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"Live from" ms Volendam to Alaska! My First HAL Experience

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I'm sorry if you stated earlier and I missed it, but what lens(es) are you using to shoot these? A fellow photographer (and food photographer!) wants to know!

 

Thanks! :D

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Sarah,

I am enjoying reading your review. We will be heading to Alaska in late Sept. so hope to learn a few things from your experience.

Thanks! And I hope I'll be able to be of help (:

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What kind of camera do you have? The pics are great. Can't wait to see some of ALASKA!!!

 

I'm sorry if you stated earlier and I missed it, but what lens(es) are you using to shoot these? A fellow photographer (and food photographer!) wants to know!

 

Thanks! :D

 

I'm using (btw thank you :D) a Canon EOS 60D. Food shots are with a 15mm lens and later, I'll be using a larger landscape lens (17-20mm? i don't remember, I'll check when I'm home). But these shots so far are using the 15mm.

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I'm using (btw thank you :D) a Canon EOS 60D. Food shots are with a 15mm lens and later, I'll be using a larger landscape lens (17-20mm? i don't remember, I'll check when I'm home). But these shots so far are using the 15mm.

 

Thanks! Just confirms that I need to replace the super wide angle a thief stole (with my camera body attached to it) before I go on this trip in a few weeks! I've replaced the camera body but I couldn't afford to replace the lens, too. I'm hoping for a Mother's Day lens perhaps.... :o

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Interesting to learn, this would indicate that the GI illness that broke out April 3 or 4 on our 14 Days Cruise April 1 - April 15 Japan/Korea/China and was never brought under Control, was still onboard on the next Cruise from Japan to Vancouver. By the time we reached Kobe April 15 the crew was said to have worked an average of 4 hrs o/t a day. Even the guy from the pianobar, singers and dancers were seen around the ship with Purell Instant Hand Sanitizers for the passengers. Passengers continuing with the ship to Vancouver were asked to go ashore in Kobe early morning and not come back before 2.30 pm to allow the crew to sanitize the cabins. USD 50:- per pax was paid out for taking lunch ashore.

 

I certainly hope the hard working crew of Volendam were finally able to get rid of the GI illness onboard! Did they or ?

 

Actually yeah! When we were on the Volendam, we didn't hear of anyone getting sick. I think they managed to successfully clean the ship of disease. But yeah, I noticed that a lot of the staff didn't look happy at all :/ grumpy too. Perhaps they were tired from all the o/t .

Actually! One time I was leaving our cabin, I saw 3 doctors pass by :eek:, with purpose. Maybe someone got sick that I didn't know about?

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I was on the cruise from April 1st to May 1st.

 

The cruise from Kobe to Vancouver was still beset with norovirus, despite the thorough cleaning in Kobe on April 15th, mostly due to passengers not complying with requests to isolate themselves if they were unwell.

 

Code red was finally lifted about 36 hours before we arrived in Vancouver.

 

And yes, the crew continued to work overtime for almost the entire cruise.

 

There have recently been two other threads concerning norovirus on that cruise.

 

Awh, that's unfortunate that the noro was to contaminate your vacation :( , what's it like on board during a code red?

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I am loving your review with pictures.

Good job.

 

Thank you! ^^ I guess I didn't carry that huge camera around for naught.

 

Very nice review. Love the pictures. That is amazing that you were 16 when you took this cruse and it is your 7th cruise....Lucky you:)

 

Thank you! & Haha, I know I'm pretty lucky :D, I actually turn 17 on Day 2!

 

I'm following your not-so-live thread. Great photo's!

My stomach is actually rumbling right now.....(note to self: do not read this thread until after I have eaten something ;) )

 

Thanks you! And hehe, that was what I was going for :D

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I came back to the Hudson Room and saw that they were still playing

 

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After sitting a while, I had the urge to ... go to the little girl's room :P, so I told Sis to some with me. And my god, are the bathrooms pretty! We found a public one around the corner and opened the door to see this:

 

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They have a SEPARATE CARPETED MAKE UP ROOM. :eek: It was so pretty. I asked my bro if guys had any special rooms like that and he said: "D: no! what the heck? jealous!"

 

They had flowers in there (see? ALL around the ship) and little towels for you to dry your hands on. There were 2 holes in the counter. One for used towels, and one for garbage.

