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Found 370 results

  1. Just wondering how ship and crew are faring?
  2. Typed out a long response, and CC decided to delete it just when i hit "post". So typing it out again... bear with me :) To start with, some general comments and then further posts will dive in deeper. As a Deaf passenger with low vision, I wanted to give that perspective as compared to the "regular" perspectives. So feel free to ask questions, share concerns and comments, and I will be glad to address them all. Here we go! First of all - I am Deaf, newly 30, low vision due to Usher Syndrome - combined deafness, vestibular issues, and retinis pigmentosa. American Sign Language (ASL) is my main mode of communication. Ocean liner aficionado, introvert, voracious reader. Writer in the process of penning several projects. I do have bilateral cochlear implants - wore them inside the ship and on shore - but wisely took them off when I went out on deck - I didn't want to risk leaning over the railing and have them accidentally fall off - that'd be $7,000 per sound processor. Yeah... that'd be bad. I do hear everything but I can't always understand what I hear. I hear you all talking, but still need lipreading and / or signs to figure out the context. I do excellently with environmental sounds (ship whistles and alarms, for instance - hear them perfectly and can figure out which code the blasts stands for) and music (Adagio!) Plus I had Bear, my longtime companion who's the same age as I and has been to half of the states in the US and many national parks. So it only made sense to drag him along for the ride - and to get intel for a future book I'm writing. (Visit his Instagram page at www.instagram.com/kaitlynandbear ). Quite a few pictures from our shipboard experience there! "You're a bit young - why HAL?" Ocean liner aficionado here. I prefer ships that still look and act like ships - dark color hull, white superstructure, funnels, a wraparound teak promenade deck - which is required - with traditional deck chairs, afternoon tea, shuffleboard, and fixed dinnertime. I am not one for the "foo-foos" of on-land resorts that carries over to ships making them look and act less like ships (*eyes RC, NCL and Carnival*). I have sailed before on Carnival and found it too "busy" for me (sensitive to light, sound, crowds, and visual distractions). So that left Cunard and HAL as my choices (though I would make an exception for Disney - they do honor the old days with their decor and ship profile). I'm perfectly happy with a old fashioned deck chair on the Promenade Deck with a good book and the occasional game of shuffleboard. Can't afford Cunard at this point, and HAL plus the Panama Canal were on my bucket list - so glad to be able to cross two of them off! Also, this trip was a replacement trip for my cancelled European tour last summer. The trip was set up with a Deaf agency and pulled at the last minute due to low sign-ups. ALL hearing land tours won't provide interpreters (falls outside ADA jurisdiction) and the "disability-friendly" tours generally don't accommodate Deaf well due to communication barriers instead of physical barriers. So that left cruising as an option. The Panama Canal worked well due to the fact that it had 2 US ports, which made it eligible for ADA accommodation - hence the interpreters and in-cabin visual alert system. Did the 16 days Panama Canal crossing on the Nieuw Amsterdam from FLL to San Diego, Apr 9-25. In short, 14 beautiful sunny days and two "North Atlantic" days of overcast and choppy waves. Couldn't ask for better weather! First of all, thanks to HAL for providing an ASL interpreter. However, one interpreter is not enough for such a long cruise - 16 days, and I had to cut back on my requests for interpretation to avoid burnout on the interpreter's part. Also, what happens when the interpreter is incapable of performing his/her duty due to circumstances out of our control? As was the case when the interpreter got food poisoning from the Lido and was out of commission for 36 hours, meaning I had zero access to communication during that time frame. Granted it was on a day where I lucky didn't have any shore excursions planned, but did have the behind-the-scenes ship tour scheduled. (Thankfully the on-board marketing department was able to add another ship tour to accommodate me on a later date when the interpreter recovered, but I still got a shortened tour instead of the full one that I paid for). I would strongly encourage a practice of hiring 2 interpreters instead of one to avoid those issues. Also, I would encourage revisiting the compensation package for the interpreting services, as I had issues finding an interpreter that was willing to work for nothing, especially as competing cruise lines do pay the interpreter for their work (Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Disney, etc).I encouraged HAL to reach out to several agencies and see what the current practice is. If HAL keeps up the practice of not paying interpreters, Deaf guests will be turned away and seek other cruise lines. (This is