Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
WCB

Circumnavigate The Globe in 123 days with Bill & Mary Ann - 2011 World Cruise

Recommended Posts

Hi Mary Ann and Bill,

 

I have only just caught up with your posts but will be reading them avidly from now on. So far you seem to be having a wonderful cruise with lots of improvements from other years.

 

We are going to be following in some of your footprints as we will be visiting Easter Island in April and then Lima and Manta plus Limon. We will be going in the opposite direction from Tahiti to Ft. Lauderdale.

 

We loved our African trip in May last year and thank you so much for all your help and advice.

 

Jennie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your posts. Love all the detail in them. You are not missing any good weather here at home. We live in the Bay Area, and have had days of cold - and fog! Enjoy - we're envious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really enjoying this. Just found your 2009 one and enjoyed that as well.

 

thanks so much for sharing with us.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just found your blog-my cousins Mike and Diane are on your cruise-he is a retired navy cmndr...she is an extremely talented craft artist....perhaps you have run into each other? Supposedly they are blogging too but we have not found their's and are enjoying yours!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Enjoying your travel log. Question is Stryker in the piano bar. Havent heard from him in a month. MLP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Report # 18 January 20, 2011 Thursday Easter Island, Chile

 

Captain Olaf has repeatedly mentioned that the sea swell at Easter Island was being reported as significant, days before we arrived here. We could detect some doubt in his tone, that we may not be able to tender ashore there.

 

Well, here we were in the bay outside of the main settlement of Hanga Roa early this morning. The scheduled arrival time was 8am, but we did not hear any tenderboats being lowered. Around 9am, Bruce, our Cruise Director, announced that it was indeed too rough and dangerous to attempt landings onshore.

 

We headed for the lower promenade deck to see what was happening only to discover that nothing was happening. Oh boy, this did not look good. So many passengers were crowded at the railings, as if watching this non-event would make something happen soon.

 

For us, it was a good time to go to breakfast in the dining room. As we were enjoying our omelettes and toast, the ship began leaving the bay. There was a gasp from the guests, who were really disappointed that it was a no-go. However, Captain Olaf had one trick up his sleeve, of course with the help of the port agent. He sailed the ship up to the north coast to a small beach at Anakena Cove. He publicly explained that the swell may be less there, and God-willing , there may be a chance to set up a tender landing there.

 

OK, back to the promenade deck. Here we watched the expert sailors offload a floating pontoon, attach it to a tenderboat, and proceed to watch them bring it to the white sandy beach. Two more tenderboats bobbed up and down in the little cove, waiting to see how they could manuever a safe landing spot. In fact, the Captain was on one of these boats to access the situation personally. He would not risk safety over the desire to go here.

 

Once back on the ship, the Captain took a while before he announced that it looked good enough to make the landing work. That is, with one exception. He asked our cooperation for only the able-bodied passengers to go ashore. We have heard this request on past cruises, and found that many chose to ignore it. That was not the case today. Who wants to risk possible broken bones insisting on doing the impossible? And that applied to the physically-challenged guests who had booked a shore excursion here. He promised they would get a full refund with no penalties, which is more than fair.

 

Here's a little bit of history of this island in the middle of nowhere. It has been estimated that Polynesians from the Malay Archipelago were driven by invaders to this area around the 2nd century. Some scientists say the island was settled in 300AD, while others claim it was 1200AD. This only adds to the mystery surrounding the culture. At some point in time, the society collapsed, due to the lack of food and natural resources.

 

Over 1000 enormous statues, called moais, exist here. They were carved from solid volcanic basalt, transported somehow, and erected several miles from the quarry. Most of them stand upright, placed on rock platforms, facing the island. They are sacred to the people here. So sacred, that tourists are not allowed to walk too close, or heaven forbid, sit on the platforms. Some of the sites are cemeteries, where the moais may have been carved in the likeness of a venerated hero.

