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LIVE: Off to Rome for the Nieuw Statendam Premiere Voyage

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Have a great voyage!  


We board on the 23rd so are curious in hearing feedback on the Rolling Stone Rock Room and the new wine packages (and if the y are honoring the 4/5 star discount).


Thanks for taking your time to share!



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The new wine packages and the status of the 4-5 star discount will be on our list.   We thought the “new” three level package was an improvvement and were a little perplexed why HAL felt the need to change after such a brief stint.    Regardless we will pass along any updates and insights on the new packages from the Wine Stewarts or Cellar Master..


So far we have heard all good reports from the “shake down” cruise

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Monday 12/3 —two days until boarding!


We started at little late as we had some work to knockout but we managed a full night’s rest.


Our hotel has a nice and diverse breakfast selection and being in Rome we ordered a cappuccino but skipped the cornetto.


The rain had stopped so we decided to explore our neighborhood.   We headed north in search of the restaurant Cacio e Pepe. We heard of this place through Anthony Bourdain and normally we are hesitant to try any recommended places as some have been impacted by the notoriety and not necessarily in a good way.


We were pleasantly surprised to find that this place still was great. The guests were about 90% locals having a leisurely lunch and 10% Bourdain fans.  We sat next to a couple from Long Island (I think they sat the non-locals together.) They were great to chat with and we visited throughout the lunch.  Mrs. Jones had the Cacio e Pepe and Mr. Jones had the carbonara (with pancetta of course).  The Cacio e Pepe was good but the carbonara was amazing, best we have had.  With such fresh/quality ingredients you can keep it simple.



We had a nice walk back to the hotel to drop off some “Layers” as it was getting warmer. We then headed off to Piazza Navona in search of a Christmas Market we’d read about in prior years. Alas this year (at least this early) no market.  We did enjoy the walk there (many Christmas lights along narrow streets.) We stopped along a small side street for an espresso —only 1 euro — a pleasant surprise so close to the main tourist areas


On the way back to the hotel we decided to stop by the Pantheon.  This place never ceases to give us goose bumps.  A marvel of engineering and architecture. Was worth the side-trip.




Before we entered our Hotel we noticed a small wine shop across the street, Kiarotti Wine (no website but on Facebook).  Was a very pleasant stop.  We were given a handwritten list of wines by the glass and served complimentary cheese and Prosciutto as we sipped.  



We asked our server a question about the wines we chose and he quickly called over the owner to assist.   What followed was one off those “you can’t plan it” moments when traveling. We received a sublime 30 minute conversation about the grapes, regions and various terroir of Italy.   He was very passionate about wine and it was a pleasure talking to him.




We finished our day walking west of the Palace of Justice to a small basement Trattoria called “Porto”.  It mostly served seafood prepared simply and perfectly.  We had a great waiter; after finding we were from Kansas City (home of the Chiefs and Mahones), we learned he played “American Football” in the Italian Football League (IFL).  He quickly pulled out his phone and showed as a few pictures from the games.   Had elements of John Grisham’s book “Playing for Pizza”.  Was much fun.


We ended our day with a leisurely walk back to our Hotel.   The weather cooperated with temperatures about 60 degrees F and no wind, which made for a great stroll. We took advantage of our terrace, enjoying a glass of wine while imagining what it would be like to live in this neigborhood of Rome.

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Glad you enjoyed the day with some rain and then being able to remove layers!

Cacio e Pepe is where we always go for lunch when we are there! The Christmas Market will be up and running in another week. Last year when on business we were there the second week and it was wonderful. Amazing photos of The Nieuw S!!!

exciting to see again brings back memories for me with The Nieuw Amsterdam inaugural cruise.


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12/4 sail tomorrow!


Just a quick update will post more in the morning


The weather today was beyond expectations. Sunny and about 65.  Perfect for long walks, sitting outside and people watching 


Just by accident we found a tiny trattoria (maybe seats 12 people) Dino Express.  We managed to get the last table and were placed next to friendly grandmother  and grand daughter.    The menu was hand written on a notepad.  




When my limited Italian was exhausted the owner (Dino off course) said “un minuto” and disappeared.  He came back with the chef/cook who spoke some english and gave us some recommendation.   Was a special meal where we felt like a traveler not a tourist.


When we asked for the bill be wrote out what we had on the table as receipt.





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That’s Rome for you!!!!! We have experienced that also. Those are the memories you have.

so excited for you tomorrow!



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Tuesday — Last Day in Rome


Our last day was filled with more walking (Mrs. Jones’ Fitbit showed nearly 8miles, which we are feeling today.)   


While we enjoy the history and museums it seemed wrong to stay inside on such a sunny December day.   We have fond  memories of the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain from our Honeymoon so we retraced some of those sights.


We spent our last night out at a Prati neighborhood favorite Il Sorpasso.   While there was a big crowd to get in, we could have a table if we agreed to finish by 9:30. We enjoyed a selection of meats, a simple but amazing salad, followed by entrees from the specials list and a great Pino Nero from Alto Adige. We were surrounded by large tables of happy Romans.


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It’s Almost Time To Meet the Nieuw Statendam


As we start packing to get on the ship, it struck us that the highlight of our brief stay in Rome wasn’t the sights but the locals we met and shared some moments with.


It looks like we have a large numbers of CC’ers taking the inaugural voyage and are looking forward to the meet and greet tomorrow.

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Quck updates


wine packages appear to be the same. No change and discount still applies.


a lot of new wines and the per glass menu has changed a bit


new tamarind menu on first glance the wasabi filet, chicken curry and lobster (now with shrimp) were still there



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New sushi bar looks nice.  Alacart with shashimi and Negri runnng about $3 per pair.  So with a 4/5 star discount not too bad


sorry for any typos.  Knocking this out on my phone 

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Having lunch in the MDR.  Lots of press.  


Still some HAL corporate onboard     saw Orlando circulating and talking with guests which I thought was a nice touch


There was a question about Christmas decorations.  At least in the atrium they are decorating.




Edited by travelinjones

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Thanks for posting these tidbits as you go. Really appreciate it.Have a great trip. 

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Tamarind layout has changed from the KDam.  Nice large Sushi Bar.   The Tamarind bar has moved around the corner and where it was was on the KDam they have made outdoor bar seating.  Very nice.  On the other side they have the al fresco dining



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