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sos1720

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About sos1720

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Bel Air, MD
  • Interests
    golf, art, cooking & baking, photography
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  1. We've done three aft-balconies and loved some and hated some. The good- you're protected from the wind, and get a fantastic view of the sea and sail-aways. You can see both sides of the ocean, get plenty of sun and they're very private. The bad- some ships, the Prinsendam for example, one can experience excessive vibration when docking, not good in early morning arrivals. Also, ash from smoke stacks can land on your balcony and fumes may also at times waft down to you. After our experiences, we've chosen to forego the aft and stay with the side views. To us the downsides outweighed the advantages of the aft-facing. To each his own, I'm glad we tried it.
  2. I was on this cruise with The Grouch and we met briefly at the CC meetup. I enjoyed his accurate descriptions of the cruise. We're back home and glad The Grouch made it back safely.
  3. OMG, as my daughter usually texts me when big news happens, I might get to see the Grouch! My own PCG and myself will be joining the P'Dam in Rome for the trip back to Ft.Lauderdale. I've been on 2 TA's and after each one have vowed never, never, ever to do another one. And here I go, once more into the abyss. We both caught colds on a westbound TA on the Noordam, and that was a grouchy cruise, despite the HAL folks taking great care of us. We were on a eastbound TA on the New Amsterdam and it seemed like it took forever. Didn't even see another ship or a plane for days. I wonder if I'll be able to identify the "Grouch". I've seen some grouchy-looking people on past TA's, especially in the Lido for breakfast. Jabbing elbows, personal space violations, the whole gamut. So looking forward to the trip.
  4. "(Really? You ended up in Milan or the wrong train ultimately ended up in Milan. Assuming you would have figured this out after hour three with no sight of water, port or ship?)" Haha, the express train to Milan is non-stop, takes 3 hours, we knew after the first few minutes. Italian conductors were fantastic once they realized our mistake. We got off in Milan, raced across the platform (with luggage) for the return trip to Rome. At Termini, we sprinted over to the port train and made it to the Noordam with no time to spare. An exciting travel day. We went to the Noordam library and looked at the map and shook our heads when we saw the distances we traveled that day. "Travel is not for wimps".
  5. Take airport shuttle into Termini train station and take train to the port, takes a little over an hour from Termini to port. This will save you over $100 and be an adventure. We did it 2 years ago and got on the wrong train and ended up in Milan! It's Italy, enjoy the drama.
  6. sos1720

    Princendam Aft-Facing Cabins - Good or Bad?

    We were on the fantastic Prinsendam last October/November (2015) for 4 weeks; the first 2 in one of the aft-facing verandas, the last 2 weeks in a suite on the starboard side of the ship. The first 2 weeks were awful because we entered ports early in the morning, maybe 5 or 5:30 AM. When the ship was in reverse, the vibration could be compared to reentry in a space capsule. No sleeping through that! I found screws on the floor from the bathroom door that had shook loose! I would really advise our Cruise Critic fellow travelers to avoid aft-facing Prinsendam cabins at all costs in a port-intensive cruise. I absolutely love the ship though and it's definitely my favorite HAL ship. I have sailed on three other HAL ships in rear-facing aft cabins and never experienced anything similar to the vibration on the Prinsendam.
  7. I think the dancers will wake up those snoozers that occupy the recliners all afternoon.:)
  8. Thanks Hank. I asked for a specific sandwich (tuna salad on whole wheat) instead of the already made selection (Zaandam) and the lido steward said that they will make specific sandwiches on request. Just let him know that morning and it would be ready for you at lunchtime.
  9. sos1720

    Aft balcony room question

    We've done three aft-balconies and loved some and hated some. The good- you're protected from wind, smokers and get a fantastic view of the sea and sail-aways. You can see both sides of the ocean, get plenty of sun and they're very private. The bad- some ships, the Prinsendam for example, one can experience excessive vibration when docking, not good in early morning arrivals. Also, ash from smoke stacks can land on your balcony and fumes may also at times waft down to you. After our experiences, we've chosen to forego the aft and stay with the side views. To us the downsides outweighed the advantages of the aft-facing. To each his own, I'm glad we tried it.
  10. sos1720

    Amsterdam tender hits reef in the Cook Island

    "too much weight so they had to call in the tug boat."
  11. sos1720

    weather delays

    You could fly out today (Friday) 3:40 PM N/S $59 on AA! Do it!
  12. Bill, We had just left the ship in Civitavecchia when you got on. We took the train the opposite way, to FCO from the port. It was a challenge as you well describe but it is a lot more economical for a couple, $25 vs about $150 for the taxi. Of course, we were well-rested and not jet-lagged. I would still do the train for 3 reasons: economy, potential Italian traffic jams and the adventure of riding with the locals. We did love the ship and the crew was wonderful. Thanks for your excellent review.
  13. sos1720

    Eurodam vibration

    IMHO, the seas contribute to the vibrations, from which direction they are coming and the side of the ship they impact. That is why the vibes come and go during the cruise.
  14. sos1720

    Ushuaia Argentina

    Happy 4th of July! It’s a little damp here in Maryland, but hopefully it will be dry this evening for the town parade and fireworks. My husband and I have booked the 5 1/2 hour national park and hiking tour in Ushuaia with Tour Guide Ushuaia, February 8th.2016. It looks like easy hiking, a literal “walk in the park." You can learn more about the excursion on the site http://tourguideushuaia.net/ushuaia-html If you are traveling on the HAL Zaandam and want to join us, check out the roll call.
  15. sos1720

    Found some great post-drydock Volendam photos

    Remember the "Background White Noise" from the air conditioning? Well, after the retrofit, the room was silent! A tremendous improvement from past cruises on many different HAL ships. It seems the ceiling diffuser or whatever had been changed and now wonderful silence, just the ocean. Bathroom and shower fantastic also.
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