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**Near-Live Blog of Zaandam Inca and South America Cruise 24 Sep - 3 Nov 2018**

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Lastly, I try to remember to bring a challenge coin. I have been nailed a few times for not having one on me, often by my FIL Roger, who knows I should have it, and occasionally by my SIL or BIL. Always costs me a drink if I'm caught without it. But, we've also caught a few other vets without theirs on cruises. We had a grand time once in Cozumel during a cruise a few years ago with a then recently retired USAF Sr NCO, who had forgotten his, and his wife, who he blamed for not packing it, drinking the afternoon away at Senior Frogs on his dime! They were a friendly and fun couple but I'll be darned if I can remember their names. If you don't know the story behind challenge coins, click here:

jOv762IctJBJ5BOZxtYKVqeB6uQ3ZqjrQ5cHu4t4AFSHLNV5bWoSi2kCVZgYjlbkaK_eDZwfrP404Rt2cAHJJhI2MuPRC6FhN2TJ9hEYWiL8kTq_e-UGDFplvp5k_r6n5GCWth89ZRgOQVHkAV8r7pw46lcXbdvFiFL4NtP_fFz9leyc90nEOCQ0ekpqHH4rbxlsHn-3fyZw-hO2mnbDV5veru2ZilWjzX-lyyRe7Fytmz6K191VucoR25KDYeO_LUSuE_xoyj1sFK2vw4xNJAiO5ma1FLwj__6frpyTZhOU4s6GY5vunMDS8O6kUCVZZn8m7sR890YKHnegz26tjHU9vkHfbKuEwfojNejb38iX9YW78Ifxct8MiVZvPz7QELvd0QN2PS-V9BHWuni_SlWXFCMSI54T4KqYkVGXb27AEykUOpkgKkK0qTfxMaJzEauCdhufcmnWHP3131L9MCKdL_EMpzY4FCZDIlebHhAR5QoVP92-d0M_xHLsTyqDBulmwxID_gSrXVXZKa2FuO5iHx4KV2X3BNL9HNL6H-AJXNVhnDgqGNNynPVb_uZgtZ_4IcRZ3mV8bN_3xLxeENOHEcMfnmOqDin_JbuvmfAhPMikAxQGDM5R_0Rc_Tiv=w934-h843-no

 

Anyhow, time to head to the pharmacy.

Hi Rich - glad you remembered your coin. Bruce gets really antsy if he can't find his when it drops out of his pocket and into the chair. He's gone through quite a number since retirement - that said, he's rarely used it on a cruise but there's always a first time. BTW - so glad you and kazu taught me about the spreadsheets - currently I have three going (but refuse to do one for the 6 day Prinsendam cruise!).

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wonderful pictures!!! Sounds like a great start to your cruise!!

 

Just got caught up on your reports -- love reading everything.

Great pictures.

 

Glad you're all enjoying and I'm finally delivering! :halo:

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Great pics, Rich!

 

Ok, I am waiting with bated breath to find out why it was empty. ;)

 

sounds like your cruise is off to a great start with good service. I met 'Jim' on another cruise. Lovely lady. You will be well taken care of :)

 

Which cruise? I'll ask her about it and say hi for you 2! ;) Your answer next.....

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Day 3 (9/25)

 