why HAL got a bad rap within the Deaf community for not being accommodating nor paying the interpreters while expecting them to work full days for free). Moving on, the shipboard staff and crew have been fabulous regarding the communication front. I never had an issue onboard when it came to communicating with the staff/crew. My portable whiteboard and marker came in handy, and the staff/crew were more than happy to write back and forth or use gestures to ensure effective communication occurs. Special note for the waitstaff in the dining room - not only did they recognize me by face, but also remembered what I liked/disliked, and learned a few signs such as "coffee?" and made sure to write down anything they said, even before I pulled out my whiteboard and marker. Ditto with the staff working the Front Desk - I was especially glad when one of them turned out to know enough basic sign to ensure barrier-free communication occurred. Carlos in the Showroom went above and beyond to making sure the interpreter had access to the show scripts, schedule, and rehearsals with the cast. Not only that, they never failed to remember to shine a light on the interpreter during a show - I never had to remind them to do so. Also, I got a special treat when they agreed to shine a light on the interpreter during a showing of "Rogue One" on the big screen after hearing that the in-cabin movie network had issues with the closed captioning. (As a fan of Star Wars, I was tickled to see it on the big screen, and even better, with an interpreter instead of captions for once). That reminds me - contacted the tech department and/or the film distributors to check into the software for the in-cabin movie listings as the closed captioning was wonky at best. Half of the movie would caption properly, the other half, the captions would literally blink on/off so fast that it was impossible to read. (I checked with several films, both in my cabin and several neighboring cabins and they all had the same issues, leading me to believe it was a network issue and not a TV issue). I think the captions had timing issues as my iPad copy of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" captions worked beautifully, and the movie captions didn't match up, especially how long the captions stayed on screen. (Used that movie as I had seen it several times and was very familiar with it - hence a good "control" film to test it with!) I would encourage research and development of a on-board texting app to be used on the ship. I had issues with ordering room service. If my (hearing) companion wasn't in the cabin, I was left with two choices - either walk downstairs to the Ocean Bar (closest public room) and place my order with the bartender who would phone it in (thank you Edgar!), or open my door and hope to catch one of the housekeeping staff working the hall and have them phone it in (thank you to whoever dropped their duty to do that - I regret that I did not catch their name). Having a onboard texting app would have resolved that issue for me and many other guests who can't use the in-cabin phone. It was especially problematic when I became sick one day and could barely dress and drag myself downstairs to Ocean Bar and have them call in tea and soup, and drag myself back upstairs and get back in bed. Also, I would like to thank the shore excursions folks for making it possible for the interpreter to accompany me on those trips - we were especially lucky in Costa Rica (Walk in the Clouds) and Antigua (Past & Present Colonial Antigua) to be blessed with guides that understood the purpose of an ASL interpreter and made sure we were in the front of the bus so the interpreter could hear and replay their spiels and checked in with me to make sure I was getting the info I needed. (Natasha in CR and Erick in Antigua). I do hope HAL continues this practice of sending the interpreter ashore with the Deaf guests at their request. On last thing - I would strongly discourage scheduling three major one-time only events on the same day/time. In doing the make-up ship tour, I missed out on On Deck for a Cause (had the shirt on and was ready) and the second Mariner's lunch. (There were two Mariner's lunches and I was invited to the second one). I was looking forward to doing all three, and unfortunately, the rescheduled ship tour took place at the same time as them. Just a small complaint on my part. (I was able to pick up my tile at a later time). During the trip I filled out at least 15 comment cards with commendations towards particular staff/crew members, expressed several concerns and whatnot. I do hope they were useful, and the staff/crew got their commendations and thank-yous. The ship library had copies of the Harry Potter books - which is VERY GOOD in my books! 50 points to whoever put them on the shelf - no library is complete without a set. (Okay, I confess - I'm still waiting for my belated Hogwarts letter to arrive!) Next post: in-cabin accommodations, embarkation zoo, muster drill, deck life, vestibular issues, mealtimes, excursions, getting sick, riding the elevators for an hour, low-vision issues, etc.
