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'Twas the Cruise During Christmas - Zuiderdam 2018

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Back to the excitement that is the drinks list...

 

Drink Menus - Part 12 - Cognac & Armagnac

 

People with the SBP will have three choices. People with the EBP will have seven. There are two cognacs that you can only get a la carte. Realistically, you're fine either way. I opted for Remy VSOP when the mood struck me.

 

COGNAC & ARMAGNAC
Hennesey VS   $8.50
Courvoisier VS   $8.00
Courvoisier VSOP   $9.00
Armagnac   $9.50
Hennessy VSOP   $10.00
Remy Martin VSOP   $11.50
Courvoisier Napoleon   $11.50
Remy Martin XO   $19.00
Hennessy XO   $19.95

 

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On 12/31/2018 at 10:58 AM, POA1 said:

We've tentatively picked out next year's holiday cruise. Our first choice is an 11 day Koningsdam cruise that hits a bunch of southeastern ports we've not been to since 2012 on the Maasdam. Our second choices are 14 day 2B/Collector's sailings, of which there are two. Our third choice is a Veendam Cuba cruise. 

 

Our number one selection spans both Christmas and New Years. The others are Christmas only. 

That Kdam cruise looks wonderful. 

 

As to viewer preference, a lovely lady in fabulous shoes and an adorable and well dressed Poohbear, sir, that's a hard act to follow. :classic_biggrin:

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Your review has been perfect for lazy holiday reading. Very appreciative of all your time and effort! Haven’t sailed HAL yet and while not on our immediate radar I’m sure it will be one day. I love reading about new lines, ships and itineraries and yours is one of the most in depth yet (also humerous!). 

Happy New Year!!

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On 12/31/2018 at 8:40 AM, POA1 said:

 

We we a little disheartened that none of the candy canes had an "open" hook part. We'd have liked to go for a "holding the candy cane" look instead of a "leaning the cane against the bear" look. 

 

I blame cutbacks for the slightly misshapen candy. :classic_wink:

 

Now you know you could have unwrapped one....:classic_cool:

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Your review has been perfect for lazy holiday reading. Very appreciative of all your time and effort! Haven’t sailed HAL yet and while not on our immediate radar I’m sure it will be one day. I love reading about new lines, ships and itineraries and yours is one of the most in depth yet (also humerous!). 
Happy New Year!!
Glad you are enjoying it. Part of the reason it's a good lazy holiday read is that I'm a good 10 days behind in posting. With luck, I'll be done before the winter Caribbean season is over. :)

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Now you know you could have unwrapped one....:classic_cool:
The hook part was bent too tight. There was no way to get it over Poohby's arm. The canes were pinched on top. I'll add a proper, small bear sized candy cane to next year's packing list.

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5 minutes ago, POA1 said:
10 minutes ago, Vict0riann said:
 
Now you know you could have unwrapped one....:classic_cool:

The hook part was bent too tight. There was no way to get it over Poohby's arm. The canes were pinched on top. I'll add a proper, small bear sized candy cane to next year's packing list.

Good planning!  

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Posted (edited)

IMG_20190101_134929.jpg1789934272_PerfectlyClear.jpg.2a7ab5af051e04d9b170933a6652f4ab.jpg

 

Not even remotely cruise related, but this is Round Poohby and (slumpin') Santa Poohb Bear. Round Poohby is sporting a pair of earmuffs that came as part of the annual Maker's Mark Christmas promo a few years ago. The earmuffs clamp onto the whiskey bottle. They came with a bottle sized scarf.


Santa Pooh Bear is from Gund and dates to the early 90's, as does the pillow. While it may seem like there are many Winnie the Poohs, we really pared down the collection when we moved into a condo from our big house in Maine. Our moving sale made several children (or women who grew up with A. A. Milne's books) very happy.

Edited by POA1

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Good planning!  
Sure. Sure it is. After seeing all the decorated cabin doors, I'm pretty sure that's part of the 2019 agenda as well.

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Drink Menus - Part 13 - LIQUEURS

 

All are covered under the Signature Beverage Package.

