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Konigsdam 11-day Southern Caribbean - My View

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1 hour ago, RMLincoln said:

That lighting may be new, we sure didn't have it in our room prior to dry dock... we were in a basic balcony room.  Are you in a suite?  Maybe the more expensive rooms have it or maybe it's new.  But nice!  I owuld htink HAL would want to reduce trips and falls. m--  

 

I think that I am in a Vista Suite (AS7195) but I confirmed with my Room Steward that all rooms received a similar LED floor night light.

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The day began in bright sunshine and blue skies.  Without a schedule excursion, I took advantage of sleeping later than normal.  I wanted to go to breakfast after the big rush to leave the ship at 8:00 AM .  Hundreds of my fellow passengers had the same idea and the Lido Market was crowded.

 

I roamed the ship during an emergency drill to capture photos for my website.  At 10:30, I ventured from the ship only to be met by 30-40 mph winds that made holding my hat while trying to take a photo impossible.  I surrendered and returned to my aft stateroom to a phone call from the Front Desk.  The incoming Hotel Director wanted to chat.

 

During a prolonged discussion in the Atrium, I had the chance to vent all of my issues as well as other topics.  Comment cards do work.  We plan to meet again later in the cruise. It was agreed that Assistant Dining Room Managers visiting the guests should be a given.

 

I spoke with the Beverage Manager and learned that vendors could not provide the scheduled liquors for a few more weeks so the new bar menu will not be effective for several more K'dam cruises.  I have been promised a copy when it is implemented.

 

I tried the NY Deli Reuben, found it tasty, but with no relation to a true NY Reuben.  The pizza folks told me to not come for pizza during meal hours unless I want to stand in a long line.

 

The two missing passengers at yesterdays departure from St Maarten were actually a Security issue.

 

I tried the bouillabaisse at the Sel de Mer, found it very delicious, but found it impossible to eat the lobster claw with the small tools provided.  When the chef asked how I enjoyed the meal, I explained that it was impossible to eat the claw without making a real mess.  How do you crack a lobster claw without using both hands?  If the chef cracks your lobster tail, why not the much harder claw?  I told the waiter that they should offer "pre-delivery claw cracking" to each guest when they place their bouillabaisse order.  It would be nice to hear from CC members on subsequent cruises if my suggestion was adopted.

 

With any luck, I will have the new Sushi menu as well as the Neptune Lounge appetizer list tomorrow.

 

When I told a culinary friend on board that I would like a photograph of the huge President's Cut ribeye steak in the Pinnacle Grill, he agreed to split one with me just to get a picture.  We shall see.

 

FWIW my printed itinerary from the HAL website had my Sel de Mer reservation posted but the ship had no record of it.  Fortunately, there was an opening at the same time as my "missing" reservation".  Rechecking all reservations on Embarkation Day on seems to be a very good idea.

 

Tomorrow is St Lucia and I will post more info as my cruise proceeds.

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Wonderful report -- but so many issues that need to be resolved.  Just think of the next couple of cruises where people will be disappointed on some things -- liquors for one.

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18 hours ago, Crew News said:

I tried the bouillabaisse at the Sel de Mer, found it very delicious, but found it impossible to eat the lobster claw with the small tools provided.  When the chef asked how I enjoyed the meal, I explained that it was impossible to eat the claw without making a real mess.  How do you crack a lobster claw without using both hands?  If the chef cracks your lobster tail, why not the much harder claw?  I told the waiter that they should offer "pre-delivery claw cracking" to each guest when they place their bouillabaisse order.  It would be nice to hear from CC members on subsequent cruises if my suggestion was adopted.

Note to Self: Pack lobster crackers for future cruises that include Sea de Mer. 

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11 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Note to Self: Pack lobster crackers for future cruises that include Sea de Mer. 

 

Indeed.  When I asked the waiters if many people at the lobster claws, I was told that only a few did.  duh

 

I did have a finger bowl that would fit a few fingers but not the palms of my hands that would be covered with tomato broth from holding the claw while trying to crack it with small tools provided.

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47 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Note to Self: Pack lobster crackers for future cruises that include Sea de Mer. 

Grrrrr, spell checkers! That, of course, should be "Sel de Mer".

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I've been told there is a deck (Sky?) above the Observation Deck that isn't shown on HAL's deck plans, not even the most recent set dated 11/13/18.  If so, are passengers allowed there? Is it just standing room or are there loungers? Do the elevators go that high? Is there stair access from the Crows Nest? There are stairs shown on the starboard side in the Crows Nest but no corresponding ones on the Sun Deck.

 

Thanks.

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4 hours ago, Crew News said:

 

Indeed.  When I asked the waiters if many people at the lobster claws, I was told that only a few did.  duh

 

I did have a finger bowl that would fit a few fingers but not the palms of my hands that would be covered with tomato broth from holding the claw while trying to crack it with small tools provided.

 

 

Another comment card to be filled out.