 

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The bathrooms are pretty cool too. They weren't simply stalls. They were literally little rooms. They were even semi-soundproof! (Haha, so other people can't hear your gross bathroom noises :P) I know this because when I called my sister, she couldn't hear me until I saw shouting

 

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After this, they packed up and put away their mahjong and we all headed up to the Lido for their midnight snack that goes on between 11pm-12am.

 

We walked the whole buffet and could only find a few things that we really wanted to eat. One being shrimp on avocado, my favourite! :) I think the little cake thing was supposed to be some sort of strawberry marble thing.

 

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We finished off our snack (which usually turns into a meal) with something that would be eaten at least twice a day: ice cream.

 

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This was actually taken when I was almost done eating the whole thing. It's hard ice cream scooped by a server and put into either a bowl or a waffle cone. (The waffle cones are actually pretty big)

 

Shortly after, we headed back to our rooms (we got 2 outside cabins next to each other) and turned in. Smooth sailing so far.

 

 

End of Day 1

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Day 2: At Sea

 

 

I woke up to the clouds, shining through my window :D and the air temperature cool. Nothing could kill the mood I was in, Why? Well of course, it was my birthday! ^^

 

I got up and looked at my sister & my mom to see if either of them would be able to remember by themselves.

(To test them, I didn't even mention it last night) I stared at my sister and why looked at me blankly:

"What? O-o you're weird"

=__=

Fail.

 

I looked at my mom:

"Get changed, hurry up."

=__=

Fail.

 

I glanced at my (Dad's) iPod nano (which I used as a pocket watch all trip (: ) and saw that it was 11:30pm ish. Oops. Oh well, it's my birthday, I get to sleep as much as I want ^^.

I then looked at my sister and said " ... it's.. my birthday". She realizes and tackles me in overcompensation and says "HAPPY BIRTHDAAY :D", my mom chimes in as she's heard my sister scream.

*sigh* Oh wells.

 

Mom was getting changed and told me & my sister to hurry up and get ready for lunch. Our sleep arrangement was supposed to be:

 

During the daytime: Mom/Sis/Me in Room 2550 and Dad/Bro in 2548

During the nighttime: Bro/Sis/Me in Room 2550 and Dad/Mom in 2548

 

Mom didn't like sleeping in the same room as us because we're apparently (from experience on our last Disney cruise) "a pain in the butt & a blanket hog"

>.> psh, I don't know what she's talking about.

 

Anyways, Mom somehow ended up sleeping on the couch (that turned into a bed on day 1 and stayed that way all cruise) because when she knocked

on the room next door, Bro & Dad never answered (probably fell asleep).

 

So we all finished changing and went next door to make sure that Dad & Bro were ready. Their turn >:). We walk in and plop down onto their couch and I stare intently at Dad.

He continues to talk to Mom about what we're going to do today.

Mom turns to him and laughs (in chinese) "Haha, you're in trouble now! ^^" Dad: "O-o? Why? Did I forget something?"

Me: =__=

Mom: "LOL you're SO in trouble now"

Dad: "Huh? Why?"

Mom: "What day is it today?"

Dad: "Thursday".

Me: =___=

Mom: "=__= What day is it t-"

Dad: O_O! *turns to me* HAPPY BIRTHDAY! *overcompensate kissy face*

I block his face with my hand. "Too late Dad LOL"

My brother comes out of the bathroom. Sis asks him, "What day is it today?"

Bro: *looks at me and says at the speed of light* HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :D

*sigh* At least he realized quickly.

 

Dad & Bro quickly finish getting ready and we make our way up to the Rotterdam.

(Our cabins were located on deck 2 forward, port side right next to the (farthest forward) elevators.)

 

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We were promptly seated (A little bit of a line up outside) and given a table a little ways from the windows. Not that there was anything to see. >_> But, I took a picture anyways. Just like I always do (:

 

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While waiting for the servers to arrive, I took a picture of the only food that was at our table:

 

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Shortly afterwards, our menus arrive:

 

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Hehe, you can see my finger in the last one :D

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Everyone orders a Calamari Fritti:

 

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That was really good. The sauce complimented it well and it was nice and crispy.

 

Dad also orders a Thai Curried Chicken Salad:

 

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It was alright, nothing special. Way more veggie than curry :/

After taking a bite of Dad's salad, my Banana and Orange Mélange arrives.

