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OlsSalt

Over the top on the Maasdam ..........

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Just because one has never seen topless sunbathing aboard HAL ships does not mean that it is against the "community standards". Also, if we are going to start bringing legal terms into this conversation, then we must remember that HAL ships are registered in Rotterdam. The community standards in the Netherlands is that topless sunbathing is allowed on most beaches unless there are signs prohibiting such behavior.

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On my first HAL cruise, on Maasdam, June 2016, going to Alaska, there was much to my surprise a sign on the wall in the deck 9 aft area about permitting topless sunbathing during certain designated hours. I have a photo of it somewhere. Never saw anyone partaking, rarely saw anyone using that area at all in fact, and the sign disappeared after a day or two. On my most recent HAL cruise earlier this year, also on Maasdam, doing a Panama Canal transit, there was no such sign there and far more people than normal were using that space for no female breasts exposed sunbathing. But there were a couple women who were using the sun deck (one of my other favorite hangouts) for topless sunbathing; however, whenever i saw them they were chest-down. Frankly i don't care if it's allowed on the ship or not. It's definitely no worse than some of the theoretically permissible sights i saw out at the aft pool on the last cruise, and i'm sure some of the other cruisers might have preferred not to be subjected to my fat self out there in a bathing suit either. Relax and enjoy your dam cruise.

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[quote name='Cruise_More_Often']Here's another photo of the aft deck. The stairs, on both sides, lead up to the aft pool deck. Straight ahead is cabin 220's balcony:

[IMG]https://photos.smugmug.com/Travel/Cruises/2015-Maasdam-CanadaNew-England/i-JJ8JmHH/0/c1f7b51c/S/20150822_133013-S.jpg[/IMG]

We rarely saw anyone using the deck.[/quote]

I am having trouble visualizing the problem. It looks like there is a metal divider between cabin 220's balcony and the chaises longues. It appears that one would have to stand up to see over the divider to look down upon a topless sunbather.


It appears your balcony offers maybe a 270° view to aft and port. Maybe 10° of that view while standing is of the "topless" deck and the sky above it. My suggestion is to enjoy the 260° view and not look down at the remaining 10° as much as it galls you to know that there are people displaying themselves in ways you think are inappropriate. Grit your teeth and avert your eyes when using the stairs.
[B][/B]

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[quote name='OlsSalt']....

We are now facing a grave disappointment in what we thought of as reasonable expectations - loss of this very special cabin we intentionally chose if a cabin change is offered, or facing continued female topless sunbathing in public spaces and view when using our verandah and the aft staircases.

Why should these topless females have priority over our own expectations, if there is no onboard policy. If the captain can sanction this activity by his won personal fiat, should we have been noticed up front?

.....[/quote]

Ols Salt, imho you need to take a breath, take a walk, possibly have an adult beverage, and consider how you are letting this affect your cruise.

Do you really want to let 4 unknown topless sunbathers have that power over you? Sometimes the best action is no action. A[B]ccept that only you are suffering if you continue your preoccupation [/B]with the entire matter and [B]you [/B]have the power to change that. Move on from this, let it go, and enjoy the rest of your cruise.

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Aft and [I]starboard[/I].

One would naturally tend to step over to that spot near the divider and look forward, over the area with the lounge chairs. That’s how it looks to me from that picture. Many people would feel odd looking over a woman with her breasts exposed, regardless of the norms of her culture. Setting aside mores, it’s just plain awkward for a whole lot of people. I’m not speaking for the OP, but I think people who book that stateroom really should be able to expect to look in any directiony from their veranda without gazing over a topless area.

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Unfortunately, I think neither HAL nor the staff will take action. It’s easier for them to wait and let it pass, which requires no additional steps after this specific cruise ends. The likelihood of the issue happening on a cruise in the near future is small, so it may get the proverbial “brushing it under the rug”.

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[quote name='kazu']Interesting this question was asked as I went looking as well. I can't find anything.

It is entirely possible that the nude sunbathers were spoken to and they challenged it asking where it was stated in the rules?

