got planned for our back to back. It would ruin the surprise. And Christmas.

 

In preparation for our cruise - the next one, not this one - I posed the question: What makes a good "Live From..."? in a thread on CruiseCritic back in May.

 

I was hoping to call upon the collected wisdom of everyone on the boards so that we could craft a series of reports that would delight you, amuse you, and not only meet, but also exceed your informational needs.

 

Guess what?

 

It turns out that there's not really a consensus or the meeting-of-the-minds I was hoping for. Some people hate a lot of pictures. Some people love a lot of pictures. Some people only like pictures if we're not in them. CC user whogo, went as far as to say "I especially do not need multiple daily photos of you."

 

We weren't planning to unleash a profusion of selfies, but that seems unnecessarily harsh. (Sniff.)

 

And don't even get me started on food pix. Some people seem to want to see them. Some people want to beat the people who want to see them. I think we have a compromise that might work for everyone. First, I tend to forget to take pictures throughout the meal. That fact alone will cut down drastically on the number of mealtime photos. Second, I plan to "side load" our food photos to Evernote or Evernote Food. That way, I can paste a link to the meal photos in the thread, and you can follow it if you want to. If you're not a fan of food porn, you can simply keep on scrolling through the report. Hopefully, that will work.

 

Another thing that people didn't want to see was weather reports. I certainly understand that. You're not here. You really don't want to see that it's 82 degrees and sunny. (Even though it is. Neener neener.)

 

Unless the weather has an impact on the storyline, we'll forgo the daily weather report.

 

dark-stormy-night.jpg

 

CruiseCritic member Seago2 said, "Please don't spend 3-5 long posts, complete with pics, of your airplane seat/drinks and peanuts on the plane, the arrival at the hotel/bushes in front of the hotel, check in process/selfies standing in line. I just stop reading if it's too much pre-cruise stuff."

 

I'm not sure if this counts as "too much pre-cruise stuff" or not, but Seago2 is really in luck because here's the pre-cruise itinerary:

 

 

  1. Take elevator downstairs.
  2. Get in cab.
  3. Travel the 3 miles or so to Port Everglades.
  4. Check in.

I must say that Seago2 dodged a bullet here. If the drawbridge on SE 17th Street goes up while we're on the way to the pier, there will be at least two more bullet points.

 

Even though we're not giving the daily weather report, we still need something for a daily point of interest. So, here goes:

 

Today in History: November 16th

 

On this day in 1952, Lucy first held the football for Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown ran up to kick the ball. Lucy pulled it away. Charlie flew through the air, yelling "AAUGH!" The he fell to the ground, "WUMP."

 

charlie-brown-football.jpg

 

One last thing before we wrap up this introductory post: If you want to ask a question, please don't quote my entire post. (That's another one of the things that people said they didn't like.) You can edit the quote snippet down so that you are only quoting the relevant sentence or two. Your fellow CCers will thank you.

Edited by POA1

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I'll be wearing a bright pink blouse, white tank and navy blue pants. My question is, does POA sleep:D?

 

Have a great cruise! We'll try to spot you at sail away.

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Have a great cruise! We'll try to spot you at sail away.

 

Thank you. As you can see I'm going to be laughing for a week. My second week is not going to be the same.

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Thank you. As you can see I'm going to be laughing for a week. My second week is not going to be the same.

 

I bet you'll have a ball with POA! :D

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Most people treat a cruise as nice, relaxing way to unwind. Not us. We view this as an opportunity to answer the profound questions that keep you, our dear readers, up at night, tossing and turning fitfully in your beds. Questions such as:

 

  • Did they really get rid of the Wang Wang?
  • What's up with the Creme Brulee?
  • Who's playing in the Piano Bar?
  • Did laundry go up in price?
  • Does the ship's Internet access suck more, less, or about the same?
  • Does the Holland America Club Sandwich really change your life?

Yes, this is why I am up at 3am PST. Thank you for all your research. Hopefully I'll be getting a full night's sleep soon. ;):D

(Are you packed?)

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Hi POA1,

We are flying from London to Miami on January 24th then joining the NA on January 25th for a B2B same similar to yours. We shall be glad of any tips you can give as you travel the wonderful Caribbean. Enjoy it all.

Patrick & Sylvia

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Thanks for the laughs.

 

We will be watching for your sailaway. Cruzchic sent me the cabin number so I found it on the deck plan and know exactly where to look.

 

Looking forward to your somewhat live report and looking forward to meeting you on the back to back, as well as receiving the commemorative bottle opener. :D

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I can see your ship from here!!! Actually, it's just on the Port Everglades webcam. Sadly, we're freezing our tails off already on the "frozen tundra", so I can't wait to live vicariously through your adventures.

 

Smooth Sailing ! :) :) :)

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...........<SNIP>.........

 

I have not even finished reading this, your first post to the thread, and I have to, Just HAVE to, Subscribe to it!!!

 

I can already tell that this is going to be a TALE of a lifetime!!

 

Looking so much to more to come, not only on this cruise but also the 30ths and beyond:D

 

Joanie

Edited by IRL_Joanie

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I can see your ship from here!!! Actually, it's just on the Port Everglades webcam. Sadly, we're freezing our tails off already on the "frozen tundra", so I can't wait to live vicariously through your adventures.

 

Smooth Sailing ! :) :) :)

 

I hope you enjoyed your suite life and thank you for keeping the ship in one piece for us.

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Cruz Chic invited DW and I over to her "house" for sail away. She's on Deck 7. midships. DW is a brunette and will have on a black & white top, and black shorts. I have brown hair, but have lately been adding more and more silver highlights*for a "moon-kissed" look. I'll be wearing a Hawaiian shirt** and blue shorts.

 

I'm not sure what Cruz Chic will be wearing, but she has short, blonde hair.

 

* - This is a nice way of saying there's a heck of a lot a gray going on up there.

 

 

 

 

I'll be wearing a bright pink blouse, white tank and navy blue pants. My question is, does POA sleep:D?

 

great - we will be watching for all of you :)

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Hope you have as good a time cruising as I know I will have reading your report about it. :D

 

One last thing before we wrap up this introductory post: If you want to ask a question, please don't quote my entire post. (That's another one of the things that people said they didn't like.) You can edit the quote snippet down so that you are only quoting the relevant sentence or two. Your fellow CCers will thank you.

Thanks for highlighting this point. Some people need to be told over and over again. :rolleyes:

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We're checked in and waiting for boarding. I've been assigned to Table 28 late seating, and DW has been assigned to Open seating. Either there's something that no one is telling me, or we'll have to see the dining room manager.

 

Honey? Is everything okay? Honey?!?

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