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Konigsdam 11-day Southern Caribbean - My View

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3 hours ago, Crew News said:

Current ship officers are:

 

Captain:  Werner Timmers

 

Hotel Director:  Mustafa Gulbahar

 

Staff Captain:  Frits Carstens

 

Cruise Director:  Thomas Weber

 

If you get a chance to talk to the cruise director please ask him how long he will be on board.  We are on board from Jan 13 - Feb 24.

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47 minutes ago, iflyrc5 said:

If you get a chance to talk to the cruise director please ask him how long he will be on board.  We are on board from Jan 13 - Feb 24.

 

I will find out even if I don't get to talk to him.

Edited by Crew News

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1 hour ago, Crew News said:

 

The full cruise is discounted about 40%.  My $24.99 package was $112 that included my free 5* Mariner minutes.  Good speed about 1 Mbs.

Many thanks for this update.  Good news that there is a significant discount for 1st day purchase.  I think $25/day adds up much faster than we'd use the service.  

Enjoy your cruise and thanks for the thread.  Regards to J. wherever she's at.  m--

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5 minutes ago, RMLincoln said:

........ Regards to J. wherever she's at.  m--

She is on guard duty at the castle and following this thread.

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11 hours ago, Crew News said:

This thread is another view of the Konigsdam Southern Caribbean 11-day cruise and follows in the same manner as my previous live reviews over the years.


The terminal doors were delayed opening as many of the contractors on board were in no hurry to depart the ship.  I was the fourth person eligible to sit in the first row for priority boarding and was fortunate to be seated next to a Pinnacle Suite couple from New York City.  The husband was a retired NYPD helicopter pilot with 50 years of flying experience and a long time HAL cruiser.  We discussed our years of HAL cruising and all of the changes.  Since all boarding the ship had to pass within a few of me, I noticed about 50 travel agents boarding for a quick tour of the ship.  Boarding started at 11:30 AM.


It is OK to punch holes in your stateroom keys as confirmed with the Front Desk.


I searched every nook and cranny for my TV controls and was lucky to catch my Room Steward who found them locked in the safe along with the hair dryer to keep them away from the drydock contractors.


Muster drill was my first being seated in the MDR instead of standing in the sunshine for 30 minutes.  Some passengers forgot their room keys and had to return against the stairwell flow to their staterooms.  I was seated at a table with a HAL passenger who was on board in Ketchikan when 9/11 happened.  When the ship arrived in Seward, there were no embarking passengers as all flights had been cancelled.  That meant nobody could leave Seward after the cruise so HAL allowed all passengers to stay on board for $50/day for the return cruise to Vancouver.  It was good to share my 9/11 experiences with theirs.  With only one elevator operating, it took me 40 minutes to get back to my stateroom where I donned my sport coat and then another 12 minutes to go back down to my early dining @ 5:15 PM.


There may be new beverage menus this week once they get settled from drydock.  PG and Canaletto menus have not changed.  I have scanned the new MDR beverage menu.


Bartenders will pour doubles without waiting and charge as two drinks.


Changes that I have discovered since drydock:  New carpets in Lido Restaurant and Deck 2 MDR, Lido Restaurant chairs refurbished, long tables removed from MDR and converted to 4-tops, new MDR maps, Dutch Cafe signs updated, and licorice removed.


Learned today that the MDR will be closed the first two sea days for Mariner Luncheon so the Meet & Greet today will not parade to the MDR for our scheduled luncheon.

 

More later today.

 

Good to hear you are enjoying the cruise honey:)

 

FYI...My Christmas present arrived today and all I can say is, "YUMMY!!!"

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Has the Crows Nest been changed into the hybrid lounge/ coffee bar/ excursions experience, to match Nieuw Statendam and the Vista/ Signature Class ships? 

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16 minutes ago, Despegue said:

Has the Crows Nest been changed into the hybrid lounge/ coffee bar/ excursions experience, to match Nieuw Statendam and the Vista/ Signature Class ships? 

 

So far, I spent more than two hours in the Crow's Nest and did not notice anything like the havoc they raised on the Westerdam with the huge table-sized touch-screen maps.  Looked like a normal Crow's Nest to me but I will do more asking the crew what changes were made during drydock with an emphasis on the Crows Nest.  The Shore Excursion Desk is still on Deck 1.  The Explorations Cafe and Internet Cafe are in the typical locations they occupy on other HAL ships, right around starboard side of the Crows Nest.

 

Today was my cursory pass through all venues and tomorrow will be my more in-depth tour.

Edited by Crew News

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24 minutes ago, Despegue said:

As always, thank you sooo much !

 

ps. I am addicted to your website. 

 

I am a beneficiary of Cruise Critic's collective knowledge and I enjoy adding to it.  I am also fortunate to have met many HAL crew personnel that are willing to contribute to the Cruise Critic experience of being fully informed BEFORE you board the ship.  Some information that may seem trivial to me may be a big issue to others and so the information needs to be reported.

