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HAL Maasdam Review (back to back cruises)



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 22nd, 2007, 10:45 PM posted to rec.travel.cruises
Rosalie B.
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Posts: 1,575
Default HAL Maasdam Review (back to back cruises)

Previous Cruises: (just me - age 69)
HAL Nieuw Amsterdam 1950 transatlantic NYC to La Havre
HAL Nieuw Amsterdam 1950 transatlantic Southampton to NYC
Previous cruises (Bob - age 70) - various US Navy ships 1956 to 1973.
Together - other than cruises to the Bahamas and Florida on our boat
04- NCL Crown to Bermuda
05- NCL Crown repositioning -Phila to Miami.

I picked these cruises because we could drive to it (it left from
Norfolk) and because I like the ports. I wasn't sure how I would like
the traditional dining.

Embarkation in Norfolk - semi-awful.

We left home before 8:30 and were through Tappahannok on US 17 before
1000. We saw a sign which said that the Coleman Bridge was going to
open at 11:00. The last time we were on US 17, the Coleman Bridge
(which Bob correctly IDed as being in Yorktown - I had forgotten the
name of it) got stuck, so I didn't think we'd have time to take any
side trips. We got to the Coleman Bridge at 1054, and just as we were
on the approach a school bus yellow crew cab truck blocked the bridge
by parking across it. We were about the fourth car in line. They
opened early. There was a destroyer waiting on the other side.. I
got out and took some pictures. The bridge managed to get itself shut
by about 1115. We came into Norfolk and stopped to get gas, and the
car got 34 mph for the total trip of about 170 miles. Everything was
fine until this point.

Bob absolutely refused to go to the terminal and drop our luggage off,
and insisted that we would get a cab from the Avis office. The cruise
ship parking was across the street from the Avis place.

The Avis guy kindly said he would drive us to the dock. So Bob tipped
him $5.00, and also gave some money to the lady with the luggage cart.
We got in line, which was almost out to the curb.

There was a Quonset hut type place where we were to be processed -
there was a lot of construction on the pier which was there by
Nauticus. We got to the door of the processing building about 1245

Inside was a zoo. I stood for a little while, but my back began to be
very painful, so I found a chair to sit in over by the photographers
where people were going in, and let Bob inch through the line. That
took about 35 minutes.

I had persuaded Bob to do two cruises because I assured him that we
absolutely would not have to change cabins. I called HAL and talked
to them about it, and I thought I would definitely have the only
inside cabin which was available for both cruises.

NOT. They had given us an upgrade that we didn't ask for and didn't
want. They said they couldn't switch us back because the other people
had already checked in. The best they could do was to upgrade us for
the second cruise to a room very close to where we were for the first
cruise.

No matter how nicely or firmly, I asked them (and I continued to ask
for the whole of the first cruise), they refused to let his have the
same room for both trips because they said that the people had
requested those specific rooms. The fact that I also had requested a
specific room apparently didn't matter to them.

The travel agent sent a second set of cruise documents for the second
cruise cabin to our house where they sat on the porch for a month,
even though she knew or should have known that we would not be at
home.

Once we were on, we dropped our carryons and went to the buffet for
lunch. It was about 2 pm. We were concerned about our bags getting
taken to the right stateroom (particularly because we found that there
are three other people with our last name aboard). Some of our
luggage didn't arrive until after dinner - the last bag was the one
with Bob's underwear.

At the end of the first trip, they gave us the keys to the second room
and said the steward would help us move (which he did). We got our
pictures taken at the "Office". But it was a pain to have to repack
and move. And they didn't give us a dining room table assignment
card.

Stateroom - C

It was an outside window which was nice, but the room was cramped and
noisy. They didn't have much drawer storage space and no place to put
things at the bathroom sink without stacking things.

