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Grumpy1

Halloween-dam cruise! Let the good times roll!!

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OK, we're not on board yet. We have to wait until tomorrow to board the Westerdam, but a bunch of CC'ers are in Fort Lauderdale for the night, precruise. Dayum, what a fun group! HeatherInFlorida and her DH Ray aren't cruiing with us, but they did stop by the Ale House to meet everyone. Heather was the original cruise mommy for this motley bunch but passed the job off to Ziggy7 when her cruise plans changed. Thanks Heather, for stopping by. We really enjoyed meeting you and Ray. We hope to have an opportunity to sail with you someday.

 

Since tonight is the "fall back" night for daylight savings time, all of the group decided the extra hour would be better spent partying than sleeping so at 8p timepieces were turned back an hour.

 

Jim and Ruth managed to find their way down I-95 from Orlando without causing any major catastrophies, Southwind cleared the path across I-75 for Grumpy, Slinkie and Lynnaldo, all of the ones that flew in arrived with their luggage, so life is good. Oh, yeah, our #1 Ohio State Buckeyes stomped Northwestern to remain unbeaten and USC lost to Oregon so life is REALLY good:D Sorry if there are some westcoasters that might not agree, but, hey, it's my thread...:p

 

This is only a seven day cruise and only two sea days, so the posts from the ship will probably not be too frequent, but Grumpy will try to find time to dish the dirt on the wild and crazy things this group is up to... deleting all reference to any participation by himself and Slinkie, of course...

 

So stay tuned for the next posts from aboard the Westerdam

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Thanks Grumpy for taking the lead. Do you think it possible for there to be a group photo, perhaps in slippers, to rival The Spamdammer Aloha shirts? I am there, in spirit, with you. :)

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What a wonderful, happy group of people greeted us at The Ale House ... so terrific, in fact, we almost forgot we weren't going with you all:D ! I can't tell you how wonderful it was to meet this great group of CC'ers.

 

I took some pictures but really messed up because I got home a realized I didn't get Carolyn and Mark!!! I'm so sorry! And I meant to go back to Grumpy's table and get a "real" picture ... instead they're all gaping at the TV and Southbound is talking to the waitress so not in the picture.

 

Ziggy hadn't arrived yet, but when she did Carolyn snapped a picture of the "Before and After" Group Leaders. Hopefully we'll get to see that.

 

Both Ray and I said on our way home that we wished we could have done both this and the Prinsendam. It's a wonderful group of people and I have never been so warmly greeted before in my life by folks I had never met before.:)

 

And Jim did NOT have a blender with him so I don't know what they're going to do without it. Hopefully he can get it this morning;) .

 

BON VOYAGE EVERYONE!!!! I wish we were with you!!!

 

Now we'll see if I can upload these pictures!:D (P.S. In the first pic that is not Janice with her DH ... so the fun has already begun :))

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Grumpy, I think you had too much ale! Our beloved Buckeyes beat Minnesota, not Northwestern who they play in 2 weeks time............jean:cool:

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Hi: When you see Lee(Southbound)&Bob tell them Ruth&Lou said hi..We are friends of theirs from NJ..You really sound like a fun group..Have a great cruise..We are leaving on the Noordam next Saturday and can't wait.

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What a fun looking group of sailors...

 

(Yes Heather, I felt exactly the same way when I met up the the CC'ers in Manhattan this past winter - like I'd known them forever before ever setting foot in the Limo)

 

...enjoy your sailaway today!

:D

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Now this is going to be one wild group (watch out for the original party animals Janice and Rita:eek: ! They'll put on toga's before you know it!) - Thanks for the pics Heather!

 

BTW Grumpy, any day the University of Spoiled Children;) gets beat is a good day!! Too bad my Bruins dropped the ball also

Hope all you weenies have one great cruise! :)

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Thanks to Grumpy and Heather for the update report:)

I want to see more picture!!!!!:D

Oh, how I wanted to go on this cruise with all of you:o The timing was just wrong I have month end close out at work this week. If I want to keep cruising and have a job to pay fro them I cannot be gone. All of you are going to have so much fun. I cannot wait to hear and see what goes on.

Have a GREAT CRUISE!!!!!!

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I keep hoping we'll here from Grumpy, but with this on the 2nd page he won't even find it!!!

 

He did tell me he wouldn't post much since the cruise is only 7 days and very port intensive. Still, hope we hear something from them today!

 

I guess they're having so much fun there's no time for poor little us back here on the mainland14.

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I guess they're having so much fun there's no time for poor little us back here on the mainland.