 

 

CORDIALS & LIQUEURS
Creme de Menthe (Green or White)   $6.75
Chambord   $6.75
Calvados   $6.75
Galliano   $6.75
Jagermeister   $7.25
Patron Citronage   $6.75
Tia Maria   $7.25
Amaretto Disaronno   $7.25
Baileys Irish Cream   $7.50
Cointreau   $7.25
Drambuie   $7.50
Frangelico   $7.25
Kahlua   $7.25
Southern Comfort   $7.50
Sambuca   $7.50
Grand Marnier   $7.50
Villa Massa Limoncello   $7.50

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Posted (edited)

wayback-blue.jpg

 

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The Lower Promenade Deck (2) has undergone quite a few changes since we were on the Zuiderdam in 2003. In this installment of the Wayback Machine Presents, we’ll cover the area extending from the Deck 2 Atrium midships to the Explorer’s Lounge/Lincoln Center area toward the aft of the ship, right before you enter the lower level of the dining room.

 

First up is the Pinnacle Grill. The Pinnacle Grill was a relatively new concept when we sailed on the Zuiderdam in 2003. If I recall correctly from something that @Copper10-8 posted in one of his History Quizzes in the Sail Away threads, the PG on the Zuiderdam was originally the Odyssey Restaurant. Or was going to be. Or something. I wasn't paying attention too closely.

 

If you recall, the old Pinnacle dining chairs had metal frames, possibly made of painted lead or osmium, the heaviest metal known to man. While the chairs were very pretty, they were a bear to move. Smaller patrons were often trapped in their seats until big, burly men could be summoned to free them.

 

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The Pinnacle Grill dining room, 2003.

 

 

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Us at dinner. Note how happy everyone looks (except this one guy on the left.)

 

The ceiling fixtures in the Pinnacle are unchanged and the table layout is almost the same, but the tables and chairs are different. Especially the chairs. You can actually move these without having undergone a rigorous strength training regimen.

 

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Pinnacle Grill dining room, 2018

 

 

There's a Pinnacle Bar across from the PG restaurant today. In 2003, the Pinnacle Grill's bar was a small, 5 stool affair located inside the entrance to the PG, roughly where the host stand is today. Located where the current Pinnacle Bar is was the Windstar Cafe.  It's was a coffee bar and a forerunner of the Explorations Cafe. Our friend Tom and his date Fran would go there every day for coffee. We don't have any photos because it was 2003 and who the heck would waste perfectly good film on a coffee counter? I did manage to find a photo of the Windstar, but it's on a competitive site and I don't want to get in trouble with the CC police. From what I've been able to find in the ancient historical documents (old Cruise Critic posts), the Windstar got most of its business from the ship's Crew and Staff. Cappuccino and espresso were still free in the dining room, so only the devoted coffee-philes were paying the $0.50 to $0.95 for specialty coffee.  Tom & Fran would grab a coffee from the automated machine in the Neptune Lounge and sip it on the way to the Windstar Cafe. (They had a lot of energy.)

 

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Moving on to the Explorer's Lounge...

 

The Explorer's Lounge used to take up the area now encompassed by Lincoln Center Stage, the Windows Digital Workshop, and the current Explorer's Lounge.  In olden times, the clean, bright entertainments were provided by the Adagio Strings. Cordials and liqueurs (and chocolates!) were served after dinner. We had the latest of MDR dinner seatings. When we would leave dinner and head from Deck 3 down to Deck 2 for the production shows, we'd would pass by the Explorer's Lounge. There, you often saw a decent sized group of cruisers, tuckered out from a long day, grabbing a pre-bedtime nap while listening to the classical music. We nicknamed this area the "Corridor of Snooze."

 

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Explorer's Lounge in 2003.

 

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Explorer's Lounge 2018

 

 

 

Today, you'll find the Lincoln Center Stage's piano quintet performing there. They're excellent. If you aren't the kind of person who really likes classical music, you'll still want to catch at least one of their performances. The ones that are more of a "pops" program are more accessible.

 

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The last room that is in what was part of the old Explorer's Lounge space is the Windows Digital Workshop. There you'll find daily classes to help you be more productive. I did not take a photo of the room, most likely because I didn't make a little list for myself. It's also possible that I am afraid of technology.

 

Edited by POA1

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Loving this whole review.  Will be on the same cruise in just under two months and can't wait.  First cruise on HAL.  You mentioned earlier that you had breakfast in the cabana, but I am not sure if (or I missed it) you said how it was and how the selection was.  We have reserved one for the length of the cruise...my TA said they assign the location of your cabana at check in (at the terminal)...is that true?  And I assume you have the same cabana for the entire cruise?

