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faerievert

Eurodam Feb 3, 2019 San Diego/Hawaii Live Thread

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I noticed on the Prinsendam this past December that in the Pinnacle Grill, there is a very specific order of doing things. One is seated, the menu is presented, water and bread is put on the table, the wine steward appears and asks about drinks, then the drinks are served and then the dining steward asks for your order. Being solo, I was very observant of how things were done.  It was always done this way - like a script.

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8 hours ago, Snowesha said:

So I am curious. How did they know it was his birthday? Did they get it from his Mariner info or is this something you told them when you booked the cruise? I'm celebrating my birthday on my upcoming cruise and those touches would certainly make my day more special!

 

 

Our TA gives HAL the information and then I confirm them once we are on the ship.

 

OH -- and our birthdays and anniversary are in our profile with HAL.

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2 hours ago, faerievert said:

At 6 my husband and the rest of the ukelele class had the chance to play along with their teacher and the hula dancers at the aloha evening music hour. He’s getting pretty good! 

 

We we had to duck out early for our dinner reservation at pinnacle. The staff are very friendly! And the dinner settings very beautiful. But service was a bit slower than the MDR, which I found odd. Perhaps that’s a good thing. This meal is much heavier. First piece of bread was eaten and wine ordered before we ever saw our waiter. Our reservation was at 6:30. We were in our seats by 6:35 but didn’t place our dinner order until 6:50. In the MDR they’re asking for your order almost too fast so the delay really stood out.

 

The amuse of the day was called lobster flan (sort of a layered lobster bisque). I had a bite and gave the rest to the birthday boy. I don’t like lobster. My shrimp cocktail was so jumbo I had difficulty eating it. I shouldn’t have finished it. Far too filling for a started. Will not get again unless I ask for just one shrimp. It’s good, so if you like HUGE shrimp, you will be very happy! I prefer smaller ones, personally.

 

We had 10 oz filets, medium rare. Mine was spot on and very juicy. His was more medium, and therefore left a much smaller puddle on the plate to dip the veggies in. But he had the garlic butter so he didn’t mind. He also had the lobster tail add on. It was just right. They send a detailer to disassemble it for you. The next table over had the king crab legs... they don’t deshell those for you. Our sides were the spinach, asparagus, and brussel sprouts. Brussels perfectly roasted (I hate when they’re mushy). Asparagus was thin and good. It’s hard to make it exciting but it’s definitely worth eating with steak. The spinach wasn’t the usual thick creamed mush. More like spinach boiled in cream? The leaves were still whole and bright green in a thin creamy liquid. It didn’t look good, but it tasted great! I think I like this better than the heavy kind i’m used to. We skipped the potatoes to better enjoy more meat.

 

I ordered tea and it came with chocolates! White chocolate passion fruit truffles x2, bitter dark chocolate truffles x2, dark chocolate solids x3, and white chocolate solid x1. I hope folks who skip “coffee” service don’t miss these! 

 

Dessert i I had the lemon tart (it’s a lightly brûlée’s slice of a large tart, not a lemon creme brûlée). Served with whipped cream, blueberries, and more butter dark chocolate like the truffle filling. Amazing. Husband had the lava cake. I’m not a fan of gran marnier or orange chocolate in general so I just had a tiny bite. Not my thing. He loved it.

 

Then they cleared the dessert plates and it was just awkwardly over without an ending or goodbye. No one brought a receipt for the lobster. No one came back to check on us. We left after about 15 mins and said goodbye at the entrance in case we’d done something wrong. In the MDR the servers always have something to say at the end when they take away dessert and we’re not immediately leaving.

 

the rest of the evening we just curled up with our books and let the antacids do their thing 😂 

 

We love eating in  the Pinnacle Grill.

 

Did the dining room know that it was your husband's birthday?  That is where they will give you a small cake and some of the waiters will get together to sing Happy Birthday.  You can ask the maitre'd to have your free cake sent to the Pinnacle Grill (or the Tamarind if you are on a ship that has one).  They should deliver it there but there will be no singing.

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We did not eat in the dining room -- we were at pinnacle. We knew they wouldn't comp anything we actually wanted (the lobster tail, a drink, etc.), and that they don't sing in there, so there was no reason to say anything to the staff. He'd already gotten his birthday cupcake delivered to the stateroom. I certainly wasn't going to go out of my way to get him an additional piece of mediocre birthday cake that he would be too full to eat after a proper dessert! (I would have said something had he not already received the cupcake.)

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This morning Kainoa (I finally found out the cultural ambassador's name!) did two talks. First on the wildlife of Hawaii, and then an overview of the ports. Lots of a good info. Sadly, I'm now even more disappointed to be missing the extra island, but c'est la vie. 

 

Then we had the student performance. Very large crowd of ukelele players and good turnout for hula, too. The head hula girl does an excellent job of keeping what could be a lame school recital interesting. And most importantly, short! 