Be aware too that the internet center is often crowded, and it does take forever to get onto CC sometimes. I went in there on the last night of my cruise to use up these 42 minutes I still had in my 100 minute plan. I was going to first check email and then log into CC. It took ... no exaggeration ... almost 15 minutes just to get to the boards ... and then I couldn't get beyond the initial display. The screen kept freezing. I finally gave up as my minutes wound down to about two.

 

Don't know if this is a CC problem or a shipboard problem, but that internet sure ain't up to no broadband speed. That means (especially on a seven-night cruise where you have more younger people ... people who need to check their email for work and stuff) a more crowded internet center. Compound that with the slow response times and you get people lined up to use the computers.

 

To be honest ... on a seven-day or shorter cruise, I wouldn't even bother to try. I'd just save all that good stuff to report upon my return home. :)

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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As I mentioned, Rita, Grumpy told me he probably would only post a couple of times at most. Still, I'd just love to hear how they're all doing. They were so excited the other night and I'm just hoping they're having a terrific time together.

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As I mentioned, Rita, Grumpy told me he probably would only post a couple of times at most. Still, I'd just love to hear how they're all doing. They were so excited the other night and I'm just hoping they're having a terrific time together.

 

But, Heather, there's more than just Grumpy aboard this Group Cruise. We had at least 6 of us reporting from the Zaandam ... 4 of us on a regular basis. Granted, ours was a 15-day cruise with 10 (actually, due to circumstances, 11) of them being sea-days; I would expect more time to report from a cruise like ours than from a quick 7-day cruise like this ... and particularly one as heavily programmed with group-oriented, ship, and shore-side activities.

 

Still ... I'm stunned that NOBODY has at least signed on to CC from the Westerdam, if only to say "hi ... having a great time and wish you were here!" Not from SirScott ... he'll be swimming in WangWangs, not logging onto the internet. But this is a Cruise Critics Group Cruise that is made up of 35 people, a number of whom normally post incessantly on this board. I just don't get it ... unless, perhaps, their internet is down?

 

Again, more than just Grumpy is on this cruise. At least SOMEBODY should have stuck their head in here to say "hi." I trust everything is ok, and I'm sure they're having a blast and we'll hear all about it next week.

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Can't explain it, Greg, except that before going they all said that they hoped they could talk Grumpy into being the official spokesman for the group. Yet he told me Saturday that since it was such a short cruise and so port intensive, he'd not post more than once or twice at most.

 

I think the complete silence has to be perhaps an internet problem. Either that or they are just too busy! I did not follow their board once I withdrew, but Saturday night they told me they had basically non-stop activities, contests, etc., planned.

 

I'm confident we'll be hearing a lot from them once their back. But I agree with you I'm a little surprised we've heard nothing at all.

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I wouldnt be surprised if the parties were non-stop - between the CC'ers and the "Bears" that are aboard and it being Halloween today, I'm sure that everyone's too busy having a ball!

:D

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Well, mark me down as another that is surprised not to have heard from anyone. There are so many regulars that do like to post. Even Jim said he packed his Lap Top:D

Either the internet is down or they are drinking far too many Wang Wangs;) They were at Grand Turk today and left at 4 pm so it would be a little after 7 right? Last night would have been there first Formal night, tonight was probably Informal or costume:D . Who know maybe we might hear something a little bit later tonight but then again it is Halloween and they were all going to dress up so something tells me not tonight. Gee, you think there could have been a mutany and our Halloweenie group took over the ship:eek:

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Can't explain it, Greg, except that before going they all said that they hoped they could talk Grumpy into being the official spokesman for the group. Yet he told me Saturday that since it was such a short cruise and so port intensive, he'd not post more than once or twice at most.

 

I think the complete silence has to be perhaps an internet problem. Either that or they are just too busy! I did not follow their board once I withdrew, but Saturday night they told me they had basically non-stop activities, contests, etc., planned.

 

I'm confident we'll be hearing a lot from them once their back. But I agree with you I'm a little surprised we've heard nothing at all.

 

I hadn't known that they were trying to get Grumpy to be "spokesperson." That makes sense, I suppose, though some of the people on their Roll Call are post-a-holics. :D

 

"Non-stop activities" and "contests." Yikes!!!!! :eek: Sounds exhausting!

We had a nice, placid, quiet cruise with only a few group get-togethers!!!

Oh, well ... to each their own!!! :)

 

I hope they're just partying-hearty! :D

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Chances are pretty good Janice and Rita are already either

a. In the brig;) kinda hard to report from there:rolleyes:

b. Having too many Wang Wangs

c. Causing serious trouble with toga parties

d. All of the above but having a great time!

