Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
POA1

'Twas the Cruise During Christmas - Zuiderdam 2018

Recommended Posts

We are just heading back from an evening of clean, bright entertainments. We managed to see the first Billboard Onboard show, the BBC Earth II presentation in the main show lounge, and the final BB King set.

 

The BBC Earth II is  a film with a score commissioned by Holland America.  The film is accompanied by the Lincoln Center Stage quintet and the show band from the regular production shows. If you have not seen this type of performance before, give it a try. There is really nothing like it. You'll want to sit in the middle of the theatre, lower section, but not in the floor seats. A row or two up from the floor is perfect. I'd arrive 15 minutes early to beat the crowd and score good seats. The show clocks in at about 45-50 minutes. You'll need to dash if you want to catch the late BB King show because it starts at 10:45. If you want to see the last piano performance, you have a little more slack because it's closer to the Main Stage theater. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you ever wonder why the things that stain the most are the things you'll drip on yourself? Cases in point: Last night Michelle was wearing a white linen top. During her salad course, two drops of balsamic vinegar came off of a piece of lettuce and hit her shirt. Tonight, I had the weiner schnitzel as my entrée. (I'm wearing a white seersucker shirt with tan candy stripes.) The entire dish is basically tan or white. Except for the ligonberry jam. It's deep red. Wanna guess what dripped on my shirt? 

 

Fortunately we are a Tide Stick carrying people. And, I get my shirts starched, making them pretty stain proof. I guess I should be happy that the jam missed my sport coat. 

 

I'm planning to avoid vanilla ice cream on gala night. You just know it will home in on my tux. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. The Billboard Onboard pianists, Brandon and Ian, continue to impress us. The performers we saw on the Eurodam were fine, but these guys are really good. Their vocal ranges compliment one another and they've worked out some pretty decent patter that they use between songs. 

 

The BB King band is still our favorite though. We missed part of the first song in their last set of the night because we were on our way back from BBC Earth II in the main show lounge, but the whole set was solid. They closed with "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," my third favorite James Brown song, behind "I Got You (I Feel Good)", and "Living in America." 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've got a lunch reservation in the Pinnacle Grill today. Normally we would not have scheduled it for a gala night, but we were under the impression that gala night #1 was going to be on Monday. We have plenty of time between lunch and dinner, so it won't present too much of a problem. 

 

I haven't reported on the drink of the day yet, and we're behind on holiday drink testing. Must. Regain. Focus. 

 

We did schedule the holiday cocktail mixology class. It'll be held on Christmas day. If you have the EBP, you can use most of the mixology classes in lieu of one drink. Any class up to $15 is covered. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't how amazing white attracts stains? 😉 

 

Always happens to DH too 😞

 

Good tip on the mixology class, Brian.  Just show them your card and ask them to apply it to your EBP, it sounds like?

 

Enjoy your PG lunch! 🙂 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, kazu said:

Good tip on the mixology class, Brian.  Just show them your card and ask them to apply it to your EBP, it sounds like?

 

If you've signed up for any of the beverage events in the past, you're probably familiar with the process. You are given an old fashioned, 3 copy carbonless form that lists what you are buying. You sign the form with your name and cabin number. In this case, a holiday mixology class on December 25th for two people. It posts as 2x $15 to your account and comes off automatically. I think it posts after you attend the class, but I don't know for sure. It may have posted when we signed up. We have not hit the 15 drink limit, so it's entirely possible that it posted already. My account is not showing all the debits and credits for each drink, so it's hard to tell. (Makes for a much cleaner folio view this way. Also makes it possible to say, "How can my head hurt? I had like what? Three drinks spread out over the course of the night?") :classic_biggrin:

Edited by POA1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have ever used Google maps, you may know that it tracks your movement and gives you a summary of where you've been. (You can control what's stored or turn off tracking if it's too creepy for your tastes. That's beyond the scope of this post, so if you want to learn how to control your Google maps privacy settings, you can look it up. Being pure of heart, and a Google maps beta tester, I let it track me. - Unless I want to use location spoofing to mess with my history.)

 

When you visit places, they show up in your time line. Like so. 

 

Screenshot_20181220-070736.thumb.png.43066b45bcf2ab66a42202b32b68819a.png

 

Maps will occasionally ask me questions about the places I've visited, to help maps describe them to other users. It's an automated process. The results are sometimes hilarious. I was just asked about restroom facilities in the North Atlantic Ocean. (I said yes, handicapped accessible and unisex restrooms are available. No to baby changing tables though.) 

 

This is why I love the unlimited Internet packages. I could not have had these life enriching activities on a per minute basis.