That being said, I think Copper has given the OP the best advice to follow at this stage.[/quote]

Here is the post by RuthC that mentions the topic. [URL]https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=9663771&postcount=27[/URL]
I never found the post she referenced but I have to admit this topic is getting so long in the tooth, I didn't look too terribly hard.


Copper is spot on. And OlsSalt is good to let others know of this as some may wish to either select or not select certain cabins based on the new info and for any number of reasons, kids or maybe religious/community mores or conversely proximity to the area for its use.

I'm a shade dweller. I don't sunbathe at all (marshmallow pale skin + skin cancer) but don't care if others do so topless, in the buff, or in a burka, I have no dog in this fight.

Though in this day of instagram and Twitter... some caution might be warranted. One's teats might get tweeted... and from deck 9 no less. :D Edited by fatcat04

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[quote name='SetAnOpenCourse']Aft and [I]starboard[/I].

One would naturally tend to step over to that spot near the divider and look forward, over the area with the lounge chairs. That’s how it looks to me from that picture. Many people would feel odd looking over a woman with her breasts exposed, regardless of the norms of her culture. Setting aside mores, it’s just plain awkward for a whole lot of people. I’m not speaking for the OP, but I think people who book that stateroom really should be able to expect to look in any directiony from their veranda without gazing over a topless area.[/quote]You got it exactly right. I posted another picture that I took standing on the cabin 220 verandah looking across the now-topless but unsanctioned deck. We booked that particular cabin so we would still have aft views (including both to the right and to the left), since there are no aft cabins on Maasdam.

We also used those stairways to get to the Lido deck. It was much quicker than walking forward to the elevators and they are right outside the doors to cabins 220 and 205.

There should at the minimum be some notice before people book those cabins with the expectation of views without boobs.

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[quote name='SetAnOpenCourse']Unfortunately, I think neither HAL nor the staff will take action. It’s easier for them to wait and let it pass, which requires no additional steps after this specific cruise ends. The likelihood of the issue happening on a cruise in the near future is small, so it may get the proverbial “brushing it under the rug”.[/quote]

[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]Why don't we just give it a minute until OlsSalt has brought this up - face to face - with a supervisor and/or manager and gets the straight scoop from he/she/them if "topless sunbathing in public spaces is allowed" I've never heard of it being an issue before, but that's not to say it has not happened on one of the dam ships on prior occasions.[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]
[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]If she learns it's not allowed, then it takes a phone call from OlsSalt to Guest Services the minute she sees the "party in question once again doing their thing." Guest Services (and/or Security) can contact the individual(s) and remind them about the rules to cover up. If it continues to happen, it becomes a "management-level" issue. That is the main difference in follow up between two LUK cards (when the sunbathers may or may not still be there when the cards are received and processed) and a phone call when "the deed is being performed". [/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]
[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]If OlsSalt learns that this type of sunbathing in a public space is allowed, well then she has some decisions to make as far as how to proceed[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]
[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]And yes, "someone" went to quite some effort to have "official looking" signs made and posted on those exit doors to the aft deck [/COLOR][/FONT]

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[quote name='Copper10-8']
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]
[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]And yes, "someone" went to quite some effort to have "official looking" signs made and posted on those exit doors to the aft deck [/COLOR][/FONT][/quote]

This is what blows me away: who would go to the trouble and expense of having these these signs made up, posting them and possibly getting caught?

Crew or pax?

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Update - Saturday - Sept 22
Contacted Guest Services today and learned the following:

1. We were not the only ones complaining.

2. A letter to all guests had already been prepared to be delivered this evening.

3. Guest Relations indicated management was very upset (shocked really) that the red "topless deck adults only" signs had been installed on the ship's exit doors to Deck 9-aft. They still do not know who did this.

4. Guest Relations said this issue had never come up in his own 9 years on HAL ships and was equally upset it was happening, recognzing this would be deeply offensive to many passengers

5. Comments may also be submitted to Guest Services using the Navigator, instead of only relying on the written comment cards.