 

Now, back to where we tendered. The ship was cleared by 11:30am, and we were already in line to board the first tenderboat. Even though we did not have a tour booked, our 4 star Mariner status gave us the privilege of priority debarking. The ride was short to the little piece of paradise called Anakena Beach. Our sailors had secured the small pontoon to the concrete steps on the beach, then a tenderboat was tied to that. We exited our boat, walked through the stationary tenderboat, stepped onto the pontoon, and were safely onshore with the help of the crew. Piece of cake.

 

Since we had been here and thoroughly toured the island in 2007, we had decided to take a walk to see the town of Hanga Roa. Now we were about 13 miles away from town, so that was out. Why waste any time going to town, when we had this gem of a beach to enjoy? So we joined the few Chilean tourists that were swimming and sunbathing wth their families today. We easily recognized the area from where we had a huge tented picnic BBQ four years ago. None of that was set up today, because HAL chose not to offer an all day excursion here.

 

After taking at least a million photos of the moais, water, palm trees,and drop dead scenery, we hiked up the hillside to check out the many souvenier tables. One lady vendor was fluent with English, so she told us that they were most happy to see the ship drop anchor at this location instead of town. She added that only 8 cruise ships visit the island yearly now, and most tourists arrive by plane. And we did find a few treasures on the tables........an Easter Island t-shirt and a seashell necklace, our favorite keepsakes.

 

Three shacks sat on this hillside, where the locals were selling refreshments and local cuisine. Horses, dogs, and a flock of chickens roamed freely around the shacks too. You never know when one or more of them would end up on the BBQ.

 

After spending some time walking the surf, and visiting with friends Alan and Sandra, we continued our hike up the hillside to get some better photos. It was also a good idea to get out of the sun, even though the weather was comfortable, it was still warm. It was not the day to have forgotton to use the sunscreen. We did, and will never do that again! One of us got quite toasted. There was actually a sign on the beach, stating the UV rating of the day. Does you no good if you forgot the lotion, duh....You almost have to create a list of things to do and bring well before exiting the ship. Guess we are not in the full swing of traveling yet.

 

Walking up the slope between the neatly-planted row of non-indigenous palm trees, we had to be careful of the many deposits of horse manure. It appears that the horses are allowed to roam freely, grazing on whatever grasses they can find. And another thing we deducted, was the white sand on the beach and hillsides doesn't naturally belong here. Searching the recesses of our minds, we seem to remember that this complex was created by the British many years ago, and long since abandoned. It has become part of the park system now, and a popular spot for the locals to visit.

 

A few birds appeared briefly, hovering overhead. They were a type of hawk, we believe. They perched on the roadside fence posts just long enough to get a photo. Besides the horse, that was all of the wildlife to be seen today, and that includes fish in the surf. There were none.

 

We checked out the three tables of treasures near the tenderboat landing, before heading back to the ship by 4pm. The items for sale were every size imaginable of moais, wood carvings, and seashell jewelry. One young boy actually modeled a chicken feather shell necklace, thinking he might entice us to purchase it. Ah, not this time, thanks.

 

After grabbing a bite to eat in the Lido, we wandered to the aft deck to watch the sailaway festivities. There was nothing happening, probably because the Captain extended our stay until 8pm. In fact, the afternoon tour had left at 4pm, and would not be back until 8pm. As it turned out, we did not sail until after 9:30pm. There was quite a swell, and we think the tenderboats as well as the pontoon probably had trouble being uploaded.

 

The Crows Nest was busy again tonight, because it was Happy Hour with 2 for 1 drinks. Almost 90 year old Jim M. joined us, since his friends Handler and Leslie were not there yet. He is quite the character......witty and quick to the draw type of guy. We all laughed to Jim's remark after Michelle, his pretty tablemate from Canada, mentioned that the island's population was over 4000, and not 3000 like our newsletter had stated. Jim explained that the islanders had nothing better to do there, so they keep busy making babies!! In reality, most of the natives either work for the government or the military services, keeping them well occupied.

