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sofietucker

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About sofietucker

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Beautiful Tidewater, VA
  • Interests
    gardening, reading, live music (esp jazz & blues), snorkeling
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Holland
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Mediterranean

Recent Profile Visitors

505 profile views
  1. We're on her for the first time in April, Sea of Cortez. Cruised on her sister Volendam so long ago I can't remember exactly what it was like--but we loveloveloved the Prinsendam. Small ships are our favorite, so all should be well. Questions: Stateroom: Someone mentioned finding a site indicating she was refurbished in 2018. I note that some of the passenger photos on HAL site show a leather sofa and older/original wood cabinetry--as do *some* of the cabin category photos for this ship on the HAL website-- but HAL's verandah photos show a grey/yellow decor and what appear to be upholstered cabinets over the bed. So has it/has it not been refurbished? In same light, is there still, as some reviews have stated, only a single electrical outlet in the cabin? And that near the desk? One review said the steward brought them a strip... Deck plans: on the Verandah deck 9 aft, there appears to be a separate open deck area. Is this accessible from the hallway?
  2. So for Rotterdam, the fun thing is to take in some of their HUGE collection of public art--primarily sculpture at every turn, but also CRAAAZY buildings... Google or go to Trip Advisor for more. (So, self-guided walking tours.) ***The fabulous thing about your cruise is that June is Holland Festival month in Amsterdam--wonderful international performance events happening ALL THE TIME. https://www.hollandfestival.nl/nl/ Many are free. Many outdoors (Vondelpark!). Here's the list of where they will be https://www.hollandfestival.nl/en/locations/ We stumbled on more than one related street fair, complete with parades. I think you are *just in time* to catch the Open Garden days! https://www.opentuinendagen.nl/ --where people open the gardens at their homes (or private museum mansions) to the public Amsterdam has wonderful gardens! The huge Vondelpark--think Central Park in Manhattan--has various gardens, along with picnic areas, children's playground, open-air stage, etc. Food trucks. The Hortus Botanicus is likewise wonderful--more a proper botanical garden with labeled plants and climate zones, etc. Tropical and butterfly gardens, etc. Begijnhof, enclosed among buildings next to the Amsterdam Museum (smack in Centrum) is a sweet garden cultivated by the convent. A quiet respite among the fray. Frankendael Park is pretty cool--public transportation is a must! Get the 3-day pass. Miracle Garden, Tuinenpark Nut & Genogen (has a maze)... The Rijksmuseet has one too. Wildlife: at the Zoo, Artis, In the Plantage district. Otherwise, you will see rabbits, magpies & such, lol... The Piano Museum has concerts (not just piano either). If you like jazz, the Cotton Club on the Den Waag square has a free show at 5 pm most days. We always get an airbnb and have never had a bad experience. Just decide where you want most to hang out and look for places there (also homeaway & vrbo). I also HIGHLY recommend an excellent B&B, Tulipa, in Leidseplein. We've stayed there 3 times. Paula makes a glorious breakfast. https://www.tulipa.amsterdam/
  3. We ADORE Norway! All 3 itineraries are interesting, but a key is whether you like more city or more rural stops. Highly, highly endorse the Honningsvag, etc. stops if the latter. And DO take Blue Puffin to the Nordkapp, not a tour bus! See reviews in Trip Advisor. We also liked Trondheim. The university museum has a big exhibit on the Sami people. And there's a nice arctic display gardens. But Flam and Geiranger proper are similar in terms of a pretty town at the end of a fjord...in either one, get out of town! The Flam/Voss train is fascinating and a must if you take that itinerary. If you do go to Geiranger, go to the top of the mountain! Trollstigen, Eagles Pass, etc. For cities, Stavanger, Bergen, Oslo have a lot to do. Bergen is especially pretty. Hike to the top of the hill!