  3. I'm incredibly sad that our beloved Amsterdam has been sold. I knew some of the ships would go but not her. So, I know that many of us have fabulous memories of cruises on the Amsterdam so please share them here. Our first time sailing on the Amsterdam was a trans Atlantic from Ft. Lauderdale to Civitavecchia, Italy. I think it was a 16 day sailing and was our longest at the time. I'd also never been to Europe (I wouldn't fly) so it was the perfect way to get there. We absolutely loved the cruise; the elegance, the coffee bar (free at the time, located outside the Wajang Theater), the after dinner coffee's in the Explorers Lounge (also free). Since that cruise (our second on HAL), we've never stopped and have racked up 935 (actual) days on the Amsterdam alone. Needless to say, she was our home away from home and the crew that we got to know well over the years became our extended family. We will sorely miss her. Linda R. ms. Amsterdam at anchor off Dravuni Island, Tales of the Pacific 11/20/19.
  4. As the Rotterdam & Amsterdam are headed to Fred Olsen Cruises would you sail w that line instead of HAL???
  5. With the loss of the Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Maasdam & Veendam, I have removed all sailings on the future cruise listing for anyone sailing on the 4 sold ships. (Hopefully I didn’t miss anything 🙏🏻). It’s entirely possible that HAL might transfer some of these sailings to other ships that are remaining in the fleet. If that is the case for you, please repost your cruise details on the Future Cruise Listing just as you did originally. Here is the link for this week’s listing - Thank you 🙂
  6. Since the news of Amsterdam leaving the fleet, I guess the next question is if and when cruising resumes, w:-)hich ship will be selected to do the annual HAL World Cruise when it is scheduled. Volendam is now the oldest ship in the fleet maybe HAL will use her. (Likewise HAL could also use Zaandam). I'm not sure HAL would use one of the larger ships as reading the blogs of passengers over the years it seems to me that Amsterdam was never at capacity. But I am not a HAL expert. Which ship do you think HAL will use for their "World Cruise" in the future??? Btw: just checked my favorite "go to" online cruising TA. Amsterdam, Maasdam and Rotterdam have already been deleted from HAL's list of ships.
  7. Has anyone cruised this ship and this cabin. It appears by it self. So it could be awesome or a closet that was converted to a cabin. Let me know please
  8. We were on the Holland America Amsterdam 2020 128 day World Cruise that left Ft Lauderdale January 4th. The cruise was terminated after 2 months on March 22nd in Perth Australia by Holland and all passengers were forced to leave the ship and pay for our own flights home. We had purchased Holland’s Platinum Insurance that was to cover us for the entire 128 day trip. We have not received any of that insurance money back and when I inquired they said it was being decided on a case by case basis. We have received some of the cruise fare returned but every refund has been less than the amount due us. We have not been reimbursed for our air travel home as promised. After 3 months all of our luggage is still on the ship and they still have no news when or if we may ever see it again. Help! Do we have any recourse to get our insurance money back that we paid for two months of a trip that never happened. Has anyone else that was on this trip had any refunds and if so were they what you expected?
  9. We are looking at both the Amsterdam Vista and Neptune suites. What Vista Suite and/or what Neptune Suite would you ask about if you were making a new booking?
