North to Alaska - South to Hawaii & Tahiti with Bill & Mary Ann - 42 days - Statendam

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Poulsbo/ Seattle Area
1,789 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by WCB
Report # 39 Sailing Towards San Diego October 28, 2014 Tuesday Chance of rain & 82 degrees

We woke up to a very overcast morning, even though it was plenty warm and sticky outside. Taking our usual walk after a light breakfast, we found it to be so muggy, it was hard walking for too long. With barely a breeze blowing, we went down to cool off in our room for a bit.

We had been invited to a special Cabaret Luncheon by the Captain, and Randall, the Hotel Manager, at 11:30am. It was held in the Showroom on deck seven, where several tables and chairs were set below the stage, as well as up the lower sets of aisles. All together, we guess there were about 60 lucky people invited.

Greeted by the Captain, Hotel Director, and Cruise Director, we were escorted to good seats in the center of the room. Even though we arrived at the invited time, most of the seats were filled by the time we got there. At least there was no re-arranging of seating, like what happened at the Captain's Dinner a couple of nights ago. Since the Captain and Randall did not join any specific group, we were free to sit at mostly tables for two. Thinking back on that evening, one of us had been seated next to the Captain, however, before he arrived, three other guests moved his name tag across the table, and took different seats. That was a bit rude, we think, because the maitre'd had pre-arranged the seating with a lot of thought behind it. Bet the lady on the other side of the Captain was not thrilled either. No one had asked her permission. Proving that people are funny sometimes......

A menu awaited us, and we soon realized that we were in for a treat. Wine was poured, the show was announced, and we relaxed for the next 90 minutes of entertainment and excellent cuisine.

The five course meal began with a spoonful of duck and fennel slaw. Only one of us could eat the seafood martini cocktail, since it contained scallops. A chilled green pea soup followed, then came the entree of filet mignon, grilled shrimp, and a potato tart. And what a better way to end the meal than with a tiramisu dessert, served in a small cocktail glass. Bonbons and friandises were supposed to be served with coffee or tea, but we left before they appeared. When the staff began upping the lights brighter and brighter, we felt it was time to move on. Hint, hint.....

The only change from last year with this year, is that only in-house entertainers were used in the cabaret. Last year, whoever the professional entertainment people happened to be onboard, were the singers. Made little difference, since all of them were top notch, especially the couple that sang a score from the Phantom of the Opera. Excellent.

Heavy rain interrupted our usual afternoon pattern of pooltime, reading, and relaxing in the sun. Checking the TV channel for the temperature, wind, and rain, we found the gauge for the humidity had risen to 101%. Is there really a number like that? This was no passing cloud, so we stayed inside watching a movie, that we had only seen half of recently. We could have gone to the front desk and gotten a movie for our DVD player, but we have seen most of those also.

Days like these bring most of the folks inside the ship. So the shops, bars, lectures, lessons, casino, etc. were full of people. Now we joke that the Captain must head for a good storm to increase the revenue. Can't say we blame him, because there are only a few days left to get the folks to part with their money.

One of our jobs for the day was to pick up our passports at the front desk after 4pm. We had been assigned a time early in the morning, during our breakfast time. It was much easier to pick it up later with no wait in line. The staff is requesting the receipts that had been handed to us when we surrendered the passports a few weeks ago. Normally, we put them somewhere, and forget about them. If we did not have them, we would have to fill out another one for their records. So remember, keep those little slips of paper.

Dinnertime was formal, one of the last of two. Did we mention that our waiter always announces the night before that the next evening will be formal in the dining room? He directs his comments to the gentlemen at the table, knowing the ladies have no problem with getting dolled up. It also helps avoid the awkward moment when someone shows up dressed for smart casual by accident, or not. To tell the truth, we have not noticed any infractions to the formal dress code. The guests choosing not to don the tuxes, suits, or prom gowns go to the Lido.

We also had double company this evening with a nice San Diego couple joining us once again, and Vincent, the first officer. We enjoyed Vincent's company the first time he came, and even more tonight. Towards the end of the dinner, he made a remark that he was only 32, which brought a blush to one of our faces, since we guesstimated he may have been in his early 40's. Our reasoning was the amount of experience he had under his belt, not by his appearance, which they all look young nowadays. Kind of surprised to know we are being monitered by someone he knows. To be certain, Vincent has a promising career ahead of him, and in our opinion, will make a great captain if he chooses to be.

