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Live from the Westerdam-Join the "Pearls of the Pacific" gang's South Pacific Cruise


kazu
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We had our cabin crawl and poker run today.

 

A good turn out from those that had signed on and I think everyone had fun (especially those that won at the poker run).

 

for those that don't know, the poker run is optional and you don't have to know how to play poker! It's just a little add on for those that want to do it.

 

Many thanks to all the kind hosts who allowed people to view their cabins and helped with the poker run (TravelingDot, Scrapnana, cruisinjudy, sapper1 and SusieKIslandGirl). And a special thanks to MsABGilory and her DH for helping host my cabin so I could get the cabin crawl started and show the Neptune Lounge without holding things up.

 

BTW - the concierges were enchanted with the idea of the cabin crawl when I explained it to them. I had asked for hors' d'hoeuvres but it was technically too early and I told them no worries. Probably not necessary anyways. The next thing I knew I had a call that we would have them. Totally unexpected and very nice. Kazu rarely does hors d'hoeuvres unless she has company ;).

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Ok, I HAVE to talk a bit about Nuka HIva.

 

It's a fabulous spot. Absolutely fabulous.

 

There is scenery everywhere.

 

As we approached Nuka HIva, there were islands all about...

 

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Arriving at Nuka HIva... Views from the ship....

 

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The sun came out and stayed out for our day here and it finally felt like we were in the South Pacific

 

 

Tenders were ready early (yay Captain Van Eerten) and I quickly called my group to change our meet time so we could get off earlier and start earlier. Sorry to those "not morning people" but it was a really good move.

 

We walked off with our group with our "partners" . The tenders were bobbing and you did have to be careful but we all got in on the same one, so life was good.

 

I scored big time as I ended up in the front tender seat with taxmantoo (where the window is open) and we were snapping away.

 

Nuka HIva as we approached on the tender....

 

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For those thinking of travelling here....

 

First of all, again, there is Dengue fever on the island. We were warned to put on our insect repellant and our guide has had Dengue Fever. We put ours on but I still had a blood spot. Uggh. Fingers crossed.

 

As well, like other South Pacific Islands, never go swimming if the water is murky, muddy. Sharks can't see when it is like that so they will take a taste to see what they have found. There are some nice beaches here but we were warned NOT to go swimming at the pier. When they clean the fish, they throw the remains in the water and the Sharks come in a frenzy. We never got the opportunity to see the Sharks but we did see another feeding frenzy that I will share later when we get to those pics.

 

More from the tender...

 

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We arrived much earlier than planned. YAY!!! Our guide knew that we were not scheduled until 10 a.m. But I had told him that Captain Van Eerten tries to get there as early as he can and if the tenders were ready early, we would be on them.

 

To my delightful surprise, they were there, ready and waiting for us. YAY!!! We are off to a great start.

 

We were touring with Kevin Ellis - Nuka Hiva tours. We had a convoy of 3 cars for the 12 of us and Kevin would alternate from car to car.

 

We travelled up the mountains and stopped here...

 

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My pictures cannot show how beautiful it was as I am sadly not a good photographer nor have the camera of others but...

 

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Here is our intrepid group of travellers...

 

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And our fabulous guides for the day....

 

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We continued higher up...

 

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It was not uncommon to see animals near the side of the road. Some of them were tethered but a lot of them were loose. Apparently they tether the "alpha" ones and that keeps the others from wandering...

 

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And we got to see this valley - I'm sure everyone remembers Melville, the author of Moby Dick? He also wrote a novel based on this valley and lived here - supposedly for 3 months - no one knows for sure how long but he was here.

 

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A bit more of Melville's valley where he lived...

 

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Any SURVIVOR fans out there? Remember Survivor Marquesas? Well, this is where the pigs challenge was shot. It's not really as far away as one would like to think. Add that to the 200 crew that were there to shoot it and they weren't as isolated as one would like to think (so says our guide).

 

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An overview of the same Survivor area...

 

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Of course, Kazu can't resist taking pics of beautiful vegetation with blooms. the place was just alive with so many wonderful things, plants, flowers. Absolutely beautiful.

 

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Do you see the rock that is sticking up all by itself. It's natural and the ancients worshipped it. I will leave it to your imagination what they thought it represented ;)

 

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A tack for drying copra. Copra is a major economy for the island. The oil companies must take all the copra that is dried. Part of the conditions of the island to help.

 

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And the market (a wash room stop as well). I will stop here as this is where the HAL Tour STOPS and RETURNS to the ship. We will be continuing on, but I do need to get ready for dinner and I don't want to bore you all with too many pictures.

 

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Of course, Kazu can't resist taking pics of beautiful vegetation with blooms. the place was just alive with so many wonderful things, plants, flowers. Absolutely beautiful.

