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

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Thank you for taking us along and for answering our many questions.  Enjoy your sea day.  Hope there is not too much rock and roll with that much wind kicking up the waves.  I am hoping that nothing interferes with our Key West visit as I have never been there.  What excursion was on your schedule?

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17 minutes ago, the2ofus said:

Thank you for taking us along and for answering our many questions.  Enjoy your sea day.  Hope there is not too much rock and roll with that much wind kicking up the waves.  I am hoping that nothing interferes with our Key West visit as I have never been there.  What excursion was on your schedule?

 

My excursion was to a butterfly sanctuary for photos.

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6 minutes ago, cat shepard said:

Were the cheesecake lollipops chocolate covered? 

 

There was a cherry covered, a chocolate covered, and toffee covered pop on a stick that reminded me of Tootsie Pops.

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32 minutes ago, Crew News said:

 

There was a cherry covered, a chocolate covered, and toffee covered pop on a stick that reminded me of Tootsie Pops.

Interesting.  
Thank you!

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48 minutes ago, Crew News said:

 

There was a cherry covered, a chocolate covered, and toffee covered pop on a stick that reminded me of Tootsie Pops.

Sounds good to me!

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Great information and thank you.  Could you possibly expand on the statement about the taxi line upon debarkation? Though we've sailed twice from Fort Lauderdale, we've had transfers except for this 12/29 cruise.  We've never encountered a problem hailing taxis at other ports, so are wondering what is different here?  Thank you again for all the relevant information.

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I’ve enjoyed reading your comments, especially on the Club Orange experience.  Were you able to find out how many Club Orange packages are sold in relation to the capacity of the ship?  

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Thank You for sharing.

I was on the same ship with you on your 1st week. Just disappointed to see no "America's Test Kitchen" onboard this time. Do you know why?

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2 hours ago, Jmht said:

Thank You for sharing.

I was on the same ship with you on your 1st week. Just disappointed to see no "America's Test Kitchen" onboard this time. Do you know why?

 

There was an ATK in the Show Room but i did not attend.

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8 hours ago, Jmht said:

Thank You for sharing.

I was on the same ship with you on your 1st week. Just disappointed to see no "America's Test Kitchen" onboard this time. Do you know why?

 

There were two.

 

One Friday on the scheduled sea day and a second Saturday on the unscheduled sea day. The person conducting the ATK on the NS is leaving HAL after this cruise.

 

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17 hours ago, Crew News said:

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.

 

 

Each passenger received refundable OBC of $17.10 in refunded port charges for missing Key West.

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On 12/21/2019 at 1:02 PM, oaktreerb said:

I’ve enjoyed reading your comments, especially on the Club Orange experience.  Were you able to find out how many Club Orange packages are sold in relation to the capacity of the ship?  

 

Sorry, but I couldn't find the right person to ask and the lines at the Front Desk were too long for me to wait.  My Club Orange Culinary Tour had about 20 passengers with most coming from Neptune Suites.

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On 12/21/2019 at 12:53 PM, arriannayoung said:

Great information and thank you.  Could you possibly expand on the statement about the taxi line upon debarkation? Though we've sailed twice from Fort Lauderdale, we've had transfers except for this 12/29 cruise.  We've never encountered a problem hailing taxis at other ports, so are wondering what is different here?  Thank you again for all the relevant information.

 

From some piers, the island across the street from the terminal entrance has two lines with the first line for private passenger pickup and the line behind that one for taxis.  I think each terminal is different so it is important to ask when you get to the island lest you be waiting in the wrong line,

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The last day at sea could best be described as rock n roll seas. 

 

With an early excursion in Key West, I was up at 6:00 AM and looking at the bow camera in hopes of seeing the Key West horizen coming into view.  As we neared our scheduled docking time, the Captain made his cancellation announcement over the intercom that could only be heard if you opened your stateroom door.  A hastily-created When & Where was distributed that included the Americas Test Kitchen demo in the Show Room and other activities that could be assembled on short notice,

 

Rolling seas kept many passenger close to their staterooms during the day and it gave me the chance to pack all but a few items without rushing,

 

Dinner at the Tamarind was excellent and it remained my favorite on board the NS.  A quick trip to the Shops caused my final bill to be owing $0.07.  Just before bedtime, my bill jumped to an $81 credit balance due to the Key West cancellation and it was "refundable".

 

As planned, I was asleep by 10:00 PM, after hanging my Room Service breakfast card on the door handle, for a 5:30 AM wakeup so that I could accompany my fellow "expedited" passengers leaving in the first wave.   At 6:00 AM, I was ready with my tip for the Room Service delivery of my Special K and bran muffin breakfast.  At 6:40 AM, I resorted to a quick trip to the Lido Market for the cereal.  Note:  Room Service breakfast on Disembarkation Day, no matter how simple the order, may not arrive.

 

With my luggage in tow at 7:00 AM , I joined the other 80+ passengers in the expedited queue.  Before the line started moving at 7:20 AM, the line had doubled in length.  Immigration consisted of being asked where I lived before being granted access to the USA.  When I exited the terminal, I saw a line of taxis and no other passengers heading in their direction.  All of those that preceeded me out the terminal doors turned to the right and disappeared.  It was certain that they expedited but not for taxis.

