Live – Rotterdam, Prinsendam, Queen Mary II

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Central Maryland
17,028 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Now that Donna has issued her Bon Voyage, I feel like I’m officially leaving shortly for an extended odyssey. It will start with the July 12 Classic Transatlantic from New York to Rotterdam. After a short stay in Rotterdam I’ll continue on to the 21-day Arctic Explorer cruise on the Prinsendam, and conclude with a return crossing on Queen Mary II. If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to have a door-to-door live thread here. I know the final segment is on a Cunard ship, but the raison d’etre for the entire odyssey is the Prinsendam Voyage, so I consider the whole thing a HAL trip. I’ll be doing this as a narrative thread but there will be a companion blog with (I hope) pictures, menus, and Explorers at I know that there will be some days on the Prinsendam without internet access but I’ll try to catch up as soon as possible when access returns.

Part of my shtick is I try to close each day’s entry with a “parting shot” which could be a comment on the day’s events, something general about cruising, or even something totally unrelated to the current cruise. While this isn’t a daily post my first parting shot will be a bit of history. This will be my first live thread on the HAL forum but I have started with some on other boards. I picked up my basic pattern from keith1010 on the Crystal forum, and capnpugwash on the Cunard forum, and have also learned a lot from RevNeal and arzz on their threads from last year’s Arctic Explorer and others like WCB, tomc, and Ironin. Special thanks to Cruise Critic member Ironin for help setting up the blog. I’ll even be stealing a bit from tomc (regrettably not his wit).


This post comes to you live from my residence.
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Currently enjoying:MS Amsterdam Prinsendam Transatlantic Rome to FTL
Future cruises:

1/5/18 Crystal Serenity/Symphony World Cruise
7/18/18 Volendam/Westerdam Alaska >>> 8/10/18 Crystal Symphony Panama Canal
11/10/18 Grandeur of the Seas Southern Caribbean
1/4/19 Prinsendam Grand South America
446 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Looking forward to "joining" you on your voyage!


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Eastern Caribbean Getaway

Caribbean East/West Adventurer

March/April 2017 - CROWN PRINCESS - Caribbean East/West Adventurer
January 2016 - REGAL PRINCESS - Caribbean Adventurer
January 2014 - EMERALD PRINCESS - Southern Caribbean Medley
October 2012 - EURODAM - Colours of Canada/New England
February 2012 - NIEUW AMSTERDAM - Eastern Caribbean
October 2011 - NOORDAM - Mediterranean Enchantment
January 2011 - RYNDAM - Western Caribbean
February 2010 - EURODAM - Eastern Caribbean
May 2009 - STATENDAM - Alaska Cruise Tour #25
Warwick, R.I. , USA
38,360 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
I'm sure I'll enjoy comin' along for the ride. I'm especially interested in your perspectives on the Rotterdam---I haven't sailed her since her reconfigurations, and she used to be very special to me. I'm also interested in your perspectives on the Prinsendam. Since I just returned from sailing her in the same part of the world, it should be interesting to read what you have to say.

Bon Voyage.
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Chocolate is to women what duct tape is to men.
It fixes everything.
1,912 Posts
Joined May 2008
Hey, my sister and family will sail with you across the Atlantic Ocean. They're also from Maryland (Severna Park). They have 2 teenagers, one of each gender. Have a fantastic voyage.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
12,667 Posts
Joined Jul 2009

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Email [email protected]

"To me a stranger is just a friend I have not yet met."

Our Personal Web Site for our cruises, photos, menus, activities, etc.

Past Cruises

Brendisi-Piraeus Jun 83

Greek Islands Jun 85
Piraeus-Venice Dec 85
VA 5054-Alaska May 08
Westerdam-SA 7076-Alaska May 09
VF 8154-Caribbean (E&S) Feb 10
Nieuw Amsterdam-
SC 6164-Caribbean (W) Nov 10
Oosterdam-SC 6166-Mexican Riviera Apr 11
Zuiderdam-SC 6166-Alaska Sept 11
Noordam-SB 7142-Caribbean (S) Mar 12
Nieuw Amsterdam-SC 6175-Caribbean (W) Nov 12
Westerdam-SA 7085-Caribbean (S) Dec 12
Zuiderdam-SC 5190-Alaska May 13
Zuiderdam-SC 6166-Panama Canal (PT) Nov 13
Westerdam-SC 5190-Alaska July 14
Westerdam-SS 6052-Alaska July 14
Nieuw Amsterdam-SB-5187-E/W Caribbean 7-21 Dec 15
Noordam-SB-7142-San Diego/Alaska 5-23 May 15
Oosterdam-SB-6166-Caribbean Wayfarer 16-27 Nov 15
Nieuw Amsterdam-SC 5186-San Diego to Alaska Inside Passage - 19 Days-25 Apr through May 14 2016
Zuiderdam-SB 5190-Panama Canal (Partial Transit) 20 November 2016
(FINAL Cruise due to HAL Smoking Policy Change)
6,506 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
What a fantastic trip! I'll be anxiously watching for every word you share.
THREE ships - amazing!
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<br>Donna, of Jon & Donna

Email me HERE
108,079 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Looking forward to your "Live" thread.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
Vancouver, B.C.
1,777 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Wow, a three ship journey! I will be following along as soon as you post. It sounds like you are going to have an incredible experience as you travel to so many places on your three ships.
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Lancashire, UK
457 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Wow, what an amazing trip!!