  10. Good morning. Well,since our much anticipated cruise and land trip to Alaska was cancelled for this month,we had booked a cruise for August next year on the Ryndam.Then Covid 19 happened. I thought better of it,and discussed it with hub,and we decided flying may not be a good idea yet next year. So I rebooked our trip for a 2 week east west Caribbean on the Nieu Amsterdam with the Have it all perks,and got a Signature Suite on 6th floor midship. We're doing this for our anniversary in January. I've been reading about all the possible new things that may be taking place,and we'll be fine with it..We already live in Florida,and will enjoy all the nice weather.
  11. I wanted to start a new thread so we all can keep in touch and let each other know how getting home is/has been. Plus, after getting home what trials we had to overcome. Shopping, not being able to go home yet if your residence has been rented out til May, etc. Probably a big question will be is how all the reimbursing/refund business goes for everyone. For us, we are flying out Monday at the crack of dawn. We had originally planned on staying in AU and trying to weather it out as I really don’t fly. Haven’t in well over 20 years and back then , the couple times I did, didn’t end well all all. Tad of panic flying happening there...not a good thing. But, I have 25+ hours ahead of us and I’m armed with some meds and between that, my incredible DH, Business class on the shorter legs and First class on the 15 hour one, hopefully I’ll survive without going bonkers. Safe travels to all, Linda R.
  12. This is the 1983 version so don't panic - this is the Nieuw Amsterdam III. On Google Earth I looked at Alang India, where ships go to die and there was either the Nieuw Amsterdam III or the Noordam III. The satellite view was dated in January of 2019 so the ship would be cut up by now. HAL had leased both ships but was still listed as the owner. Did HAL send one of them to Alang to be broken up ? The ship on the satellite view looks like either the Nieuw Amsterdam III or the Noordam III. We sailed on both ships and have many good memories. Sad to see them go.
  13. We are looking at booking an Alaskan 14 day cruise tour for June/July 2021. They have the same itinerary. Which ship would you choose? Thank you for your input!
  14. I noticed on MarineTraffic that the Rotterdam and the Nieuw Amsterdam are headed for South Africa and the Veendam set course for Gibraltar. Does anybody know why ? All three ships were ( hopefully are) due for European cruises. So at least the Veendam is going in the right direction but the others aren’t. As far as I am concerned they are welcome in their homeport of Rotterdam . They can join the World Dream that has been berthed in port since a drydock in Rotterdam four weeks ago. Plenty of space at an unused container terminal.
  15. Is there any where to go to view what the menu will be, day by day, in the MDR for a specific ship/cruise? I will be on the Nieuw Amsterdam in the Caribbean on February 15, 2020.
  16. Nieuw Amsterdam will be making yet another appearance in Port Everglades, FL, tomorrow, Monday, 20 April 2020 for bunkering and provisioning. She is scheduled to arrive at Berth 26 at 0700 hrs local. Her scheduled departure time, although not yet confirmed, is 5:00 PM local. Nieuw Amsterdam, is one of the ships designated by the HAL Group to "ferry" designated non-essential crew from other laid up HAL Group ships back home and she, Nieuw A, will consequently be sailing to Asia shortly. The only other cruise ship in PE port tomorrow will be Regal Princess (0600-4:00 PM; Berth #2) Regal P. is another Holland America group vessel designated as a "crew ferry ship". She'll be ferrying crew back to Southampton and Rotterdam. The remaining "crew ferry" ships in the group are Volendam, Veendam, Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess, Island Princess and Seabourn Quest. This does not include Amsterdam and Eurodam already enroute to Indonesia and the Philippines to disembark non-essential crew You can watch the action tomorrow on only one webcam (Port Everglades) since the other (Ft. Lauderdale) is under renovation https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/
  17. Had checked in on the ships out in the anchorages where the ships have been hanging out south of Grand Bahama earlier today and noticed there was a lot of tender activity between the ships. Today was apparently the day that crew was moved accordingly for their rides home. They have all 3 left the area where they have been with a destination showing up on their AIS. Nieuw Amsterdam says Durban, South Africa. Volendam lists Bridgetown (probably Barbados) and Veendam is now en route to St. Thomas. They are all 3 doing 15- 17 knots located south of Abaco. Here's hoping a safe journey home for everyone and a safe return of the 3 ships in the fall. Will give me something to do to follow their journey. Eurodam is into her journey across the Pacific and in tandem with the Royal Princess and Carnival Panorama northeast of the Hawaiian Islands. This is also to bring crew home. Stay safe and healthy everyone. www.marinetraffic.com https://www.cruisemapper.com/
  18. Rebooked my Alaska cruise for next year (fingers crossed....) Anyway, the room I booked has a connecting door to the next suite (Signature Suite Deck 6). Is there any downside to this? I wanted the port side and I didn't have much choice...... Does it take away from anything in the room? Thanks and stay healthy and safe....
