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"Live from Nieuw Statendam December 8 - 22, 2019"

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46 minutes ago, VMax1700 said:

Any chance you could post the 'Disembarkation Options' that are offered on board?  (excursions etc)

Is Luggage Direct offered?

Thanks!

 

The Disembarkation package had two pieces of paper.  The one with options has already been returned to the Front Desk but I will try to get a copy of it/  The second page on Luggage Direct I will scan and post after I return home.  In the meantime, I will be glad to answer any luggage direct questions by referring to the second page in my possessions.

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1 hour ago, Crew News said:

 

The Disembarkation package had two pieces of paper.  The one with options has already been returned to the Front Desk but I will try to get a copy of it/  The second page on Luggage Direct I will scan and post after I return home.  In the meantime, I will be glad to answer any luggage direct questions by referring to the second page in my possessions.

 

We are just trying to ascertain our options for a tour followed by drop off at MIA or use Luggage Direct and wander SoBe.  Our flight is 6 pm on American.

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Crew News,I'm looking forward to your report.I just booked a trip to Europe for 2021 and we have a Vista Suite on Deck 8 at the end jutting out on midship.Would like to know if the Lido Deck being above will affect itand also your views o the food,and Club Orange. Have a fabulous time!

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36 minutes ago, VMax1700 said:

 

We are just trying to ascertain our options for a tour followed by drop off at MIA or use Luggage Direct and wander SoBe.  Our flight is 6 pm on American.

 

Luggage Direct applies to MIA American, Delta, and United Airlines.   Must depart the ship at 7:30 AM with flights between noon and midnight Disembarkation Day.  $25 p/p service fee with $30 first bag and $40 second bag.  Must have confirmed reservations.  Special luggage tags will be provided for attachment when you put our your luggage before midnight.

 

Flights out of FLL too.

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45 minutes ago, PatLuv said:

Crew News,I'm looking forward to your report.I just booked a trip to Europe for 2021 and we have a Vista Suite on Deck 8 at the end jutting out on midship.Would like to know if the Lido Deck being above will affect itand also your views o the food,and Club Orange. Have a fabulous time!

 

Don't get your hopes up on a long report for awhile.  Lots of photos to convert and upload to my website.  Any report will be an accumulation of this thread with links to photos, menus, daily activities, etc.

 

Since there is no longer entertainment on the Lido Deck midship, any noise would be only from dragging chairs around and maybe a late movie.

 

I have enjoyed Club Orange and justified my $15/day (per person) to be able to discuss it here on CC.  I might do it again if I am not facing early shore excursions that need the speed of Room Service.  After discussion with other roll call members experiencing 2+ hours for MDR dinner and Club Orange only 1+ hours, the extra cost is a good argument for Club Orange.  The special culinary tour is another perk.  For two persons, the extra $30 is a much bigger budget issue.

 

When I was offered Club Orange a few cruises back, I considered it stupid but if OFFERED again at $15, I will consider it based on the itinerary.

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23 hours ago, Juju1126 said:

Very appreciative of the info you’ve shared. My daughter and I are coming aboard 12/22. Wondering about The Retreat? Worth the money? Plenty of other locations onboard to catch some sun (without the upcharge)? Thanks! 

You also get two stewards who wait on you hand and foot, even bringing all your meals to you from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  We only rent a cabana if we're in an inside/outside category cabin.  If we have a balcony, we don't bother.  Our last time renting, we got the family cabana on Oosterdam, a huge space, much larger than the family cabanas on NS.  However, the stewards are the real draw here.  Best service I've ever received.  If you're thinking of a cabana, buy before leaving home, as they sell out and all of them may already be taken.  

 

Have you checked out our Roll Call for the 12/22 sailing?  Please do so.  We're mulling over when and where to meet, but I don't think we've made it an official Meet and Greet, just something very informal.

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The day began with great weather and rolling seas.

To experience Room Service for at least one morning of my two-week cruise, I hung my Club Orange breakfast card on my door handle before bed.  At the exact stroke of 8:00 AM, I heard the knock on my door and my tray was quickly placed on my bed.  The butter for my bran muffin was two pats in a square ramekin and my granola cereal was already in my bowl which demonstrates the effort to minimize single-use packaging.

