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Crew News

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

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4 hours ago, Crew News said:

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.

 

Thank you for updating your site.

 

Wonder how soon all the Club HAL's will be converted to High Score?

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I'll echo all the thanks for doing this thread and for posting all the excellent resources. We'll be doing the tropical Caribbean itinerary in February and the information you provided is invaluable for planning.

 

Happy New Year!

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Crew News, when I look at your posted menus and When & Where for the Key West itinerary, it appears as though the Gala nights were on Days 3 and 6 (both Sea Days).  Would you please confirm?

 

Also, did you get a sense of how often Key West can be cancelled as happened on your cruise?  I'm thinking of purchasing the OTT tickets directly rather than through HAL but if the port is often missed then it might be better to purchase through HAL so there is no issue with refunds.

 

I'd also like to add my thanks for all the information that you have posted.  It is very much appreciated!

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1 hour ago, Alberta Quilter said:

Crew News, when I look at your posted menus and When & Where for the Key West itinerary, it appears as though the Gala nights were on Days 3 and 6 (both Sea Days).  Would you please confirm?

 

Also, did you get a sense of how often Key West can be cancelled as happened on your cruise?  I'm thinking of purchasing the OTT tickets directly rather than through HAL but if the port is often missed then it might be better to purchase through HAL so there is no issue with refunds.

 

I'd also like to add my thanks for all the information that you have posted.  It is very much appreciated!

Something to keep in mind also that I forgot about is that we go through customs in Key West on the tropical itinerary. Customs is called down by deck number and it looked like we wouldn't be off the ship till about 10:30 if all went well. Just something to keep in mind when booking shore excursions.  

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3 hours ago, Alberta Quilter said:

Crew News, when I look at your posted menus and When & Where for the Key West itinerary, it appears as though the Gala nights were on Days 3 and 6 (both Sea Days).  Would you please confirm?

 

Also, did you get a sense of how often Key West can be cancelled as happened on your cruise?  I'm thinking of purchasing the OTT tickets directly rather than through HAL but if the port is often missed then it might be better to purchase through HAL so there is no issue with refunds.

 

I'd also like to add my thanks for all the information that you have posted.  It is very much appreciated!

 

On my two weeks aboard with different itineraries, Gala Nights were on Sea Days. 

 

My miss of Key West seems to be very rare and it was caused by the high winds coming out of the West.  I assume the sporadic wind gusts of 45 knots (almost 52 mph) might have slammed the ship (tall ship is like a large sail) into the pier so caution was in order.

 

Purchasing excursions through HAL is equivalent to adding refund insurance to the purchase.

 

Glad my information collecting is helpful to others planning their cruises.

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2 hours ago, sprockie said:

Something to keep in mind also that I forgot about is that we go through customs in Key West on the tropical itinerary. Customs is called down by deck number and it looked like we wouldn't be off the ship till about 10:30 if all went well. Just something to keep in mind when booking shore excursions.  

 

Those with HAL shore excursions were the first passengers scheduled to go through Immigration at 8:15 AM BUT it is my experience that nobody is allowed to leave the ship before ALL passengers have processed through Immigration.  Since we skipped Key West, I cannot confirm the latter.

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15 minutes ago, Crew News said:

 

Those with HAL shore excursions were the first passengers scheduled to go through Immigration at 8:15 AM BUT it is my experience that nobody is allowed to leave the ship before ALL passengers have processed through Immigration.  Since we skipped Key West, I cannot confirm the latter.

There are different times posted on the instructions you receive the day before and the Cruise Director gives out instructions on the PA System in the morning advising passengers when it is their time to go.  But much like the suggested embarkation times on embarkation day, these are merely suggestions and nobody actually verifies what deck you are on before entering the World Stage for verification.  In our experience, it is up to passengers to do the responsible thing and only go when called to do so.  

Having said this, we have often seen people show up 1/2 hour or an hour after their deck was called so why should other people not be allowed to go 1/2 hour or an hour before being called as nobody will stop them?  Stopping people from going in because they have not yet been called would simply delay the process for everyone even more.    

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20 hours ago, Crew News said:

 

On my two weeks aboard with different itineraries, Gala Nights were on Sea Days. 