  19. Just finished reading a bunch of reviews about this ship dating back to December 2019 and January 2020 with many negative reviews about a broken propeller/engine. Does anyone know if this was fixed yet? It seemed to have had a very negative effect on the cruises. Most people were very suprised that HAL hadn't cancelled and I don't think people got anything more than a $50 credit. Does anyone know? Thanks...
  20. Happy Days Are Here Again! The piano was not being used, but was ready to play, complete with the sheet music for “Happy Days Are Here Again! We finished checking our 4 bags to Fort Lauderdale and were heading to the TSA checkpoint when we spotted the piano sitting at the end of the concourse. What a great sign of the wonderful adventure to come. Cruising in general is delightful, long cruises even better, but being blessed to be able to go on a 128-day Grand World Voyage is a special treat. I had to sit down and plink a little on the keys, wishing now I had spent more time taking piano lessons, so I could have been able to bang out “Happy Days Are Here Again” which perfectly describes our mood as we start our Grand World Voyage. Planning for this cruise started in March of 2018 when we put down our deposit to hold our spot. Having a cruise deposit is like having a lottery ticket. While a cruise costs more than the lottery ticket, they both give you a chance to dream and anticipate a wonderful future. Unlike the lottery ticket, however, the cruise is a sure thing and the anticipation and planning is almost as sweet as the cruise itself. Over the next 4 months, we will be sharing our adventures and providing insight to help future cruisers as well as some observations to all the virtual cruisers around the world. Happy days are here again! Pete and Judy The Inside Cabin See the blog for pictures, menus and more! www.theinsidecabin.com
  21. Thinking of booking cabin 4166 because of the large balcony. This would be for a 18 day Panama Canal cruise. Any information on noise issues with either of these cabins? Thanks for any info.
  22. Hello. We finally got squared away on a BtoB on this ship and are very pleased. We had sailed on Eurodam previously and liked many things about her (BB Kings, Cabanas, size,etc.). I tried doing searches on VE cabins but could not find any info/ recommendations. We had booked 7111 and I saw subsequently 8013,14,20,23,24 were available. We generally like being higher and to the front of the ship but it would be greatly appreciated to hear any comments. What I gathered from skimming 33 pages of a post on a different site was that some balconies may be narrower, have more obstructed railings, and that some cabins may have shower vs/tub shower? None of the cabins above were listed specifically. So our laundry list questions would be: Would some cabins have larger balconies? Larger overhangs (prefer smaller) Potential noise issues? Walk in shower-preferred Thanks in advance for any guidance, Heathy and Happy Cruising.
