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LAFFNVEGAS "LIVE" from the Nieuw Amsterdam, First HAL Ship to Sail!!


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6 hours ago, LAFFNVEGAS said:

Good Evening from the Beautiful MS Nieuw Amsterdam.

Wow was this ever a full day. 
Embarkation was fun and amazing. I thought I would be emotional but there was so much going on and wanting to video some of it there was not the chance to get emotional.

At least for us all the things stated with taking your pictures on the Navigator App and making sure you had copies of something’s was definitely not the case. The one thing is you will need to show passports and Vaccination Cards at least three times, it may have even been 4 times.

They retook our pictures, I believe they did see that we had done the Health Questionnaire but asked if anything health wise had changed since we submitted that a few days ago.

Then they sent us on our way. 
 

On board the crew are genuinely happy and so excited we on here. Service has been amazing. 
the ship looks like brand new. Everything looks sparkling and brand new.

Now possibly I had miss this when we lasted cruised on NA but the elevator doors on deck 7 aft are different yet they are the same older design on Lido Deck?? I will post a picture my my pictures tonight.

ok, I will now just throw comments out with no general order just as I am thinking of these things.

Signature Beverage Package can be upgraded to Elite package for $5.00 we day plus gratuity, they said the total charge would be $39.00 per person.

Normally on the first day the Beverage Servers would have table set up to sell the Wine Packages, well tables were set up but not selling the wine package they had bottles in two groups, one was what wines offered under Signature the other for Elite. In the past my Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling would be in the Elite and Celler Master 2 Wine package but it was now part of the Signature Package so no need to upgrade to the Elite package for me.

There was no soliciting of the Cellar Master Wine packages, I do not think they are offering this at all.

You know how in the past the first day they are soliciting for the Wine Tasting and selling the Wine package when you are in the Lifo, well now a server is going around soliciting to order and upgrade your meal in the Main Dining Room. Offering Crab Legs and Jumbo Shrimp Cocktails.

For dinner we have Fixed Early, they placed us at s 4 top with place setting for two at a window toward the aft starboard. Table 49.

They were pushing most to use the QR code’s for the menu but they did bring us menus, but the dessert is now listed with everything and you order that with your main course.

Servers in the Main Dining Room…. The uniform is the same but in the past it seemed the Assistant Server had a slightly different uniform, everyone wore the same 

. Plus not really able to tell who your actual server was , there might not be just one or two. There were 4 different ones that brought things to our table. There did not appear to be one person doing a specific job.

By the time dessert came around they forgot what we had ordered, there was no offer for bringing coffee or even the liquor cordials. I kept looking all around us to see if any one had coffee and there was none , finally several tables away I saw a server with a small pot of what I would guess to be coffee but definitely not like it had been in the past where the Assistant Servers would come around asking if you wanted coffee and give you the cup and saucer.

Also no YumYum Man outside the Dining Room Door but that was starting to go away pre covid.

We did stop by the shops, there has been some remodeling, a few more walls built up in the shops area, for merchandise not a single thing has the the Holland America logo on the outside of a garment. A few on the inside tags. I guess this is one way not to offer the discount on logo wear 😉

I have not yet found out the number of how many are onboard but the Dining Room for fixed felt like it was  at 70%. The shops were busy but they they were having some kind of drawing. Out and about such as the Ocean Bar was quiet with really no one there.

 

We decided to call it an early night, we were both a bit exhausted . 

 

I am going to sign off for tonight but will try to post pictures I previously had not posted.

 

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Great report LIsa 🙂 

 

No wine packages?  Oh no 😱 

Strange on the coffee and servers - hope that improves for you 🤞 

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No Wine Package 😱🤔

I wonder where they just not pushing it as so many have drinks packages, but it is still available.  That would also be a major reduction in the benefit of 3 star mariners and above.

 

Perhaps @LAFFNVEGASyou would investigate further.  Meanwhile I will put it down to 'first night nerves' 🙏

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1 minute ago, VMax1700 said:

Meanwhile I will put it down to 'first night nerves' 🙏

I'm thinking "first night, first cruise back" might explain at least some of the odd sounding activity.  Perhaps also with the stock in the shops and maybe even the wines not being completely refreshed and set yet?  

 

Thanks again Lisa for all your efforts at keeping us up to date!  I do believe those are new elevator doors you pictured earlier, I don't remember those in December 2019, but there's a lot I'm sure I've forgotten about BC!

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7 hours ago, LAFFNVEGAS said:

The internet is extremely slow tonight, to even post to CC I have to go in the hallway to get close to the HotSpot.

Not all the previous pictures uploaded and not in the correct order.