 

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This was alright. The sauce was interestingly tangy and a little bit spicy, but wound up creating a little pool of liquid at the bottom of the cup.

This made it kind of awkward to eat since the banana slices were wet and getting too soft. It'd also splash you if you didn't stab it far enough with your fork because it'd slide right off it and fall.

 

As I ate my squishy fruit, Mom's Cheddar and Crab Chowder arrived.

 

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This was actually quite tasty, creamy and thick with a decent amount of crab meat in it. The cracker was somewhat in the way since no one wanted to eat it LOL.

 

Soon enough, our entrées started arriving. Bro & I ordered the Swiss steak, expecting a steak since, it WAS in the name. Normal, right? WRONG. It was not a steak. Not at all. Liars :,( I wanted my steak. I realized afterwards that in the little print, it said braised. BRAISED. OMG BRAISED. It turned out to be the soft style of cooking meat (the boiled meat texture, like in curry) drenched in BBQ sauce. It tasted alright but I wanted my steak :( . So did Bro.

 

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Mom ordered the Cilantro and Mint-Crusted Tilapia:

 

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It was crispy on the outside and soft/moist on the inside. Not bad, but I don't like fish cooked this way, so ... meh. It probably would taste good to other people, just

not to a kid whose mom made her eat fish =_=. My mom thought it was alright.

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We will also be on the Volendam in July and I am really feeling your report - it's makes your reader feel like they truly are there "live" right with you. I think a career as a TA could be in your future!

 

There sure isn't much on the Volendam so you are filling in a big gap. Thanks so much. My brother has the exact camera you have and I got his hand-me-down Rebel T2i. Can't wait to see what your excursions were and what the ship was like the whole week. Hope you saw lots of wildlife.

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Dad & Sis ordered the Barbecue Pulled-Pork Sandwich:

 

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I took a bite, not bad. Something I did like about their lunch was that, a lot of the food came with sweet potato fries, as opposed to normal french fries. I really like sweet potato fries! They were served in the Lido embarkation lunch too! I noticed that everyday (lunch in MDR), the potatoes they served seriously varied! Sometimes french fries, sometimes sweet potato fries, maybe wedged potatoes, baked or even mashed! :D Yum.

 

With our tummies almost full, we received our dessert menus:

 

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Dad opted for the Vanilla Napoleon:

 

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This was really yummy :D The cream wasn't too heavy, but it was kind of awkward to share. When you stabbed it, it broke apart. Sis got clever and used her knife to cut it ^^

 

Mom decided to be healthy (as she usually is) and get the Sliced Fruit Plate:

 

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LOL What a plate. Made me laugh :D

 

I ordered one of my favourite desserts of all time: Apple Pie, and requested it be "A la mode-ed" (:

 

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This was really really yummy ^^, I love me my apple pie.

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Bro & Sis are the type that like their ice cream and wound up ordering various kinds for the rest of the trip.

Sis ordered the Blueberry Sundae:

 

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and Bro went for the Lime Sherbet (I don't know why, he likes sour stuff & sherbets/sorbets o_o)

 

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I tried both of them, tasty, usual ice cream. The Lime Sherbet wasn't too sour.

 

We wiped our mouths and rinsed our mouths with water and left. After leaving, we passed by the Exploration's Café so I took some pictures of the food that was only display in the glass case:

 

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They're quite tasty (: The brownie especially! (I eat from here a couple days later, I have pictures of that too LOL)

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And no, it wasn't too cold. Just glacier day, wow, was it cold!

 

LOL you live in Canada, what's your definition of "not too cold?" We're in Hawaii and I'm dreading having to pack for my kids (6, 5, and 3 at time of sail) because we don't DO cold here. . .

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LOL you live in canada, what's your definition of "not too cold?" we're in hawaii and i'm dreading having to pack for my kids (6, 5, and 3 at time of sail) because we don't do cold here. . .

 

LOL, basically if it's not cold enough for me to saw (wearing a shirt and a cardigan) "OMFG *** IT'S SO COLD, LET ME BACK IN", it's not "cold" LOL

 

When Bro & Sis were playing basketball and I peered out a bit over the railing to peer over the glass casing (of the bball court) and got hit in the face with freezing cold air. THAT was cold. As in, I can only take about 3 pictures before my fingers are numb and I have to hide back behind the glass.

