Sail Away Gang - in living Colour - a photo review

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#1
Ontario
3,456 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Good morning!

Well as good as it can be since the cruise is over and we are back to reality! I will be editing my photos and sharing some of them here. So if you like, come along and join the fun...we certainly had enough to share!

We were on the Westerdam for 20 days in a quad cabin on deck 4: 4163. When I say we I mean myself, DH, DD (13) and DS (10).

We flew to Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday April 9. We stayed at the Embassy Suites and thought it was a great location. Close to everything but away from the hustle and bustle.

We had an extra piece of 40 lb luggage which was filled with school supplies we had been collecting for 16 months for a Mayan school we would be visiting in Guatemala. This was certainly one of the highlights of our trip for all 4 of us:

Here is a quick glimpse of the "stuff" that my children wouldn't think twice about but was greatly appreciated by the school:



And the 43 pencil cases that DD and I had made over the winter:


When we arrived at the Embassy Suites, Sapper1 and her DH were in the lobby waiting for us. What a wonderful way to start our vacation. It wasn't too long before DD and DS wanted to get in the pool. Who could blame them after the winter we had? The pool area is beautiful:



I sat in the shade and soon enough we had filled two tables with Sail Away members. This was the start of new friendships and a great adventure.

The hotel is close to shopping and restaurants. We found everything we needed (and a few things we didn't) very close at hand.


Our room had a view of the port area:


And on Saturday morning watched the Westerdam arrive:


Our intention was to share a cab with Mumsysailor and her DH to get to the port. But on April 11 there were 6 ships in port and the Westerdam was the smallest, believe it or not. The taxi companies were not responding with assurance we could get a minivan cab so a bunch of us paid $8 pp and took the hotel shuttle. More than what we intended to spend but it got us there with all our luggage and that was worth the price. From the time we left the hotel and got our ship cards it was maybe 30 minutes...perhaps 20. We sat waiting to board for another 30 minutes max. Our number was 14 if I remember correctly and the numbers were called 2 at a time.

In no time our view changed to this:



Okay...how's it going so far? I will try to get more interesting, promise!
#2
New Brunswick, Canada
9,702 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
A chance to relive our trip!!! How good is that! Keep the great photos coming. And thank you in advance.
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#4
Ontario
3,456 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
As a family of 4, we were in plenty of time to attend the Mariner's lunch but from experience, we gave it a miss because the menu is set and DD and DS prefer the Lido so that is where we went.

By the time we were finished lunch and went back to the cabin all the luggage was in the room and the unpacking started. Up to this point we had always stayed in interior "L" cabins so this VC verandah was new to us. We found space for everything with DD and DS each having one of the underbed drawers.

The verandah quickly became our favourite space:


The bed coming down over the main bed was a surprise as we were told it would be over the sofa like on the Disney Magic.




We were also told the sofa would "flip over" to become the single bed like in the interior cabins we had booked up to that point. But this was not the case.


There is a cupboard over the sofa that holds the extra linens on one side and all the "kid" stuff that came out of the backpacks when we arrived. There are 2 shelves in each section of the cupboard so it was good storage space. But you can see there is not much room to access the verandah when the sofa bed is pulled out. Our stewards pulled it out every night when we were at early dinner.

It may look like there is enough room between the desk and the bed to step over the single bed....but take my word for it, there isn't


We were not quite finished when the Muster Drill started so down to lifeboat 15 we went.





It took longer than I would like to call out everyone's cabin number and name and soon enough the Captain was on the PA very loudly telling us he wanted "Silence on Deck". Disney gets points here again as they just scan one room card from every cabin and verify that the number of people in the cabin are present. Very quick. No complaints, it just took about 30 minutes on HAL and I find standing still that long difficult. But when it was done the sail away party started!
#5
Ontario
3,456 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
The Westerdam was leaving Ft. Lauderdale for the season and repositioning to Alaska out of Seattle. Everyone was wanting to take part in this sail away. The more the merrier! The captain certainly kept up his end of the bargain and we all lost count of the horn blasts!




We were not the first ship to leave port that day...but we were the loudest!





#7
Florida
924 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
I'm enjoying your review, especially the photos. Thanks for taking the time to do this!
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Robert
#8
Ontario
3,456 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
I have to get back to work so here are a few pictures from around the ship. I will post more when I get home.

The atrium has a crystal sailing ship that revolves:


The ocean bar takes up the whole area on deck 3 from port to starboard. The Pinnacle Grill is directly below on deck 2.






The starboard side of the Ocean Bar:


#9
112,920 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Loving this review and the pictures.

We have stayed many years at the Embassy Suites both pre and post cruise.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#11
Saskatoon, Canada
7,427 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Great photos - thanks for taking the time to do this!

Smooth Sailing!
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Cruising takes me to places where memories begin.

#13
Encinitas, California
3,513 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Thank you so much for the photos!
Now I am able to identify everyone by the Sail away gang pictures!
So loved reading the thread. Now will enjoy your's.
Denise😄
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Deeniencinitas
#14
Ontario
3,456 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Seems I returned to work just in time for a fire drill. Since I can't go down the stairs unless it is a real emergency I will take this opportunity to add a few more pictures....

Denise made a comment about knowing who people are....so here we are:



Many people on board thought DD and DS were twins. Well in fact DD is a twin but not with DS. Her twin is watching over us. DD is just shy of 3 years older than DS.

But it is a reasonable assumption as they are very close:



After sail Away we went right to the dining room for our early set time of 5:45. The great thing about having a cabin near the aft of deck 4...the dining room is one floor below!




We had table 83 which is at the railing. A perfect spot for us and DS has a lot to look at and hold his interest as there is no electronic games during dinner (our policy, not HAL's). The ceiling of the dining room is covered in large glass flowers:




Dinner was quite slow, taking over an hour to get the first course. Our two dining room stewards were run off their feet as they had 28 clients and some large table to serve. It went like this for 3 or 4 nights and then they were able to get an extra body to help.

We went back to our cabin so DD and DS could change for Club Hal. The beds were already down for the night:


I won't tell you how many times DH and I cracked our heads on the upper bunk. It became a running joke in our family. I got used to it quicker than DH who was still hitting his head in both directions (getting into bed and getting out) on the last day!

We had registered DD and DS for Club HAL as soon as lunch was over. It is not like we had a choice as they both insisted! They were 2 of 9 children under 18 on board for the first 16 days. Out of the 9 only 5 went to Club HAL and one of those only in the morning of sea days. Club HAL did not take this opportunity to relax; they ran a full program every day just like the week before when there were over 300 children on board.

The manifest on the Friday, the day before we left, showed 5 children total. But then a Norweigan ship cancelled its canal cruise due to mechanical issues and so The Westerdam became a sell out and 4 more children boarded. There wasn't an empty cabin on the ship!

The pictures of Club Hal and The Loft coming up!
#15
Ontario
3,456 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Woops, seems I spoke too soon. I sent the pictures of Club Hal and The Loft to that site that can't be named and not to here so they are at home. So I will continue on sith some of the art found around the ship:





The beautiful floor outside the Pinnacle Bar:







#16
Ontario
3,456 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
But wait...there is more!









Even the elevator doors were beautiful:





Fire drill is over...time for work (unfortunately)!
#17
112,920 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Great pictures.

Your children are adorable.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#18
Ontario
3,456 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by Krazy Kruizers
Great pictures.

Your children are adorable.
Thank you KK!
#20
2,774 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Thanks so much for sharing your pix. Looking forward to seeing the ones still to be posted. I've seen many photos of the Westerdam, but some new locations I hadn't seen in your excellent photos.