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Everything posted by Samanthac25

  1. Yes! Sorry they aren’t the best pictures 🙂
  2. I didn’t work with a PCC, I booked directly with HAL so the emails came right to me for the upsells. It was a very straightforward and easy process to upgrade.
  3. The ship is phenomenal. I’ve told everyone I know that they HAVE to sail her next!
  4. Oh my goodness I almost forgot about Tamarind! We went there the first night and it escaped my mind! I loved it! It was delicious and the atmosphere was perfect!
  5. LMaxwell, sorry that it took so long but here are the daily papers I took pictures of on Nieuw Amsterdam over Christmas week.
  6. It's taken a while for me to get my review posted, but here it is! For background, I sailed on NA from 12/21/19 - 12/28/19 with my 14 year old daughter. This was our first HAL cruise, though we have sailed on Royal Caribbean a number of times previously. I initially booked an inside room and about two weeks before the sailing I received an upsell offer to move to an obstructed window room. I took it since it was only $39 per person and I liked the idea of natural light. Then the week before our sailing, I received another upsell offer to move to a balcony room for just $79 per person. This was the BEST decision I've ever made. Our room was fantastic and I fell in love with the balcony (I'll never go back to an inside room again 😆). The things I loved: The food! It was amazing! Especially the NY Pizza! We ate there at least once a day and found ourselves rushing there at 11pm for a snack before they closed a few nights! I also loved that room service was included. Pinnacle Grill was one of our best dining experiences. The food, atmosphere, and service were outstanding. The Pinnacle Bar was my favorite place to have a cocktail in the evenings. The drinks exceeded expectations. The cocktail waitress was so sweet, knew us by name early in the week, and always went out of her way to find and bring my daughter's favorite snack to her that wasn't typically served there. BB Kings was the best evening entertainment for us. The performers were so good! The pool chairs by the pool were cushioned and so comfortable! It was one of the first things I noticed while exploring on embarkation day. The retractable roof over the pool saved the day when it rained The hand towels (wash clothes) in the public restrooms to dry your hands with instead of paper towels! It was such a nice touch and spoke to the overall sophisticated atmosphere on the ship. The Christmas decorations were beautiful and Christmas day and evening were very nicely done. It was a Gala night, so that made it extra special. There were about 300 kids onboard and I never even noticed them. This was one of the biggest advantages to sailing with HAL, especially over Christmas when there are usually a ton of kids on cruise ships. I couldn't have asked for a more relaxing and quiet week! There were so many quiet and comfortable spaces throughout the ship. My favorite was the Explorations Cafe on deck 11. That view was amazing!!! The balcony in our stateroom was larger than I expected it to be. It was my favorite place to sit all week, like my own slice of heaven, if you will. I also loved that it was fully covered so we could still sit out there when it rained. Our room steward was the friendliest person I had ever met. He always had a smile on his face and chatted with us daily. The television and movie selections in our stateroom were awesome! I was surprised to see so many newer released movies available at no extra cost. We were even able to watch some football bowl games at sea and Sunday NFL games that we didn't want to miss! Maybe this is the norm on Royal Caribbean, I'm not sure because I'd always stayed in an inside room and never wanted to be in it long enough to watch a movie or game 😂. The bathroom was larger than I am used to and had a bath tub! As someone that's only ever been in a room with a stand up shower so small that you couldn't turn around without brushing against the wall, all the space in that bathtub/shower was everything!! Afternoon tea was one of my favorite activities! It was so nice and we loved the little sweets and sandwiches that we could only get there. A birthday cupcake and card were delivered to our stateroom on my daughter's birthday and the dining room stewards sang to her in the dining room. I didn't ask or mention her birthday, they just did it on their own. She felt so special. These were personal touches that mean the world to us! The laundry service was the unsung hero of the week. We used it twice and went home with mostly clean clothes. It's amazing how much you can fit in that little bag for $20! I really enjoyed the pool towels being readily available by the pool and not having to scan them in/out and the lines that come with that process. Finally, the bed was so comfortable. I slept like a baby every single night 🙂 Now for the few things I didn't love: We had the SBP and the Quench package but were still charged for a handful of drinks. I checked my statement daily and had to stand in the long guest services line have it corrected. This seemed to stop after the third day though. Speaking of Guest Services - that line was ALWAYS so long and SO SLOW! There wasn't much seating at the Lido pool. Sea days were near impossible to sit down in that area. I wasn't a fan of the MDR breakfast hours. I wished they were open longer than an hour and a half each morning. We initially had the any time dining but when we discovered we couldn't make dinner reservations for more than three nights ahead and saw the huge crowd of people waiting to be seated, we switched to the 8pm seating on the second night (the early seating was full). I didn't love eating that late but it was better than showing up to the dining room at dinner time and not being able to get in right away. I'd like to be able to make reservations for the week at my preferred time so that I don't have to think about it every few days. One of my bags that I put in the hallway the night before disembarking was missing once I got off the ship. It turned out that another guest took my bag by accident and didn't even realize it until HAL called him to let him know he left his bag behind in the terminal... I don't even think I can count this as a dislike because once my bag was found/recovered, HAL shipped it to my house overnight. I was impressed with the speed of that whole process. No harm, no foul 🙂 In short, I absolutely LOVED our time on Nieuw Amsterdam and sailing with HAL. I can't wait to sail with them again!! Last but not least - a special thank you to every one of you that answered my million questions over the last few months and helped to acclimate me to HAL along the way. I appreciate you ALL 🙂
  7. I second this - I had to visit Guest Services the first three days because I was charged for drinks with the SBP. My daughter was also charged for soda a handful of times with the quench package. They take the charges right off but I didn't check my onboard account regularly, I would have paid for them.