This may be trivial, but we feel it worth mentioning. While chatting the next day to one of the dining room heads, we mentioned innocently that the Captains Dinner ran much later than we thought it would. We should have clarified that we were having such a nice evening, we did not notice that the time was later than expected. Well, when we thanked the Pinnacle Grill manager on the way out of showlounge today, he apologized for the delay in the service at the special dinner. Someone had told him, third-hand, that we were not happy with the delay. Far from the truth, we never meant that. See how things can travel and change along the way? Never thought in a million years that our innocent comments may be actually listened to. With that in mind, we went to see Randall, the Hotel Manager, and cleared that misunderstanding up. He had not heard of it, but said it may have come from the Culinary Manager, who we have never met. The Pinnacle Grill manager is so nice, we wanted to make sure it was known that he did nothing wrong. He is one of the best.

The entertainment this evening was a comedian from Comedy Central & Star Search by the name of Jeff Burghart. Doubt we go.

Bill & Mary Ann
enjoying your travels, Jeff Burghart is hilarious! you've missed a good show, if you chose not to go to his... I have seen him 3 times this year!! I'm afraid he was beginning to think I was stalking him!!
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2,240 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Report # 40 Sailing Towards San Diego October 29, 2014 Wednesday Chance of rain & 79 degrees

Today brought more clouds heavy with rain. However, as far as we know, it never did. We went for a light breakfast once again, because there was another early lunch at 11am this morning. We found there was a good breeze blowing on the promenade deck while we took our walk. That has to be a sign that we are heading north rapidly.

We were invited to the Mariner Society Lunch in the dining room. As always, we arrived a few minutes before 11am, and were initially led to the center area of the raised lower level of the dining room. Whether or not we had assigned seats, we will never know. But apparently where we were supposed to be seated, our spots were not available. Donny, the dining room manager, came right to us, and escorted us to the window seating in the back end. A few years ago, we had seating with an officer, or sometimes, the Captain, at these events. For some reason, this has been changed to no officers sharing tables. The Captain, Hotel Director, and the Cruise Director gave a short and sweet greeting, then a toast was made, and lunch was served.

Today, three couples were introduced according to their accumulated pure seas days as Mariner members. The first two couples had around 1100 and almost 1200 days. Then, we were announced with almost 1400 days. Randall, the Hotel Manager, jokingly bowed in homage to us as we stood up, making us laugh. Love his sense of humor. Glad that was over, we enjoyed the lunch with our tablemates we had just met. Both couples were Cruise Critic members, and one of them had read our blogs from past trips. The good thing is that they liked it, and admitted that we had helped them with our many suggestions. That's what we like to hear.

The menu was good as always. Starters of a salmon salad or a cold fruit soup were tasty. Who ever thought you could eat soup made with pureed melons? The main was a choice of short ribs, cod, or a broccoli and cheese tart. But the best was the dessert of a key lime treat in a pastry crust. A dot of whipped cream and a strawberry glaze made it super delicious. And we also got two more tiles for the collection at home.

We are always nervous about who we are going to sit with, but today we lucked out by meeting some very lovely folks. We talked well beyond lunchtime, and shared info about the selling and retrofitting of this ship. They had heard the rumor about the ship being cut in half for new cabins to be added. Since this very subject had come up last night with first officer Vincent, we knew that was not right. There was no truth behind that rumor. However, one or more decks will be torn out, and new, smaller cabins will be replacing the larger ones that are here now. Makes sense when it is explained that way.

We did get a little "outside" time, even if the sun was not out. Many of the outdoorsy folks were laying on the lounges at the aft pool, absorbing what heat there was to get. The wind was blowing across the deck, and sometimes sprayed a fine mist of water across us on the starboard side of the pool. Judging from the coolness of the water, we figured the pool water must be clean and cold now. No one was swimming.

It has taken us several years since the Digital Workshops have been added to the ships before we have gone inside one of them. Probably because we had so many internet problems in the middle of the cruise, we paid a visit to the techspert, who was helpful to a point. Anyway, we discovered that perhaps we can learn something about the newer computers if we test them between classes. What we did find were the availability of games for free. One of us loves games, such as solitare, mahjong, bejeweled, or word games like bookworm. With a little help from techspert Patti, she helped us locate card games. The touchscreen technology is new to us, so we need all the practice we can get.

