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POA1

'Twas the Cruise During Christmas - Zuiderdam 2018

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18 hours ago, POA1 said:

She swore the Bloody would pair perfectly with the Dive In's Dog Paddle - a jumbo beef hot dog with fried onions, bacon bits, sauerkraut, mustard, and Dive-In sauce. 

 

 

 

In the interest of healthy living, we split an order of fries. And our drinks were basically salad. 

 

I am not sure that the drink was a perfect pairing. It was good, but I'd have leaned toward a beer. It's only fair though. I occasionally select a wine just because I want to try it. 

Did you have a chance to try one of the new burgers from the Dive-in? I remember the old Terrace Grill had very poor quality burgers. After all the great meals on a cruise sometimes I crave just a good burger for lunch.

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21 minutes ago, puppycanducruise said:

I'm loving your reports.

Food pictures are great here or on a 'side car'.

Hope Poohby Joe enjoys the movie.  Does he get popcorn too?

 

No popcorn. His little mouth is sewn shut. The upside is that he never has to worry about gaining weight on a cruise. 

 

The movie is quite good. We saw it the weekend it opened. DW is a serious poohbophile. Every time we go to Disney World, we go to the character breakfast at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. In addition to being a tasty breakfast, you get to hang out with Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet and Pooh Bear. It's the only character meal we do. (Unless you count Victoria & Albert's, but they dropped the "character" names years ago and your servers now go by their real names.) 

 

IMG_20161020_112724_PerfectlyClear.thumb.jpg.aa18d0d7e5a5a4fa75c39e4d8fec15b7.jpg

Edited by POA1

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4 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

Did you have a chance to try one of the new burgers from the Dive-in? I remember the old Terrace Grill had very poor quality burgers. After all the great meals on a cruise sometimes I crave just a good burger for lunch.

 

Not yet, but we will soon. They're very good burgers. I'd argue that they're just as good as a standalone burger joint. The fries are dangerously good. 

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Poor Poohby Joe.

His little mouth is sewn shut.

No steak, no escargot, no Makers Mark and no wine for him.

I hope you do other things to make it up to him.:classic_rolleyes:

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12 minutes ago, POA1 said:

 

No popcorn. His little mouth is sewn shut. The upside is that he never has to worry about gaining weight on a cruise. 

 

The movie is quite good. We saw it the weekend it opened. DW is a serious poohbophile. Every time we go to Disney World, we go to the character breakfast at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. In addition to being a tasty breakfast, you get to hang out with Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet and Pooh Bear. It's the only character meal we do. (Unless you count Victoria & Albert's, but they dropped the "character" names years ago and your servers now go by their real names.) 

 

 

Yes Crystal Palace is a great character meal for Poohbophiles. We have done breakfast there several times. Our son loved it when he was little. His favorite was Tigger, which to this day is fitting. Best way at WDW to see characters and get memorable pictures.

 

Sounds like you all are staying well fed and hydrated. 

😁

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6 minutes ago, puppycanducruise said:

I hope you do other things to make it up to him.:classic_rolleyes:

 

We did a little decorating. There are Christmas window clings and garland and battery powered LED Christmas lights around the television. I had thought about getting the HAL tree, but we're in a normal verandah room so we could be right next door to my father-in-law. I figured flat decorations would be best. 

 

Being next to my father-in-law really helps with logistics, but DW said, "Yeah. This helps with meeting up and planning, but we're doing an SS or NS in the future." 

 

When we were last on the Zuiderdam, we were in 7045, the starboard PS. (It's the one named for Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago.) We're in 7035 & 7037 now. Same neighborhood. Much smaller house. 

 

IMG_20181218_072935.jpg-400708141_PerfectlyClear.jpg.06e715c41a37286d81144cf6ea8d00a0.jpg

 

IMG_20181218_072926.jpg1654349497_PerfectlyClear.jpg.a1be10a1c762122065fa04c19df0dd0c.jpg

 

Here are the lights, taken from the "my lazy butt is still in bed" angle. I got them on Amazon. They run on 3 AA batteries and almost... make it all the way around the TV. The lights have 9 different modes. We use constant on most of the time. Twinkle is a nice change up. There are also a couple of modes that can best be described as "seizure." 

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Twinkling lights are nice.  I hope Poohby Joe enjoys them.

Don't turn them to 'seizure' - you don't want to be attacked by a bear.

Edited by puppycanducruise

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I used small 3M Command hooks to hang the lights and garland. We have snowman window clings and we decorated Michelle's dad's balcony doors with little Christmas Bear clings. (Regular bears in Santa hats and scarves, not beloved children's officially licensed character bears) 

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Once again, I have to fall on my sword. We did have a breakfast card. I missed it. I suppose that's better than my usual filling it out and not putting it on the door. 

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We went to the Ocean Bar for pre-dinner cocktails last night. Michelle had another one of the Christmas themed drinks, but we forgot to take a photo. That means it doesn't count and she has to repeat it. 

