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Found 303 results

  1. We previously sailed on the Amsterdam and spent many evenings in the Crow's Nest Bar. We booked on the Nieuw Amsterdam for Thanksgiving, so I was browsing photos of the ship. Did they turn the Crow's Nest into the Explorations Cafe? Is there no longer a bar up there???
  2. Does anyone know if there are charging USB ports in the nightstands on the Nieuw Amsterdam? I thought I saw this somewhere but not I'm having a hard time using the search function within the boards. Thanks!
  3. My wife and I sailed on the August 31 Nieuw Amsterdam Alaska cruise, roundtrip from Vancouver with visits to Tracy Arm Inlet/Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Ketchikan. I'm not writing a full review, but I wanted to share some notes and impressions from the cruise. This was not our first Alaska cruise. My wife and I took one on Princess in 2002, and I did two previous Alaska cruises in the 90's, one on Celebrity and the other on RCCL. I've been on many cruises but only once on HAL, and that was almost 25 years ago. It was the first time on HAL for my wife. EMBARKATION We took a taxi to Canada Place from our hotel, arriving around 11:00. The taxi waited in a long line in the parking garage to drop us off -- we should have left the taxi outside and walked. Embarkation was very quick and organized, with lots of staff directing people. We were able to board and go to our stateroom immediately after checking in and clearing Customs, so we were in our room before noon. The MDR was open for lunch from 12:00-1:30, so we ate there. Our luggage was delivered to our cabin around 2:00. CABIN We were in an aft-facing verandah cabin, #5191. The cabin was nice, with plenty of storage, a decent size bathroom with a tub/shower and handheld showerhead. Some of the space for hanging items was short, but I discovered you could fold the shelves up to make more space. Our cabin steward Jalu ("Lu") was very good. The balcony had two chairs with separate foot rests and a small table. The TV didn't appear to work correctly at first, but that's because you have to watch the entire safety presentation (just a few minutes) before you can access the menu. There was a limited selection of live TV, but we only watched the news once in a while to keep tabs on Hurricane Dorian (we live in FL). DINING Prior to the cruise, I made reservations in three of the specialty restaurants, Canaletto (first night), Pinnacle Grill (mid week), and Tamarind (last night). Once on board, we decided to try Tamarind on the second night. We had our other dinners and lunches in the MDR. Pinnacle and Tamarind were very good (Tamarind was better the first time), Canaletto was good but not great, and the MDR was pretty good. On Gala Nights people were not as dressed up as I've seen on other cruises. We had breakfast delivered to room each morning (including the last morning, which most cruise lines don't do). There's a limited selection of hot and cold items. A couple of mornings the order wasn't quite right, and a couple of times breakfast came either early or late, but overall it was fine. As with every other cruise line I've been on, there's an order tag you can hang outside your door before you go to bed. ENTERTAINMENT By far the best entertainment was the band at B.B. King's Blues Club, and we enjoyed that almost every night. We sat at the bar and got to know the bartenders (Jeffrey, Alan, and Luis). One night we listened to the dual piano players. They were good, and drew big crowds, but they didn't really play off each other like we've seen at other dueling piano shows. We were planning to listen to them a second time, but there were no seats available so went to B.B. King's instead. The only Mainstage shows we saw were the illusionist Leon Etienne and comedian Lamont Ferguson (two different shows). They were both good (the illusionist was better). My wife "volunteered" at Leon's show. They did a combined show the last night but we didn't go. Unlike some other ships we've been on, you didn't really have to get to the theater too early -- there were plenty of open seats up front even when the shows started. Bar service in the theater was more limited than what we've experienced elsewhere, and non-existent once the show started. The Orange Party was held at B.B. King's one night. Most people did not wear orange. The only differences between that night and other nights at the club were that the cruise director and some other crew members were dancing, the bartenders were wearing orange hats, and they were serving snacks. INTERNET AND WIFI I purchased the Premium Internet package before the cruise, which you can use on multiple devices but only one at a time. The service was pretty slow and unreliable, definitely not worth the money. I also signed up for AT&T's 30-day Cruise Plan, which gave me 50 minutes of voice and unlimited text on the ship's cellular (no data). They have a more expensive plan that provides some data and unlimited voice. One of the reasons I did this is because we spent a few days in Vancouver before the cruise, and I could use the Cruise Plan there (Canada is not included in my home wireless area). The HAL Navigator mobile app was useful. You don't need to buy an internet plan to connect to the ship's WiFi, and you can view the schedule of events, restaurant menus. and make dinner reservations (for specialty restaurants). You can also send messages other people who have the app (I didn't try that). If you do buy an internet plan, you can use the app to connect. I use NordVPN whenever