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Live and Life from Koningsdam on her Mexican New Year's voyage


Copper10-8
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We too were on last week’s New Year’s cruise. We had a fabulous time. Like you we enjoyed the New Year’s Eve celebration. We enjoyed the entertainment on board. The final night the two piano players joined The Rolling Stones Band for a final tune. There seemed to be more calls for stretchers this cruise than any of our prior trips. We had late fixed dining and probably ate in the specialty restaurants on different nights than you. We did attend both wine tasting events and the cellar master, Rodell did an excellent job.

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6 hours ago, OlsSalt said:

CopperJohn, your lovely "child bride" was the giveaway to your secret identity,  across the crowd at the Mariner's reception - since you added her lovely photo from that great trip to San Javier out of Loreto - the highlight of the entire B2B cruise for us.. 

 

Yes, you did a great job telling us so much about the very same cruise that we were on too. Though I shall add I absolutely hated the new PV "Maul" one is forced to march through to get outside and on the the public busses to Centro-Malecon ($1.00 got us both on once, and $1.00 each on another trip.)

 

Plot a path carefully through this extensive new PV Shopping  maze - much like a walk through a labyrinth, just when you think you can see the goal (i.e: getting the heck out of there) you get sent down another phalanx of more shops.

 

We learned on the way back - keep looking up high, and one does sees directional signs for the "Return to Ship" exit. 

 

I should have done a better job hiding the child bride 😉 Would have been fun meeting you in person! That Mariners reception was short and sweet/in and out. We hung around afterwards to chat with Av8rix (Sue) and Vict0riann (Ann & Pat) and some others - All very nice folks! 

 

And yes, that new new cruise passenger welcome center, "Los Alambiques", and co-located themed shopping center, "Hacienda Tequilera", now two years old, is a bit of a maze, trying their best to get you into their stores whose merchandize ain't cheap. Every time you take a turn and think it will lead to the ship, there are more stores. As you know, we were there with Carnival Panorama and those little seven person golf shuttle carts had a hard time handling the large amount of pax, plus at least one of them ran out of juice, and had to be taken out of service to recharge its batteries to the chagrin of the (mostly Carnival) waiting pax! Me thinks they need bigger shuttles there, perhaps a la Mazatlan

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On 12/31/2022 at 5:59 PM, REOVA said:

Does your cabin have the separate WC entrance from hall and walkthrough to the bath and ultimately to the bed, like the old Prinsendam Neptune suites? Miss those. 

 

The famous double door entry/exit of the water closet in the NS cabins on the three Pinnacle class ships

IMG_1287.JPG

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3 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

The famous double door entry/exit of the water closet in the NS cabins on the three Pinnacle class ships

I was on Rotterdam in 2021 in a Neptune suite and it did not have the "half" bath (water closet).   Having had that option on Koningsdam in 2019, I was a bit disappointed.  But not enough to stop me from booking again ...  

 

FYI, the diagram of Rotterdam's NS suites shown on the HAL website does show the water closet.  But the photo that is also on the HAL website makes it clear that the water closet does not exist.

Edited by Petunia1950
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4 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

The famous double door entry/exit of the water closet in the NS cabins on the three Pinnacle class ships

IMG_1287.JPG

Miss it. I was told Nieuw Statendam  and Rotterdam (our cabins didn't) do not have these, not sure why they discontinued. (Although HAL shows them on floor plan in brochure). 

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THU 05 JAN 23 – Day Eight – At Sea
 
Thursday at sea started off with sunshine, blue skies and a gentle motion in the ocean as K-dam was transiting the Mar del Pacifico from the Mexican mainland om course for the tip of Baja California where we would begin to follow the coast northbound. We woke up from an excellent night of sleep and subsequently had our breakfast in Club Orange with service from Ngurah / “Nugi”. As was the case during our first sea day southbound, Aris and Suzie had a full house going and we spent some time seated outside at the Blend, doing some serious people watching as the world went by.
 