 

There's a solo pianist in the Ocean Bar and there were a fair number of couples dancing. 

 

After dinner, we caught the last two BB King sets. The vocalists, Tempest and Herschel are excellent and the band is tight.

 

Drink service was excellent all around. As a whiskey drinker, I'm always looking for a nice pour. I've managed to cultivate a few relationships, so all is well. One of the holiday drinks is a Jingle Bell Julep made with Makers Mark. That'll be my assignment. 

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Since the consensus if that food pix are acceptable in the main thread, I'll include them here. If you feel otherwise, I'm very sorry. You missed the voting deadline and you'll just have to scroll.  The Food Photo Sidecar is not to be.

 

food-pron-sidecar.thumb.jpg.23b0a6dab70238ce8a4af8d4af5bbc61.jpg

 

I should get better at the descriptions of the dishes once I have the menu copies, so bear with me while I describe dishes as "an asparagus thing."  Starting with:

 

1764926218_IMG_3573-Copy_LUCiD.JPG.3700bfdf279bd4c6729ee49f68eb1e6e.JPG

 

You can get a better idea of why I referred to Michelle's top as being from the Helen Roper Collection.

 

We call enjoyed the chilled scallop appetizer.

 

1963106885_IMG_3580-Copy_LUCiD.JPG.55895dbf2abe6d3128b6da00802e715a.JPG

 

DW has the Jerk Pork Tenderloin.  The portions seem to have gotten larger. We estimate that the proteins were around 6 oz each for the entrees.

 

771835700_IMG_3583-Copy_LUCiD.JPG.b13697acd858d811cfd5935a4cfe98ae.JPG

 

I had the Crusted Turkey Breast. Michelle said that the rice croquette was "smokin'" and that she could have a whole plate of those.

 

658281007_IMG_3581-Copy_LUCiD.JPG.e4413b3c747f3a313f451a468dcb66d0.JPG

 

Michelle had the Chocolate Caramel Tart for dessert.

 

1615658673_IMG_3584-Copy_LUCiD.JPG.fa917960db0c498a673af4506211221d.JPG

 

I went with the cheese plate. That's Maytag Blue of the left, Brie at 12 o'clock, and Gouda and Cheddar complete the circle.  I am happy to report that it's an honest to goodness fig, along with grapes, peach chutney, and a carrot and celery stick.

 

959943569_IMG_3585-Copy_LUCiD.JPG.9e8cc070bbf52168dcc853e8e51efb71.JPG

 

Our waiter Agung made a little origami butterfly for the lady.

 

butterfly-from-mdr-waiter.jpg.7c7a87853d35032a0eb4b3e5f8f2f779.jpg

 

We didn't force our food photography on my father-in-law the first night. However, by Day 2, he was eagerly volunteering to snap his dinner - because all the cool kids were doing it.

 

 

 

 

Edited by POA1

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10 hours ago, POA1 said:

Michelle sits on the banquette/booth side with her father. This allows her to face the room. We, and our friends, refer to this as "the spy seat." You can take in the room from this vantage point. I sit across from her (so as to gaze upon her beauty) and I need to be told what's going on behind me.

Ah, for the days when ladies carried lovely compacts. They could sit with their back to the crowd, and discretely check out what was going on behind them.

Loving your continuing reports. Verrryy well written.

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A word about drinks. (Not the first and certainly not the last.)  In ancient times – pre-2013 when the Signature Beverage Package came into being – we were big proponents of bringing our own wine onboard and paying the corkage fee. When we’re sailing out of Port Everglades, it’s quite simple to bring our own wine since we’re just a short taxi ride from the port.

 

When the Holland America launched the SBP, we had to rethink the situation.  While the SBP does cover 19 different wines by the glass, it’s missing both a proper Champagne and a Pinot Noir. The latter is Huskerchick’s favorite wine and a very versatile pairing choice with food.  That still left us wanting to bring wine for dinner.  Enter the Elite Beverage Package. It covers 34 wines by the glass, including two Pinot Noirs and a real Champagne.

If we were travelling with some of our wine-loving friends, it would still make sense to bring our own wine, but since we’re sailing with Huskerchick’s dad whose consumption habits are different than ours, wine by the glass is the way to go.  I will give DFIL credit though. He can magically detect expensive wine.  If we had a $30 bottle, he’d say one glass is enough. If we had a $150 bottle, he’d ask for seconds. He managed this all without knowing the price of any of it.  Kind of amazing.

 

In order to determine whether or not a beverage package makes sense for you, you’ll want to do the math in advance. Grab a copy of the latest beverage prices, a pencil and paper, and a calculator. Those of you in the advanced class can use a spreadsheet if you prefer.  When you perform your calculations, don’t worry about the service charge. It will cancel out for the most part; unless you are a big consumer of liquids, in which case you actually pull ahead.  I’ll post beverage menus throughout this “Live From” but you can always refer to Roger Jett’s site at

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/specialty-2/hal-regular-and-specialty-restaurants/hal-beverage-menus

 

He posts on CruiseCritic as “Crew News” and he does a great job of keeping the beverage information up to date. His site is one of my go-to planning resources.

