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2023 Grand World Voyage with The Inside Cabin


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5 hours ago, Oceansaway17 said:

it is now a requirement to use Verifly?  two famous you tubers mentioned they had to do this on Noordam for NZ.

I thought one could just use the HAL app or on line documents

 

Verifly is not required but it speeds up the process for everyone.   

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Main seating is now at 7:30 PM.  For some reason they scheduled the only introduction of the Cruise Director and his staff and a review of the ports at 7:30.   We'll see if there will be a replay.  I am not counting on it based on past practice. 

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2 hours ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

Main seating is now at 7:30 PM.  For some reason they scheduled the only introduction of the Cruise Director and his staff and a review of the ports at 7:30.   We'll see if there will be a replay.  I am not counting on it based on past practice. 

He said it (and his later talks this cruise) would be available on TV tomorrow. 

They scheduled main seating at 5 which means we'll be late on port days since mass is also at 5.

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Re:luggage. You failed to mention that probably all the boxes and perhaps a suitcase or two contain yarn for Judy! Have a great cruise…remember our ‘18 WC fondly.

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2 hours ago, janmcn said:

Re:luggage. You failed to mention that probably all the boxes and perhaps a suitcase or two contain yarn for Judy! Have a great cruise…remember our ‘18 WC fondly.

Yes--- We have a "little yarn"  the exact amount is highly classified and I don't have a need to know.  😀

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1 hour ago, Tampa Girl said:

Why did the ship not leave port until around 1900?  Wasn't it scheduled for 1700 departure?  We heard sirens in the port around the time that the Volendam sailed.

Later arriving cargo.   We received a large shipment of books for the new library - couldn't leave without those!

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12 minutes ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

Later arriving cargo.   We received a large shipment of books for the new library - couldn't leave without those!

 

A totally justifiable reason!  Thank goodness we have a library again.

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16 hours ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

Verifly is not required but it speeds up the process for everyone.   

aw okay and thanks for replying.

I wish you a wonderful trip and I will check in to see comments and perhaps reply back.

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18 hours ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

Main seating is now at 7:30 PM. 

 

16 hours ago, SharonN said:

They scheduled main seating at 5 which means we'll be late on port days since mass is also at 5.

Where has the opportunity to have fun gone! 

Dinner times are getting more and more ridiculous with these early times. I remember when dinner was at 6:00 and 8:15, shows were at 8:00 and 10:00, most bars were open until at least midnight, and the last one closed at 2:00 AM. 
Seems HAL just wants all the passengers to eat, grab a nightcap, and get to bed early. 

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3 hours ago, RuthC said:

 

Where has the opportunity to have fun gone! 

Dinner times are getting more and more ridiculous with these early times. I remember when dinner was at 6:00 and 8:15, shows were at 8:00 and 10:00, most bars were open until at least midnight, and the last one closed at 2:00 AM. 
Seems HAL just wants all the passengers to eat, grab a nightcap, and get to bed early. 

We now seem to be settled on 5:15 and 7:30 for fixed dinners and the shows are going to be 7 and 9:30.  It's tuff to find a drink after 11 pm...My sense is most of the ship is anytime with tables of two..

 

This is my first cruise with ordering bottles of wine instead of by the glass.   The lack of wine stewards is glaring now.....Wine service was once something you never thought about - it was always perfect - now you feel like you are asking for a favor to get your bottle of wine from the previous day..

 

They did replay the port show from the previous evening the next day on the TV...

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15 hours ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

 

This is my first cruise with ordering bottles of wine instead of by the glass.   The lack of wine stewards is glaring now.....Wine service was once something you never thought about - it was always perfect - now you feel like you are asking for a favor to get your bottle of wine from the previous day..

That is so sad! In 2019 we had the best service ever ordering wine from our wine packages and having an excellent wine steward. In 2022, both cruises, we ordered by the glass which wasn’t as enjoyable as trying many different types of wine. 

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1 minute ago, dchip said:

That is so sad! In 2019 we had the best service ever ordering wine from our wine packages and having an excellent wine steward. In 2022, both cruises, we ordered by the glass which wasn’t as enjoyable as trying many different types of wine. 

I expect the wine service to improve as the cruise continues.   The dining room for main seating is probably 50% of capacity

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10 minutes ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

I expect the wine service to improve as the cruise continues.   The dining room for main seating is probably 50% of capacity

I sure hope it does!! I know you and Judy will enjoy no matter what! In the meantime, we are building an ark. 🤪

Cheers, Denise

 

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15 hours ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

This is my first cruise with ordering bottles of wine instead of by the glass.   The lack of wine stewards is glaring now.....Wine service was once something you never thought about - it was always perfect - now you feel like you are asking for a favor to get your bottle of wine from the previous day.

We were on a NCL cruise in December, and they had one of the former HAL wine stewards on staff.  On our first night someone walked up and said, "You're not sailing Holland???"  It was Joel who used to be one of HAL's dining room wine stewards!  When HAL eliminated his position, he moved to NCL.  It was like old times with our wine glasses always full.  He was one of the highlights of the trip.

