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About fatcat04

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Nashville, TN
  • Interests
    reading, gardening, cooking, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America

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  1. We too enjoy the mdr. If you are good with the mdr, your anytime dining is used just like a first come first serve restaurant. Tastes are obviously individual but I would suggest trying some of the specialty venues. Tamarind is one we never miss booking. Lots of fun food opportunities on the newest HAL ships. We too enjoy sparkling water and wine with dinner. This last cruise the sparkling water was handled by the wait staff so we made sure to tell them how many small bottles we wanted each first thing. The wine was taken care of by the wine steward BUT we were set dining time so our wine and wait staff knew after the first night how we order. If you do not have the same set of staff every evening, things might need to be made crystal clear as to how many and how much you plan to order so your wine steward keeps an eye on your glass. After dh got up one time and hunted down our wine steward, she monitored us much better. She also took all our by the glass order from then on in the initial order and then served it out as the courses came out. You can bring on as much as you like but sparkling water is included in your beverage package and does not count toward your 15 total. Only alcoholic beverages count to the total. Signature Bev pkg works for you. Your dh will probably need the Elite Bev package then but do look at the site Highway gave you above. Fantastic resource and up.to date. The Elite pkg is what we get because of the wine selection. And if he has the Elite, you have to get it too. Every adult over 21 has to have the same bev package. And sadly no, you can not pay the excess past the $ limit of the package whether it is $11 or $15 to get a higher cost beverage. Would be nice but in truth, there wasn't much by the glass above $15 I cared that much about. The stateroom steward can clear out your minibar and you can stock it with what you like but you may have to make a couple trips to get your supply. We hit up 2 bars at a time to get our water supplies. The minibar contents themselves are not included in any beverage package. We have not been on the Kdam yet but dh said on the Nieuw Amsterdam last month the gym equipment was more than he had anticipated. Some dumbbells, a smith machine, and several weight training machines plus a bunch of cardio machines. You will have a great time. Enjoy your cruise and your time together.
  2. I've done every thing from chiffon palazzo pants and a sparkly top with snappy heels all the way up to a full length satin and velvet gown. Husband does a tux but switches up his accessories. Now our teen son has his own tux too and our toddler daughter, well she loves to play dress up and with me and two grandmas, the child doesn't lack for frilly dresses. I treat myself to a hair updo in the salon too. We do all this because one of our favorite souvenirs of our cruises are the pictures. I have some fantastic pics from over the years. But yes, Gala night gear is a whole suitcase for the 4 of us. And we are definitely in the minority but thats fine. IRL doesn't allow us to dress up much so its fun. Gala night also allows for some fun. This last cruise I saw a guy rockin a gold lame tux. I've seen some velvet smoking jackets too.
  3. You have chosen a lovely itinerary. We have done it twice and would happily do it again. The ports are very interesting and the scenery is beautiful. Your start and end cities are both fun to explore on foot or by subway as well. We also enjoy the smaller ship experience. The wide wrap around promenade deck and the less crowded more intimate feel are very appealing to us. You are not alone. The HAL website is a hot mess most days. I just call to book.
  4. Good point especially since Zuiderdam's last dry dock was just a couple of months ago.
  5. Welcome to Cruise Critic. A great resource for Holland America ship cabin pictures is halfacts.com . While you may not find the exact cabin, there will generally be many examples of cabins close by and very similar or even the same cabin on a sister ship with the same deck plan. Quite a few of these cabin pictures are contributed by many of us here on CC as well. For current menus, prices, and other onboard information, check out http://www.rogerjett-photography.com This site is maintained by one of our CCers, Crew News, and he does his best to keep all the information and documents up to date. It is an amazing resource. Hope this helps. Have a wonderful cruise!!
  6. Yes, I know but when she was running on only one azipod prior to being fixed up this last week she was required to have tug assistance. We were on her in January and she had tug assistance in Port Everglades and San Juan. The fact that tug assistance is no longer required leads me to believe she is repaired and doing fine for which I am thankful.
  7. Watched her sail away yesterday from Port Everglades with NO tug assistance. She is apparently fixed and fine. Looking forwards to cruising on her again in a wee bit over a month. She is such a wonderful ship with a fantastic crew.
  8. Yeah, CC Meet ups have been lackluster on HAL for a while. You get water, tea, coffee, and cookies and no HAL representatives at all. I don't know but I have wondered if they have just had it with the cranks pinning down the staff and giving them the 5th degree.. who knows. I have found that many 7 day roll calls don't even bother anymore or else very few folks show up. I organized the CC Meet Up on the cruise before last and we had a great turn out, super group of folks, and really had a lot of fun but we, the CCers, provided the fun with Human Bingo and lots of good conversation. But yeah, on this last cruise even the 3 star plus Mariner reception with free bubbly and nibbles was sparsely attended. I was surprised but hey, I got 2 free glasses of bubbly so yeehaa!
  9. Check out halfacts.com Lots of pictures so you can see cabin and balcony size. We have cruised in Neptunes and Signature Suites in the past but for the money choose verandah cabins now and find the space more than adequate. Only thing we miss are the big suite bathrooms but thats no deal breaker. We have been on Eurodams sister ship the Nieuw Amsterdam twice in the past year and will be on her again in a month, always in verandah cabins and with our 2 year old in the cabin with us and never felt crowded. Love the size of the ship. If your cabins are next to each other, you should be able to ask your room steward to open the balconies up to each other. Oh and eat at Tamarind. You can check out all the menus, sample daily activity sheets, and lots more info at http://www.rogerjett-photography.com
  10. In January, we had a flight leaving about one hour later than yours. Our ship started letting folks off almost an hour late due to our expected late arrival, we had a HAL transfer, we were I think the 4th group called, had 2 kids and a circus train load of luggage in tow, and we still made it to the airport and through security with 2 hours to spare. We were able to have a leisurely lunch at the Chili's just past security and then mosey down to our gate. I think with a taxi you will be great.
  11. Well... the usual "one drink" caveat is not in the text. Here is what the onboard Elite Bev Pkg says in it's description " "No sharing is permitted. Participants may order only one drink at a time and must be 21 years or older. " Sooooo... idk but it is possible. I'd try. I know with the butler service for the cabanas we can order anything and everything all at once and they actually seem to want you to order in bulk as it is fewer trips for them.
  12. Blue skies and calm seas to Zuidy, NA, and all who sail on our blue hulled beauties.
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