I'm on a public WiFi network, and I limited success getting it to work with the ship's internet. The Navigator app doesn't work correctly when you're connected to a VPN. SHORE EXCURSIONS AND PORTS The only shore excursion I purchased from HAL (before the cruise) was the Tracy Arm Inlet tour. The ship passes through Tracy Arm Inlet on the way to Juneau, so you board the tour boat directly from the ship in the morning, and then board the ship directly from the tour boat that afternoon in Juneau. Overall we enjoyed the tour and are glad we did it, though it was expensive. We were supposed to meet at 8:15 in the theater and leave at 8:30 -- we didn't actually start leaving the ship until 9:15 (we could have used the extra sleep :-). We did two other excursions with local operations in Skagway and Juneau. Skagway and Juneau have become incredibly touristy since our last visit, with many blocks of nothing but jewelry stores and other typical tourist traps. Ketchikan had a bit more character, and the tourism was more integrated and not as in your face as the other ports. Glacier Bay was awesome. We spent quite a bit of time there, and they brought a naturalist on board to narrate. DISEMBARKATION We chose one of the early disembarkation groups (but not self-disembarkation) that was supposed to disembark around 8:30. Our flight from Vancouver was at around 12:30. We heard our group called a few minutes after 8:00, but we weren't quite ready to leave. When we arrived at the disembarkation point on the ship at around 8:20, we were told we were mistaken, and our group hadn't been called yet (other passengers verified that they also heard our group being called). Once they called our group (again), we got off the ship, claimed our bags, and cleared customs pretty quickly. There was no wait for taxi, and the ride to the airport was uneventful. The lines at the airport were short, and we were at our gate an hour or less after we disembarked. There was only one other ship disembarking, the Golden Princess, so that's probably why it went quickly. CONCLUSION We were happy overall with HAL and the cruise, and we definitely try HAL again. We did both get sick (colds or flu) a few days into the cruise, but this didn't appear to be a widespread problem, and we were still able to enjoy our trip.
  4. I understand that this is a "pop up" experience. But, where does it pop up? For those who have done this (and I know this is very subjective), is it work the $49 charge?
  5. This is the last full week of ships in Juneau although there will be no HAL ship on Wednesday. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port is Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215. There is a 100% chance of rain with a high of 55F/13C and a low of 43F/6C. Sunrise is at 6:29 am and sunset at 7:15 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam and Noordam on Tuesday.
  6. Cruise December 2019 (Holiday/Christmas). Family of 6 - adults. This will be our 5th cruise w/ HAL, our first Holiday. To save some money we are considering flying "red eye" into FLL. We would land at 6:00 a.m. How early can we board ship? Should we go ahead and get hotel to get few hours sleep? Thanks in advance for guidance.
  7. Amsterdam will be making her final appearance in Juneau for the foreseeable future. She will be doing Canada/New England runs next summer. She will be at the AS dock from 0800-2200. Volendam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Disney Wonder at the AJ dock from 0600-1315 and Island Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-1800. Both of these are making their last Juneau visits of the season. Friday the 13th is bringing some yucky weather to Juneau. There is a 100% chance of rain and, although not supposed to rain continuously, an inch of rain is predicted. The high will only be 56F/13C and the low 45F/7C. Sunrise is at 6:23 am and sunset at 7:23 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam on Monday.
  8. Cruise December 2019 Holiday. Family of 6. Fifth time on HAL, 1st Holiday trip. Does anyone know if HAL has a "special" night planned in the dining room for Christmas? We usually book one or two nights of our trip at one of the specialty restaurants while on board. Not sure how we should plan for the holiday this trip. Thanks much to all.
  9. We are booked on a TA next April which ends in Amsterdam. We want to take a train from Amsterdam to Paris when we disembark. Problem is, we've never been there before and this is our first HAL cruise and first time to continental Europe. Does anyone know which train station we should use from the port? There appear to be several. We are looking at taking a high speed train to Paris and from there making our way back to the Normandy region, either by car or train. We fly out of Paris for home a week later. Thanks for any advice you can offer!
  10. I am looking for feedback regarding the Zaandam and Amsterdam ships. We are looking at an Eastern Canada cruise next June and both these ships do the itinerary. They look very similar but I was wondering if there is an advantage of one over the other? Also, in terms of the itineraries which go from Montreal to Boston and in reverse, stopping at the same ports, is one direction better than the other? Perhaps it's splitting hairs. We have never done this itinerary. We have sailed on the Zuiderdam and Eurodam previously. Thank you in advance for you help!
  11. I'm flying from the US to Amsterdam to cruise on Holland America New Statendam in August 2020. I see 2 airport options. Which airport should I fly in to? Thank you.
