Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Lines (Mainstream) > Holland America
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 18th, 2008, 07:07 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5
Default First Timer

Hello,

First post and first time cruiser on the Volendam Panama Cruise in three weeks...

What do I need to know??

Thanks in advance...

Ken
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 18th, 2008, 07:42 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2,617
Default

Welcome Ken,

I am sure many will have better information that I can offer, but we did the canal on the Amsterdam in 2006. It was an awesome cruise and a great cruise line. The cabins are good sized, food good and service great. I don't think I would ever choose to eat in the PG again. It wasn't worth $30 per person we didn't think.

If you like to have a drink before dinner you may want to order a bar set up prior to cruising. The price isn't bad and it is great having a sip or two in your cabin. You can also bring wine on board, but if you take it to your table there is a $15 corkage fee.

Be sure a check out the library, just to see it. HAL has the best at sea and go to the lectures about the canal. It helps you appreciate the wonder of it all.

Nita
__________________
ncl, carnival, HAL, Costa, RCI, commodore,chamdres,celebrity,Princess
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old February 18th, 2008, 08:00 PM
richstacy's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Denver Colorado, USA
Posts: 1,413
Default

First thing you need to know Ken is that you are going to love it I promise you that. (Unless of course you hate tropical sunsets, warm sea breezes exotic ports and stuff like that) We have been on the Volendam and it's a great ship. I don't know whether you are doing a full transit or half transit, but it doesn't make any difference. What is the length of the cruise and where do you embark and disembark?

The food is great, the HAL crews are second to none. Navigation crew is European, Most of the service crew members waiters, room stewards etc are Indonesian and the bar staff are Filipino.

The ship will remind you of a real ship, dark wood great decor, real teak decking throughout. Like all HAL ships it has a complete walk around promenade which a lot of ship don't have these days.

the canal is still after all these years an engineering marvel and a tribute to American ingenuity.

If you get a chance get a copy of David McCullough's "the Path Between the Seas" a great history of the canal and its construction.

Take lots of film (or memory) because the transit itself if very fascinating. Be prepared to move from the front to the back of the ship and visa versa to see the operation of the locks.

Relax and enjoy
Bon Voyage
__________________
RichStacy
Landlocked in Denver, but cruisin every chance we get.

Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
Golden Princess
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old February 18th, 2008, 09:16 PM
rinker250's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Northwest
Posts: 2,881
Default

nita just reminded me of how "nice, cool, awesome, complete" the libraries are on HAL.
and Rich whetted our taste for Panama.

Have a ball!!!
__________________
Dan
Peace through superior firepower.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old February 18th, 2008, 09:46 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 1,273
Default

And don't forget the suncreen & a hat, 'cause it's bloody hot going through the Canal.

We've done the full transit twice from LA to FLL and partial transit a couple of times.

Volendam is one of our favourite ships. If you have a balcony it will be a perfect spot to view the Canal, but to get the full effect make sure you are outside at the bow/front of the ship for part of the time.

Have a great time.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old February 18th, 2008, 09:59 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5
Default

Thanks to everyone who replied...

I will still welcome advice from others...

This is a great site and I appreciate the posts...

Ken
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2008, 02:36 PM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,892
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

Bring along a power strip, and a large garbage bag..this will work as a hamper in the closet, then you can Just pack the bag. Enjoy every minute, you will be back to tell us you booked another one;)
__________________


Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator


Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 12:14 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5
Default Thanks...and Sorry

Thanks for all of the posts and sorry it has taken so long to respond...I had computer problems and was offline for a long time...

Anyway...we are doing the half transit with stops in Aruba, Curacao, Limon, Colon and Half Moon Cay.

Once again any advice about do's and dont's is welcome...

Ken
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 03:04 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 1,273
Default

Don't go wandering off on your own in Colon. One of the Canal trips we did they wouldn't let anyone off the ship, but I understand that they do now. Just be careful.

It's been ages since I've been to Limon but the town hear where the ship docked then was pretty seedy.

I am sure the Shorex dept. talks will tell you what and where you should not go in these 2 ports.

Enjoy!
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 03:28 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2,617
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeDee
Don't go wandering off on your own in Colon. One of the Canal trips we did they wouldn't let anyone off the ship, but I understand that they do now. Just be careful.

It's been ages since I've been to Limon but the town hear where the ship docked then was pretty seedy.

I am sure the Shorex dept. talks will tell you what and where you should not go in these 2 ports.

Enjoy!
Dee Dee, you are so right. When we did the 1/2 transit about 18 months ago we were advised not to wander off. If we wanted a tour, booke though the ship. We did get off the ship and wander around the cute shopping mall right at the port. We bought a few souveniors and our liquor.

Ken,

you can do tours in Aruba and Curacao by checking on line for ideas or just book when you get off the ship unless you want to do one with the cruise line. Costa Rica is awesome. I wish I could remember the name of the company we used for our tour.

I like the idea of the plastic bag for dirty clothes. What we do, is stand one of our pieces of luggage up in our closet, leave it unzipped at the top and it becomes our cloths hamper.

We don't bring the power strip, but many say it is a great idea.

All in all, I hope you have a wonderful trip. We have cruised over 20 times and at the top of our list (between 1 and 3) is the 1/2 canal cruise on HAL>
Nita
__________________
ncl, carnival, HAL, Costa, RCI, commodore,chamdres,celebrity,Princess
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 03:54 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5
Default Great Advice

Thanks DeeDee and nmnita...
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old March 9th, 2008, 01:49 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 46
Default THE RIGHT THINGS TO KNOW!

Ken - just stop worrying, lay back and be happy! You'll be fussed over and indulged by all the SMILING Indonesians - who genuinely want you to be happy. My experience with HAL is that the food is great. Regarding formal nights, no you dont have to wear a tuxedo (or Monkey Suit as my father called them). A dark suit and tie, and for the ladies just a smart dress or pants suit is fine - you're not going to a wedding!
Excursions offered off the ship are much cheaper. However allow an extra hour for return. Once you dock you will see all the vendors hustling to book you on tours. It isnt always safe to wander around by yourselves.
Pay with credit card whenever possible. Hope this helps. 8)
__________________
Audreyrose
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old March 9th, 2008, 04:28 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5
Default

Thanks Audreyrose...

Sailing on Wednesday!!
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old March 9th, 2008, 04:43 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 46
Default Swimming

Ken: If you want to do any swimming or snorkelling take a wetsuit. Water is still cold but with wetsuit is fine. Half Moon Cay is gorgeous. Aruba is windy! Bon Voyage.
__________________
Audreyrose
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Another First-Timer... Staciew1 Royal Caribbean International 8 July 22nd, 2007 08:22 PM
where to go for the first timer? HELP Chadillac Carnival Cruise Lines 13 September 2nd, 2006 10:41 AM
First Timer with ?'s Peeks Alaska 5 July 11th, 2005 12:08 PM
First Timer MJG Family Cruising 3 January 22nd, 2004 10:36 AM
First TImer lpmedic Caribbean & Panama Canal 1 July 2nd, 2003 08:38 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:24 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1