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

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18 hours ago, Ace5614 said:

Will be on this ship on January 5th and looking forward to your review.

What is assigned-by-deck boarding process? Haven't received anything from Holland regarding this.

 

We too are on this cruise and have heard nothing about a specific boarding time. 

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3 minutes ago, rangeley said:

 

We too are on this cruise and have heard nothing about a specific boarding time. 

You'll receive it about two weeks prior to embarkation.  We've received these instructions for the last three years and ignore them.  Some passengers enjoy going to the pier early; others prefer to wait until after the first crowd is through the door.  It all works out.  I hope HAL never actually enforces this plan, as it would create a lot of ill will among those of us who enjoy arriving early or for those who are forced to arrive early due to flights.  Landing in Ft. Lauderdale at 8 a.m. and having to wait at the airport until noon to go to the ship would be frustrating.  

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6 minutes ago, sevenseasnomad said:

You'll receive it about two weeks prior to embarkation.  We've received these instructions for the last three years and ignore them.  Some passengers enjoy going to the pier early; others prefer to wait until after the first crowd is through the door.  It all works out.  I hope HAL never actually enforces this plan, as it would create a lot of ill will among those of us who enjoy arriving early or for those who are forced to arrive early due to flights.  Landing in Ft. Lauderdale at 8 a.m. and having to wait at the airport until noon to go to the ship would be frustrating.  

 

Our flight gets in 10:30-11 and we have a transfer, so I guess we get there when the HAL bus takes us there. 

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Question re: Club Orange and priority tendering.  

 

Since there is a priority entrance to the dining room for Club Orange.  How are they handling the priority tendering?  Is there a priority line for Club Orange tendering and if so, is it also available for 4* cruisers priority tendering?

 

I see that you got a great deal for Club Orange.  Enjoy and have a great cruise!

Edited by oaktreerb

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10 minutes ago, rangeley said:

 

Our flight gets in 10:30-11 and we have a transfer, so I guess we get there when the HAL bus takes us there. 

Yep.  You're correct.  FYI, in the future, should you cruise from Port Everglades, a taxi is probably cheaper than HAL transfers.  Something to think about.  Of course, I realize a lot of passengers want this convenience, which is fine, but I didn't know if you were aware that the port is close to the airport.

Edited by sevenseasnomad

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8 hours ago, SarahCBL said:

We are doing a 14 day B2B on the Zuiderdam in January.  This will be our first ever B2B.  If you have a chance, could you ask at the spa what the 2 week couples thermal pass costs?  Online you can only buy a 7 day pass for this cruise.  We were wondering if they will even sell us a 2 week pass or will we have to buy two 7 day passes?  Thank you!  

 

I will ask but not sure the pricing would be the same on another HAL ship.  Stay tuned.

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Embarkation Day began under partly cloudy skies, a prepaid breakfast in the Hilton Marina restaurant compliments of Delta airlines promotion, and a brief $6 p/p shuttle ride to Pier 26.  As we stepped from the shuttle bus, I noticed that there was no waiting line outside of the terminal doors meaning that the early-birds were already undergoing Security screening at 10:45 AM.  My selective failure to arrive at my assigned 1:00 PM boarding time was rewarded with an 11:25 AM Nieuw Statendam boarding time.  Since I purchased the Club Orange package, I was in the first boarding group.


Prior to moving into my stateroom, I took lots of detailed photos for another CC member who will be occupying the same room on a later cruise.  There was a nice looking Club Orange logo tote bag on the bed and lots of Club Orange brochures throughout the room.  Of note on my Club Orange benefits brochure, was a private kitchen tour a few days after the public kitchen tour, a free jewelry cleaning, tender priority, one-on-one spa consultation, a pre-opening Merabella viewing, and a private Black Label photo appointment.  My aft balcony room has a plethora of electrical outlets (5 at the desk) and more on both sides of the bed.  The minibar appears to be only 60% the size of a similar minibar on the Vista class ships causing my plates of Lido Market breakfast cheese needing to be only saucer-size.  The minibar door will hold only four soda cans.  By checking in early, my luggage was on my bed when I returned from lunch around 1:30.


The MDR was open to all passengers and was sparsely utilized for lunch.  Service was slow as usual and the Embarkation menu seemed a bit different so I will be scanning it.  After lunch, I was able to verify and change some of my Specialty Restaurant reservations at the podium across from the Sel de Mer Restaurant entrance.  It will be open very day from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM.


