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Join Pete and Judy on their FIRST World Cruise on the Amsterdam

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Laughing at myself right now! Because of your "name" the-inside-cabin, all I was thinking was there was no way I would survive 133 days in an inside room!!! I am so happy for you both!

 

I was doing the same thing Kathie.,

Best wishes for a fantastic cruise. I will be following along faithfully.

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We are off the coast of Miami heading south. More in the AM ships internet permitting. Last of the USA cell phone service fading fast

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Bon Voyage! Sleep well, first night of an exciting journey ahead, and we will be following your adventures!

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You can take on as much wine as you like, in carry on, for $18 a bottle. One bottle is free if you drink it in your cabin. No more than 750ml per bottle....no beer or hard stuff either. I will be lugging this 37 lb box around - good exercise!

 

Looking forward to following your blog! I'm on the 2017 WC so this will be fun to follow!

 

You'd think they would set up special rules for WC for wine. I mean, on a 7 day cruise a couple can bring 2 bottles (1 each person) but for 100+ days still only a total of 2 free bottles. Boggles my little brain. Corkage fee of $18 is steep, too, IMO.

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Really enjoying your thread and loving the fact that you actually answer questions posed by your readers.

Yes! I love it when people who are doing "Live from ..." threads chat back.

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Am I the only one that has checked CC 3-4 times today to see how Judy and Pete are liking the WC? They must be having so much fun!!!!! Cherie

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Am I the only one that has checked CC 3-4 times today to see how Judy and Pete are liking the WC? They must be having so much fun!!!!! Cherie

 

 

I totally agree! So anxious to hear how it is going! And if I am having a great time. After all, I am with them till the end!!!

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Hi all!

 

I'm following along too as I'll never be doing a World cruise but want to see the World. A former neighbour of mine is on board in an inside cabin.

Have a great cruise!

 

~ Jo ~ :)

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Thanks for taking us along on your cruise. We'll be following along, hope this is a cruise of a life time.

Edited by PathfinderEss

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I totally agree! So anxious to hear how it is going! And if I am having a great time. After all, I am with them till the end!!!

 

Jeff posted his frustration about the internet again on his blog today. Obviously it has not improved. Perhaps Pete and Judy are having problems connecting.

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Internet slow. Sorry for slow posting pictures avail when internet speed picks up

 

Checking in! Oh what a day! Day 1 of the Grand World Voyage.

 

The day we have been anticipating for over a year has arrived. We were now shifting from the Grand World Voyage planning phase to execution, but always mindful that this is joyful journey to be savored.

 

We enjoyed a room service breakfast and finished repacking our bags. After we arrived in the room yesterday, we took a quick inventory of everything so if something was missing or forgotten we would have time to replace before we left Fort Lauderdale. But we were too tired to repack everything the

night before, so we had to do it this morning.

 

Let me pause for a second and give you an overview of the entire cruise. We leave today, Jan 5th and arrive back in Fort Lauderdale 115 days from now on April 30th. We will stay on the ship for another 16 days as the ship sails back to San Diego, arriving May 16th, before she heads up north for the Alaska summer season. We will get off in San Diego for a short drive back to our home in Imperial Beach.

 

between those days we will spend 67 days at sea, 48 days in port visiting 40 different ports in 23 different countries. I will be visiting 10 countries for the first time and Judy 15.

 

If you look at the map on the blog http://www.theinsidecabin.com top of this post, you should see a world map with every port marked. If you click on the port, it will tell you the name.

 

We begin heading south toward the Panama Canal, transit to the Pacific and then begin 8 consecutive sea days, our longest stretch of sea days of the cruise. After a swing thru the South Pacific, we head south thru the Cook Islands, New Zealand and then to Melbourne, our most southern point.

 

Hugging the Australian coast, we head north, visiting Sydney, Moolaboola, Cairns, cruise the Great Barrier reef before swinging west to Darwin. The next 3 ports, Indonesia, will be special for much of the crew, as many of them live in the various islands that make up that country.

 

Continuing further north is Hong Kong, where we spend 2 nights before heading south towards Singapore and stop in Vietnam and Cambodia along the way. After an overnight in Singapore we sail thru the Strait of Malacca into the Indian Ocean, visiting Thailand, Sri Lanka and then into the Persian

Gulf for an overnight in Dubai.

 

Next up is Oman and into the Red Sea for a stop in Jordan before we

transit the Suez and visit Israel. After Israel, we hopscotch across the Mediterranean seeing Italy, Monaco, Spain and finally Portugal for our final stop before we return to Fort Lauderdale.

