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

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1 hour ago, sofietucker said:

Hey there! Thanks for the info! Weboard tomorrow  and expect that as 4*/NS, we'll have no issues boarding early... two questions: any Orange Party?? We were on the final voyage of the Pdam (waaah!) and while we got assurance from both ship services and boutique staff (who sold orange polos) that there WOULD be an orange party, date TBD by the captain.. . NOTHING. Yet HAL website suz every cruise! Hate to have brought my orange regalia for naught, lol. Second, do your menus include the extra-to-MDR entree promised in Club Orange? We can look at the menu each night on our own of course; had a bad experience on Westerdam where maitre'd Refused!! (Repeatedly)to show us next nights menu in case the chef might change his mind.  As a NS whose tablemate sitting next to me was shown next nights menu *every night*...thx.

 

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.

 

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1 hour ago, eculmone said:

Thank you Crew News for all your posts. I'm new to Holland. Not a pop drinker or a big alcohol consumer. I like a glass of wine with dinner and I'll probably enjoy a 'drink of the day special' if they have? I heard they offer a happy hour? Any idea of the best bang for my buck? I'm thinking possibly a bottle at dinner which would be one glass for each of us in our party? (4) 🙂 

 

Indeed the best bang for the buck is the Louis XIII Cognac at $105/glass with the second glass only $2.  There will be three bars with Happy Hour:  Billboard, Ocean, and Crows Nest 4:00 to 5:00 PM each day. 

 

Always a drink of the day.

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1 hour ago, sevenseasnomad said:

The probable reason why a tablemate was shown a menu for the following evening is the person indicated a food allergy.  I have two food allergies, and the waitstaff insists that I select my choice for the next day's dinner that evening.  After I've made my selections by writing on that menu, I never mind sharing it with anyone around us who asks to see it.  We normally sit at a table for two.  Sometimes the menus get passed around to three or four tables.

 

You can sometimes get menus for the entire week if you visit the Front Desk early in the cruise.  They may or may not accommodate you.  Hope this helps.

 

I am experiencing the "menu might change" response when I asked about the Christmas and New Year menus.  My request will hopefully be elevated to the Executive Chef, Paulo.  I shall persevere.

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3 hours ago, Crew News said:

Until recently, sodas were discounted 50% in the Explorations Cafe for 4 and 5* Mariners on all HAL ships.  Some ships continue to honor that discount but some do not.  One of my efforts when boarding a new ship is to verify this discount and report on a live thread.

 

I learned that the discount can be used on this ship but only with counter service, not via the sales terminal used by the waitstaff.

Thank you for the clarification; I knew that specialty coffees were discounted at the Explorations Cafe, but didn't realize it also included sodas - when using counter service.   Even after all these years, these boards continue to be a wealth of information!

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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33 minutes ago, Crew News said:

 

I am experiencing the "menu might change" response when I asked about the Christmas and New Year menus.  My request will hopefully be elevated to the Executive Chef, Paulo.  I shall persevere.

Thank you, kind sir.  But if you are unable to get these menus, not to worry.  We can be surprised, and in fact, most of what makes travel interesting are the little surprises along the way, as long as they are the pleasant kind.  Looking forward to watching your sail-away tomorrow, especially since the following week that will be us.  Can't wait.

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37 minutes ago, Crew News said:

 

I am experiencing the "menu might change" response when I asked about the Christmas and New Year menus.  My request will hopefully be elevated to the Executive Chef, Paulo.  I shall persevere.

GOOD; best of luck. Point taken re:allergies, and our tablemate did share, but it was a ludicrous dance; even our concierge couldn't fix it. I don't mind some changes; my goal is to decide when to book our alternative restaurants. We'll do MDR/Club O for Gala nights. But would hate to book, say,  Sel de Mer and find out my most beloved menu is the same night, as has happened... sometimes our preferred dinner times are fully booked. We're eating at Club O/MDR on only 2 other nights, so it would be very helpful if they would accommodate the request for info.

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Another day beginning with partly cloudy skies that ended in the same.