I never heard anything from the people on one side of us, but the
other side was the doors to the walking track, so there was a certain
amount of traffic, and the room was under the kitchen and had a lot of
noise at all hours from what I presume was carts rolling around, and
there was banging pipe noise which may have been flushing of toilets.
The second room was right by the elevators too so there was noise from
people waiting or getting off of them.

The beds were put together to make a king (really bigger than I like)
There is a cabin width ceiling light over the head of the bed. The
phone is on Bob's side and has a faulty message light. It is
blinking, but we don't have any messages. He put his hat over the
phone to block the light.

There are fake beige with a green trellis curtains (you can't draw
them across) at the foot of the bed. We've each got a night table
with two SMALL drawers in it. Maybe 6 x 14". There is a small
dressing table with a maroon stool on one end and three drawers on one
side - about 20" wide and 8" deep. Over the table is the TV and a CD
player, and under it is an ice bucket and glasses, and the 'for pay'
sodas and bottled water. (which they absolutely refuse to take away).
We also found a 'gift' of four bottles of wine, two glasses and a
corkscrew. We later got a gift of an 8 x 10 photo. The second cruise
we got three more bottles of wine and a 5x7 photo. We don't drink.

Opposite the dressing table is a white and dark green check love seat
with a little table in front of it and a small maroon side chair.
There is a pastel colored picture of a windmill over the love seat.
The rug is a blue/green tweed with beige flecks. All the wood is
limed oak.

On one side of the hall area leading to the door is the bathroom. No
storage in there either, although we have a tub with a detachable
shower, a toilet and a sink with a narrow shelf above it. Even the
sink counter is skimpy.

On the other side of the hall are four closets. One of them just has
shelves and the safe in it. One of the life preservers is on the top
shelf, and the shoe basket (for putting your shoes out to be cleaned)
is on the bottom. One closet has two spaces for hanging short things
top and bottom. Another one has a shelf for the other life preserver,
and a long hanging space. The last one has short hanging, and the a
high shelf, and the bottom area has the blankets etc. This one also
has a full length mirror. There were plenty of wooden hangers.

Muster - C
Earsplitting and uncomfortable. It was outside on the walking track
under the lifeboats. We were all packed against the wall and roll was
called. My back was really starting to hurt badly, so Bob put me back
against the bulkhead so at least I could lean against it. I would
have sat down on the deck except I was afraid of being stepped on.

Also the announcements were SO loud that it hurt my ears. I spent the
whole time anyone was talking (and during the whistles that announced
the drill) with my fingers in my ears. The second time I had the
sense to ask if I could sit down, and also to wear ear plugs.

Food Dining Service B

I liked the food.

I hated the Lido Buffet (that's why the food is only a B) You can't
get a lot of your food yourself, and the people behind the counters
don't seem to be that interested in serving you. The buffet line
isn't set up efficiently - people have to wait while other people get
stuff served to them or cooked for them, even if they don't want
whatever it is - the lines get very long.

Whenever we ate there, we had the bread pudding and THAT was uniformly
good.

We got our breakfast delivered to the room a couple of times, but
there really wasn't any good place to eat it (the table wasn't big
enough), and they didn't come and get the tray in any kind of timely
manner.

So 85% of the time we ate breakfast and lunch in the main dining room.
Except for the second morning when it took us an hour to get our
breakfast (because the lines in the Lido were so long that a lot of
people unexpectedly defaulted to the main dining room), the service
was good, and I like sitting down and having food brought to me.

I loved the traditional dining on the first cruise - we had excellent
table mates. It wasn't so good on the second cruise because two of
our four table mates did not come to the dining room for 10 days in a
row.

We had the same table for both cruises and we could look out the
window to the wake of the ship. I loved the placement of the table,
and as I said, the food was very good. I won't list it
specifically.

There were 3 formal nights on each cruise. The dining room was cold.

We ate at the Pinnacle Grill once - the food was good and there was a
LOT of it - much more than we could eat. We got it as part of the
tour package - otherwise I don't think it would have been worth $30
each.