What a great show last night.... yes, you can hear the show in our cabin. We are on deck 3, Lower Promenade deck, forward on the starboard side. We're the 2nd cabin forward of the first access to the promenade deck outside. I think it places us just underneath the back of the Main Stage where the spiral stairs between the 2 sections of the Main Stage sit. So, the noise is not bad really. Roger didn't even hear it but he doesn't hear more and more these days. Interestingly, we have found our cabin comes equipped with a white noise machine. Many of you have seen the controls to..... something in the wall just under the window to outside. There may be a few here who know what the controls used to do. I believe I've read various things about music being available through them, the various radio systems on the ship like bridge and so forth for listening to, etc. I've even seen this set of controls on other S and R class ships but they never seemed to do anything. Well, ours does. First, it turns on. We've found we can scroll through 6 channels and even raise or lower the volume, and of course, we can turn it off. It works with the speaker in the ceiling above our beds. There's 6 whole channels of nothing but static, with an ocassional pop. Hence, our white noise machine. Worked nicely last night. Vancouver! My DD and I did and Alaskan cruise on the Statendam in 2009 out of Vancouver. We decided then and there that this city was "The City of Glass". It is a beautiful place. Breakfast in the Lido Market. About 9 AM, we decided we would go take a walk around the area. We had to leave the ship anyhow, so why not? The ship needed to have a zero count before anyone could begin boarding and we were given little "In Transit" cards the day before at check-in and had filled out our customs cards too. We left with the understanding that the earliest we could re-board was 11:30 AM which turned out to be true. On our walk we found a Tim Horton's just across the street from Canada Place and had a donut each and cup of coffee. We walked over to a very quiet shopping mall and then down to where the Marriott Pinnacle hotel is. On the way a big, old, friendly golden retriever who was being walked fell in love with Roger. She sat down on his feet and just grinned up at him and sniffled his hands and seemed to really have found a long lost friend. We walked to the convention center where the Olympic Torch burned for the 2010 Winter Olympics (I hope I remember that right) and watched the airplanes and boats and helicopters busily conducting people back and forth. About 11:15 AM we decided to head back to the ship. We passed through security and US immigration and with our "In Transit" cards bypassed the check-in counter and waiting rooms. We followed the "Crew" line instead and ended up at the entrance to the jetway to the ship. Once a few wheel chairs cleared the jetway, we were back on the ship for lunch. It was a nice way to spend the morning. Later in the day we heard that around 650 people boarded in Seattle, quite a few of them doing the 1 nighter to Vancouver. Just over a thousand boarded here in Vancouver and some of these are getting off in San Diego. We did not have to go to musterd again, just those who embarked today. We had a nap instead. Dinner in the Lido again and we sat in Jim's area and again found the service to be very attentive here, even with all the newcomers. Being that we were "old-timers" since we had boarded only yesterday, we knew where all the food was and who all the servers were. I wanted to go to see Adagio perform at 6:15 PM as I usually enjoy them and boy was I surprised. My very favorite pair is here! Yegor and Julian from Ukraine! They are fantastic performers; Julian is superb on violin and Yegor is a world-class pianist! My DW and I first saw them on Nieuw Amsterdam in a 10 day southern Caribbean cruise for her BD in 2017. They played to a packed Explorers Lounge every performance. We had just lost our beloved 14+ year old mini-Schnauzer Missy a couple of weeks earlier and had found the new pups but hadn't had them long yet, so this was the longest 10 cruise we had ever been on. Yegor and Julian helped to make the cruise enjoyable despite ourselves and our loss. Unfortunately they will be leaving the cruise in San Diego but I was so happy to see them here even if for only a couple of nights. After watching both of their shows I listened to them again while I was in bed falling asleep to the show in the Main Stage as they were part of the opening night show called "Listen to the Music". A very good day!

 

Early morning in Vancouver:

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Zaandam at Canada Place:

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Seabourn Sojourn and ms Amsterdam were there too:

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We're still bunkering fuel:

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While Amsterdam is leaving:

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Julian and Yegor of Adagio:

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Hi Rich - glad you remembered your coin. Bruce gets really antsy if he can't find his when it drops out of his pocket and into the chair. He's gone through quite a number since retirement - that said, he's rarely used it on a cruise but there's always a first time. BTW - so glad you and kazu taught me about the spreadsheets - currently I have three going (but refuse to do one for the 6 day Prinsendam cruise!).

 

Hello DWAliaschief! Dam I wish I could remember names! :confused: Anyhow, I'm happy the spreadsheets are helping.

 

Believe it or not, I already owe Roger a drink because he had his coin.

 

Hi to Aliaschief too!

