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

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4 hours ago, MickeyG said:

My wife and I will be on the Nieuw Statendam for Christmas cruise this year. This will be our first HAL experience. We wanted to choose a ship that would be extra-special for the holidays. After reading several reviews from experienced HAL cruisers, we decided to go big with the Nieuw Statendam. Looking forward to meeting our fellow cruisers in a couple of weeks.

Be est...Mick


The ship has nearly completed the Christmas decorations with huge gingerbread houses, toy trains, tinsel everywhere, trees, etc. 

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6 hours ago, VennDiagram said:

 

Thank you for that information!  You've confirmed that my concern about the Promenade Deck is valid.   You've been on many (all?) the HAL ships.  How would you say the visibility from the  K-dam or NS Promenade Deck compares to the Vista ships' Promenade Deck? 

I can answer this one for you, as I've been on all HAL ships except Zaandam and Volendam.  I'll sail both in 2020.  On to your question: Very little visibility on K and NS, except for a couple of small areas where the lifeboats/walls don't obstruct.  Visibility on Vista is unobstructed until you walk to the bow area which is obstructed.  Very pleasant walking Promenade on all dam ships except for Pinnacle Class.  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.  Don't get me wrong.  I still walk this deck if only to burn the calories from all the goodies.  (I am not a person who likes exercise equipment.)

 

Don't allow the narrow Promenade to affect your decision to sail/not sail these two ships.  Both are beautiful and have much to offer.  Just understand going in that this deck is lacking if you want to walk and view the sea at the same time.

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3 hours ago, MickeyG said:

My wife and I will be on the Nieuw Statendam for Christmas cruise this year. This will be our first HAL experience. We wanted to choose a ship that would be extra-special for the holidays. After reading several reviews from experienced HAL cruisers, we decided to go big with the Nieuw Statendam. Looking forward to meeting our fellow cruisers in a couple of weeks.

Best...Mick

Don't mean to highjack this thread, but have you checked in at our Roll Call, Mick?  Please do, so we can all say hello to you and possibly meet you onboard.

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3 hours ago, richwmn said:

Hey Roger,

Wrote you a few weeks ago hoping you would be able to obtain a map of the dining room.  I have the Koningsdam but rumor has it that it is not the same.

Hope you are successful and able to post the map.

Have a great cruise!

Sherry

The dining room table numbering is different than the Koningsdam. I found out the hard way. So, a map of table numbers for the upper dining room on the NS would be great!

Edited by DFWGUYZ
.

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10 minutes ago, DFWGUYZ said:

The dining room table numbering is different than the Koningsdam. I found out the hard way. So, a map of table numbers for the upper dining room on the NS would be great!

Upper level MDR on NS is available on halfacts.  Check it out.

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1 hour ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Upper level MDR on NS is available on halfacts.  Check it out.

Thanks!

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On 12/9/2019 at 6:00 PM, Crew News said:

 

My apologies.  I should have known that rack of lamb is always served on the second Gala Night December 19th.

 

On 12/9/2019 at 2:35 PM, smilesntravels said:

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..

 

My apologies again.  Rack of lamb is served on the Silver menu which is the first Gala Night for 7-day cruises.

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1 hour ago, Crew News said:

 

 

My apologies again.  Rack of lamb is served on the Silver menu which is the first Gala Night for 7-day cruises.

That's okay, thanks again Roger.  I don't know what the silver menu is, but I assume for the MDR.  

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The day began with partly cloudy skies and temperature in the high 70's and bumpy seas.  The new When & Where no longer gives the weather forecast so the passengers must wait for the Captain's daily briefing.


Today was another day of sleeping late and another late breakfast (just oatmeal).  I had a fresh sweet roll within minutes and my oatmeal took another 10 minutes to move about 12 feet from the Club Orange prep station.


