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Around the World on Amtrak, KLM, and HAL

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Wow Roy good for you rain or shine and winds and swells you keep to your walking!!! I’m impressed. I am a walker and

I’ve been determined to do my laps too!

Enjoying your pics and love the 🌅 one you took!

Fingers crossed 🤞 smooth sailings ahead!

Please enjoy your time.

Denise:)

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Sorry that your weather is not pleasant...hopefully it will improve!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thanks for your reports and photos, super shot of the rising sun.

Hope the weather will soon improve for you.

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Thanks for all the comments; I'll review them off line. For cruiseNH, your blog comment came through but it will take me a few emails to actually see it. I was planning on a lot of wifi activity in Dutch Harbor; I'll miss that.

Day A6, Friday, October 6, 2017, At sea, MS Amsterdam

 

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

 

We spent most of the night rocking and rolling. At 5:30 conditions were BARELY viable for walking and after initially planning a 6-lap walk (just over 1 ½ miles) I extended it to 7 laps for an even 2 miles. On the first lap I noticed the moon shining brightly above the port side.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/moon1006.jpg

 

As we head west, sunrise gets later and later and this morning it was about 8:30, although it was cloudy behind us. I waited as long as I could, then walked down stairway Oscar to deck 2 where some rays of light were starting to spill out around the low lying clouds.

 

 

As has been happening the day started out with Bible study at 9 in the piano bar. There was no coffee chat this morning as Hamish was about to be occupied with the weekly crew drill. As we left the piano bar some of the crew was just donning fire protection gear.

 

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

 

Ian had his talk on what to do in Dutch Harbor at 10. It was almost choreographed that the talk barely ended at 10:30 when Captain Eversen came on the PA at 10:40 and announced that due to coming storms (with 50kt winds predicted for the dock) we were skipping Dutch Harbor.

 

When we changed course we were about 370 miles from Dutch Harbor. I expect we continued getting closer as we were more east than south of the port (at 10PM we were 265 miles from Dutch) but once we veered from north of west to south of west we had somewhat less wind and motion. In his noon update Captain Eversen added that we would be turning the clocks back an hour this evening. I think we must turn the clocks back every night up to Kushiro; if we had not done it tonight we might have needed to change 2 hours some days. Time zones change fast in the North Pacific.

 

My afternoon activities were a talk by Dr. Ming on King Kamehmeha and Afternoon Tea with Dutch pastries. Yummy!

 

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

 

We were short one person at table 43. I went for the fruit cocktail, lamb shank, and blueberry Sundae. As a gesture for missing Dutch Harbor we were given free wine or soda at dinner. There has been a bit of a change in the soda card. The glasses of soda are now bigger but also more expensive. I like a daily diet coke and thought my soda card would cover the voyage but with the larger cups I was planning to buy a six pack at Safeway in Dutch Harbor. The one freebie will help a bit with my bar bill..

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes06.jpg

 

The featured entertainment was a repeat performance by the Alley Cats. They were supposed to disembark (and I presume be replaced by new artists) in Dutch Harbor so they may third appearance. I hope they aren’t missing any big engagements being stuck on the ship another week.

 

Today’s parting shot is in the “be careful what you wish for” series. Back in 2015 I booked 2 cruises. The first was a Crystal Serenity transatlantic running nonstop from Rome to Key West with 10 consecutive days at sea, the “mother of all sea days” cruise. I also booked the Grand Asia hoping it would end before Crystal Serenity left Rome on October 15. Nobody does sea days as well as Crystal and I was really looking forward to that cruise. Serenity was redeployed from Europe to Alaska this summer; otherwise I would not have been able to do the Grand Asia.

As it turns out I now have the 10 straight sea days I craved but not quite what was planned. Life is full of surprises.

 

Roy

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Life is so full of surprises! Good and bad but even with the bad weather and missing Dutch Harbor I’d still want you o be in your shoes Roy! My cruise can not come fast enough!!

So love your pictures! That moon shot I really liked🤗

Denise:)

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Thanks Denise and Krazy Kruizers

While we did not make it to Dutch Harbor, it is an unusual port not on the normal cruise ship circuit and I might as well say something about it. This is the fifth time I’ve been booked into Dutch Harbor with 3 of the tries being successful.

 

My first booking was on the Crystal Harmony in 2003, on a cruise from Tinjin to Vancouver. Unfortunately, Crystal’s Asian season was cut short by concerns about SARS, and the ship returned to the US empty, well before the scheduled cruise.