 

All in all, the day ended positively, with everyone pleased with Captain Olaf. He even got a round of applause from the dining room passengers and crew, when he congratulated the crew on a job well done in a public announcement prior to leaving the island. Well deserved, we think. And speaking of the dining room, we ordered the best entrees for dinner. They were sweet and sour chicken, with a side order of lasagne to split. But the best item on the dessert menu was the cappachino bomb, a frozen hunk of ice cream surrounded with a dark chocolate shell. We missed those while on the Prinsendam last year, because they never served them.

 

Two days at sea, and we will be scenic cruising Pitcairn Island.

 

Mary Ann & Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mary Ann and Bill,

 

So pleased that you were able to go ashore. I just hope our Captain is as persistent as Captain Olaf if there is a big swell in April and thinks of all the possibilities before deciding not to land. We missed the Falklands back in 2008 because it was too rough and so we are crossing our fingers that we will have luck on our side in April.

 

Jennie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aussie Gal

Mary Ann and Bill,So pleased that you were able to go ashore. I just hope our Captain is as persistent as Captain Olaf if there is a big swell in April and thinks of all the possibilities before deciding not to land. We missed the Falklands back in 2008 because it was too rough and so we are crossing our fingers that we will have luck on our side in April.Jennie

 

I agree with you Jennie.

An excellent effort on the part of the Captain. Tendering ashore at Easter Island is not easy at the best of times . Top marks to Captain Olaf.

It would have been such a shame to miss this highlight of the voyage .

When we tendered ashore from Amsterdam in 2003 , each tender had to have a local pilot to negotiate the very small harbour . Its nice to know there is another spot you can get ashore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bill and Mary Ann,

 

I think the Michelle you mentioned in your post is a friend of mine. Is she a French Canadian who is dancing all the time? She is also blogging from the ship, in French on another site, but she is much less diligent than you are, so I am learning a lot more from you about this wonderful cruise.

 

I wonder if you would help me play a little friendly joke on her. She is having a birthday on Jan 24, and as you know she is travelling alone. Could you wish her a Happy Birthday on that day, without telling her how you know? Knowing her she is going to search high and low to figure out how you know. I also had bet that she would be invited to the captain's table before her birthday, (both of us of course knowing full well that it is very unlikely). She pays the champagne if she is, and I pay if she is not. For once I was hoping to have to pay.

 

I hope you continue to enjoy this wonderful trip. Reading your posts I feel like I am there with you all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

another great post! Cudos to the captain for succeeding in the tender. Glad you were able to do it. Tenders are always a challenge and a disappointment when you can't go.

 

thanks so much:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Report # 19 January 21, 2011 Friday Day at Sea

 

The Amsterdam is now heading towards the island of Pitcairn, not for a port stop, but for a possible native boarding. Specifically, some of the descendants of Fletcher Christian and other mutineers from the HMS Bounty, will come to the ship, set up tables around the Lido Pool, and sell their wares to the inquisitive passengers. It was amazing when in 2007, the 90 year old great grandmother of Fletcher Christian, many times over, climbed the rope ladder to gain access to the ship's platform. Hope it is a go for this coming Sunday.

 

Today turned out to be another beautiful and comfortable day at sea. We had the first of many time changes that will occur in the following days. This should have happened before we arrived at Easter Island, but it did not. Belonging to Chile, the island chooses to be on the same time as the mother country. Therefore, the clocks will be set back one hour for many days. Hey, it's better than putting the clocks ahead every day!

 

People seemed to be laying low this morning after a busy day spent on Easter Island. Since the tours ran late, some did not get back to the ship until 8pm. Fewer of us were back on the sundeck, even though the weather was near perfect. One thing that we have noticed about the new decking by the aft pool, is that it is capable of burning the living daylights out of your feet in two seconds! Not made of teak, the plastic-type substitute absorbs the heat to the point of being able to fry an egg on it. It does look nice though.

 

Yesterday, we all received three proposed itineraries for the 2013 world cruise. We also understand that the HAL cruisers got the forms online for voting. We preferred the A itinerary, but from past experiences with these questionnaires, the final itinerary is usually a combination of all three., or two in this instance, since the C one goes eastbound. So far, that one has not been chosen by anyone we have talked to. Eastbound means the clocks go forward every few days, and most folks do not handle that as well as going back. Especially the crew. They lose lots of sleep unfortunately. Perhaps by the time this trip is ended, the 2013 will be announced.

