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canoeny

Back home from the Noordam

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Ok, I got up this morning and nobody made the bed. There was no knock at the door with a breakfast tray and a Good Morning! No ocean, no desserts with lunch and dinner (which I had to make myself). Darn, must be I’m home and not on that Dam ship.

 

Just got back from the Noordam 11/4 -11/15 southern Caribbean cruise. Had a great time. The ship was fantastic, the crew marvelous, and the weather was grand. On the way out we had lots of sun but gale force winds so the decks were closed. That’s the time to have that happen. Spent time exploring the ship and getting acquainted. By the time we reached the first port, winds were calm and we had great weather. I can’t say enough about our cabin stewart, Rip. He has been with Hal for 30 years and treated us royally. Our dinning room stewart, Eddie and his assistant, Plastica were also top notch. Boarding was the best we have ever experienced, got on at 11:30 AM. Ports were the best we have seen. I really liked Dominica and Barbados. Great tours on those beautiful islands. The trip back was smooth with the ocean like glass. Great time to sit on deck and enjoy the sun right up to our arrival in NYC. The disembarkation was a real pleasure. Called to leave at 8:30 AM. Found our luggage right away (red coated staff were there to help guide you), found a porter who took us through customs and up to our car on the pier. He was very pleasant and helpful. I think this is the best port embarkation and disembarkation I have experienced. All in all, a great time with two minor flaws.

 

I do not let things bother me on vacation but we did experience some “stuff”. On St. Martin, we had signed up for a bus tour. The sun was very hot and we were waiting on the pier for the tour. Several of the tour members near us asked our guide about the walk to the buses and if there were some way to ride there. My wife has foot problems so we joined them as the guide got us a golf cart transport. She collected our tickets and loaded the cart with the first 8, telling us that the cart would be back for the rest. The cart never came back. After about 25 minutes, we managed to enlist the aid of another tour guide from Carnival who was nearby. She flagged a cart and we were taken to the bus area, but the bus had left with the tour guide and our tickets. Another bus operator had just enough room so we joined that tour and had a good tour although we were about 1 ½ hours behind schedule by that time. Needless to say I had much to say on the ship survey about this at the end. I would have complained to the shore excursion staff, but they were not to be found as this was near the end of the voyage.

 

The second issue was, again, minor but none the less irritating. On our stop at PR, there was the usual immigration check. I went to the gym before hand and was really shocked by the “music”. Some kind of RAP with much obscenities and mf this and f that. No staff was around, so I finally found the sound system and turned it off. I had to really restrain myself from getting the CD out of the player and breaking it in pieces. Again, no staff around, so I vented on the survey.

 

I would not let these spoil such a wonderful cruise. I think that two individuals not necessarily directly connected to Hal had a very bad lapse in judgment. I let HAL know and will probably write a letter of the FYI type to Hal in Seattle just to let them know that these two issues were not up to the Hal standard.

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Glad you're home safely. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I really did like the Noordam. She's one fine ship with a great crew.

 

Sorry about the slip-up on your shore excursion. Sounds like the shorex staff wasn't doing due diligence shoreside. And I can't imagine anyone playing obscene rap music on any cruise ship ... especially HAL. It's good that you pointed these things out on your survey card.

 

So, where's your next cruise???

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Hey Canoe,

 

Nice to meet you at the CC Meet, Mingle and Smoke. Sorry to hear about your unpleasant experiences. To me, if most things exceed my expectations, I'm a happy camper. Try not to let a few things taint the wonderful time you had.

 

Barry

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Thank you for your report.

I'm glad you can consider the two negatives as "minor" as I certainly would not. To be left behind for a tour---a tour the vendor will get his $$$ for without you!---is unacceptable to me.

And there is no excuse whatsoever for potty-mouth "music" anywhere on that ship. Bad enough that it was loud.

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Since both issues resolved to a happy ending - we got the tour and I shut the music off -- they're minor. If either had not been resolved -- that would be major. The cruise was too nice an experience overall to let these two things bother me. I really believe the tour guide told the cart driver to come back and he dropped the ball. On the RAP cd, I think an individual on the gym staff didn't really know what was on the disk and just put it on and left for the immigation check in. I feel obbligated to let HAL know so proper measures can be instituted o prevent either happening again.

 

 

And Snorklebear - happy to have met you too, and the other CC'ers -- it was a great cruise.