As I got off the elevator on Deck 2 at 10:45 AM to head for our Meet & Greet, I noticed the line for the 10:30 AM kitchen still queued around the elevator doors.  The line continued to the Rolling Stone area and must have included hundreds of passengers.  On my first week aboard, I got into the tour line at 10:10 by the elevators and was finished with the tour at 11:00 AM.  Today, the tour must have lasted until just before the first Mariner Luncheon.  I will experience my rescheduled Club Orange Culinary tour on Friday with a much shorter lines (I hope).

With lots of competition with other shipboard activities, the Meet & Greet had nine attendees.  My afternoon was filled with more scanning, answering emails, and following several CC threads.  It was a very relaxing afternoon at sea.

Club Orange was filled for 6:00 PM dinner so I accepted the “sharing table” while many others decided to find another dining venue.  It took 15 minutes before the other couple that joined the table and I found common ground.  The husband and I both attended Purdue University was discovered when we moved the conversation to college football players.  Our dinner lingered on with college days experiences in Indiana even as the Club Orange patrons emptied the dining area. The braised short rib Club Orange special was amazing and enough to feed three people.  Tomorrow is a visit to the Canaletto to try new items on the menu.

We dock in Grand Turk tomorrow and I may opt for one of the island tram tours or take advantage of an invitation to take photos in the Retreat area.

More later.


 

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Crew News

Thank you for a very informative review!

I really appreciate your comments given.

I have been a little reluctant in regards to

a cruise we booked back in May on the Koningsdam from our home town San Diego doing Hawaii/Mexico because it was a Pinnacle Class ship (Larger)

I love the Pinnacle for breakfast with our NS and not too thrilled with OC. But your report and others on this thread will have to see! Sel de Mar will be our place with PG for most dinners and I will have to get used to a very narrow promenade for our daily walking !

Have Happy Holidays to you and enjoy the New Year!

Thank you again!

Denise😊

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I have been enjoying your reports.  We board on January 5th.  My sister and I have loved all the HAL ships but have some trepidation about the NS because of it's greater length and the narrowed Lower Prom. walking deck.  We've always preferred the deck chairs on that deck on other HAL ships.  Thank you for the tips about the Dutch Cafe cookies and about the Behind the Scenes tour.  I will look forward to both.  I will have to look again at the wine packages, as I forgot to apply the 4* Mariner discount to my calculations.  Especially important if I can buy now and avoid the January price increase.  Thank you for all you do to inform us.

 

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On 12/14/2019 at 5:24 PM, Crew News said:

 

There was an orange party last night at 10:00 PM with little fanfare.  I should have left my orange shirt at home.  The best way to display the menus (I have both MDR and Club Orange) would be to just post the Club Orange because it states the Club Orange extra entree as available only to Club Orange.  Might just do both rather than try to explain.

 

Hello ! 
Please tell us more about the Orange Party ?

Cruise Director there ? Where was it held? Band or DJ ?
etc

thank you

brockmom

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1 hour ago, brockmom said:

Hello ! 
Please tell us more about the Orange Party ?

Cruise Director there ? Where was it held? Band or DJ ?
etc

thank you

brockmom

 

I did not see or hear the CD but there were lots of uniformed ships officers present.  The  BB King group played rock & roll music and passengers danced.  The crowd was huge and overflowed into the aisle.  It was truly a festive occasion that lasted one hour.

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3 hours ago, the2ofus said:

I have been enjoying your reports.  We board on January 5th.  My sister and I have loved all the HAL ships but have some trepidation about the NS because of it's greater length and the narrowed Lower Prom. walking deck.  We've always preferred the deck chairs on that deck on other HAL ships.  Thank you for the tips about the Dutch Cafe cookies and about the Behind the Scenes tour.  I will look forward to both.  I will have to look again at the wine packages, as I forgot to apply the 4* Mariner discount to my calculations.  Especially important if I can buy now and avoid the January price increase.  Thank you for all you do to inform us.

 

The walking deck is only truly narrow in just a few spots and most passengers walk on the Sports Deck.  There are lots of chairs on Deck 10 as well as the free cabanas above the indoor pool.

 

News of the price increase came from a bartender and it was for bottles of wine, not the SBP.

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The day began with great weather, rolling seas, and strong winds.

For the first time since I joined the cruise, I opted to sleep-in and thus I ate my breakfast oatmeal in the Lido Market.

