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Oosterdam aft pool out of commission?

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my sister got off the Oosterdam on January 19th, and just made it home yesterday due to the extreme winter storms.  She was telling me tonight that the aft pool -Seaview pool- was closed the entire cruise that week.  Has anyone experienced this before?  The aft pool/deck happens to be our favorite place to hang on sea days and though we don't cruise until March 16th, but it is a concern for us with our upcoming cruise.    

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It was closed for the first few days of our cruise, but it's open as of yesterday.

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The pool is very poorly maintained. I was on the Oosterdam Dec 1 to 8th. The aft pool was GREEN with algae. There were huge pockets of algae in the area by the ladders.

 

The pool was closed one day as supposedly a glass was broken in the pool. I saw an officer standing by the pool as it was being drained. I spoke to him about the disgusting condition of the pool. He just shrugged his shoulders. I told him they needed to scrub that pool properly and get it balanced. It was pretty damn clear to me that they don't know what the heck they are doing.

 

They clearly don't clean or test the pools regularly. The algae was a floating mass in the corners. I am a pool owner, I know that it would take a few days to get that kind of algae growth. I was wearing my dark sunglasses and didn't realize how bad the pool was until I was getting out.  

 

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The lido pool was looking pretty cloudy and scummy a few days ago

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wow!  I've never seen those conditions on a HAL ship!  we so enjoy the aft pool, I hope they get it corrected!

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How do these pools work? Are they sea water? Desalinated sea water? Are they chlorinated directly or through salt cells? Are they heated?

 

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Shall we assume Vessel Sanitation Programs (VSP) completely ignore pool sanitation, as concluded by the prior posters onboard observations? 

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I thought that most pools on cruise ships used filtered sea water.   Using desalinated sea water that they use for the potable water on the ship to fill maybe 10,000 gallons for a pool seems like a waste.   It costs a lot of money to desalinate and purify sea water for onboard use.   Using that relatively expensive water for a pool, when you have an unlimited supply in the oceans would not be a wise use of precious potable water.   Filtering sea water before filling a pool would cost next to nothing.

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I don't know what type of water is used in the pools.

 

But the only time we saw pools in terrible conditions were on the OLD Noordam and OLD Nieuw Amsterdam -- which was many years ago.

 

No one used the pools.

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Paging chengkp75, paging chengkp75, paging chengkp75,

cleanup aisle 13,

pool and Jacuzzi dept.................:classic_cool:

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Okay, John.  Love your changing photos, but I gotta admit I prefer the picture with the pretty lady with you.  What did you pay her to pose with you?:classic_biggrin:

 

I wasn't onboard, so I can't comment on the reported condition of the pool, I will just relate the USPH requirements for pool sanitation.

 

Pools can be either salt water or fresh water, I believe most if not all HAL pools are sea water.  Sea water pools can be operated in two different modes.  When the ship is more than 12 miles from any shore, it can be operated in "flow through" mode where sea water is continually pumped into the pool, and the overflow goes right back to the sea.  When in "flow through" mode, the pool does not need to have any chlorination or sanitation, and the only filtering is a fairly coarse strainer at the pump suction.  Depending on where the ship was, this may have been the reason for the "algae" (more likely chopped sea weed).

 

Once the ship enters within 12 miles of shore, the pool must either be drained, or placed in the second mode; "recirculation".  This is the same whether the pool is salt or fresh water, and is similar to land pools.  The pool water is drawn from the pool by a pump, it goes through a filter, and then through chemical sensors and dosing systems and back to the pool.  Most ships use liquid chlorine as the sanitizing agent, though I believe HAL uses bromine (very similar).  Also, since chlorine is at peak effectiveness for sanitizing only over a narrow range of pH, acid is also used to control the pH.  Here's where the systems vary from most land pools.  Since the water is in constant circulation from the pool to the filter and back, it is in constant flow past sensors that measure the chlorine level and pH, and these sensors control dosing pumps which meter in chemicals as needed, in real time.  If the bather load increases (more people in the pool), the chlorine level drops, the sensor reads this drop, and speeds up the chlorine dosing pump to react immediately.  These sensors are also connected to a 24 hour recording chart which records the chlorine level and pH continually.  This continual monitoring is backed up with manual testing every 4 hours.