My traditional 2:00 PM ship tour had two other roll call members as we visited all of the public venues to speed their ship orientation.  Unlike the smaller class ships, I realized that there is only one level to the World Stage.  I confirmed that Louis XIII brandy was available for $105/shot and a second shot for only $2 at Happy Hour.  Several huge puzzle tables were waiting for users in the Crow's Nest.


The Passenger Safety drill for me began with an attempt to watch the required safety video on TV to no avail.  My muster station was in the back of the Deck 2 MDR and stairways were packed with passengers also heading for the Deck 3 MDR muster stations as we parsed ourselves to our respective decks.  It was nice to be seated for a change as the Captain read the same briefing I have heard for years (sans tying the loose life jacket straps).  I waited 15 minutes to let the crowds thin.  Unlike other ship, luggage delivery was paused so that every elevator could be used to distribute the passengers returning to their rooms.  


While seated, I decided to check what time my early dining was to start, 5:30 or 5:45 PM, and much to my surprise, fixed dining started at 5:00 PM.  I was not even hungry.  When I found my table in the Deck 3 MDR, I discovered that I had seen my waiter on the Zaandam 18 months ago.  With the food ordering tablets now working well, each course followed only a few minutes after the previous course ended so I could leave just 50 minutes after arriving.


I discovered by Barista friend, Michelle, from the Veendam and we talked about her experiences from being mentioned in my Veendam "live thread" on CC.  For several months later, CC passengers would approach her and say "Roger says, hello."  She reported how special she felt with so many folks making her feel famous.  Her birthday is just 5 days and many decades before mine.  Of note, the Explorations Cafe honors the 50% 4/5*Mariner discount for sodas.


Enroute to the Crow's Nest, I opted for chocolate chip cookies that were not in view and had to be retrieved from the Lido storage area.  The cookies appeared to be too uniform to be baked on board and lacked the buttery flavor of previous HAL chocolate chip cookies.  The giant chocolate chip cookies are no longer available in the new Crow's Nest configuration so I was directed to the Dutch Cafe, where two large cookies were found in the back and I was warned that big cookies disappear early.  I now know my first stop after a Club Orange breakfast.


As requested, the following information is provided for connecting multiple internet devices simultaneously for my 14-day cruise:  2-$287.99, 3-$423.99, and 4-593.99.  You can change devices on a single-device plan by logging out one device before logging on another.


Club HAL is not yet scheduled to switch to the new High Score and the staff here hopes it is just another experiment.  Club HAL activities are no longer printed but available on the room TV.


No information of any potential switch from Coke to Pepsi products.


Marlboro cartons have increased in price from $33 to $44 this year.


My only contact with the large political group on board was trying to get through them as they massed in the hallways/stairwells around the entrance to the Deck 3 MDR for their late dining.


Tomorrow for me is breakfast in Club Orange to see what I have been missing, a plate of snack cheese from the Lido Market for my minibar, a quick stop on Half Moon Cay, a day of shipboard photographs, and answer chasing for CC members.


More later.

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8 hours ago, Crew News said:

a quick stop on Half Moon Cay

 

 

Huh? I thought today is a Sea day.

 

Joanie

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17 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

 

Yep.  You're correct.  FYI, in the future, should you cruise from Port Everglades, a taxi is probably cheaper than HAL transfers.  Something to think about.  Of course, I realize a lot of passengers want this convenience, which is fine, but I didn't know if you were aware that the port is close to the airport.

My husband is in a wheelchair and the transfers are alot easier. 

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@Crew News I'd really appreciate you taking some time to walk a lap or two on the Promenade Deck on this ship and compare it to the experience of walking the Promenade Deck on the Vista class ships.  Currently I am not even considering the K-dam and NS because of what APPEARS to be a really uncomfortable Promenade Deck on them.  Thanks in advance 🙂

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Just now, VennDiagram said:

@Crew News I'd really appreciate you taking some time to walk a lap or two on the Promenade Deck on this ship and compare it to the experience of walking the Promenade Deck on the Vista class ships.  Currently I am not even considering the K-dam and NS because of what APPEARS to be a really uncomfortable Promenade Deck on them.  Thanks in advance 🙂

 

I have yet to walk a lap on the NS but I have walked a lap on Koningsdam.  The difference between the promenade decks on other HAL ships and the larger ships is the width of the deck which is about 50%.  There could be a squeeze at the bow and stern if you are in a large group.