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I hope they're just partying-hearty! :D

:confused: What's more important: their good-time party, or us? Huh? Huh?

Well?

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:confused: What's more important: their good-time party, or us? Huh? Huh?

Well?

 

Now now, dear Ruthless ... be good. :) ;)

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Chances are pretty good Janice and Rita are already either

a. In the brig;) kinda hard to report from there:rolleyes:

b. Having too many Wang Wangs

c. Causing serious trouble with toga parties

d. All of the above but having a great time!

 

LOL, John!!!:D :D .... you know I think you may be onto something!!! I do know that Janice was very busy getting all her drink names straight and she promised everyone she had tried every single one at least once!!!

 

Brian, they told me the "bears" on this cruise are not the "bears" you're thinking of. They heard that group had canceled, but maybe that's wrong info ... The "bear" group on this cruise are of the cuddly variety.

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As I mentioned, Rita, Grumpy told me he probably would only post a couple of times at most. Still, I'd just love to hear how they're all doing. They were so excited the other night and I'm just hoping they're having a terrific time together.

I sure would like to hear from them too ... especially since I was originally supposed to be on that cruise ... but hey, maybe they are just having way too much fun. :)

 

Perhaps we'll hear something tomorrow.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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Finally! Grumpy decided it was time to set up the internet and see what's happening in the world. No signal in the aft cabins, but he didn't expect that there would be. The signal in the Neptune Lounge has been having hiccups, too. Grumpy say one of the crew members working on cables up in the ceiling of one of the hallways in that area, so that may be related. Anyway, down on deck three outside the internet cafe, the signal strength is great, but the speed is Ooooooooooooooh Soooooooooooooo Sloooooooooooooow.........

-

Grumpy was able to get into the CC board and download the first ten replies, so now it's time for him to put a few thoughts down and let everyone know that everyone is still present and accounted for and having a really great time.

-

Embarkation was a breeze. Grumpy, Slinkie and Lynnaldo pulled into the port about 11a, dropped off the gals and luggage, parked the car and headed into the terminal for checkin. Slinkie and Grumpy headed to the suite checkin, Lynnaldo headed to the "other" line. S&G only had one couple in line ahead of them, so they were quickly processed and by the time they got to the top of the escalator, they were calling for Priority and Group 1 to board. Up to the Neptune, Slinkie quickly made a couple of hair appointments, they dropped off their carryon stuff and headed for the Lido. Lynnaldo arrived a few minutes later. Time was 12 noon. Not bad at all! Lunch in the Lido was great, as usual. Getting everything ready on time must have been a mad scramble, as the Coast Guard had decided to do an inspection. That always slows things down. The Lido opened for business right at noon, so all was well. Getting the cabins turned around was a little slower, though, The "Go find your cabin and check out you new digs" announcement did not come through until about 1:20p. Finally! Finally! It was time to get acquainted with that aft corner suite with the humongous balcony.

-

The cabin is noticebly smaller than the standard Cat S suites. Most noticeable difference is the lack of desk space. The Oversized TV set, which is bolted to the desk, takes up all usable space on the wall by the window. there's a 5 foot long countertop, about 14" wide, that goes around the corner from the desk, and that has to do for desk space. It has storage compartments below the counter, though so it is difficult to pull up a chair and type. Other than that, the cabin is great. The huge balcony has three loungers and a coctail table along the side of the cabin on the long, narrow part, a table with 4 chairs and two padded chairs with ottomans and a coctail table on the main portion. The amount of furniture could easily be doubled and it still wouldn't be crowded. The faux wicker furniture is not holding up very well, though. There are many broken plastic reeds that leave ends poking out every which way.

-

The size of the CC group pales in comparison to the major group that is on board. The Chumley Bears have at least 300 on board, maybe more, and it's obvious that their requests carried a little more weight than the CC group's requests. The CC group wanted 3 tables for eight at the 8p seating. Nope, all of the tables in the upper dining room, center aft, where most of the tables for 8 are located were set aside for the Bears. The CC'ers got tables for six. Three were located pretty close together at least. It appears that the Bears also got prefferential booking in the Pinnacle, too. The CC group has a Pinnacle voucher as part of the Group Amenities Program. Some in the group were able to make their reservations ahead of time for Halloween night. Ships Services told the group leader that they do not make advance reservations on "Special Days" or Holidays. Further discussions led to the discovery that indeed they do make advance reservations on those days and all available times had been booked by the Bears. When Grumpy got to his cabin there was a card stating that his reservation for the Pinnacle for 8:30 on Oct 30 was confirmed. Uh, don't you have to make a reservation before it can be confirmed? Slinkie & Grumpy wanted Lynnaldo to join them in the Pinnacle, and they didn't want the formal night. Sorry, there are no other dates available! To put the three of them together, they wanted to give them a 5:30p time. Not acceptable! Period! They finally got a reservation for 8p, but on the formal night... and Grumpy was really looking forward to the jumbo shrimp cocktail and crab legs in the dining room.....