Thinking there may be a good sunset tonight, we went up to deck 12 to find the sun setting with hardly any color at all. Too many may rain yet.

We were all back for dinner tonight. The menu was a mix of Filipino and Indonesian food. We tried a little of each, but our main course was Caesar salad with a chicken breast. Always an excellent alternate. We got creative with dessert by ordering deep fried bananas, a meringue-filled custard treat, and one scoop of rum raisin ice cream. All were excellent.

This evening was also the Dessert Extravaganza in the Lido Pool area. It was scheduled to start at 10:30pm, but since we had indulged at dinner, we would not wait to eat more sweets. But we do like to take photos, so we killed some time walking the promenade deck. It was windy and cooler, but there was no rain. Strangely enough, when we went to deck 11 and the Lido Pool, we could hear people almost screaming. Guess the party started early. We soon found out why they were yelling......the ship must have sailed right under a massive cell cloud, and the retractable roof was partially opened. The desserts below were getting very wet as were the people. Someone must have moved quickly to close the roof, but the progress was slow. We could swear that firehoses were being used on the upper deck by the way the roof was being hit. The crew had saved the desserts and the guests by minutes, however, and the evening extravaganza was a success.

The Unexpected Boys were on stage once again with a new show....Broadway. Our lunch mates had enjoyed their first show, and looked forward to tonight's. If we understood them correctly, they told us that during the coffee chat with the cruise diector yesterday, members of this group said that there were a total of 40 of them, and they perform worldwide on many ships. They always do their act with a total of four fellows, and they can interchange with each other when needed. Interesting......

The clocks went ahead one hour this evening. As this is being written, suddenly it is 1am, and time to call it a day. And being that daylight savings time ends Saturday/Sunday at midnight, we will not have to put the clocks ahead the extra hour.

Hope we see a little more sun tomorrow...........

Bill & Mary Ann
20,419 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Thx for the update. I rarely go to the mariners lunch. Doesn't look like I'm missing anything food wise.
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Elite on princess

cruzchic1 at hotmail dot com
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Joined Dec 2002
Report # 41 Sailing Towards San Diego October 30, 2014 Thursday Partly sunny & 77 degrees

It turned out to be a busy day, our fourth one at sea on our way back towards San Diego. Even though the forecast said pasrtly sunny, it was more cloudy than anything else. There would be no swimming today.

We kept breakfast light, because we had spotted a nice lunch menu for the dining room between 12 and 1pm. One of us has been watching the menu for spaghetti and meatballs. Lo and behold, it was one of the entrees for lunch....finally. Another interesting entree was a flatbread pizza with sliced chicken breast. Sounded good to us.

The kitchen has been running out of some of the basic foods we usually order. Some things like cottage cheese, ranch dressing, and fresh strawberries. That must be due to the missed delivery in San Diego back at the beginning of October. They did get much of what they needed in Papeete, but not everything. And we are certain that the cost of the food was much higher in French Polynesia.

For that reason, the menus have been adjusted from what they post outside the dining room in the morning. By dinnertime, many items have been removed and replaced with something different. Good thing they are able to do that, as long as the items are what people like. And, as long as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches don't show up for dinner, we are going to be OK.

There was a special event at the Lido Pool today at 10:30am. It was the Statendam Village Fair, where the crew and officers put on a fair with games of skill and chance. A few days ago, we all received $20. Statendam dollars to be spent to play these games. By winning at some of the almost impossible tasks, you can win more $$$. The guests with the most bucks have a chance to win fabulous prizes at the end of the games, which happened to be 12pm.

We did pay a visit to the fair, but only for photo-taking. Even after 11am, it was still crowded, with long lines for all the venues. Some of the games included throwing a ball through the liferings suspended over the pool, or throwing darts, and even cork-forking, our old game at the dinner table. (We have since stopped the fun game, because our tablemates did become very noisy.)

We saw little Sydney and her parents, and decided to donate our $20. to them. That would give them a better chance of winning. One venue missing was the dunk tank, where one of the officers (sometimes the captain) sits and waits to be dunked. It always gets the biggest crowd trying to do it. All in good fun.