I never ate at the hamburger place by the Lido pool.

Entertainment/Activities C

The theatre itself did not have any kind of stair step seating, so the
people in the back could not see the stage if there were people seated
in front of them. This is a great big black mark on Maasdam AFAI am
concerned. On the balcony you had a big metal bar across in front of
you obstructing your view

The lighting was crappy. People on the side of the stage that were
out in front of the proscenium on the apron were often in shadow. I
see no reason for this. Sometimes the spotlights created the illusion
that the dancers had no feet, as their lower legs were cut off.

The 'special effects' which weren't that special. Occasionally a
little mist or smoke, and one dance which was done with black light.
The costumes often were IMO ill-fitting and unflattering. Someone who
had been on this cruise previously said that they had the same show
last year only with different people in it.

The band was very good and I enjoyed some of the individual acts, but
after the first one or two of them, I didn't go to any of the
production shows. They had a good pianist, a trumpet player several
good comedians (and one that wasn't), a juggler etc. The theatre was
also cold - after the first time we always wore a coat or sweater.

We did trivia a lot of the time, and that was fun. The only problem
with it was that it was sometimes scheduled when people were ashore.
The informational lectures were sometimes very good, although the AV
people could never manage to get the slides set up until the people
were 15 minutes into their talk - EACH TIME they had the problem.

Bob went on the kitchen tour. Afterwards he went to a demonstration
by the chef of the Pinnacle grill, where they demonstrated salmon with
lemon glaze and rosemary crumbs and three-grain pilaf with olives.
They gave everyone the recipes. He enjoyed that.

Excursions:
I particularly liked the Rainforest Tram tour on Dominica and the St.
Kitts Railway Tour. I also went parasailing at Half Moon which was
lovely - very quiet up there. We did not take any excursions in St.
Thomas, Curacao, Aruba, or San Juan. We took the Best of Barbados in
Barbados and that was good too. I took an airboat ride in Ft.
Lauderdale, and I'm glad I went, but I wouldn't go again.

Ship A-
The ship was nice (I think the black hull makes it look like a real
ship although I wouldn't want my boat to have dark topsides in the
tropics) and all the areas were nicely decorated. It was a little
unhandy not to be able to walk forward on the Promenade Deck (because
the kitchen was there) but we adjusted.

Didn't shop or use the casino at all.

There are two nice pools - one outside which I used once, and one in
the middle of the Lido Deck. They had the water in the Lido Pool even
though it was a little rough and I was surprised that someone wasn't
hurt the way the water was splashing around in the pool.

The internet cafe and library was large and they had various quizzes
and entertainments there. The lady that ran the internet cafe was
quite good and the connections were good. There were also a lot of
terminals.

They did not have any papers (except the 4 page printout of the NY
paper) except on embarkation day. They didn't have any index of the
library so you couldn't look up a book or tape or CD to see if they
had it. I didn't get up to the spa at all.

They had shuffleboard, a big chess set, ping pong and all the usual
activities. They had at least one dance floor and various groups
played in the lounges at night. There were lounge chairs all around
the Lower Promenade deck (in the shade) on the walking track which was
1/4 mile around.

I was a little surprised (given what I had heard) that the floral
displays were mostly just Xmas trees and banked potted poinsettias -
there was only one large floral bouquet.

Service A
Our cabin steward was the best (the same one for both trips). The
dining room staff was good too. I didn't think much of the Cruise
Director (I found his touting for good ratings tiresome) or the Senior
Assistant Cruise Director, and the Office people were not really
interested in helping you IMHO. The Junior Assistant Cruise Directors
were very nice and the Excursion people seemed nice and efficient..

Disembarking C

The cruise director said that he wanted one person from each cabin at
the disembarkation talk, and then he didn't announce the talk over the
loud speaker system.

They gave us luggage labels with colors and numbers or letters, but I
could make no sense of what the colors meant. They seemed to be
random. So one couldn't figure out when they might be called. Maybe
they did that on purposed, but if I had a deadline it would have been
anxiety making.

