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My first ship was Norwegian Dawn. I was looking for a cheap vacation (in my mind it would be an all-included 3-star resort or the like) but saw a good deal on a cruise (less than 500$ pp total for a 7-day cruise) out of New York City (which I can go to by long overnight bus and save the cost of the flight).

 

I liked it so much that I am now booked for my 14th cruise since then (107 cruise days). I will be Platinum on NCL for my next cruise (not bad, IMHO for a working 37yo who's dbf is seasick and won't cruise anymore).

 

Not only that, but I now WORK on a ship, the Bella Desgagnés. It is not a regular cruise ship; it's a cargo and passenger ship on the St.Lawrence River (Quebec, Canada). We bring good and a transportation mean to the Lower North Shore population as many villages don't have the road at all.

 

It's a ship that can carry up to 381 passengers but we have only 60 cabins (double or quad occupancy), mostly oceanview (no balconies, only 4 inside cabins). In the summer we have about 100 ''tourists'' but many locals also use the ship as a weekly bus to and from other villages and will be onboard for only a few hours to a day or two so won't book a room. We have a dining room (except during winter when it's closed), cafeteria, lounges with reclining seats (airplane type, but bigger. with small tv behind every seat) and a lounge more for socializing. The bar is open only in the summer for 1 hour per day but beer can be purchased at the cafeteria with a meal (as well as wine in the dining room). Expect no pool, casino or even activities onboard except for a movie here and then and some talks in the summer (about marine life and/or life/work onboard). At this time of the year we see whales and earlier in season we see small icebergs. We also ''see'' lots of mosquitos in season! It's more an adventure to remote location with great scenary than a floating resort.

 

I'm the Purser on the ship. Since we are only 38-44 crew members TOTAL, purser is a good position (I like it anyway) and schedule is not as crazy as on international ships; I mostly work a month then off for a month (paid only when onboard of course).

 

Of course, the number of cruises and cruise days listed above do NOT include when I am working aboard the ship, just my ''normal guest'' cruises.

bella.jpg.50ad6e273a627db4798dfb02b4c7eb0a.jpg

Edited by jp2001

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My first ship was Norwegian Dawn. I was looking for a cheap vacation (in my mind it would be an all-included 3-star resort or the like) but saw a good deal on a cruise (less than 500$ pp total for a 7-day cruise) out of New York City (which I can go to by long overnight bus and save the cost of the flight).

 

I liked it so much that I am now booked for my 14th cruise since then (107 cruise days). I will be Platinum on NCL for my next cruise (not bad, IMHO for a working 37yo who's dbf is seasick and won't cruise anymore).

 

Not only that, but I now WORK on a ship, the Bella Desgagnés. It is not a regular cruise ship; it's a cargo and passenger ship on the St.Lawrence River (Quebec, Canada). We bring good and a transportation mean to the Lower North Shore population as many villages don't have the road at all.

 

It's a ship that can carry up to 381 passengers but we have only 60 cabins (double or quad occupancy), mostly oceanview (no balconies, only 4 inside cabins). In the summer we have about 100 ''tourists'' but many locals also use the ship as a weekly bus to and from other villages and will be onboard for only a few hours to a day or two so won't book a room. We have a dining room (except during winter when it's closed), cafeteria, lounges with reclining seats (airplane type, but bigger. with small tv behind every seat) and a lounge more for socializing. The bar is open only in the summer for 1 hour per day but beer can be purchased at the cafeteria with a meal (as well as wine in the dining room). Expect no pool, casino or even activities onboard except for a movie here and then and some talks in the summer (about marine life and/or life/work onboard). At this time of the year we see whales and earlier in season we see small icebergs. We also ''see'' lots of mosquitos in season! It's more an adventure to remote location with great scenary than a floating resort.

 

I'm the Purser on the ship. Since we are only 38-44 crew members TOTAL, purser is a good position (I like it anyway) and schedule is not as crazy as on international ships; I mostly work a month then off for a month (paid only when onboard of course).

 

Of course, the number of cruises and cruise days listed above do NOT include when I am working aboard the ship, just my ''normal guest'' cruises.

 

Norwegian-Dawn1.jpg

 

NCL's Norwegian Dawn; delivered in 2002 after having been built at the Meyer Werft GmbH, Papenburg, Germany, after initially having been planned for Malaysia-based Star Cruises (NCL's part-owners) as SuperStar Scorpio. She was officially named in New York City by her godmother, TV and screen actress Kim Cattrall.

