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DutchByAssociation

A new HAL Blog! (Yes, I'm a HAL employee!)

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Can you tell me for sure what is the latest time to be on board when leaving from Rome/Civitavecchia. I have two different people from HAL tell me two different times. I have been told both 3:30PM and 4:00PM for a 5:00PM departure sailing.

 

Brewster

 

My personal opinion is that there is never a reason to push it that close, when the distance between the airport and pier are quite significant and you area non-citizen in the country you depart from.

 

Were this my cruise, I would want to be at the pier (boarding starting already or not) by noon.

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We just returned home from the Westerdam on Sunday 4/5. For entertainment we had:

 

Joel Mason - Tribute to Elton John (Fantastic)

Max Elliott - Comedian (Very Funny)

Leo Ward - Illusionist (Amazing)

I'm not sure if these gentlemen will still be on the ship in May, but the shows were top notch!

 

Kerry Watkins was also our cruise director. He is absolutely the best cruise director we've ever had on our 4 HAL cruises. Enjoy your cruise! You will love the Westerdam!

 

I've met Kerry and Leo and agree whole heartedly on both.

 

Joel is a legend, frequently mentioned on here and in the HQ.

 

How was Max? I heard he will likely be on the Amsterdam for my 3 day and the name doesn't ring a bell...

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Anyone know who is currently serving as the CD on the Volendam?

 

I don't have the grid handy at the moment, but I want to say it's Michelle Worthley :confused:

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My personal opinion is that there is never a reason to push it that close, when the distance between the airport and pier are quite significant and you area non-citizen in the country you depart from.

 

Were this my cruise, I would want to be at the pier (boarding starting already or not) by noon.

 

You may have noticed I side-stepped your question a bit...

 

I do not want to be in a position where I advise something that is too close for my own personal comfort or tell you that you ought to be fine with a time frame that is quite frankly too close with too many variables.

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Can you tell me for sure what is the latest time to be on board when leaving from Rome/Civitavecchia. I have two different people from HAL tell me two different times. I have been told both 3:30PM and 4:00PM for a 5:00PM departure sailing.

 

Brewster

 

I have shown up 3:00-3:15pm the past two summers. I had Stefano of Rome Cabs take us on a tour prior to embarkation last summer. The great thing about 3:00pm is that we walked right on without any wait. Rome is the one city where I always board late. It is a 1 hour 15 minute drive but we were closer last year as we went to Bracciano Castle and Estruscan tombs on the way. I would only do this with a private driver and not depend on public transportation.

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I have shown up 3:00-3:15pm the past two summers. I had Stefano of Rome Cabs take us on a tour prior to embarkation last summer. The great thing about 3:00pm is that we walked right on without any wait. Rome is he one city where I always board late. It is a 1 hour 15 minute drive bit we were closer last year as we went to Bracciano Castle and Estruscan tombs ob the way.

 

And for those where it works out great, that's wonderful.

 

But what happens if there's a freak 5 car pileup on the highway being used to get you there? Or the engine goes or a tire goes flat... A lot of ground is being covered, and while I've heard from some that Civatavecchia is not a great tourist destination in itself (best used as access to Rome) I would much rather be safe than sorry.

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And for those where it works out great, that's wonderful.

 

But what happens if there's a freak 5 car pileup on the highway being used to get you there? Or the engine goes or a tire goes flat... A lot of ground is being covered, and while I've heard from some that Civatavecchia is not a great tourist destination in itself (best used as access to Rome) I would much rather be safe than sorry.

 

Have you actually boarded in Civitevecchia? This is no problem at all to board at 3:00pm. And as I mentioned we were near the port last summer as we toured on the way. Look at a map.

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Have you actually boarded in Civitevecchia? This is no problem at all to board at 3:00pm. And as I mentioned we were near the port last summer as we toured on the way. Look at a map.

 

If you notice Jade, my statements are not based on what is geographically possible or impossible.

 

My point of view, is "why push it?"

 

Think of San Diego for a minute. With a 5pm departure you could likely land at 4:15 to 4:30 at the airport and be fine getting there before the ship leaves (2 miles apart) Why push it?

 

I'm sorry you don't seem to understand what I'm saying here.

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I've met Kerry and Leo and agree whole heartedly on both.

 

Joel is a legend, frequently mentioned on here and in the HQ.

 

How was Max? I heard he will likely be on the Amsterdam for my 3 day and the name doesn't ring a bell...

 

Max Elliott is hilarious! He jokes a lot about the older crowd on HAL, along with what passengers do on cruises and "illustrates" his stories with songs. I think you will enjoy his act. He seems very nice too. During Leo Ward's afternoon show, Max Elliott was sitting in the audience and was chatting with some of the passengers before the show began. We also saw him roaming around the ship, attending some of the other shows and also in the Lido Restaurant.

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And for those where it works out great, that's wonderful.

 

But what happens if there's a freak 5 car pileup on the highway being used to get you there? Or the engine goes or a tire goes flat... A lot of ground is being covered, and while I've heard from some that Civatavecchia is not a great tourist destination in itself (best used as access to Rome) I would much rather be safe than sorry.

 

Thanks to all for your comments and opinions. We are using a private shuttle and while it is not our intent to cut it to close I was simply trying understand what HAL's policy was for a cutoff time. It is in fact our intent to leave Rome by no later then 1:30PM, we are doing a morning tour with the tour (shuttle) company. I was trying to make sure that if there was a traffic delay and we did not get to the port until say 4:00PM (which is 2 1/2 HRs) we would still be allowed on the ship. The shuttle company has said we should be fine but again just want to make sure.