They had breakfast both in the dining room and in the Lido - the
dining room was supposed to have some kind of express breakfast, but
they didn't seem to know about it when I ordered it.

We could stay in our room until our tag numbers were called.

When we got ashore, Bob sat me down with one of the bags while he went
to get the rest of them, and the people there tried to get me to move
to somewhere else telling me that our bags weren't there, but I could
not because we had too much luggage to carry ourselves (because we
were away from home from Dec 11th to Jan 18th and had to pack for
tropical and winter weather).


Overall (personal opinion)

I loved the cruises even though I think there are things that could be
done better.

  #2  
Old January 23rd, 2007, 01:39 AM posted to rec.travel.cruises
Recycle THIS
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Posts: 49
Default HAL Maasdam Review (back to back cruises)


Muster - C
Earsplitting and uncomfortable.
Also the announcements were SO loud that it hurt my ears.


Not as much as a dunk in the ocean would have hurt your ears, idiot.
IT'S LOUD SO YOU CAN HEAR IT WHEREVER YOU ARE!


Food Dining Service B

I liked the food.



We got our breakfast delivered to the room a couple of times, but
there really wasn't any good place to eat it (the table wasn't big
enough), and they didn't come and get the tray in any kind of timely
manner.


God forbid you could put it outside your door instead of waiting for the
staff to collect it........


I loved the traditional dining on the first cruise - we had excellent
table mates. It wasn't so good on the second cruise because two of
our four table mates did not come to the dining room for 10 days in a
row.


I don't blame them. They probably had earache from the incessant whining
coming from across the table.


We ate at the Pinnacle Grill once - the food was good and there was a
LOT of it - much more than we could eat. We got it as part of the
tour package - otherwise I don't think it would have been worth $30
each.


So the food was good and there was plenty of it..... But it wasn't worth a
measly $30.00?



I never ate at the hamburger place by the Lido pool.


That's where you'd find ME then.


Bob went on the kitchen tour. Afterwards he went to a demonstration
by the chef of the Pinnacle grill, where they demonstrated salmon with
lemon glaze and rosemary crumbs and three-grain pilaf with olives.
They gave everyone the recipes. He enjoyed that.


Must have gone alone then.




There are two nice pools - one outside which I used once, and one in
the middle of the Lido Deck. They had the water in the Lido Pool even
though it was a little rough and I was surprised that someone wasn't
hurt the way the water was splashing around in the pool.


Yeah - that water can really hurt.




  #3  
Old January 23rd, 2007, 01:56 AM posted to rec.travel.cruises
Rosalie B.
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Posts: 1,575
Default HAL Maasdam Review (back to back cruises)

"Recycle THIS" wrote:

Muster - C
Earsplitting and uncomfortable.
Also the announcements were SO loud that it hurt my ears.


Not as much as a dunk in the ocean would have hurt your ears, idiot.
IT'S LOUD SO YOU CAN HEAR IT WHEREVER YOU ARE!


A dunk in the ocean would not hurt my ears. It isn't necessary for
the loud speaker system to be that loud when it is right over your
head. They had a speaker at each lifeboat station, so it didn't need
to be that loud. Making people deaf is not going to help them hear.


Food Dining Service B

I liked the food.



We got our breakfast delivered to the room a couple of times, but
there really wasn't any good place to eat it (the table wasn't big
enough), and they didn't come and get the tray in any kind of timely
manner.


God forbid you could put it outside your door instead of waiting for the
staff to collect it........

The directions we were given (which we followed) was NOT to put it
into the corridor outside the door because it would be a hazard there.
We were to phone for the tray to be picked up. It was never picked up
while we were in the cabin. In at least one instance, our cabin
steward came to make up the cabin, and he took it away (complaining
that the people who were supposed to do it had not done so).