I enjoyed the 10:30 AM kitchen tour and the funny Executive Chef.  From the tour, I went directly to our Meet &b Greet location only to find it occupied by The Nation selling tables of literature.  Our Meet & Greet had been moved to the Rolling Stone venue.  Peak attendance was around 12 roll call member as we competed with other activities in process.  The proposed lunch fizzled as the MDR was conducting the first of two Mariner Luncheons.


My day was filled with gathering information for this thread, and Club Orange thread, and my roll call for next week. 

 

I had my first tussle with the Front Desk when my minibar charges (8 Diet Cokes) were not discounted and none of my Specialty dining discounts not refunded.  The Front Desk sent an email to the beverage folks to make the corrections and HAL no longer grants the dining discounts until the meal is consumed.  We shall see what the "Night Auditor" does with my account.  This sounds like my first Comment Card will be deployed tomorrow afternoon.


I visited the NY Pizza & Deli for a corned beef sandwich which was the perfect size for a light lunch following a late breakfast.


The internet connection had a number of periods with no access.  Of course it kept crashing when Adobe was trying to download updates to four of their products on  my laptop.  It took five hours to accomplish what I would have completed at home in 20 minutes.  It must be noted that the internet speed is decent but the huge gaps in connection time is almost as frustrating as in Alaska where the internet satellites as so difficult to contact.


My reservations for the Tamarind took precedence over Gala Night and I enjoyed the scallops, shrimp entree, and the macaroon dessert.


There was a Captain's reception, to which I was invited, where I chatted with the Environment Officer and then left to collect menus/table maps from the MDR.  The entrance to the MDR had as many ship's officers greeting guests as the reception that I just left.  There were no officer's at the entrance to Club Orange.  Table maps for the two MDR decks should be delivered to my stateroom tomorrow.


Time for bed and an attempt to post this if the internet is up.


Tomorrow is Falmouth, Jamaica.

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2 hours ago, smilesntravels said:

That's okay, thanks again Roger.  I don't know what the silver menu is, but I assume for the MDR.  

 

The MDR Silver Gala Night menu is served on the first Gala Night of each 7-day cruise and features the rack of lamb.  The Gold menu is served the second Gala Night and features surf & turf.

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On 12/9/2019 at 6:14 PM, sevenseasnomad said:

Question, Crew News.  If you've purchased Club Orange, why are you eating in the MDR?  On Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, Club Orange is a separate dining room.  We have Club Orange our second week while our first week is early fixed.  I hate to hear that this seating is 5:00 p.m. for several reasons.  First, we've asked for a zoom-in on the live cam from Port Everglades.  NS doesn't usually leave her berth until after five.  Second, I agree that it's much too early for dinner, particularly with the smaller portions.  We'll be starving by nine, so I guess we'll head to NY Deli or order room service.  What time is the second fixed seating?  7:00?  Third, after consuming a large lunch at noon, that extra 30 minutes (dinner at 5:30) makes a big difference.  

 

Meal portions seem to be the same size as the MDR but with the chef only a few feet away, it is easy to tweak the meal prep.

 

Keeping contact with the MDR was important to obtain their dinner menus to compare with Club Orange menus.  I now know the comparison so will probably not return to the MDR on this cruise.

 

Second seating is 8:00 PM.

 

The Dutch Cafe NY Pizza & Deli are open late for snacks.  There is also Room Service.

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19 minutes ago, Crew News said:

 

Meal portions seem to be the same size as the MDR but with the chef only a few feet away, it is easy to tweak the meal prep.

 

Keeping contact with the MDR was important to obtain their dinner menus to compare with Club Orange menus.  I now know the comparison so will probably not return to the MDR on this cruise.

 

Second seating is 8:00 PM.

 

The Dutch Cafe NY Pizza & Deli are open late for snacks.  There is also Room Service.

Just to clarify, please.  Fixed early dining in the MDR is 5:00 p.m.?

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Wow, 5PM seems early for dinner (our 4PM), so it looks like we may be trying to switch to late seating.  Thanks for letting us know the dining times.