Edited by Crew News

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2 hours ago, Crew News said:

Just a quick update before my evening popcorn visit to the Lido Pool movie.

 

The HAL kids event calendars are now posted on the TV so now I will have some HAL information for those pondering bringing their kids on a HAL cruise.

 

Lido Market is a zoo for lunch so I will be trying other venues for that meal.  I really miss the Taco Bar and self-made nachos for lunch.

 

I counted 10 tuxedos as I left the MDR.  The watermelon amuse had a real raw jalapeno bite and the beef tenderloin was perfectly cooked.

 

 

 

 

 

What was the movie? Is it crowded?

 

Are The Loft activities on the tv?

 

Hopefully my kids will be stoked to replace the pizza for the taco bar.  We practically lived at the Dive In taco bar on the Zaandam.

 

Yea for tuxes!  Does that mean you enjoyed the amuse bouche?  I  😍 raw jalapeño!

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15 minutes ago, 1964IceCreamLady said:

 

What was the movie? Is it crowded?

 

Are The Loft activities on the tv?

 

Hopefully my kids will be stoked to replace the pizza for the taco bar.  We practically lived at the Dive In taco bar on the Zaandam.

 

Yea for tuxes!  Does that mean you enjoyed the amuse bouche?  I  😍 raw jalapeño!

 

The movie was not crowded because there are so many seats and there are other activities happening at the same time.  I was too early for popcorn tonight so I settled for a single chicken wing at the NY Deli & Pizza Place on the deck looking down on the movie screen.  Seating feels like you are in the balcony of a theater.  Teens and crew hang out there too.  It seems that the Spa folks live on pizza.

 

Loft activities are on the room TV.  I have photographed them for all age groups and will continue to do so every cruise day.  They will be posted them once I convert them to jpg files.  I also have a nice fact sheet for Club HAL.

 

The jalapeno was spicier than my palate needed.

 

More tomorrow.........love the internet speed with the mid-priced package.  I keep waiting for the ship to cutback the speed lest we passengers come to expect it.

Edited by Crew News

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10 hours ago, RMLincoln said:

<....SNIP....> Regards to J. wherever she's at.  m-- <....SNIP....>

 

Hi Maureen. I am at home reading along with everyone else:)  I came to a harsh realization that I can no longer fly due to my Hypoxia (8.000ft is my limit) higher than that I literally cannot breath, so........ I was willing to fly anyway, come what may, until HAL made their new smoking policy......... So that made it perfect for me to retire from my only vacation love:(

 

I am adamant that Roger continue cruising and enjoying his time away from being my Care Giver. After all, he deserves a break from me every few months in order to keep his sanity:)

 

Joanie

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Day 03, pur second sea day, began with blue skies and warm temps. 

 

Just a few comments on my vista suite.  There are five electrical outlets at my desks (3-US and 2-European).  There are one USB and one AC outlet on each side of the bed.  The coffee table is about 24" x 24" and is currently beside the desk as my charging station.  The closet rods include a strip of LED lights that turn on when the door is opened.  There is a proximity sensor by the bathroom door that turns on a floor light across from the bathroom door to help at night.

 

Each side of the bed has a flexible LED light with a wall mounted switch.  I learned the hard way to make sure that the light is turned to the ceiling before going to bed.  On my first night,  I flipped the switch to find the bathroom in the middle of the night and was blinded by powerful beam that I had used to set my alarm clock.

 

The desk mirror has built in vanity lights that can be turned on if needed to also illuminate the desk.  There are also two overhead desk lights that illuminate with the same switch.

 

The nightstands are more narrow than Vista-class ships with the phone occupying the majority of the right side nightstand. 

 

More later.

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15 hours ago, Crew News said:

 

I will find out even if I don't get to talk to him.

 

The CD's contract lasts until March 17.

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Today was the Mariner medal presentations ceremony but only the recipients were allowed to attend.  I attended the second  Mariner Society Luncheon today and found myself at a table of cruising rookies with one "HAL expert"dominating the conversation with her knowledge of HAL and how to demand to speak to Seattle Supervisors to get discounts.  I managed to recruit two more CC members when I could get a word into the conversation.  Same menu as last year.

 

The afternoon meeting for veterans was actually a lecture on children born during and after WWII as a result of occupation, liberation returning prisoners in Holland.  The best part of the affair was listening to John Schmidt's NYPD stories.

 

While searching for the Culinary Arts Center to use my long-scheduled reservation, I learned that the Culinary Arts Center had been abolished with no notice given to those who had reservations.  All of the Specialty Restaurants were booked until 8:00 PM with the exception of one opening at the Canaletto at 5:30 PM.  I opted for the latter and enjoyed the Zuppe di Pesci.