The following letter was delivered to all cabins this evening:

[I]Sept 22, 2108[/I]

[I]Dear Guest,[/I]

[I]Please be advised that the Maasdam does not have an allocated deck for "topless sunbathing" and this is not permitted on any Holland America Line ship.[/I]

[I]We appreciate your cooperation and understanding towards this important reminder.[/I]

[I]Regards,[/I]
[I]Florin Dragomir[/I]
[I]Hotel Director[/I]

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[quote name='OlsSalt']Update - Saturday - Sept 22
Contacted Guest Services today and learned the following:

1. We were not the only ones complaining.

2. A letter to all guests had already been prepared to be delivered this evening.

3. Guest Relations indicated management was very upset (shocked really) that the red "topless deck adults only" signs had been installed on the ship's exit doors to Deck 9-aft. They still do not know who did this.

4. Guest Relations said this issue had never come up in his own 9 years on HAL ships and was equally upset it was happening, recognzing this would be deeply offensive to many passengers

5. Comments may also be submitted to Guest Services using the Navigator, instead of only relying on the written comment cards.

The following letter was delivered to all cabins this evening:

[I]Sept 22, 2108[/I]

[I]Dear Guest,[/I]

[I]Please be advised that the Maasdam does not have an allocated deck for "topless sunbathing" and this is not permitted on any Holland America Line ship.[/I]

[I]We appreciate your cooperation and understanding towards this important reminder.[/I]

[I]Regards,[/I]
[I]Florin Dragomir[/I]
[I]Hotel Director[/I][/quote]

Did the say who you should call when you see it occuring?

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[quote name='RDC1']Did the say who you should call when you see it occuring?[/quote]

[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]That's an easy one! Call Guest Services and they will either handle it or they will call Security to do so[/COLOR][/FONT]

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[quote name='Copper10-8'][FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]That's an easy one! Call Guest Services and they will either handle it or they will call Security to do so[/COLOR][/FONT][/quote]

Guest Services said they would involve security, and any future violations would risk being removed from the ship.

Guest Services can be reached dialing 90 or using the Navigator contact form. There is a phone outside the Guest Services office, next to the Front Desk, which allows one to contact them in person if anyone is in the office.

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[quote name='SilvertoGold']This is what blows me away: who would go to the trouble and expense of having these these signs made up, posting them and possibly getting caught?

Crew or pax?[/quote]

[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]If crew were to go out there to sunbath topless (something they know is against the house rules) after placing a faux sign on the interior of that door, they would face pretty serious discipline. My two cents are on a scheme by a/multiple pax[/COLOR][/FONT]

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[quote name='Copper10-8'][FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]If crew were to go out there to sunbath topless (something they know is against the house rules) after placing a faux sign on the interior of that door, they would face pretty serious discipline. My two cents are on a scheme by a/multiple pax[/COLOR][/FONT][/quote]

Tanks for the insider opinion. What a time security must have!

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[quote name='OlsSalt']Guest Services said they would involve security, and any future violations would risk being removed from the ship.

Guest Services can be reached dialing 90 or using the Navigator contact form. There is a phone outside the Guest Services office, next to the Front Desk, which allows one to contact them in person if anyone is in the office.[/quote]

[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#000080]Bang! Just a heads up; Guest Services is one area of the ship that is manned (womanned [/COLOR];)) [COLOR=#000080]24 hrs per day (but you prob already knew that one and there won't be much topless sunbathing going on at 0300 hrs.)[/COLOR][/FONT]

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[quote name='SilvertoGold']This is what blows me away: who would go to the trouble and expense of having these these signs made up, posting them and possibly getting caught?

Crew or pax?[/quote]
Signs like that aren’t that expensive.
They may have even been “free” and had a previous life.;)

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[quote name='OlsSalt']


[I]Sept 22, 2108[/I]

[I]Dear Guest,[/I]

[I]Please be advised that the Maasdam does not have an allocated deck for "topless sunbathing" and this is[B] not permitted on any Holland America Line ship.[/B][/I]
[/quote]

First, I am glad that OP is happier now that Guest Relations have issued the letter.
However, the letter leads to more questions than it gives answers to.
i.e. What is 'not permitted' - is topless sunbathing not permitted anywhere on a HAL ship? Is it only females who are not permitted to sunbath topless? Can a female sunbath topless on their own verandah, even if that verandah is overlooked?
Where are these 'rules' published?