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Which cruise? I'll ask her about it and say hi for you 2! ;) Your answer next.....

 

LOL Rich, I remember people but not the ships they were on. I hesitate to say what ship. But I remember HER and happily would greet her again.

 

No worries, I don't expect anyone to remember me. ;p

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Great pics Rich and great stories.

 

Love you LIVE thread :)

 

OMG on your Adagio. You are right they are really, really good.

 

Sorry they are getting off soon but so gald that you have them for now and, with luck, you will have equally good people coming on to perform.

 

Adagio is one thing we enjoy and enjoyed listening with you a few times with your DW and you :)

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Hello DWAliaschief! Dam I wish I could remember names! :confused: Anyhow, I'm happy the spreadsheets are helping.

 

Believe it or not, I already owe Roger a drink because he had his coin.

 

Hi to Aliaschief too!

Susan and Bruce:D

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08d57cf0a03381e3ccf79febb6cc9dba.jpg

 

They have a CD! They are an unlikely looking pair - one very romantic- looking, and the other could be a businessman. But a very good Adagio duo.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Susan and Bruce:D

 

Thanks for jogging my terrible memory. I got Bruce (thanks to you) and I should remember your name as my mom shares that name. :D

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08d57cf0a03381e3ccf79febb6cc9dba.jpg

 

They have a CD! They are an unlikely looking pair - one very romantic- looking, and the other could be a businessman. But a very good Adagio duo.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

That's them! We also have that CD of theirs, along with a second one (I think.....). According to Julian, they are hoping to get on with Lincoln Center Stage. They did a matinee today and have 3 more performances tonight.

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Good morning sunrise:

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Day 4 (9/26)

 

First day at sea today. Yesterday consisted of wandering around the Straits of Juan de Fuca killing time before heading up to Vancouver. What a beautiful sunrise this morning. As others have found, there are inconsistencies between the printed version of "When & Where" and the online Navigator version of events and times. So far, the online version has been more correct but it seems that one will only miss lectures or events left unprinted in "When & Where". For example, Adagios' performances at 6:15 PM, 7:15 PM and 9 PM were left out of the printed version but on the online version. Yegor was kind enough to provide me with his personal website and I told him I'd share it here with everyone. http://yegoryegorov.com/ He truly is more than a cut above the rest and Julian compliments his talents with his own passionate skills.

 

Ok, down to business. Here's the list of ship's officers for this part of the voyage:

 

Captain: Friso Kramer Freher

Staff Captain: Andrew McDonald

Cruise Director: Bruce Allen Scudder

Hotel Director: Francois Birarda

Executive Chef: Rohit Dimri

 

Last night's entertainment was provided by comedian and magician Nick Diffatte. Didn't happen to notice too much of his 2 shows. Tonight's show will be performed, oddly enough, by Amsterdam's Singers and Dancers and is called "Road House". I guess Zaandam's Singers and Dancers have the night off. Really, that's how it's printed in "When & Where". :D:D :)

 

We did go to a lecture today, just before lunch. It was an EXC Talk: Navigating the Night Sky with guest speaker Jim. Jim is a geo-chemist by trade and is quite passionate about astronomy. His talk was jam-packed with lots of information about stars, magnitudes, sky charts. He's a good speaker, cares about his listeners, and has a vast knowledge that he tries hard to pack into a short timeframe. Later, he's be hosting a stargazing session on the Sky deck about the Crow's Nest at 9 PM. I might make it to that.

 

Beyond that, we did little but eat, listen to music, hit happy hour, read, walk and enjoy. Our Ocean Bar pianist is Liam and our Mix Piano Bar entertainer is Stryker. Oh yeah, this was the first of seven Gala Nights. I shucked my shorts and put jeans on to blend in. There were lots of tuxedos and suits and very dressy ladies so I didn't blend well. There are a large number of Seattle/Vancouver to San Diego passengers on board, including small children. We did miss the Captain's Toast this evening in favor of Adagio, although the Explorers Lounge emptied as though there were a fire drill right at 8:45 PM, encouraged by Julian who said something to the effect of it being much better to drink the Captain's champagne. I had to disagree. But then, I don't like champagne.