 

My miss of Key West seems to be very rare and it was caused by the high winds coming out of the West.  I assume the sporadic wind gusts of 45 knots (almost 52 mph) might have slammed the ship (tall ship is like a large sail) into the pier so caution was in order.

 

Purchasing excursions through HAL is equivalent to adding refund insurance to the purchase.

 

Glad my information collecting is helpful to others planning their cruises.

 

Thank you for your response.  I think we will purchase the OTT through HAL.  For the $7 pp in savings, that's a small cost for insurance and less hassle in the event that the port is cancelled.  And, it will count towards our onboard spending credits so that's a plus, too.

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3 hours ago, Alberta Quilter said:

 

Thank you for your response.  I think we will purchase the OTT through HAL.  For the $7 pp in savings, that's a small cost for insurance and less hassle in the event that the port is cancelled.  And, it will count towards our onboard spending credits so that's a plus, too.

 

It could be just enough to earn another Mariner Day credit.

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thank you for posting all this great info. i will be sailing april 5

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38 minutes ago, kcool said:

thank you for posting all this great info. i will be sailing april 5

 

i am working on my onboard images and should have them available by the end of next week.  When you board, please say "Hello" to my Barista friend Michelle.

 

Feel free to ask any questions while my memory is fresh.

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Crew News:

 

Can you tell me what cabin you were in? I noticed in one of your first posts that you were staying in an aft facing balcony room. I will be sailing on the Koningsdam to Alaska this summer and would love to know your experience.

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I'm wondering about the classical music options on this cruise.  We are on the eastern lap beginning on March 8.  On other HAL ships it is called Adagio and they play every night in one of the smaller lounges...and that tended to be our primary entertainment because that's what we enjoy most.  Here I was looking forward to the much grander Lincoln Center Stage and the chance for more than a duo (it seems there is a quartet or quintet of players).  But from the daily schedules it seems there is no later evening concerts planned...most days at 6 and 7pm, which overlap with early dining.  So the actual result, when shared with BB King and the other entertainment options, seems to be less classical music than other ships.  Does that seem true? 

Thanks for all this fantastic information.

 

Bruce

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Kfrech said:

Crew News:

 

Can you tell me what cabin you were in? I noticed in one of your first posts that you were staying in an aft facing balcony room. I will be sailing on the Koningsdam to Alaska this summer and would love to know your experience.

 

As a hobby photographer, I am a devotee of aft staterooms for scenic cruises such as Alaska.  On the Konigsdam in Dec 2018, I was in 7195 in the middle of the aft staterooms.  On the NS, I was in 5208 also in the middle of the aft staterooms.  Both great for photographs but these two rooms were in the Caribbean. 

 

Alaska is scenery intensive and requires a lot of time just looking for creatures from your balcony.  If your stateroom is on the side of the ship, you cannot see both sides of the ship at the same time.  You will have to leave your stateroom and compete for space at the railings on the public decks.  If someone spots something on the other side, those on the decks rush to the other side meaning those next to a railing for good photos are now in the back of the crowd.  Trying to take a phota with a camera that requires looking through a viewfinder with lots of IPads and cell phones in your way is frustrating.

 

With an aft-facing stateroom, you can just stay on your balcony and see what is happening on both sides of the ship.  Your bathroom and minibar are a few feet away while those on the decks will lose their "spot" for food/bathroom breaks.  You can set up a tripod to make videos from your balcony or even attach a GoPro to your railing.  You have your own chair and small table on the balcony to hold your Room Service snacks and beverage while those on the decks will not.

 

Needless to say, with the rain in Alaska, having a roof over your balcony will keep you and your camera dry unlike those on Deck 9 who will be wet and risking their cameras. Being on the aft part of the ship, you will be able to spend more time on your balcony out of the wind while the ship is moving while others will have to huddle next to their balcony partitions to escape the wind.  Imagine holding a camera out of the passenger window of a moving car and trying to taka a photo without the camera moving in the wind.  Not a problem on an aft balcony.

 

If viewing Alaska scenery and photographs are not important, the aft balcony loses its lustre.

.

Edited by Crew News

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1 hour ago, kcool said:

thank you for posting all this great info. i will be sailing april 5

I will be with you on April 5th.  I also would like to thank "Crews News" for all this fantastic info. 👍🏼  I am not used to being so lost and out of my comfort zone lol. 