 

A trip to the airport was a flat $20 and I was in the Delta line before 8:00 AM.  Those with flights before 9:30 were called to the front of the check-in lines.  As my waiting line got closer to the ticket counter I noticed stacks of bags on the non-moving baggage conveyor belt.  We were consoled when the ticket processor announced that Broward County folks were working on the issue.

 

Of course getting to the terminal before 8:00 AM meant that my flight would just have to be delayed one hour.  After an hour wait at Gate D2, Delta texted me that my flight was changed to Gate D6, the gate with every seat taken.

 

My connecting flight to Atlanta was so bumpy, with the storm moving across the southern US, that flight attendants were not allowed to do the regular service.  The planned time for lunch in Atlanta disappeared with my flight arriving an hour later, thus requiring me to activate my emergency ration of granola bars. 

 

My luggage time in Atlanta was less than one hour but enough to let the contents of both pieces to be soaking wet when it arrived in Albuquerque.

 

Over the coming days, I will be adding photos and links to menus, both dining and beverage, to this thread.

 

More later.

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Thank you again for sharing your experiences, and the tons of info. Looking forward to your pics on your website!

 

Happy Holidays to you & J!

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13 hours ago, Crew News said:

 

Sorry, but I couldn't find the right person to ask and the lines at the Front Desk were too long for me to wait.  My Club Orange Culinary Tour had about 20 passengers with most coming from Neptune Suites.

Thanks for trying!  I know the lines at the front desk can be awful and you never know how long the wait will be.  We had good luck with no waiting in the separate Club Orange/Neptune Suite line early in our recent Mexican Riviera cruise.  That’s one thing I like about Club Orange, the other is the dining but I was surprised that there could be a wait to dine in Club Orange on the newer ships.  (That is what prompted my question).  I don’t think there would be a wait on the ships that don’t have the special dining room.    It sounds like you met some interesting people when you opted to share.  Meeting interesting people is one of the fun things about cruising for us!

 

Happy holidays to you and Joanie!

 

 

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Thank you for your final report.

 

The weather was miserable yesterday in the southern states.  At one point Ft Lauderdale airport did shut down when the area got over 4 inches of rain in a short time for a total of 8 inches all day.

 

Glad you got home safely.

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I enjoyed this thread and followed some recommendations.  We were on the same cruise Dec 15-22nd.  First stop was the Dutch Cafe for one of those tiny chocolate chip cookies.  We threw down quite a few of those over the week along with some pea soup and great coffees.  

I wanted to mention how incredibly wonderful the Rolling Stone Rock Room and the current band onboard is.  I was looking forward to checking out the Rock room having been a HAL sailor for a dozen or so cruises - but never on the Koningsdam or the Nieuw Statendam.  I was blown away.  The enjoyment of my cruise increased 100x due to this great feature.  I would love to see the Rock Room take over a bigger space like the Lincoln Centre Stage. The Rock Room is small with view blocking pillars and a strangely placed wall between the bar and the stage.  Between the rock band and the awesome dualing pianists across the hall at Billboard Onboard, I had a wonderful time.  I personally am so glad to see HAL catering to the boomers and getting more hip and current with their entertainment.  I would love to see a Rock Room type venue across the fleet.  I am rambling, but I can't say enough good about the Rolling Stone Rock Room......  Thank you HAL, we were very sad to leave....

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The last two evenings aboard I could hear live voices singing Christmas Carols down the hallway from Club Orange.

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Did you find any substantive differences between the Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam or are they basically identical, except for the personnel?

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1 hour ago, OmarOak said:

Did you find any substantive differences between the Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam or are they basically identical, except for the personnel?

 

The ships are basiclly the same so here are some of the differences:

  • NS your knees don't contact the shower doors as they do on Koningsdam
  • NS does not have nightlight for the bathroom
  • NS Lido Markt chairs are a bit easier to push back after finishing a meal
  • NS laundry return is a lot quicker
  • NS bathroom air vent is above the towel rack instead of on the wall
  • Koningsdam bed is next to the balcony door while NS desk is by the balcony door
  • NS toilet seat cover had to be pushed down rather the free drop on the Koningsdam
  • NS Shops had a dedicated area just for Club Orange merchandise
  • I don't remember seeing the row of computer terminals on the NS starboard Crow's Nest that were present on the Koningsdam
  • New bar menus on the NS
  • NS new Calanetto and Tamarind menus
  • NS Ocean bar now has snacks that can be ordered:  salmon, calamari, etc.

 

The Koningsdam went through drydock Dec 2018 and received a number of upgrades that were not included on the NS.  The NS will probably get some of the items noted above.

 

When I get the chance, I will compare my photos of each ship to see other differences.

Edited by Crew News

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For those following this thread, I have updated my website: 

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/

 

With the following (see links on Home page):

  • latest beverage menus (all bars use the same menu with an additional page for their speicality drinks
  • spa prices
  • luggage direct info
  • When & Where for each 7-day itinerary
  • Series A dining menus for the Cozumel itinerary
  • Series B dining menus for the Key West itinerary
  • Specialty restaurant menus
  • Room Service Breakfast Cards.
  • Club Orange benefits
  • Club Orange Breakfast menu
  • Nieuw Statendam MDR maps - Decks 2 & 3
  • Mariner Lunch menu

I will be adding the Club HAL activities soon.

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