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rafinmd

Around the World on Amtrak, KLM, and HAL

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Still at the dock and still no luggage. There was a long delay in loading both bags and provisions, and they stopped working for quite a while. I think they may have been waiting for a new shift to start working at 6.

 

Hatches seem to be closed so I think we leave soon.

 

Both bags just arrived--7:35 PM. And I hear a whistle. Time to get up on deck.

 

Roy

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Oh Roy so good to hear!!!!

We’re in the car driving up the coast home😔really wanted to see you off!! So glad your bags came👍Most important!

Smooth Sailings look forward to you wonderful journey.

Denise:)

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Both bags just arrived--7:35 PM.

Whew. That's a relief. Now, unpack, relax, and enjoy.

Can't wait to read the report for this day.

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Still at the dock and still no luggage. There was a long delay in loading both bags and provisions, and they stopped working for quite a while. I think they may have been waiting for a new shift to start working at 6.

 

Hatches seem to be closed so I think we leave soon.

 

Both bags just arrived--7:35 PM. And I hear a whistle. Time to get up on deck.

 

Roy

 

Glad your bags finally arrived, Roy. You just reinforced our usual plan of always having toiletries and some extra clothes in our carry ons. We have always gotten our big bags before muster, but we like having a few essentials as a safety net.

 

Hope you had a great sailaway! :D

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Still at the dock and still no luggage. There was a long delay in loading both bags and provisions, and they stopped working for quite a while. I think they may have been waiting for a new shift to start working at 6.

 

Hatches seem to be closed so I think we leave soon.

 

Both bags just arrived--7:35 PM. And I hear a whistle. Time to get up on deck.

 

Roy

 

What a relief, Roy. Good news indeed :D

 

Hope your sail a way was a good one.

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Thank you all.

 

Day A1, Sunday, October 1, 2017, Board MS Amsterdam, San Diego

 

The Oosterdam is at sea from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. The Prinsendam is in Lisbon.

 

At 5AM the Amsterdam was already docked in San Diego, probably a very early arrival to allow time for offloading containers of construction debris. I left the hotel about 6:45 for about a 35-minute walk, hoping to see a sunrise but the morning was cloud covered. While out I did stop at the front desk with my SPG Rewards number and get the internet charge removed from my bill. On the way I passed a sculpture garden dedicated to cancer survivorship.

 

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

 

I did quite a bit of online work until checking out of the hotel about 8:45. My brother picked me up at 9 and we made our way to St. Peter of the Sea Lutheran Church for the 9:30 service. My background is Methodist but my late Sister in Law was Lutheran and that’s become something of a home away from home. Much of the liturgy was a bit different than I am used to but it still felt comfortable.

 

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

 

After the service we had about 45 minutes with my nephew’s family before I left for the port. Keith and Tracy were just feeding the twins as we left.

 

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

 

After a quick stop at Rite Aid we made our way to the port where things got a little hectic. With the Disney Wonder also in port arrival was a bit confused with little in the way of directional signs. It looked at first like both ships were at the B Street terminal and entered the dock only to be told to go back to the street and enter the other terminal. There was enough traffic so that was not easy. Once we got into the terminal the line for security ran about halfway out to the street.

 

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

 

It might have been worse but it was still a half hour wait to get through security. Once in the terminal things got a lot better. My line for 4-star mariners was about 5 minutes; the one for those without priority was not much longer. I understand the lines were a lot longer earlier in the day but not bad when I arrived. I was on the ship a little before noon and left my carry-on in my room (Neither the bag left with the porters nor the one shipped on Luggage Forward had arrived). My room steward, Agus, came by and introduced himself. He is working with Abdul.

 

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

 

There used to be a Mariner Embarkation Luncheon in the dining room. It is now open to all but is almost a de-facto Mariner Lunch since it is not publicized and only past passengers know to check. I was actually about 5 minutes late for the 1PM closing but was seated anyway. I passed on most of the courses but enjoyed a civilized chicken luncheon.

 

There was an “Exclusive Mariner reception” around the Lido Pool. The area was pretty much open to anybody and it didn’t look very exclusive but a number of people were sitting around tables with drinks.