I loved the traditional dining on the first cruise - we had excellent
table mates. It wasn't so good on the second cruise because two of
our four table mates did not come to the dining room for 10 days in a
row.


I don't blame them. They probably had earache from the incessant whining
coming from across the table.

Their excuse was that they were enjoying dining in their suite. But
they didn't leave until after a couple joined us in Ft. Lauderdale one
of whom had a visible physical handicap. Maybe there's no connection.
I'd like to think not. I'd actually rather think that they didn't
want to eat with us or that they really were enjoying dining in their
suite rather than think they didn't want to eat with a handicapped
person.

We ate at the Pinnacle Grill once - the food was good and there was a
LOT of it - much more than we could eat. We got it as part of the
tour package - otherwise I don't think it would have been worth $30
each.


So the food was good and there was plenty of it..... But it wasn't worth a
measly $30.00?

It was too much to eat. And it would be $60 for the two of us ($30
each). That's more than I want to pay for food that wasn't that much
better. They had huge cuts of meat - I don't need a huge steak to
enjoy eating steak. A smaller steak is better. A little bit of
something allows you to taste and appreciate more things.


I never ate at the hamburger place by the Lido pool.


That's where you'd find ME then.

I'm glad to hear that.

Bob went on the kitchen tour. Afterwards he went to a demonstration
by the chef of the Pinnacle grill, where they demonstrated salmon with
lemon glaze and rosemary crumbs and three-grain pilaf with olives.
They gave everyone the recipes. He enjoyed that.


Must have gone alone then.

There were other people on the tour.


There are two nice pools - one outside which I used once, and one in
the middle of the Lido Deck. They had the water in the Lido Pool even
though it was a little rough and I was surprised that someone wasn't
hurt the way the water was splashing around in the pool.


Yeah - that water can really hurt.

The pool was like a wave pool - the water would sort of slosh up to
one end and the people in the pool had to either hold on to something
or try not to be slammed by the wave into the end of the pool. And
then the water would go back to the other end of the pool in the same
way. I've seen a boy get his arm broken at the beach in the waves so
I have no doubt the same thing could happen in a pool with waves.
Water is a very powerful force.


  #4  
Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:03 AM posted to rec.travel.cruises
Cathy Kearns
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Posts: 110
Default HAL Maasdam Review (back to back cruises)

Well written review. I liked the way you described why you liked or didn't
any particular aspect. That way, if that type of thing doesn't bother me I
don't take that into account when thinking about a similar cruise on that
ship. We definitely agree on the bread pudding. :-)


  #5  
Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:05 AM posted to rec.travel.cruises
Charles[_1_]
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Posts: 3,112
Default HAL Maasdam Review (back to back cruises)

In article , Rosalie B.
wrote:


I loved the traditional dining on the first cruise - we had excellent
table mates. It wasn't so good on the second cruise because two of
our four table mates did not come to the dining room for 10 days in a
row.


I could make a fairly good guess as to why they didn't show up for
10 days in a row.......

--
Charles
  #6  
Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:14 AM posted to rec.travel.cruises
Charles[_1_]
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Posts: 3,112
Default HAL Maasdam Review (back to back cruises)

In article , Cathy
Kearns wrote:

Well written review. I liked the way you described why you liked or didn't
any particular aspect. That way, if that type of thing doesn't bother me I
don't take that into account when thinking about a similar cruise on that
ship. We definitely agree on the bread pudding. :-)


Right, I sure would not take much into account about this review. Too
much good food, bed was too big, **** off on an upgrade....

--
Charles
  #7  
Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:41 AM posted to rec.travel.cruises
clint
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Posts: 1,021
Default HAL Maasdam Review (back to back cruises)

I rather cruise with the cow than that bitch!
"Charles" wrote in message
d...
In article , Rosalie B.
wrote:


I loved the traditional dining on the first cruise - we had excellent
table mates. It wasn't so good on the second cruise because two of
our four table mates did not come to the dining room for 10 days in a
row.


