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rafinmd

Around the World on Amtrak, KLM, and HAL

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Thank you all. BTW, the wearesiamese comment regarding "0205" may not make sense to HAL cruisers but Crystal is quite explicit in posting voyage numbers and that's kind of a shorthand identifying a particular cruise. "0205" was a transpacific in 2010 where we got caught for I think 3 or 4 days between 2 cyclones with nowhere to run and had to just ride it out.

 

Day A3, Tuesday, October 3, 2017, At sea, MS Amsterdam

 

The Oosterdam is in Mazatlan. The Prinsendam is in Gibraltar.

 

At 5AM the ship was moving quite erratically and the wind was howling. The outer decks were never officially never closed but they were not a nice place to be. When I went up for coffee I went out on the aft deck 6 for the exterior stairs to the lido deck. I was coming up the final flight and just as my head popped above the deck surface I got a burst of water in my face and returned to the interior stairs.

 

The Amsterdam has the older style TV. I actually prefer them to the new ones on the Oosterdam; they seem to have a wider selection of channels and in particular there didn’t seem to be a voyage information channel on the Oosterdam. Today it showed our track making a sharp turn westward away from the coast and heading directly to Unalaska about the time we passed San Francisco.

 

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

 

While it was a blustery windy day the sky was perfectly clear. A challenging walk out on the aft lido deck a bit after 7 was rewarded with a picture perfect sunrise.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dawn1003.jpg

 

There was not much of interest to me in the morning’s activities. I did go to Hamish’s coffee chat but the guests were from the shops and it wasn’t of much interest. I did go out on the promenade deck after 11 for a 1 ½ mile walk; that was plenty long with howling winds and foaming seas.

 

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

 

In his noon (12:45) update Captain Everson indicated conditions would gradually improve. The daily temperature (for all 3 sea days to date) was in the low 60's (about 16-17C). He alerted us we would be moving our clocks to Alaska time overnight. I got pizza for lunch; thought it pretty good.

 

At 2 Dr. Stephen Sloan continued his lecture series on Globalization. I missed his first talk Monday.

 

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

 

We have a new member at table 43 from Nevada. The new person from Monday night was not there but we have not heard she is leaving us. I opted this evening for the Melon Bisque, Rosemary Chicken, and Strawberry Crisp.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes03.jpg

 

The featured entertainment was mime/illusionist Ruben Vilagrand. I nodded off through most of the show but didn’t feel I missed much. I did not nod off when I stopped at the piano bar where Jeff Warren was doing songs of the 70's.

 

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

 

As a parting shot I found in my 2011 trans-pacific that days of rough seas, even if not really uncomfortable, can be tiring. The same has been true for the last two days. Conditions are improving and I’m really for that.

 

Roy

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I hope your sea conditions improve quickly and a LOT, Roy.

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Roy,

 

Unless they have changed it again - on the interactive TVs, the 'live' channels has all the cruise data and forward and aft cameras.

 

Carole

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This is my first HAL cruise.What did they use to have that they don’t offer now? I did find the lack of lectures the first few days disappointing.More the past 2 days and I think here on out to Japan.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Keep them coming Roy!!! Look forward every day!

The seas will start calming down soon! I would be restless if I could not do my walking! Hate the tread mill. Glad your able to do your walk even if it’s 1 1/2 miles👍👍👍

Denise:)

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Apparent wind 62 it’s on Volendam as of a few minutes ago...What is “apparent” wind?

 

 

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The*Apparent wind*is the*wind experienced by an observer in motion and is the relative velocity of the*wind*in relation to the observer.*Apparent wind velocity is the vector sum of the true wind*and the headwind an object would experience in still air.

 

If you are on the bow of a ship going 20 knots into a 20 knots headwind, the apparent wind is 40 knots.

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Forums mobile app

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Roy, I'm looking forward to hearing how your travels are going, glad I found your post. Bon voyage!

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Roy, would you please verify if the Visa suite walls are magnet conducive? We are planning ahead for our 2018 Grand Asia - way ahead!

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Roy, would you please verify if the Visa suite walls are magnet conducive? We are planning ahead for our 2018 Grand Asia - way ahead!

 

I'm not in a vista suite but I doubt if they are. They definitely are not in my oceanview cabin

 

.Roy

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Day A4, Wednesday, October 4, 2017, At sea, MS Amsterdam

 

The Oosterdam is in Puerto Vallarta. The Prinsendam is at sea from Gibralter to Barcelona.

 

At 5AM things were much calmer. The deck crew was very busy washing down EVERYTHING on the lower promenade deck and I dodged a number of waterfalls walking under the lifeboats.

I stopped a little short of my 5-mile walk to go up to lido deck at sunrise but it was so cloudy there was nothing to see. I’ll take that over the wind and waves any day. I finished the final 2 1/3 laps of my walk around 8.

 

As the morning started we were almost 500 miles due west of Oregon heading west north west directly towards Dutch Harbor and continue on that course all day. My morning schedule was jam packed with bible study at 9, a talk on Alaska (in general) at 10, and a second talk by Dr. Ming at 11.