 

All aboard was 3PM with Muster at 3:15. It appears that scanning of key cards rather than a roll call is pretty much a fleetwide standard now and a time and confusion saver. After the drill Captain Everson came on the PA and announced that loading supplies was taking longer than expected and our departure is pushed back from 4PM to at least 7. He also indicated we could expect a couple of days of rough seas. He is staying close to the coast to minimize the motion but still expects 30kt winds and 4 meter swells.

 

I am on the early (5:30) dinner seating. As I walked to dinner there were still pallets of luggage and ships supplies sitting on the dock and nobody was working. I am at table 43 near the upper level entrance, an 8 top. There were 2 empty seats the first night. Of the other 5, 2 are from Florida, 2 British Columbia, and one from the Sacramento area. All the others are on for the full 80 days. Our waiters are Wadded and Yaohan. For the first night I chose the gazpacho and turkey scallopini, followed by the apple strudel. Service was pretty slow but I think that often happens the first night.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes01.jpg

 

When I left the dining room all the hatches appeared to be closed. The departure horn sounded about 7:40 and both my bags were delivered at the same time. I went up on deck and watched until we passed Point Loma, although at that time it was too dark to see much. I did get a glimpse of one submarine in drydock.

 

There was a single welcome aboard show at 9:30. Cruise Director Hamish Davis introduced the entertainers and enrichment staff. For the Grand Voyage we have both a Protestant Chaplain and a Rabbi on board as well as a librarian. I’m sure there is also a Priest but he was not introduced. There was an interdenominational service at 5PM but I was distracted thinking about luggage at the time so I’m thankful to have gotten to a service on land.

 

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

 

I’ll take my parting shot from the church bulletin. While I’m comfortable in a Lutheran church my real roots are Methodist and Presbyterian. When I disembarked the Zaandam in April I worshiped at Point Loma Methodist Church and was sad to hear they were merging with anther congregation and vacating the building. I was pleased to see that the Point Loma Methodist facility will now house the Ocean Beach Emergency Food Center and continue to serve the community. I wish Loaves and Fishes many years of splendid service in their new home.

 

Roy

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Great report Roy.

 

I actually saw an FB video of your sail a way, but I couldn't find you in it :(

 

Good news on scanning the key cards for the muster drill.

 

I do hope your seas aren't too rough for the first couple of days. It can happen but fingers crossed that it smooths out fast for you. (yn)

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I like the scanning too, that only leaves [usually] a few missed numbers/keycards called - instead of the whole muster. Much faster too, I can't stand in one spot for too long and with a crowd you can't really move, so these electronic musters have been great.

 

We had the whole hold-up for supplies/luggage on our Hawai`i - So Pac on Westy [Apr 2016] and we were the only ship in port.

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So enjoying your post. I actually was watching sail away on my phone as we were driving away from the restaurant!! Too bad we could not stay longer at restaurant.

Our daughter lives downtown and when we visit her or when I drop my husband off at airport for business my grand puppy

And I always walk where you took the pic of the Cancer Memorial.

Have a great day on Ms. Amsterdam!

PS those twins are so cute!

Denise:)

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I've heard bad things about San Diego as far as boarding ship is concerned. If you're getting this kind of weather now wonder what you'll get crossing the Northern Pacific this time of year?

Allan

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I've heard bad things about San Diego as far as boarding ship is concerned. If you're getting this kind of weather now wonder what you'll get crossing the Northern Pacific this time of year?

Allan

 

 

Embarkation, disembarkation -- have been bad for years in San Diego.

Been there -- experienced it all.

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Embarkation, disembarkation -- have been bad for years in San Diego.

Been there -- experienced it all.

 

Just to show that problems in San Diego are variable, and I do not doubt the many horror stories! But last year this time, we boarded there alongside an NCL ship in port, no issues or delays whatsoever. Returned there in late November, again no issues, all good! One of the easiest ports we've ever used, and have used it several times with HAL, and once we did a B2B there between two different lines, easy. Luck of the draw maybe? m--

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Thanks for the report, Roy...I am enjoying them! I was brought up in the Lutheran Churh...my parents church on Cape Cod was also St. Peter's!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Just to show that problems in San Diego are variable, and I do not doubt the many horror stories! But last year this time, we boarded there alongside an NCL ship in port, no issues or delays whatsoever. Returned there in late November, again no issues, all good! One of the easiest ports we've ever used, and have used it several times with HAL, and once we did a B2B there between two different lines, easy. Luck of the draw maybe? m--

If I ever have to board in San Diego again :eek:, I hope you are boarding at the same time.