 

At the Crows Nest between 7 and 8pm, the dance class members have been practicing their line dance steps. It is not sitting too well with some of the guests, who go there to have conversations with friends. There is no denying that the noise level is cranked up several notches, making visiting impossible. It is entertaining if you like to watch people dance...some good, some not so good. The only thing that will change this practice is the drop in drink revenue, from the passengers that will go to the Ocean Bar instead. As for us, we are not complaining, and definitely not moving to another lounge.

 

Our table was finally full again tonight, with our Aussie buddies, and Joan, Sue, and Judi back. They all had a long day with tours on the island, so late dinner was not their first priority. We were treated to a nice surprise, compliments of Captain Olaf and hotel manager, Henk Mensink. Red and white wine was served to us before dinner was served. On the table was a card with a nice message. Here it is. Half a week ago we said self service was a "no"

You understood, cooperated and complied

and washed, Purelled and self-denied

We cleaned, protected and defended

and smelled the Virox until suspended

But let's be merry and not have fear

that flu-like symptoms ended here

So, have plenty of wine "on us" for dinner

cheers, we all came out a winner!

The gesture was much appreciated by all, and we hope they are correct that the "heebie jeebies" are gone. For us, we will continue to use the Purell until the trip ends in May!

 

Mary Ann & Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're just about a month out from boarding the Amsterdam in Hong Kong. Reading your blog makes me even more excited. Enjoy your updates about the ship, activities and food. Glad that bug has disappeared!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Bill and Mary Ann,

 

I think the Michelle you mentioned in your post is a friend of mine. Is she a French Canadian who is dancing all the time? She is also blogging from the ship, in French on another site, but she is much less diligent than you are, so I am learning a lot more from you about this ...

 

I hope you continue to enjoy this wonderful trip. Reading your posts I feel like I am there with you all.

 

Mandarine Bleue,

 

If your friend's blog is open to anyone to read, would you mind posting a link to it? I also love reading travel blogs and can't read enough.

 

Also, thanks MaryAnn and Bill, I can't believe you have the energy after all of those shore excursions, to post...but I'm grateful that you do. I really enjoy reading about all your "trips" of a lifetime.

Edited by RalphWiggum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mandarine Bleue,

 

If your friend's blog is open to anyone to read, would you mind posting a link to it? I also love reading travel blogs and can't read enough.

 

 

Unfortunately her blog is only for friends. But as I said, you are not missing much because she only posts occasionnally. To much dancing I think. Have you seen this link from the Crystal board? It is great. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1326516

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Report # 19 January 21, 2011 Friday Day at Sea

 

The Amsterdam is now heading towards the island of Pitcairn, not for a port stop, but for a possible native boarding. Specifically, some of the descendants of Fletcher Christian and other mutineers from the HMS Bounty, will come to the ship, set up tables around the Lido Pool, and sell their wares to the inquisitive passengers. It was amazing when in 2007, the 90 year old great grandmother of Fletcher Christian, many times over, climbed the rope ladder to gain access to the ship's platform. Hope it is a go for this coming Sunday.

 

Today turned out to be another beautiful and comfortable day at sea. We had the first of many time changes that will occur in the following days. This should have happened before we arrived at Easter Island, but it did not. Belonging to Chile, the island chooses to be on the same time as the mother country. Therefore, the clocks will be set back one hour for many days. Hey, it's better than putting the clocks ahead every day!

 

People seemed to be laying low this morning after a busy day spent on Easter Island. Since the tours ran late, some did not get back to the ship until 8pm. Fewer of us were back on the sundeck, even though the weather was near perfect. One thing that we have noticed about the new decking by the aft pool, is that it is capable of burning the living daylights out of your feet in two seconds! Not made of teak, the plastic-type substitute absorbs the heat to the point of being able to fry an egg on it. It does look nice though.