My decision to go ashore several hours after breakfast required I and many passengers to remain in the Deck 1 stairwell while a Carnival ship tied up to the pier.  This was probably a safety issue and only a little grumbling was heard.  One hour ashore allowed me to capture some great shots and I headed back to the ship even as the Carnival ship was still disembarking passengers.  The line to reboard the Nieuw Statendam lasted 20 minutes.  The rest of my afternoon was spent socializing with other passengers and culling photos.

Departing from Grand Turk was delayed to search for two missing passengers.  The ship left one hour late but I haven’t heard if the two were found on board.

Dinner at the Canaletto tested my eagle eye as I spotted a menu change from my first week aboard. When I questioned the change, I learned that just the name, but not the recipe of the seafood soup, was changed to a more recognizable term. My stateroom card was scanned with the waiter’s tablet while it was not scanned at the PG.

Wearing my orange polo shirt, I attended the Orange Party with other guests wearing every possible item of orange attire with several in full historical Dutch outfits.  Great rock & roll music from the BB King group, free pastries, no free drinks, lots of dancing, and an overflow crowd made the event very festive.

A few notes:  Captain Albert was aboard recently, the dinner menus I received from Club Orange were written in Dutch necessitating a quick return for English versions, Club Orange uses pagers for guests that do not wish to share tables, Mariner Lunch will be the Sea Day before our stop in Key West, and tomorrow night is another PG dinner for me to conquer a large platter of Alaskan King Crab.

We move the clocks forward tonight so more tomorrow.

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58 minutes ago, Crew News said:

 

 

My decision to go ashore several hours after breakfast required I and many passengers to remain in the Deck 1 stairwell while a Carnival ship tied up to the pier.  This was probably a safety issue and only a little grumbling was heard.    The Carnival ship had been due to arrive at 8 AM, but for reasons unknown to me, was delayed. Yes, it is a safety issue when a second ship is in the process of docking here as we have been held up from disembarking once before when another ship arrived.

 

Departing from Grand Turk was delayed to search for two missing passengers.  The ship left one hour late but I haven’t heard if the two were found on board. Due to noise of those in the main dining room, announcements are not able to be heard by those eating there. If the paged "missing" passengers were in the dining room at the time of the announcement, they never would have heard it.

 

 

 

 

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On 12/15/2019 at 11:15 AM, Crew News said:

 

 The salt and pepper shakers are grinder now and poorly marked which requires a "test" grind into your hand to discover the content.  These are handled by everyone.

 

Although poorly marked, they are marked. On the top of each shaker is S or a P to indicate the contents. 

 

Hard to make out that it is there, but it is.

 

By the way, at our table someone tried the technique of grinding some of the contents in the hand. No matter how hard he tried, nothing came out. He took it apart and found that it was 100% empty. Hard to check unless taking it apart.

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9 hours ago, Crew News said:

 There are lots of chairs on Deck 10 as well as the free cabanas above the indoor pool.

Free cabanas above the indoor pool?  Now you've piqued my interest; we'll have to check them out !

 

Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂

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On 12/17/2019 at 4:20 PM, PatLuv said:

Crew News,I'm looking forward to your report.I just booked a trip to Europe for 2021 and we have a Vista Suite on Deck 8 at the end jutting out on midship.Would like to know if the Lido Deck being above will affect itand also your views o the food,and Club Orange. Have a fabulous time!

We had B8099 Vista Suite on a K'dam cruise last year.  Both 8099 and 8082 are under storage rooms on the Lido, and we experienced noise from wheeled metal carts pretty much every night and early morning.  This is apparently the storage area for the Lido kitchens.  The two other end / corner rooms are under the carpeted dining area, so you should be fine there.  

 

We prefer to book on decks 7 or 6 if possible, but are OK with some 8th deck rooms.  Just have to look at the deck plans.  Still, there is no "bad" stateroom on a cruise.

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10 hours ago, caribill said:

 

Although poorly marked, they are marked. On the top of each shaker is S or a P to indicate the contents. 

 

Hard to make out that it is there, but it is.

 

By the way, at our table someone tried the technique of grinding some of the contents in the hand. No matter how hard he tried, nothing came out. He took it apart and found that it was 100% empty. Hard to check unless taking it apart.

 

Grinders in the Canaletto have large "S" and "P" respectively.

