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hokie_fan

Last minute on Nieuw Statendam - any hitches

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Have been planning an anniversary trip to one of the ABC islands for snorkeling and was having a hard time choosing and spending so much $$ to go to one place, not knowing if I would like it.  Decided to check on taking a cruise and ran across the Nieuw Statendam 10 day cruise that visits all three islands for much less than spending a week on one island.  I have not cruised HAL, but have cruised Carnival, NCL and RCL on family cruises.  I am happy to leave the water slides and rollerblading behind for sure.  

 

Is there anything I need to be aware of by booking something so close to the departure date?  Cabins choices are not great. I am choosing between guarantee or a aft cabin on deck 5 (choices are 5011, 5012 and 5014)  Only incentive is prepaid tips by online agency.  The price, $2500 seems okay for a 10 day cruise, but I am not sure.  

 

Thank you in advance for any advice you may have.

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I am confused by your cabin choice...Of the cabins you list, one (5012) is an inside, and the other two are balconies, and they are far forward, not aft.  Also, I can't tell if you are traveling with family/spouse, or alone.  If alone, be aware that cabins are sold per person/double occupancy, so the price might be double what you think...EM

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I think that the price is pretty good for a 10 day cruise! I would book a guarantee cabin if you don’t like the choices. We did that same cruise on the Nieuw Statendam’s sister ship, Koningsdam & we loved it! Very different from NCL & RCI but it’s nice to have a break from the noise & busyness. The food is much better, especially comparing the buffett’s. HAL has lobster tails, great steak, prime rib etc on certain nights in the buffet & it was excellent. The passengers are definitely older on HAL, but we’re in our 40s & didn’t mind having the ship to ourselves after 10pm. 

 

The ABC islands are wonderful, especially if you like snorkelling. Curacao has great shopping too. 

 

We've never booked last minute, so I can’t help you much there. I would do it in a heartbeat though! 

 

We are booked on the Mar 3 Eastern Caribbean NS- so we definitely think that you should go on the ship! 

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This is just my husband and I for our 28 anniversary.  I may have made some mistakes when writing the cabin numbers down. You are correct, they are forward.  The one inside was provided to me by the agent just in case I wanted to save money and book inside. 

canadian-nurse - The things you listed are exactly why we want to switch to HAL.  I am hoping to go back to how cruising was 25 years ago.  Elegant and special.

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to Cruise Critic!

 

You might find things like excursions and specialty dining booked-up, but other than that I see no problems with a late booking. Don't miss the Tamarind ... our favorite on ships that have them. 

 

Enjoy HAL!

 

 

Edited by catl331

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39 minutes ago, hokie_fan said:

This is just my husband and I for our 28 anniversary.  I may have made some mistakes when writing the cabin numbers down. You are correct, they are forward.  The one inside was provided to me by the agent just in case I wanted to save money and book inside. 

canadian-nurse - The things you listed are exactly why we want to switch to HAL.  I am hoping to go back to how cruising was 25 years ago.  Elegant and special.

 

Sounds like you'll be on the same cruise as we will be on: Jan 20 -30.  We really like aft facing cabins on the stern ourselves; love watching the ship's wake.  We are looking forward to the new Rolling Stone Rock Room especially, along with the new venue for Lincoln Center Stage.  Tamarind now has al fresco dining and a separate sushi bar, Nami Sushi.  I suspect you'll enjoy.  The ABCs are lovely, no doubt you'll enjoy if you are a snorkler/scuba enthusiast!

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1 hour ago, hokie_fan said:

The things you listed are exactly why we want to switch to HAL.  I am hoping to go back to how cruising was 25 years ago.  Elegant and special.

Not sure what you mean by how cruising was 25 years ago. Modern cruise ships are so much better designed than 25 years ago with more balcony cabins, more dining options and way less formal life onboard. What HAL will not have are all of the water slides, rock climbing walls, golf putting greens and hundreds of kids running lose on the ship.  HAL also doesn't have the Mega ships with 4000-5000 passengers, the NS is their newest and biggest class of ships with just over 2600 passenger capacity. IMHO HAL has better than average cruise dining  in their main dining room but still not near 4 or 5 star quality. However I believe the Tamarind Asian specialty restaurant to be one of the best among all mainstream cruise companies, I could eat there every night on a cruise.

 

BTW we did a similar cruise as you are looking at on HAL and loved the ABC islands they are so totally different than most Caribbean islands and well worth visiting. I do not think for this itinerary you can go wrong with HAL or the NS.