Edited by POA1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, POA1 said:

 

If you've signed up for any of the beverage events in the past, you're probably familiar with the process. You are given an old fashioned, 3 copy carbonless form that lists what you are buying. You sign the form with your name and cabin number. In this case, a holiday mixology class on December 25th for two people. It posts as 2x $15 to your account and comes off automatically. I think it posts after you attend the class, but I don't know for sure. It may have posted when we signed up. We have not hit the 15 drink limit, so it's entirely possible that it posted already. My account is not showing all the debits and credits for each drink, so it's hard to tell. (Makes for a much cleaner folio view this way. Also makes it possible to say, "How can my head hurt? I had like what? Three drinks spread out over the course of the night?") :classic_biggrin:

 

Thanks - have been to the classes but not had the EBP before 😉 

There's a first time for everything 😄 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This post is not really about the cruise, nor is it anything I learned onboard. It's just some helpful holiday information. 

 

Wine & Christmas Cookie Pairing Guide 

 

You can use this year round, and you don't have to be celebrating any particular occasion. 

 

Peanut Butter Cookies pair well with Port. 

 

Sugar Cookies are a good match for most dessert wines (You can try Sauvignon Blanc in a pinch.) 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies go with Merlot. 

 

White Chocolate Cookies, and white chocolate in general, work great with Beaujolais. (I did learn this from the wine director on the Volendam, so forget what I said about this not being cruise related. It's totally on-topic.) 

 

Gingerbread Cookies pair well with Riesling. 

 

So grab a couple bottles of wine and some cookies and have the best Thursday breakfast ever. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

 Thanks - have been to the classes but not had the EBP before. 

 

Because we don't have to pay for the class, I'm telling our fellow participants that we're there on full scholarship. (I hope that means the same thing in Canada.) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're going to try breakfast in the cabana this morning. They've got a nice little breakfast menu now. It's kind of a hybrid of the room service menu. We think this is new. (Probably to make up for the lack of robes which RUINED our vacation. :classic_dry: I think that's a winky face. That's what I'm going for.) I didn't want to wake Michelle before 8:15, so I'm on my phone. I'm generally one of those annoyingly chipper morning people. I try to turn it down a notch for the sake of wedded bliss - especially on vacation. 

Edited by POA1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, POA1 said:

 

Because we don't have to pay for the class, I'm telling our fellow participants that we're there on full scholarship. (I hope that means the same thing in Canada.) 

 

Yes, it does - LOL 😄 😄 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2018-12-20-Sea-Day-Card-sm.jpg

Greetings from the Zuiderdam! Today is our first of three sea days on this voyage and finds us in the Mona Passage between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.  The passage connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. It’s named after moderately picturesque MonaIsland which lies in the middle of the passage.
 

On our jam-packed, non-stop, rock ‘n’ roll party of fun agenda today is lunch in the Pinnacle Grill.  Offered on most sea days, the Pinnacle Grill lunch is, in our opinion, one of the best deals on HollandAmerica. Highly recommended. Make your reservation early in the cruise before everyone else catches on.

 

hal-vintage-06.jpg

 

 

 

 

Map-2018-12-20-Sea-Day.jpg

 

Edited by POA1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wayback-orange.jpg

 

Shipboard Internet Then & Now

 

In 2003, I was traveling with two computers, one from work (AT&T Labs) and one for our own business.  The ship's Internet was accessed via a dial up connection and your modem. There was a phone jack near the desk in the room and you used your modem to dial in to the ship's modem bank, which in turn connected you to the satellite router.  Remember that Ethernet ports weren't standard on most laptops of the day, but modems were. I had PCMCIA network cards for my machines, but you used the phine cable to connect on the ship. (And most hotels if you were traveling.) Onboard WiFi was not a standard feature on laptops yet.  I "networked" the two machines together using the Ethernet cards and a crossover cable. That way I could share the connection and save precious minutes.

 

That's me below with our friend Tom's date, Fran, who was checking in with her daughter. The gray machine is an AT&T issued Toshiba Satellite Pro. The black one is my IBM ThinkPad.

 

computers-2003.jpg

 

There was no Internet Help desk at the time, so you were sort of on your own. Not a big deal for me, although the Neptune Concierges were apologetic because all they had was an information sheet with the dial in number. (IIRC, it was *92 or 92#.)  I thought the whole concept was cool.  It was sub 28.8Kpbs speeds, but we were on the Interwebs - at sea!

 

Now in 2018, I have a laptop that weighs about what the two power bricks for my old laptop weighed. I have WiFi and I am working in the cabana.  We are connected to the ship's WiFi using the PoohbyNet hotspot router. (Really. That's the SSID.) PoohbyNet "sits" between my PC, Michelle's tablet, my Kindle Paperwhite and our phones.  The cabana has a 120VAC outlet, but I'm running on battery in the photo below. (The screen is brighter when I'm plugged in, but we were waiting for breakfast to be delivered, and I was going to have to move my machine temporarily, so I didn't plug in until breakfast was over.)

 

2018--computer.jpg.d907f4ff7887495beadaf94576c18e23.jpg

 

It's a little hard to run speed test because the latency is so high, 1,848 ms. That's a function of being connected to satellite.  Download speeds are 1.73 Mbps and the upload speed is abot 40% of that. The upload test didn't want to complete because of the latency, so I killed it when it reached a pretty stable result.

