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RevNeal

Report from the Noordam - Maiden Voyage

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Rev, How terrible for both Jim AND Stan. Not only a broken leg to deal with but to also have to end this very special cruise is sooooo sad.:( We had two medical emergencies on the Westerdam Feb. 5th at time of embarkation. It was heart breaking to see the strecher leaving the ship (twice) before sailaway. A very fast end to two couples vacation.

 

Get well soon Jim!!! Soon you will feel well enough to start planning your next cruise. Take care. Wendy

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Our prayers and kind thought are with them.

 

44 days it usually takes even with extra Zn and Fe added to grow back those .:eek:

 

 

The only good part of it they did see the passing of the ship in the harbor the southbound way...

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Revneal,

 

As others have said, thank you for including us in your cruise. I also appreciate your thoughtfulness in allowing us to enjoy the special program on vidio. As for Jim, I hope he is able to rest comfortably and I hope he has the travel insurance.

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Hi everyone!!!!

 

Just thought I'd add my 2 cents, but Greg has been doing such a great job keeping everyone at home up to date hasn't he?

 

We are sitting here at the Crown Point pier waiting to clear customs - it seems to be taking longer than I remember, but since we are so far from the center of town, not sure if we will be going ahore. We'll see.

 

The weather is fantastic and as you can see from Greg's pics, the ship is simply gorgeous.

 

We have been having a fantastic time relaxing - yesterday Sonny & I had a couples massage and I had a pedicure. Both terrific. The spa personnel have been super.

 

Last night (formal night) we retired pretty early - a first for us this trip. ;) We enjoyed the Master Chef dinner, the selections were all so tempting, it was hard to choose!

 

For those still wondering about Vic - well, he is here - I can attest!

 

Janice & Rita - you guys might get a kick out of this - the other night I was in the casino (not paying too much attention to what I was doing apparently, lol!) and ended up on a $5 slot machine - I hit 80 credits and thought it was $80 - imagine my surprise when it turned out to be $400 :eek:

 

ziggy7 - Your parents are sweeties! I've run into them more than a few times and can't tell you how much I've enjoyed them!!!!

 

We feel really bad about Jim, but happy to hear is getting the medical attention he needed. We heard about the accident yesterday when we went ashore to shop quickly at Mr. Tablecloth, and we were hoping they'd be able to rejoin us, but it was not the case unfortunately. They are missed!!!

 

Anyway - Sonny has taken some pics of all the gorgeous artwork and we will post them as soon as we are home. :)

 

More later!!!!

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I had mentioned in another thread that I heard on a radio travel show that a local (CT) couple were unable to sail with you all due to emergency surgery. They, unfortunately, did not have insurance and lost the whole deal. Although they are regular cruisers and have another Noordam trip already booked it sounded that HAL was not able to reimburse them in any way. They are not done with thier appeals and I hope they reason it out as they seem to be "good" customers. I have never been a fan of most insurance policies (or extended warranties for that matter) but all of this sad news makes me rethink my position.

On a lighter note.... these posts have done amazing work to fuel our excitement to set sail this Sat. I have used several of the pictures in my contact info to friends and family. Can evryone say "copywrite protection"? :D Thank you so much for your constant and detailed information. It is a wonderful resource and comraderie. Mark

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Well, I guess we are going ashore after all... Someone (who shall remain nameless :eek: but uh, goes by bepsf around these parts... ) has decided to go back to bed!!!! As a result, Sonny & I are accompanying Scotty to shore for some shopping.

 

I think I'll leave the credit card in the cabin though, lol! I have been known to do a little damage in the stores of St. Thomas.

 

More later!

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Thank you for posting Laura,

 

Glad you are having such a great time , looking forward to seeing your pics when you post them.

 

Have a great day in St. Thomas . Hmmmmmm I remember becoming a few store owners new best friends there once myself *LOL* . Leave the cards in the safe :)

 

Take care and Enjoy:)

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Regards and best wishes to Rev. Neal, all the CC's on the Noordam and the group as a whole:

 

We have sailed on several lines but never HAL. Recently, have become interested in giving HAL a try and began "sailing" on your board. After spending several weeks reading your posts it has become VERY evident to me, and to DH, that this is a line we must try. Why? Because of your loyalty to not only HAL, but to each other. You are funny and smart and discerning, but most of all, respectful and seemingly very kind. These are traits that we haven't found abundant on other boards. We have read with great relish, the postings from Sail and delighted in her report. And then the live reports from the Maiden voyage. It has been delightful in every post and word.

 

That said, I so wanted to express our very best wishes to both Jim and Stan as we feel we already know this group. My heart sank this a.m. when reading of the accident and we just want them to know we will keep them close in thought and heart.

 

We do hope to meet some of you one day as I already feel, albeit from the sidelines, that this is a group we would be honored to know.

 

Best to all on the Noordam and safe journey to everyone.

 

Warm wishes,

Kelly

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Our thoughts and prayers will also be with Jim as he recovers from this most unfortunate accident.