 

b6fb706757dce4e0ec152b053dea1521.jpg

 

Do you see the rock that is sticking up all by itself. It's natural and the ancients worshipped it. I will leave it to your imagination what they thought it represented ;)

 

d5332052e3b0e474e7065ff84bc84f6e.jpg

 

A tack for drying copra. Copra is a major economy for the island. The oil companies must take all the copra that is dried. Part of the conditions of the island to help.

 

80a9d29a6dec08ff5be552ab136a624c.jpg

 

And the market (a wash room stop as well). I will stop here as this is where the HAL Tour STOPS and RETURNS to the ship. We will be continuing on, but I do need to get ready for dinner and I don't want to bore you all with too many pictures.

 

3c9ca3a816d9b34a08474d9188c94730.jpg

 

 

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Yikes, that should say a RACK for drying copra. Sorry edit doesn't work on tap a talk for this thread.

 

 

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Mariner's Lunch (first of three) was held today. Basically the same menu as last year except a change in some vegetables or sauces.

 

Gala Night and I saw most people in the MDR nicely dressed if not as formal as the past.

 

Officers' Black and White Gala was held in the Crow's Nest which was very crowded and hot. In my opinion the theater is a much better venue (it was held there on my cruise last year).

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Mariner's Lunch (first of three) was held today. Basically the same menu as last year except a change in some vegetables or sauces.

 

Gala Night and I saw most people in the MDR nicely dressed if not as formal as the past.

 

Officers' Black and White Gala was held in the Crow's Nest which was very crowded and hot. In my opinion the theater is a much better venue (it was held there on my cruise last year).

 

 

WOW - what a night!!!

 

Dinner was fabulous!!! A quick survery from our early diners and they had the filet and lamb - a huge thumbs up.

 

I stuck my neck out big time and had the quail. Fabulous.

 

The shrimps were huge, not Overcooked and absolutely delicious.

 

And then there was the Black and White Ball.

 

Captain can really dance and put on quite a show. My battery died in my camera - grrr - I forgot how much a video takes out of the thing. Grrrr.

 

DH got pics though so I am definitely stealing his memory card.

 

Taxmantoo's DW was dancing with officers and the captain.

 

As was yours truly. They pulled me out of my chair. I guess they liked the dress. I told the captain a one armed bandit couldn't keep up with him but he said it was all in fun and worked with me on the spins when I switched the left arm for the right.

 

Then after we had danced the light fantastic with our DH's, the cruise critic ladies had their own dances and joiners.

 

The trouble makers were, taxmantoo's DW, Vict0riann, Gigianne, Kazu et al.

 

A wonderful night.

 

Our Captain sure knows how to put on a good black and white ball :)

 

My dress is going out for dry cleaning tomorrow - it's a tad wet. LOL

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The foods for thus special Cellar Master's dinner really look better than the regular one.

We have done several different versions of our 21 day repositioning cruise and this year was the first time that we did not have a Black and White Ball.

Pictures are wonderful -- and lots of sun!!

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WOW - what a night!!!

 

Dinner was fabulous!!! A quick survery from our early diners and they had the filet and lamb - a huge thumbs up.

 

I stuck my neck out big time and had the quail. Fabulous.

 

The shrimps were huge, not Overcooked and absolutely delicious.

 

And then there was the Black and White Ball.

 

Captain can really dance and put on quite a show. My battery died in my camera - grrr - I forgot how much a video takes out of the thing. Grrrr.

 

DH got pics though so I am definitely stealing his memory card.

 

Taxmantoo's DW was dancing with officers and the captain.

 

As was yours truly. They pulled me out of my chair. I guess they liked the dress. I told the captain a one armed bandit couldn't keep up with him but he said it was all in fun and worked with me on the spins when I switched the left arm for the right.

 

Then after we had danced the light fantastic with our DH's, the cruise critic ladies had their own dances and joiners.

 

The trouble makers were, taxmantoo's DW, Vict0riann, Gigianne, Kazu et al.

 

A wonderful night.

 

Our Captain sure knows how to put on a good black and white ball :)

 

My dress is going out for dry cleaning tomorrow - it's a tad wet. LOL

 

We want photos!!!!

 

The dress!! The Captain!! Everything!!!

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Mariners' reception was a great time yesterday. Wines, sparkling and regular, mimosas & bloody Mary's were flowing. Captain Van Eerten and our CD Mario were hilarious. Captain said for people to come when they heard their name called or when it sounded like their name was called. Threatened to leave Mario in San Diego is he mispronounced names. Then the game began of the Captain asking people to declare their names were mispronounced. He and Mario fed right off each other and it was very entertaining.

 

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The Captain had a very chivalrous touch. When someone was mobility challenged he and the HD ran up to the recipients and presented them the medals where they were and posed for pics.