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3 hours ago, ger_77 said:

Free cabanas above the indoor pool?  Now you've piqued my interest; we'll have to check them out !

 

Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂

 

SSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.  If too many folks know, they will be quickly occupied and "reserved" each day.

 

image.png.e73f1c53b31444535b7ea1dd17d9f871.png

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The day began with warm temperatures and very strong winds.

On another sleep late day, breakfast was oatmeal in the Lido Market.  With many passengers already ashore, the lines were minimal and tables easy to find.  Returning from breakfast, I mistakenly opted to watch a movie at the same time that the ship started a crew safety drill.  Of course every announcement interrupted the movie and after 20 minutes of calls for crew members to react to growing situations, I surrendered.

I walked up to Deck 9 to take photos of the Dominican Republic port and was blown away with very strong winds that taxed my ability to hold my camera steady enough to avoid any shaking. Looking at the very long walk to shore and having no booked excursion, staying onboard piqued my interest. 

A late lunch cup of “grandma’s chicken noodle soup” soothed my soul and lifted my spirits to continue culling photographs.  I did notice that the excellent fish & chips have been available every day in the Lido lunch.  The afternoon ended up being consumed with troubleshooting my laptop that took more than 5 minutes to restart when my internet connection timed out from lack of use.  After some research and corrective settings, my laptop now restarts in less than one minute but if the internet connection is not used often, the internet connection still disconnects.  Now I can restart my laptop and initiate a new connection.

Dinner was at the Club Orange where I struggled with the very spicy shrimp bisque and enjoyed the “available daily” salmon.  The Rolling Stone was packed as the band was playing 70’s music when I walked by after dinner.

Miscellaneous notes:  The Carnival Photo folks had a mermaid wearing a long green skirt posing with passengers at one exit and a large snowman at the other, the Carnival ship also had 8 females wearing “bride guard” t-shirts and followed by one female with a “bride” t-shirt, the normally parked laundry cart two feet from my stateroom door was missing for four hours today (possibly in drydock), the ship has a small art gallery but no art auctions, and the Captain is out and about the ship every day.

Tomorrow is a sea day with the Club Orange Culinary Tour, Mariner’s Reception, and Mariner Lunch to follow. 

More tomorrow.

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The day began with warm temperatures and very strong winds.

Another quick breakfast in the Lido Market. Being a Sea Day, there were lots of empty tables and short lines at each food station.  The Club Orange Culinary Tour was quite a perk I discovered.  About 20 members got to see both Deck 2 and Deck 3 kitchen levels as well as all of the storage lockers (usually only seen on the Behind the Scenes Tour).  We saw the 1900 prepped lobster tails, learned that there is a special rice just for the three crew meals per day, heard that 80,000 chocolate candies were used by the Room Stewards each week, and all 200 pallets loaded on Embarkation Day are unloaded and and the contents stored before the ship leaves the port.  After begging to see the Christmas Day menu to no avail, I spotted a copy posted on the kitchen wall, photographed it, and emailed it to a CC member.

The Mariner Society Reception gave out copper medals to a number of recipients, one silver medal, and one Platinum medal.  The subsequent luncheon found me at a table with some very interesting solo cruisers which extended the lunch for some extra time with good conversation. 

A relaxing afternoon culling photos.

Dinner at the Pinnacle Grill was King Crab legs and cheesecake lollipops.  I requested and the chef found my favored lavosh from lunch to add to my bread basket.  Interestingly, there has been no amuse on my two PG visits this cruise (probably a cost savings effort).  Second entrees are $15 and I discovered the new spice grinders on the next table to verify the thin circles on top to indicate salt or pepper.  The waiters only swipe stateroom cards for unpaid reservations. 

During dinner, the Captain announced to a very quiet ship that gale force winds will hit us in Key West and follow us to Fort Lauderdale in addition thundershowers.  Fortunately, my excursion to the butterfly farm will be indoors.

Tomorrow is Key West right after onboard Immigration clearance.

More tomorrow.

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Captain just cancelled stop in Key West due to 45 knot winds and we will sail directly to Fort Lauderdale today with docking Sunday morning.  All booked shore excursions will be refunded automatically.

 

Key West was my only port with a shore excursion this cruise so I will add it to Victoria that I missed in April.

 

The Immigration processing in Key West will be postponed until Fort Lauderdale which might be a slower disembarkation.

Edited by Crew News

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