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Catlover54

Only two TV music options on Zaandam and no on demand movies

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I booked a short notice Vista cabin on Zaandam because my other cruise was cancelled short notice. I am enjoying myself, but am shocked at the low tech in-room TV.  First I had a remote that had no mute button and  no way to select channels without randomly  scrolling one by one, with  no menu choices, no on demand excursion info. 

I was also surprised that the TV only has two music options, one basically elevator Musaak option and another background Musaak  on the channel that shows the bow view from bridge. I have had three different people look at it ( each one passed the buck, blamed old tech or winged answers just to get me out of their hair ), better like Musaak or bring your own speakers and run them off your iphone.  One maintenance guy came up with a new and different  remote  which got me a mute button ( hurrah— other crew just claimed mute option does not exist)  but still  said there is no music other than the two Musaak options. Too bad, so sad.

 

You also have to rent physical CDs to see movies, ( allegedly100 available) but nothing is available  on demand in the cabin.  The main news channel I like has a buzzing sound, was  told to live with it, that is the way it is. No way to view account on TV.  Have to log on to wifi and use the Navigator website at logon.com, which consumes paid internet, app alsodoes not work  despite attempts to repair.

 

Very 20th century tech, but we are well into the 21st century.  I like many other aspects of this old fashioned style but super  comfortable ship , ( will write a fair and balanced  review when done) but would be hesitant to take a long cruise with such a lame TV, if information given to me by three crew is actually correct.

 

Has anyone been able to get more than two music options on a Zaandam TV?

Is this the TV music standard throughout the HAL line? Are there upgrade plans?  Thanks to anyone who responds.

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6 minutes ago, Catlover54 said:

I booked a short notice Vista cabin on Zaandam because my other cruise was cancelled short notice. I am enjoying myself, but am shocked at the low tech in-room TV.  First I had a remote that had no mute button and  no way to select channels without randomly  scrolling one by one, with  no menu choices, no on demand excursion info. 

I was also surprised that the TV only has two music options, one basically elevator Musaak option and another background Musaak  on the channel that shows the bow view from bridge. I have had three different people look at it ( each one passed the buck, blamed old tech or winged answers just to get me out of their hair ), better like Musaak or bring your own speakers and run them off your iphone.  One maintenance guy came up with a new and different  remote  which got me a mute button ( hurrah— other crew just claimed mute option does not exist)  but still  said there is no music other than the two Musaak options. Too bad, so sad.

 

You also have to rent physical CDs to see movies, ( allegedly100 available) but nothing is available  on demand in the cabin.  The main news channel I like has a buzzing sound, was  told to live with it, that is the way it is. No way to view account on TV.  Have to log on to wifi and use the Navigator website at logon.com, which consumes paid internet, app alsodoes not work  despite attempts to repair.

 

Very 20th century tech, but we are well into the 21st century.  I like many other aspects of this old fashioned style but super  comfortable ship , ( will write a fair and balanced  review when done) but would be hesitant to take a long cruise with such a lame TV, if information given to me by three crew is actually correct.

 

Has anyone been able to get more than two music options on a Zaandam TV?

Is this the TV music standard throughout the HAL line? Are there upgrade plans?  Thanks to anyone who responds.

It appears Zaandam has not had the entertainment system upgraded.

To answer your questions, 2 music channels is pretty much standard, even on the upgraded ships.

You do have the option to get movies from the front desk, and there is no charge to do so. You should have a blue booklet "Ship Flicks" that shows what movies are available - well over 100, some relatively current.

Even on the upgraded ships, the remote has limited functionality, no posibility of going to a specific channel without scrolling thru the other channels.

Navigator intranet website does not count against your internet plan. Just connect to the wifi and the home screen should allow access to your account.

 

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Browse through the Ship Flicks book which has many hundreds of DVD's available.  (I actually got the full box set of the Sopranos on a long cruise, all 6 seasons).   There is no charge for the DVD's, so you do not "rent" them, it is a free lending library.  You call down to the front desk and ask for your titles by number.  They will deliver them to your cabin in a few minutes.  Or you can walk down to the front desk and pick them up yourself.

The Navigator is on the ship's LAN, and does NOT require any internet subscription or fees.  All free.

To configure the older R class ships to the newer interactive TV's which use ethernet cable for the programming source would require many weeks in drydock running ethernet cables to every cabin.   That is not going to happen.  The TV's on the older, smaller ships are not interactive, and use standard analog RG-6 coaxial cable.  

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As an alternative (albeit not very satisfactory), if you have Netflix streaming, you can download many titles to a tablet to enjoy. We have a good-sized one, and, while not perfect, doing this generally beats what the S-class ships have.

Good luck! 

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Zaandam last went to dry-dock one year ago and supposedly got the new interactive TVs in her Neptune and Penthouse suites but apparently not in the categories below those. As a side note, the technician who's responsibility it is to look after in-cabin TV systems is the Assistant I.T. (Information Technology) officer. Hopefully, he was one of the crew sent to your cabin to assist you

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I know it’s sacrilegious but the large interactive TV’s play an important part in my cruise decisions.  😳

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7 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

I know it’s sacrilegious but the large interactive TV’s play an important part in my cruise decisions.  😳

We also enjoy a interactive and decent sized TV!  With that said, our next 2 sailings are on the Amsterdam and Zaandam, both longer itineraries.  It will take some getting use to for sure.

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We were on the Zaandam last year and had a fabulous time.  We got the DVDs from the front desk.  The aft and bow camera channels had music, too (though admittedly one of them was not working more often than working).

 

Someone else mentioned downloading in advance from Netflix on their tablet.  We also did this with our Xfinity account.