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Our first cruise was Freedom of the Seas, Jul 2013. We celebrated my birthday and our retirement. We weren't at all sure we'd like cruising. While driving back from PCO to MCO, DW told me to book another cruise as soon as we got home. We've got two booked.

 

Booked a Princess and a HAL cruise. Actually, looking more forward to the HAL cruise.

 

liberty-of-the-seas.jpg?fedd7a

 

RCI's Freedom of the Seas; delivered in 2006 after having been built at Aker Yards ASA, Turku, Finland. She was named in New York City by her godmother, Portland's Katherine Louise Calder, foster mother to some 400 children over the years

Edited by Copper10-8

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In 1989, the brand new to Princess, Sky Princess. It had been a Sitmar ship, and they were still giving out cards, pens, shirts with the Sitmar logo.

 

Sky%20Princess2.jpg

 

Princess Cruises' Sky Princess; delivered in 1984 as 'Fairsky' to Italy-based Societa Italiana Trasporti Marittimi (Stitmar Cruises) after having been built at Chantiers de Nord et de la Mediterranee, La Seyne-Sur Mer, France. She became 'Sky Princess' in 1988 when Princess Cruise Line took over Sitmar. In 2000 she received an internal transfer to P&O Australia and was renamed 'Pacific Sky'.

 

Six year later she became property of Spain's tour operator Pullmantur Cruceros and became 'Sky Wonder'. Her career with the Spaniards was not very successful and periods of lay-up in Piraeus and Marseille followed. In early 2013 she was sold for scrap, renamed 'Antic', and towed to the breakers at Aliaga, Turkey where she was cut up

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Nico's daughter, Beatrice (Beatrix?)

 

Yes, "Beatrix" is correct, and I can confirm that "van der Vorm" is also correct.

 

I knew Beatrix, slightly, when we were adolescents. My father was an executive for HAL in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and we crossed paths a few times.

 

The first was in (of all places) Anchorage, Alaska, when I was travelling with my father on a business trip that started in Seattle.

 

Let's travel in time back to the summer of 1971... (...woo woo woo...)

 

Dad and I flew from NY to Seattle to meet with a man named Chuck West. Mr. West was a self-made man who owned a company called "WestTours", which operated out of the Pacific Northwest. He flew us to Vancouver (BC) in his private plane (Chuck was also a pilot), and we made our way from there to Victoria, where we got on a WestTours (or WestLine) cruise ship--a small one by HAL standards, but still very nice--and made our way up the Alaskan panhandle, over the course of two or three days and nights, with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Haines, and Skagway.

 

THAT was MY first cruise ship. :-) Unfortunately, I cannot now recall the name.

 

We got off in Skagway (or was it Haines?) and took a narrow-gauge railway up to Whitehorse (Yukon), and the next day we departed on a two-day bus ride to Fairbanks. A day or two later, we flew to Anchorage, where my dad met with Chuck West and Nico van der Vorm. The idea was that now that we'd sampled the WestTours product to some degree, once we reached Anchorage Nico and my dad would negotiate with Chuck West over the proposed purchase of WestTours (or maybe just WestLine) by HAL.

 

Nico had brought Beatrix along with him (presumably for the same reason that my dad brought me: it was a good opportunity to travel; it was July and we were out of school) so they parked the two of us in an empty conference room while the men conducted business. It was a bit awkward--we were both only 14, and had never previously met--but her English was very good and there was no language barrier.

 

Some six weeks later, I was in Amsterdam with my family for a week, and for Dad, that was a working week--so one night we drove down to Rotterdam, to the van der Vorm's home, for dinner.

 

I had an older sister, and Beatrix had a younger brother or two (if I recall correctly) and after the meal, we kids retired to the room with the TV and the stereo. There was a live music show, in English, on TV (Ready Steady Go, or something) and when that ended, Beatrix pulled out some record albums. By then I was already getting seriously into rock music, but she played me something that was (a) completely unfamiliar, and (b) totally mind-blowing; Pink Floyd's "Relics"... LOL.

 

I don't mind admitting that I was completely enthralled with her at that point. She was a very cool girl, with awesomely cool albums and, if memory serves, she was quite pretty, just what you might imagine of a teenage Dutch girl, with her straight, cornsilk blonde hair and crystal-blue eyes, all of which was more than enough to dazzle any dorky 14 year old boy.

