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DutchByAssociation

A new HAL Blog! (Yes, I'm a HAL employee!)

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Thank you for your very prompt reply to our (mine and mamapickle's ) inquiries about fixed dining. But can you tell us whether there really were more than 150 passengers who were refused bookings for early fixed dining on the March 7 Zaandam sailing. If there were, we'll have to look forward to standing in a very, very long line on embarkation day to request and perhaps be denied fixed dining. I'll want to be prepared with a book to read while I wait.

On the other hand, if there were only a dozen or so who can be presumably be accommodated at embarkation, there is no reason for mamapickle, for me, or for anyone else to worry very much about it.

 

I wouldn't have accerss to specific numbers on a given sailing. However, if the goal is to eat at 5:45 each day, Open Dining or Lido Dining at that time of day shouldn't be a problem.

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DBA, since there are no trays in the Lido anymore, is it permissable to bring your own tray from home and use it there? TIA

 

There have been many posts since those stating that this is not the case. Contact the ship services depat and speak to the coordinator for the ship you are curious about and they can provide an answer directly from the ship.

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Hi Dutch,

Can you tell us if there will be a charge on the Veendam(or any of the ships) for the new retreat area they are making out by the aft pool areas? Thanks. Loving your blog.

I would like to make a comment Dutch, re these new aft pool areas coming.

I think it is a terrible idea to put "wading pools" on the Veendam, Maasdam etc I always liked the seaview pools better than the Lido pools which are crowded, noisey and hot. And it will be even harder to get a spot by the Lido pools with more people onboard in the added cabins. How stupid to take a pool away from a ship when most new ships are increasing pool areas, hot tubs and spa pools etc. It will be a deterrent to me for taking any of those smaller ships.

What some of us would like to know is how much market research HAL does before big changes are made, these new aft areas, show times, AYWD? Maybe on the bolg there could be some surveys.

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Hello

 

Lovely blog

 

Here is my question We have been on many cruise lines and would like to try HAL next Jan

2 cruises tempt us

Westerdam Jan 03-14 days

Noordam Jan 04 -20 days

In what ways are theses ships similar or different

 

Which ship would you recommend and why /Is it true pax are MUCH older on Hal .

 

I will be traveling with my 18 year old son .We love beaches and snorkelling

I love balconies

We enjoy comfortable accomodations,good food,lovely ports,good entertainment and do donate at the casino.Which ship best answers these requests ?

Both cruises above go to HAlf Moon Cay which I am told is GREAT

 

Both itineraries seem great but of course Noordam with 3 weeks goes to more places

I love long cruises -the longest has been 2 weeks

Friends may join us

I'm Listening

 

Michele

 

These ships are sisters and very similar. There are distinct differences in the layout of the Explorations Cafe, Crows Nest and Ocean Bar though. Average passenger age (even with Carnival) is dependent on when you travel, if it is a typical "vacation" time of year and many other factors.

 

I have had great experiences on both ships and for me personally the decsion would be financial. If the extra 6 days of ports on Noordam are worth the extra money to you personally, I would say go for it. :) Otherwise, the Westerdam is an incredible ship.

 

As for more differences between the ships and what people like the most about each one, you may ant to ask in a generic thread on here. Various people have their personal favorite and can give you a lot more feedback on this.

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Hi Dutch,

Can you tell us if there will be a charge on the Veendam(or any of the ships) for the new retreat area they are making out by the aft pool areas? Thanks. Loving your blog.

 

Only charge I'm aware of for the new area would be the bar. I have heard nothing about charges for the other features.

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I will be making my first time ever cruise aboard the Ms Noordam, I hear the blue cruise packets that are delivered to you with all your paperwork are being phased out in favor of e-documents,..... does this mean that by August, when we sail, I may never have an opportunity to receive the lovely blue packets??

Love your blog and thanks for your speedy responses to all the questions!

 

At this time, edocs are still in testing and only available to a few folks that are pre-selected. The goal, as far as I have heard, is to offer the option of either and default to one of the two (don't remember which) unless the other is specified. I believe there is also a time frame in place for truly last minute bookings that only edocs would be available.

