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About sansterre

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Central Florida
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  1. Thank you for posting this recipe. Interesting that there is mustard and orange zest in the marinade. I'll try making it at home without the clothesline.
  2. Bacon is my favorite food, but I was disappointed with HAL's clothesline. The presentation is not right for the Pinnacle. I was actually embarrassed when it arrived at the table with all the other attractive food. And then puzzled how to eat it without using fingers. I think it would be great in a pub restaurant, or sport's bar etc. The maple adds a nice touch, but pickle did not nothing IMO.
  3. This was my blog on the Voyage of the Vikings 2019: If you read through the blog, you will see weaknesses like, poor entertainment, no flowers on the lido tables, lamps that didn't light instead of flowers on the MDR tables, no one to do trivia games, etc. But there are also photos of us with the captain, dining staff and room stewards, and lots of great times on the Zuiderdam too! Did I enjoy the cruise? Absolutely yes. Overall, was it as good as Voyage of the Vikings 2018? No
  4. DH and I were on the Voyage of the Vikings in 2018 (Rotterdam) and in 2019 (Zuiderdam). While we enjoyed both cruises, they were totally different. My survey was not very kind after our 2019 Voyage. I agree with the OP except in two areas: 1. We liked the captain, and saw him often. But I do recall three times he mention that we should buy a drink! Not sure if that was coming from the Hotel Director (that we never saw) or what. 2. We had a great service in the dining room. Our major disappointment was the difference in the food. Maybe we were spoiled in 2018 when lobster (as much as you wanted) was served every Gala night. Shrimp cocktail was on the menu nearly every other night in the MDR. This year, lobster was on the Gala Dinner menu just twice. However, you could purchase lobster any night for an uncharge of $25pp. Our waiter would get a special dinner or some time off for every lobster he "sold"! Another disappointment was the Cruise Director and Assistant Cruise Director (both apparently weak or novices). If one of them had a day off, didn't feel well, had dinner in the MDR, etc. there was no one else to take over for them. Many times the main stage entertainment started and/or ended by itself - no introduction and/or no wrap up. The Assistant Cruise Director did both afternoon and evening trivia. But a few times she wasn't available so trivia was cancelled.. In past years the librarian or a singer could read trivia questions. But there is no one else anymore! How about someone from guest relations or the purser perhaps? And as we disembarked, expecting to finally see the Hotel Director, and the Cruise Director, only a waiter and two women from the front desk were there to say good-bye. The entertainment was a joke. Several nights we had to decide whether to see a movie on the big screen or back in our cabin. Either some talent didn't show up or HAL in Seattle dropped the ball. (Someone mentioned the need to get used to less cocktail parties; there were none......none in 35 days.) I could mention more, but overall we had a great time on the Zuiderdam. One thing that was better in 2019 than 2018 were the larger tenders. Thus the process went faster and it also changed for 4 and 5 stars. In 2018 every one had to get a tender ticket and wait until your number was called. In 2019, 4 and 5 stars could go to the Ocean Bar, get a ticket, and then go directly to the tender! The difference from one year to another year was huge. We had talked to Hotel Director Darren 5 months before the cruise (cocktail party on Panama Canal cruise on the Zuiderdam) about how much we enjoyed the food on the Rotterdam in 2018. We all hoped it would be just as good this time. But this time we had the Lobster at a $25 uncharge. I have to wonder who made that decision? and why?
  5. I avoid sending my most delicate things to the ship's laundry. But I must agree that overall HAL laundry does a better job with the laundry than I do at home. (I don't underwear and put it in a basket with tissue paper.)
  6. Enjoy your voyage. Are the leaves on the trees changing? I imagine they might be where you are now. How lovely it must be! We were on the Zuiderdam in August for the Voyage of the Vikings. It's been two weeks and I miss it being on board. If you see MDR servers Roy, Denny, Iga, or Wayon, please tell them Jean and Ralph send best regards.
  7. Thanks all. Kazu, this thread pales in comparison with the one you did recently on the Prinsendam. I don't know how your posted all you did on that very busy itinerary. After doing this one, I appreciate you and your efforts even more!
  8. Thank you for sharing this wonderful news. We live just an hour away from Tampa and enjoy the Tampa sail-aways very much.
  9. The Embassy Suite (near Logan Airport in Boston) has 24 hour shuttle every 15 minutes to the airport, but not to the cruise port. This year we had a bus full to the cruise terminal - filled by travel agent. Last year (we also did the Voyage of the Vikings in 2019) we used a taxi. Seems like it was $20-$25. This Embassy Suites includes a nice breakfast. They also serve some food from 5-7 to which worked as a light dinner for us (weary travelers too tired to go out for a big dinner in town).
  10. I concluded this thread with my signature photos of lamp posts with flowers. These we saw on our HAL tour in the Boston port where we ended the Voyage of the Vikings. Thank you for following along with us and for all the kind comments. First in Cambridge near the Harvard campus.
  11. It took 31 of the 34 day cruise for me to find this beauty. Remember when these orchid plants were on every table in the Lido Restaurant? Remember how nice it was to see them there? This pink orchid was in the Ladies Restroom, between the Lido and the Lido Pool, Starboard side. They must have missed it when they removed all the others. I am hopeful they will return to the Lido.
  12. Ahhhhh - Home Sweet Home! But I could have stayed on the Zuiderdam a few more weeks too. It's just the airplane travel that is tiring, especially when combined with weather issues. Here are 4 people whose attentiveness made our cruise: our assistant dining steward and magician Denny, our amazing dining steward Roy, and our two wonderful room attendants Fran and Parta. I sure wish they were here to serve us dinner and make our bed right now! Service with a smile!
  13. We disembarked the Zuiderdam at 8:30. Meeting the immigration officials in the Hudson room on Deck 3 went smoothly but I was disappointed that there were only a waiter and a couple office personnel at the exit; I guess they were our farewell committee. I had hoped to see the Cruise Director and Hotel Manager, both of whom we rarely saw anywhere on the ship. We did see the captain frequently, both inside and outside the ship. And we played trivia (usually twice a day) with the assistant cruise director. However, the responsibilities of the Cruise Director/Travel guide Jonathan and the Port/Travel guide Jessica and Assistant Cruise Director Erica are difficult to understand. I think those positions are changing fleet wide, but I wish HAL would go back to the old ways when the Cruise Director interacted more with the passengers. This goes for the officers too - I long for the 5 star cocktail parties of the past when we could chat with any and all of them. After disembarking we boarded a bus and took a nice tour of Boston and Cambridge which dropped us off at the airport at 3. From there we went to the Embassy Suite (same hotel we stayed at prior to our cruise and one we knew had a good shuttle to and from the airport) for the night. We should fly home tomorrow. I hope to finish this blog with a few more photos I've taken on the ship and a few of our bright sunny day in Boston. I'll also answer any questions you might have the next day or two as we work our way back home.
  14. But there is more in the Public Garden - so much more! Our friend, and guide, Tracy wove us through the paths of most of the 16 acres. I picked just a few of my photos to share below. The bandshell, recently renovated. Band concert from 2-4 today! The historic Horticulture House where we had coffee and cake on the porch during the band concert. a model of the Titanic!
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