There was a whole slew of stimulating activities scheduled this morning such as Tai Chi, Mass, Spanish lessons, Pickleball, an EXC talk, Party bridge, a Poker tournament, learning how to fold Origami, a shuffleboard challenge, jackpot bingo, a jewelry auction, international beer drinking, the art of flower arranging, etc.
 
Routine activities would soon be interrupted however, when Captain Robert Jan came over the ship’s P/A system around 11:00 AM to announce that we would change course and sail directly for Cabo San Lucas for a medical disembarkation of unfortunately one of our fellow passengers. Without a doubt, the ship’s senior doctor, the captain and the local authorities in Cabo (both military and civilian) had been discussing the medevac throughout the morning.
 
Had we been sailing along the U.S. or Canadian west/east (or Gulf) coast, this medevac would have taken place via helicopter. Although the Mexican military has a limited aerial medevac capability, that option is spread out over the country on both coasts.
 
In Mexico, the maritime search and rescue / Búsqueda y Rescate Marítimo is the Mexican Navy’s SAR unit. The Mexican Search and Rescue primary missions are SAR operations within 50 miles of the Mexican coastline.
 
There are two types of SAR Stations (Estaciones Navales de Búsqueda y Rescate or ENSAR). Type A (Alfa) naval stations are equipped with one ex-USCG 47-foot Motor Lifeboat and two 33-foot Defender-class boats. Type B (Bravo) naval stations are equipped with 33-foot Defender-class boats. The first activated naval station was opened on April 6, 2007, in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. In total the Maritime SAR unit’s goal is 19 ENSAR stations—six Type As, and 13 Type Bs.
 
Cabo San Lucas has a Type B ENSAR station and that’s who showed up around noon to rendezvous with us in order to conduct the medevac. Bote de Búsqueda y Rescate BR-07 accompanied by Cabo pilot boat ‘Fenix’ came alongside K-dam’s starboard side with BR-07 making the approach to the aft tender platform which had been rigged by Bosun Yacob and his boatmen. ENSAR paramedics then boarded and were escorted to the infirmary where they were briefed by K-dam’s medical staff, collected paperwork, and conducted their own assessment.
 
After approx. 25-30 minutes, the patient was transferred via Stokes litter to the aluminum-hulled rescue boat, equipped with a rigid foam-filled flotation collar. BR-07 then swung away from Koningsdam and made full speed for Cabo’s Hospital General de Cabo San Lucas. Excellent job by all involved and best wishes to our former shipmate! Anchored off Cabo during this rescue were Discovery Princess, Carnival Miracle and Viking Neptune. No doubt, a busy day ashore. Upon our departure from Cabo, there was once again (like Mazatlan) a whistle/toot fest between the bridge team of Discovery Princess and Koningsdam. 
 
For lunch, we went down to Lido Deck and gave the Dive-In a try, our first time this cruise and we were not disappointed. We each had the “Backflip”, their chickenburger with the excellent fries and “secret sauce”. Good stuff. The Lido pool was typically busy on a sea day with lots of kiddies having fun in and out of the water. For those who had missed the HAL Origin Story on opening night, there was a repeat in the World Stage today at 2:00 PM. There was also a line dance class in the BB King’s Lounge at 1:30 PM, as well as a ballroom dance hour in the Stuyvesant Room at 4:30 PM.
 
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THU 05 JAN 23 – Day Eight – At Sea (Con't)
 
Our dinner reservation at 7:15 PM was in K-dam’s Sel de Mer restaurant on Deck 2 located right smack in between the Pinnacle Grill and Club Orange and across from the Ocean Bar. All share the big galley with the main dining room located all the way aft on that same deck. This would also be a first for us, as a matter of fact our very first time dining in Rudi Sotamin’s place. We are aware of the special “Sel de Mer pop up” nights in the Pinnacle Grill restaurants on the smaller ships, but the menu on those nights never really appealed to us. Btw, this was K-dam’s only dedicated “Dressy” (the former Formal designation) for this cruise since New Year’s Eve had been designated as “Festive”.
 