 

That missed opportunity piqued my interest and I did book a trip on the Alaska Ferry Tustemena in 2007. While cruise ships never go anywhere between Kodiak and Dutch Harbor the ferry stopped at several tiny communities along the way(Chignik, Sand Cove, King Point, False Pass, and Akutan), generally with an hour or 2 where we could get off and walk around. The ferries carry a forest ranger and in his talk on Dutch Harbor he mentioned that there was a lady with a van there who met the ferry and took people on a little tour of the island. I made sure to be off quickly and get to her before the van filled up. We didn’t get out of the van but traveled most of the community’s 7miles of paved roads and even went up on the bluff where there had been some WW2 fortifications.

 

My other actual visits were on Crystal and I’ll let my blog posts speak for themselves: First was the Crystal Symphony on a 2013 cruise from Kobe to Vancouver:

 

https://angkorwatmyway.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/day-cs11-sunday-april-21-dutch-harbor-alaska/

 

My most recent visit was on Crystal Serenity’s Northwest Passage voyage last August:

 

https://aroundamericabitbybit.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/day-cs3-friday-august-19-dutch-harbor-alaska/

 

While missing Dutch Harbor is a disappointment to me, I feel blessed compared to the people looking forward to their first visit, both on the Amsterdam and the Volendam. I really feel for the entertainers who were scheduled to leave the ship and return home and especially to any who flew into Dutch Harbor hoping to board for the next several days.

 

Don't be surprised if you don't hear much from me for a while. Signs at the front desk and in the library warn of spotty internet coverage in the coming week.

 

Roy

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Look forward to your next writings Roy! Thank you so much for alittle history of the area of Dutch Harbor!!

Never made it up that far. Will wait impatiently 🤗 for when you get back to us with the slow😖 internet onboard!

Smooth Sailings I hope now!

Denise :)

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So far so good on the internet

 

Day A7, Saturday, October 7, 2017, Dutch Harbor, Alaska (NOT)

 

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

 

Once I was ready to go on deck I tried the promenade door and the wind was howling. I went to the aft deck where there was a bit of shelter and at 5:30 we were almost due south of Dutch Harbor about 250 miles away. I tried again about 6:30 and while the ship was moving beneath my feet and the wind was strong and gusty the deck was walkable. With the extra sea day I thought I’d try lunch at the Pinnacle Grill and with that I REALLY wanted to get my full 5 miles of walking in. I had completed about 11 laps (2/3 of the walk) by 8 when I started breakfast, half of the remainder before 9AM bible study, and the rest around 11AM. Temperatures started out around 45F, eventually rising to 50, and I did not see the sun until about the last 2 laps.

 

After 9AM bible study Cruise Director Hamish was interviewing the Alley Cats at his coffee chat. While only 4 perform at any one time there are 32 people available in the group so when they weren’t getting off at Dutch Harbor they made some frantic email arrangements for other people to cover their upcoming engagements (except for one member who was supposed to leave on his honeymoon). I left the chat a bit early for Ian’s travel trivia. In his noon update Captain Eversen indicated that conditions should calm down a bit overnight.

 

The Pinnacle Grill at lunch time was very quiet, possibly because it was supposed to be closed for our visit to Dutch Harbor. The Pinnacle Grill on the Amsterdam and it’s sisters is in kind of a step child location, isolated on deck 4 with no windows. The Pinnacle burger is delicious but it’s also a huge lunch, something I probably should only eat once a year. If I remembered I had done it on the Koningsdam in February I might not have gone back so soon, but it was lovely, with a very nice assortment of berries for desert.

 

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

 

Much of this paragraph is my conjecture but I’ll say it anyway. On my Amsterdam World Cruise Segment in 2014 Dr. Stephen Sloan was one of the lecturers and was accompanied by his wife Roberta. Late in that voyage she made a couple of (I believe) unofficial presentations. Her topics rarely interest me but she is a very good speaker, and this year they are both back officially as lecturers. Roberta’s first presentation was at 2PM on Improv theater and Saturday Night Live and she was delightful.

 

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

 

As we sat down to dinner a lovely rainbow appeared outside the window. One of the regulars at table 43 was dining with others tonight and may be leaving us; we’ll see. After the huge Pinnacle lunch I went very light at dinner with just a fruit cup, blueberry soup and a single scoop of ice cream.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes07.jpg

 

One of my tablemates is having internet problems and I offered to send her family an email along with a picture from Table 43.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/table43.jpg

 

The day stayed cold and pretty windy; about 7:45 the sun went down almost directly ahead of the ship.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/sunset07.jpg

 

The featured entertainment was singer Sonia Selbe, and I followed her show with some time at the piano bar where Jeff Warren was playing easy going favorites.