Looking forward to reading all about your voyages, absolutely fantastic!

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21/08/2011 HAL Nieuw Amsterdam -Mediterranean Glamour

1995 - Pre-Inaugral on the beautiful Oriana ...Gosh that was a while ago!
20,419 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Sounds good. Thanks for doing this. I'll be looking forward to reading it.
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Elite on princess

cruzchic1 at hotmail dot com
Flagstaff, Arizona
885 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
I can't wait. Am I envious of this fantastic itinerary? Yes!

Mrs M
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1976 - Pacific Princess - Mexican Riviera
1977 - Pacific Princess - Alaska
1977 - Island Princess - Working Cruise (Mexico)
1978 - Pacific Princess - Panama Canal
2000 Rotterdam - Baltic Treasures
2005 Westerdam - Gems of the Baltic
2006 Zaandam - Alaska Inside Passage
2007 Ryndam - Sea of Cortez
2008 Rotterdam - Black Sea and Egypt
2010 Zaandam - Circle Hawaii
2012 Volendam - Sydney to Vancouver
2013 Emerald Princess - Baltic Gems
2014 Nieuw Amsterdam - Mediterranean Empires
God Bless the USA
2,892 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Looking foward to this
I'll be coming "home" on the QM2 next year - anxious to hear about that especially.
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Princess, Disney, Cunard, HAL, Carnival, MSC
17,483 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Three ships, how wonderful, will be interesting to read about your cruises.
Wishing you safe travelling.
Hope you thoroughly enjoy your cruises.
Mid-Atlantic USA
1,606 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Oh goody! Looking forward to reading about your travels. Have a wonderful trip!
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RiverBarge, Cumberland River (2 times, the first was and still is the best vacation ever); American Queen, Mississippi River; RCCL Enchantment of the Seas, Quebec City to FLL; Carnival Victory, NE/Canada (3 times); NCL Crown , Bermuda; NCL Spirit, NE/Canada (best cruise vacation so far); Carnival Triumph, NE/Canada; Cunard QM2 Westbound crossing; NCL Jewel, NE/Canada; RCI Enchantment OTS, NE/Canada. Next up: Alaska, RCI Explorer OTS.
Houston, TX
3,320 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Sounds like a unique voyage(s). I'll be following along, maybe getting ideas since my DW will no longer do long flights (transatlantic).
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Cruising since 1968

Way Out West
992 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Bon voyage Roy! This is going to be quite an adventure - thanks for taking time to allow us to follow along as it unfolds. (Thank you, too, for the kind words.)
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"Life is not how it is supposed to be. It is what it is.

How you deal with that challenge defines your character in the eyes of others."
-A ship's passenger

Email: rogersrw(at)gmail(dot)com
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Central Maryland
17,028 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Thank you all. epixx, is your sister a member of Cruise Critic? It may be too late now, but if she would like to join our Meet and Greet she can email me at royaferguson at operamail dot com. I'm about 20 miles from Severna Park.

buckirj1, it looks like you have a potential HAL cruise on the back burner. I'll likely get into some comparisons with QM2 late in the trip.

DeepWaterMariner, I do do long flights (and will again next year to Asia for the Zaandam, but whenever I can divert to a ship it's a BIG plus.

Ironin, I think the blog's pretty much the way I want it now. We'll see how it works out under satellite internet conditions.

I'm probably 60% packed. Still going to be a busy day tomorrow.

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Index to active Crystal Roll Calls
Limited View Cabins

Currently enjoying:MS Amsterdam Prinsendam Transatlantic Rome to FTL
Future cruises:

1/5/18 Crystal Serenity/Symphony World Cruise
7/18/18 Volendam/Westerdam Alaska >>> 8/10/18 Crystal Symphony Panama Canal
11/10/18 Grandeur of the Seas Southern Caribbean
1/4/19 Prinsendam Grand South America
Charleston, Charleston Made in Carolina
1,805 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Not bad, Roy, you haven't even left your living room yet, and you have nearly 20 replies on your original post!

I'll see you on the ROTTERDAM!
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"When we presently got under way and went poking down the broad Ohio, I became a new being and the subject of my own admiration. I was a traveler!"
Mark Twain