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Around the World on Amtrak, KLM, and HAL

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Roy your pictures especially of mom and her daughter at the pier waving and saying goodbye to The Amsterdam was priceless I’m my opinion. The pictures especially of the weather was better! Nice pic of The Amsterdam. It amazes me how even with the communication barrier how people really try to help!!! The Mac Donald’s was a good example.

I’m glad your ahead of the storm.

Rest well and I’ll enjoy another blog tomorrow!!

Denise :)

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Roy, I saw reports about that typhoon yesterday, too. I thought of you and your ship mates immediately when I heard the story. I hope you are able to stay safely away from the storm.

 

I have been trying to figure out how to prebook internet for our upcoming cruise on Koningsdam. I really appreciated the info on HAL internet that you posted. I'm off next to Indulgences to see if I can find it. I have to admit, though, that I'm a bit spoiled by the unlimited internet I've enjoyed on one of the other cruise lines we've sailed.

 

 

I am enjoying your blog and pictures immensely! Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

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Thank you everyone. I noticed our all aboard time has been moved from 4:30 to 3:30. It may be to allow for the Japanese emigration process or perhaps to get ahead of the storm.

 

Nancy, I have a nasty feeling that special for pre-booking internet may only be for grand voyages. I couldn't find it for my Prinsendam transatlantic, either.

 

Roy

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Thanks for taking the time to post your very interesting blogs. Hope the weather gets better soon, and you stay ahead of the storm.

Allan

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Roy:

 

I’ve been following the Amsterdam on marinetraffic.com and the site shows the Amsterdam heading towards Mainland China right now. However, it appears that the ship caught part of Typhoon LAN and experiencing heavy winds...over 40k showing now.

 

I’ve been following you blog...thank you for posting. I have family on the Amsterdam right now too and I hope everyone is okay.

 

 

Take care and again thank you for the posts and photos.

Edited by Lyndonn

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Day A20, Saturday, October 21, 2017 (Jeju, Korea), Kagoshima, Japan

 

It's a VERY stormy Sunday morning as I post this. 60kt plus winds. A wave just washed my deck 2 window.

 

The Oosterdam is in San Diego. The Prinsendam is in Limassol.

 

The weather for our final day in Japan turned out better for us than for the locals. I walked a total of 5 laps (1 ½ miles) on the lower promenade deck and while I didn’t see the sun there was color at sunrise that indicated it was not too far away.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dawn1021.jpg

 

We docked about 730, were cleared just a few minutes after 8, and my tour started at 9. Our first stop was a volcanic “island”. It was a real island until 1914 when a large eruption filled in a narrow channel between Sakurajima and mainland Kyushu. The highway route is quite long so we boarded a ferry over to the island.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/theferry.jpg

 

Cars, trucks, and buses go on the bottom deck with the next one reserved for cars. Above that are a lounge with a snack bar and an observation deck.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/bus-on-boat.jpg

 

The Airmura Lava Observatory is a network of trails set among the volcano’s lava flows. We had about a half hour to walk around the network with some little tunnels that could serve as a shelter from a sudden ash shower and views of the landscape. While it was very windy and the skies were threatening we completed out time at the Observatory with no rain.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/airmura.jpg

 

On the way back I had visions of getting a coffee in the ferry’s snack bar the guide talked nonstop on the ride back and never let us off the bus. She did not impress me; she seemed to spend all her time at the observatory talking about the stuff the vendors had and I never saw her among the lava fields. The guide from the other bus was actually more helpful to me than our guide..

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/lounge.jpg

 

Our second stop was Sengan-en Gardens and Shoko Shuseikan Museum. The Gardens are the former estate of the Shimadzu family which ruled Kagoshima in the 17th to 19th centuries, and the museum is the site of early Japanese industrial activity. We had about an hour here, noon to 1 PM, and the rain held off until about 12:45. At that time I was near a shop which had wifi and I took advantage of the opportunity to load a map app on my IPAD.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/sengan.jpg

 

We were only about 7 miles from the ship but the trip back took 70 minutes, in part because we went a mile past the ship before turning towards the ocean (no apparent reason) and in part because of heavy traffic.