I could make a fairly good guess as to why they didn't show up for
10 days in a row.......

--
Charles



  #8  
Old January 23rd, 2007, 03:02 AM posted to rec.travel.cruises
Surfer E2468
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Posts: 1,757
Default HAL Maasdam Review (back to back cruises)

Reading your review was good,if you disliked the ship,we would probably
like it,since you liked the NCL CROWN,and we did not care for it. But on
the other hand i know what you mean about the noise in your cabin,we had
the same things on the ROYAL PRINCESS because they upgraded us. But we
werevery lucky on our back to back on CROWN DYNASTY,we had the same
cabin for 28 days
surfer e2468


cruise lover


  #9  
Old January 23rd, 2007, 04:18 AM posted to rec.travel.cruises
Rosalie B.
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Posts: 1,575
Default HAL Maasdam Review (back to back cruises)

(Surfer E2468) wrote:

Reading your review was good,if you disliked the ship,we would probably
like it,since you liked the NCL CROWN,and we did not care for it. But on
the other hand i know what you mean about the noise in your cabin,we had
the same things on the ROYAL PRINCESS because they upgraded us. But we
werevery lucky on our back to back on CROWN DYNASTY,we had the same
cabin for 28 days
surfer e2468

I'm sure you would love the ship - dance floor and nice music to dance
to and quiet shaded places to lie and read. (Not that I did that)

Even though there were a LARGE number of children on the cruise (it
was fully booked and was the Xmas-NYears cruise after all so there
were at least 50 - 100 children and probably many more), I didn't see
or hear them except occasionally at dinner. They were kept occupied
although I didn't enquire how that was done.

I don't know why it is so hard for someone to understand that when I
book an inside center cabin (under other cabins and not under the
kitchen or restaurant or someplace like that) that I do NOT want an
upgrade to an outside cabin under the kitchen. You probably wouldn't
have liked it either.

I did sometimes take advantage of being able to look out the window
and see stuff that was beside the ship and wasn't visible on the bow
camera, but I would have been equally happy without it.

As for a king size bed being too big - we've always slept (for 47
years) in a plain old double bed. I like to be able to be next to my
husband and still be able to stick my foot out of the covers. A king
bed is too big for that. A queen is OK, but I feel lost in the king.
I either can't get my foot out or I can't get next to Bob. Even
though the beds were quite comfortable, I was really glad to get back
to my own bed even though it is small.

I forgot to test the temperature of the hot tubs (they do have them),
and I was too relaxed to get up and do the yoga and pilate classes.
They always scheduled the yoga at 9 am and I can't eat beforehand, and
afterwards I would have had to eat in the Lido. I'm going to have to
work a little bit to get back into shape (or as much shape as I can be
in)
..


  #10  
Old January 23rd, 2007, 07:35 AM posted to rec.travel.cruises
Brian K
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 394
Default HAL Maasdam Review (back to back cruises)

On 1/22/2007 11:18 PM Rosalie B. wrote:
(Surfer E2468) wrote:


Reading your review was good,if you disliked the ship,we would probably
like it,since you liked the NCL CROWN,and we did not care for it. But on
the other hand i know what you mean about the noise in your cabin,we had
the same things on the ROYAL PRINCESS because they upgraded us. But we
werevery lucky on our back to back on CROWN DYNASTY,we had the same
cabin for 28 days
surfer e2468


I'm sure you would love the ship - dance floor and nice music to dance
to and quiet shaded places to lie and read. (Not that I did that)

Even though there were a LARGE number of children on the cruise (it
was fully booked and was the Xmas-NYears cruise after all so there
were at least 50 - 100 children and probably many more), I didn't see
or hear them except occasionally at dinner. They were kept occupied
although I didn't enquire how that was done.

I don't know why it is so hard for someone to understand that when I
book an inside center cabin (under other cabins and not under the
kitchen or restaurant or someplace like that) that I do NOT want an
upgrade to an outside cabin under the kitchen. You probably wouldn't
have liked it either.