Our other chore for the day was paying a visit to the photo gallery, where we could put a vote in for Maggie's Bora Bora photo. Hope she wins. Looking over each category, we noticed that besides composition, the quality of the camera can make a huge difference in judging the photos. So these may have the edge for winning.

One other job awaited us, as we received our packet with disembarkation info this afternoon. We had luggage tags to fill out, as well as the customs form. We have requested to be among the first off, because heaven knows if that will happen as planned. Our flight back to San Francisco does not leave until 1:40pm, but once again, if everyone does not follow directions and clear the ship on time, our exit time might be delayed. We have experienced that in the past.

After lunch, we watched a movie in our room. We think it may have been Godzilla. Sitting on the aft deck in our shorts was just a bit too chilly for comfort. Speaking of chilly, it has been asked of us if there have been air-conditioning problems onboard. We would say, yes. In the beginning, we had trouble getting our room cool. Then we had the ducts and filters cleaned, and the temperature adjusted, giving us some relief from the heat. Now, even with the thermostat turned up high, it only gets in the 70's. That is OK, but sometimes we have to use pool towels to keep warm while watching TV. In the public areas, it can be quite warm in the dining room, but very cool towards the showlounge. Patti, the techspert, has to wear sweaters and shawls to keep comfortable in the Digital Workshop. We are far enough north now that we doubt we will have heat problems anymore.

We had dinner reservations in the Pinnacle Grill this evening at 8pm. Our meals were very good, but filling. We had a tiny starter of a piece of salmon wrapped with seaweed, crab cakes, jumbo shrimp cocktail, and Caesar salad. Our entrees were a New York strip and a filet mignon, cooked perfectly. We shared the smallest baked potatao they had, and also button mushrooms. Saving a bit of room for dessert, we both ordered the lemon tart. Chocolates and bon bons finished the ample meal.

Tonight happened to be the final formal and also the Black and Gold Gala Ball. The dining room was decorated with hundreds of balloons with gold and black mobiles. The highlight of the affair is that some officers are available to dance with the ladies or gents. It began at 10pm and was held in the Showroom at Sea. We had spotted Vincent, the first officer, on his way to the dance at exactly 10pm. It has been our impression that most of the officers attend this ball only because they have to. The younger cadets always stand in a group at the further corner of the room in order to avoid being a dance host. This confirmed ur suspicions when we saw three of the dining room head waiters and one boss come flying down to deck six from seven and the lounge. They laughed, because we caught them as we had just walked through the door of the promenade deck. They covered by saying....guess we will see you upstairs? Us, no way. They laughed hilarioulsy as they ducked into the culinary manager's office. Must have had some really important work to catch up on.........

We want to wish everyone a very Happy Halloween. Gosh this month has flown by so, so fast. We shall be home soon.

Bill & Mary Ann
Nova Scotia
986 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Thanks for your great reporting of your trip. I can hardly wait for our turn to come. I'm not sure but have you only had 3 formal nights or did I miss 1 or 2.
It would help with our packing if we don't need to take so much formal wear. DH would love that too.

Safe sailing and flying home.

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14-Day Western & Tropical Caribbean Collector Holiday Cruise

Noordam, 7 day West Carib, 1998; MS Westerdam, 8 day East Carib, 2001; Vision of the Seas RCI, 7 night Mexican Riviera,2005; Volendam, 7 day Alaska, 2005; Volendam, 21 day Panama Cana 2006l; Noordam,14 day Holiday, South Carib. 2008; Eurodam, 7day East. Carib,2009; Avalon Affinity, Mossell & Rhine River, 2009; Noordam, 10 day Southern Carib. Seafarer, 2010; Eurodam, 12 day North Sea Adventure, 2011; Noordam, 10 day Southern Caribbean, 2012; Noordam.11 Southern Caribbean 2013,Prinsendam,26 day Amazon Explorer,2013,: Nieuw Amsterdam, 14 Day Collectors Cruise, 2014Stantendam, 30 day Hawaii,Tahiti & Marquesas Islands Holiday, 2014; Prinsendam Caribbean Holiday 2015
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Joined Dec 2002
Report # 42 Sailing Towards San Diego October 31, 2014 Friday Partly sunny & 72 degrees

Today turned out to be a good one to start packing. Since the weather had cooled off and the skies were cloudy, we would have no pool time. At least the rain has held off for the time being.

