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Just off the Neiuw Statendam Port Everglades


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Quick synopsis-

Pros- clean ship, friendly crew, food in mdr was pretty good, early room service was punctual, bands were very good- blues were excellent.

Cons- muster was a clusterf***, go to your station, told to go to your room and  watch a video then come back, video never played, went back to station and watched someone put on a life vest. Crew told me it was the first time with the new in room video for muster, too bad the video never came on.

 

If you want to use the sports deck make sure there is not a pickleball group that has booked the majority of time the entire cruise. I am a pickleball enthusiast and booked this cruise because of the pickleball courts on the sports deck. Unfortunately, I could not use the courts except for very limited times and had to share with basketballers, soccer and others. The amenity was unavailable and I wish I had known before we sailed, I would have booked a different week.

 

Disembarkment was also very strange. We like to take our own luggage off as early as possible. In order to do this I had to go to the guest services desk the eve of depart and acquire "expedite passes". Along with these passes were instructions to not put your luggage out and to go to a public area at 7:30 and wait for instructions? WHAT? Fortunately, we called the next morning and were told disembark would be deck 2 midship. So we went down there at 7:00 am and there was already a huge line. When it began moving nobody ever asked for my "expedite passes" and we didn't even have to show our passports as we moved out.

 

Bringing booze back onboard at ports. If it's in a bag then it is up to you to go to the alcohol window after you pass security even though it has passed through the conveyor belt/scan. We just walked right past him and sipped our rum purchases in the cabin.

 

We arrived at the port about 11:30 and went into the parking garage by pier 26. We had to go 4 flights before finding a spot on the back row. We took the back elevator down and then hoofed it across the street directly to the ship where boarding was fairly snappy. TIP- when disembarking early when you arrive at the parking garage there will be a backup line at the front elevator all the way to the sidewalk. Do your best to walk around the line and proceed to the back of the lot, we hopped on that elevator immediately and were in  the car in no time.

Edited by JoeMammy
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We were on the same sailing, I would agree with all of the Pros mentioned here and add that our stateroom stewards did a really nice job cleaning and keeping up with our cabin.  The ship is very clean and well maintained.  TONS of storage space in each cabin and the bathrooms have a nice size shower, I didn't feel cramped in there at all, like I have on other ships.  Plenty of elevators and usually pretty short wait for one when you needed one.  We enjoyed the music too, the BB King group was great, the horn players nailed it.

 

We had some hiccups along the way, nothing major but enough to make you wonder.  We were disappointed in the Lido buffet area particularly.  First, the large metal chairs in there are close to impossible to move on the carpet, there had to be better options.  Second, the staff there was just average at best.  It took forever to get water, juice or coffee in the Lido, the service around the tables was slow and unfriendly which is uncharacteristic from what we have seen on other HAL ships.  The cooks in the Lido were average, many of whom you could tell didn't give a big rip if they made another salad or omlette for the rest of eternity.  I know it must suck to make 500 salads a day, but man try to make the best of it or at least fake it!  Lastly, the bartenders and waitstaff around the bar areas were really "off" at times, making and delivering drinks that weren't anywhere close to what was ordered.

 

We had some great sushi in the sushi bar, if you like sushi, I would consider giving that a shot.  For $5 a roll you can't really go wrong.  Our kids also really liked Club HAL, they have been on four HAL ships and they said by far this was the best one.  Very nice ship, I liked it a lot, my favorite HAL ship but I would from a service standpoint I would give it a grade of C at best.  Maybe they were overwhelmed with a completely full ship?  Not sure but there is room for improvement.

 

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On 12/1/2019 at 6:26 PM, JoeMammy said:

Quick synopsis-

Pros- clean ship, friendly crew, food in mdr was pretty good, early room service was punctual, bands were very good- blues were excellent.

Cons- muster was a clusterf***, go to your station, told to go to your room and  watch a video then come back, video never played, went back to station and watched someone put on a life vest. Crew told me it was the first time with the new in room video for muster, too bad the video never came on.

 

If you want to use the sports deck make sure there is not a pickleball group that has booked the majority of time the entire cruise. I am a pickleball enthusiast and booked this cruise because of the pickleball courts on the sports deck. Unfortunately, I could not use the courts except for very limited times and had to share with basketballers, soccer and others. The amenity was unavailable and I wish I had known before we sailed, I would have booked a different week.

 

Disembarkment was also very strange. We like to take our own luggage off as early as possible. In order to do this I had to go to the guest services desk the eve of depart and acquire "expedite passes". Along with these passes were instructions to not put your luggage out and to go to a public area at 7:30 and wait for instructions? WHAT? Fortunately, we called the next morning and were told disembark would be deck 2 midship. So we went down there at 7:00 am and there was already a huge line. When it began moving nobody ever asked for my "expedite passes" and we didn't even have to show our passports as we moved out.