 

I normally like to be on deck for the Captain’s midday report. I was a bit late today and only as far as the exterior stairs next to the dining room and found the acoustics there awful. I do know that at noon we were very near the midpoint of the first leg of our journey. Captain Eversen did say he expected the seas and winds to pick up later today. We had something like 8 miles of water beneath our keel. The spaghetti in the lido looked good and I ate it on the aft deck, the first time since leaving San Diego that the tables have been in place beyond the covered section.

 

There was not a lot on the afternoon schedule and I spent it pretty much chillin out.

 

Captain Eversen’s welcome party was held in the Queens Lounge at 4:30. He introduced the senior staff and the Employee of the Month.

 

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

 

For our first Gala night we were joined by Kimberly from the Shore Excursions department. I enjoyed the fruit plate, cranberry soup, veal, and raspberry tart.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes04.jpg

 

It is traditional on Holland America Grand Voyages to distribute “pillow gifts” on formal nights. The first one was a “messenger bag” accompanied by a pen and stationery set.

 

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

 

The featured entertainment was musician Craig Richard. He played saxophone and piano and sang a little bit. He has also appeared on “American Ninja Warrior” and in an account of a serious rock climbing accident. He said he will report on those in a future lecture. The seas did get riled up during dinner but at least we had a day’s respite. I did not stop at the piano bar after the show. Jeff Warren was doing “Name that Tune” which typically lasts longer than I can spend before bed.

 

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

 

I’ll take my parting shot by quoting Craig Richard quoting Albert Einstein. “If I can see farther it is only because I stand on the shoulders of giants.

 

Roy

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So glad the seas have calmed for you Roy.

 

 

You might need another suitcase for your pillow gifts if they are all like this one. It looks quite nice.

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Thank you Shiela, Denise, Jacqui, and KrazyKruisers

 

Day A5, Thursday, October 5, 2017, At sea, MS Amsterdam

 

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

 

Wednesday’s favorable weather turned out to be a respite rather than a change. Conditions deteriorated during Wednesday dinner and most of the night was quite bouncy.

 

When I went up for coffee things had improved somewhat but I was not comfortable with an early morning walk. According to my gps the moon should still have been out but it was nowhere to be seen. The nearest town was Kodiak Alaska, 550 miles away.

 

I did venture out again after 6:30 and things were not quite as bad as they appeared. I walked 3 miles before returning to the lido at 8. As I rounded the stern on the penultimate lap the sun was just coming up through a small slit in the clouds on the horizon

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dawn1005.jpg

 

After my omelet I walked another 5 laps before 9AM bible study and 2 more afterwards, finishing 5 miles just before EXC Guide Ian’s 10AM talk on the ring of fire. The wind seemed a bit worse on those final 2 laps than they had been earlier; I think my walk took up most of the day’s viable time for walking.

 

The morning’s final presentation at 11 was Dr. Ming on Captain Cook’s voyages and unfortunate end. This may well be Dr. Ming’s final voyage on HAL; he seems to just reads from his notes and wanders into personal stories.

 

I spent most of the afternoon quietly with just one activity, a 2PM talk by Dr. Stephen Sloan on urbanization. I rarely ventured outside after my walk as the weather just wasn’t very nice.

 

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

 

There are a number of Grand Voyage “events” including several themed dinners in the Pinnacle Grill, each with a $79 supplement. The first was tonight, “Dining Like the ‘Rat Pack’”. Meanwhile, all seven regulars were back at table 43, with me choosing the fruit plate, New York Strip, and Rhubarb Crisp.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes05.jpg

 

The featured entertainment was guitarist Louie Shelton. I stopped for about a half hour at the piano bar on the way back where Jeff Warren was concentrating on the 80's but went wherever he felt the good music took him.

 

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

 

I’ll take my parting shot from MS Amsterdam itself. I do like to look at the port memorabilia displayed on the stair wells and on deck 1 midship noticed a pair of proclamations for Amsterdam’s inaugural call in Baltimore. Reading the proclamation exposed the fact that in it’s initial season Amsterdam did a “tour” of US cities. I think it’s unfortunate that isn’t happening any more. While the Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam are too tall to visit Baltimore and some other cities, showcasing the ship in Boston, New York, and other eastern cities along with inaugural HAL transits of the new Panama Canal to do a west coast swing would be a great event.

 

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

 

Roy

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Enjoy reading your up dates keep them coming. Hope the weather improves.

Allan

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Thanks, Allan. Unfortunately, the weather has not improved. About an hour ago Captain Eversen announced 50 kt winds at Dutch Harbor; like the Volendam we are skipping and on the way to Japan.

 

Roy

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Thanks, Allan. Unfortunately, the weather has not improved. About an hour ago Captain Eversen announced 50 kt winds at Dutch Harbor; like the Volendam we are skipping and on the way to Japan.

 

Roy

How disappointing for everyone, and particularly the islanders who look forward to the profits brought in by the cruise ships. I will cross my fingers for next year's cruise.

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About an hour ago Captain Eversen announced 50 kt winds at Dutch Harbor; like the Volendam we are skipping and on the way to Japan.

What a shame. One of the great things about this itinerary is the exotic ports not visited by the more usual cruises.

 

Hope the seas smooth out for you. There was a similar cruise about 15 years ago that was so rough even the entertainers were grabbing their life jackets in fear.

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