 

Brewster

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Hey Dutch, ever heard of Mike Robinson, a really good ventriloquist and his 'dummy' Clarence? He's been on several dam ships! You know you're dealing with a good one when he can make the 'dummy' come alive and even yell 'let me out' from inside his suitcase:)

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Hello Dutch,

 

I have a question about the HAL experience having never cruised on it yet. One of my "bucket list" destinations is French Polynesia. In 2010 the Rotterdam has a 33 day itinerary r/t San Diego. We are water sports enthusiasts - we want to do lots of snorkelling, swimming - enjoy the beaches and water. I'm looking for some insight into what the HAL cruise experience may be like in these areas. There are smaller ships in the region that have sports platforms etc. and cater more to water sports enthusiasts - what would the programming be like on the Rotterdam in this regard (too early for any shore excursions to be available on the website) Also - how many formal nights on this type of cruise? We're in our early 50's.

 

Many thanks for your time, I hope you don't mind answering these types of questions.

 

YaYa

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Yaya,

 

You probably already know this, but almost anywhere you enter the water in French Polynesia is great for snorkeling. We don't even bother diving there as the water is crystal clear and there are shallow reefs, you can see amazing sights kayaking and snorkeling. What a great trip to take for anyone loving the water.

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dmlee, thanks for the info. I did find out Joel Mason & Julie Barr will be on our sailing. I've loved every HAL cruise so far and expect I'll love this one!

 

Diane

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I don't have the grid handy at the moment, but I want to say it's Michelle Worthley :confused:

 

Yes, we just got off the Volendam and the CD was Michelle Worthley. We thought she was terrific and boy does she work hard. That is not an easy job!

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Dutch. Thank you for all your info. When will the schedule for Europe 2010 be released? Most of the other lines (Princess, RCCL, Celebrity) have them out. I haven't seen anything and can't seem to find halearlyedition.com. Is that site still active? Thank you!

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We will be on the Westerdam, 4/19/09 from Ft. Launderdale to San Diego, received our guarantee, cabin rear aft, last cabin to the aft on the port side on the Rotterdam Deck. Is there alot of motion? or noise from the engines. We were on Oceania, Deck 7 aft, and had the engine noise and vibration. Also do you know who our entertainment will be?

Thanks for all of your tips and info, enjoy your blogs!

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Hi DBA,

Just wanted to say thanks for all the Oosterdam photo's you have on your blog. We are really getting excitting to sail her soon:D

John

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Haven't heard anything hinting at that, but I would love to see it!

 

Hi, DBA: Thank you for all the information you've provided us. I tried a search but couldn't find an answer to my question, so I'll have to bother you. We've been upgraded from a C to AA cabin. We were wondering what to do about the luggage tags. Should we wait until we check in and get blanks from the porters? Our cruise is in about ten days out of San Diego to Hawaii. We are, of course, thrilled with our very first upgrade in all the years we've cruised. Thanks again for all your hard work.

Jennie

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Dutch. Thank you for all your info. When will the schedule for Europe 2010 be released? Most of the other lines (Princess, RCCL, Celebrity) have them out. I haven't seen anything and can't seem to find halearlyedition.com. Is that site still active? Thank you!

 

Within the next month I believe for Europe 2010... keep in mind that there's an inaugural season that has to be factored in. Makes it a little more complex...

 

For those curious about Alaska, every indication I'v seen is within the next week :)

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We will be on the Westerdam, 4/19/09 from Ft. Launderdale to San Diego, received our guarantee, cabin rear aft, last cabin to the aft on the port side on the Rotterdam Deck. Is there alot of motion? or noise from the engines. We were on Oceania, Deck 7 aft, and had the engine noise and vibration. Also do you know who our entertainment will be?

Thanks for all of your tips and info, enjoy your blogs!

 

Not totally sure on the entertainment.

 

I've seen recent posts that specify who, but not sure when those contracts end.

 

Recent names though, have been Elliott Maxx, Joel Mason, production shows include one with Bob Mackie designs and another called Grand Tour

 

You may notice a bit more motion in the aft, should be minimal if any vibration. Of course it depends on the weather you experience.

 

Have a great cruise! One week to go!

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Hi, DBA: Thank you for all the information you've provided us. I tried a search but couldn't find an answer to my question, so I'll have to bother you. We've been upgraded from a C to AA cabin. We were wondering what to do about the luggage tags. Should we wait until we check in and get blanks from the porters? Our cruise is in about ten days out of San Diego to Hawaii. We are, of course, thrilled with our very first upgrade in all the years we've cruised. Thanks again for all your hard work.

Jennie

 

I would recommend putting the tags on when you get off your flight. Less chance they can get torn off or damaged that way

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I would recommend putting the tags on when you get off your flight. Less chance they can get torn off or damaged that way

 

We understand that, but our luggage tags have a different room number because we've been upgraded. Our luggage will end up in our old room assignment. Do we get blank tags at the pier and fill them in ourselves? Thanks again for your patience. This is a new experience for us.

Jennie

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We'll be sailing on the Noordam in June (Roman Empire). This will be our first HAL cruise.

 

1. In Messina, Sicily do we dock in the port in Messina proper or the dock that's closer to Taormina?

 

2. I haven't seen a lot of info on here about the Noordam and I know it just came out of drydock. How does the Noordam compare to the other ships and what did they do in drydock?

 

Thanks for your info!:)

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