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Everything posted by kaiiak

  1. Curious why people drive over the border and fly from Seattle? Is the price difference really huge? Or are there not a lot of flights from Canada to the US? I will be on the SD to Vancouver itinerary next April. Have not booked airfare yet as it is still very far away.
  2. No we were so busy on the cruise we thought about booking but never got around to it... but I guess it was a nice bonus because I didn't think I was getting that!
  3. A few weeks ago when they had the $1 deposit day I made a very late night online booking for a trip April 2020. Then a few days later I received an email from HAL with the ZPM code (because we have recently sailed). So I called today asking if we could get that promo added to the booking and the onboard credit which they did no problem. Then when they sent me my updated booking I noticed that I also have a Pre-Paid Service Charge Promo listed on my booking. Is this the gratuities? I didn't know I had gotten any sort of promo. Not sure if it was today they added it when I called or if I got it when I initially booked.
  4. Recent Afternoon Tea on the Nieuw Statendam in April... They brought a tray like this for 3 of us, but were more than happy to keep refilling on the egg salad sandwiches we enjoyed so much. They served our tea from a large silver coffee/tea pot. It was served daily in the Main Dining Room.
  5. We had it on the NS last month. It is rather large and my husband and I shared it and left a piece. It was delicious but we were trying to save room for the rest of our meal. I loved it as I love chewy bacon and the thick texture of it is great.
  6. I just had the crab cake appetizer 2 weeks ago on the Nieuw Statendam in the PG. Very tasty.
  7. We were at Governor's Beach last week and absolutely loved it. There is not food/drink service but that was fine for us. We brought a few cold drinks from the ship. It cost us $4 each one way in a taxi (tourist van) and was a quick ride there. The water is beautiful and calm. We paid somebody to rent two chairs for $20. There was a bathroom nearby. My 10 year old absolutely loved it and said it was the best beach ever (we live in Southern California and go to the beach often too). It is so hot that 2 hours at the beach was plenty for us and then we returned to the port area, looked at the shops and headed back to the ship for a late lunch (that is free). I highly recommend Gov Beach. The Margaritaville area looked like a madhouse with so many people.
  8. We were on NS last week for Easter break & there were @350 kids onboard. My son who is 10 enjoyed Club Hal & went a handful of times for about an hour each. He has autism & can be a bit shy so I think more typical kids who are more social would enjoy it even more. He loved the cruise and can’t wait to go again!
  9. This was part of the Lincoln Center Stage. It was strings and piano performing various styles of classical latin music from not just Latin America but also Spain.
  10. Hi I had the SBP and all of my soy lattes were covered under the plan.
  11. Just back from the last Caribbean cruise of the season on the Nieuw Statendam! We are a family of four with an adult child in his 20s and a 10 year old so my review is based more on those demographics. We have not cruised in 11 years and a lot has changed such as the way they do muster drills, the availability of internet onboard, and the navigator app to name a few. The Ship: Beautiful and elegant, with lots of spaces to hide out in and just relax. I particularly enjoyed all the music related artwork all over the ship. We stayed in a verandah on Deck 5. It was tight for 4 people, but still doable. I loved all the drawers and there was space for all of us once we unpacked. My favorite spots onboard were the Crow’s Nest and my in room balcony. Entertainment & Activities: I loved having all of the various music venues onboard. There is something for everyone. We enjoyed the Lincoln Center classical pianist and Latina Musica, the rock room band, and BB King band. The mentalist was interesting. Movies by the pool were OK. They would have been better but the volume is just not loud enough to really hear properly. Club HAL was enjoyable and my son went a few times for an hour or so. Mixology class was entertaining for my son. Trivia was fun but I wish they had prizes for the winners, even just some HAL pens/pencils/notepads etc. Food: The Main Dining Room: food choices were great and I particularly enjoyed the beef stroganoff and roasted chicken. Service was a tad bit slow for us (a little over 1.5 hours). We had a fixed late seating (8pm) which was fine because we are coming from the West Coast and still not starved by then. Only negative was it seemed very noisy every time we ate there. Pinnacle Grill: excellent dinner here and a much more relaxing atmosphere. While not the best filet I have had it was very good. Tamarind: was much better than we expected it to be! I liked how the dishes felt light because often Asian food can feel heavy. All of our dishes were tasty and good portion size (not too big). De Librije: My son had the pop up in the Pinnacle. He enjoyed it immensely with the included 2oz wine pours. Daily Tea Service in MDR: Loved it. Service was white glove and delivered to the table (not buffet style). Sandwiches were tasty and just the right amount for an afternoon pick me up. Plus the dining room is quite pretty during the day. Dive In: Excellent burger and chicken sandwiches! NY Deli: Good for breakfast bagel sandwiches. Salads were great. Pizzas were just OK. Dutch Café: Excellent lattes! Never got the hot food because they didn’t serve it when we went before 11am. Lido: Breakfast was good with so many options! The crepe and omelette stations were always busy with a long wait. Dinner was OK but the times were so limited! I felt like every time we wanted to go they