 

All aboard had been pushed up from 4:30 to 3:30 and it was after 2 when I got back to the ship. The port offered free wifi but it turned out to be a worthless waste of time. I was back on board about 3:10 and stopped on deck 5 for Japanese departure formalities before heading up to DiveIn for fries.

 

The last of the Japanese Immigration officials left the ship about 4:30 and a local school band was on the pier to send us off. They stayed valiantly under a small tarp in what had become a pretty heavy rain. In his sailaway message Captain Eversen talked about Typhoon Lea. We should be about 400 miles away from the actual storm but will strongly feel the effects.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/sayonara.jpg

 

They played their hearts out with mostly jazz. They really had the promenade deck jumping when they played “In the Mood”. Frequently soloists came to the front of the group possibly actually getting into the rain. At 4:50 the lines were let go and the band’s strains of “Sing, Sing, Sing” were mixed with the ship’s departure toots.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/greatsax.jpg

 

We had the usual 6 at table 43. The 2 couples took the shuttle into town while the other solo was on the same bus as me. I chose the Apricot soup, Chicken Yakitori, and blueberry crisp.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes21.jpg

 

The featured entertainment was a violin duo, String Idol. They were quite good. The seas were still calm as I went to bed.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/stringidol.jpg

 

For my final Japan day parting shot, the streets of Japan have frequently been the site of blaring sound trucks as a national election campaign is closing. Sunday is the day of decision. May the people of Japan participate fully in the process and make a wise choice.

 

Roy

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Hi Roy!

60kt winds! I think I’d be watching my step!!! Enjoyed all your pictures and am amazed how at Sailaways how the town rain or shine is there to send you off!

Love the Divein 🍟’s.

Take care and hope the rain wind will break and great weather ahead!

Looking forward to more😊

Denise:)

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Thank you everyone. I noticed our all aboard time has been moved from 4:30 to 3:30. It may be to allow for the Japanese emigration process or perhaps to get ahead of the storm.

 

Nancy, I have a nasty feeling that special for pre-booking internet may only be for grand voyages. I couldn't find it for my Prinsendam transatlantic, either.

 

Roy

 

Roy, I have a feeling that you're right about being able to prebook internet. I couldn't find it anywhere. I could have sworn I had seen the option available a long time ago when we first booked the cruise, but now that our cruise is coming up soon and I'm ready to actually book internet, it is nowhere to be found. I guess I'll have to wait until we get onboard to see what is offered, then decide how much of my OBC I'm willing to part with to get internet access.

 

I felt bad for that band standing on the dock in the pouring rain trying to play for you. I give them a lot of credit for doing it instead of saying it was raining too hard and not showing up.

 

Hope you do not experience too much of the typhoon as you continue on your journey.

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Thanks, Keith, Denise, Alan, Nancy, lynndon, and Krazy Kruizers.

 

Day A21, Sunday, October 22, 2017 (Inchon), At sea, MS Amsterdam

 

The Oosterdam is at sea from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta. The Prinsendam is in Haifa.

 

7:30AM Monday; someone turned off the wind and wave machines.

 

I will start with a little “translation” for people more familiar with Crystal hoping I am not talking down. I’ve always been a bit mystified by the Crystal deck numbering system with the tender platform on deck 4 (doesn’t seem like much space below for 1-3). On the Amsterdam, the tender platform is on deck A, with decks above that starting with 1, so the deck numbers on Crystal are about 4 higher than on the Amsterdam. When I mentioned that my deck 2 window was covered briefly by a wave this morning, that’s about the equivalent level to deck 6 on the Symphony.