  12. Does the spa area have a thallosotherpy pool. If so how big is it? Is there an additional fee? Also is the spa included in the Neptune Suites and above? Any pictures would be helpful. Thanks
  13. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. The nice weather continues for a couple more days. Monday should be mostly sunny with a high of 70F/21C and a low of 47F/8C. Sunrise is at 6:14 am and sunset at 7:35 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  14. Thinking about booking a connecting cabin on deck 6, ss category and would like to know if anyone can tell me where the connecting door is in the cabin? Thanks for your replies.
  15. Currently waitlisted for Early Dining (requested a table for 2) and I am not holding out much hope for getting early dining as booked this cruise very close to sailing date. Last time we sailed on the NA we had Anytime Dining and wanted a table for 2 and pretty much every night there was quite a long wait for seating. I guess we were “newbies” on HAL and didn’t know we should come at 5:50 😱 for dinner. So.... this time around I am trying to minimize the wait for dinner and was **considering** springing the $$ for Club Orange so that we could have dinner without a wait. Yes, I do understand that the NA does not have a dedicated restaurant like her larger sister ships and on the NA you just get a different menu for CO. But, I thought (????) if you purchased the CO deal, you would have preferred seating in the main dining room no matter what time you showed up such as between 6 and 7. When I spoke with my PCC he said that CO people have access to a concierge on board who would make these reservations for you. But I am not sure that is really the correct information that I have received. So, if there is anyone here on this board who has had experience on the NA with Club Orange, it would be great to hear from them regarding preferential or quick seating at the main dining room. Or their experience in general with Club Orange on the Niew Amsterdam. Of course, the other alternative for us is to just do specialty dining instead of CO. Anyway, just curious if there is someone who has experienced Club Orange on the Niew Amsterdam. Thanks in advance for any comments!
  16. Day #1 - After a leisurely breakfast on the 23rd floor of the Pan Pacific, we rolled our luggage downstairs to the co-located Canada Place cruise ship terminal (the hotel has a dedicated "cruise ship level" elevator.) It was an easy hop, skip and a roll to the porters. From there, it was the actual cruise ship check-in which, with four ships in port, was a busy affair. After check-in, it was a bit of a "zig-zag livestock style" meander to get to shore-side security screening of individuals and carry-on luggage, and then another "hurry up and wait" for pre-clearance border screening, not by Canadian CBSA, but by officers of the United States Customs & Border Protection (CBP). You see, the United States federal government operates border pre-clearance facilities at a number of ports and airports in foreign territory. The process is intended to streamline border procedures, reduce congestion at U.S. ports of entry, and facilitate travel between the pre-clearance location and U.S. ports of entry unequipped to handle international travelers. After the obligatory welcome aboard pic by the ship's photographers (hey, no one is holding a knife to your throat to later purchase these pics!), we took one of Nieuw A's scenic elevators to Deck 7 and to our floating crib. Dropped off the carry-on's and headed for the Lido Marker for a salad and soup lunch. As we were leaving the abode, our luggage was delivered pronto; fast service by Nieuw A's Housekeeping Dept.! The 4:00 PM mandatory passenger emergency safety drill was one of the fastest and most efficient "mustard" drills that we've seen in twenty-seven years of cruising. Everyone showed up, got scanned in by the asst. boat commander and, at least as was the case with our boat, #10, paid attention/quit flapping their lips" as Captain Marco Carsjens and CD Rebecca read their safety and health schpiel via the ship's P/A system. We were dismissed exactly nineteen minutes after arriving, a fact which drew an applause from many of our fellow shipmates! Impressive feat! After unpacking, we did some jelling and vegging until it was time for dinner (we chose a casual one in the Lido and had Rigatoni). From there, it was a beeline for the last portion of the first set (8:30 PM) of the B.B. King's All-Star Band which, we found out, was standing room only, not one available seat in in the house! The band sounded spectacular as usual, with lead female singer Stephanie Bolton standing out. We stuck around for the entire second set (were able to locate two front row seats) and then finished up the night with the two Billboard Onboard pianists/vocalists Ivy and Jonathan. The main entertainment in the show lounge tonite was the movie "Avengers Endgame"starting at 8:30 PM Pic is the reason behind this ship's name prominently displayed opposite the Deck 2 port-side scenic elevators. New York City's nick name "The Big Apple" was first popularized in the 1920s by John J. FitzGerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph.
  17. Just got back from the Aug 24 Nieuw Amsterdam 7-day Inside Passage and wanted to give a shout out to our portrait photographer, Melinda. Melinda is one of the two "Black Label" portrait experts on the Nieuw Amsterdam and we (DW, DD, and myself) decided to sit for a session with her. Melinda was a delight to work with and captured some of the best portrait photographs we've ever had taken of us. Even DD, who was convinced that B&W photos are dumb and has the normal body issues of a 15yo, loved the results. Yes, the prints and/or digital files are expensive, but we were so pleased with the results that we ordered the digital files for nine of the images. It added up to a lot, but now we have plans for holiday presents for the grandparents, so that's good . So, if you're on the Nieuw Amsterdam and thinking about getting a portrait done, ask for Melinda!
