From: Mr Met 06 on
On Dec 15, 12:37 pm, "Tom K" <tkani...(a)> wrote:
> "D Ball" <dianakb...(a)> wrote in message
> news:f19f2617-0f92-47ee-862b-96382744b9e3(a)
> > Welcome home, Susette & The Vikings! (Good band name--I'm afraid to
> > ask if y'all perform...I know The Vikings put on a show wherever they
> > go! Hint hint Charles, do you have any pix of the crazy hats on parade
> > or ?)
> > Thanks to all for your reviews and impressions. I am so happy y'all
> > had a great big fun group cruise together!
> > Tom, you are the Renaissance man--when you put on your creative
> > writing hat (post 1), there is no better reading! Your nit-picky
> > analyses are, of course, helpful in evaluating ship/line fits. I had
> > to ROTFLMAO when you wrote, "We're likely more critical than 99% of
> > the people out there, but as an engineer, that's the kind of stuff I
> > notice." Understatement of the year. ;)
> When some of our old pharmaceutical executives used to do unannounced
> cleanliness inspections of the production areas, they'd do it with white
> gloves on.
> Other people walk down the hallway on the ship, maybe they're looking at the
> artwork.... me I'm looking at how the hinges on watertight doors work....
> We are what we are...
> --Tom

Well the Dutch Vikings are back from looting the Dutch Caribbean !!
Well Tom how was it ? I"v been on the Zuiderdam & Noordam .Norrdam i
think being the best in the Vista class .being the last one built. .I
love the ports you guy"s did .And from FLA make even better .I think
your like the Statendam class better .The Veendam is doing Bermuda
next summer ,going to both Hamiltonb & St G. .We may take it .
Welcome home mighty Viking .Oh by the way my mighty Vikings won
again !!!
Ken G............>
From: Nonny on

"Susette" <cruiseoutlets(a)> wrote in message
> I did not care for the Decor the reds and dark colors, but I
> think in
> some ways it grew on me. I did not care for the artwork

When Mrs. Nonny and I cruise, we usually take our own artwork and
hang it in the cabin. That way, we feel more at home and are
assured that the cabin will always be tasteful. The ship folk get
a might testy about the nails in the cabin walls, but since I'm a
big tipper, the steward just spackles them shut when we leave.
The real issue is the poor folk on either side of us who have that
nail point hanging through their wall, or the nail sticking
through the side of the ship.


ELOQUIDIOT (n) A highly educated, sophisticated,
and articulate person who has absolutely no clue
concerning what they are talking about.
The person is typically a media commentator or politician.

From: Jean O'Boyle on
"Charles" <fort(a)> wrote in message
> This was my first cruise on Holland-America and there were some things
> I liked and some things about the ship and line I did not like. The
> biggest pros and they are important ones were the food and the service.
> The food was better than my recent experiences on any of the other mass
> market cruises lines. The service was also better.

Quite a few young people too, eh, Charles? I was surprised at the number of
children of all ages onboard. But I guess school was out for Christmas was
the reason.

> What I did not like was the ships public areas, both the decor and
> design. Dark and terrible color combinations. The show lounge had lots
> of obstructions and weird seating. The pool areas were awful with too
> many tables and not enough lounge chairs. The hot tubs were tiny and
> too few. The main pool can be covered which seems odd for the Caribbean
> but I am sure that is a plus for Alaska.

The cabins were in much lighter colors....some of the main areas were in
dark royal blue and maroon with a touch of peachy red.and deep fuschias. The
deck halls were in a bright royal blue print design...Didn't think it was
all that bad. Like Ermalee said," I'm not going to live here so it makes no
matter". Nice large circles of pretty floral marble seperating different
areas were very attractive. I was disappointed that they had fewer huge live
floral arrangements in the public areas than they usually have on HAL ships.

> The cabin was very good. I upgraded to a Verandah and that was a good
> decision as there were never any empty chairs on the pool deck because
> of the chair hogs.
> Activities are not a Holland-America strong point. I did hear good
> things though about the Culinary Arts center but I am not into that.
> The daily program sheet was not in a user friendly format making it
> difficult to keep up with times and places of what activities they had.

The newsletter has changed its format since we last cruised on HAL...The new
one is confusing as it does not list activities in sequence but in several
different columns. The old version had a perforated 3"x 8'' portion that you
could tear off and take with you which listed activities by the hour making
it much easier instead of taking the entire daily program with you.

> They moved the library but all the signs and maps had the old location.
> the library itself was well stocked with recent books. Best library I
> have seen on a ship other than the QM2.
> The entertainment, except for the magician was pretty good. The
> production shows were better than ones I have seen recently on
> Celebrity, RC and Princess. The other entertainers other than the
> magician were very good, loved the Elton john and Eagles shoe by Joel
> Mason. The female comedian was also good.

The first night magician was pathetic...I don't know where they got him from
even though they said that he had been on the David Letterman Show. The rest
of the entertainment was very good and that is a lot saying from me as I
don't usually like the sing and dance acts but these were great! They had
gorgeous costumes and the four soloists (two men and 2 women) had very good

> I am not going to blame Holland-America for the composition of the
> passengers on this sailing but unfortunately we had that rude crowd
> onboard that moved to Florida from the New York area. I have
> encountered them on the other cruise lines sailing out of Fort
> Lauderdale during this time frame so it is not a HAL issue.

BOY! You can say that again! Erm and I ran into one VERY obnoxious mouthy
one in the casino! Funny...they all say they are from Florida but that
accent sure gives it away! ;-)

> I have put Holland-America on my list of the mass market cruise lines I
> would book on but it would not be my first choice. If there is a
> category of premium mass market lines then HAL is in it along with
> Celebrity. In general right now I prefer Celebrity followed by Royal
> Caribbean when I judge the complete cruise experience for myself.