 

GETTING STARTED

 

We left our Hotel at 10:45 and arrived at Pier 26 a few minutes later. The pier was so empty we weren’t sure at first if we were at the correct terminal. We spotted the familiar HAL logo and knew

then we were in the correct spot.

 

Porters were instantly available for our bags and we were soon inside the terminal at our first stop – Security. No lines here and we breezed thru – with me carrying the box of wine – and being directed to

the bar staff at the corkage fee table.

 

Next up was the table with Health forms and the Visa Questionnaire. We checked all the “No” blocks on

the heath form since we were feeling GREAT and filled out the VISA form indicated we already had our

visas for Cambodia and Australia. HAL would get us VISA’s for Vietnam and Indonesia.

 

The next line was for check in, but there was no line at all. As soon as we could weave thru all the ropes

for the real lines coming later, we were summoned to a station with a smiling clerk waving paddle 1.

Check in was fast and efficient and we learned later that they didn’t need to take our picture as they

used the picture “on file” from earlier cruises. Before we entered the final room we were handed a

white card labeled “Group 9” It was now 11:15 – about ½ hour after leaving the hotel. I think that is a

personal best for quickest check in to any ship.

 

Shortly after we arrived, they started boarding the 4 and 5 stars, then on to the groups. About 30

minutes later our group was called and we were on our way. Up the elevator and to the photo spot.

We were lucky most people were bypassing the picture so we had time to take several different poses and check out the shots to do them over if necessary. We talked to the photo staff later and they said they will typically sell the same number of photos on a 7 day Alaska Cruise as they do on a 50 day cruise. We will be getting a package where, for a single fixed price, we will get a copy of every picture of us throughout the cruise.

 

A few 100 feet later we were warmly greeted by Cruise Director Gene Young. And after a quick scan of our cruise cards – We were on the ship! I was instantly relieved of my wine box by a cheerful HAL

employee. As in typical HAL fashion, guests are not allowed to exert themselves – ever.

 

The room was in perfect condition and we were soon welcomed by our cabin steward, Fauzi, and later by his assistant, Jatim. He is working 30 rooms. Shortly thereafter, the steady stream of baggage and

boxes started to arrive – both from our airline trip and our advance FEDEX shipment. No time to unpack – as it was time for the Mariners reception on the LIDO deck near the pool.

 

What a wonderful party. Nice appetizers served by wandering waiters and free drinks of – well what ever you ordered. Didn’t see a single cruise card all afternoon. We met several people we recognized from the Roll Call and we engaged in great conversations immediately – and finally at 3 pm they started to wrap things up and it was . . . .

 

TIME

TO

UNPACK

 

Oh Noooooooo

 

Back in the room, it looked WAY different once all of our many boxes and bags arrived. Total count – 5

suitcases, 2 medium duffels, 5 boxes, a case of wine, carry on rollers, a briefcase and large carryon bag.

The unpacking started and we worked at it hard till dinner at 8pm.

 

Time to meet our table mates – on Deck 5 table 52. I had requested a round table for 8 and that is

exactly what we received. We were soon joined by a lovely woman who was a real joy – until she

realized she was at table 53.

 

Our friends from the roll call joined us and there were four of us – the

remaining 4 spots remained empty. We will see if more people arrive tomorrow night. The dining room

was half full – the staff said that every seat was assigned, but the first night is typically not as full.

Wonder if many folks are jumping on the anytime dining option now available.

 

Service was fast and efficient. Food was great and conversation even better. A copy of the menu is

posted on the blog. We had the Seared Scallops and Brined Pork Chops – Perfect.

After dinner, time for some more unpacking till the sail-away-party starting at 9:30. Another great event

near the pool, complimentary beverages and plenty of stations serving cheese, shrimp, beef and other

wonderful appetizers.

 

At 11pm sharp we started to move and we walked back to the Sea View part to watch the lights of Fort

Lauderdale fade over the horizon. Sailing south – our last link with the USA – cell phone connectivity –

finally switched to “No Service”

 

We were on our way.

 

More photos and menus on the blog

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Day 2 – Enroute to Costa Rica off the coast of Cuba

 

We didn’t get to sleep until close to 3am as we were determined to get everything put away before we

slept. Mission accomplished and we finally got to get some sleep.

 

Morning would come quickly and we put in our room service breakfast order for 9AM…

 

This menu is twice the size of the menus we had on the

Oosterdam last summer. Not sure if this is now standard on all HAL ships or whether this is a perk of the Vista suites. The menu is impressive. Waffles for room service! Wow! I almost feel I have to check every box just to try it all and with 114 days to go, we will probably get the chance.