 

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

 

As today’s parting shot, this evening’s When and Where notes that Canadian Thanksgiving well be celebrated on Sunday since we will lose Monday crossing the International Dateline. It will also be Columbus Day in the US. Whichever holiday if either you celebrate may it be joyous. I plan to take advantage of my Canadian heritage and plan to enjoy turkey with all the trimmings.

 

Roy

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Sorry you missed your port, Roy. Hopefully things go smoother.

 

Interesting on the signs for internet. First time I've seen that. That's a wise move on the part of the ship to make the passengers aware. Probably a practice that should be followed throughout the fleet.

 

Happy Columbus Day to you and enjoy your turkey :)

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Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Roy!!!!!

I’m full looking at that burger in the Pinnacle 😳

Glad you were able to get the walking in even with the winds!

Nice table mates with your photo.

Glad internet is up and running.

Take care!

PS TO ALL CANADIANS HAPPY TURKEY DAY TOO!

Denise:)

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I just found this thread, I am loving reading it and all the pictures. I feel like I am sailing right along side you......looking forward to your updates.....

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Happy Thanksgiving & Columbus Day. After all that turkey you'll need a couple of extra laps around the deck.

Allan

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Roy,

 

Since you are across the IDL, I know today is now yesterday, but aren't those added hours easier to take than the normal lost ones in the Atlantic direction. I've been following along everyday, though I haven't always posted. I'm mostly just enjoying the ride.

 

Carole

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Day A8, Sunday-Monday, October 8-9, 2017, At sea, MS Amsterdam

 

The Oosterdam is at sea from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas October 8 and in Cabo October 9. The Prinsendam is in Crotone October 8 and in Durres October 9..

 

I popped my head out the lower promenade deck door about 5:20 and it was immediately apparent that I would complete my 5-mile walk. It was chilly (about 45F with a cool breeze) but a fleece and gortex jacket took care of that. As I walked up the aft stairs from deck 7 to the lido for coffee, the opening in the staircase nicely framed a bright moon.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/moon1008.jpg

 

After the walk I went up to the lido for a second cup of coffee about 7:30 and it was close enough to sunrise that I just hung there (7:55AM) There were some low lying clouds but the sun found its place pretty well.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dawn1008.jpg

 

As I stayed for my omelet the lido was being decorated with “autumn leaves” in a festive preparation for Thanksgiving.

 

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

 

The morning was very busy with Protestant Communion in the Queens Lounge at 9, a talk on Asia by Ian at 10, and another talk by Stephen Sloan, this one on Intelligence at 11.

 

In his noon update Captain Eversen reported we were 2247 miles due west of Seattle and predicted temperatures in the mid-50's although I never saw anything over 50. We lose a day crossing the International Dateline but will gain 2 hours at 2AM I’ve had a bit of trouble with his accent but he’s been giving reference cities for setting IPAD clocks; tonight we go to Petropovlovsk instead of Nuku’alofa.

 

Dr. Stephen Mings had a 2PM talk on the roles of the Dutch, French, and British on colonizing the Pacific. After his talk I went up to the lido and watched as we crossed the International Dateline. While there is nothing physical about the line it is very real in it’s role in keeping world times in order and generally follows the 180 degree meridian except for some deviations to prevent dividing countries.. According to my GPS we crossed the line at 3:23 PM and while the ship’s clocks did not change it was effectively Monday. I took a photo knowing that while there was really nothing to see the dateline really was in our close wake. It is also the first day since San Diego that the loungers have been out around the Seaview pool.

 

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

 

We had our full complement at table 43 and all but one of us opted for the traditional thanksgiving turkey dinner, served on the actual Canadian Thanksgiving evening despite the ship’s clocks. While Pumpkin pie was on the menu I opted for the Apple

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes08.jpg

 

Agus and Abdul were in my room when I returned from dinner so I took a walk up to the Crows Nest where the sun was setting directly in front of the ship.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/daysend08.jpg

 

My sleep patterns are out of whack. I dozed off for about 3 hours at 7:30, arriving late for Gabe Ableson’s 10PM show. His act is a kind of mind reading combined with comedy. I stopped briefly at the piano bar after the show. This is apparently not a late night crowd and there was not much action but a chance to chat a bit with Jeff Warren. I guess on an 80 (or even 30) day cruise there’s not much need to cram everything possible into every day.