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So a couple days ago I splurged on a pair of earrings on grand opening day in the shops. They did a raffle of everyone who bought from the jewelry shop last night, and apparently, I won! I thought there were doing a bunch of raffles, but I think now it was only two. A $50 gift card toward more jewelry, and the goodie bag I got. Mine was worth more, which is why I thought all the components were actually separate prizes. Or maybe they just didn't make many sales and decided to combine it?

 

I received: Probably the least attractive shirt in the new HAL lineup (very comfy female fit baseball T, but it has a large, very SHINY purple logo that's already starting to look scratched up from being put in and out of the goodie bag a few times), a nice HAL thermal mug (large coffee size with handle, not the tall tumbler kind), two small jars of scrubs from the spa (with small scrub loufas), a jewelry travel case (I already got one with my purchase, but I use these so this is useful for me), a pair of small dark blue sapphire stud earrings set in silver, and a dinner for two to Tamarind. 

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Once again lunched in the lido, this time later than usual, then hit the thermal spa before happy hour. Drank our first drinks in the ocean bar, then stopped for pictures with today's backdrop (a city-scape rather than a green screen), and finally got around to getting my husband added to the photo package. Now we have access to all his photos and his account has access to all of them online, not just mine. We'll start choosing pics to print after we leave Hawaii. They no longer automatically print them all, but they seem willing to print as many of them as you want if you've paid your $299. Plus you can download as you go, and you get the ship-shape USB at the end.

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Not especially interested in today's MDR menu (attached), so we checked out the Lido offerings (also not disappointed to miss anything) and headed up to Tamarind. I'd been assigned dinner for tomorrow, but we'll be busy listening to the cultural guide's last talk then. They had availability for tonight, so we swapped our res and hit the Tamarind bar to watch the sun set, read our books, and finish our happy hour drinks. When we finished, we got a bottle of pear-flavored sake, but only got through maybe a normal-sized glass worth (it's served in the tiny cups) before dinner. Closed it up and took with us to be the husband's day-drink tomorrow. 

 

Dinner service was once again excellent. Seriously, they must have the friendliest staff on board, which is really saying something. I stretched things out a bit because the waitress let slip that a bunch of big wigs were coming to dine with the captain at the next table (I'd commented on there being such a large table set up). I liked the curry soup less than the lemongrass kind. Tried the spring roll, had the same sushi, and then the Szechuan shrimp (really good! if you like spicy, I bet they can make this very hot). Probably not as good as the duck bulgogi, but I just don't want duck breast that often, no matter how good it was. Tried the coconut rice pudding. Slightly odd presentation, but yummy. Maybe a little poorly named. It says it's mint and coconut, and the mint isn't noticable at all (probably for the best). Served with carmelized pinapple and lemon sorbet. While we were chatting to stretch time, I said I wished I had room for the tamarind chocolate because it had been so good last time (the husband had it this time). She offered to wrap me up one to-go and eventually returned with a little purse made of foil containing the tasty treat. Not exactly elegant to eat back in the room, but I sure was happy enjoying it in bed as I finished my book. 

menu-dinner-mdr-20190208.docx

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Tomorrow, we should sight land early as we wrap around the bottom of the archipilego and sail back up to Honolulu. The hawaiians will do a greeting ceremony at 6pm and we're to dock by 8pm and spend an overnight. Not sure yet if we'll bother to go out Saturday night. I'm not much interested in exploring. It only means spending more money. I only intend to get a look around this trip. We've no where near time to properly "do" any of the islands. Especially since nearly everything I want to do is under the sea and husband's not cleared to dive yet post-surgery. We will most definitely be back. 

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4 hours ago, faerievert said:

We did not eat in the dining room -- we were at pinnacle. We knew they wouldn't comp anything we actually wanted (the lobster tail, a drink, etc.), and that they don't sing in there, so there was no reason to say anything to the staff. He'd already gotten his birthday cupcake delivered to the stateroom. I certainly wasn't going to go out of my way to get him an additional piece of mediocre birthday cake that he would be too full to eat after a proper dessert! (I would have said something had he not already received the cupcake.)

 

Yes -- I know that you ate in the Pinnacle to celebrate your DH's birthday.

 

You could have arranged for the cake to be delivered to the PG, then have them wrap it in foil and taken it back to your cabin to be eaten at another time.  We did that one time.

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6 hours ago, faerievert said:

I received: Probably the least attractive shirt in the new HAL lineup (very comfy female fit baseball T, but it has a large, very SHINY purple logo that's already starting to look scratched up from being put in and out of the goodie bag a few times), a nice HAL thermal mug (large coffee size with handle, not the tall tumbler kind), two small jars of scrubs from the spa (with small scrub loufas), a jewelry travel case (I already got one with my purchase, but I use these so this is useful for me), a pair of small dark blue sapphire stud earrings set in silver, and a dinner for two to Tamarind. 

Nice swag! I could use almost all of that prize and been very happy with it.
You did very well to win what you did.