 

Bringing booze back onboard at ports. If it's in a bag then it is up to you to go to the alcohol window after you pass security even though it has passed through the conveyor belt/scan. We just walked right past him and sipped our rum purchases in the cabin.

 

We arrived at the port about 11:30 and went into the parking garage by pier 26. We had to go 4 flights before finding a spot on the back row. We took the back elevator down and then hoofed it across the street directly to the ship where boarding was fairly snappy. TIP- when disembarking early when you arrive at the parking garage there will be a backup line at the front elevator all the way to the sidewalk. Do your best to walk around the line and proceed to the back of the lot, we hopped on that elevator immediately and were in  the car in no time.

We were on 3 weeks prior. You were unable to watch regular TV unless you watched the safety video. We didn't have an issue. Smoothest muster we have ever had!

 

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On 12/1/2019 at 4:26 PM, JoeMammy said:

Crew told me it was the first time with the new in room video for muster, too bad the video never came on.

Well we had the video when we sailed the NS Sept. 8-Oct. 17. As the poster above said, you couldn't watch TV until that video had been viewed.

Also we thought the service ship-wide was top notch, absolutely no problems at all.  

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5 hours ago, Sir PMP said:

I am so glad that you enjoyed the ship, and I hope you will be back, but based on both your comments, these ships are a disaster.

What a turn off!!

I have been on the Koningsdam and had such a great experience on this class of ship that we all booked the NS for 2021.  These ships are a great addition to the HAL fleet and gives everyone of us who love HAL options.  If there is anything to complain about, I'd be looking at management not "these ships".

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A couple of questions for the OP:  so you had to show up at your muster station, then return to your cabin to watch the video, and go back to your muster station?   It seems to me it would make more sense if people watched the video, then proceeded to their muster station.  There must have been a lot of people all walking around!

 

Where did you muster?

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

 

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20 minutes ago, ger_77 said:

A couple of questions for the OP:  so you had to show up at your muster station, then return to your cabin to watch the video, and go back to your muster station?   It seems to me it would make more sense if people watched the video, then proceeded to their muster station.  There must have been a lot of people all walking around!

 

Where did you muster?

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

 

We were in E2. The daily had 3:30 as the muster time. It said to look on your card for the station and be on time. We were. Then when we arrived at E2 which was in the MDR we were told to go to our cabin and watch the video. We did, it never came on. Then the cabin stewards knocked and said go back to E2. We did. This time our card was scanned and we watched a crew member put on a life vest and we were released.

 

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Another thing that I found unusual was the mdr was closed on both sea days for lunch (there was a private LGBT meet on the first sea day in the mdr).

 

Some great finds: the grilled chicken sandwich was worth the line at Dive In. It would move faster if people would read the menu posted right in front of you while you wait in line. The guy in front of me reached the order window and said, "what do you have?"

 

And as someone mentioned above, the sushi bar was very good. The lobster tempura roll was awesome. Also, on surf and turf nite in the mdr on gala #2 I asked for surf and surf and received 2 tails. Also very good!

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4 minutes ago, JoeMammy said:

We were in E2. The daily had 3:30 as the muster time. It said to look on your card for the station and be on time. We were. Then when we arrived at E2 which was in the MDR we were told to go to our cabin and watch the video. We did, it never came on. Then the cabin stewards knocked and said go back to E2. We did. This time our card was scanned and we watched a crew member put on a life vest and we were released.

Wow, we'll be on the Nieuw Statendam in January; it will be interesting to see if they've figured this out or not.  It really does sound disjointed.

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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Just now, ger_77 said:

Wow, we'll be on the Nieuw Statendam in January; it will be interesting to see if they've figured this out or not.  It really does sound disjointed.

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

 

 The usual process for Pinnacle-class ships is 

 

(1)  Announcement of muster

(2)  Crew alert

(3)  Pax directed to return to cabin to watch safety video in cabin, and await further instruction

(4)  . . . . . . . _

(5)  Pax directed to proceed to muster stations - by station and section as printed on one's key card. Attendance recorded.

(6)  Lifejacket demonstration

(7)  Dismissal  / stand-down

 

Gone are the days of us wandering down to the Rotterdam's LP en gilet de sauvetage waiting for muster to be called.   🙂 

 

Scott.

 

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2 minutes ago, YXU AC*SE said:

Gone are the days of us wandering down to the Rotterdam's LP en gilet de sauvetage waiting for muster to be called.    

 

This will be our first time on a Pinnacle class ship; we're looking forward to experiencing the differences.  It will be a big change from our last cruise in March on the Maasdam!