  8. I was on this year's Christmas cruise on NA and we were in Grand Turk on Christmas day. Most of the cruise center shops were open but a handful were closed. The weather wasn't great (on/off rain and wind) and there were still a ton of people in the pool in the port area. It wasn't very festive though, I can't recall seeing decorations or feeling like it was Christmas day.
  9. Nothing is free. Even if your sold on a “free” beverage package or “free” gratuities, you’re certainly paying for it in your cruise fare. They just raise the fare prices in order to offer those promos. Then they reduce fare prices when the “free” add-one aren’t offered. You’re paying for it one way or another.
  10. Yes, I absolutely will when we get back... and here’s a preview: we are never going back to RCCL after sailing with HAL, we are in love with this cruise line and ship 🤩😍
  11. Quick question - I know I can take a bottle of wine into the MDR, but can I take one into the pinnacle grille? If so, do I just carry it in with me? Or take it down ahead of time? Thanks in advance!
  12. I haven’t noticed any issues, but I’m no marine expert 😜
  13. I loved watching the crew drills this morning on the lifeboats onboard NA in Nassau today!! It was very interesting to see the boats go into the water and back up again, plus it makes me feel extra safe knowing we are in good hands with this incredible crew. We are having an amazing time so far and we are only one day in!
  14. I see your point, I think all of RCCL promos are a joke... But, regardless of the sale, I do take my daughter out of school one week a year for vacation (she's in 8th grade now). Sometimes it's a cruise, sometime's it's not. Our school district just has parents fill out a form and she always gets the school work she will miss ahead of time to work on while flying/sitting in airports. Of course I feel that school is important but traveling and experiencing other countries is a life experience you can't learn in the classroom, so I don't feel any guilt over one week of missed school. Not everyone will agree with that and that's okay (please don't parent shame me 🙂).
  15. Are we sure they are making repairs? This was the update posted on the HAL Facebook page: "Update - Nieuw Amsterdam will depart as scheduled on the Dec. 21 and Dec. 28 Caribbean cruises. Booked guests and their travel advisors have been sent their confirmations. The ship has been cleared as safe to sail by several regulatory authorities and meets all international safety standards. We look forward to welcoming our guests on their holiday cruises." I wonder if that means they were cleared to sail with one azipod? I can't imagine they made repairs and were cleared as safe to sail by 5pm yesterday. Not that I mind either way, I will be boarding on Saturday with a smile on my face with one azipod or two 🙂
  16. That's what I was thinking! Do you think a lot of people will show up earlier than usual or stick to their suggested boarding times?
  17. Is there still a charge for cappuccino in the MDR if you have the beverage package?
  18. Thank you!! We are so excited and are looking forward to a relaxing week 😊
  19. I called when I didn't hear anything by 3pm... They said that they have a team on the ship diagnosing the issue right now and that they are running later than expected so their report isn't ready yet. He said they should know in about an hour or so "if the ship is seaworthy or not".
  20. They said that they have a team on the ship diagnosing the issue right now and that they are running later than expected so their report isn't ready yet. He said they should know in about an hour or so "if the ship is seaworthy or not".
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