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I have so been enjoying your posts and hope you keep it going for the rest of the cruise.  I'll be getting on the ship as you're disembarking and was hoping you could answer a question for me.  Where do you go to be social?  You mentioned Happy Hour--where is that, what time, what's the deal there?  And where to people hang before dinner?  On the old HAL ships, the Ocean Bar used to be the go-to place, with a small band and people actually dancing, but things have changed quite a bit nowadays.  Can you lend any insight?

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8 hours ago, faerievert said:

This morning Kainoa (I finally found out the cultural ambassador's name!) did two talks. First on the wildlife of Hawaii, and then an overview of the ports. Lots of a good info. Sadly, I'm now even more disappointed to be missing the extra island, but c'est la vie. 

 

Then we had the student performance. Very large crowd of ukelele players and good turnout for hula, too. The head hula girl does an excellent job of keeping what could be a lame school recital interesting. And most importantly, short! 

I'm really enjoying your posts!  We did this cruise a few years ago and missed Kauai.

Kainoa is a gem!  So glad to hear he's still the cultural ambassador.  He was on our Hawaii cruise plus our South America cruise.  

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Eurodam is rounding Southern Tip of the Big Island of Hawaii and passing Kona (per MarineTraffic.com) Now indicating Sailing to Honolulu. Right side of ship on Deck11 should have cell phone service

Edited by SanDiegian
Advisement

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When are the cultural ambassador’s talks?  I’m in classes most days so hoping they are late afternoon/evening.

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2 hours ago, croozer said:

I have so been enjoying your posts and hope you keep it going for the rest of the cruise.  I'll be getting on the ship as you're disembarking and was hoping you could answer a question for me.  Where do you go to be social?  You mentioned Happy Hour--where is that, what time, what's the deal there?  And where to people hang before dinner?  On the old HAL ships, the Ocean Bar used to be the go-to place, with a small band and people actually dancing, but things have changed quite a bit nowadays.  Can you lend any insight?

Happy hour is 4-5pm in Ocean Bar and Billboard, and 9-10 in the Crow’s Nest. We’ve done the Ocean Bar almost every day. It is very full and social. We go to the bar rather than sitting at tables and always talk to folks near us. I would assume Billboard is at least as bustling. No worries there with the attached casino on the Eurodam— we have one of the only fully smoke-free casinos on HAL. 

 

Ocean Bar also has a piano man doing a couple sets each evening starting after happy hour, and Billboard has at least three dueling piano sets a night. Both are always lively with guests when i’ve walked past. I’ve only noticed dancing at BBKings. Both with the band and the canned music between sets.

 

Folks waiting for open seating dinners tend to gather at the back of the Lincoln center. It’s packed for most performances and quietly social between sets. The various parts of the lido and the crows nest are always social with groups, but not really configured for getting to know fellow passengers. Tamarind has the most beautiful bar with great views, but is extremely quiet.

 

I will eventually take pictures of all the daily programs and you can see all the listings there.

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1 hour ago, SanDiegian said:

Eurodam is rounding Southern Tip of the Big Island of Hawaii and passing Kona (per MarineTraffic.com) Now indicating Sailing to Honolulu. Right side of ship on Deck11 should have cell phone service

My husband’s been watching the coast from our balcony all morning, his phone buzzing away loading everything from the past week. 😂 

i’m happy for him we happen to be on the side with the view of land. Now he’s upstairs for his daily gym/hydro pool/shower/breakfast ritual. 

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1 hour ago, MarySally said:

When are the cultural ambassador’s talks?  I’m in classes most days so hoping they are late afternoon/evening.

The talks are nearly all in the mornings. Usually 11:30am. Today at 9:30 and 10:30 and 6pm, but that’s only because of our changed itinerary. That 6pm has originally been scheduled for 6am!

Hula classes are usually late morning, assorted crafts/learning classes more like 9am (lei, bracelet, learn Hawaiian), ukelele classes at 4pm. Daily song and dance performances with a dash of storytelling at 6pm. 

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We’ll tha annoying... just noticed the MDR menu hasn’t updated online in two days. We read it on the wall screens for the first time yesterday so I hadn’t realized. Guess i’ll be making a trip to the MDR to check it out. 

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Really enjoying your posts.

I'm wondering, is trivia on the daily program? Where do they have it?

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42 minutes ago, Iris5383 said:

Really enjoying your posts.

I'm wondering, is trivia on the daily program? Where do they have it?

Trivia is at least once daily. Usually in Billboard, I think. I haven’t been, but it was there the only time I walked past. Bingo is also daily (for a few). Bridge and mahjong daily for free. At least one other game on the schedule each day. Plus Mass and Friends of Bill and America’s Test Kitchen. And spa sales seminars and jewelry sales seminars and fitness classes and and cultural items and all the music. Sometimes there’s also a themed trivia. Just took my itinerary  photos and will attempt to post them all (so far) today. 

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I love this Voyage Planner. This was not on our past cruises. The nights of several shows have been switched, and even Rudi’s changed to today, but I’m still a big fan of knowing what the upcoming main shows will be. And especially when we’ll have our Gala nights.

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8E31EFC5-CCF8-4F32-A1B3-7A85F461E384.jpeg

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