 

I attended the 4-5* Mariner's reception held on one side of the Lido Pool with the lighting dim enough to make reading name tags impossible   Approximately 50 of the announced eligible 200 attended and either mingled in small groups or just sat in chairs lined up next to the pool.  The CD controlled the entrance to the private party before departing and the Assistant Beverage Manager replaced him.  Two other ship officers chatted with each other inside the party area.  I did not see the Captain or Hotel Director but only four uniformed personnel.  One female officer stopped at each of the small groups to welcome them to the reception without announcing her role on the ship.  Some of us just turned and watched the movie, "Beauty and the Beast".  With the exceptions of a single greeting by a junior officer and my chance to ask about new bar menus (ship doesn't have them or know when they will be arriving), it was not a socially stimulating experience.

 

Checking my Account after the reception, I noticed that my LeBreije was not included in my Mariner Loyalty rebates.  After a discussion with the Front Desk, I was told that only the "Night Accounting Tam" could make any adjustments ONLY if I was authorized to receive any rebates.  "Now where have I heard my fellow CC members hear the same reply".  I do have my copy of the email from HAL Seattle declaring that the LeBrieje is a Mariner Discount candidate in case the "Night Accounting Team" does not agree.

 

The good part of the day was learning that Santosh, mentor of our CC chocolate bomb dessert experience in Alaska, was on board and will become the Hotel Manager on the next cruise.  Santosh watched the chocolate bomb video posted here on CC while we were en route to Alaska several years ago and had the PG create 12 servings for fellow CC members.  I sent him a note tonight with a calendar to thank him again for making CC members so happy in Alaska.

 

Tomorrow is St Maarten and my planned purchase of a wheel of Gouda cheese.

 

More tomorrow.

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10 hours ago, Crew News said:

 

The CD's contract lasts until March 17.

Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Crew News said:

Today was the Mariner medal presentations ceremony but only the recipients were allowed to attend.  I attended the second  Mariner Society Luncheon today and found myself at a table of cruising rookies with one "HAL expert"dominating the conversation with her knowledge of HAL and how to demand to speak to Seattle Supervisors to get discounts.  I managed to recruit two more CC members when I could get a word into the conversation.  Same menu as last year.

 

The afternoon meeting for veterans was actually a lecture on children born during and after WWII as a result of occupation, liberation returning prisoners in Holland.  The best part of the affair was listening to John Schmidt's NYPD stories.

 

While searching for the Culinary Arts Center to use my long-scheduled reservation, I learned that the Culinary Arts Center had been abolished with no notice given to those who had reservations.  All of the Specialty Restaurants were booked until 8:00 PM with the exception of one opening at the Canaletto at 5:30 PM.  I opted for the latter and enjoyed the Zuppe di Pesci.

 

I attended the 4-5* Mariner's reception held on one side of the Lido Pool with the lighting dim enough to make reading name tags impossible   Approximately 50 of the announced eligible 200 attended and either mingled in small groups or just sat in chairs lined up next to the pool.  The CD controlled the entrance to the private party before departing and the Assistant Beverage Manager replaced him.  Two other ship officers chatted with each other inside the party area.  I did not see the Captain or Hotel Director but only four uniformed personnel.  One female officer stopped at each of the small groups to welcome them to the reception without announcing her role on the ship.  Some of us just turned and watched the movie, "Beauty and the Beast".  With the exceptions of a single greeting by a junior officer and my chance to ask about new bar menus (ship doesn't have them or know when they will be arriving), it was not a socially stimulating experience.

 

Checking my Account after the reception, I noticed that my LeBreije was not included in my Mariner Loyalty rebates.  After a discussion with the Front Desk, I was told that only the "Night Accounting Tam" could make any adjustments ONLY if I was authorized to receive any rebates.  "Now where have I heard my fellow CC members hear the same reply".  I do have my copy of the email from HAL Seattle declaring that the LeBrieje is a Mariner Discount candidate in case the "Night Accounting Team" does not agree.

 

The good part of the day was learning that Santosh, mentor of our CC chocolate bomb dessert experience in Alaska, was on board and will become the Hotel Manager on the next cruise.  Santosh watched the chocolate bomb video posted here on CC while we were en route to Alaska several years ago and had the PG create 12 servings for fellow CC members.  I sent him a note tonight with a calendar to thank him again for making CC members so happy in Alaska.

 

Tomorrow is St Maarten and my planned purchase of a wheel of Gouda cheese.

 

More tomorrow.

Pardon my ignorance but what is LeBreije? 

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17 hours ago, IRL_Joanie said:

 

Hi Maureen. I am at home reading along with everyone else:)  I came to a harsh realization that I can no longer fly due to my Hypoxia (8.000ft is my limit) higher than that I literally cannot breath, so........ I was willing to fly anyway, come what may, until HAL made their new smoking policy......... So that made it perfect for me to retire from my only vacation love:(

 

I am adamant that Roger continue cruising and enjoying his time away from being my Care Giver. After all, he deserves a break from me every few months in order to keep his sanity:)

 

Joanie

Glad to see you are enjoying Roger's cruise vicariously, and your yummy gift!  All the best to you Joanie!  m--

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7 hours ago, iflyrc5 said:

Pardon my ignorance but what is LeBreije? 

 

It is a special night in the Pinnacle Grill with a more exotic menu. 

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