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3 hours ago, Cruise Suzy said:

I've been told there is a deck (Sky?) above the Observation Deck that isn't shown on HAL's deck plans, not even the most recent set dated 11/13/18.  If so, are passengers allowed there? Is it just standing room or are there loungers? Do the elevators go that high? Is there stair access from the Crows Nest? There are stairs shown on the starboard side in the Crows Nest but no corresponding ones on the Sun Deck.

 

Thanks.

We discovered Deck 14 when we approached St Martin.  Two ways to get there.  Either take the forward elevators up to deck 14 or on Deck 12 go out to the cabana area (not past the roped off area) and up the stairs to deck 14.  There are some loungers and small tables up there.

 

Lisa

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1 hour ago, RedHeadTexan said:

We discovered Deck 14 when we approached St Martin.  Two ways to get there.  Either take the forward elevators up to deck 14 or on Deck 12 go out to the cabana area (not past the roped off area) and up the stairs to deck 14.  There are some loungers and small tables up there.

 

Lisa

 

 

Good information.

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The day started with partly cloudy skies and a crowded Lido Market with one side opened to all of those eating prior to departing the ship at 8:00 AM.

 

As the only solo on our island drive to the volcano, I was given the jump seat next to the driver.  Seeing how close our driver came to the sharp pavement drops off, I think he is very  qualified for any form of road racing.  It has rained on me briefly on every visit I have made to St Lucia and of course today's volcano stop kept the string alive.  I was equipped with a water resistant camera and emergency poncho so I defeated the elements again.   At the snack stop, I let those at my table know about Cruise Critic and was bombarded with complaints about the Embarkation debacle with three of four elevators closed immediately after the Must Drill.

 

One side of the Lido Market was still open and every passenger aboard seemed to be there at 2:00 PM when my excursion returned  The only serving station with a short waiting line had shrimp lasagna that was sufficient for several bites before dinner only three hours later.

 

As I was eating my dinner and keeping an eye open to see if the Assistant Dining Managers would continue avoiding any contact with the diners, a "suit" walked nearly the entire length of the MDR just to ask me about my dinner.  Clueless, I had to ask my waiter who had stopped at my table, stopped at one of the other 33 tables in my view, and then disappeared.  I learned it was Indra, the Assistant Dining Room Manager. I must have been the squeaky wheel that got the attention after telling the incoming Hotel Director that I had not seen an Assistant Manager stop at any table during my MDR time.  So, three stops after a possible 132 stops to greet his guests must be the new standard for HAL customer service.   I did see one very tall uniformed officer spend quite a while speaking to one table at the very front during my 1:15-minute dining experience.  If I see him again, I will point him out to my waiter for identification.

 

My two MDR waiters and the Lido Manager are excellent.  The laundry is currently same day service an is worthy of praise.

 

For the second evening, I went to the Front Desk to ask to see the Sushi Menu as the website says to do.  I was referred to the Tamarind instead of again being told that the Front Desk would send a printed copy to my room.  The Tamarind was happy to let me  borrow a menu for scanning. 

 

I think I will have to conclude that the uniformed officer that would not let me photograph our roll call members receiving their Mariner copper medals was in fact the Mariner Society Rep.

 

"Wonder Woman" was the evening movie and I thought it was well done.  The special effects were great.

 

Internet speed remains pretty good and my Room Stewards are some of the best I have experienced.  I still need to experience the Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind. 

 

Because Cruise Critic has educated me in the standards to expect, the cruise is only at a "C" level for now.  It must be noted that cruises can only be rated as a moment in time and are not predictive because of personnel turnover and policy changes that have a huge effect.

 

More tomorrow.

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15 hours ago, RedHeadTexan said:

We discovered Deck 14 when we approached St Martin.  Two ways to get there.  Either take the forward elevators up to deck 14 or on Deck 12 go out to the cabana area (not past the roped off area) and up the stairs to deck 14.  There are some loungers and small tables up there.

 

Lisa

 

Thanks for the info. I sometimes like to take photos from the top deck, especially if there's not a lot of others there.

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On December 11, 2018 at 5:15 PM, Crew News said:

I really miss the Taco Bar and self-made nachos for lunch.

 

We really like the Taco Bar on all the HAL ships. I do not like hearing it is no longer on the K-dam. Do you think it might be eliminated on the other HAL ships? Have not heard anything about it missing while reading other cruise reviews recently. :classic_unsure:

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35 minutes ago, PSR said:

 

We really like the Taco Bar on all the HAL ships. I do not like hearing it is no longer on the K-dam. Do you think it might be eliminated on the other HAL ships? Have not heard anything about it missing while reading other cruise reviews recently. :classic_unsure:

 

The Taco Bar is a fixture and should continue except on HAL's big ships.  I usually have nachos for lunch and will look forward to having them again on the Westerdam in June.

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The day began with sunny blue skies but mid-afternoon showers hit briefly.