 

Glacier days was cold too as in, OMG GIVE ME MORE CLOTHING. (:

 

I suggest that when you pack for your kids, pack layers of clothing for them, so they can take it off. They'll get warm inside the ship. For city ports, pack normal jackets, not super puffy ones. It's chilly, but more rainy than cold. Mild to cold temperatures. For glacier days, they will need more clothing, but only have them put it on right before they go outside, or else they'll be sweating like crazy. (: Aloha

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Between the menus and the pictures.... I AM SO HUNGRY!! :pOur next cruise can not get here fast enough.

 

Thank you for sharing. :D

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Once I finished taking pictures, we proceeded forward. After seeing the casino entrance, we simply detoured around to the right side and passed by the Piano Bar

 

8727784132_0e64c25063_b.jpg

 

Here are some chairs we see after turning right from the Casino entrance. (I'll have better pictures of the Piano Bar later, it's a live music spot at night)

 

We walked forward and passed the Piano Bar and the room opens up like this:(you can see in the center, Bro, Dad & Sis [with the character backpack] (not the dude all the way to the left)

 

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In front & to the right, you can see the shops where they sell various jewelry, perfumes and cologne. Directly adjacent (to the left) is the casino. It's connected to it. As in, literally, to the left of that brown structure (mini lounge with chairs), people are gambling.

 

We proceed forward (to where you see the fire alarm far left) and there's a large doorway which leads straight into the top floor of the Atrium. This is what you see when you enter the Atrium (sorry the shots are a little close, I only had my macro lens with me)

 

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(At the bottom right, you can see a display of some random jewelry, I believe I took pictures of it (just cuz lol), but I don't want to waster my 6 pics per post Haha (: )

 

This is to the right:

 

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They did many art auctions here. There was also live music here too.

 

This is directly to the left of that Ocean Bar (the elevators, all elevator blocks look like this):

 

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and this is to the left of the elevators. This pathway passes a few stores with (clothing I think?) merchandise and leads straight to the upper left entrance of the Franz Hal Lounge (Main theatre):

 

8727788630_0eb2570701_b.jpg

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We will also be on the Volendam in July and I am really feeling your report - it's makes your reader feel like they truly are there "live" right with you. I think a career as a TA could be in your future!

 

There sure isn't much on the Volendam so you are filling in a big gap. Thanks so much. My brother has the exact camera you have and I got his hand-me-down Rebel T2i. Can't wait to see what your excursions were and what the ship was like the whole week. Hope you saw lots of wildlife.

 

Aw! That's so nice! (: (and I'm referring to everything in that first paragraph) I actually did notice when I was prepping for my trip, NOONE MAKES VOLENDAM TRIP REPORTS. :( so I made a vow that I would fill that void when I got home (: I literally took notes of things I noticed in my phone EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I actually didn't really do excursions (since this WAS my third time there), we just walked around and bought souvenirs when we could. :/ sorry.

&& I didn't see many animals this time 'round. The only time we saw some was (I think Day 3 or 4?) during lunch we saw dolphins (the tip of their heads atleast haha) during lunch. I took like 100 pics LOL

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Between the menus and the pictures.... I AM SO HUNGRY!! :pOur next cruise can not get here fast enough.

 

Thank you for sharing. :D

LOL then I took good pictures haha :D I know the feeling, I look forward to cruises at an extreme level, as in research one year in advance xD

 

Thanks for following (: and you're welcome ^^

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Here's a look back from the doorway we came out of:

 

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See what I meant by the jewelry stores being directly stuck to the casino?

 

Anyways, while I was taking pictures (Mom & Dad are in the Signature alcohol shop ordering something), there was an art auction going on right at the Ocean Bar.

(Look at the previous chunk of posts, it's behind those paintings to the right). So I took a peak (: .

 

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That auction was sad. Not many bidders and the awkwardness was asphyxiating. It's like the poor lady was selling to a crowd of dead people! She resorted to giving away things

like her mousepad to get some response from the people! :/

 

After taking a peak, I looked downstairs to Deck 4 and 3 of the Atrium (I'm on 5).

 

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See? Flowers everywhere (:

We headed down there (One deck down) and I got some shots of the Front Office and the Shore Excursion desk. We were exploring, as well as killing some time before the Royal Dutch Tea (Yay!~).

 

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After that, we went up to the Lido Pool to play some ping pong for a while until it was nearing 3'o'clock (Every day's tea time).

 

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Edited by lovely_serenity

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