are almost closing or had just closed. Casino: Seemed a bit small and the table games were really squished together. No Texas Hold ‘Em Table (except the heads up game) or poker tournaments which was a bummer for my husband. I did not notice the smoke in the public areas and there was a day or two where the casino was nonsmoking. Only one night my husband said the smoke was strong. Ports: Grand Turk visited Governor’s Beach – amazing and quiet! Worth the $4 per person taxi ride. St Thomas Magen’s Beach was a bit more crowded but still very nice with chairs, food and beverage service for purchase. We purchased through HAL and the guide who drove us was great and stopped a few times for pictures etc. Puerto Rico we visited the Fort by taxi and later my husband and son went on the bioluminescent kayak tour. They really enjoyed it. Unfortunately Half Moon Cay was canceled due to weather. We were so bummed!!! Negatives for me (far and few): There needs to be more options besides in room dining later at night. Some nights the lido closed at 8pm leaving you waiting til their late night snack hour. The room service and lido coffee is terrible! But I did love my lattes at the Dutch Café. Laundry kept charging us even though we purchased unlimited. Spoke to guest services twice and ended up leaving the ship with it still on my bill. The weekly spa pass I bought was not worth it to me. I only went once and found it to be loud and not very relaxing. Next time I will save my money on that or maybe do a day pass instead. Overall we had an amazing time and are now hooked on cruising again. We had waited years to cruise because our 10 year old is autistic and we were not sure if he would do well onboard. Well apparently he is a natural born cruiser because he loved it and says the next trip he wants to do 10 days! I would sail on this ship again because I still did not get to try everything onboard.
  12. Last week on the Nieuw Statendam they were filming the series again. My son and husband got interviewed during their excursion in San Juan. They were all over the ship filming each day.
  13. We just got off the Nieuw Statendam Sunday and because it was a holiday week there were about 350 kids onboard. My 10 year old had a fabulous time. He went to the Club Hal here and there for about an hour each time and enjoyed the activities. He enjoyed the shows, played bingo with us, participated in the trivia games, listened to music in the many venues, the pool and of course all the food. I found he was never bored and was on his electronic devices wayyy less than at home. I am sure during the Christmas holiday there will be more than enough kids and activities to keep him happy.
  14. Would love to hear what you think of this 6 day cruise as I am considering it for next year.
  15. We are also on this sailing! Ship is beautiful & the music theme is very cool. We had fixed 8:00 in MDR & our dinner took a little over 1.5 hours. Food was great though! Enjoy
  16. Thank you! I appreciated your post. We received a SBP as part of the Explore 4, but I don't think I would purchase it myself. For our adult son we bought him the Quench because we were concerned he wouldn't drink enough to make it cost effective .Maybe its us Californians who appreciate your post because the cost of living is so darn high here! :)
  17. Gov Beach sounds perfect. Thanks for all your info. The ladies night may be perfect for the spa area if they offer it.
  18. Thanks for your review. We are sailing the same itinerary this Sunday. In Grand Turk how long of a walk is it to Gov Beach? Is it more secluded? I have only seen the videos of the beach at Margaritaville online and it looks a bit chaotic to me. GT is the only port we have no excursions booked. Also, were they selling day passes to the spa area or only weekly passes? I was looking forward to relaxing and reading a book almost daily on those cozy, heated chairs.... but if it is loud I may change my mind.
  19. Yes I have never sailed on a ship that did not have poker type tournaments, etc. but I had read a few other posts about the NS saying there was none, and then one person claiming yes they did. So I guess we will see in another week when we board. thanks!
  20. Thanks for your review. Did you book the cabana by the week or day and what were the prices? Do you recall seeing any poker tournaments in the casino or a poker table? Thanks!
  21. My 10 year old has Autism so he can be a bit addicted to tech sometimes, especially if he is in the room. I will probably just want to post pictures etc a bit. I'm sure we will manage, but I am a planner and like to know ahead of time what we are getting into.
  22. thanks. So you just have to open up the text area on your phone and then you can see if you have any messages after you log on to the navigator?
  23. Thanks, I don't think we will need to make many calls and definitely not video calls. Mostly texting.
  24. Ok thanks. Maybe we can get by with two. We won't be on constantly, but if somebody is in a different area we won't always know if we can log on.
  25. We are cruising on the NS in 2 weeks and plan on purchasing the Premium Internet Package for our family of four. Do we buy four packages or one per stateroom? How does cell phone service work on the ship nowadays? We currently have Sprint, unlimited data, texts, etc for our cel phones. I foresee us needing to text each other often on the ship as to where we are, meet up spots, etc. I don't foresee us needing to make phone calls. My youngest 10 year old will probably be online from time to time gaming or watching youtube. Myself and my 23 year old will probably use our social media and check email etc. Hubby will occasionally check email. Will we be charged to text? Does texting work when out at sea? Or should we rely on messaging through facebook or another social app? Thanks in advance.
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