Our server inside Sel de Mer turned out to be Boris from Montenegro, one of the many former Yugoslavian republics. The manager in there is usually the only Argentinian onboard, but he is currently “under the weather” prob. too much partying after his country recently won the World Cup Football (Soccer) with Leone Messi in Qatar. In his place was a German manager, Steffen, who is convinced that his country will soon win that same world cup again. 😉 The host in the restaurant who showed us to our comfortable table for two was Tatenda, all the way from Zimbabwe. The plates on the table had the “Food Faces” artwork on them created by Bernardaud, the French manufacturer of Limoges porcelain.
 
Rudi’s Sel de Mer is not a huge place; it has seating for 44 patrons when fully occupied. As stated, on K-dam it is a standalone restaurant where a blackboard is posted outside with the catch of the day chalked on it. Inside, one wall is made up of a single impressionist painting and ceramics line the walls. A trolley in the center of the room showcases the catch of the day and menus come as you'd expect in France: a single sheet listing the appetizers, entrees and the specials, while on the other side of the page you have a wine list featuring French wines.
 
Appetizer choices include steak tartare; Rudi's seafood tower (with lump crab, North Sea shrimp and octopus); escargot bourguignonne, foie gras torchon and bouillabaisse Marseilles. Entree options included broiled Maine lobster, whole Dover sole meuniere, salt-crusted branzino, Steak frites, duck cassoulet and a goat cheese souffle. A baguette with herbed butter and an array of tapenades is served before the meal, as is a scallop amuse-bouche. Side dishes such as cauliflower puree, truffle mashed potatoes and green beans can be shared. Desserts are ordered at the same time you make your meal choices; if you pick Rudi's souffle, it will take extra time to prepare. Other options include profiteroles, crepes Suzette, apple tarte tatin and a French cheese plate. Besides your dessert, you'll also get chocolate-dipped strawberries and truffles, arranged on a clever presentation "tree."
 
After giving us two complimentary welcome cocktails of sparkling wine with Armagnac, a French cognac, Boris served us a couple of 'amuse bouches’, French for “mouth amuser”— think complementary little bites that chefs send to diners at the start of their meal, One was a fish-inspired salmon cookie, while the other was a plate of delicacies of the sea. For our appetizers, we had the Foie Gras De Canard Au Casis; the entrees were the highly recommended Whole Dover Sole Meuniere for Maria, and the Fish of the Day, which was Mahi Mahi accompanied with Pommes Frites pour moi, and for dessert, we each had the Profiteroles.
 
Post dinner, the chef in Sel de Mer, a South African gent by the name Roy K. came to our table (and others) to get our feedback, a nice gesture! Oh yeah, before I forget, just like inside the Pinnacle Grill where Dylan from Holland is assigned, Sel de Mar has not one, but two Dutch waiters working there! The Dutchies are everywhere! 😉
 
Our opinion after we were finished with our very first dinner at Rudi’s; one magnifique experience as far as ambiance, service and food! Worth doing many more times on one of the three Pinnacle-class ships. As far as the Rudi’s Sel de Mar “pop-ups” inside the Pinnacle Grill restaurants on the other eight dam ships? We will need to pay closer attention to the menus for that occasion 'cause as of right now, we are both sold on Rudi's place! 🙂
 
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I really love sel de mer.  I believe that is the same chef that was there in November.  I really like the fact that he comes out to talk to patrons.  I’d been there a few times and he knew that.  They really make you feel that they value your patronage and the food is really great too.

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10 minutes ago, SJSULIBRARIAN said:

And the profiteroles are to die for. On my second visit, I asked for a half order as I could not finish the whole order the first night.

I can never finish them either, so I just have them pack them up and take them back to my stateroom fridge...in the unlikely <😉> event that I wake up in the middle of the night with an urge for profiteroles.  You can't do that with the crepes, as the ice cream will melt.