 

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Captain Van Eerten had everyone in stitches. A great medallion ceremony.

 

There are two more mariner luncheons and medallion ceremonies as well I believe.

 

Congrats to everyone receiving them and congratulations to our own cranethie & SeaFab from our roll call who received them yesterday.

 

 

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The person next to the captain is hotel director Frank Ulbricht, we had him on the Volendam, great guy, lives on Bali, used to be a chef on board

 

 

It is indeed he! I had named the officers way back and I should have again in this post. Much appreciated.

 

After the reception, we headed to lunch...

 

The menu (sorry, taken with the camera not the iPad so hopefully it comes out).

 

 

 

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And our lunch...

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Lunch was very edible! Got out in time to get back to the cabin to receive my room service of wine glasses and hors d'hoeuvres for my cabin crawl hosts who I had invited over.

 

Then the cabin crawl and poker run. I think everyone had fun (at least I hope so).

 

A full day with the black and white ball awaiting us.

 

 

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After our delicious dinner we headed to the Crow's Nest to get good seats for the Black and White Ball. Fellow roll call members were there and had seats for us!

 

Pre-Black and White Ball...

 

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Our CC friends...

 

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The officers paraded in and formed a circle on the dance floor of the Crow's Nest......and then.....

 

Our Captain arrived...

 

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He can REALLY dance and moves quickly. He even lifts ladies off the ground!!!! You can get an idea of how fast they were going by looking at her hair.

 

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There was no quick exit by our Captain. He stayed for the entire Black and White Ball!!!

 

 

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Hi Everyone - a quick question about the quality of the food on the Lido buffet for this trip, how was it?

 

thanks Shar

 

 

It seems to be good Shar. The salads are a huge hit among the people I have talked to.

 

I don't eat a lot of hot food at lunch normally, but with all the buffets at the mid ship Lido and freshly grilled food, I confess I have enjoyed far too much. ;)

 

The one thing I don't like is the ready made sandwiches. I would prefer to have my freshly made ones or leave some meat and cheese out and I will make my own rather than destroy a pre-made sandwich and waste food. I have mentioned it to the Lido as a suggestion.

 

I hope others chime in, as this is only my opinion and very subjective.

 

I am not normally a Lido fan but we have enjoyed it many a day ;)

 

 

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Back to the Black and White Ball....

 

There was plenty of dancing for the CC ladies. While you could line up to dance with an officer, most of us chose not to do so an we were still invited to dance!!!

 

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You can see the perspiration on the Captain's face. He was really dancing up a storm!!!!

 

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The Black and White Ball continued.....

 

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Then, much to the ladies' delight, our DH's invited us to dance. After we had worn them out, the ladies had a couple of fun dances together...

 

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Everyone had a lot of fun!!! A wonderful evening!!! For someone who was only going to stay for a few minutes, we didn't leave until it was over!!!!

 

Mario, our CD sang and boy, he CAN sing!!! Huge applause for him.

 

Great job by all the singers of the Westerdam.

 

Wonderful hosting by the Captain and the Officers.

 

Thanks for a great evening!!!

 

 

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Our captain is quite the partier! If you recall, Jacqui, he danced up a storm with that gorgeous red-head officer last year (she was at the Captain's dinner with us, but I can't remember her name. She's on the Koningsdam now) and he stayed for the whole evening.

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Our captain is quite the partier! If you recall, Jacqui, he danced up a storm with that gorgeous red-head officer last year (she was at the Captain's dinner with us, but I can't remember her name. She's on the Koningsdam now) and he stayed for the whole evening.

 

I remember that very well Lizzie.

 

I kind of liked the Crow's Nest this time as I think the dance floor is a tad larger.

 

He is quite the dancer, entertainer, professional and tremendous captain. He is very cognizant of issues that his passengers may face in different ports and keeps us updated very well.

 

I know some say it makes no difference who is in charge, but IMO if Captain Van Eerte is in charge life is good on board the elegant, beautiful Westerdam.

 

I am a "small ship" person, to enjoy the Vista Class as much as we have says a lot.

 

I will post some more tomorrow - behind already again.

 

Hoping that some photos will be air dropped for the crossing the Equator ceremony as I was not in a good position and finally gave up on pics.

 

I am just not in the position to "elbow" my way through. I can't do it at the best of times and this is certainly not the time.

 

On a bright note, I did get the PG lunch reminders delivered today and I did put them in the mail slots with my left arm. I have a feeling I better take a double dose of Tylenol - LOL.

 

 

Dinner was really good again. DH had the pasta (and is bugging me to make this one ) and I had the shrimp. Both were well done. WE were very stalwart and skipped dessert.

 

I will post more pics tomorrow and, hopefully I will get the other pics that are promised and post those for you.

 

Cheers, from the elegant, beautiful Westerdam.

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