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The Adventure Begins! – Fort Lauderdale (Post #3)

By The Inside Cabin on Jan 05, 2023 12:08 am

Click "Show More Posts" to show all the links to the other posts for the 2023 World Cruise

 

Henk feature

Treat every cruise as if it’s your first and last.   Carpe Diem!

1,017 Days ago, March 22, 2020, we left the ms Amsterdam in Fremantle, Western Australia, and started our long journey back to San Diego via air instead of our preferred mode of international travel – a cruise ship.  This will be the first Holland America World Cruise since and will be the longest Holland America Cruise since the restart.  

Our roll call on Cruise Critic wins the record for the roll call with the most replies – over 7,100 – Amazing.  When you have been planning something for this long,  the anticipation is off the charts.  

Planning this cruise was more stressful than normal due to the ever-changing COVID testing requirements.  Many of us had assumed that COVID testing would be a distant memory for our cruise.  It’s one thing to test positive and miss a 7-day Caribbean cruise,  it’s quite another to think that a positive test in Fort Lauderdale might jeopardize the entire cruise.  Fortunately, HAL extended the worry-free promise to cover our cruise and committed to helping people join the ship en route if they were delayed due to COVID in Fort Lauderdale.  

The COVID testing requirement ended up requiring everyone to test using a self-administered Antigen Test or you could get a PCR test 48 hours out.  Most people chose the cheaper and more convenient self-test.  

Our check-in time was 11 am, but we have learned that the check-in times are meaningless and most everyone simply arrives whenever they choose.  

We stayed at the Residence Inn in Plantation, about 10 miles from Port Everglades.  When planning your pre-cruise stays in FLL, don’t automatically assume that you must stay outside the gate to Port Everglades.  We have found that the hotels in Plantation are less expensive and right next to a large mall and a Target.  The sightly higher taxi or shuttle fare may be worth it when the rooms are cheaper, and you are within an easy walk to a large mall and Target.  

We left the Residence at 10:45 and arrived at Terminal 26 at 11:12 am.  I dropped off Cindy, Brad, and Judy and then took the car back to AVIS and returned on the free shuttle bus.  You pay a premium for an airport pickup and a cruise terminal drop-off.  In the future, I will consider returning the car to the airport, which is cheaper and then taking a cab to the cruise port.  The total price for each option may be closer than your first estimate.  

Full-Car-heading-to-port.jpgPete and Brad show off their packing expertise as they fit 8 checked bags and 4 carryons into the rental van.  It’s time to head to the port!Arriving-Terminal-26.jpgArriving at Terminal 26.  The Zuiderdam is getting ready to go

Back at terminal 26, it took a little less than 1 hour to get thru the lines and complete check-in.  There was a priority line that we learned about later, but it turned out not to be much faster than the normal lines.  

The lesson for this check-in was to use VeriFLY – even though there wasn’t a separate Verifly line, you will help the entire process move faster if you use veriFLY.  

After we completed check-in, we had our embarkation photo taken and headed to the ship, where we were greeted by Henk and the Cruise and Travel Director, Ian.  We were in our cabin a little after 1 PM.  The check-in process took about 1 hour – not bad for a World Cruise.  

Henk.jpgHenk (Hotel General Manager) greeted us as we arrived at the top of the gangway. 

Next on our agenda was waiting for luggage which arrived over the next several hours.  We had bags that we checked in at the Terminal and others that were sent from San Diego to the ship via Luggage Forward.  We received all our bags by 8 pm.  

room-steward.jpgArsana, our stateroom steward, will be with us for the entire cruise 

There wasn’t a SailAway party as the ship’s crew was very busy getting everything ready to go, and since our departure time was during the first seating, the turnout for these sail aways are always light regardless.  

Our departure was delayed a few times as we were waiting for the arrival of some late cargo.  This included all the library books for the new library and some decorations for the various theme nights.  

As expected,, the lines were long for guest services.  To help reduce the pressure on the front desk, they established a Navigator and Internet Help Center in the Gallery Bar for those who needed assistance in these areas.  My sister and brother-in-law had an issue establishing separate Navigator accounts and they were helped quickly in a nice setting.  

The time for main seating was changed to 7:30 instead of 8 pm, which will help support the earlier start to the second show – now scheduled for 9:30 pm.  

Dinner was fine, but we missed the wine stewards, and while the waiters do their best, they can’t replace the knowledge and higher service level when HAL had Wine Stewards.  Once they bring the bottle of wine, you will serve yourself afterward – OK – but not the same level of service.  

You will find copies of all the menus HERE are the Cruise Itinerary Page.  One nice thing we noticed was that the Shrimp Cocktail is now included daily at no extra charge.  This is usually the case on Grand World Voyages, and we are glad to see the extra nice touches continue.  We are also getting Chocolate Turn Down Service automatically.  No Towel Animals, but we may see them on dressy or formal nights.  

The only show tonight was an overview of the cruise’s 61 ports by Ian, the Cruise and Travel Director.  The show was rebroadcast on the ship’s channel the next day.  

