HAL Nieuw Statendam

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The ship can hold 2666 passengers and 1036 crew. Our captain was Noel O’Driscoll (from Ireland), the hotel director was Mustafa Gulbahar, Food and Beverage Director was Niek Van Der Kolk and our Cruise and Travel director was Bettyann Chun. We had open seating for dinner and had to make a reservation every night. Our cabin was 8047 and our cabin stewards were Adi and Egen.

Day 1 Saturday, December 03, 2022, Embarkation

We got to the port around 10am and checked in easily. We were in Group 1. We got on the ship around 11:30 and got our cabin keys which were in the mail slot by our cabin. Then we went to the Lido deck for lunch. I had to call MSC about our tickets for next week because I was concerned about not getting them. The lady on the phone helped me and I got them finally. We walked around the ship and found the dining reservations counter, so we made dinner reservations for 5:15pm for the next 3 nights. We also checked in at our muster station. When we got back to the cabin, our luggage was there so we unpacked and watched the safety video. Then we went to the pool bar and got drinks and watched the ship pull out of the port. We got to the dining room early and were seated at 5. We had great service at table 91, and I was able to get a couple of diet cokes for dinner. Don tried the salmon again which was very good, but he still got heartburn from it. I had lasagna but I really wanted steak which was only served on the Lido deck for dinner. So, after dinner, we went up to the Lido deck so I could have my steak. After dinner, we walked around the ship and got some beer and diet cokes to put in our cabin fridge (we get 15 free drinks each per day). Next, we went to the Royal Dutch Café and Don had a cappuccino. I was told I could get a Frappuccino in the Crows Nest. By then we were tired and went back to the cabin.

Day 2 Sunday, December 04, 2022, Half Moon Cay

I love having an omelet every morning and people-watching is a lot of fun! I was second in line and this lady who came behind me tried insisting that Sam should move up to where she wanted him to be. He handled it so calmly and didn’t move which I think frustrated her. It was a hilarious situation to watch! I did have to stop at the man’s table and we had a good laugh about it. His name is Sam and his wife is Patty. They are from Sarasota, FL After breakfast, we had to go to the BB Kings Lounge (Deck 2) to get our tender tickets around 8:30 and were in Group 1. We got on the tender to the beach at 9 which left at 9:30 and had a lovely day at the beach. We couldn’t get our drinks on the beach so I brought a diet coke that we collected yesterday. Don brought a bottle of water. We swam in the ocean for about an hour and then went to the BBQ at 11. I had a hamburger and a hot dog without buns and Don had fish and potato salad. When we got back to the ship and cleaned up, I went to the lido deck and had stir fry which was great! Then we sat on the deck and relaxed until dinner. Don was not feeling well and thought he got food poisoning from the fish at lunch. At dinner, he tried the Mahi Mahi and it gave him bad heartburn like the salmon did so I think it is the orange sauce they put on the fish. Don changed clothes after dinner and then we went to the Captain’s welcome at 7:15 in the World Stage. He had a great sense of humor! At 7:30, we watched the comedian Jon Stringer and I enjoyed his show too. Don was still not feeling well and we went up to the Lido deck to see what food was still open but it was closed. Then we went to the pizza place and Don couldn’t decide what he wanted. Instead, we ended up in the Exploration Café and got mocha coffees to take back to the room. Don didn’t feel well all night long.

Day 3 Monday, December 05, 2022, Sea Day

Today was a sea day so we spent the day relaxing. The lady from yesterday got in the omelet line really early so she could be first in line. Sam and I got in line behind her. I found it interesting that I still got my omelet before she did. At 9:30, we went to the Exploration Café to join the Talk with Bettyann. She interviewed the comedian, Jon Stringer and I enjoyed the talk. Then I sat on the deck and relaxed while Don walked on the jogging track. At 11:30, we had lunch, and Sam and Patty sat with us. We really enjoyed talking with them. After lunch, Don walked on the Promenade deck and I went back to read on the deck. At 2pm, we went to the lecture on The Story of Rum in the World Stage theater. It was the same presentation that we saw on the Rotterdam. At 3pm, we stayed to hear about future cruises. I saw a lady knitting and when I talked to her, she recognized me as Loonyhiker on Plurk (social media started around 2007 that was like Facebook and Twitter)! Wow, I was stunned. At 5pm, we had dinner in the dining room, and it was a dressy night. After dinner, we changed clothes and walked on the promenade deck. I didn’t want to go to the show featuring the dancers because it was the same one that we had seen on the Rotterdam. Then Don got a cappuccino at the Royal Dutch Café. By then we decided to go back to the room and watch a movie.

Day 4, Tuesday, December 06, 2022, Ocho Rio, Jamaica

We ate a leisurely breakfast on the Lido deck because we weren’t in a hurry to get off the ship. After breakfast, we went out outside to see where we were docked, and we were not docked at the cruise ship terminal like our informational brochure told us we would be. We would have to go out and walk along the street to get over to that area, so we decided not to get off the ship. Carnival Horizon was docked at the cruise ship terminal. Don decided to go walk while I sat on the deck in a comfy lounge chair and read or knit. We went to the Lido deck for lunch but for some reason, after eating, Don had a bad case of heartburn. He took some tums to see if that would relieve it and he had some ice cream which he said helped. We sat back on the deck until it got so humid and hot that we had to leave. There was no breeze at all. So, we went to the Ocean Bar to have drinks in the air condition. While we were there, we met a new friend, Chillies. He has a YouTube channel that I will check out when we get off the ship. It was so nice to hear that he will be on the MSC Seascape with us next week.