 

Yesterday, we all received three proposed itineraries for the 2013 world cruise. We also understand that the HAL cruisers got the forms online for voting. We preferred the A itinerary, but from past experiences with these questionnaires, the final itinerary is usually a combination of all three., or two in this instance, since the C one goes eastbound. So far, that one has not been chosen by anyone we have talked to. Eastbound means the clocks go forward every few days, and most folks do not handle that as well as going back. Especially the crew. They lose lots of sleep unfortunately. Perhaps by the time this trip is ended, the 2013 will be announced.

 

At the Crows Nest between 7 and 8pm, the dance class members have been practicing their line dance steps. It is not sitting too well with some of the guests, who go there to have conversations with friends. There is no denying that the noise level is cranked up several notches, making visiting impossible. It is entertaining if you like to watch people dance...some good, some not so good. The only thing that will change this practice is the drop in drink revenue, from the passengers that will go to the Ocean Bar instead. As for us, we are not complaining, and definitely not moving to another lounge.

 

Our table was finally full again tonight, with our Aussie buddies, and Joan, Sue, and Judi back. They all had a long day with tours on the island, so late dinner was not their first priority. We were treated to a nice surprise, compliments of Captain Olaf and hotel manager, Henk Mensink. Red and white wine was served to us before dinner was served. On the table was a card with a nice message. Here it is. Half a week ago we said self service was a "no"

You understood, cooperated and complied

and washed, Purelled and self-denied

We cleaned, protected and defended

and smelled the Virox until suspended

But let's be merry and not have fear

that flu-like symptoms ended here

So, have plenty of wine "on us" for dinner

cheers, we all came out a winner!

The gesture was much appreciated by all, and we hope they are correct that the "heebie jeebies" are gone. For us, we will continue to use the Purell until the trip ends in May!

 

Mary Ann & Bill

 

Now that is a very nice gesture. :):) If the NA had done that at some point, people might not have resented the NORO as much on our cruise.

 

Love the poem:) and the post, of course

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unfortunately her blog is only for friends. But as I said, you are not missing much because she only posts occasionnally. To much dancing I think. Have you seen this link from the Crystal board? It is great. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1326516

 

FWIW, I'm on the next Crystal segment[Papeete-Auckland], greatly looking forward to meeting Keith, and planning my own account:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1341036

 

There will be pretty much 3 accounts of the same area since we'll be 3-6 days behind Bill and Mary Ann.

 

Roy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Report # 20 January 22, 2011 Saturday Day at Sea

 

We had another beautiful day at sea today as we head west towards Pitcairn Island. There has been a medium swell that sure can rock you to sleep at night. Speaking of sleep, we got an extra hour of it again last night. We will be gifted another hour back tonight. At this rate, we will be eating dinner at breakfast time and lunch in the morning. To complicate things, sometime next week, we will lose a whole day when we cross the international dateline. Then we won't know what day it is too! Oh yeah, we can always check the carpet in the elevator, right?

 

The hilight of the evening was a most welcomed and enjoyed cocktail party compliments of our travel agency. Hosts Ellen and Tom greeted us and pinned our shirts with magnetized name tags. It was our first chance since leaving Ft. Lauderdale to meet with half of the members of our group. There are so many of us that the party is split in two.....one before the first dinner seating, and ours before the late seating.

 

Delicious hors d'oeuvres of bitterballen, chicken pate, little cheese quiches, brie on rye, and tempura shrimps were served to all. Glasses of wine, champagne, and drinks of your choice never went empty. We met some new people who were first time sailing with this group. They were quite pleased that we were all such fun cruisers. Many from the staff attended the party as well as Captain Olaf. The hour went by swiftly, with only one problem.......the dancers were back, and the music made conversation extremely difficult. Our hosts made brief speeches of welcome, then we were off to dinner.