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[quote name='SilvertoGold']This is what blows me away: who would go to the trouble and expense of having these these signs made up, posting them and possibly getting caught?

Crew or pax?[/QUOTE]You can get a plastic, adhesive-backed sign like the one in the photo, for less than $10, mailed to you in a few days. It's not unusual for people to purchase these signs either as jokes, or to create their own special areas. It gives the perps plausible deniability. We have hotel and restaurant clients and this happens. Usually it's rogue smoking areas.

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[quote name='TiogaCruiser']Signs like that aren’t that expensive.
They may have even been “free” and had a previous life.;)[/quote]

The signs looked "old", kind of grimy on the edges and imprinting, which is why they looked so "official" when we later noticed them - Day Two.

We came down the aft deck stairs from Deck 10 and had the first encounter. I was immediately going to report this, but that is when we noticed the signs on the door leading back into the Deck 9 corridor leading to our cabin. Then when one became three, I wrote my comment card on Day Three - protesting the "new HAL policy" - assuming due to these signs this was now onboard policy.

So it did take until Day 15 for the HAL policy letter to go out. Report- investigate both signage issue and activity, check with HAL corporate, compose response to notice all passengers- response ...........now enforcement?

To me, the posting of the illegal signage that potentially impacted all passengers on board was the more grievous issue. The few taking "the law" into their own hands. That should concern everyone.

Reminds me of the guy who ignored signs a few years ago on the Ryndam, went into the crew only area and dropped the anchor midstream. We are in a closed system environment - what we choose to do matters to a lot more than just ourselves in this setting. [URL]https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=4251[/URL]

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[quote name='POA1']You can get a plastic, adhesive-backed sign like the one in the photo, for less than $10, mailed to you in a few days. It's not unusual for people to purchase these signs either as jokes, or to create their own special areas. It gives the perps plausible deniability. We have hotel and restaurant clients and this happens. Usually it's rogue smoking areas.[/quote]

[FONT=Arial][SIZE=3]Heck yes! I had one made a zillion years ago that I mount on the glove-compartment door of my car: "Solo operation from front seat only". Ummm, that's a pilot joke[/SIZE][/FONT];p. [FONT=Arial][SIZE=3]Anyway, I have a new one made each time I get a new car.[/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=3]OK, I'm off to the pier now to do a little hop-on/hop-off on ms Amsterdam. So I won't be hijacking this thread any more. Seeya.[/SIZE][/FONT]

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[quote name='VMax1700']First, I am glad that OP is happier now that Guest Relations have issued the letter.
However, the letter leads to more questions than it gives answers to.
i.e. What is 'not permitted' - is topless sunbathing not permitted anywhere on a HAL ship? Is it only females who are not permitted to sunbath topless? Can a female sunbath topless on their own verandah, even if that verandah is overlooked?
Where are these 'rules' published?[/quote]

The "rules" are now noticed to all passengers. Go ahead and be a test case and see if you can prevail on 'void for vagueness". But first re-read the letter - it talks about an [U]allocated deck[/U] for "topless sunbathing". The fact this term was in quotes indicates you need to confirm its precise definition to see if it includes both male and female topless bathing.

Or you could apply the "common meaning rule" and work from there since it still remains the "common understanding" by practice and tradition on North American passenger ships this does apply only to female topless bathing. Take it to the US Supreme Court if this bothers you sufficiently. Traditions change. Demand HAL change its policy. Choose another cruise line. Boycott-Divest-Sanction.

This notice therefore does not control what you do in your own cabin. However, if your cabin balcony is in public view one would hope you would care enough about your fellow passengers to honor the spirit of the policy.

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Here's the link to the sign i referenced before, deck 9 aft, Maasdam, June 2016.

[url]https://www.flickr.com/photos/joekerstef/31684922840/in/album-72157678551444176/[/url]

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