 

I have heard nothing to date that says it will be only edocs for everyone.

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Am really enjoying both this thread and your blog. 2 questions now. Will your blog be incorporated into the new Holland America Blog Site? Please tell us all about the new homeport and cruises from Rocky Point Mexico. Thanks in advance Gary & Jane

 

I don't have plans to incorporate this blog into the HAL blog, but I have requested that a link be provided on the HAL blog that would "advertise mine" as I am doing on my blog for them.

 

I'm not aware of anything sailing from ports in Mexico... I've not even heard of Rocky Point Mexico to be quite honest... :confused:

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Aloha DBA,

 

I have an air filtration/purification question. On my first two cruises on another line, and various hotel stays, I noticed that cigarette smoke travels through vents.

 

We noticed on our HAL cruise that it was not so noticeable. How do you filter the air?

 

That would best be deferred to our fleet department, and it might be easier to get an answer through them by asking on the HAL blog.

 

Hope that helps! :)

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Hi DB- Thanks for all your hard work. I'm just being hypothetical but I was wondering. Is there enough room on the smaller ships to install the big thalassotherapy pool like on Westerdam etc?

 

I'm not a boat builder but I was looking on the Veendam and I thought there might be a way it could be done (remodeling etc)

 

It's ashame that the Zaandam goes to Hawaii with almost 10 sea days and does not have the big t-pool.

 

The small pools on the smaller ships (which are really just a jacuzzi) just aren't the same.

 

Thanks

 

Not that I'm aware of, but if there ever were further big renovations to the spa I'm sure that would be taken into consideration given the popularity of the big pools.

 

I know I would love to see it! :)

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Why does HAL allow people to "reserve" chairs for extended periods of time around the pool area?

 

Why does HAL allow people to "save" multiple seats in the theather for people for extended periods of time while "demanding" that wife and I are "refused" to sit in two of those empty chairs that they deem (demand) are theirs?

 

Sorry Steam, appears I missed your post...

There are policies in place if a chair has been unattended for more than 30 minutes. The items are taken to the Front Desk and placed in the lost and found. Same goes for the Screening Room as far as I am aware.

Apologies if this is not what you expreienced.

As you can imagine, since this is an independent effort and done in my spare time I only can dedicate so much to this. I’ve also noticed that there are times when I’m in the middle of responding to a bunch that someone will post in the middle of that and they catch me off guard.

Apologies that you are upset or disappointed that your reply has taken more than 24 hours. Unfortunately, this is the specific reason why I haven’t promised a reply time… I am only human…

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I would like to make a comment Dutch, re these new aft pool areas coming.

I think it is a terrible idea to put "wading pools" on the Veendam, Maasdam etc I always liked the seaview pools better than the Lido pools which are crowded, noisey and hot. And it will be even harder to get a spot by the Lido pools with more people onboard in the added cabins. How stupid to take a pool away from a ship when most new ships are increasing pool areas, hot tubs and spa pools etc.

 

Yes, I am in agreement and have actually posted a similar comment on blog... Would love to hear from you what Seattle thinks about the vast majority of cruise critic posters disappointment in getting rid of the aft pool in favor of a foot bath.

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Maybe, just maybe, we ought to cut Dutchbyassociation some slack, Jack:rolleyes:, appreciate what he's trying to do here, plus keep in mind that the guy has a full-time job with HAL! He's doing this blog thing on his own time in an effort to give all of us HAL fans a tidbit of info as to what goes on behind the scenes and/or is planned for the future in Seattle!

There will no doubt be, as a matter of fact, there already have been, questions, yours truly included, that he either can't answer (yet), doesn't have an answer for at all (i.e. due to confidentiality), and/or will need to refer to someone else or some other dept. not present on his blog because he doesn't have the expertese.