Club Orange was again crowded and I told the Maître` D that I did not mind sharing my 4-top table.  To my surprise, the husband of the couple seated with me had the same rare camera model that I own and has been shopping for the same upgrade as I have.  He loved flower and animal photography while also being a seldom-posting CC member for many years.  What a small world.

My Behind the Scenes Tour was very informative and I will post more about it another day.  The new Belgian Captain was a great host on the bridge and the Chief Engineer went into great detail of ship operations.  One item of interest to me was the elimination of all single-serving items (butter, jelly, soap, lotions, soap, etc. by next November.  A second fact was the HAL massive effort to recycle and that all recycling income goes to the Crew fund for parties/gifts. A third fact was that button sewing service is available to passengers.  A fourth fact was that each washing machine has 21 programs to match any fabric and special washing instruction.  A fifth item is that all water is purified from sea water by the ship with no water being loaded at any port.  The tour missed the engine room, showroom backstage, the other half of the bridge, the safety/security room behind bridge, and no cookbooks at the end of the tour.  Being more than $50 less than previous charges, makes the tour a great deal.

After a quick bowl of soup at the Mariner Luncheon, my search for ship information continued.  After discovering that the beverage menus in each bar have changed since June, I prepared my scanner for lots of scanning but it stumbled causing me to waste several sea day hours downloading new software to repair it.  At least I have another week to finish.

The 3:00 PM tea had a full house when I peered into the MDR during my afternoon information.

My Tamarind dinner was amazing as I discovered two items that I had yet to try.

Noted today were Christmas decorations everywhere and music all around the ship.  “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bell Rock” seemed to be playing sequentially in all venues.

Tomorrow is in-transit day for many passengers and we will be escorted off the ship around 10:00 AM for a short visit to Immigration.  Happily, no repeated Passenger Safety Drill. 

Hopefully, I have kept those on the incoming roll call informed of what to expect and our Meet & Greet will have a robust turnout.

More later.

Edited by Crew News

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Roger, by single serving items, does that mean no more Elemis lotion or hand soap?  Could you discover if these two items will be eliminated after November?  If so, that's a real bummer.  As for the butter and jelly, what are they going to do?  Stick a pot of jam on every table or a stick of butter?  I really can't see how this approach works better.  In fact, it may be more wasteful, not to mention unsanitary.  I suppose single serving also applies to syrup too.  Again, everyone touching the same container is asking for a Noro outbreak, not to mention sticky handles, similar to those at Waffle House or IHop.  Ugh!  

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14 hours ago, kazu said:

 

You can decide to pay corkage ($18 USD) and then you can enjoy the bottle in any public area on the ship - not just your room 😉 

There are some decent selections in the Sommelier packages and the price improves if you are at least 3 or 4* Mariner for the discounts 😉 

I was given a Mariner number but this is my first Holland cruise so I guess I wouldn't qualify? Will probably be stuck swabbing the decks? lol 

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7 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Roger, by single serving items, does that mean no more Elemis lotion or hand soap?  Could you discover if these two items will be eliminated after November?  If so, that's a real bummer.  As for the butter and jelly, what are they going to do?  Stick a pot of jam on every table or a stick of butter?  I really can't see how this approach works better.  In fact, it may be more wasteful, not to mention unsanitary.  I suppose single serving also applies to syrup too.  Again, everyone touching the same container is asking for a Noro outbreak, not to mention sticky handles, similar to those at Waffle House or IHop.  Ugh!  

 

That is how the Environmental Officer explained it to our tour.  They will buy in bulk and put into small reusable containers for passenger use. 

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 Regarding the elimination of single serve bathroom products and some food items like butter, jelly and syrup. I personally suspect (and this is only a guess) is that it has  alot to do with the elimination of non-recyclable product packaging.  While one jelly cup seems inconsequential, think of how many are used on each HAL ship each day.  

 

I personally like the individual servings but I also like to cut non-recyclable waste for the sake of the world.  Plus there is a savings on product cost.  

 

One question I have - will they individually serve you the butter/jelly/syrup as they do under the higher "Noro" precautions or leave a larger bowl/plate of the items on each table?  Advantages and disadvantages of each in my opinion.  

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7 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

 by single serving items, does that mean no more Elemis lotion or hand soap?  

