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Belgian fry

Koningsdam - Southern Caribbean Wayfarer - 4-15 March 2020 - a review

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Love reading your review. We were on this cruise and I meant to write up a review, but life raced at us and I didn't do it. Maybe I should look through my photos and see if I remember enough to write sometime up too.

 

Did you get out to see the Pitons from the ship when we sailed from Martinique? Even though it was stormy, they were very impressive. 

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49 minutes ago, nanlaur said:

Did you get out to see the Pitons from the ship when we sailed from Martinique? Even though it was stormy, they were very impressive. 

 

I think you mean in St Lucia? The answer is yes, and it's in my next post, which is ready to go!

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11 hours ago, erewhon said:

How long was the flight from Dublin to Miami?

 

 

6 hours ago, Belgian fry said:

My first question!

As far as I can remember the flight was around 8 hours. We flew with Aer Lingus.

The Aer Lingus flight is listed as DUB-MIA 9h 15m   and 1 hour less for the eastward trip MIA-DUB.  We use it as often as possible as the timings are great.  Leave Dublin mid afternoon, so easy to drive to Dublin (or as OP get a flight from Brussels etc) and pre clearance (especially for MIA!!!) is worth paying for!  For the return we have almost a full day in Miami before the flight (10 pm) and arrival in Dublin at a sensible 11.15 am local.  Aer Lingus were the only airline doing DUB-MIA with a direct flight. 

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Tuesday 10 March – Saint Lucia

 

When you get to the terminal in Saint Lucia it’s complete chaos, with people everywhere trying to get you to book their excursions. We had already decided what we wanted to do, which was to go to Pigeon Island nature reserve and just wanted to get a taxi/van. We ended up booking with Heritage Tours and, after some waiting around, boarded a van with people going to several other destinations. Pigeon island was the last stop on the route, but it was probably no more than 20 minutes or so. We, and the others who were there from the ship, arranged for our driver Peter to come back for us at 3pm. It all worked out fine and our Peter was ready and waiting for us all before the agreed time (he had also given us his number in case we had any problems).

 

Pigeon Island is a small nature reserve with a fort that you can walk/climb up to. The admission fee means that there are no vendors on the beach trying to sell you stuff. We were disappointed that the ticket office could not provide us with a map and that the visitor centre was closed. We walked up to the top for great views though. It was hot and we should have taken water with us. Once we had headed back down, we spent some time at the beach, then had cocktails and a really tasty lunch at the Jambe de Bois restaurant, then more time at the beach, then a final cocktail before heading out to meet our driver.

 

At sail away we were allowed on the helipad on deck 5 for scenic cruising with views of the Pitons. The visibility wasn’t really great as there was cloud and even a little rain, but it was still an enjoyable experience

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Loving your review as it brings back memories of days on Koningsdam in the Caribbean.  Loved Martinique, - no roaming charges for our mobile phones! 

 

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Wednesday 11 March – Saint Kitts/Antigua/sea

 

So, as I mentioned before, when we left Barbados, we had received information that it was unclear whether we would be allowed to dock in St Kitts, and the captain had decided we would head to Antigua instead. Since we had booked a private excursion in St Kitts with Royston (recommended on these boards), I went to guest services who allowed me a phone call so that I could inform him that we needed to cancel.

 

Whilst in St Lucia, I had managed to reach out to cruising friends via Facebook and ask them for recommendations for Antigua. We had decided we would go to Nelson’s Dockyard and then a beach.

 

In the end though, we found ourselves that morning sitting just off the coast of Antigua. The authorities had changed their mind about allowing us to dock but were refusing to give the captain a reason for this refusal. The captain informed us that they would keep trying to make contact for a while. In the end though, it became clear that the authorities weren’t even prepared to enter into any kind of discussion, so we left and started making our way to St Thomas.

 

Another sea day with nothing to report. We did actually receive a daily planner with more activities, but I think I threw the wrong one out at the end of the trip!

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34 minutes ago, Belgian fry said:

 

I think you mean in St Lucia? The answer is yes, and it's in my next post, which is ready to go!

Oh gee. It's too early to be trying to talk 😄 You are absolutely right 😳

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Thanks again for this review.  It is by far the most pleasant thing I've read on the internet since covid-19 began.  I especially enjoyed your pictures - love the tropical plants and the ocean.  

 

My husband and I have only been on 2 cruises and we had a 3rd one planned for this June which was cancelled.  We were supposed to be on the Koningsdam.  So I like looking at pictures of the ship.

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18 hours ago, Belgian fry said:

My first question!