 

For the first time this cruise, we, along with the prompting of Ellen, introduced our tablemates to "cork-forking". The look on their faces was priceless, since they had little or no idea of what we were talking about. Wayne, our Aussie buddy, already knew about the game from reading our prior reports. He was so thrilled to participate. Anyway, the object of the game is to launch a wine bottle cork, using a fork, and land it in the center flower arrangement. Silly? You bet, but it was so much fun. Wayne was so proud when he scored with the second try. We followed with the baba ghanoush song, that we made up in 2008. Why baba ghanoush? Well, it happened to be on the appetizer section of the menu that evening, and we found the name very funny. Surely, we will do this many more evenings, but only when most of the dining room empties. We did earn some pretty strange glances from those who were in hearing distance!

 

We missed the show again tonight, but will try to get some opinions on previous performances.

 

If all goes well, we should be at Pitcairn Island tomorrow.

 

Mary Ann & Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love it! We're very happy to hear that the tradition continues. If I remember correctly, it was Bill Fox who started both CFing and Baba Ghanoush! Most people around us, the crew, and the officers/guests who came to the table all joined in and some would not leave the table until that cork was forked! Keep the tradition going.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Amsterdam , in the Miraflores Locks, Panama Canal.

(captured live from the canals webcams)

 

Thank you very much, David, for posting the pics. My sister and BIL are on the ship from Ft. Lauderdale to New Zealand where they will disembark to spend a month exploring NZ. I had clicked onto the port cams hoping to see them go thru the canal but missed them so thrilled that you did. I've copied the pics into a word doc to show my sister when they return home. A friend had done this for us when we were on our Baltic cruise and I found it just so much fun to see the ship which we were actually on at that moment in time.

 

I haven't had much luck finding other port cams along the way but hope to find them at Auckland.

 

Thanks again.

 

WCB: Thank you for blogging about your trip. I can pretend I'm along for the voyage with my sister and BIL.

 

Sandy :)

Sandy :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Report # 21 January 23, 2011 Sunday Scenic Cruising Pitcairn Island

 

Today was going to be a very special one. Not only were we going to see Pitcairn Island, we were also arriving on "Bounty Day", the 221st anniversary of the burning of the infamous HMS Bounty in 1790. This is the island where Fletcher Christian and his cronies, Warren, Young, and Brown, mutinied from the tyranny of Captain Bligh. Thus the adventurous movie, "Mutiny of the Bounty" was created and re-created over the years. Sure, the movie version was not exactly how things occurred, but we all loved watching the flick anyway.

 

The weather could not have been more delightful.........warm, slightly humid, with a gentle wind blowing, and no rain. How lucky was that? The Amsterdam sailed into Bounty Bay, where we understand the wreckage of the HMS Bounty still remains. The plan was to have the 46 or so islanders come to the ship in a longboat. We watched the shoreline being pounded by huge waves, thinking it may be too rough for them to launch their boat. But no, they appeared from a road where a boatshed was, which was situated behind a small breakwater. The motorized longboat was loaded with the able-bodied islanders along with their many treasures to sell. They had to climb a rope ladder to gain entrance into the ship's A deck.

 

By 10am, the island deck sale was ready to go in the Lido pool area. This was exactly what happened in 2007. Here are some words to describe this melee........frantic, crowded beyond belief, pushing, shoving, your-last-chance-to buy-anything-ever sale!! We took the time prior to the sale to talk to islander, Meralda Warren, who introduced us to a greatxgreat grandson of Fletcher Christian. We inquired about his mother, Irma, who we had met in 2007. At the time, we thought she was about 90 years old, but she was actually 80 then. He happily informed us that she is 84 now, and still thriving on the island, although, she was not able to board today, afraid she could not climb the rope ladder! These natives are a sturdy bunch to survive on this lonely island of 2 miles across.

 

Their treasures for sale included t-shirts and hats, along with carvings made from a wood called miro, imported from nearby Henderson Island. The nice carvings were mainly wildlife and ships, boats, canes, and tableware.One table held pricey black pearls, but unless you knew your pearls, it probably was not the best place to buy these. Another specialty item sold here was honey from a strain of placid, disease-free bees. "Delectable Bounty" is the name of the honey and is exported to New Zealand and the UK. Besides fishing, the natives produce quantities of pinapples, mangoes, bananas, and papayas. What is interesting is the fact that there is no potable water on this basalt, volcanic island. They depend on rainwater and cisterns to store it.

