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Changes since last year

Discussion in 'Holland America Line' started by charliec, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. charliec

    charliec Guest


    My wife and I took a cruise on the Zuiderdam last year for our anniversary and we enjoyed it so much we want to do it again. We are looking at the same ship with a different itinerary. If anyone can answer any of these questions it would be much appreciated.

    Is there a shuttle or bus service from the Miami Airport to Port Everglades?

    What time frames are embarkation & disembarkation now?

    Can alcohol still be bought from the ship duty free store for consumption in room?

    Is there a low carb menu, particularly desserts?

    Are the blue lounge chair covers no longer available on HMC?

    Are hot hors d'oeuvres no longer an option in suites?

    Any suggestions on excursions for the Eastern Caribbean?

    Thanks in advance for any answers to these questions.
  2. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    I'll try to answer as many as I am able.

    If you do your air with HAL, there will be a transfer between Miami Airport and Port Everglades. I do not think you can buy just the transfer from them. The last time we flew into Miami and took a taxi to Hyatt Pier 66 in FLL (very near Port Everglades), the fare was $70 for both of us with luggage. That was about 1 1/2 years ago. There are much less expensive shuttles you can purchase on your own and other posters I am sure will share with you the name of dependable ones you can make prior arrangements with. We find a taxi fast, easy and comfortable and are will to pay a bit more for it.

    Embarkation begins at about 1l:15 A.M. The cabins may not be ready for occupancy yet so pax are requested to remain in public areas until a public announcement at about 1:00 says we can go to our cabins. Lunch is served in Lido and most public areas are available for our use.

    No....alcohol purchased in the shop will be held for you and delivered to you the last night of the cruise. Only wine and champagne may be brought aboard the ship for consumption in your cabin.

    There have always been sugar free/no sugar added desserts. Try sugar free jello.

    By blue chair covers at HMC you mean the floats, yes, they are still available for a small rental fee.

    Hors d'ouevres are available upon request in suites.

    Excursions I'll leave to someone else. We've been to the Eastern Itinerary about a million times and no longer do ship excursions. I have no idea what is even offered these days.

    Zuiderdam is a terrific ship. WE enjoyed four wonderful cruises on her last year.

    Hope this helps.

    Post Edited (06-18-04 09:39)
  3. LUV2Cruz2

    LUV2Cruz2 Guest

    Please tell me about the lounge on the Navigation deck and what it has. Is it for all pax? I was reading from someone about a waste of food in it...what does that mean? What is the lounge for and is it called the Neptune or something else and where is it on the Volendam?

  4. charliec

    charliec Guest


    Thanks for your replies. I remember you from last year when I had questions, you were very helpful. Last year I avoided desserts altogether, because sugar-free doesn't always mean low carb. Do you know of any way to get the information on the carb content for their desserts? I know this may sound odd to some but I've been maintaining a low carb diet for over a year & have kept the weight I lost off (even after going on the last cruise). As for the blue chair covers, I mean the things that provide shade over the chairs, they look sort of like a blue clamshell.
  5. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    Ah....I understand about the low carb. There are not very many low carb desserts available anywhere, are there? HAL's chefs (and chefs for all dining venues serving a great many people) are very aware of Atkins and South Beach etc Within possible parameters, they try to provide choices which are approved under those "eating systems". They want to offer everything for all people but it simply has to have limits.

    IF there is a particular low-carb thing you very much want and are missing when aboard, you might wish to speak with the dining supervisor for your section. They always try to accomodate but, dessert somehow does not offer itself easily to low carb eating with a ton of choices.

    (Fruit and berries seem obvious choices but I am sure you are aware some contain a great deal of sugar. Yes, it is natural sugar but nonetheless.....sugar.)

    As to "clamshells", Yes,. They still have them on HMC but now there is a small rental charge for them. You can prereserve from Shore Excursion Office on the ship and they will give you a receipt you present at the Activities Shack on the Beach. Someone from the shack will bring you to "your" clamshell and put the pole in that holds the over open. I believe the charge in someplace in the range of $9.