  18. Hi 🤗 Thought I remembered seeing a thread with all of the captains names and ships, but cannot seem to find it. Would anyone please know the captain on the the ms. Amsterdam September 9, 2019? Thank you!
  19. Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam will be spending Labor Day in Juneau. Eurodam will be at the AS dock from 1300-2300 and Nieuw Amsterdam at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Ruby Princess at the FKL dock from 1100-2215 and Solstice at the AJ dock from 1330-2200. Typical Juneau weather is back for this week with mostly cloudy skies and a good chance of rain each day. The prediction for Monday is for overcast skies with some showers. High will only be 55F/13C and the low 51F/10C. Sunrise is at 5:59 am and sunset at 7:55 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Oosterdam on Tuesday.
  20. Amsterdam will be at the AS dock from 0800-2200 and Volendam will be at the CT dock from 1300-2200. Also in port are Disney Wonder at the AJ dock from 0600-1315 and Regatta at the FKL dock from 1200-2300. And yet another perfect day is forecast for Friday. The day will be sunny with a high of 72F/22C and a low of 48F/9C and a 0% chance of rain. Sunrise is at 5:52 am and sunset at 8:03 pm. The PTZtv webcam can be found at https://www.juneauharborwebcam.com/. Next up: Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam on Monday.
  21. Anyone sailed on Nieuw Amsterdam recently - What Internet plans are offered? Is an unlimited plan available?
  22. Considering a future cruise on the Koningsdam but am concerned that it might “feel” more crowded as opposed to the slightly smaller NA. Sailed on the NA 1.5 years ago and did enjoy the cruise. Relaxing and never felt crowded. Sailed on several Celebrity ships and sometimes the ships felt VERY crowded. I know this is really a very subjective questions as feeling crowded can be a very personal thing. But any comments would be welcomed. Trying to decide to sail the K or just go back to the NA for a cruise. BTW, the time of the cruise would be wither October or December. And I would **think** that those times of years would not be incredibly crowded, but who knows!
  23. That was the question I asked myself as we boarded in Seattle - the flagship of the fleet, the World Cruise ship, the newly-refurbished almost 20-year old... And I was even more confused at muster drill when I saw a familiar tall figure on the deck with us. I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but later on our CD, Bruce, mentioned the opportunity to book a cruise with our Future Cruise Consultant, Sheryll, and I knew I had seen our (multiple) Prinsendam master, Captain Jeroen Schuchmann. (He was on board as a passenger, prior to going for training for the Amsterdam captaincy.) However, I have to say, I don't think Amsterdam will be the new Prinsendam, which was confirmed by Sheryll, who announced that Veendam will be taking over all of the late, lamented Prinsendam's cruises, except for the Kiel Canal, which will no longer be on any HAL itinerary. Amsterdam will be doing a Grand Africa, and the World Cruise, but others will be done by Veendam. Our last cruise - on Prinsendam - was part of a Grand Voyage, so it is difficult to make comparisons. The Amsterdam is beautiful, I think she most reminds me of Zaandam, with a few differences, most of which are probably across the fleet. No orchids in the Lido Market, new bags, no amuse bouche at dinner in the Pinnacle, Club Orange as part of the dining room.....
  24. That was the question I asked myself as we boarded in Seattle - the flagship of the fleet, the World Cruise ship, the newly-refurbished almost 20-year old... And I was even more confused at muster drill when I saw a familiar tall figure on the deck with us. I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but later on our CD, Bruce, mentioned the opportunity to book a cruise with our Future Cruise Consultant, Sheryll, and I knew I had seen our (multiple) Prinsendam master, Captain Jeroen Schuchmann. (He was on board as a passenger, prior to going for training for the Amsterdam captaincy.) However, I have to say, I don't think Amsterdam will be the new Prinsendam, which was confirmed by Sheryll, who announced that Veendam will be taking over all of the late, lamented Prinsendam's cruises, except for the Kiel Canal, which will no longer be on any HAL itinerary. Amsterdam will be doing a Grand Africa, and the World Cruise, but others will be done by Veendam. Our last cruise - on Prinsendam - was part of a Grand Voyage, so it is difficult to make comparisons. The Amsterdam is beautiful, I think she most reminds me of Zaandam, with a few differences, most of which are probably across the fleet. No orchids in the Lido Market, new bags, no amuse bouche at dinner in the Pinnacle, Club Orange as part of the dining room.....
  25. My d/w and I will be finishing a transatlantic and Norway fiord cruise aboard the Niew Statendam in Early May 2020 and am having a hard time with post cruise hotel in Amsterdam. Will probably stay in the city 3 days or so. Can anyone recommend a hotel central location that doesn’t break the bank?
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