I especially like the smaller HAL ships in Alaska...they are similar to the
experience we had on the old Pacific Princess. Cozy and friendly.
My favorites remain, Oceania with Celebrity, HAL and Royal Caribbean tied.
I will have to give Carnival a try sometime next is three years
since I was on one of their ships.

I think that HAL changed the impressions of at least some of our Viking
Group. HAL did not object to our hats, in fact they got a kick out of the
whole thing...but the whistles were painful to the people with hearing
aids...the staff treated that situation in a nice manner though, I thought.
From what I remember someone saying, Princess was not quite as nice about
the hats etc.on one Viking cruise. What really got the attention were our
Viking shirts...Very pretty shade of blue with a design that said "Vikings
Go Dutch" in a white banner at the top with pastel colored buildings (like
in Curacao) for the design and of course Susie's flamingo was there, too.
Good job, Susie!...some people wanted to know where they could buy one!

We really enjoyed ourselves.and I think a good time was had by all. Our
Trivia Team won some very nice navy fleeced long sleeved shirts with zippers
at neck. The prizes they gave out this time were much nicer than what they
have given out before.


> Charles

From: Jean O'Boyle on
"Charles" <fort(a)> wrote in message
> In article
> <c85e3c12-07ea-4258-8573-0d4141beba26(a)>,
> TaTa <tatacruiser(a)> wrote:
>> Sorry to hear the ship is looking old.
> I don't think it looks old. I think it could use some more painting and
> varnishing than it is getting. The full lounge chairs on Jean and Ed's
> large aft balcony needed varnish badly. On my balcony no wear problem
> as the chairs and furniture were plastic :-) The plastic chair on mine
> had some pitch to it, a comfortable cushion and a plastic ottoman to
> put my feet up on. It was fine.

I did not think that the ship looked old either...although it was last
refurbished in 2007 and probably is due for some renovation soon. As Charles
said, our full lounge chairs needed some varnish but the blue striped padded
cushions were okay. They could have provided a larger wooden table
though...the one we had looked like a stool and needed varnishing badly as
well. I did like the very large balcony and loved sitting smack in the
middle with the view of the wake.
There was a small lip of cover about three feet over the patio door and
privacy was not a problem as far as we were concerned. We specifically asked
for this very cabin as we had it when we went on our Mediterranean cruise in
2004..The ship was new and on its second voyage from Venice to Venice
then...There was no engine noise and I loved the sound of the ship's wake could only hear it when you were on the balcony and the sound of the
water was soothing to me! I think I prefer the lower deck cabins as you are
closer to sea and land and not way up looking down at the scenery...I know,
it is a matter of preference...I know some people like the higher
decks...I've had both and prefer nothing above deck 7.

> By the way I preferred my balcony even though it was smaller than
> Jean's because it had shade cover overhead and it was much more
> private. One would have to lean over and crane ones neck to see from
> another balcony. You can see easily see onto the aft balcony from
> above. Also personal preference but I did not care for the engine wake
> and the wake noise on the aft at deck 4 level. My deck 7 side balcony
> was much more serene.
> One thing I noticed was there was less cleaning going on than compared
> to the cruise I took on Constellation about a month ago or Crown
> Princess this past summer.

You must not have been looking when I was, Charles. <G> There was vacuuming
and polishing of the brass going on fact several people commented
that they thought something was wrong because of the smell and I told them
it was just brass polish. There was often late night vacuuming of the public
areas, too.

>> I think HAL is unique that it does an itinerary to the southern
>> Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale on a 7 day itinerary. That was what
>> attracted us to the Westerdam in the first place. We still love that
>> itinerary and hope to enjoy Westerdam just as much as we have in the
>> past.
> It is a good itinerary. Half Moon Cay is one of the better private
> islands. Curacao has an interesting city center and nice beaches. Aruba
> is okay. And there are the right amount of sea days.

Anymore, anything shorter than 10 days is TOO short for us! Seven days go by
too quickly!


> --
> Charles

From: Jean O'Boyle on
"Tom K" <tkanitra(a)> wrote in message
> "Charles" <fort(a)> wrote in message
> news:141220091918373437%fort(a)
>> I don't think it looks old.
> I don't think it looks old either... just not getting the TLC that ships
> like Connie and QM2 are getting.
> We're likely more critical than 99% of the people out there, but as an
> engineer, that's the kind of stuff I notice.
>> I think it could use some more painting and
>> varnishing than it is getting. The full lounge chairs on Jean and Ed's
>> large aft balcony needed varnish badly. On my balcony no wear problem
>> as the chairs and furniture were plastic :-)
> My furniture on the balcony was worn out ratan. They probably replaced
> the ratan on yours some time ago. The wooden furniture on Jean's balcony
> was much higher end stuff, though the varnish was very worn.
> By the way... this was the only cruise I've ever been on where the captain
> YELLED at all of us during life boat drill. He told everyone to BE QUIET
> very loudly and sternly. Everyone said that he sounded MEAN. He did joke
> about it later at a get together.

LOL! Tom, He did get the attention of all the "gabbers!" As you remember, I
asked him at the get together whether he was ticked off or did he always
talk that way because I had the vision of him wearing a black eye patch and
a peg leg...He laughed and answered that it did get the attention he wanted.
He said too many people do not realize the seriousness of the drill and take
it too lightly...He remembered what I said when I saw him a day or two
before we disembarked and mentioned he was not wearing the patch and wooden
leg that day! He was British and a bit reserved but really quite friendly.
He was about and around the ship quite a bit, which was nice.


> --Tom