Edited by AV8rix
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@Copper 10-8 I was onboard Nieuw Amsterdam in September 2022 and was told by one of the Pinnacle Grill supervisors that my Rudy's Pop-Up reservation was cancelled and there would be no more Rudy's Pop Ups on the non-Pinnacle Class ships as of October 1st, 2022.  Rudy's will only be in the stand-alone restaurants on Pinnacle ships from then on. Others have reported the same thing.  Sad.  If any other ships have had them since, please share that information.

 

~Nancy

Edited by oakridger
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9 hours ago, oakridger said:

@Copper 10-8 I was onboard Nieuw Amsterdam in September 2022 and was told by one of the Pinnacle Grill supervisors that my Rudy's Pop-Up reservation was cancelled and there would be no more Rudy's Pop Ups on the non-Pinnacle Class ships as of October 1st, 2022.  Rudy's will only be in the stand-alone restaurants on Pinnacle ships from then on. Others have reported the same thing.  Sad.  If any other ships have had them since, please share that information.

 

~Nancy

The same thing was told to me by the Rudi's manager on the Konigsdam in December 2022.

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2 hours ago, BruhnSisters said:

Hi John. I hope you will post about Friday too. That was our “rock and roll” day onboard . . . from ocean motion . . . not music.  Lol. 
 

I ate in Tamarind that evening. 

 

Yes, it's coming! I'm always late but, at times, there is an advantage to that 😉 

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On 1/16/2023 at 11:16 AM, OlsSalt said:

Know before you go: which one do you expect to be the real Rudi's Sel de Mer Salzburg Nockerl?image.png.bebd00111fd0a85ca9af78fba5175b62.pngimage.png.071b0c9f06253d75ba4ae68f2bf4f9c6.png

Screen Shot 2023-01-16 at 11.12.24 AM.png

Which is from Rudy’s?  Is it #2?  and what and where from is the other one?  Would you order the Profiteroles or the Salzburger Nockerl?  I do not understand this post.  Totally confused!

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2 hours ago, oaktreerb said:

Which is from Rudy’s?  Is it #2?  and what and where from is the other one?  Would you order the Profiteroles or the Salzburger Nockerl?  I do not understand this post.  Totally confused!

I sure hope it’s one.  The second one doesn’t look remotely like a soufflé.  I’m not fond of either soufflés or the profiteroles because I don’t like whipped cream.  Soufflés taste like eggs with sugar to me. That said the profiteroles look good but it’s a large serving. Bigger than it looks in the picture.  I’ve seen others tables get it.  I like the Apple tartin myself.

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THU 05 JAN 23 – Day Eight – At Sea (Con't)
 
So, as stated, this was the only night on this nine-day voyage specifically tagged as “Dressy” in the daily program. HAL’s term nowadays for what used to be “formal” or “gala” nights. New Year’s Eve, in the past, has been a formal/gala/dressy night but on this particular cruise that night was tagged as “Festive”. Per the website dressy wear is described as: “On Dressy Nights, we take it up a notch and recommend slacks, skirts, dresses, blouses, collared shirts and jackets”. On that recent New Year’s Eve, we still saw quite a bit of suits with ties, jackets with ties along with the odd collared shirt, no tie, and slacks, and of course some individuals choosing to show up in T-shirts and shorts. The majority of the ladies wore dresses, some gowns, and some blouses with skirts.
 
Btw, officers on HAL (male and female) no longer wear their formal uniform (short black tuxedo jacket/white tux shirt with cufflinks and studs/black bowtie/black slacks or long skirt/black formal shoes or heels) , on dressy nights. Instead, officers on dam ships wear the same uniform every night which is the navy blue suit jacket, matching navy pants, white uniform shirt and black necktie.
 