We had dinner at the Pinnacle Grill at 5 (but I missed the Prime Rib in the dining room). I had lobster bisque, 15 oz. boneless ribeye with asparagus and sauteed mushrooms, and crème Brulee. Don had lobster bisque, baked Alaskan halibut with sauteed mushrooms, and roasted baby beets with blue cheese. During the main course, Don suffered from severe heartburn again and had trouble eating the rest of his meal. I felt so bad because there was nothing I could do. I was disappointed because the sample menu I saw online mentioned a 23 oz. Porterhouse, but they changed the menu so instead, I got the ribeye. The ribeye was a little tough and had some gristle in it. Everything else was good. After dinner, we went back to the cabin to watch movies on our TV. I’ve had to ask the cabin steward to fix our TV twice already. He says that it keeps going offline and it isn’t anything that we are doing wrong.

Day 5, Wednesday, December 07, 2022, Grand Cayman

We had to eat an early breakfast because we had a shore Excursion: Grand Cayman Highlights and Turtle Center at 9am. We had to meet in the theater at 8:15 to get on the tender. We didn’t get on the tender until around 9:10 and got on the bus by 9:40 with 37 other people. We went to the Turtle Center and spend an hour there, then we stopped at a gift shop that gave rum cake and rum samples. Next, we went to Hell, where we sent a couple of postcards home. We got back to the ship around 1pm and had lunch. After lunch, I sat on the deck and Don walked. We had a couple of drinks before dinner. After dinner, we went to the show featuring Jon Stringer again. We liked his first show so we wanted to see him again. Then we came back to our cabin and watched Ambulance. Don didn’t have any heartburn the whole day!

Day 6, Thursday, December 08, 2022, Sea Day

After breakfast, we sat out on the deck all day and relaxed. At 11, we went to the World Stage for an Ask the Captain session. He has such a great sense of humor! He is probably the most personable captain that we have ever had. He gave a virtual tour of Behind the Scenes of the ship. At 2pm, we went to the lecture by Bettyann about Italian fashion. Then we had before dinner drinks. We decided to buy cigarettes with our shipboard credit but we don’t know what is the difference between regular and 100s in the cigarettes that are available so we went to the smoking section to ask the smokers. Then it was time for dinner. After dinner, we went back to our cabin to watch Where the Crawdads Sing.

Day 7, Friday, December 09, 2022, Bimini

We got off the ship at 10:10 and were able to follow the signs on the dock to the free shuttle. We were the first ones on the shuttle and rode it round trip to get a look at the area. The last stop (which we passed on the way out) was the free beach. It was at the end of the dock and was faster to walk there than to wait for the shuttle to fill up and go the whole route. We decided not to go swimming and were back on the ship by 10:50. We had lunch and then sat on the deck and relaxed until it was time to get ready for dinner. After dinner, we stopped at the shop and bought 4 cartons of Marlboro for $150. Then we finished packing our suitcases and went to the show featuring the One Step Dancers in Off the Charts. I thought it was a nice show but Don didn’t like it. When we got back to the cabin, we put our luggage in the hallway.

Day 8, Saturday, December 10, 2022 Disembarkation

We chose the last group to get off the ship, around 9-9:15. We aren’t in a hurry since we want to stop at the Postcard Club meeting on the way home but then I found out it was their Christmas party and we wouldn’t go after all. Now I’m sorry we picked a later time. We got off the ship around 8:45 and were on the interstate by 9:30.

Things I Learned:
  • Service can vary from ship to ship on the cruise line.
  • It is worth it to pay a little extra to get premium wifi. On the surf package that came with our Have-It-All package, I could not send pictures most of the time or do any streaming.
  • I liked the dining room better than the Pinnacle Grill.
  • Gas in Grand Cayman was $5.95 Cayman Island money or around $7.44/gal in the US.
  • 6 traffic lights on Grand Cayman and everything else is roundabouts.
  • The Cayman Islands are made up of 3 islands.
  • Grand Cayman is 22 mi. long and 8 mi. wide.
  • Grand Cayman has over 575 banks.
  • The Cayman Islands Flag has a coat of arms with a pineapple on it to represent it is tied to Jamaica. British settlers from Jamaica were the first ones to settle in the Cayman Islands.
  • The 7-mile beach is only 5.5 miles long.
  • Temperature determines the sex of the turtles before they are born. If it is cool, it will be a male, and if it is warm, it will be a female.
  • Hell has unique rock formations that is really just a dead reef.
  • There are 3 shelves that cause different depths of water around Grand Cayman – 6000 ft., 10,000 ft., and 25,000 ft.
  • There wasn’t a lot to do on Bimini.
  • There was a pretty beach that was free at the end of the cruise dock in Bimini
Original Photo by Pat Hensley

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog (http://successfulteaching.net) by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
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