 

Now, the USPH requires that the recorder charts and the logsheets of the manual testing be retained onboard so that the inspectors can review all charts and logs back to the previous USPH inspection, which may be more than a year ago.  If there are repeated instances of pool chemistry being out of range, that would be an instant 5 point deduction (which goes a long way to bringing the ship's score below the passing grade of 85), and the recorder charts in particular are hard to falsify.  They will also check the chemistry at the time, and also check the crew's knowledge and ability to test and correct pool chemistry, and if they don't show sufficient knowledge or familiarity with USPH requirements, that will lead to a further 5 point deduction.

 

USPH does not require more extensive pool chemistry, nor chemicals, since they require the pools to be drained and cleaned weekly.  This is in variance with most land pools that are almost never drained, even public pools, except for painting, and the buildup of byproducts from the sanitizing process need to be dealt with by various chemical means.  By weekly draining, you eliminate all of this.

 

This is all to show why it is not in the ship's or the line's best interest to not maintain a pool properly.  Does it happen?  Yes.  Would someone overseeing the pool knowingly disregard it?  I doubt it, as it is generally the supervisors and not the front line crew that lose their jobs over failed USPH inspections.

 

As for the cost of producing fresh water from sea water, contrary to most cruisers' perceptions, there is really very little cost involved.  If the ship is using a flash evaporator (very common and usually the largest type, capable of producing 1 to 2 times the ship's water needs daily), there is almost no cost at all.  The prime source of heat to evaporate the sea water is coming from the diesel engine cooling water (which would be rejected to the sea otherwise through a heat exchanger to cool the engine), and the source to condense the steam into distilled water is the incoming sea water, which coincidentally helps to heat that water for evaporation.  Maintenance costs for these units are very low, and they run months to years without any major work.  Even an RO watermaker only uses a relatively small amount of electricity to create fresh water (less than 0.05% of electrical capacity), which the ship is generating anyway.  The major drawback against fresh water pools is having the reserve capacity to refill a pool, while also maintaining an adequate supply of drinking water for the ship.

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On 1/24/2019 at 5:37 AM, sun~ said:

The pool is very poorly maintained. I was on the Oosterdam Dec 1 to 8th. The aft pool was GREEN with algae. There were huge pockets of algae in the area by the ladders.

 

The pool was closed one day as supposedly a glass was broken in the pool. I saw an officer standing by the pool as it was being drained. I spoke to him about the disgusting condition of the pool. He just shrugged his shoulders. I told him they needed to scrub that pool properly and get it balanced. It was pretty damn clear to me that they don't know what the heck they are doing.

 

They clearly don't clean or test the pools regularly. The algae was a floating mass in the corners. I am a pool owner, I know that it would take a few days to get that kind of algae growth. I was wearing my dark sunglasses and didn't realize how bad the pool was until I was getting out.  

 

 

Thank you chengkp for putting to rest the highlighted  passenger observations and  concerns. 

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Thanks once again for 'splaining the technical aspects of the ship's swimming pools, Cheng, much appreciated. On HAL. the ship's facilities manager, who belongs to engineering/technical dept. is in charge of the pools. As you state, they are tested/checked and cleaned on a regular basis. I wasn't on Oostie either but from what the the two posters who were on board are reporting, it sounds like a technical/waiting for a part issue. OSDM's chief engineer is not going to let his aft pool go to crap purposely! He'd be losing his job

 

The pretty lady in that last avatar pic is my lovely wife. I pay her in some sorta way daily :classic_wink: I am a lucky man!

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I hate to break this to you who don't know what the pool was ACTUALLY like on the Oosterdam.

 

There was green algae, absolutely not floating sea weed in the pool. Any pool owner can show you what pool algae looks like. It forms a green slim in corners, ladders and areas that have less circulation. If the algae is bad, it grows at a rapid rate. This is clearly what happened in the Oosterdam pool. A couple of days of lack of maintenance is all it would take. 

 

The ladders had slimy green algae on them and behind the ladder in the corners there was algae growth in the corners. Heat and bather load will make it worse in a matter of a few hours.

 

For those of us who spend a lot of time at the pool we know what it looks like. As a pool owner (I have a salt water pool) I know EXCATLY what I am talking about.

 

Sadly, the pool area was pretty neglected on the Oosterdam. Broken buttons on the hot tubs, broken grills around the hot tub rim, missing tile in the pool etc. It is a old ship, wear and tear is expected. However, this is a serious lack of care for the health and safety of guests.

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I actually saw on another post that the reason the pool was shut down was a filter breakdown or pump breakdown for the week of January 12th.  It did re-open on Wednesday of this past week.  Hopefully, it remains open!

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