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1 hour ago, hokie_fan said:

The one inside was provided to me by the agent just in case I wanted to save money and book inside. 

Do NOT book an inside cabin on this ship. The insides have gotten progressively smaller as the ships have gotten larger, and these cabins are no better than living in a closet. There isn't even so much as a side chair to sit down on! Smaller ships have love seats in the inside cabins.
I have been happily taking inside cabins for decades now, and would never consider one on this ship. The lowest category I would go is a balcony cabin, just for the size of it.

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6 minutes ago, RuthC said:

Do NOT book an inside cabin on this ship. The insides have gotten progressively smaller as the ships have gotten larger, and these cabins are no better than living in a closet. There isn't even so much as a side chair to sit down on! Smaller ships have love seats in the inside cabins.
I have been happily taking inside cabins for decades now, and would never consider one on this ship. The lowest category I would go is a balcony cabin, just for the size of it.

Ruth is 100% correct. The cruise you are looking at has, I believe, 3 total days at sea and you do not want to be in an inside "closet" size cabin. 

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If you decide to do this cruise, contact Woodwind in Bonaire right away to see if you can get on the snorkeling excursion.  Absolutely best ever snorkel excursion.  We have done many and this beats them all by a mile.  Do not miss it is my advise. 

Also, is the $2500 for both of you?  If so that is ok price. We just paid about the same for a veranda on Koningsdam that was 11 days.  Got OBC that covered tips and a Tamarind dinner. Sister ship to this one.  You should enjoy it.

Jane

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Yes , $2500 for both if hat price is still available tomorrow. Hopefully woodwind will have room for two. I do want to try tamarind. Thanks so much for your help. 

 

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Thanks for cabin advise. Will go for the balcony. Inside sounds pretty claustrophobic. 

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Balcony cabin has been booked, so now on to flights and port research. The more I learn about HAL, the more excited I am about cruising with this line.  Not to much left  to choose from cabin wise, so I ended up with an aft cabin on the 5th level for $2790 total, with OBC to pay for tips.  I decided to avoid the steel railings, which was a risk when going for the guarantee deal. 

Correct on the inside cabins.  I would have died in there.  146 square feet, yikes.  Thanks to all.  HAL people are good people!

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12 minutes ago, hokie_fan said:

Balcony cabin has been booked, so now on to flights and port research. The more I learn about HAL, the more excited I am about cruising with this line.  Not to much left  to choose from cabin wise, so I ended up with an aft cabin on the 5th level for $2790 total, with OBC to pay for tips.  I decided to avoid the steel railings, which was a risk when going for the guarantee deal. 

Correct on the inside cabins.  I would have died in there.  146 square feet, yikes.  Thanks to all.  HAL people are good people!

Sounds like you made a good decision, enjoy your cruise.

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Here is a starter web site for researching ports : whatsinport.com . here you will see videos ,port maps & ideas for some 1200 sea ports . you should also ,check the ports section here on cruise critic &  read the past comments of cruise critic members who have done tours ,snorkeling ,scuba diving ie .  

 

 In the Whats in port .com you will need to search under  Netherlands Antilles  for Bonaire ,Aruba & Curacao .  Enjoy your cruise 😋

 

 We are doing the 10 night cruise on Koningsdam  March 17 ,2019 & looking toward snorkeling & shopping :classic_biggrin:

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Congratulations on your anniversary.  We have spent many anniversaries on board and they are memorable, festive and fun.  Usually have a "special" dinner in one of the restaurants--Tamarind if we are on a ship with that available.  We are booked on a b2b in March on sister ship, Koningsdam.  First of b2b includes the ABC islands which we have visited several times before and love.  Snorkeling is wonderful and beaches beautiful.  Have a super vacation and welcome to HAL (lots to love here IMHO).

 

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I’m so excited for you!!! You will love this ship I’m sure!! I hope that you post a review when you get home!! 

 

We second the Woodwind snorkelling tour in Bonaire. We are avid snorkellers & they taught us a few things & even helped to get our masks fitting better. Their pick up is an easy walk from the ship! 

 

 

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I was able to make the reservation for the 8:30 snorkel tour with Woodwind. So happy!  From reading reviews, they will take care of me while my husband has his own fun.  I am anxious and will go with the inexperienced group.  Will make a reservation at Tamerind for our special night.  Now for visiting whatsinport.com  for my the rest of the islands and the dreaded packing. So glad I don't have to wait a year to do this.  I am thinking last minute is a good thing.  😎

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