 

I am curious: I know the Nieuw Statendam has the new system, but does she also have dvd/cd players in the room?

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10 minutes ago, syesmar said:

We were on the Zaandam last year and had a fabulous time.  We got the DVDs from the front desk.  The aft and bow camera channels had music, too (though admittedly one of them was not working more often than working).

 

Someone else mentioned downloading in advance from Netflix on their tablet.  We also did this with our Xfinity account.

 

I am curious: I know the Nieuw Statendam has the new system, but does she also have dvd/cd players in the room?

No DVD players in Nieuw Statendam Cabins. Good selection of relatively current movies.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, palolake said:

Does anyone know if the Zuiderdam has interactive tvs?

Not sure exactly what you mean by interactive, but last September, our OV cabin TV had many choices by category (I don't think we could search). We were surprised and pleased that many of the films were related to our ports-of-call or countries visited.

I didn't measure, but the TV seemed about as big as our 55-inch one at home, with an excellent picture. It was mounted on the wall across from the bed. There was no DVD player. 

Edited by kwb101

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It is good to know that the newer ships planned for at least partly  updated technology, and that at least some Neptune suites on older HAL ships also do. I am only in a Vista, and it is only my 3rd HAL cruise.

I don't cruise in order to watch TV and movies, or to listen to music, , but in addition to knowing what one is getting into (to prepare for  longer down periods) having better music (e.g., a genre other than the two Musaak options) and movie options by genre would be a plus.

 

I found the "Shipflicks" list of about 1000 DVDs people suggested (did not know what it was at first and had avoided finding out about it on the desk because it had grease spots all over it ).  That would work if you already know what movie title you want to watch.  It is nice on ships, airplanes,  and in hotels to discover new movies with little descriptions while on vacation, movies where the title gives no clue.  With just a DVD list  I have no idea most of the time what the movie is about unless I saw it years ago.  The Shipflicks list is mostly just titles. One can certainly then log on and research a title, one by one, in a favorite genre.

 

I think for a longer HAL trip, absent new tech upgrades, right now  I would just plan  to load up on my own choice of music on my iPAD (not the cloud, to avoid dealing with internet as it has been dog slow this trip even with the upgraded package, so I cannot imagine streaming anything ) plus plan on the extra weight of  little portable speakers or settle on iPhone or iPad quality.  I would also pre-research movies in advance and download in advance onto the iPAD.

Audiobooks and kindle downloads would also help, in lieu of movies, i.e., more DIY.

Every cruise line choice involves balancing benefits and disadvantages. 

 

 

 

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While onboard the Eurodam, we booked a 29 day cruise on the Rotterdam.  I asked the future cruise consultant if the Vista Suites or Neptune Suites had the 42" wall mounted TV that were interactive.  She said that only the suites have the large, wall mounted TV's but they were not interactive.  She explained about the costs and time in dry dock to run the required ethernet cabling to every cabin to make them interactive.   So, I would assume that the large flat screen TV's on the R-class ships have the wall mounted TV's in the suites, but the content will be the same as the smaller desk mounted TV in the lower cabins.   They must be fed with the regular RG-6 coaxial cable.

The next problem is the DVD players.  In the inside, OV's and Lanai cabins, the 20" flat screens mounted at the desk have a DVD player mounted just under it, so the RCA cables (yellow, red and white) are an easy run to the TV.  If the bigger flat screens are mounted on the wall, where would you put a DVD player close by ?   If the DVD player is still at the desk, then they would have to run RCA cables up into the ceiling and over to the TV.   Then you have the remote control problem.  You have 2 remotes with the separate TV and DVD player.   You aim the TV remote at the TV on the wall at the foot of your bed, but you would have to aim the DVD remote over to the desk.  Confusing.  

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I gave the Shipflicks DVD option a try, no success.  Cruise is almost over, so will not retry ( would retry if going across the Atlantic).  I have to deal with broken things  all the time day to day in my regular life, so do not want a fix-it  project while on vacation.

 

First I hunted through the list to find a movie that sounded like it was clear from the title what the topic was, plus two others.  Called the front desk and asked for room delivery, and the attendant  asked for two names, in case one was n/a.

An hour later, no DVD, so I left the room to go do other “entertaining” things.

An hour after that, I found the DVD had finally been delivered to the room.

Next came getting the DVD to load and run off the DVD remote .There was a groaning sound, but I finally  got it loaded.  Then it would not play when I 

pressed the apparent “play” button.  I called the desk, asked if there was a special setting,  they knew nothing ,  but sent a tired-looking  guy (who I think was a steward) .  He said I had to first press the AV button on the TV remote when I see the main TV menu.  

Then it started playing, and as the guy was trying to leave, I saw there was buzzing and stuttering, movie was unwatchable.  I called him back, and he pronounced the DVD player was broken, (not the disc.?).  You can only have one disc out at a time, so I could not test which was broken. The guy shrugged and tried to leave again but when I pressed what was next,  he said he would tell the front desk to put in a work order to send someone else with a new player.

 

Five hours later, still nothing had happened, so I just returned the DVD in person to guest services to avoid a potential late charge and told them about the problem so they can fix it before the next guest.  They had no work order from before, were disinterested, acted annoyed I was bothering them, and issued no apology for the serial inconveniences with my in-cabin TV, remote, and DVD system. I started feeling like I was dealing with  a government bureaucracy, something like the little guy below.

 

Finally, I said good-bye, got myself a nice drink in the beautiful Ocean Bar, and sat down with an old-fashioned book, like we used to do on cruises in the old days.  It worked just fine! 🙂

 

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