 

That is what it already means on some Princess ships. Just big containers of liquid soap and lotion.

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Well, Crew News was typing his "response" to KK's question while I was writing my suspicions of the matter.  Thank you Crew News.  

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2 hours ago, eculmone said:

I was given a Mariner number but this is my first Holland cruise so I guess I wouldn't qualify? Will probably be stuck swabbing the decks? lol 

Welcome to Holland America Line!  Yes, you will have to wait a number of cruises until you achieve more stars to qualify for the discounts on wine packages.  We hope you enjoy your time aboard the Dam ships.

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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27 minutes ago, ger_77 said:

Welcome to Holland America Line!  Yes, you will have to wait a number of cruises until you achieve more stars to qualify for the discounts on wine packages.  We hope you enjoy your time aboard the Dam ships.

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

OR I could follow behind a 5* and say 'I'm with them' 😂

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6 minutes ago, eculmone said:

OR I could follow behind a 5* and say 'I'm with them' 😂

Good one!  It might fall apart however, when they ask for your key card for payment. LOL

 

Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂

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9 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Roger, by single serving items, does that mean no more Elemis lotion or hand soap?  Could you discover if these two items will be eliminated after November?  If so, that's a real bummer.  As for the butter and jelly, what are they going to do?  Stick a pot of jam on every table or a stick of butter?  I really can't see how this approach works better.  In fact, it may be more wasteful, not to mention unsanitary.  I suppose single serving also applies to syrup too.  Again, everyone touching the same container is asking for a Noro outbreak, not to mention sticky handles, similar to those at Waffle House or IHop.  Ugh!  


Not sure about the jelly/jam, but on my recent cruise, the Oosterdam had small ceramic dishes (think mise en place size) with butter in them for us to take. One had enough butter in it for at least three of us, depending on what we put it on. That is if we protected it from being removed by the ever zealous Lido staff, eager to remove our empty plates. 

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On 12/12/2019 at 9:46 AM, Crew News said:

 

Thanks for following.  As posted earlier, boarding should be starting at 11:30 AM.  Please join my 2:00 PM ship tour on Embarkation Day as posted on your roll call.

We are boarding on Dec. 22nd,  1) is there a fee to go on a ship tour? And 2) how do I sign up? Sorry new here havent cruised in a few years and first time with HAL 😄 

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2 hours ago, caribill said:

 

That is what it already means on some Princess ships. Just big containers of liquid soap and lotion.

On our last Princess cruise we experienced the "shared" jelly. It meant there appeared to be one jelly tray with 3 flavors shared by an area of the dining room since the waiter had to hunt for it each morning to then put a dollop on our plate. 

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1 hour ago, eculmone said:

We are boarding on Dec. 22nd,  1) is there a fee to go on a ship tour? And 2) how do I sign up? Sorry new here havent cruised in a few years and first time with HAL 😄 

 

There used to ba a large free tour on Embarkation Day but there is now just an orientation in the show room.  I do my own private tour for roll call members at 2:00 PM on every Embarkation Day so that they will not have to carry ship deck plans with them the first few days.

Edited by Crew News

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2 hours ago, cat shepard said:


Not sure about the jelly/jam, but on my recent cruise, the Oosterdam had small ceramic dishes (think mise en place size) with butter in them for us to take. One had enough butter in it for at least three of us, depending on what we put it on. That is if we protected it from being removed by the ever zealous Lido staff, eager to remove our empty plates. 

 

The little ramikins hold a bit more than two tablespoons of catsup, butter, salad dressing.  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.

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14 minutes ago, Crew News said:

 

There used to ba a large free tour on Embarkation Day but there is now just an orientation in the show room.  I do my own private tour for roll call members at 2:00 PM on every Embarkation Day so that they will not have to carry ship deck plans with them the first few days.

What a lovely, wonderful and kind thing to do. Wish we were on your cruise. Happy Holidays 'Crew News' aka Santa? 😊

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2 hours ago, eculmone said:

What a lovely, wonderful and kind thing to do. Wish we were on your cruise. Happy Holidays 'Crew News' aka Santa😊

 

Santa visited early. He's on a DAM ship:) LOL

 

Joanie

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