 

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

 

Since this was a Canadian Holiday (may still be as I write this) I’ll take my parting shot from the

Canadian news summary. Voters in Les Eboulements Quebec will need to be careful voting for mayor of the small town outside Quebec City. The winner will be Pierre Tremblay, with the choice between 2 candidates with identical names but opposite visions. A delicate choice and I hope the voters take care.

 

Roy

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🙌 woohoo! So glad you got your 5 mile walk this am! 45 degrees is cold to me. Too much sun in San Diego LOL.

Those pictures of the sun rise are awesome! We love being up early and out and about especially walking on the promenade. Peace and quiet soooo tranquil. The lido looked nice with the Autumn 🍂 leaves. Glad to see the lounge chairs out but still looks cold. I want good weather coming for you Roy!!

Keep enjoying your trip AND hope you get a good night 💤 sleep.

Denise:)

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Great pics Roy.

 

I haven't seen the leaves in the Lido before - nice touch.

 

Glad you enjoyed your Canadian Thanksgiving dinner :D

 

Apple pie is a perfectly legit choice, too.;)

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Love your reports.

Great pictures. The fall leaves in the Lido were a nice touch.

I would have opted for the apple pie as well since I am not a fan of pumpkin.

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Enjoying your reports and your photos, Roy. Love ❤️ the leaves, too. Hope they leave them in place for all to enjoy!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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So you didn't watch the elevator mats flip to a new day while crossing the line??!! That is a real sight to behold - similar to flushing the toilet when crossing the equator. :rolleyes:

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Day A9, Tuesday October 10, 2017, At sea, MS Amsterdam

 

The Oosterdam is in Mazatlan. The Prinsendam is in Dubrobnik.

 

Thank you Denise, Alan, and Carole(and the others who posted since Cruise Critic's last email digest of the thread). I would definitely expect the changes to be harder in the opposite direction and am surprised at how much I’ve been expected. It may be lingering effects of never really relaxing on stormy seas or (perish the thought) advancing age.

 

After my unplanned evening nap I woke up about 3AM and couldn’t get back to sleep, and ended up starting my walk about 4:30. The temperature is up about 5 degrees overnight, but the winds are also stronger. When I got up to the aft lido deck I could see a cloudy trace of the moon shining faintly through the clouds.

 

My walk ended about sunrise but there was no trace of the sun in the clouds. All in all not as nice weather as the previous day but no major weather complications. When I checked our GPS location the last Aleutian settlements were about 500 miles behind us and Petropavlovsk Russia was about 700 miles northwest of us.

 

Sea days are almost but not quite taking on a routine. One constant has developed with bible study in the piano bar at 9. That ends about 9:30 leaving me time to go back to the lido for a mid-morning snack before the 10AM presentation. Today’s 10AM activity was a bit longer as Captain Eversen gave a full hour virtual bridge tour (including discussions of the azipods and stabilizers. There are 5 diesel generators. The ship has a service speed of 21 knots but is most efficient at about 17 knots which uses 2 of the 5 engines running under full load. That was followed by about a 20-minute question and answer period.

 

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

 

I am not a spontaneous eater. I like to plan my day’s meals in advance and that’s been well served on the Amsterdam as menus have been posted by the time I finish my morning walk. Most of the menus posted on my blog are derived from the Holland America Navigator app rather than trying to photograph them or get paper copies to scan. That has also worked well so far.

 

In his mid-day update Captain Eversen reported we have sailed 3540 miles since San Diego with another 1172 (3 degrees latitude South and 27 degrees longitude West) to go to Kushiro. Our Latitude of 45 degrees North is roughly the same as Portland (also Montreal). We spent much of the day sailing with the fog horn sounding every 2 minutes. We gain another hour tonight (and each night until Kushiro. I have just reset the IPAD to Sydney time.

 

Much of the afternoon was spent in the showroom with Ian’s introduction to Japan (his port talk on Kushiro is Wednesday) and afternoon tea.

 

There were 6 of us tonight at table 43. I opted for the lasagna as well as the cherry crisp.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes10.jpg

 

The featured entertainment was the Amsterdam singers and dancers n “Dance”, an extremely high energy, almost acrobatic show. I’ll take my parting shot from the Piano Bar. Jeff Warren was playing and talking about songs, songwriters, and backgrounds behind the songs. He mentioned that for some people the right name made a big difference and as an example used a song writer, Jimmy Van Husen, whose career took off when he adopted that name and mentioned he was from Syracuse, New York, my home town. I asked when it was and Jeff said 40's and 50's, just as I was growing up there, but I’d never heard the name before. Sometimes you learn about your own history in the most unexpected ways and places.

 

Roy

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