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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4 minutes ago, ger_77 said:

This will be our first time on a Pinnacle class ship; we're looking forward to experiencing the differences.  It will be a big change from our last cruise in March on the Maasdam!

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

I was skeptical about this new class of ship and really went on the K'dam thinking I would never step foot on another Pinnacle Class ship again.  I quickly found I LOVED this class of ship and my entire family booked the NS.............go with an open mind, I hope you enjoy this class of ship as much as I did.......the Grand Dutch Cafe was my favorite for cappuccino and give those fries and peanut butter sauce a try, different, but kind of good...................

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Just now, doone said:

I was skeptical about this new class of ship and really went on the K'dam thinking I would never step foot on another Pinnacle Class ship again.  I quickly found I LOVED this class of ship and my entire family booked the NS.............go with an open mind, I hope you enjoy this class of ship as much as I did.......the Grand Dutch Cafe was my favorite for cappuccino and give those fries and peanut butter sauce a try, different, but kind of good...................

You had me at peanut butter sauce . . . . .

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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10 minutes ago, ger_77 said:

This will be our first time on a Pinnacle class ship; we're looking forward to experiencing the differences. 

 

Our last five cruises have been on them ...    including Nieuw Statendam's inaugural.   [Inflammatory statement] As much as we like the older / smaller ships, from a pax experience pov it will be kinda hard to go back [/Inflammatory statement]-- although we still have fond memories of our 2013 Athens b2b on the Rotterdam which we sailed together.    Scott.  🙂

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1 minute ago, YXU AC*SE said:

 

Our last five cruises have been on them ...    including Nieuw Statendam's inaugural.   [Inflammatory statement] As much as we like the older / smaller ships, from a pax experience pov it will be kinda hard to go back [/Inflammatory statement]-- although we still have fond memories of our 2013 Athens b2b on the Rotterdam which we sailed together.    Scott.  🙂

We always look forward to new experiences, and can't wait to board the ship.   BTW, I still love your sense of humour, and the 2013 was a great cruise for us as well.

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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One other thing of note is if you have a stop in Key West at the end of your cruise. Our initial schedule had us able to get off the ship at 8:00. I had plans that included getting right off as early as possible.

 

The time to disembark was changed to 8:30 and you had to go to the Lincoln Center Stage with your passport for immigration before you could get off the ship. It also stated in this notice that EVERYONE whether planning to go off or not had to go through this process- yes, 2666 pax had to converge on this stage at some point of the day! 

 

So I went to the stage area a little before 8:00 and there were already about 100 folks in line. Crew walked up and down the line and said that immigration officers had yet to arrive. At about 8:40 they opened to doors to the stage, I proceeded in a slow moving line and showed my passport to an officer and then received a gold star on my cruise card and told I was free to leave the ship. By this time the line behind me was huge. As I moved to find the gangway I passed a huge line of starless folks and joined another long line of starred folks waiting to get off.

 

All I could think of was the child's Dr. Seuss book, "Stars on Thars!" Needless to say it was after 9:00 before I could get off the ship.

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35 minutes ago, YXU AC*SE said:

 

 The usual process for Pinnacle-class ships is 

 

(1)  Announcement of muster

(2)  Crew alert

(3)  Pax directed to return to cabin to watch safety video in cabin, and await further instruction

(4)  . . . . . . . _

(5)  Pax directed to proceed to muster stations - by station and section as printed on one's key card. Attendance recorded.

(6)  Lifejacket demonstration

(7)  Dismissal  / stand-down

 

Gone are the days of us wandering down to the Rotterdam's LP en gilet de sauvetage waiting for muster to be called.   🙂 

 

Scott.

 

 

This was our experience recently on the NS on the transatlantic.   We were specifically told to wait in our cabins - by announcement and also cabin stewards.   

 

When we were on the Koningsdam 2018, I do not remember being told to wait in cabin -

 

Our muster station for both of the Pinnacle class sailings was in the main dining room. On the former Koningsdam sailing,  all the tables had been set for dinner, but had tablecloths atop to cover the glasses, place settings and cutlery,  Recently on the NS, there was no covering- and people fiddled with the cutlery, ran their fingers along the rim of glasses,  many turned the plates over to see the manufacturer stamp.   

 

I found this very un-hygienic, people coughing all over and touching items.   Needless to say this cruise became the  cruise crud voyage. , and I can definitely see where the possible start of it was.

 

I do have to agree with the OP that service and attentiveness was severely lacking in the Lido on the NS.    It was definitely off, I found the Koningsdam to be a better run ship in a few aspects.  Chalk it up to management, or staff, or a combination of factors but the NS did not live up to my expectations I experienced on the K-dam.

 

Carol

Edited by CJcruzer
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