 

Look at your itinerary and factor in how much time you’ll be on the ship. If you have a port-intensive cruise with a lot of excursion activity planned, your daily consumption will be lower than it will be on a sailing with a lot of sea days.

 

If you normally sail with another line, make sure you look at HAL’s pricing.  It’s often less than you’d expect. As a personal example, my drink of choice is Maker’s Mark on the rocks. It’s $8.50 on HollandAmerica. It was a full $10.00 more on our NCL cruise last fall.

Edited by POA1

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2018-12-18-Grand-Turk-Card-sm.jpg

 

 

 

Greetings from Grand Turk!  Grand Turk is an island in the alluringly picturesque Turks & Caicos Islands (formerly FedEx Kinkos).  Turks & Caicos is a British Overseas Territory.  The official language is English, although a Turks & Caicos flavor of Creole is commonly spoken.

The official currency is the US dollar, although some government fines are payable in UK Pounds Sterling. (Keep that in mind if you have leftover money from a visit to the UK and are in the mood to commit some crime.)

Edited by POA1

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grand-turk-poster.jpg

 

 

This is probably our sixth or seventh time visiting Grand Turk.  In the past we’ve used the port as an opportunity to stretch our legs, do a little shopping, or grab a drink at Margaritaville. That’s really not like us. We usually like to explore a little bit. (Can you really say that if you’ve been to Grand Turk half a dozen times and haven’t ventured beyond the cruise port area? – Ed.)

So… Before our 2014 cruises on the Nieuw Amsterdam, I purchased the CruisePortInsider Guide to Grand Turk from Amazon.   (It’s $4.99 or you can read it free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription..)

I read the guide from cover to cover. It runs close to 300 pages which is pretty impressive, considering the entire island is less than 7 square miles (18 sq km.)  Freshly armed with all this Grand Turk exploration information, we proceeded to walk around the cruise center and then get back on the ship.  We did stop to visit with CC members Sapper1 and shrimpboat123, both of whom rented the Margaritaville poolside cabanas. The cabanas are very nice and we counted looking at them as an excursion.

Our 2016 Eurodam cruise found us in Grand Turk once again. Bound and determined to make the most of our visit, we exited the ship and headed down the pier.  With steely resolve, we walked into about 3 shops and got back on the ship.

2018 is going to be different though. (I mean it!) Back in August, I contacted a tour company I found on the Ports of Call boards, Mama Dea Taxi & Tours. I made a reservation for the three of us to take an island tour. It’s a very reasonable $35 per person. When I went to confirm, they told me that they had already booked a group and we were not it.  I have the email confirmations and everything. So, as a Plan B, we’re taking a similar tour through the ship. It’s a little more expensive, but my sister-in-law and brother-in-law purchased a generous OBC gift for DFIL which will cover his tour.

Edited by POA1

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Voyage Planner - Cruise Summary & Officers List

 

This would be the document that Kazu referred me to for the Gala Nights. Being morons, we scanned it but failed to read it. It's actually quite handy. If you have one on your cruise, learn from our mistakes and read it.

 

https://www.evernote.com/l/AFgbYjljo_JHmYgI-eeCrKalfDjQzRlTjJ8/

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29 minutes ago, RuthC said:

Ah, for the days when ladies carried lovely compacts. They could sit with their back to the crowd, and discretely check out what was going on behind them.

Loving your continuing reports. Verrryy well written.

 

RuthC the compact is a brilliant idea. 

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I sent our laundry out before we went to dinner last night. It was back when we returned from breakfast. The hanging items came back in a garment sleeve, which is a new thing for us. 

 

IMG_20181218_100715.jpg-665017398_PerfectlyClear.thumb.jpg.1d744b90d8dd2049c92fa40558afd2ae.jpg

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Brian, I was very pleased to see Filip Wojciechowski's name in the planner.  He's a great Crystal favorite who I hadn't previously heard of playing on HAL.  He's a wonderful pianist and also a beautiful human being.  Expect him to play everything from Classical to pop to jazz.

 

If you happen to run into him please say hi from the Crystal guy that took his picture by the Statue of Liberty.  About 3 years after it happened we were at the same muster station and he came up to me and said "I remember you--you took my picture".

 

Dare I hope he'll get a chance on the Grand South America.

 

Roy

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Curious, when two people occupy a cabin can one (a non-alcoholic drinker) order a quench package and the other order a signature beverage package?  Or do they both have to order the same package?

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41 minutes ago, TrolleyGirl said:

Curious, when two people occupy a cabin can one (a non-alcoholic drinker) order a quench package and the other order a signature beverage package?  Or do they both have to order the same package?

As far as I know, same package unless there is a viable medical reason for abstaining and a doctor's note as proof.

Edited by fatcat04

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