 

 

I woke about 4:30 and with the motion of the ship did not get back to sleep, getting up about 4:45 and heading up to the lido for coffee at 5. The promenade deck was sealed off with winds in the 50 knot range, increasing above 60kt by about 10. Everything remotely moveable was tied down, even the hand sanitizer dispensers. I walked (more like stumbled) about a half hour on interior corridors of the ship and went back up to the lido deck around sunrise (6:35). There was no sun in evidence with what appeared to be clouds showing through a light fog.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/tieddown.jpg

 

With these conditions I reverted to something I practiced crossing the Drake Passage on the Professor Multinovski. I generally do not use elevators and will grab a handrail on the stairs well before I reach the steps and then follow the handrail all the way to my destination.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/grabhere.jpg

 

Despite a couple of activities being cancelled for the weather it was a very busy sea day for me. At the 9AM Interdenominational service the Chaplain started things off by proclaiming we would not be standing for the hymns. At 10 Ian had his talk on Shanghai, and at 11 Steven Sloan talked about North Korea, hanging on to the podium for dear life. It was his final talk as he is leaving us Tianjin.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/sloanfinale.jpg

 

By late morning things were calming down a bit and the sky had cleared leaving a scene of numerous whitecaps under a sunny sky. The exterior railings were all visibly caked with salt from the spray. We were supposed to just be finishing up a visit to Korea and around 11 we passed within about 40 miles of our first Korean port, Jeju. In his noon update Captain Eversen indicated that conditions should slowly improve and that the weather forecast looked good for our stay in Korea. I was able to enjoy my pasta lunch on the open aft deck.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/sunnychop.jpg

 

My only official afternoon activity was a 2PM talk by future cruise consultant Daniel on 2019 Northern Europe itineraries. After his talk the lower promenade doors started to be unsealed and I walked about 1 ½ miles (5 ½ laps) outside. Later in the afternoon the effective wind picked up a bit again as we turned more to the north and directly into the wind.

 

We were all present at table 43 for Sunday evening dinner. My choices were the peach soup, prime rib, and apricot crisp.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes22.jpg

 

The featured entertainment was mentalist Tim Motley. His feats of mind were very mystifying but I kept asking myself why I should care. After the show Jeff Warren was concentrating on the Music of Elvis Presley. I wonder about Jeff. I find both his style and his personality very attractive but the piano bar never seems to be full. I wonder if there’s a “rest of the story”. So far I haven’t seen it. This evening we also gain the final hour of my segment and in the morning will be on Hong Kong time.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/motley.jpg

 

My parting shot concerns our itinerary. We were supposed to be in Inchon/Seoul today; I was fortunate to get there before my Symphony/Serenity/Amsterdam combination in 2014 but still miss it and feel for the people who have never been there. It stems from the China’s objections to new US missiles paced in Korea and China is taking a hard line on ships that have recently visited Korea calling on Chinese Ports. It is their right to do so and other nations have done similar things but it still stinks.

 

Roy

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Happy Monday Roy!!!

Wow about the 50-60kts!!!!

I have never been in something like that !

I would

Need to be tethered LOL so I could walk! I’m glad you got your 5 laps in!!! Good looking dinner!!

It’s sad 😞 about Seoul Korea!!

Sometimes things do not turn out the way we wish! Roll with the punches sometimes!!

Take care Roy! Look forward to more as always!

Denise:)

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Roy, I'm glad you do not seem to be prone to sea sickness. No little old storm is going to slow you down!

 

I was glad to see the sky looking clear in that one picture you posted. I think you've had more than your share of bad weather already on this cruise!

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Thanks az4ship, Nancy, and Denise

 

Special note on internet

 

It happened again today. BEWARE if there is no response to hitting the “confirm” button; you may still be logged in but may not realize it. If you don’t get a confirmation the only way to be sure you are not using up minutes is by typing logout.com. That saved me today after I had previously learned the hard way.