  23. For those of you used to watching the sail-aways out of Ft. Lauderdale/Port Everglades, HAL's Veendam will be making a rare appearance today, Saturday, March 28, 2020 in order to take on fuel, water and some stores, as well as a small bit of crew turnover. She is due in at 0530 hrs and going to berth 19. Prelim departure is scheduled for 9:00 PM One hour later at 0630 hrs, HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam is scheduled in Port Everglades for the same purpose, and is assigned her routine berth 26. Prelim departure is scheduled for 4:00 PM - You've got to watch Nieuw A's departure for a surprise from her captain as she goes by the condos!! The third cruise ship in port on Saturday is CCL's Carnival Sunrise, arriving at 0800 hrs. local and assigned berth 04 The webcams can be found at: https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/
  24. Report # 1 San Diego, California Day One October 26, 2019 Saturday Sunny & Hot 23 Pictures Part #1 Of 1 Well, here we go again, beginning another adventure, which turned out to be a bit longer than we usually undertake. Late summer usually has us thinking of cruises to Alaska and Hawaii. But this year, HAL offered another South Pacific itinerary that really appealed to us. Aptly named “Tales of the South Pacific”, we booked this 51 day cruise, with a two day stay in San Diego. We will have a 12 day break in December to take care of a million things at home, including the holidays, then head off January 1st for the 128 day Grand World Voyage. It is exhausting just thinking about it, as it has taken much planning to make it work smoothly. So far, we’re off to a good start with the unexpected news from our travel agent yesterday that we had been given a complimentary upgrade from our outside room to a veranda. Miracles do happen. And it came at a good time, since the situation at home in California has been bleak recently. The dry weather conditions, mixed with low humidity and high winds has prompted power outages. At the time we left home, there had already been two phone calls from the power company warning us of blackouts that would begin Saturday evening. News about the many fires in the state have been beyond disturbing as well. Perfect time for us to leave, we guess. In August this year, we experienced a weekend of wild fires (arson-started), which closed our roads for two days. During that time, a doe had a fawn on our place, which is something that occurred once before this. So we have had a border, with the fawn staying within the safety of our fence, and the doe visiting to take care of her baby. It has been fun watching her grow and forage for the acorns from the oaks. She (we assume the fawn is a girl) has been joined by a large buck, who sustained an injury. He took refuge in our place too, rested for a week, then was on his way. Both animals, as well as several of their buddies have become almost tame as they allowed us to approach them with no fear. We do hope by the time we return, they will be gone and doing their thing elsewhere where they can find more feed. Once winter hits, there is little to sustain them. Much to our surprise, as our driver picked us up at 4:30am, we found that the main road had sustained a water leak that undermined the street. A crew was working in the dark fixing this leak, making it necessary to reduce the traffic to one lane. Good thing this was taking place on Saturday, and not during the commute work week. These things can never be predicted, sort of like Murphy’s Law. In all of the forty years we have lived here, this is the first time to experience these conditions. If this helps to prevent more devastating fires, then this will be the new normal. Back to our journey, the ride to SFO was just over an hour. Lucky again, we had both gotten the TSA pre-check, which worked well for one of us. But with the new knee brace, one of us got the xray and closer scrutiny. Wanded and swiped, I passed with flying colors. All went off according to schedule, and we arrived to San Diego before 10am. It had to be warmer here than at home….more like summer, and not autumn. Our hotel for the next two days is located within a few blocks of the cruise terminal. Today, the Star Princess and Eurodam were in port, so the activity in downtown was noticeable. Requesting early check-in, we were given a room immediately, instead of waiting until 4pm. Nice, since we had been up since 3am, and needed to relax for a bit. But only for a little bit. With some shopping we needed to do, we were off to get the job done. But first, after discovering the Westfield Mall was being re-modeled, and only a few stores were opened, we searched the Gaslight District for a suitable restaurant for lunch. Highly decorated for Halloween, we found the Sign of the Whale, a sports-type bar, was perfect. And besides, they had specials on ice cold beer today. Sharing a burger, we enjoyed watching the locals arriving dressed as witches for the occasion. This must be the weekend for parties. Even the pet dogs were decked out as pumpkins and ghouly ghosts. We did find the local pharmacy with the directions from our waiter, and found most everything we needed. Looking forward to some down time after the long walk today, back at the hotel, we did some emailing and TV watching. By 6pm, we headed out for dinner at Claim Jumpers, a few blocks away. We ordered our favorite salads while watching the Eurodam leave the scenic harbor. The sun was setting as we finished our meal, ending a nice, but busy long day. More tomorrow….. Bill & Mary Ann
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