 

Good to hear from you, too, Laura. Glad you're having a great time. Let us know about the great bargains you picked up in St. Thomas!

 

After spending several weeks reading your posts it has become VERY evident to me, and to DH, that this is a line we must try. Why? Because of your loyalty to not only HAL, but to each other. You are funny and smart and discerning, but most of all, respectful and seemingly very kind.
It's really an interesting phenomenon, isn't it? Some of us have met others onboard ship or in other places ... but many of us have only "met" here on the board. Yet there are so many I feel as though have been good friends for years. It's what keeps me coming back day after day.

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Kelhair,

I couldn't agree more. I adore cruising on HAL, as well as checking in with the gentle folks on these boards. It's a very enjoyable part of my day...... everyday.

Thumbs up on this Noordam thread. I'm digging this cruise by proxy.

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Rev Neal

 

Thank you so much for sharing your photos and video clip....we're in the process of deciding which HAL ship for our next cruise....the Noordam or the Zuiderdam. Since we're in CT, the Noordam is looking like the one because we would'nt have to fly to Florida. Then again, Florida is so lovely, and we usually stay in Ft. Lauderdale for a few days beforehand....

 

Decisions! Decisions!

 

Anyway, I wanted to ask you about Jazzy Jeff!!

 

He MADE our Zuiderdam and Oosterdam cruises. He is one fun guy and he is terrific at his job. Is he the Sr. Cruise director? Do you know what is official role/title is on the Noordam?

 

Safe travels and enjoy!!

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Anyway, I wanted to ask you about Jazzy Jeff!!

 

He MADE our Zuiderdam and Oosterdam cruises. He is one fun guy and he is terrific at his job. Is he the Sr. Cruise director? Do you know what is official role/title is on the Noordam?

 

Safe travels and enjoy!!

 

Hi all,

 

Joyce here. Jazzy was my Asst. CD on the 9/11/01 Noordam cruise. On this trip he is the DJ. He says he prefers that job. He can sleep late :)

 

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed meeting all the CC'ers on this trip. Meeting old friends for the first time is very exciting. They are a great bunch of people.

 

I'm looking forward to meeting more of you on the Prinsendam on her 8/30/06 sailing.

 

Regards,

Joyce

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Prices on our March 25, 2006 Noordam 11 day cruise just dropped for the VH guarantee quite a bit. That's the cat we booked but have already paid our balance so we are out of luck. But for anyone still contemplating, check it out! :D

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I couldn't agree more

 

 

Very very nice people here .

I have yet to cruise HAL ,but have done several cruise on several other lines. Came into this board just out of curiosity, because my DW and I have been looking for something different, and I have stayed because of the people. :)

 

Its a treasure chest of knowledge not just about HAL, but cruiseing in general. Plus we have a ton of fun and some good laughs.

 

Its funny, I have not yet set foot on a HAL ship, but just from these boards I know more about HAL ships then some of the ships I have actually been on *LOL*

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Janice & Rita - you guys might get a kick out of this - the other night I was in the casino (not paying too much attention to what I was doing apparently, lol!) and ended up on a $5 slot machine - I hit 80 credits and thought it was $80 - imagine my surprise when it turned out to be $400 :eek:

 

LOL That money will come in handy in May. ;)

Glad to hear that you and Sonny are having a great time. Looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back.:D

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What a bright, sunny day here in St. Thomas. There is a lovely breeze so that, in the shade, it's VERY comfortable. The ship is quiet today while a large number people are off doing the "shopping" and "beach" thing. :) However, unless it's my imagination, she's not quite as empty as she was yesterday at St. Maarten.

 

We're docked next to the Volendam on one side and the Wind Surf on the other. The pier is busy, but not too horribly-so.

 

Yes, Immigration took a long time. Some people just didn't want to report (but what else is new?) For my own part, I walked through the Queen's Lounge at about 7:10 am, then proceeded up to the Lido for breakfast with Joyce. THEN, Martha and I struck out on a shopping trip. I bought a few inconsequential items, but Martha made a significant contribution to the St. Thomas Economy. :) It is INDEED fun watching other people spend money. :D

 

Last night we had a nice formal night. Martha and I had received an invitation to dinner with the Hotel Manager, which was both a surprise and a delight. It was a long dinner, however ... long-winded, I should say, but enjoyable nevertheless.

 

Afterwards we attended the ship's cast production "Paparazzi" ... frankly, I wasn't impressed with the production. This ship's cast is talented enough that they could have done the full show without the video and audio of Tommy Tune. Indeed, I would have rather seen them in a show, and we're told that they'll be performing for us one more time this cruise. I'm looking forward to it.

 

Sadly, we'll soon be beginning the last phase of this cruise. Tomorrow we have a half-day stop at San Juan, Puerto Rico. I would have preferred it if we could have made it a full day, but I understand that the ship will have to be pushing it hard to make it back to New York on Saturday morning. <sigh> "All good things must come to an end." Thankfully, we've still got a port and 2 sea-days left. :)

 

In answer to some questions:

 

1. There IS a future cruise consultant aboard, and there are some "small" credits to be had on one's shipboard account if one books aboard ship.