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Trying a video from Youtube:

 

q3Vv452svSk

 

This was last night's sunset. It's a hyperlapse video; this 20 seconds represents 2.5 minutes in real time.

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Enjoying the blog. While I was pretty certain who you were referring to in a couple of the posts, your use of DW and DD prompted me to learn something this morning. (Interpreting FIL, SIL, and BIL were easy.) Glad you and Dad are having a good time! TM

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Day 5 (9/27)

 

 

What sound could be better than the vague sound of a foghorn blowing... this was how I awoke during the night. It took a few times for it to sound until I was sure it was the foghorn, it was that soft. Being reassured it was real and not a dream, I fell back to sleep hoping to continue enjoying it. Although we are forward, being on deck 3 has us a good distance from the horn so it was not invasively loud. We had fallen asleep to the show last night in the lounge. It's not so bad as to be annoying here and Roger can't hear it much at all. Especially over the TV. :rolleyes: So we again had breakfast in the Lido. Service there has been consistently good with lots of stewards keeping tables clear and providing water, coffee and juices. One thing I have noticed is they don't drag a cart through the seating area any more. That was always a bother to people trying to get to tables; much like an airplane flight where the flight attendants spend more time moving their carts out of the way for people to pass. The food in the Lido has been quite acceptable to us and there's been nothing so far we've found we didn't like. Well, I say that and then remember that Roger had gotten a piece of fried chicken that had blood in the meat at the bone; he didn't care for that much. He did turn it back in to show the line chefs. We went on to the 2 PM performance of Adagio again. I know I sound hooked on them but I am. Roger even goes and sits too. He said that Yegor makes listening to classical music enjoyable. That's an extreme compliment coming from him. But to watch the rapture in both of their faces as they play..... it's incredible. It stayed foggy all day and the captain even had to sound it during part of the day as it suddenly got thicker for a while again. Very smooth seas, nearly glass-like most all day. Captain Friso did explain the type of fog to us but I couldn't hear much of his report at noon. I did catch that it was rather rare for being 50 miles out to sea from shore. We have found that the organ in the atrium plays at noon on sea days too. Not sure yet about port days. It's a short rendition of a couple of songs and the lady statues on the thing hit their bells in time with the music while the conductor waves his baton around. We attended another lecture by Jim about the San Andreas, learning all about fault lines, plate tectonics, subduction, volcanoes and earthquakes. Very informative and interesting; lots of photos of various earthquake damage from the late 1800s on to present times. He also showed us where to find "Earthquake Park" in San Diego so we could see the actual fault line and how it's changed and moved just since it was built. Dinner in the Lido (and I assume the MDR) was an "Alaska Frontier" themed dinner. The stewards on the Lido were all dressed as Alaska Lumberjacks in black and red checkered flannel shirts with suspenders and jeans. At Adagio later I again enjoyed their performance. After one of them, a passenger who had been conversing with Yegor complained bitterly at the prospect of HAL replacing Adagio and the Explorers Lounge with Lincoln Center Stage and their performers. She wanted her Adagio. I had a flashback to about 10 years earlier when I was on my first cruise ever on ms Amsterdam. A passenger there was complaining that HAL had started cutting Adagio from 4 to 2 performers. Now they complain that the 2 performers are becoming 5. :rolleyes: I hope to see Julian and Yegor in a future Lincoln Center Stage group as they told me they will try to get on with them. So after another relaxing day at sea, we finally shut down for the night during the finale of the second Main Stage show.

 

The Atrium Organ:

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No more Park West or Peter Maxx:

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View from our Ocean Bar Happy Hour station (and they start early!):

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Thanks for your report and photos.

You are very fortunate that Bruce Allen Scudder is your Cruise Director.

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