Take fifteen seconds and think about it and try not to chase the guy away already! He doesn't have to be here and he certainly doesn't have to do this!:cool:

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Have booked the Statendam in May. Do you know or could you find out if Captain Consen is returning to the Statendam as Captain. He was Captain of the Statendam on our first cruise many years ago and was very compassionate and went out of his way (as well as many of his Crew) for my 93 year old father. It was partly due to his interaction and professionalism that has made us loyal alumni with HAL. If this is true and he is on in May, we will be ecstatic.:)

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Hi:

 

Forgive me if this question has been answered, but can you tell me who the hotel manager will be on the Oosterdam for the May 19th sailing from Venice to Barcelona.

 

Thanks,

Arlene

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Thanks DBA for your blog!

one question: when looking at the photos of the outside cabins, which pictures represent what I would find on the Rotterdam? Or any other CC, do you know?

 

are there still trays on the Rotterdam or have they been removed from the Lido buffet? again, CCers, anyone answer this one?

 

robes: are they supplied to passengers only in suites or do other categories still get them?

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Thanks DBA for your blog!

one question: when looking at the photos of the outside cabins, which pictures represent what I would find on the Rotterdam? Or any other CC, do you know?

 

are there still trays on the Rotterdam or have they been removed from the Lido buffet? again, CCers, anyone answer this one?

 

robes: are they supplied to passengers only in suites or do other categories still get them?

 

The pictures of staterooms all go:

S&R Class

Vista Class

Eurodam

 

There's been a lot of mixed reports on the trays and I have not specifically heard anything.

 

Robes are in all rooms. And available for purchase with monogram if you so desire.

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Kyana and Arlenez-

I think Copper actually has one of the best lists of staff that will be on the ships.

 

From memory, I believe Marcia will be the Hotel Manager on Oosterdam...

 

As for the Captain I don't recall right off.

 

Copper? I know you have a lot of staff info that might be more readily accessible... :)

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Hi, DBA! I've been researching Caribbean trips for 2010 and have noticed that Tortola is being replaced on almost every itinerary. :(Usually for St. Thomas. Is there a reason?

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Have booked the Statendam in May. Do you know or could you find out if Captain Consen is returning to the Statendam as Captain. He was Captain of the Statendam on our first cruise many years ago and was very compassionate and went out of his way (as well as many of his Crew) for my 93 year old father. It was partly due to his interaction and professionalism that has made us loyal alumni with HAL. If this is true and he is on in May, we will be ecstatic.:)

 

Capt. Frrrrrrrrrrrrrans Consen is scheduled to join Statendam in March but he's also scheduled to leave her in early May so I hope it works out for ya! He's one of the most outgoing captains in the fleet, plus a funny guy. Just too bad, there are no 'rrr's' in Statendam

Hi:

 

Forgive me if this question has been answered, but can you tell me who the hotel manager will be on the Oosterdam for the May 19th sailing from Venice to Barcelona.

 

Thanks,

Arlene

It is scheduled to be the first female HAL Hotel Manager, Marcella Himmelreich - and on top of that, she's Dutch (with a German-sounding last name);)

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Capt. Frrrrrrrrrrrrrans Consen is scheduled to join Statendam in March but he's also scheduled to leave her in early May so I hope it works out for ya! He's one of the most outgoing captains in the fleet, plus a funny guy. Just too bad, there are no 'rrr's' in Statendam

It is scheduled to be the first female HAL Hotel Manager, Marcella Himmelreich - and on top of that, she's Dutch (with a German-sounding last name);)

 

Thank you.

 

A

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Here is my kinda dumb question. Many people have suggested bringing a power strip to use for multiple electronic items. I have a plug-in that converts an outlet to three plugs. My question is how are the outlets set up on the desk? If I have a three plug outlet plug that is plugged in lengthwise, will it block a light switch? I can not use it on Princess ships as the light switch is right next to the outlet and the three outlet plug blocks the light switch.

 

Does that make sense? Maybe i should just settle for the power strip.

 

Ed

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Thanks Sail.

 

I've never posted on Cruise Critic until now, ;)

 

Then why does your post say you have 52 posts?

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