 

2. "Kinks" in the ship. Yes, there are some. Some cabins have experienced some extreme vibration due to inadequate bracing during their initial installation. I'm told that's being tended to. It would appear that some cabins do not have functions message-boxes. AND, in my own cabin, the shower head will not clamp high. They've fixed it sufficiently for me to be able to shower during the course of this cruise and it will be replaced when we arrive back in NYC. I'm told there are many more. However, I must admit that this ship's maiden voyage has been remarkably free of MAJOR, significant, cruise-threatening "kinks." And that's VERY good news.

 

3. I'm pretty much sold on doing the new Signature Ship's maiden voyage in 2008. I'll have to bring Christopher with me that time ... I just won't take no for an answer. :)

 

All for now. I have a hundred or so e-mails to answer or delete and I still want to walk around and photograph some areas of the ship that I wasn't able to snap pictures of yesterday.

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I had mentioned in another thread that I heard on a radio travel show that a local (CT) couple were unable to sail with you all due to emergency surgery. They, unfortunately, did not have insurance and lost the whole deal. Although they are regular cruisers and have another Noordam trip already booked it sounded that HAL was not able to reimburse them in any way. They are not done with thier appeals and I hope they reason it out as they seem to be "good" customers. I have never been a fan of most insurance policies (or extended warranties for that matter) but all of this sad news makes me rethink my position.

On a lighter note.... these posts have done amazing work to fuel our excitement to set sail this Sat. I have used several of the pictures in my contact info to friends and family. Can evryone say "copywrite protection"? :D Thank you so much for your constant and detailed information. It is a wonderful resource and comraderie. Mark

 

This was me! I didn't think that anyone on this board would have heard that. The main reason why I called was in hopes that someone from HAL may have heard that because that radio show is broadcast Nationally. We'll have to wait and see what happens. Guest services was very unsympathetic so yesterday I mailed off a letter to the President of HAL. The only reason why I didn't take the insurance is because we are healthy with no pre-existing conditions at all. Lesson learned - you don't have to have a pre-existing condition to have emergency surgery. I'm over missing the trip at this point and am really looking forward to the 7/30 Rome trip. Lets see what happens.

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Beautiful pics Rev :) Thanks for sharing.

 

Glad you are having such a great time and beautiful weather and that the ship is relatively "kink free"

 

ENJOY:)

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Isn't Jazzy great??!! We have sailed with him on the Oosterdam and the Westerdam.

 

He's the best!!.....when he was calling Bingo, we were laughing so hard we were having trouble marking our cards....when he did the Match Game, boy, did he get me good as a "contestant" in front of a whole lot of people in the Vista lounge

 

I'm glad to hear that he's still with HAL, he's everything they want in a good promoter of fun

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Thanks to all for the great reading this post has provided and for all the marvelous pictures you provide, RevNeal. So sorry about your shipmate's accident. We trust he is following these posts as well, and we wish him a speedy recovery.

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Greg,

Thanks for the updates. A message to pass along if you could.....

According to Ziggy's CC'er list, it shows that calm_seas (Martha I believe) is doing a B2B on the Noordam. We are planning a CC get together in the atrium on the main deck, and then off to lunch in the main dining room. We are planning to meet at noon on Sunday the 5th (our first sea day).

If you see her, could you let her know we would be more than happy to see her there? She had not posted on the roll call for that cruise, but with the excitement of the innaugural, it is understandable. (Extend this to any other CC'ers that may also be doing a B2B if I missed anyone.)

Thank you kindly.

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Regards and best wishes to Rev. Neal, all the CC's on the Noordam and the group as a whole:

 

We have sailed on several lines but never HAL. Recently, have become interested in giving HAL a try and began "sailing" on your board. After spending several weeks reading your posts it has become VERY evident to me, and to DH, that this is a line we must try. Why? Because of your loyalty to not only HAL, but to each other. You are funny and smart and discerning, but most of all, respectful and seemingly very kind. These are traits that we haven't found abundant on other boards. We have read with great relish, the postings from Sail and delighted in her report. And then the live reports from the Maiden voyage. It has been delightful in every post and word.

 

That said, I so wanted to express our very best wishes to both Jim and Stan as we feel we already know this group. My heart sank this a.m. when reading of the accident and we just want them to know we will keep them close in thought and heart.

 

We do hope to meet some of you one day as I already feel, albeit from the sidelines, that this is a group we would be honored to know.

 

Best to all on the Noordam and safe journey to everyone.

 

Warm wishes,

Kelly

 

Kelly, welcome to the HAL boards! This was such a wonderful post of yours and I'm so happy you like us here. I have always found the HAL boards the most friendly and welcoming. I wish you a wonderful time on whatever HAL cruise you choose!

 

Greg, so good to get all your news and good to hear from Laura:) . I can't believe you're starting to wind down. The ship looks so fresh and magnificent and new! I almost ache to be with you all.

 

Keep having good fun and good weather for your sail back to New York.

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