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Holland America Barcelona

San Diego...
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Holland America Barcelona

I would love it if someone who has taken the Nieuw Amsterdam out of Barcelona could let me know about the ship . it is a Venice to Barcelona cruise.

Chatham, Ontario
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1. Re: Holland America Barcelona

I haven't taken this cruise, but I do know the ship. I thought this one (HAL Signature class) would be too big for me. It wasn't.

I'm not much for the evening shows, so let me pass on my fav nooks to relax in the evenings:

* piano bar on lower promenade deck, near forward elevators, starboard, just aft of the main show lounge. Seats around the piano, tables and banquettes in the back.

*Explorer's Lounge on lower promenade, starboard, just forward of the main dining room. (NOTE: do not confuse with the Exploration's Cafe, all the way up in the Crow's Nest.) String quartet, even for people who don't sit still for string quartets. (Like me.)

Happy to answer any ship questions, including cabins, if you post again. But I just had unexpected eye surgery yesterday, so be a bit patient waiting for my reply. :)

San Diego...
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2. Re: Holland America Barcelona

Chatham,

I hope your eye surgery does well, and you are comfortable. I appreciate your reply, and Thankyou. We are not for the shows at all. We are 3 star Mariners and this is our favorite line. Especially since we can take our cruises to Mexico, and Hawaii from our home in San Diego. We will be in room 6054 balcony. So you did a cruise with Nieuw? I hear the food is really good, and you can order room service and get dinner from the Manhatan Dinning. The Zaandam, Osterdam, and Ryndam you can not. Please get well wiTh a quick recovery.

Soncerely,

Denise:)

Chatham, Ontario
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3. Re: Holland America Barcelona

Hi, Denise. Since you're 3* you certainly know HAL, so none of the usual stuff I tell people is necessary. I will say your cabin choice is wonderful. Well done, you.

Make reservations online, before you sail, for Tamarind. The menu is unlike anything else HAL offers. I found the service spotty - HAL's first waitresses since the old Java Cafes, and the lack of training shows. But the atmosphere is amazing, the food is very very good, and the $15 per person charge is a bargain. Even bigger bargain: FREE lunch on sea days. Make lunch reservations as soon as you board, go directly to the dining reservations station in the Lido. (You can make dinner reservations online, but not lunch.) They seem to move that reservation desk around, but it's usually somewhere near the elevators.

The new Pinnacle Grills on the Signature ships (both Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam) are better than any you've eaten in before. The room is beautiful and I found service better than any other HAL restaurant on any ship.

Yes, you can order anything on the main Manhattan dinner menu for room service, no charge. And yes, all the food everywhere on the ship is amazing.

HOWEVER: because you're sailing in July 2013, you can't be sure staff on the ship now won't change in the next year. Some contracts expire every 9 months or so. As the newest ship in the fleet, I expect NA will continue to get the best crew and officers but --- no guarantees. And, for some reason there are some HAL chefs just don't know how to follow a Rudi Sodamin recipe. A couple years ago, Ryndam's chef substituted rosemary for any and all other spices. <roll eyes>

I am also 3* and never expect to reach 4* - I travel solo these days, and don't spend enough to earn extra days.

The eye is doing amazing, better than I had any right to expect. You are so sweet to ask!

San Diego...
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4. Re: Holland America Barcelona

Hi Chatham!!! Hope your feeling better so you can get out on another cruise!!! I just got back from my birthday celebration in Las Vegas. Stayed at the Palazzo and it was a surprise. Trying to get a little Italy even thou it is Vegas. I soooooo appreciate all the valueable info as a 3 Star Mariner. It is easy when you live in San Diego and can do easy Mexican Cruise to Sea of Cortez or down to the Myan area of Chitiziniza, or Hawaii. My husband will be retiring soon so we are doing the Nieuw Amsterdam now and plan to do Panama Canal. I tried to get on HAL'S web site to book Tamrind restaurant and it only has Pinnicale. Do I need to call ship services and have them make the reservations or wait till we get on the ship go straight to the Tamrind to make the reservations. Also since we will be on the ship for 24 days can we book the reservations out?

Thankyou again:)

Denise

Chatham, Ontario
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5. Re: Holland America Barcelona

How odd, about Tamarind.

Yes, I'd call ship's services at 1-800-541-1576 and make reservations rather than waiting. Restaurant capacity is small.

25% discount for 3* Mariners ;-)

I'm jealous about how easy it is for you to homeport!

San Diego...
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101 posts
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6. Re: Holland America Barcelona

Goodmorning !

Just read on cruise critic board that Venice is trying to stop Large cruise ships from entering their port due to environmental issues . Will this cause any future problems with our cruise next year? I feel the cruise industry does help their economy. I know HAL can change their itinerary, we will be taking the train back to Rome. Maybe I am being too hypervigilent here.

Any thoughts Fannish?

Have a good day.

Denise:)

Chatham, Ontario
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7. Re: Holland America Barcelona

The loud grumbles started after the Costa Concordia disaster.

However, this is an issue that won't go away. The request to limit cruise traffic on the Grand Canal comes from UNESCO, which designated the city a World Heritage Site.

italymag.co.uk/community/post/cruise-ships-m…

cultureindevelopment.nl/disaster%20and%20war…

oldsaltblog.com/2012/…

I have more than a nodding acquaintance with wake control here on the Great Lakes. It's amazing how many waves a small pleasure craft can stir up when it exceeds speed limits. The freighters plying narrow spots on the Seaway kick out a huge wake, and virtually all of them are small compared to cruise ships.

Add that to how fragile Venice's underpinings are? Cruise ships really SHOULD stop Grand Canal visits.

I have no idea how quickly the docking location of Venice ships might change. However, as someone booked on a ship *scheduled* to make a Venice stop, you're miles ahead of those of us who haven't booked. HAL is going to have to make some accommodation if plans change, since this is a fixed end point of a cruise, not merely a port of call. At worst, you're looking at a less scenic or convenient pier.

Venice handles tons of cargo through the Malamocco port mouth. Idiocy to cut off passenger travel without taking a long hard look at cargo handling.

San Diego...
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8. Re: Holland America Barcelona

Great Information Fannish! Much appreciated. you are a wealth of information.

Denise:)

Aussie cruising
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9. Re: Holland America Barcelona

We have just returned from a cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam from Ft Lauderdale to Venice - we had a wonderful time and sailing into Venice was amazing. We are returning to Europe in October and plan to have a few days in Paris and then fly to Barcelona to pick up the Nieuw Amsterdam and sail to Ft Lauderdale. We will need to stay in Barcelona 1 night pre cruise and wonder what hotel HAL normally uses for pre and post cruises. Would this be our best option or should we also look at other hotel possibilities.

San Diego...
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10. Re: Holland America Barcelona

We are staying a week in Barcelona at Hilton's Diaganol Mar since my husband is a Hilton gold member. It is close to the beach, but not near the cruise port, from 7-21 through 7-25. We are staying at Euro Grand Marina right at the port, where we are at the start of Las Ramblas, and will take the Blue Line bus to Nieuw Amasterdam which we walk right out of our hotel and get picked up! Real easy. Glad you enjoyed your cruise. We loved Venice a lot and look forward to seeing it again. We were on th Windstar when we were ther the last time. We are doing a 24 day cruise and then getting off in Venice and doing another month in Italy and going to Paris. do not do a pre cruise with the ship!!! No reason to. Check out Eurostar Grand Marina. Beautiful, and again right at the port.

Happy sailing!

Denise from Sunny San Diego, California