 Great Job 😁

Kevin

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44 minutes ago, bd1958 said:

I'm wondering about the classical music options on this cruise.  We are on the eastern lap beginning on March 8.  On other HAL ships it is called Adagio and they play every night in one of the smaller lounges...and that tended to be our primary entertainment because that's what we enjoy most.  Here I was looking forward to the much grander Lincoln Center Stage and the chance for more than a duo (it seems there is a quartet or quintet of players).  But from the daily schedules it seems there is no later evening concerts planned...most days at 6 and 7pm, which overlap with early dining.  So the actual result, when shared with BB King and the other entertainment options, seems to be less classical music than other ships.  Does that seem true? 

Thanks for all this fantastic information.

 

Bruce

 

With early dining starting at 5:00 PM, you can encourage your waiters to get you out the door before the Lincoln Stage classical music starts.

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7 minutes ago, Crew News said:

 

As a hobby photographer, I am a devotee of aft staterooms for scenic cruises such as Alaska.  On the Konigsdam in Dec 2018, I was in 7195 in the middle of the aft staterooms.  On the NS, I was in 5208 also in the middle of the aft staterooms.  Both great for photographs but these two rooms were in the Caribbean. 

 

Alaska is scenery intensive and requires a lot of time just looking for creatures from your balcony.  If your stateroom is on the side of the ship, you cannot see both sides of the ship at the same time.  You will have to leave your stateroom and compete for space at the railings on the public decks.  If someone spots something on the other side, those on the decks rush to the other side meaning those next to a railing for good photos are now in the back of the crowd.  Trying to take a phota with a camera that requires looking through a viewfinder with lots of IPads and cell phones in your way is frustrating.

 

With an aft-facing stateroom, you can just stay on your balcony and see what is happening on both sides of the ship.  Your bathroom and minibar are a few feet away while those on the decks will lose their "spot" for food/bathroom breaks.  You can set up a tripod to make videos from your balcony or even attach a GoPro to your railing.  You have your own chair and small table on the balcony to hold your Room Service snacks and beverage while those on the decks will not.

 

Needless to say, with the rain in Alaska, having a roof over your balcony will keep you and your camera dry unlike those on Deck 9 who will be wet and risking their cameras. Being on the aft part of the ship, you will be able to spend more time on your balcony out of the wind while the ship is moving while others will have to huddle next to their balcony partitions to escape the wind.  Imagine holding a camera out of the passenger window of a moving car and trying to taka a photo without the camera moving in the wind.  Not a problem on an aft balcony.

 

If viewing Alaska scenery and photographs are not important, the aft balcony loses its lustre.

 

7 minutes ago, Crew News said:

Crew News: I cannot thank you enough for this!! We have aft facing cabin 5221 (one cabin to the right of center) booked for Alaska. For whatever reason (probably reading WAY too much), I begin second guessing myself and was almost lured away by talk of deeper balconies on deck 4. We are avid photographers, so this sounds ideal. Can you give me an idea of the depth of the balcony? In your estimation, how much of it is covered by the deck above?

 

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Crew News: I cannot thank you enough for this!! We have aft facing cabin 5221 (one cabin to the right of center) booked for Alaska. For whatever reason (probably reading WAY too much), I begin second guessing myself and was almost lured away by talk of deeper balconies on deck 4. We are avid photographers, so this sounds ideal. Can you give me an idea of the depth of the balcony? In your estimation, how much of it is covered by the deck above?

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1 hour ago, Kfrech said:

Crew News: I cannot thank you enough for this!! We have aft facing cabin 5221 (one cabin to the right of center) booked for Alaska. For whatever reason (probably reading WAY too much), I begin second guessing myself and was almost lured away by talk of deeper balconies on deck 4. We are avid photographers, so this sounds ideal. Can you give me an idea of the depth of the balcony? In your estimation, how much of it is covered by the deck above?

 

I would estimate 2/3 was covered.

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On 12/10/2019 at 3:20 PM, sevenseasnomad said:

Not only is your view obstructed by lifeboats etc., but the deck itself is very narrow.  In some spots, only one person can walk single file.  I had to stop several times to allow someone else to pass.

 

Thank you. Good to know. I'm claustrophobic and this absolutely a deal breaker for me.

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