So, this being “Dressy” night, you’d expect K-dam’s combo of her entertainment director and cruise & travel director would have lots of live entertainment scheduled, right? Wrongo dongo! Our choices were a second BBC Earth presentation – Seven Worlds/One Planet – accompanied by the Lincoln Center Stage musicians at 7:00 and 9:00 PM in the World Stage, the two Billboard Onboard pianists at 7:30. 8:30 and 9:30 PM on the Music Walk, and DJ-inspired “Dance to the Hits” starting at 10:00 PM in the BB Kings lounge, So, no BB King’s All-Star Band, No Rolling Hills Rock Band, and no Lincoln Center Stage musicians apart from the BB movie. The two pianists ended their third set around 10:15 PM so that left the DJ as the only entertainment after 10:00 PM which ended around 11:00 PM at which time there was zero/nada/zilch/bupkis/naught/zippo entertainment whatsoever on the good ol’ K-dam during the only “dressy night” of the cruise! That, my friends, is ridiculous, as well as goofy! No clue why they would do/schedule that!
 
So, after dinner, we were limited in seeing the BBC show at 9:00 PM which, like the first one earlier in the cruise, was interesting with incredible photography, but we’d rather see a show with a full cast and leave it at one BBC show with snakes chasing lizards. We then walked to the adjoining Billboard Onboard lounge for the last portion of the final set of the piano players. When they were done, we had no choice but to mosey on to the BB King’s Lounge for a little dancing to music produced by a DJ. We were forced to call it a night at 11:00 PM. Come on HAL, you can do better then that!
 
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17 hours ago, oaktreerb said:

Which is from Rudy’s?  Is it #2?  and what and where from is the other one?  Would you order the Profiteroles or the Salzburger Nockerl?  I do not understand this post.  Totally confused!

The Salzburger Nockerl from Rudi's is closer to #1, but the one we got only had one big mountain, not the traditional three peaks representing the mountains overlooking Salzburg. There were whole berries underneath it instead of just a berry compote. It looks huge but is very light. Super sweet of course.

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16 hours ago, Florida_gal_50 said:

I sure hope it’s one.  The second one doesn’t look remotely like a soufflé.  I’m not fond of either soufflés or the profiteroles because I don’t like whipped cream.  Soufflés taste like eggs with sugar to me. That said the profiteroles look good but it’s a large serving. Bigger than it looks in the picture.  I’ve seen others tables get it.  I like the Apple tartin myself.

 

Sad to report, it is #2. I assumed Austrian chef Rudi would offer the real deal - the billows of sugar dusted, baked egg white meringue, inspired by his very own snow dusted Austrian Alps which is the classic dessert dish of its namesake Salzburg. People still fight over who makes the best Salzburg Nockerl in that city.

 

Instead this signature dish got translated as a rather uninspired sunken berry claufoti, (looking more  photo #2) with the sweetened berries microwaved which made them too hot to eat until they finally cooled down.

 

Our own experience with the Konigsdam Sel de Mer Christmas cruise leg was a a one and done, so we cancelled our next New Years cruise leg Sel de Mer reservation and enjoyed the MDR menus instead.  It was an overall odd experience - our two first choices on the menu were not available - the Duck al'Orange or the Rack of Lamb.  DH finally ordered the sole and enjoyed it. 

 

The appetizer "foie gras" was not the individual segments that used to be served in the MDR, but a paté au foie gras - a large slap of emulsified duck pate.  Trying to decide on a now third entree choice, the waiter whispered the duck was not that good anyway, and when choosing then between the boulliabaise  or the coq au vin, he again whispered the bouillabaisse was a bit "thin". 

 

We just kind of struck out at Rudy's that night. To not get the coveted real Salzburg Nockerl made us realize why the waiter instead had pushed the profiteroles from the very beginning. We should have taken his advice.

 

We did love Canaletto on Konigsdam, and did I mention how superb the Gelato Bar was (ha! more than once) - we certainly  did not starve and found the MDR to be very good. Glad we tried them all - no regrets.

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1 hour ago, OlsSalt said:

nstead this signature dish got translated as a rather uninspired sunken berry claufoti, (looking more  photo #2) with the sweetened berries microwaved which made them too hot to eat until they finally cooled down

This is absolutely NOT what we were just served on the Koningsdam last week. We were served a large souffle over berries. I would have complained if we got cloufouti.

And the bouillabaisse was great. The broth was exceptional (and "thin" as it should be)

Edited by MereBooty
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