 

1746420466_logout(Mobile).jpg.dbd62a7199ca9ac48d0e7f7e9de3ae9a.jpg

 

Roy

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Day A22, Monday, October 23, 2017, At sea, MS Amsterdam

 

The Oosterdam is at sea from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta. The Prinsendam is in Ashdod, Israel.

 

I’m not sure when the winds and seas calmed down but at 5AM the ship was steady and the effective wind on the TV monitor was under 20 knots. As I walked around the lower promenade deck it was obvious how seriously the storm had been taken as chairs on the lower aft decks at had stayed out all the way across the Pacific were tied in bundles.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/stacked.jpg

 

With the hour we gained overnight sunrise moved up to about 6AM. As I rounded the aft corner on the lower promenade deck the rising sun showed a bit hazily through light clouds but it took several tries to capture it on my camera.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dawn1023.jpg

 

For my money Holland America serves the best waffles I’ve seen at sea and this morning it was a delight to enjoy them out on the sunny seaview pool deck.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/wafflealfresco.jpg

 

I wasn’t expecting it at first but it turned out to be a pretty busy sea day. Things started at 9 with bible study and continued at 10 with another of Ian’s travel trivia session. I was the winner on the first question, purely by accident. The question centered on a property in the UK and the question was “What color is that property in the UK Monopoly game?. Somebody guessed blue which was wrong and my wild guess was green. That was my only success in the game.

 

Two activities originally planned for Sunday were rescheduled due to the weather. A Sunday Brunch Sampler in the dining room was rescheduled for the next Sunday at sea. That is November 26, and by then I will be off the Prinsendam and back home. The other was a Biergarten Festival which was held in the lido today. It was not really my thing but it came with some nice decorations.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/biergarten.jpg

 

In his midday update Captain Eversen indicated we should pick up our pilot about 5AM and be docked in Tianjin about 7. It will be a nice day but is (and will be) on the cool side, 57F today and about 62 tomorrow. A fleece, jacket, or sweater takes care of that “problem” in short order.

 

In the afternoon we had a new lecturer. Edward Murphy was second in command on the USS Pueblo when hijacked and is starting a series on North Korea from the point of view of one who has spent time there.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/murphy.jpg

 

We had the usual 6 at table 43. The grape and cranberry soup, ribeye, and cherry sundae were all great, although the ribeye was huge and I only ate about half and forgot to take a picture. The table will be pretty empty tomorrow.

 

The featured entertainment was Comedian John Knight. He was pretty good but way too loud. I wrapped things up and am posting early in the evening.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/knight.jpg

 

Today’s parting shot will be a heads up that my next post is likely to be quite delayed with a 12-hour tour to the Great Wall on Tuesday and a morning tour on Wednesday.

 

Roy

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I'm continuing to enjoy all your reports, Roy. You are living a life I can only envy.

 

Just to let you know, something happened with your pictures this time. When I click on the links, all I get is 'file not found'; this is true for every single picture. It's not normal, so I thought you should know, so you can check on it next time.

 

Have great time at The Great Wall! What a kick it was to get up there and take a few steps on it. One of the thrills of my life---and I hope yours.

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Pictures worked for me. But, I wanted to see the ribeye!

They're working for me now, too. Perhaps it was a problem at the hosting site.

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Roy...

How long will you be in Tianjin? Next year we’ll be there for two days on the Westerdam and I’m curious about the excursions. They offer some monumentally expensive overnight in Beijing, but I’m wondering if it’s possible to see The Great Wall and Beijing both, on a one day excursion for each.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Glad the seas have calmed down for you! I’m sorry you couldn’t visit Seoul. Did you just find out onboard?

I am enjoying visiting Japan and look forward to China with you! We had a cruise booked there this spring that we had to cancel so it is nice to read your posts!

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Just got caught up with your wonderful posts and pictures.

Good to hear that the seas are calmer.

I do love HAL's waffles when they come off the waffle piping hot.

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