 

The Cruise Critic Meet and Greet was at 10:30 in the Crow’s nest. The ship did a fantastic job setting up coffee and pastries. We printed 195 nametags for everyone on the roll call and had plenty of volunteers that came early to help with final nametag assembly. There was plenty of great conversation as people met old friends and new. Lots of energy in the room. A great start to the cruise.

 

After the smoke cleared, there were 45 name tags left, so we had about 150 people show up for the meet and greet – a very nice turnout.

 

After the Meet and Greet, I met with the Casino manager to help set up the slot pull. Very helpful and they will send out invitations to everyone who RSVP’d for the slot pull scheduled for January 8th.

 

Time for lunch in the Lido. A very nice selection – we had the pork and catfish.

There were two lectures today – the morning lecture was on the Bermuda Triangle and the afternoon was about Christopher Columbus.

 

We caught the afternoon lecture on Columbus before we ran off for

the daily crafts events. During the Crafts Class we made a lanyard we could customize with beads. The class was well organized and the Instructor, Judi was great and ran a wonderful class.

 

We learned that the Trivia game had over 25 teams! Wow! I ran into a passenger who explained that one team won with a perfect score.

 

We spent most of the afternoon in the cabin relaxing and catching up on the blog. The weather was pleasant as we sailed off the coast of Cuba and Judy spent some time on the deck outside our cabin.

The internet was working again, but was intermittent and frustrating when trying to upload files. Still working on my upload methods to minimize connection time.

At 6pm we saw the movie – “Best of Enemies” in the Wajang Theatre. We enjoyed the movie and the theater is very nice.

 

Time for dinner at 8pm and we were joined by 3 more people for a total of 7 at our 8 top. Conversation continued to be lively and engaging and everyone seemed to be good fit.

 

Dinner was fantastic and the service superb. We have about 100 days on HAL ships and this dinner was probably the best service we ever had. Really, really good. A MDR menu is also posted.

 

The show was at 10pm was “The Talk of the Town” – a wonderful medley of songs by Neil Diamond, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones and others performed by the HAL singers and dancers. The show was wonderful, and performed at a pleasant volume (at least for us in the upper deck.)

 

Before the show started, Cruise Director Gene Young introduced the Location Guide, the IT person,

Culinary Arts Manager and his assistants. It was easy to see why Gene is such a popular Cruise Director.

Back in our cabin, we received our first gift of the cruise a “Boat Bag of Swag”. Very nice and it will come

in handy.

 

We are quickly learning that the Grand Voyage is definitely a cut above the typically outstanding Holland

America Cruise. All the staff is exceptional, an all-star team. The selection of daily events is overwhelming – so many activities to choose from. This Grand World Voyage is off to a great start but we will probably need a vacation from our vacation when we get back to San Diego.

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I am so enjoying your blog, and appreciate also the time and effort on uploading the photos, menus and Locations which can be a very frustrating experience when using the ship's internet service.

 

I hope to do the World Cruise in 2018 and your blog is only reconfirming my decision.

 

Looking forward to the next few months as we cruise along with you!

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I noticed that the On Location Guide has a knitting/needle work group, will Judy be joining at some point?

 

 

Judy is definitely going......she brought 10 projects and must finish them all!

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I'm enjoying your "Live From" thread as well as your blog. Will you post some pics of your Vista Suite for us on the blog as well? I'd like to see how you pack all that stuff away for 114 days!

 

Smooth Sailing! :) :) :)

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really enjoying your posts and blog :)

 

I didn't realize the open dining was now available on the World Cruise.

 

interesting!

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What a great blog this am for me!!!!

Enjoying reading and looking forward to our WC in 2017.

Enjoy! Lots of thunder and lightening here in San Diego! You left in time!

Down here at the beach we have a lot of flooding and from our balcony a lot of water spouts and a small tornado!!!!

Look forward to more of your fantastic writings!

Denise:)

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I'm enjoying your "Live From" thread as well as your blog. Will you post some pics of your Vista Suite for us on the blog as well? I'd like to see how you pack all that stuff away for 114 days!

 

Smooth Sailing! :) :) :)

 

 

I will send some pics of our final configuration.

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I noticed that the On Location Guide has a knitting/needle work group, will Judy be joining at some point?

 

 

All of Judy's projects can be tracked on Raverly under her name Judyzz. Follow her progress!

 

I will upload a picture of her stash later.

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All of Judy's projects can be tracked on Raverly under her name Judyzz. Follow her progress!

 

I will upload a picture of her stash later.

 

I will follow her progress! I sent a friend request on Raverly. :) I hope she finds some awesome souvenir yarn.

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