 

I don't believe we ever met again, but I had a strange experience about 10 years later in Boston, at a rock club called Jumpin' Jack Flash (or, perhaps, its prior incarnation, "Mister McNasty's") when I saw a girl sitting at the bar who was about my age and who looked A LOT like how I remembered Beatrix.

 

That's a long-shot, of course, and I did not approach her (she was deep in conversation with a guy, and frankly I was feeling kinda chicken anyway!), so we'll never know.

 

But it's not impossible. I seem to recall hearing that the van der Vorms landed in the US at some point before 1980 (in Greenwich, CT perhaps) but I really don't know if that's true. If it is, it's not a big stretch to imagine that Beatrix may have gone to college in Boston, or had settled here as a young adult. Boston was a great place for young adults back then.

 

A far more likely explanation is that it was not Beatrix, but some German college girl I'd never met... LOL. It's one of life's eternal mysteries, now. ;-)

Edited by Campbell McCowbell

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Our first cruise was on Carnival Celebration in October 1990. Miami - St Thomas - St Martin - San Juan. The cruise director was Rand Woodbury (son of Woody Woodbury). Rand was amazing. He was/is so talented and was the best entertainer - Comedy and magic - he had full command of the ship. Been on 30 plus cruises since and Rand remains the best cruise director we've ever had.

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Hi all,

 

our firstcruise was in 2012 on board the Queen Elizabeth.

Since than we are cruiseed on all Cunard ships.

 

Jan

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Costa magica, 2004

 

poslano sa mog Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

Edited by croatia

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Olympia of Greek Line April 1971

 

 

56 Cruises and Counting! Bon Voyage to my fellow CC's and smooth sailing.

Planning a vacay is almost as much fun as the vacay itself!!!

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I don't count the 1961 transatlantic crossing as a "cruise", we were moving to the UK and that was our means of transportation. I was 5 1/2 and I remember a room with 4 bunks. My sister (9) and I stayed in bed most of the time as we were seasick. It was 8 days of hell!!

 

My first pleasure cruise was in 1993 on the Monarch of the Seas. It was a Caribbean cruise out of Puerto Rico. It not only hooked us on cruising, it hooked us on balconies!!

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Our first cruise was in 1990 on the Cunard Countess. She sure was smaller than today's ships. We had terrific table mates and enjoyed a wonderful southern Caribbean cruise. Guess its like people say, you never forget your first one.

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I was an AB seaman from 1967 to 1981. I was on the MV Nordic Prince,

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, from 1973 to 1974.

I enjoyed my work aboard when I worked there as a deckhand.

Loved to cruise round the islands and met many nice pasansjerer in that time.

Only good memories of that time.

 

Regards: K.W. :) NordicPrince01_b.jpg.e0071aa7415eabe3258090bd6078411f.jpg

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I was an AB seaman from 1967 to 1981. I was on the MV Nordic Prince,

 

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, from 1973 to 1974.

 

I enjoyed my work aboard when I worked there as a deckhand.

 

Loved to cruise round the islands and met many nice pasansjerer in that time.

 

Only good memories of that time.

 

 

 

Regards: K.W. :) [ATTACH]401396[/ATTACH]

 

 

My first cruise (when I was 12) in 1989 was the Nordic Prince to Bermuda. Truly a classic cruise! So tiny by today's standards but a gem.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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I was an AB seaman from 1967 to 1981. I was on the MV Nordic Prince,

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, from 1973 to 1974.

I enjoyed my work aboard when I worked there as a deckhand.

Loved to cruise round the islands and met many nice pasansjerer in that time.

Only good memories of that time.

 

Regards: K.W. :) [ATTACH]401396[/ATTACH]

 

We honeymooned on the Nordic Prince in 1987. We have the postcard you posted! It was the most luxurious thing we had ever seen. We were in a tiny forward cabin with a porthole. :-)

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We also honeymooned on the Nordic Prince to Bermuda (ours was 1989). It was our first cruise. Our travel agent booked us into the cheapest cabin they had which was down on a lower deck right by the medical center. One might we opened our door to go to dinner and they were wheeling a dead body by. Anyway our travel agent assured us that even though the cabin was listed with two single beds only that if we insisted the steward could make it a double bed. He said don't take no for an answer. Unfortunately the only way the poor room steward could make a double bed was to take some crates and put them under to support the mattress. After one night we went back to singles. It was a great cruise with fantastic service and still was one of the best.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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I have never thought of our first sea journey as a " cruise" but I suppose it was. We travelled from Melbourne, Australia, to Bombay in India. This was in 1957 on the P & O ship Strathnaver. We had a cabin with six bunk beds in it. The dining room had bare wooden tables with a ridge around the edge to stop dishes falling off! I remember it was very rough most of the time. The worst part was when my younger sister said she had thrown my much loved teddy bear overboard. Luckily she had only hidden it in a drawer! Now we cruise on Holland America together in much more luxurious surroundings!