  4. Again, hmmm. We always get 2 free complimentary dinners from our TA--but then ALSO a free dinner from the ship. In Dec, we did get a package that included a dinner; we had 5 free dinners: 2 from TA, 1 from pkg, 1 from family, and one courtesy of the ship (a separate invitation than the others, each identified by its origin). I cannot say why, but uninclined to ask, "You didn't MEAN to give us this dinner, did you?" Lol.
  5. It's become a tradition with me to schedule a spa treatment the afternoon of the gala nights, so I like to know when they are in order to make my reservations. Waiting until boarding often means the spa is slammed for the gala-night days--though not so the salon! Remember when everyone got blowouts and updos that day? You couldn't get a chair, lol.
  6. Hmm. Can't explain the discrepancy. It's always a card in our room--a gift from the captain or hotel director. Thought it was de rigeur...
  7. Unless you want a primo time, such as 7:30 pm. Because we are usually gifted dinners, and those days/times are assigned by HAL in advance (without our input--nor do we learn those until we enter our cabin), it can be a crapshoot. We don't like to eat "out" on the first night as we like to meet our tablemates, nor on the last, for goodbyes. Nor on the gala nights as the MDR menu is typically special then. Nor on nights when we overnight/stay late in a port. Nor if there are certain events that might overlap. And almost without fail, those evenings are when we are assigned reservations, especially on the first night--whch also ironically is a "free" night in Pinnacle for 4-star or NS guests, and at a much reduced price for others. And heaven forbid if we board and then want to change the assigned TIME, no matter what the day. The final voyage of the P-dam, we called upon boarding, to change Pinnacle from the assigned 8:30. But there was no availablility at 7:30pm in ANY specialty restaurant for the length of the cruise. In the Pinnacle, open choices were 5:30 and 9pm. For the entire cruise. So we cover this contingency by guessing which days we actaully want to eat in other places and we purchase those reservations online, well in advance. Once we board, we immediately cancel those and, because the time/date has been held for us, replace them with our assigned-by-HAL reservations.
  8. Fun fact--In Margar's first photo, showing the table setting with menu: that orange and gold bread plate is part of their old china for the Le Cirque dinners--presenting a menu from the famous, now-defunct restaurant in Manhattan--which were held on a single night per sailing in the Pinnacle Grill, as they now do with De Librije. The rest of the set included a charger with a monkey on it...
  9. Quote: So the food was terrible and brought from the MDR kitchens. Doesn't say much of the MDR does it? Nope. But to be fair, it was only 2 meals--so 4 starters, 4 entrees, 2 desserts. (The rest of the time, we ate in alternative restaurants--having received generous gifts, so can't speak to the MDR in general.) We do tend to eat in the HAL MDRs a lot and they are fine, so this may have just been an anomaly.
  10. Nope, nein, nyet, unless the non-meal advantages are important to you--as 4-star/suite pax, we already get some of those, plus the restaurant access. We experienced the new CO program in Dec on the Nieuw Statendam. Ate there twice--missed breakfast, but folks seem to love that. Only saw the chef once, for a minute, making a pasta dish. Everything else was brought from the MDR kitchen, and seemed to have been sitting out for awhile--congealed sauce, etc. (The shrimp diablo appeared to be jumbo cocktail shrimp--still cold--with some ketchup dumped on them.) The single added menu item was not attractive to us. It was never more than half full, yet TWICE, we were refused (by Reza, the mgr) to sit at one of several empty tables along the window because they were "reserved." Later he told us we weren't allowed to reserve a table! We were seated at empty 4-tops both times--the ones with bar-height chairs that are impossible to adjust if you are height challenged, leaving your legs dangling. Next to the open kitchen with heat from the stoves washing over you (the restaurant's glass wall separating it from the corridor seems to prevent ventilation in the room). Butted up against the wait station, in our gala night attire. The sole advantage would have been a quieter place to eat than the MDR. I say, save those pennies and spring for a nice meal or two--a la carte--at Sel de Mer, where the officers eat.