 

speedtest-2018-12-20.JPG.7c7a1481c3110448079b0a049a2677e3.JPG

 

These speeds are plenty fast for our research purposes, but they don't approach the broadband speeds you'll get on land. If you feel the need to watch movies on your trip, you;'ll want to download them at home. (Amazon Prime allows you to do this. Netflix allows you download certain content.)  If you want to follow sports, I'd look for an Internet radio option. I think you'll get a fair number of dropped frames and freezes with video.

 

speedtest2-2018-12-20.JPG.133e167d7008c33872826fefe7b33779.JPG

 

Any computers you connect to will think you're in Doral, Florida, just west of Miami.

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what the PoohbyNet router looks like. It's a TP-Link TL-WR802N. It runs off USB power. I have it running off of a "lipstick battery" - a 5,000 mAh Anker Power Core. It's connected to my PC by a LAN cable just because it makes for easier configuration. (While it will roam between the ship's various access points, I like to manually pick the one with the best signal.) The whole set up is small enough to carry in a jacket pocket. I have an even smaller battery I can use if needed. The router will run for a few days on the battery to which it's currently attached. 

 

IMG_20181220_102753.jpg1244944639_PerfectlyClear.jpg.d70844d8db950ade6b81cce3c996f5e0.jpg

 

I could connect to the router wirelessly, but the bale allows me to keep my laptop's radio off avoids having my laptop hunt for the Zuiderdam's Guest WiFi.

Edited by POA1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, John&LaLa said:

 

I'm not able to get into TT either.

 

The double click does nothing on my phone

 

 

 

Double click on Android/Samsung does nothing.

 

TT gives a message " The Cruise Critic app has been discontinued, it has been replaced with a mobile friendly community.  Please go to boards.cruisecritic.com in your web browser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Birthday 2003 you don't look very happy? Hope you're happier on this cruise. I'm enjoying your posts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is going to require further investigation, but we had lunch at the Pinnacle Grill today and they've got quite a few wines by the glass that aren't on the MDR list, but that do fall under either the SBP or the the EBP. There's a La Marca Prosecco for $7.25/glass. You can get it in the MDR, but you would have to know that it exists. The hard part is that the PG list is digital, on an iPad only. That's great as far as a list goes, but a pain for my purposes. I'd have preferred a paper copy, which no longer exists. As a workaround, I snapped photos of the wines by the glass that fall within the package limits. I'll have to transcribe them though. 

 

Our timing was fortunate. Michelle is ordering the lamb for dinner and the Peter Lehmann Portrait Series Shiraz is a much better pick than what's on the MDR list. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, POA1 said:

This is going to require further investigation, but we had lunch at the Pinnacle Grill today and they've got quite a few wines by the glass that aren't on the MDR list, but that do fall under either the SBP or the the EBP. There's a La Marca Prosecco for $7.25/glass. You can get it in the MDR, but you would have to know that it exists. The hard part is that the PG list is digital, on an iPad only. That's great as far as a list goes, but a pain for my purposes. I'd have preferred a paper copy, which no longer exists. As a workaround, I snapped photos of the wines by the glass that fall within the package limits. I'll have to transcribe them though. 

 

Our timing was fortunate. Michelle is ordering the lamb for dinner and the Peter Lehmann Portrait Series Shiraz is a much better pick than what's on the MDR list. 

Thanks for your scientific research.  So there is a discrepancy with the pricing for La Marca.  $10 on NS and $7.25 on Zuiderdam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, keeponcruising said:

Thanks for your scientific research.  So there is a discrepancy with the pricing for La Marca.  $10 on NS and $7.25 on Zuiderdam.

 

And I have photographic evidence! I took photos of the wine list, or I suppose it's more accurate to call it a a wine screen now. 

 

I was pretty sure that I saw it on a bar list as well, but I don't remember which lounge it was. We haven't started the bar menu project yet. If I find any other SBP eligible sparklers, I'll be sure to let you know. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ski ww said:

Birthday 2003 you don't look very happy? Hope you're happier on this cruise. I'm enjoying your posts.

 

I don't usually smile in photos. In fact, it's so rare that or friends always exclaim, "Look! Brian's smiling in this one!" when I do.

 

wayback-blue.jpg

 

Perhaps the reason I wasn't smiling was because my "dear friends" got me this dorky propeller beanie and "Kiss Me I'm 40" light up button.

 

brian-dork-beanie-2003.jpg

 

At least dinner was in the room and I didn't have to go out in public like that. (For the record, that counts as a smile. I realize it's barely half a smirk, but you take what you can get.)

 

brian-40-card.jpg

 

 

Edited by POA1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, POA1 said:

Perhaps the reason I wasn't smiling was because my "dear friends" got me this dorky propeller beanie and "Kiss Me I'm 40" light up button.

Oh God, Brian...  I think the Latin term is "Dorkus Americanus Vulgaris"...:classic_rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...