As far as I can remember the flight was around 8 hours. We flew with Aer Lingus.

Thanks for your reply

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11 hours ago, VMax1700 said:

 

The Aer Lingus flight is listed as DUB-MIA 9h 15m   and 1 hour less for the eastward trip MIA-DUB.  We use it as often as possible as the timings are great.  Leave Dublin mid afternoon, so easy to drive to Dublin (or as OP get a flight from Brussels etc) and pre clearance (especially for MIA!!!) is worth paying for!  For the return we have almost a full day in Miami before the flight (10 pm) and arrival in Dublin at a sensible 11.15 am local.  Aer Lingus were the only airline doing DUB-MIA with a direct flight. 

 

Thanks for the information.

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On 4/28/2020 at 5:27 AM, Belgian fry said:

I wasn’t originally planning on doing a review for our cruise, but with all that is happening in the world, I thought it might come as a welcome distraction. I have certainly enjoyed the reviews I have read recently. I don’t have any notes from our trip, so it will all be from memory and the daily planners which I kept. Do feel free to ask any questions and I’ll do my best to answer.

Thank you so much for your excellent review and wonderful photographs!  Going on the Koningsdam, hopefully, in late September so I'm enjoying your photos of the ship.

 

I was on a Southern Caribbean itinerary long time ago, think it was 2001, and loved it, been to Martinique twice and it is a wonderful island but gosh, what is that new huge building in your picture? 

 

Thanks so much for posting and looking forward to more!

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Thursday 12 March – Saint Thomas

 

We kept things simple in St Thomas, taking a taxi to Sapphire Beach, where we hired some loungers and spent our time between sunbathing and swimming. We enjoyed drinks and fish tacos from the bar there, along with the company of a very friendly cockerel!

 

We had arranged to be picked up for the return to the ship and there was a van there for us (not the same driver). On our way back to the ship we asked our driver about post-hurricane recovery. She told us most people had been out of work for around a year after the last hurricane and described how long they had been without the basics, such as water and electricity and how everyone just made do and helped each other out. On the day we were there, it was announced that St Thomas was closing to visitors for 3 months. A very difficult prospect for everyone there, since the island relies so heavily on tourism.

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Friday 13 March – at sea

 

Another quiet sea day, spent enjoying the ship and the sun. The only surprise here was that Pierre’s beverage package for HMC arrived, along with the card containing his birthday message (8 days after his birthday).

 

I also attended “Ask the Captain”, which was both interesting and entertaining. Captain Timmers really is a very funny man.

 

That evening, we ate in Canaletto. Like I said before, we are not speciality restaurant people, but earlier in the week we had been chatting to Herlina at breakfast, and she had convinced us to book at Canaletto for the Friday. We decided it would be fun to give it a try, especially with the twins as our waitresses. It turns out this was a good decision. We really enjoyed the food and we were treated like absolute royalty.

 

There was a crew meeting about to start when we left Canaletto after dinner. I think it was probably to inform the crew of the changes that were to come (we still had no idea of how bag this had got in the real world during our cruise).

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Wonderful pictures...thanks for doing a review...the Koningsdam was our second to last cruise...we really enjoyed the ship

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The picture of the two of you and the twins is frameable - what a super picture! Thank you for your review & pics!

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Love this review, thanks.  Just what is needed when we are all cooped up.

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10 hours ago, Belgian fry said:

 

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What a great picture!  Thank you so much for posting your review and photos.  I am really enjoying tagging along with you on your cruise.

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Thank you for the review.. My DH and & were to be on this cruise.  But we canceled it.  So, now through your review I am going on the cruise!!

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Thanks for sharing your photos,  great shot of you both with the twins.

It's always a super surprise to meet up with crew members from an earlier cruise.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!!

What a breath of fresh air to forget all the stress going on with all of us and for just a few moments being back enjoying our Cruise Critic reviews! 
Stunning pictures Of your fabulous journey. That is what HAL is all about FAMILY!!I so love  our cruises and seeing crew members from our past and what is so remarkable they remember our names👍 Appreciate your kindness for taking the time to do this for all of us! Makes me look forward again to our up coming cruises in 2021, and 2022! 
Our 3 cruises starting with Rotterdam was canceled in Puerto Vallarta only 4 days into our Panama Cruise on 3/15. We returned home to San Diego and just want to get back into cruising again.

Happy Sailings 

Denise😊

 

Edited by DeeniEncinitas
Miss spelled

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Wow. Thank you all for hour kind comments. Writing this has been fun and brought back lots of happy memories. I guess I’d better start working on the end.

 

 

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