 

Smooth Sailing!   🙂🙂🙂

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7 hours ago, caribill said:

What time is late fixed seating?

 

Thanks.

 

Early fixed dining is 5:00 PM and late fixed dining is 8:00 PM.  As an early dining person, 5:00 PM is too early for me and so Club Orange is a good alternative for me.  Unless the upgrade gods give me a Neptune Suite, this cruise will be my last Club Orange experience.

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12 hours ago, Crew News said:

 

The MDR Silver Gala Night menu is served on the first Gala Night of each 7-day cruise and features the rack of lamb.  The Gold menu is served the second Gala Night and features surf & turf.

Great to know, thank you for the info.  I just realized that you're the Roger of that website with all the pictures :).  I used to go to beyondships .com to see pics of cruises and menus and lately have been going to your website for HAL pics.

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31 minutes ago, Crew News said:

 

Early fixed dining is 5:00 PM and late fixed dining is 8:00 PM.  As an early dining person, 5:00 PM is too early for me and so Club Orange is a good alternative for me.  Unless the upgrade gods give me a Neptune Suite, this cruise will be my last Club Orange experience.

Yikes 5pm is very early for this central time zone tummy. I wonder if that is the fleet wide Caribbean standard this year. Ugh. 

 

After your cruise, I look forward to your thoughts on and opinion of CO, especially on a Pinnacle class ship. 

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13 hours ago, Crew News said:

The new When & Where no longer gives the weather forecast so the passengers must wait for the Captain's daily briefing.

 

 

Which means if you are off the ship in a port at noon, you will not hear what the next day's weather will be.

 

Not good.

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2 hours ago, caribill said:

 

Which means if you are off the ship in a port at noon, you will not hear what the next day's weather will be.

 

Not good.

 

That is the issue.  You will not know the weather forecast for the following day that used to be found in the When & Where received the night before.

 

I will include this issue in my cruise survey.

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2 hours ago, Alberta Quilter said:

The weather forecast is available on the TV. 

 

Thanks for the tip.  Not only is today's weather available but I found that the weather for the entire cruise was available under the "onboard" tab on the TV.

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Updates and more.

 

Surprisingly, all of my loyalty discounts were applied today and I did not have to wait until I completed the respective meals.  This is contrary to what I was told at the Front Desk.  All of my minibar charges (8 Diet Cokes) were refunded, not just discounted.

 

Again today, I found no chips at lunch and asked the sandwich for some as I handed him a large salad bowl.  With a broad smile on his face, the server returned my bowl filled to the top with enough chips to last me for the week.

 

I now have the MDR map for both Decks 2 and 3 and will be posting it soon.

 

On each Lido Market table there is a push button to summon the Beverage Server but I have yet to give it a try.  To date, there has always been someone asking if I wanted coffee, water, tea, or lemonade within seconds of my taking my seat.  In addition, clearing the tables was conducted quickly when the occupants departed.

 

I was surprised to see a double hand-washing sink the Lido Market rather than the new stations where you just insert your hands into the washing tubes.

 

Laundry is now returned 24 hours after turn-in, unlike the same-day return on Day 02.  I did confirm that I can turn in laundry the morning before Disembarkation.  Others may receive a different answer.

 

There will be an hour-long culinary tour for Club Orange passengers on the last Sea Day which probably precedes the second Mariner Luncheon (so many Mariners on the Pinnacle ships that it takes two days).

 

After several inquiries, I discovered the Future Cruise Deposit Drop Box was actually a slot in the wall (not a box), approximately shoulder level around the corner from their office.  Since there is no value in booking a next cruise while on board (only needs to be done within 60 days of disembarkation), use of the "slot" for completed paperwork is a real saver of waiting time.

 

Internet seems to be decent today while in port here in Jamaica.

 

More later.

 

 

As I type this, the ship is being bounced on incoming waves and into the dock.

 

 

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Love the idea of the Lido table buttons. 
 

And feel free to every one of those chips, as long as you save me one 7” cookie.

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