  11. On the Equinox last year, for "dressing up" theme nights, we had learned in advance about these theme nights from our roll call, so we planned... Onboard, they were only announced on the day, deep into the daily schedule--not even on the front-page "evening attire" section. Full Moon Party Full Moon (aka white night) took place on deck around 11pm. It wasn't even close to the full moon, lol! Very few of us, along with the entertainment staff, actually wore white, nothing else happened--no special "white" snacks (cauliflower and white dip, sweets) or drinks (white Russians, etc.), as has happened in the past. No themed music--no Nights in White Satin, even. Motown Night Motown took place in the Crow's Nest* at about 11pm. The dancers came in sparkly outfits and did a short dance to Jackson 5, then band played Mortown music for another 40 minutes, then it was taped disco music. No one but us dressed up--and our waiter asked if I was being a hippie! No, I was Aretha with her hair, big earrings and long scarf; apparently the waitstaff had no idea about the theme nights either. *sorry the X name escapes me: that's HAL for the very top forward sea viewing/dance band/bar/trivia area So it was pretty disappointing. We have been to amazing events in the past, tho not on Celebriy, lol. The entire cruise was ABBA-themed on Brilliance once: 3 trivias, a famous tribute band on main stage, smaller venue musicians played ABBA too, lots of dressing up.
  12. Hmm, we did not see that. But to be fair, our aft Neptune was on a different deck and our otherwise wonderful stewards neglected to fully service the stateroom... We had to ask for things a number of times (sugar and creamer for the lovely coffee machine, etc.). Will keep an eye out for it in April!
  13. We were on your cruise. Coupla notes from us: We did meet officers at Club Orange. (Tvenue was awful for us; separate revirew of that.0 We only saw the chef on one occasion for dinner, when we watched him prepare a pasta dish. otherwise he was absent. Our dinners seemed to be brought straight fm the MDR kitchen( and overcooked, with congealed sauces).
  14. Been on both, jut off the NS, liked the Kdam better... But we were in Neptunes both times so can't speak to some of these issues. ~However the lack of a night light was very unhelpful. WhiskeyTango Foxtrot. We didn't fall, but how very easy that would be, stumbling over the threshhold, etc. Plus we would have only been able to buy one in Key West (having that sort of item in a store)--where not only was it the last day, but rough seas prevented anchoring. Bring your own. ~Toilet was still angled, but the bathroom was large enough to accomodate. Gorgeous large shower! All kinds of fancy showerheads, plus a bench (no tub). ~Nami Sushi is *inside* Tamarind, so not THAT separated, lol. ~ Guest services is no longer a weird cold separate space on NS. ~We did NOT like the addition of the Rolling Stones club, just adjacent to Billboard. Just as the BB King's bands are required to play certain songs each night (last set being disco: Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, etc.), they played the same songs over & over--and not THAT much "classic rock," which to me is late 60s-70s music. Mostly 80s &90s, though I guess that's now classic... If you're lucky that band is now better; I think they had just met & not in sync, in late Dec. BB King's band was awesome. The separate Club Orange is in the same location on both ships, a redo from the place that briefly replaced America's Test Kitchen (too bad--it was so good!). you can soon see my terrible review of that elsewhere. ~Art was pretty fun--on the NS, it's all music based. We visited every elevator lobby to check out that, plus the stairwells. Someday they may actually publish an art guide, lsiting each work and artist. (On the Kdam, they tried to send me online--nothing-- but future cruises had one, in a binder, but would not let me take it from her office.)
  15. That wasn't our experience on the Equinox last year. They didn't have Absolut Elyx, for instance--only had it at the Sunset Bar!! And as with most ships, the bar staff REALLY resent having to go fetch the requested liquor from another bar. I had to actually ask our sommelier in Luminae why Elyx wasn't at the Martini Bar. Said he'd look into it, and remarkably, it was there that evening. Sigh. We too bring drinks into the theater from the less-crowded casino bar. (Otherwise you wait 30 minutes while they go get Galliano from the other side of the ship, etc.)
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