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I forgot to mention in my earlier post a very positive resolve to a problem my son had when boarding. He is a wine nut. He has taken a sommelier course and will take his final exam later this year. Given that, he brought a case of carefully selected wine on board in a cardboard wine carton sealed by tape. Somewhere between the check in and his room, two bottles walked away. When he reported the theft to the front desk, he gave them a copy of the receipts for the two bottles. They replaced them; no questions asked with almost comparable bottles and waived corkage fees. I thought that was a “class” move from the ship’s front office and made it a point to tell them so.

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Hi CanoeNY,

 

Glad to hear about your wonderful cruise and how you handled the two (or three) glitches in your trip. You're right, if they're resolved, they're minor.

 

Would you tell me about the ship's gym and spa facilities, if you had experience in the spa? Aside from the rap music, I mean ;).

 

Looking forward to this cruise - haven't been cruising in almost a year and we really miss that "knock on the bedroom door with a breakfast tray".

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Sorry to hear about the problems you had on St Maarten. Did you fill out any kind of a form once you got back to the ship to try and get your money back from the excursion.

 

Glad everything else turned out well.

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Welcome back. We're glad you had a great cruise, even if there were some glitches.

 

You indicated that you parked on the pier. W're planning to do the same for our 11/25 Noordam cruise. The question is: how does one pay for the parking? A few weeks ago the pier web site said that they took Master Card and Visa. Now they say cash or TC's only, so we may have to bring $180 of extra cash. Can you clear up for us the question of whether they take credit cards?

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Welcome back. We're glad you had a great cruise, even if there were some glitches.

 

You indicated that you parked on the pier. W're planning to do the same for our 11/25 Noordam cruise. The question is: how does one pay for the parking? A few weeks ago the pier web site said that they took Master Card and Visa. Now they say cash or TC's only, so we may have to bring $180 of extra cash. Can you clear up for us the question of whether they take credit cards?

 

You got me wondering, as I had used a Credit Card this past March. I went to the NYPST website, but I see that it has changed. The layout of the new site is different, and in fact does say that they do not take credit cards.

 

HOWEVER, if you call the P&O Parking Information number for the Manhattan Terminal (212) 641-4454 the recorded message indicates that they do in fact take Cash, Travelers Checks, VISA, and MASTERCARD.

 

Months ago when I was looking into parking, there used to be two separate websites, one for the Manhattan pier, and one for the Brooklyn pier. At that time, the Manhattan website showed visa/MC were OK. The Brooklyn terminal said not. It appears that they have merged the two websites, (the new site looks like the old Brooklyn site) and have not completely updated the information.

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Thanks for the review, just a question about the wine. My husband is a serious oenophile and collector, and we'd love to take a case aboard for a 10 day cruise..does HAL have any problem with us bringing that much wine?

 

Thanks for the heads up on the wine theft, do you think we could just carry the wine onboard with us? We have several 6 bottle carriers.

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On 11/4 I paid with a mastercard.

 

Bring as much wine as you like. Be prepared to pay $15 corkage for each bottle taken to the dining venues.

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On 11/4 I paid with a mastercard.

 

Bring as much wine as you like. Be prepared to pay $15 corkage for each bottle taken to the dining venues.

 

Thank you. As for the wine, maybe we'll bring that special bottle of Brunello di Montalcino onboard, and use it to celebrate Joan's birthday.

 

Did they do the Master Chef's dinner? If so, when did they do it? Is it fun, or is that a good night to try the Pinnacle Grill?

 

Do tell us more about the cruise!

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Thank you. As for the wine, maybe we'll bring that special bottle of Brunello di Montalcino onboard, and use it to celebrate Joan's birthday.

 

Did they do the Master Chef's dinner? If so, when did they do it? Is it fun, or is that a good night to try the Pinnacle Grill?

 

Do tell us more about the cruise!

 

They do have the Master Chef's Dinner menu one evening, but not the "show". When I questioned one of the Head Stewards about this I was told they do not do the entertainment aboard the Vista class vessels. I wonder about this and am thinking maybe trying the Leisure Dining Service concept on the Noordam is more of the reason.

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Sorry about the minor glitches, but having crew members named Plastica and Rip? Priceless.

 

So- let me get this straight- you can bring multiple bottles of wine on board free of charge? That would certainly be a departure from previous cruises. A welcome one.

 

It seems to me that I paid $120 for a monthly parking pass last spring. Is it now $180? I'm probably wrong but I could swear it was $120! Did you pay for the month, rather than for the 11 days?

 

Glad you had fun.

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