I did sometimes take advantage of being able to look out the window
and see stuff that was beside the ship and wasn't visible on the bow
camera, but I would have been equally happy without it.

As for a king size bed being too big - we've always slept (for 47
years) in a plain old double bed. I like to be able to be next to my
husband and still be able to stick my foot out of the covers. A king
bed is too big for that. A queen is OK, but I feel lost in the king.
I either can't get my foot out or I can't get next to Bob. Even
though the beds were quite comfortable, I was really glad to get back
to my own bed even though it is small.

I forgot to test the temperature of the hot tubs (they do have them),
and I was too relaxed to get up and do the yoga and pilate classes.
They always scheduled the yoga at 9 am and I can't eat beforehand, and
afterwards I would have had to eat in the Lido. I'm going to have to
work a little bit to get back into shape (or as much shape as I can be
in)
.

I turned 56 today. But still I have to ask, what is it about older
people and rice pudding? Me, I hate the stuff! On a Caribbean cruise
most of the common rooms such as the theater are kept well air
conditioned as many of the folks on board are nicely fried by the sun.
They want it cool. Us sensible sorts who use enough sunscreen just have
to remember to bring a sweater.

As for the Lido Buffet, I've found that if I ask nicely of the person
ahead of me who's waiting for something to be prepared...they usually
let me step ahead of them. There are some usually from the UK who take
offense even at the suggestion. In which case, I stay in my place. But
with most people if you ask nicely, they usually don't mind.

I don't drink either. So when given wine or champagne by my travel
agent or some well wisher - I just bring it to my table at the main
dining room.

If you do HAL again sail on ms Zuiderdam. The cabins are more roomy.
Everything is more roomy. Doing a balcony cabin is well worth it. It's
a great way to wake up still in your night clothes with room service out
on the balcony. You'd like the theater on Zuiderdam the audience area
is a mix of raked seating (steps) and lounge seating directly in front
of the stage (cocktail lounge chairs and cocktail tables). But
generally I don't enjoy Broadway style productions. So most of the time
after dinner I go to the lounges that have either Classical music or Jazz.

As for the snack bar by the Lido Pool, I've been on three HAL ships, ms
Zuiderdam, ms Veendam and ms Amsterdam (lovingly called "Hamsterdam" by
my TA). The menu changes it's not always burgers and hot dogs. I've
had barbecued shrimp, tacos, guacamole, enchiladas or barbecue ribs.
I've had them all and all are good.

The temperatures in the hot tubs run from warm to just hot enough to fog
your glasses. Pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres on the upper promenade deck are
unique and so good you could make a meal out of them.

Christmas time Christmas Trees and Poinsettias are basically all you are
going to get. Unless you specify allergies the rest of the year you
will have a bud vase of flowers in your room on the dressing table.
There will be flowers on each table in Lido, Pinnacle, and the main
dining room. Huge bouquets will adorn each elevator lobby and many of
the public spaces. Guess you'll have to take another HAL cruise.

Here's a tip the next time you find yourself in a King Bed. Get next to
your honey, then hike the covers and quilt up so you can have that foot
sticking out from the covers. ;-)

Here's another tip. This one is if you are driving. I don't know about
Norfolk but at Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa and many other ports. Drop your
luggage off with the porters and tip 'em. You won't have the hassle of
wrestling them on a shuttle or whatever, and all your luggage will
arrive in a timely manner.

Tip number 3: If Embarkation is at 5:00 pm arrive around 3:45 - 4:00 I
did this both in Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa. We breezed through
check-in. I also called my TA a week before and 2 days before to
reconfirm my room status. In my case I do want a free upgrade. But it
could be done to reconfirm that the room class hadn't changed.

--
____
Brian M. Kochera
"Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once!"
____
View My Web Page:
http://home.earthlink.net/~brian1951
 




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