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If I ever have to board in San Diego again :eek:, I hope you are boarding at the same time.

 

Would love to Ruth! :D:D m--

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Day A2, Monday, October 2, 2017, At sea, MS Amsterdam

 

The Oosterdam is in Cabo San Lucas. The Prinsendam is in Lisbon.

 

Thanks everyone. I have been scanning menus and programs but being a bit wifi stingy I’ll try to post them from Dutch Harbor. Sorry I’s so late posting but tried once and had a typo in the photo links.

 

I slept well but when I woke up at 5 the motion of the ship was quite noticeable. I was surprised to find that the lower promenade deck was not closed off but walked inside to the back of the ship and walked up stairway oscar (the mostly exterior aft stairs). When I got to the lido deck the wind coming across the aft portion of the deck was howling.

 

I took an abbreviated walk of about5 ½ laps (1 ½ miles) on the lower promenade deck. When crossing the bow I could easily feel myself getting heavier-lighter-heavier as the ship pitched. One thing I love about Crystal ships that I haven’t seen on the R-class to date was loungers on the aft decks. Amsterdam now has them on all the available decks, 2,3,6, and 7.

 

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

 

My day’s activities started with a “coffee chat” with Hamish in the Explorers Lounge. His guest for the day was EXC Guide Ian.

 

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

 

Ian also had a talk in the Queens Lounge at 10 summarizing the 80 day journey. I caught only the tail end of it as we also had the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet in the Crows Nest. It was a very big group with about 235 registered, and spilled out beyond the enclosed half of the room we had to ourselves. With the sea conditions very few people were standing in the Crows Nest.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10//meetgreet1.jpg

 

Captain Everson seems to like a bit of time to prepare his noon updates. It actually came about 12:45. We were about 135 miles South of San Francisco. The forecast was for increasing wind and seas but calming down overnight to the conditions we were then experiencing (as of 8AM Tuesday that has not happened; we have 50-60kt winds and are pitching wildly). One of our Cruise Critic members booked on the World Cruise has booked one of the deck 6 cabins looking out over the bow. I walked by the location at lunch and looks very good for someone with good sea legs–the door to the front deck is less than 10 feet away. There is no such exit on the starboard side.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10//6forward.jpg

 

I missed an 11AM lecture but at 2 there was one at 2 by Dr. Stephen Mings on colonization of the Pacific by the Polynesians. After the lecture I finally took a little time to finish unpacking.

 

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

 

At table 43 we lost one of our members but were joined by a new lady, this one from the Atlanta area. I enjoyed the blackberry soup, veal parmesan, and peach crisp.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10//dishes02.jpg

 

The featured entertainment was Alley Cats, a Doo-Wop acapella quartet. They were quite good and for an encore, in the light of events in LasVegas went outside their usual repertoire to close with “Let There Be Peace on Earth”.

 

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

 

On the way back I stopped at the Piano Bar for a diet Coke. Jeff Warren seems to be quite good both as a player/singer and seems to have a good relationship with the audience.

 

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

 

I think the closing of Ian’s talk seems like a good parting shot. I know I’ve heard it frequently but it seems like a good fit for the onset of this journey.” “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the places and moments that take our breath away.”

 

Roy

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Love your closing comment Roy :)

 

So true.

 

Great report. Hope the seas smooth out for you VERY soon.

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Hi Roy! Reporting in from Volendam. As I mentioned earlier,we missed Dutch Harbor today,taking a more southerly route to avoid what I think was to have been 3 systems directly in our path.As it is,we are really rocking and rolling tonight,but nothing like 0205,at least not yet .I have returned to my stateroom having just finished dinner-dolphin deck, just a few staterooms in front of the aft elevators,port side deck 1. Clocks back an hr tonight,and we miss Saturday I think,due to crossing the into date line. I hope you get calmer seas soon,as I well remember 0205 on Symphony in 2010

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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