 

At 11am, Andrew Christian and Kerry Young gave a guided pictorial talk in the Queens Lounge. We are still waiting for that commentary to be televised on our stateroom TV. Another new offer was to have our passports stamped with the Pitcairn stamp for $10. We think that may have been done for free four years ago. We were gifted two Pitcairn collector's stamps yesterday, which could be used to send a postcard today from the island. Tom, our host, sent one and was guaranteed delivery in 6 weeks (slow boat to China style) to the USA. Actually, the sale of stamps and coins were a major source of income for these people in the past.

 

We watched diligently from the aft pool deck for the islanders to pack it in and head home. Pack it in they did by 2pm! Captain Olaf sent them back with generous rations of chicken, beef, eggs, fresh vegetables, sodas, beer, and booze! Lots of booze! And lots of ice cream for the 10 kids that live there. Needless to say, they left here very happy, not only loaded with supplies, but with thousands of dollars of cash from their healthy sales. What a fun day for all.

 

The Amsterdam left, with several blasts of the horn by Capain Olaf. It wasn't long before the island faded away on the horizon, becoming so small and almost undetectable. It's no wonder that it took a young teenage midshipman, sailing on the HMS Swallow in 1767, to spot the island, which became named after him, Robert Pitcairn.

 

One negative thing about sailing in this part of the world is not being able to receive signals from CNN, FOX, or the movie channels. However, today was also football day with four teams vying for spots in the Super Bowl next month. They were able to move the satellite dishes to bring the games to us in the Sports Bar and room TVs. There were many happy campers, trying to enjoy it all today.

 

We missed the 2 for 1 cocktail time in the Crows Nest, involved with trying to send and receive emails. Darn, it gets frustrating, as well as time consuming. New friends Brigette and Maurice, thanked us for not going because they were able to take our seats, although they did miss us, they claimed.

 

Dinnertime was also a big event with the entree of a 22 ounce bone-in ribeye steak. We had saved our appetites all day for this delicious treat, and we were not disappointed. Unfortunately, we were too bushed to attend the final performance of the Horizons, the Motown group singers. We had heard they put on a very good show. It was easy to spot these fellows on the ship, since they all looked like NFL linebackers instead of vocalists!

 

Remember we told you that we were bug free now? Well, tonight after dinner, the waiters were getting ready to spray the dining room again. And when we got to our deck, items were in place for fogging the hallways by masked room stewards. Wonder what they are not telling us now???

 

We have two lazy days at sea now as we wind our way towards Tahiti.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great enjoyment Bill Y Mary Ann....

 

 

I just hope that the spraying is for nought - but the writing (or the bugs) may be on the wall. the one bad thing I have found on HAL , when there's a bug, there is little communication other than wash your hands.

 

Hope it is just a sanitation precaution for your sakes.

 

Your trip sounds so wonderful. thank you for letting us cruise with you :):)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for telling us all about your amazing trip. You are very luck to go to places that few have even heard about. I hope the bug situation gets under control soon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Report # 22 January 24, 2011 Monday Day at Sea

 

We woke up to a pretty overcast and cloudy morning, but things sure changed later on to brighten the day. The fun started upon opening our door this morning to go to breakfast. A big colorful happy birthday sign had been stuck on the door for all to see. It appears that Tom, our most friendly host, has been busy very early this morning. Yes, another birthday has found me, Mary Ann. Yeah, 39 once again, a phrase my dad always used back in the good old days, thanks to Jack Benny. Golly, back then, 39 sounded so old to me. Not now...that's still a kid!

 

The weather improved enough by noon, so after our walk, we hauled ourselves up to the pool deck. There is nothing better than being able to relax in the newer lounges, reading a book, and scanning the horizon for any signs of sealife. It was very apparent that we are in the middle of nowhere, since all we spotted were the turquoise waters left behind from the ship's wake.