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1 hour ago, cat shepard said:

Thanks Roger! Not sure if I should read your cookie info!😎

 

Cookies today were overhanging the sides of their 6" plate.

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11 hours ago, Crew News said:

Since I purchased the Club Orange package, I was in the first boarding group.

 

When did 4* and 5*s get to board?   Did Club Orange board in advance of the 4* and 5*s? 

 

 

56 minutes ago, Crew News said:

the width of the deck which is about 50%. 

 

Thanks for that info.  Can one see the ocean when doing laps on the Promenade Deck on the NS or K-dam?

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Just now, VennDiagram said:

 

When did 4* and 5*s get to board?   Did Club Orange board in advance of the 4* and 5*s? 

 

 

 

Thanks for that info.  Can one see the ocean when doing laps on the Promenade Deck on the NS or K-dam?

 

As posted on my live thread, boarding began at 11:25 AM with mobility challenged first followed by all of the priority groups (PS/Neptune suites and 4 & 5* Mariners).

 

You can see the ocean just like other ships while walking on the Promenade.  Only the width of the Promenade Deck is more narrow on the larger ships and this precludes the deck being used for mustering passengers.  Any ship evacuation will be conducted from the muster points inside the ship.

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On 12/7/2019 at 9:10 PM, leerathje said:

 

I believe it is because the Dutch believe Sinter Klaas arrives on December 5 (or 6?).

 

 

 

December 5th is correctamundo as to when Sinterklaas makes his visits to the Dutch children 

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20 minutes ago, Crew News said:

You can see the ocean just like other ships while walking on the Promenade.  Only the width of the Promenade Deck is more narrow on the larger ships and this precludes the deck being used for mustering passengers.  Any ship evacuation will be conducted from the muster points inside the ship.

Not quite correct.

On most other HAL ships, the Promenade provides an unobstructed view of the ocean.

On the 2 Pinnacle Class ships, the view of the ocean from the Promenade deck is severely restricted by the tender boats.

Edited by taxmantoo

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2 hours ago, Crew News said:

 

Cookies today were overhanging the sides of their 6" plate.


 

ok, you are NOT playing fair. I now can not ever look at your website for fear that you posted pictures of these monsters.  

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On 12/8/2019 at 11:57 AM, SarahCBL said:

We are doing a 14 day B2B on the Zuiderdam in January.  This will be our first ever B2B.  If you have a chance, could you ask at the spa what the 2 week couples thermal pass costs?  Online you can only buy a 7 day pass for this cruise.  We were wondering if they will even sell us a 2 week pass or will we have to buy two 7 day passes?  Thank you!  

 

As requested, the price for couples for 14 days on the Nieuw Statendam is $499 or maybe less on the Zuiderdam.  There will be one bill for your B2B so buying 14-day pas should be possible.

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Some interesting facts and observations:

  • Some passengers need to reset their passwords via the Front Desk to make Navigator work.
  • If there are no potato chips near the Lido Market sandwiches, ask for them.  Recommend using a large green salad bowl to carry chips back to your stateroom.
  • Lido Market chairs are not as heavy as those on the Koningsdam chairs. 
  • Behind the Scenes Tour is shorter and cheaper ($90).

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On 12/8/2019 at 7:53 AM, JEH said:

Looking  forward to your reviews .  Taking an April Trans Atlantic  on this ship Thanks

Just ended our cruise Sunday, did not find the ship too crowded, best cruise ever, we tried Tamarind, Canaletto, Pinnacle and Sal De Mer. The food was very good . The schnitzle in the dining room was one of the best I have tried. I hated to leave!

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1 hour ago, Crew News said:

 

As requested, the price for couples for 14 days on the Nieuw Statendam is $499 or maybe less on the Zuiderdam.  There will be one bill for your B2B so buying 14-day pas should be possible.

Thank you for the information!  I hope you have a wonderful cruise and I am looking forward to reading all your reports!!

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Thank you for your ongoing review.  We'll see you onboard next week. Hopefully you enjoy your first week aboard.

I just noticed on cruise website that our sailing on the 15th is a theme cruise:  wine experts cruise, with wine experts from Chateau Ste. Michelle.  My hubby and I love to go wine tasting, so that will be an added bonus.  Did you already know this or have you heard anything about it.

Also, only if you get a chance, can you possibly let me know what night they're serving rack of lamb in the MDR?  We'll probably do one specialty restaurant and I don't want to do it the night they have rack of lamb.  Thank you..

Edited by smilesntravels

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