We cruised on the Veendam last year and one of the highlights was the rosario strings in the explorer's lounge after dinner. We're planning to cruise on the Zaandam this Dec (02). Does anyone know if we can expect to see them on this ship as well?
I think they may be slowly disappearing....no Strings at all on Maasam. It's a pity as so many of us enjoyed them so much. I did hear they were having a hard time finding enough quartets for all the ships.
I also love the Rosario Strings. Sadly, they haven't been on my Holland America cruises in several years. They may still be on one of the ships, but they will be hard to find. I have heard that they charge too much and Holland America is replacing them. On most of my recent cruises, they've been replaced by either the Moonlight or Champagne Strings---groups usually from Hungary. Their techincal ability is fine, but they don't have the expansive and varied repertoire of the Rosario Strings. The Rosarios' medleys of Broadway show music, classical selections, Tagalog songs, and even Orange Blossom Special, were just fabulous. And they played with such enthusiasm. I just don't get that from the Moonlight or Champagne Strings. I may listen to them one evening. The next night they will be playing the same music and I never go back to the Exploerers Lounge. I used to listen to the Rosario Strings every evening.
I understand that some of the summer Alaska cruises have a harpist or just a piano in the Explorer Lounge. I suspect that is because these cruises have more children and families and they may schedule vacations for the string groups at this time. We are sailing the Rotterdam London to New York in late August and have been advised that there will be a string quartet in the Explorer Lounge for this cruise. We are glad about this because unlike many other HAL ships, the Rotterdam has a dance floor in the Explorer Lounge thus providing an additional dancing alternative to the Ocean Bar and the Crow's Nest.