Halloween was in the air all over the ship. There were carved pumpkins and orange and black baloons decorating the dining room. By dinnertime, there would be ghosts and ghouls hanging from the ceiling. And the dining room staff would be in full scary, even gory, Halloween costumes. We sure do not remember this frivolity last year.

We spent some more time in the Digital Workshop this morning at a class to learn about Windows 8.1. What it taught one of us was that it is time to get with the job of finding a new computer. Technology has gone a long ways since we purchased our first laptop back in 2004. It is, however, going to take some doing getting to learn a new way of doing internet. Having this access to classes onboard will be perfect while on the world cruise. May take four months to learn it, but we shall master it.

After a proper lunch in the dining room, we watched a movie in our room. It was Devil's Knot, and kept us rivited to the TV for two hours. Based on a true story, it was a powerful tale about the murder of three little kids in Arkansas, and the following trial of three possibly innocent teenagers. To this day, the truth has never been uncovered.

As this cruise winds down, the last of the lectures continued, as well as a final Hawaiian/Tahitian Concert given by Henry, the ukelele artist. This evening, instead of the regular show, Dancing with the Stars at Sea will have their finale. One fellow guest will be crowned winner, and will have the chance to compete with other winners of many other cruises. Following that show tonight will be the Filipino Crew Show at 11pm. Select members of the staff will dance and sing traditional music of their homeland.

Lastly, a Monster Mash was held in the Crows Nest at 10pm. Judging by the costumes we saw at dinnertime, we are sure the party will be interesting if not loud and rowdy.

At the 1pm Captains talk, he mentioned that tomorrow may bring deep sea swells, and we may experience problems with walking. He also suggested to secure all items in our rooms, so nothing falls and breaks. He also promised to keep the stabilizers out. With that in mind, Mary announced that she may not be able to come to dinner if it remains too rough to walk. Sure hope she makes it, because it will be our last night together and we do all have a lot of fun.

Time will tell, but just to be safe, we better put the vase of flowers on the floor, wedged with couch pillows.

Bill & Mary Ann
2,240 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Report # 43 Sailing Towards San Diego November 1, 2014 Saturday Partly sunny & 66 degrees

Sunny skies greeted us early this morning when we woke up. However, after going outside after breakfast, we discovered the temperature had really dropped since yesterday. We must be nearing the coast of Mexico and California, as the water temperature has also dropped to the high 60's. As much as we looked, we have seen absolutely no sealife, not a fish or a bird for the last three or more days. Well, it sure doesn't matter, because today will be used for the rest of the packing..We have two bags to go, or perhaps more? We think that we may have bought a little more than we thought.

This is a good time to mention how happy we have been with the crew and staff. In particular, our room stewards, Hardi and Sugi. They have consistently taken excellent care of us this entire trip of 42 days. They have a habit of checking the hallway,no matter where they are working. When a door closes, they check to see who's room they can clean next. No sneaking out with them. Just in case they miss us, we have been putting the "service please" sign in the door as instructed, so they know for sure that we are gone. Every day, they ask if we need anything. A few times we did, and they responded right away, even though we said anytime was fine.

Our waiters in the dining room have been great. They are Arif S. (he said the S was for Superman), and Ari, his assistant. Arif tells us what the first guests liked or what they did not. Sometimes the soup was too salty, or the meat chewy. If the fish was fishy, then he warned us. Ari has also been our pastry waiter at breakfast time, always seeking us out for the best treats. They make a good team.

The Dining Room Manager, Donny, and his staff of head waiters made sure our meals were the best. Our head waiter, Kadek, came every evening and asked how we liked our dinners. If we needed something else, he took care of it. Made, Pras, Hery, and Hendra contributed to our welfare too. Just about every formal night (there were two in Alaska, and seven on this trip), we had a host, who happened to provide wines. We can thank Donny for that.

The Pinnacle Grill Manager was quite personable as well. He went out of his way to introduce himself, and provide a nice dining experience in his restaurant. We would have taken advantage of the seven complimentary dinners we were gifted, but we had so much fun with our tablemates, we hated to desert them. Besides the special lunches and Captains dinner, we also had two regular meals in there. All excellent and more than ample.