-

The hardworking group leader Ziggy did get a nice meet and greet set up, though. The Hudson room was set aside for the group at 11a on the first day at sea. Coffee, juice and water were provided, and the Captain, Hotel Manager, and CD stopped by for a bit. Lynnaldo, who has spent her adult life gazing over the tops of the heads of most of the female population... and a fair percentage of the male population... couldn't resist an opportunity to have her picture taken with the HM Ron Bontenbal. At 6'8" tall, he makes Lynnaldo feel petite and Slinkie look tiny! The Captain, HM and CD were presented with Tee shirts with the CruiseCritic and HAL logos. Thanks to Mechcc's DH, Hermon, for a great job on the tee shirts.

-

There was a CC suite party hosted by Jim and Ruth (JimVrhovac) in one suite and Maggie and Hermon (Mechcc) in the adjacent suite. Balcony divider was open to aid in free movement between the two suites. Great party! It gave all of the CC'ers a good opportunity to get well acquianted.

-

Dinner in the Pinnacle was good. The "special menu" for the evening included a petite filet with two very small lobster tails. The filet mignon was very tender and done just right. The tails were very tasty... just not enough of them. Slinkie enjoyed the salmon... but would have preferred the crab legs in the dining room... For those that want a good steak or filet dinner, or have complimentary coupons, the Pinnacle is fine, but Grumpy cannot see paying $30pp for the "dining experience" when there are so many excellent choices on the dining room menu. He's never found the food, ambience or service to be anything extra special.

-

The first port of call was Grand Turk, a new port for Holland America, according to the info sheets. There is a nice, new pier at the south end of the island, capable of handling two ships of almost any size. The shopping area is very nice and looks quite new also. Apparently, Carnival Corp has contributed quite a bit to the building of the port infrastructure. There are nice beaches with crystal clear water and lots of beach loungers just a few steps from the pier for those that want to spend the day swimming and lounging. If thirst becomes a problem, there is a Margeritaville right there by the pier. Most of the excursions center around the marine life. Scuba, Snuba, Tethered Helmut Dives, Snorkeling, deep sea fishing, sport fishing... swim with the Stingrays... are all offered. There are also dune buggy rentals and there is a hop on, hop off bus that runs every 15 minutes. The bus stops in Cockburn Town for a tour of the old jail and other historic buildings. The local artists have their wares for sale on tables along the street that goes along the waterfront in that area. After escaping from the jail... no problem now, and apparently it wasn't that difficult in the old days, either, it was back on the bus for the ride all of the way to the north end of the island to see the lighthouse that was built in 1852 and still in use today. Along the way the bus driver pointed out the salt ponds which have been the backbone of the island economy, but tourism will probably be the driving force in the future. There are new condo developments being built, too. The housing ranges from very upscale to very poor. All in all, there is a lot packed into an island that is only 1.5 miles wide by 7 miles long.

-

The ghouls, goblins and other assorted characters were out in force for halloween night. There were a lot of very elaborate costumes and some pretty original ones. Some wore their costumes to the dining room, others waited until after dinner to get in costume and head for the parties. The Crow's Nest was the official party place, and the CC'ers were well represented. There was the usual assortment of pirates and wenches, including Grumpy and Slinkie, one big Whoopee Cushion and.... maybe it would be better to let the pictures describe the rest... Grumpy is sure they will be posted soon. The Bears were well represented with some really wild costumes, too. One CC couple took the prize for most original costume... a double prong male electrical plug and a standard 110 volt receptacle... Grumpy is still trying to find the answers to all of the questions... AC/DC? If AC, what frequency? and many more.... If the winners want to identify themselves, or if their friends want to snitch, that's fine, but Grumpy is operating under the "What happens in.. stays in..." rules. The party was still going strong at 1a. Who says there is no nightlife on the Dam ships? All in all, it was a great party.

-

Today is Tortola, arrival at 2p and sailing at 10. Good planning! There was a time change last night so everyone lost an hour's sleep, in addition to the laght night parties. Sleeping in on the "morning after the night before" felt really good! Grumpy will try to get this mess posted before heading ashore this afternoon.

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Thank you SO MUCH for checking in with us!

Looking forward to hearing even more when y'all get home!!!!

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Sounds great! I'm sure everyone is having a wonderful time. Thanks so much for taking us along.

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