HD-Boxes.jpgOur Home Depot Boxes survived mostly intact – there were two boxes with tears as the box tore when people tried to lift the 50-pound box using a single-hand hold opening.  Lesson Learned – Tape these hand holds CLOSED and avoid this issue.room-setup.jpgWe use E-Bags extensively and labeled one Room Setup – which has all our command hooks, extension cords, adapters, magnets etc.  Everything we need right away to get things organized.

The first day of any cruise is exciting and hectic, and we look forward to our first sea day tomorrow.  

Here are our detailed time hacks for our check-in:  

11:12 am – arrive at Terminal 26 in our rental car 

11:15 am – bags checked in. I return to Avis to return the car  

11:25 am – car returned – waiting in the shuttle bus line  

11:45 am – shuttle bus departs  

11:54 am – arrive at Terminal 26 – join the line.  We learned later that there was a priority line for wheelchairs and 4/5 stars etc.  But we later learned that line moved slower than the standard line.  They only had one person working the priority line and 6 working the standard line.  Plus people in this line seemed to take longer.  VeriFLY helped at this point.  If you had VeriFLY – you were done in 30 seconds.  Otherwise, 5 minutes as many people were not prepared and had to dig thru and “find” all their paperwork.  Keep in mind this was my limited observations from afar.  What others experienced may be different.  

12:28 pm – inside terminal 26  

12:30 pm – we were offered the chance to move to the priority line – we declined.  Good call based on our continued observation.  

12:40 pm – our initial doc check completed – 30 seconds.  

12:44 pm – thru security – no line  

12:46 pm – check in at iPads  

12:49 pm – done with check in – head to ship  

12:56 pm – take embarkation photo  

1:05 pm – on the ship – Henk greets everyone along with Ian (C & TD)  

1:08 pm – in our cabin!!!  

 

 

The post The Adventure Begins! – Fort Lauderdale (Post #3) appeared first on The Inside Cabin - Exploring the world from the inside cabin.


 

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Here's the latest from The Inside Cabin

At Sea – en route to Falmouth, Jamaica (Post #4)

By The Inside Cabin on Jan 05, 2023 12:10 am
Click "Show More Posts" to show all the links to the other posts for the 2023 World Cruise

 

pete and kathy feature

Big Turnout for the Meet and Greet as we start to settle in for the long cruise

he main event for today was the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet held in the Crow’s Nest at 10 am.  

Meet-and-Greet-Opening-Remarks.jpgPete, aka The Inside Cabin, kicks of the Meet and Greet (photo by Sharon) 

We had about 200 people attend – a great turnout.  Big Thanks to

  • Kathi – Scrapnana – Roll Call Co-Leader
  • Rich and Kathy – Photo Book
  • Ellen – ZOOM Briefer
  • Judi  – ZOOM Briefer
  • Natalie – ZOOM Briefer
  • Su – Name Tags
Meet-and-Greet.jpgGreat turn out for the meet and greet. (photo by Sharon) 

Judy skipped the Meet and Greet and went directly to the Ocean Bar to join Marty and Gail with the Linus Project.  More about Project Linus-Home.  There was a HUGE turnout for the first day  – off to a great start.  

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The creative writing class was filled to overflowing – so I didn’t hang around.   Maybe they will find a bigger space in the future.  

Judy went to the first Arts and Crafts class in the Lido.  They will run two sections: A and B – so your group will have a project every other sea day.  A list of all the projects is HERE.  They passed out a set of tools that you can keep for the cruise – but you have to turn them in before you leave.  Having the tools in advance will help speed up the classes by not having to pass out tools every time.  

The ship sponsored a ‘Block Party, at 4:30 on all decks.  This was a great idea, as on other cruises, you may never meet your neighbors for weeks.  Waiters went up and down the halls with snacks and pouring wine and champagne.   Capt Friso speed-walked down the hallways with a couple of bottles of champagne.  He was moving fast and didn’t stop long as he was determined to hit every deck in an hour…not sure if he made it.  

Capt at Block Partysnacks and block party

We wandered in our immediate area for a bit – then we ventured further down the block in each direction to meet more people a little further away.  

Dinner was fine, and I generally won’t spend much time commenting on food unless something extra special takes place.  

Presty, a veteran of many World Cruises, is back as the Maître d’- it was nice to see him again.  Always full of energy, he doesn’t stay in one place too long.  

Some people have remarked on the smaller portion sizes, and portions are a bit smaller, but they are probably a better size for your waistline, and they will always bring you seconds.  

The Lincoln Center, a mainstay on many HAL ships over the years, is now performing concerts as guest entertainers.  They put on a nice show and closed by performing a cruise ship classic – Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.  We’ll see how many different renditions of this Queen hit we will hear this cruise.  

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On the way back to our cabin, we stopped by the Dueling Pianos (tonight only a single piano as the other player was not feeling well).  We only heard two songs, and he finished with a nice rendition of Don’t Stop Believing.  

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Tomorrow we will be in Falmouth, Jamaica.  

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