 

I failed to turn on my alarm clock and awakened one hour before the meeting time ashore for my excursion.  Last-minute dining in the MDR found no lines and lots of empty tables.  I joined the line to board my excursion bus and the last minute before boarding/  As a solo, I got two seats to myself and then endured my knees being banged against the hard seat back in front of me as the driver tried to hit every bump in the road.  The tour guide was a wealth of knowledge of both history and plant life.

 

As a note, some of the Lido Market was still serving up until 4:00 PM and many returning guests were taking advantage of the chance to have a late lunch/snack.

 

I tried to book one of my two free PG dinners but every seat was booked.  The President's Cut steak will have to wait for another cruise.

 

After giving my dinner order of Vietnamese pho (soup) and flat iron steak, the two females at the next table congratulated me on the excellent church service that I had conducted the day before.  I did try to convince them that it was not I but they were certain.  The flat iron steak was fantastic and would highly recommend it to those on subsequent cruises.

 

The Assistant Dining Room Manager stopped at every table tonight with an average of five seconds at each table before he disappeared for the rest of my meal.  My waiters are very good at getting me served and out the door in around one hour.

 

Tonight was the first night for a big stage show so movie attendance was slim to watch

Jurassic World by the Lido Pool.  I discovered that some movie seats have their view of the screen blocked by swimming pool fixtures and posts.

 

After the first five days on board, I have determined that the Lido Market has the best food presentation, preparation, waitstaff, and design (except for heavy chairs that cannot slide over the carpet) that I have experienced on any HAL ship.

 

Tomorrow is Dominica.

Edited by Crew News

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2 hours ago, PSR said:

 

We really like the Taco Bar on all the HAL ships. I do not like hearing it is no longer on the K-dam. Do you think it might be eliminated on the other HAL ships? Have not heard anything about it missing while reading other cruise reviews recently. :classic_unsure:

I don't think it was on the Kdam from the start.  It was not on the ship in January 2018.

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Hi Roger! Sorry to bother you with this, but have you found wholesale changes to the MDR menus? We've only got Day 1 under our belts - literally - but there was almost no overlap in the starters and mains in your scanned menus from last year. This is extremely rare. I usually expect to see a change or two from year to year, but this was a whole different animal. No complaints about the food. Everything was fine

 

We also have a different Gala Night schedule than usual. FLL night was casual as is expected at embarkation. HMC is smart casual. Coming up is Grand Turk, then Amber Cove. I'm guessing first Gala will be the sea day between the Dominican Republic and Bonaire.

 

Just caught up with your thread so far. Thanks for doing all of this!

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Tree Lighting:

 

A few photos from the tree lighting ceremony on the atrium. Excellent turn out for a 15 minute event with caroling and fake snow.

 

IMG_3577_LUCiD.thumb.JPG.9e77caeada06ef47aea26b175f6e4d6c.JPG

 

IMG_3578_LUCiD.thumb.JPG.0d0e6f84e4f81f5c9f55eee19c0b2b51.JPG

 

IMG_3575_LUCiD.thumb.JPG.6175a2538d8431cd653fc5bb1e87c09e.JPG

 

 

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Clearly I have been neglecting some important things in this thread, as evidenced by this plane which buzzed us as we sailed into the open Atlantic.

 

post-more-poohby.jpg.6442a35026601b3cefc4adc88fa087b5.jpg

 

Without further ado, here's DW and Poohby Joe before dinner last night. The bear is wearing a blue bow tie from the "Sharp Dressed Yet Tiny Man's Collection" and Michelle is sporting a silk top from the Helen Roper Signature Line.

 

IMG_3571_LUCiD.thumb.JPG.e4ad5dc92ccc5f39015d3be888955937.JPG

 

Poohby-Esquire.thumb.jpg.b45bb912fcedf527dda279a03b44e672.jpg

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7 hours ago, Crew News said:

 

The Taco Bar is a fixture and should continue except on HAL's big ships.  I usually have nachos for lunch and will look forward to having them again on the Westerdam in June.

 

Great! Thanks for the info...:classic_smile:

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Roger - My apologies. I accidentally posted my Live From stuff to your thread. I reported it, so hopefully Walt will delete it for me. I had too many tabs open. 

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IMHO this is a Petri dish.  Just watch the folks handling the food. I stopped grazing there after numerous folks were observed scooping up chips by hand while strolling by. 

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14 hours ago, Crew News said:

After giving my dinner order of Vietnamese pho (soup) and flat iron steak

 

How was the pho?  I love pho - did you have it in the MDR or Lido?

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14 hours ago, Crew News said:

 

<.....SNIP.....> After giving my dinner order of Vietnamese pho (soup) and flat iron steak, the two females at the next table congratulated me on the excellent church service that I had conducted the day before.  I did try to convince them that it was not I but they were certain. <.....SNIP.....>

 

HA HA HA HA HA HA...That is tooooo funny honey!!!:)

 

Joanie

 

 

Edited by IRL_Joanie
highlighting a partial line

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