 

Thanks for this great and entertaining review!

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Loving this whole review.  Will be on the same cruise in just under two months and can't wait.  First cruise on HAL.  You mentioned earlier that you had breakfast in the cabana, but I am not sure if (or I missed it) you said how it was and how the selection was.  We have reserved one for the length of the cruise...my TA said they assign the location of your cabana at check in (at the terminal)...is that true?  And I assume you have the same cabana for the entire cruise?
 
Thanks for this great and entertaining review!
The cabana breakfast menu is a a hybrid of the standard room service breakfast and the suite breakfast. For example, you can get Eggs Benedict in the cabanas, but it's an up charge on the normal room service menu. (It's no charge for Neptune and Pinnacle suites.) There was a fruit, muesli & yogurt option, continental breakfast, and an express scrambled eggs with bacon and sausage.

It's very nice, but it is hard to beat the selections in the Lido. Not to spoil the surprise, but a photo tour of the Lido Market breakfast stations is in the on deck circle. I've been having problems with CC timing out and losing connection with its database. I'm sure that's just temporary. Once that issue clears up, I will post the photo-heavy Lido breakfast series.

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I should have said thanks and I'm glad you like the thread, but the reply locked before I could. In any case, Happy New Year!

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1 minute ago, POA1 said:

I should have said thanks and I'm glad you like the thread, but the reply locked before I could. In any case, Happy New Year!

 

And Happy New Year to you too.  I think you missed the questions about cabana allocation (or just chose to ignore them), but I won't let that happen!

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Just now, CruisinShips said:

 

And Happy New Year to you too.  I think you missed the questions about cabana allocation (or just chose to ignore them), but I won't let that happen!

 

Sorry. The site's been throwing a 405 error / database missing in the middle of viewing a post.  Check out the link to the post below, which is really a link to a post from New Year's Eve.  Technically, the cabanas are assigned at the start of your voyage. Realistically, you can request the one - or at least the type - you'd like in advance. The "how-to" instructions are below the cabana diagram in the post.

 

 

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Thanks so much and I apologize for missing that post!  So If I call the customer service number they will be able to give me the email for the “ship coordinator”?

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1 hour ago, CruisinShips said:

Thanks so much and I apologize for missing that post!  So If I call the customer service number they will be able to give me the email for the “ship coordinator”?

 

No worries. It's a long thread. Call the Ship's Services number for the coordinator email. Just act like you know what you are talking about. They don't always give the address out. 

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It would appear that we have a more stable server situation this morning. I haven't seen the dreaded "One of our databases is missing" error since last night. So, I'm going to throw caution to the wind and begin an image-heavy breakfast post.

 

Breakfast in the Lido Market

 

This is one of those "tips" things to which you might want to pay attention. There is quite a bit of variety to the breakfast set up in the Lido. Don't just dive at the first station you come to, because there are differences if you know where to look. This particular post came about because DFIL likes the hash brown patties and granola. (Not together. He just prefers hash browns to home fries* and he likes to have granola as a snack.) A day or two into the voyage, my father-in-law expressed disappointment in the fact that there was (1) no granola, and (2) only home fries.

 

I'm one of those annoying, perky morning people.** So, when I awoke early on or about Day 3, I showered, dressed, grabbed my camera, and heading up two decks to the Lido Market/Restaurant/Food Court/Buffet.  I started at Eggs Benedict/English Breakfast part of the line and followed the stations clockwise, trying to hit everything. I left these photos a little larger than normal, but you still can't read the little signs. (Sorry.)

 

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The starting point was the entrance just off the starboard, forward entrance. (This area may or may no be known as "The Fish Bowl" as reported by @Copper10-8 in post #473.  I know what you're thinking. "He decides to go for continuity now???")

 

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The first station features the Benedicts (Dirk & Arnold) and the English Breakfast item. If you crave baked beans or bangers (the fat sausages, a favorite of the delightful Michelle, this is your stop.) You can get poached eggs here as well.

 

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As you round the corner, you'll see an array of fresh cut fruit.

 

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This transitions into the Asian Breakfast station. (Why? No clue.)