    Hope this helps.
  6. charliec

    charliec Guest


    Thanks again. I never really had much of a sweet tooth so low carb has been pretty easy for me. But every once in a while I'll get a craving for something & usually I'll make it myself, so I know what's in it. I'll make sure to ask the dining supervisor about what's available. If it comes down to it, I can always eat another steak rather than dessert. :)
  7. iluvcruzin

    iluvcruzin Guest

    Luv2cruz2.. they have one of those Lounges on the Navigation deck on the Maasdam. It's for those who book in the suites. I imagine it's like the one used for C&A diamond members on RCCL.
  8. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    Luv21Cruz...sorry, I missed your question earlier today when I read this thread. I read "UP" from the end and did not scroll up high enough to see your post.

    The Neptune Lounge is on Navigation Deck and is for the use of "S" and "PS" pax.
    We have cruised a great many times on ships with these lounges as well as many times on ships that in the past did not have one but are getting them built at their drydocks.

    Volendam, Zaandam, and Maasdam have relatively recently had theirs built and IMO they add greatly to the cruise experience.

    There is a very nice continental breakfast set out each day; nice nibbles and small sandwiches etc at lunch; snacks mid afternoon....

    The coffee machine is terrific for espressors, cappuchinos etc I love that machine.

    The concierge is tremendously helpful for anything and everything you require and you may do all of the "office type business" necessary at the Lounge rather than stand line at the front office. You can make reservsations for Pinnacle, spa appointments, register your credit card etc
  9. charliec

    charliec Guest

    Speaking of the Pinnacle, does HAL still offer 1/2 off for 1st night dining? We did that last year and found it to be a great deal. Even at the full price it's worth it, but if they still offer 1/2 off it's too good to pass up.
  10. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    Yes, HAL still offers 1/2 off the first night in the Pinnacle Grill.

    And, just to clear something else up, Zaandam will not receive her Neptune Lounge until her drydock early next year. This is a change from the original schedule, but has been announced for awhile now.
  11. bep_sf

    bep_sf Guest

    Actually, the Neptune Lounges on Vista Class ships are on Rotterdam Deck (where the majority of S Suites are on the Vista Class) midway between the Penthouse Suites and the midships elevators - not on Navigation Deck like the rest of the fleet...
  12. charliec

    charliec Guest


    Thanks for the reply. We're going to take advantage of the 1/2 off special. :)
  13. LUV2Cruz2

    LUV2Cruz2 Guest

    Thanks Mary Ann and 7Seas for the info. I will be looking forward to enjoying this amenity.
  14. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    I wonder why folks book Suites on Navigation Deck when the Neptune is on Rotterdam on Vista ships....unless they do not plan to make use of the Neptune. We love being able to drop in for a nibble or a cup of delicious coffee. If we were on Navigation we would never bother I am sure. For our cruises on Zuiderdam, we loved having easy access to Neptune Lounge.

    Maven is absolutey correct....please beat me at dawn :) Zaandam does not yet have a Neptune. Please forgive my misstatement. Shame on me!! :(
  15. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    Not to worry, Sail. I, too, had been under the impression that HAL was keeping to their original schedule with all the fleet that needed Neptune Lounges, and found out late that Zaandam had been re-scheduled for the addition early next year.
  16. LUV2Cruz2

    LUV2Cruz2 Guest

    Mary Ann, where is the Neptune lounge located on the Volendam? I don't see it printed up yet on any deck plans. It IS on the Navigation deck, yes? Can you tell me where?
  17. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    I was forward of the Lounge, but it IS on Volendam's Navigation Deck and starts around 7011 Starboard/7014 Port.
  18. NellieB

    NellieB Guest

    Thanks .... This has been a very helpful thread!

    RDMOREU Guest

    If you like different cheeses, you might wish to order the cheese plate for a low carb dessert.

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