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My first voyage as a young man in his 20's was round the world on the

greatest P&O liner Canberra. My favorite place on the ship was the Cricketers tavern. On that voyage we went north from Sydney to Japan and Hong Kong and back to Sydney before continuing on to Southampton via the Panama Canal.

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:)A number of years ago you gave me information on who to contact to try to get Mariner status credit for my first "cruise" on HAL's s.s. Groote Beer August 7, 1956 from Rotterdam to Quebec and Montreal, now 60 1/2 years ago, as an immigrant to Canada.

I never followed it up, but want to do it now. But I have lost the information you provide. Please provide me that info again? Many thanks!

 

Sonja H (nee Smit)

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:)A number of years ago you gave me information on who to contact to try to get Mariner status credit for my first "cruise" on HAL's s.s. Groote Beer August 7, 1956 from Rotterdam to Quebec and Montreal, now 60 1/2 years ago, as an immigrant to Canada.

I never followed it up, but want to do it now. But I have lost the information you provide. Please provide me that info again? Many thanks!

 

Sonja H (nee Smit)

 

Morning Sonja;

 

Your best bet is to call HAL's Mariner Society at 1-800-547-9139. Since you're in Canada, you can also reach them at 206-281-3535 ext. 8353 and tell them your 1956 story.

 

 

 

ss Costa Rica Victory (1945-1971) Originally built by the Permanente Metals Co, Richmond, California for the United War Shipping Administration as Victory-class (improved Liberty-class version) troop ship/freighter Costa Rica Victory. She was commissioned in 1945, towards the end of World War II and managed by the American Hawaiian Steamship Co, New York. Her war time service however, was short lived and she was laid up and placed for sale in 1946.

 

She was purchased along, with her two sisters, ss Cranston Victory (renamed Zuiderkruis / Southern Cross) and ss La Grande Victory (renamed Waterman / Aquarius) in 1947 by the Dutch Government and used a troop and civilian transport to and from the Dutch East Indies (present Indonesia) and Dutch New Guinea. She was renamed Groote Beer for the constellation Big Dipper and, unlike Waterman and Zuiderkruis stayed under direct Dutch Government control N.V. Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland / Steamship Company Netherlands, Ltd. / Netherlands Line until 1952. She also made three voyages to Australia before her reconstruction commenced in November of 1951 in Amsterdam.

 

In November 1951, she was sent to the Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (NDSM)/Netherlands Dry-Dock Shipbuilding Company in Amsterdam where construction started to rebuilt her for general passenger use. An extra deck was added, she received a new bridge, and her original accommodations were gutted. In its place, she had cabins fitted to accommodate up to 830 passengers.

 

Still owned by the government but now managed by Rotterdam's Holland America Line under N.V. Scheepvaart Maatschappij Trans Oceaan/Trans Ocean Shipping Company Ltd., starting in June, 1952, she was then used to transport thousands of Dutch immigrants to the United States (New York City), Canada (Halifax, Nova Scotia's Pier 21 (Canada's Ellis Island), and to Quebec City and Montreal, and occasional runs to Australia. In 1961, Holland America outright purchased the Groote Beer from the Dutch Government and also assumed control over Trans Oceaan. In 1962, she and Waterman, were chartered as accommodation ships for the Commonwealth Games in Fremantle (Perth), Australia.

 

In 1963, she was sold by the Dutch Governmentand purchased by Greek shipping tycoon Yiannis Latsis aka John Spyridon Latsis and his family-owned Latsis Shipping Company. She was renamed Marianna IV and operated on another immigrant service, this time from Piraeus to Australia and New Zealand. In 1964 and 1965, she was chartered by the Atlantic Educational Program for four round-trip student voyages between Rotterdam and New York. For this charter, she received her old name of Groote Beer and Holland America Line once again acted as her agent. Back under Marianna IV, she was laid up at Eleusis Bay, Greece in March 1967. She was sold for scrap in 1970 and broken up at Eleusis in 1971.