Now most of these are also not uploading, may need to upgrade the WiFi or wait till Monday in Juneau.

They did bring us a printed copy of Where and When for tomorrow’s activities as well as it is on the Navigator app.

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$8.50 for a shrimp cocktail??

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59 minutes ago, VMax1700 said:

No Wine Package 😱🤔

I wonder where they just not pushing it as so many have drinks packages, but it is still available.  That would also be a major reduction in the benefit of 3 star mariners and above.

 

Perhaps @LAFFNVEGASyou would investigate further.  Meanwhile I will put it down to 'first night nerves' 🙏

That is my hope as well.  I went into my cruise for this fall and I can purchase wine packages so hopefully they are available.

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Hope you had a good nights sleep.  I always enjoy the gentle motion of the ship rocking me to sleep.  Interesting to hear about coffee not being brought around after dinner last night.   Did you get a sense at all that maybe they are hoping to move people through faster as most people might be two top for distancing reasons and they need to move people through as you are early seating. Hopefully this morning there is lots of coffee offered in MDR.  

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1 hour ago, VMax1700 said:

No Wine Package 😱🤔

I wonder where they just not pushing it as so many have drinks packages, but it is still available.  That would also be a major reduction in the benefit of 3 star mariners and above.

 

Perhaps @LAFFNVEGASyou would investigate further.  Meanwhile I will put it down to 'first night nerves' 🙏

We always order our wine packages online ahead of the cruise (and get our Mariner discount as OBC) - so good news - they are still available. 

 

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Been following your posts, excellent report, enjoyed your pictures also.  Certainly sounds like HAL are now going to try to push the selling of food upgrade in the MDR.  Sure is more offering now than what there was on our last cruise in 2020….  I certainly hope that HAL will not discontinue the wine packages….

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I agree with Lisa about last nights dinner service, I chalked it up to being the first evening. It took 2 1/2 hours for appetizers and mains, our server never came back about ordering dessert. When he took our dinner order he said he would get dessert orders later.  We decided to go up to the Lido later for dessert and left.  There was no special dinner menu for Club Orange. The room service CO breakfast menu has changed significantly, I will post one in the next few days.

I am still very happy about being back on a ship, the seas are smoother now in the Pacific than when we transited the Straits last evening. 
 

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6 hours ago, Alphen said:

Paying for some extra menu items is not new and was already there in 2019, there just are a few more now.

We last sailed in 2018 and it was still under discussion as far as the mdr was concerned. 

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Lisa, sounds like you are of to a good start with the exception of service in the main dining room. Hopefully that will improve. Thank you for taking the time to take us along.

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3 hours ago, Himself said:

Lisa:  I love your pictures, especially the one of Mt. Reinier.  It was nice to see it.  So often it is hidden in the clouds.

When us locals want to describe a clear day here we just say "The mountain is out".

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Good Morning from the MS Nieuw Amsterdam. It’s a dark gloomy cloudy day at sea but hopefully it will burn off for later. Although in previously looking up weather for Alaska ports it was reporting rain and much colder. Of course for Alaska that is to be expected. We were so blessed to have the picture perfect day in Seattle yesterday. 
 

Tom and I both slept good last night, love the movement of the ship especially here in the aft for sleeping.

I have been awake for about an hour now and the WiFi appears to have been down since around 2:30 but did return at 7 am. 
I will attempt I couple more pictures 

Going to get up now and check out breakfast in the Main Dining Room.

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Thanks for taking us along on your cruise!   I miss being on a HAL ship.  We sleep so well too with the movement of the ship.  Glad you like the aft-did it once & Mr Bear hated it so that was our one & only aft cabin sadly.

 

Hope it clears up but like you said, you’re heading for Alaska,  so who knows.

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Lisa

 

I am interested in knowing what is considered “gala attire”  in an Alaskan cruise. I have read that it is considerably more casual than on cruises to other destinations, so hope you can confirm that.


TY!

 

Ann

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9 minutes ago, LAFFNVEGAS said:

Good Morning from the MS Nieuw Amsterdam. It’s a dark gloomy cloudy day at sea but hopefully it will burn off for later. Although in previously looking up weather for Alaska ports it was reporting rain and much colder. Of course for Alaska that is to be expected. We were so blessed to have the picture perfect day in Seattle yesterday. 
 

Tom and I both slept good last night, love the movement of the ship especially here in the aft for sleeping.

I have been awake for about an hour now and the WiFi appears to have been down since around 2:30 but did return at 7 am. 
I will attempt I couple more pictures 

Going to get up now and check out breakfast in the Main Dining Room.

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Thanks so much for letting us live vicariously through you 🤪. Just curious if there is a Chico’s shop onboard?  Enjoy your day. 

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