 

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Next, you'll reach the decidedly English & Asian breads & pastries. If you look through those little baskets, you'll find jams, marmalade and even clotted cream. There's also Nutella. (Grab that for a croissant you can pick up later. Our crack research team has determined that a croissant, add Nutella, kicks the heretofore beloved chocolate croissant in the buttocks.)  At this point, I have to step back for a moment, because this nice lady in the blue top probably has me pegged as one of those creepy, early morning stalker guys.

 

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If you are an ice cream fan or a dessert eater, we're at the middle of the Lido where the ice creams would be once lunch starts.

 

 

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Here you'll find juices, milks, yogurt and cereals. If you were in search of granola, it's in the center, in the red boxes. (Apparently the International color for granola boxes is yellow or tan, so you may want to note that the granola box is in a color more often associated with Special K or Froot Loops.)

 

 

Hold on to your seats! This is a three-part post. Can you feel the electricity in the air?

 


 

* - The breakfast potato nomenclature may differ in your neck of the woods, but when I say "hash browns," I mean shredded potatoes. When I say "home fries" that refers to sliced or cut potatoes, typically with the skin on.

 

** - Don't sell yourself short. You can be annoying any time of the day.

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Another important factor to consider: There's a sweet spot in the Lido operating hours. I took these photos a little after 7:30 am. By then all the stations are online, but they're not crowded. Once you hit 8:30, things get busier. 

 

We never had a problem finding seats, but if you are part of a large group, it might be a challenge. I'd just split my group into smaller units, but some people insist on a table for 16. (There aren't that many really big tanles, and there is no way everyone at a giant table can converse. However, if you have your heart set on a table for twelve, try to arrive early.) 

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25 minutes ago, POA1 said:

I started at Eggs Benedict/English Breakfast part of the line and followed the stations clockwise, trying to hit everything.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Why would anyone ever go counter-clockwise? Don't get me started on NASCAR, American horse racing, or track and field events. I am no Anglophile, but at least the British and much of the rest of the world run their horse races the right direction. If you do anything counter-clockwise, please don't mention it to me.

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2 minutes ago, whogo said:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Why would anyone ever go counter-clockwise? Don't get me started on NASCAR, American horse racing, or track and field events. I am no Anglophile, but at least the British and much of the rest of the world run their horse races the right direction. If you do anything counter-clockwise, please don't mention it to me.

 

Wow! :classic_biggrin: This is the first compliment I've gotten for the direction in which I circled the food. I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I was coming from the starboard, forward part of the ship and I just began my tour where I entered the Lido. Good thing we didn't have an even numbered, port side room. My photos would have made you angry. :classic_wink:

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Our exciting (and CLOCKWISE!) breakfast tour continues.  When we last left our intrepid reporter, he was midway down the Lido stations on the starboard side, at what is the dessert station for the afternoon and evening.  What pitfalls, dangers and terror await?

 

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The breakfast "sweets" station - Muesli, yogurt parfaits, fruits - both regular and dried. (We have prunes here, on the right, next to the dried apricots.)

 

 

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Toast and several vareties of bagels. There is a decent selection of jams, jellies, and spreads.

 

 

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Scrambled eggs, oatmeal, grits, sausages, bacon and turkey bacon. They have home fries here, not hash browns.  If you find the eggs to be less firm than you like, you can ask them to throw them in a frying pan to firm them up for you.

 

 

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Smoked salmon plates. A few kinds (of salmon, not plates) if I recall correctly.

 

 

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Meats & Cheeses - We're in Dutch Cold Board territory here. ("Koldtbord" I think. Feel free to correct me or tell me that Swedish or Norwegian or whatever.)

 

 

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Breads and rolls. Check here for dark rye/pumpernickel. It's not there every day, but it was there more than once.

 

 

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Herring and other fishes Michelle won't eat. There's creamed herring, pickled herring, and herring in a white wine sauce.

 

 

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Accoutrements for your cold fish.

 

 

 

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Don’t stop now!  Love your pics!   Just printed boarding passes yesterday for our cruise next month. This is our first HAL cruise.   So your descriptions are so appreciated.  

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Was it you who mentioned the new laundry return bags and wondered if they were reusable?  As I just boarded yesterday I can say very emphatically that is the intent.  The sheet we got that explains the laundry options says you can take one home for $10.

 

Roy

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