The Hotel Directors, Bart and Randall, were both outstanding. We have sailed with Bart well before he was an HD, but Randall was new to us. We will remember him for going the distance with our internet problems. He made it work. The Cruise Director, Rick Barnes, was also a new name for us. We highly recommend him, if you happen to be sailing on this ship. He has proven to be one of the most popular and talented guys on the ship.

Gary M, the Guest Relations Manager, really helped out with the internet too. We would have lost many minutes of internet time, if he had not intervened on our behalf. All of the front desk staffers were politely helpful when we needed assistance. And finally, Captain Vincent, took us on a safe trip for over 10,000 nautical miles. He is a man of few words, but did his job well.

Despite being the last day at sea, there were many activities happening onboard. Last minute sales was the top priority in every department. Lectures continued, and the usual games were held. The last of the Mariner Society Lunches was held at 11am in the lower dining room. After we finished packing our bags, realizing we were going to need to add one to the count, we headed for lunch in the upper dining room. We both ordered the Canadian cheese burger with crispy fries. Desserts were good.....a napolean (no sugar added) and a peach crisp.

Taking a brief walk after lunch, we found it was cooler and we were headed for some rain. The Captain mentioned in his talk that we would be hitting 6 foot swells, but not until 10pm. If that is the case, then perhaps all of us will be at dinner tonight. Mary had intended on staying in her room.

Watching a 2pm movie on TV was difficult to choose, because we have seen them all. Can you believe we ended up with watching Ghostbusters? It is SO old, we forgot what it was about. Gosh, the actors sure looked a lot younger in that flick.

The techspert, Patti, had one last question session at 4:30pm in her workshop. We attended and found she only had a few stragglers, mostly folks who have taken the entire series of classes for the last month. That gave us a chance to ask simple questions that probably have been addressed already. Can't get any better than one-on-one. Patti even had some pre-printed instructions that we were able to take with us. We do intend to follow up with these classes while on the world cruise.

In the last couple of days, ever since the Mariner's Lunch and our surprise introduction, many nice folks have stopped us and asked about our number of days we have sailed with HAL. Most of the inquiries are about where we have been, and where do we like the best. Almost impossible to answer, we usually end up talking the most about South Africa. And keeping track, we would say most all of the people asking questions have been Canadian. They have to be among the friendlist guests, and polite too.

Dinnertime found all of us present, enjoying our last evening together. Originally, we had made reservations for the Pinnacle Grill, but this morning we cancelled. It would be our last chance to share email info with everyone too. The menu was the fairly new International Venue, with specialties from four different parts of the world. We could choose something from each one, or order from the everyday alternate menu. We had a soup from Argentina, an appetizer from the Mediterranean, and a dessert from New York City (cheesecake, of course). Our entrees were the alternate steak and baked potato. Guess that was international enough?

Around 9pm, Rick, the Cruise Director, announced the kitchen staff and waiter parade, followed by a song from all of them. Everyone gave them a huge applause after Rick's very motivated speech about everyone living in harmony on the Dam ships. Once the meal resumed, Rick paid a visit to every table in the dining room, something we have only seen on this ship. It's a nice gesture, we think, and reflects the nice guy he truly is.

It is always bittersweet saying goodbye. We hope to see everyone again on another cruise someday. We know we will see Mary and hope she joins our table in 2016. Bob and Cherry will be staying on for the next 30 days as the ship sails south to Lima and back to San Diego. Mary teased them by saying they will never have such a fun group of tablemates as we have had on this trip. But then, you never know.

There was one last performance in the showroom....a variety show with Jeff Burghart, Kateryna Sychova, and Bob Trunell. It's doubtful many folks will attend the late show, because there seemed to be a mass exodus from the dining room around 9:30pm. Guess not everyone took the time to pack earlier in the day, and saved it to the last minute. While we are on the subject, it may be good to know that a scale was made available to weigh your luggage outside the housekeeping office on the lower promenade deck. The only problem with that is the sea swells create a variable of about 4 to 5 pounds. You have to weigh each piece at least three times, and take an average and hope for the best. As for us, we use a handheld digital scale, which also fluctuates, but so far, has helped to keep our weights under 50 pounds.

As we write this at almost midnight, the swells have begun to deepen somewhat. Nothing bad, but enough to rock us to sleep one last time.....something we miss when we go home.

We will follow up with our impressions of this cruise once we get home and back to reality.

It's been a pleasure for us and hopefully you all too..............