 

gbeer.jpg

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Morning Sonja;

 

Your best bet is to call HAL's Mariner Society at 1-800-547-9139. Since you're in Canada, you can also reach them at 206-281-3535 ext. 8353 and tell them your 1956 story.

 

 

 

ss Costa Rica Victory (1945-1971) Originally built by the Permanente Metals Co, Richmond, California for the United War Shipping Administration as Victory-class (improved Liberty-class version) troop ship/freighter Costa Rica Victory. She was commissioned in 1945, towards the end of World War II and managed by the American Hawaiian Steamship Co, New York. Her war time service however, was short lived and she was laid up and placed for sale in 1946.

 

She was purchased along, with her two sisters, ss Cranston Victory (renamed Zuiderkruis / Southern Cross) and ss La Grande Victory (renamed Waterman / Aquarius) in 1947 by the Dutch Government and used a troop and civilian transport to and from the Dutch East Indies (present Indonesia) and Dutch New Guinea. She was renamed Groote Beer for the constellation Big Dipper and, unlike Waterman and Zuiderkruis stayed under direct Dutch Government control N.V. Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland / Steamship Company Netherlands, Ltd. / Netherlands Line until 1952. She also made three voyages to Australia before her reconstruction commenced in November of 1951 in Amsterdam.

 

In November 1951, she was sent to the Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (NDSM)/Netherlands Dry-Dock Shipbuilding Company in Amsterdam where construction started to rebuilt her for general passenger use. An extra deck was added, she received a new bridge, and her original accommodations were gutted. In its place, she had cabins fitted to accommodate up to 830 passengers.

 

Still owned by the government but now managed by Rotterdam's Holland America Line under N.V. Scheepvaart Maatschappij Trans Oceaan/Trans Ocean Shipping Company Ltd., starting in June, 1952, she was then used to transport thousands of Dutch immigrants to the United States (New York City), Canada (Halifax, Nova Scotia's Pier 21 (Canada's Ellis Island), and to Quebec City and Montreal, and occasional runs to Australia. In 1961, Holland America outright purchased the Groote Beer from the Dutch Government and also assumed control over Trans Oceaan. In 1962, she and Waterman, were chartered as accommodation ships for the Commonwealth Games in Fremantle (Perth), Australia.

 

In 1963, she was sold by the Dutch Governmentand purchased by Greek shipping tycoon Yiannis Latsis aka John Spyridon Latsis and his family-owned Latsis Shipping Company. She was renamed Marianna IV and operated on another immigrant service, this time from Piraeus to Australia and New Zealand. In 1964 and 1965, she was chartered by the Atlantic Educational Program for four round-trip student voyages between Rotterdam and New York. For this charter, she received her old name of Groote Beer and Holland America Line once again acted as her agent. Back under Marianna IV, she was laid up at Eleusis Bay, Greece in March 1967. She was sold for scrap in 1970 and broken up at Eleusis in 1971.

 

gbeer.jpg

Thanks once again John! I recently found the "List of Passengers" s.s GROOTE BEER 9128 tons Tuesday, August 7th, 1956 From Rotterdam to Quebec and Montreal (via Le Havre and Southampton) Directorate General of Shipping Holland-America-Line Agents. I came accross it when I looked through a box of old letters and documents left by my father.

Thanks for the history and the picture. How small she looks......and I used to think she was huge!

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Thanks once again John! I recently found the "List of Passengers" s.s GROOTE BEER 9128 tons Tuesday, August 7th, 1956 From Rotterdam to Quebec and Montreal (via Le Havre and Southampton) Directorate General of Shipping Holland-America-Line Agents. I came accross it when I looked through a box of old letters and documents left by my father.

Thanks for the history and the picture. How small she looks......and I used to think she was huge!

 

Good luck with the Mariners Society en het beste! ;)

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My first cruise was in 1981 at 8 years old. My parents took me on Sitmar Cruises, Fairwind. Was a cozy inside room where I got to sleep in an upper berth. Everyone treated you so nice and even at 8 years old I remember the fantastic Italian food. Some cooked table side. The first time you ordered something like chocolate milk, they brought it each evening without asking. We went to the Caribbean. My parents were hooked and I was too. Would love to go every year but it averages every 2. Heading to the Koningsdam on HAL this coming Sunday!

 

 

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