 

Happenings on the ship included another talk by Melvyn Foster on the subject of Captain Cook, who made his way everywhere in the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean. Eddy and Callista, the flower experts, gave a demo on arrangements. They have to be the most talented and artistic flower arrangers we have ever seen. Passengers have made it a point to take photos of their work, which is placed all around the public decks. Trivia is held twice a day, and we have heard that the questions are near impossible. Try this one. How many body piercings does the man have who holds the record? How about 4000? Wow. Who knew? Bingo is held everyday at 4pm. but it is very low-key on this trip.

 

Cocktail time was busy in the Crows Nest. It was nice to know that we were missed last night, especially when the drinks were 2 for 1 again. Boy, is that filling this lounge or what? Also, it was sure nice that everyone dressed formally for my birthday! No, really it was "Mutiny on the Bounty" or pirates night. A few brave passengers dressed like pirates for the role, but none more than Aussie Rhonda, a quite tall and vivacious blonde. She had begun roaming the hall before 5pm, looking for potential victims to "kidnap". From what we saw, she found some in the Crows Nest, including our friend Pat, who was dragged to the dancefloor for a quick go-around. He recently asked us to stop him if he is dancing, because it meant that he had way too many Long Island iced teas! No way would we approach Miss Rhonda, or we might be the next victims!

 

At dinner, we had the company of a young officer, but coming in late, we missed his job description. We always know when there are 11 at the table, instead of 10. The late-comers, like us, cannot pull their chairs close to the table. I was surprised by the many cards and little gifts I received, especially since I thought no one knew it was my special day. The wine flowed as we enjoyed our entrees of turkey cordon bleu.

 

And as usual, a little birthday cake was presented to me, and the waiters sang the 2 birthday songs with much vigor. The waiters were dressed in their pirate costumes, with faces painted with mustaches and beards. Yam, our waiter, resembled Johnny Depp, and absolutely loved the comparison as he posed for several photos. As you just read, I referred to the cake as "little". This was of course, a nice gesture, but where did the large cakes from the past go? The last time we did birthdays, we had a double-decker strawberry filled, white chocolate decorated masterpiece. It was sufficient for 10 people. The cake now is perhaps 6 inches by 8 inches, with a small bite for each of us. Are they down-sizing, or just trying to save our waistlines?

 

The entertainment tonight was the Amsterdam Singers and Dancers, and Diane Fast (not Stryker) performed in the Piano Bar as she does nightly. Nightcap on Nine, or the Crows Nest from 9 - midnite if it is 2 for 1 drinks, has kept some of our tablemates out until 2 or 3am! We don't see them until noon the following day!!

 

The formal night presents were on our bed when we got home. They were safety travel pouches for documents, money, and passports attached with neck straps to be worn under clothing. They may be more practical for a woman, since men usually don't like wearing purses.

 

One more lazy day at sea, then we will be in paradise................Tahiti!

 

Mary Ann & Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mary Ann,

 

Happy birthday for yesterday. How wonderful to be celebrating it on a round the world cruise! It sounds as though you had a good one. I hope that the year ahead is full of lots of fun, plenty of happiness and good health.

 

Jennie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a previous HAL cruise the Windows Digital Workshop instructor allowed us to use the large computer monitors to share photos of the adventure with a dozen-or-so ship mates in an exclusive ‘after-hours’ gathering. For a couple hours we had a fabulous time taking turns showing our best pictures. (We brought a bottle of wine also for the instructor who of course stayed to monitor use of the equipment. He enjoyed the slide shows.) It was such a good experience we recommended it be available to all passengers to use when display equipment is idle, PERHAPS even the Franz Halls Lounge (Now wouldn't THAT be fun.) ;) Although we are not yet aboard Amsterdam we believe the Digital Workshop instructor on this World Cruise is Jeff. He may have a different take on allowing passengers to share images of their travels ashore using workshop monitors. Has anyone had luck sharing travel images using idle display equipment aboard the ship? :confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...