Bill & Mary Ann
2,538 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Great trip. Can't wait for the 2015 World Cruise. Thank you again for your wonderful reports.

Sent from Gail's Galaxy S3
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Gail and Ken
Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor Diamond Plus Members
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Southern California
3,954 Posts
Joined May 2009
Thanks for all your work and taking us along. I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the WC.

Until then, breakfast will just be..........breakfast.
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Came from the land above to the Land Downunder
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Joined May 2008
Your blogs from all your cruises which I follow have made me want to try HAL so we have booked a 14 day in December and hope to share your contentment with them Happy sailing on your next world cruise we are soooooo envious
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yafm11 at

Airtours: Sundream 4; Sunbird 1; MV Isabella Nile cruise; Thompsons 1; P&O UK 3; MV Victoria Yangtze cruise; P&O Australia 6; MV Royal Star Kenya; RCI Legend/Seas 2; Rhapsody/Seas 2; Voyager/Seas 2; Celebrity Infinity 1; MV Murray Princess river cruise; HAL Oosterdam 1; Carnival Legend 2; Carnival Spirit 1; Princess cruises Sun Princess 8; Dawn Princess 3; Diamond Princess 3; Grand Princess 3; Island Princess 2; Old Royal Princess 2; Sea Princess 2; Emerald Princess 4; Golden Princess 1
20,419 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Thank you so much for your thread. I really enjoyed it all. Thank you for the nice comment about canadians . Looking forward to your world cruise thread early next year.
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Elite on princess

cruzchic1 at hotmail dot com
1,889 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
You two are an inspiration! I've greatly enjoyed following along with you. Thanks to your reports, we knew to keep an eye out for the sea lions as we left San Diego last month on Westerdam.

Looking forward to following your world cruise!
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322 cruising days and counting! (195 HAL, 78 'X', 49 others)
Past Cruises: (star ratings reflect our opinion of the on-board experience, not the port calls!)
2018: May - Celebrity Summit to Bermuda ****1/2
2017: April/May - HAL Veendam - 15 Day Atlantic Coast ***1/2 / Oct - Prinsendam Adriatic Explorer **** Dec/Jan - Maasdam circumnavigate New Zealand for the holidays! ****
2016: June/July - Caribbean Princess - British Isles ****/ Oct/Nov - Koningsdam inaugural trans-Atlantic**1/2
2015: May - HAL Zuiderdam Mediterranean Explorer **** / Aug/Sept - HAL Statendam 14 day Alaska Explorer **** / Dec/Jan - HAL Zaandam 21 day South America & Antarctica Explorer *****
2014: Feb - HAL Westerdam Eastern Caribbean ****1/2 / May/June - HAL Prinsendam Kiel Canal and Baltics **** / Oct - HAL Westerdam Panama Canal 15 days ***** / Celebrity Reflection Christmas in the Caribbean ***1/2
2013: Jan - HAL Zuiderdam Panama Canal Sunfarer **** / April - Viking Skadi "Tulips & Windmills" *** / Oct/Nov - Celebrity Constellation to Turkey & Greece ****
2012: Jan - HAL Eurodam to Eastern Caribbean ****1/2 / May - HAL Ryndam to the Fjords & North Cape ****1/2 / Sept/Oct - Celebrity Summit to Canada & Maine **
2011: Jan - Crown Princess to Western Caribbean ** / Mar - HAL Westerdam to Southern Caribbean ***** / Oct/Nov - Celebrity Solstice to Western Mediterranean ***1/2
2010: Feb - Celebrity Century to Key West & Grand Cayman ****1/2 / May - Celebrity Summit to Bermuda ***1/2 / Oct/Nov - Celebrity Infinity through the Panama Canal *****
2009: Aug - HAL Amsterdam to Alaska ***** / Nov - HAL Ryndam to Western Caribbean (central America) ****
1986: NCL Starward to Western Caribbean / 1988: NCL Starward to Southern Caribbean
1985: Commodore Cruise Line - Caribe to Eastern Caribbean
Melbourne, Australia
2,636 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Thank you Bill and Mary Ann for another fabulous trip report! I love travelling along with you and hearing of your adventures and I also love the detail you provide.
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2,571 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing your voyages.
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'Life is short, drink the good wine first'

2018: Diamond Princess 7 day Circle Japan.
2017: Prinsendam 14 day Scotland/Ireland ; Volendam 16 day Trans-Pacific, Tokyo to Vancouver; Eurodam 7 day West. Carib.
2016: Rotterdam 18 day Viking Passage, Rotterdam to Boston; Noordam 13 day Australia/New Zealand; Zuiderdam 11 day partial Canal.
2015: Amsterdam 16 day Lima to San Diego; Oosterdam 3 day Coastal; Botticelli 6 day Seine; Veendam 7 day Bermuda; Volendam 17 day N. Pacific Crossing, Kobe to Vancouver
2014: Veendam 18 day Circle Hawaii; Seine Princess 4 day Seine, Paris RT; Veendam 7 day Historic Coasts; Noordam 11 day Med. Explorer; Celebrity Century 8 day E. Carib.
2013: Zuiderdam 7 day E. Carib.; Eurodam 7 day Norse Legends; Veendam 7 day NE/Canada,
2012: Volendam (HAL) 7 day Alaska, CC Review

1980s: SS Dolphin IV; Vista Fjord (Cunard); Rhapsody (Paquet) (Statendam IV); QE II (Cunard) TA; Skyward (NCL). 1970s: Mermoz (Paquet); Orpheus (Epirotiki-Swan's Hellenic); Royal Viking Sea.
Ft Lauderdale
73 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Thank you so much for your most enjoyable and well written posts. You have added immensely to the upcoming voyage with the same itinerary on which we will soon be embarking.
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NCL Sun 7/07 Alaska, HAL Westerdam 12/07 E. Caribbean, HAL Eurodam 3/08 E-W Caribbean, Dawn Princess 7/08 Alaska, HAL Eurodam 12/08 E. Caribbean, HAL Westerdam 3/09 S. Caribbean, NCL Jade 7/09 Mediterranean, Island Princess 12/09 Central America/Panama Canal, HAL Eurodam 3/10 E. Caribbean, HAL Oosterdam 7/10 Alaska, HAL Maasdam 7/10 Canada/New England, HAL Westerdam 12/10 W. Caribbean, NCL Spirit 4/10 Caribbean, HAL Eurodam 7/11 Northern Europe, HAL Amsterdam 12/11 Caribbean, HAL Nieuw Amsterdam 4/12 Trans Atlantic, HAL Nieuw Amsterdam 6/12 Mediterranean, HAL Maasdam 12/12 S. Caribbean, HAL Zuiderdam 3/13 Panama Canal, HAL Rotterdam 6/13 Norway, HAL Eurodam 11/13 W. Caribbean, HAL Eurodam 12/13 E/W Caribbean, HAL Statendam 3/14 Central & South America, Ocean Princess 7/14 Iceland, HAL Statendam 12/14 Hawaii & Polynesia, HAL Maasdam 3/15 S. Caribbean, HAL Statendam 6/15 Alaska, HAL Zaandam 11/15 South America, HAL Noordam 12/15 Australia & New Zealand, HAL Oosterdam 3/16 Transatlantic, HAL Rotterdam 7/16 Iceland/Greenland, HAL Eurodam 11/16 Tropical Caribbean, HAL Volendam 12/16 Southeast Asia, HAL Rotterdam 3/17 Transatlantic Med/N.Europe, HAL Koningsdam 11/17 S Caribbean, Celebrity Constellation
12/17 Emirates&India, HAL Zuiderdam 2/18 Sunfarer, HAL Veendam 6/18 Cuba, HAL Veendam 7/18 Canada, HAL Nieuw Amsterdam 11/18 W Caribbean, Sapphire Princess 12/18 Grand Asia
Raleigh NC
25,351 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Thanks for the reports. I really do enjoy the level of detail and sometimes cut and paste them into some notes I keep on places we have not been. Glad you had a enjoyable and safe cruise.
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Future Cruises
HAL Prinsendam 8-5-2018 - Ninety seven days on the Elegant Explorer
HAL Zaandam 12-6-18 Back to the frozen south
HAL Amsterdam 1-22-2019 - Grand World Voyage
Hurtengruten Fram 6-3-2019 - Visit the polar bears on Svalbard
HAL Maasdam 8-28-2019 - Eighty days on the Maasdam
HAL Amsterdam 1-4-2020 - Grand Would Voyage