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Seek Timeless Treasures with Bill & Mary Ann - 2019 World Cruise -131 days


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Report # 1   Ready – set – go   January 15, 2019   Tuesday   Rainy and 55 degrees


Usually by now, we would be sailing southwest towards French Polynesia or the Hawaiian Islands as we begin the circumnavigation of the globe.  However, we are starting three weeks later, on January 22nd instead.  You may ask why?  Well, we assume by popular request, the final segment will be northern Europe, not an area normally visited on a grand voyage.  At least, not for the Holland America Line in recent years.  The Amsterdam will be heading that way towards the third week of April, which should present us with cool temperatures, but on the way towards springtime. 


So where else are we going?  After boarding in Ft. Lauderdale, we will have stops in Santa Marta, Colombia and the San Blas Islands, Panama.  The ship will transit the Panama Canal, with an overnight visit in Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama.  Salaverry, Peru is the next stop, followed by two full days in Callao (Lima), Peru.  Arica, Chile, will be the final port before we head west for another Chilean visit….Easter Island, a most unique place in the Pacific.  On the way towards French Polynesia, we will drop anchor at Pitcairn Island, which is loaded with history.  Hopefully, the natives will be able to bring their treasures onboard to sell.  The most beautiful ports in Polynesia will be Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora, where we cross the International Date Line, thus losing one full day of the calendar.  No worries, however, since Captain Mercer always promises to give back all of those missing hours one at a time before returning to Florida.


There is only one stop in Tonga….no Fiji or Papua New Guinea this year.  Heading south, we will visit Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, and Picton….all in New Zealand.  Then going west, the next ports will be two days in Sydney, Townsville, Cairns, and Darwin….all in Australia.  Then things get exotic such as stops in Komodo, Bali, and Semarang in Indonesia.


Mid-March finds us in Singapore for two days, but no Hong Kong this time.  Again, some favorite places have to be skipped to make time for northern Europe.  Sri Lanka and two ports in India follow….namely Cochin and Mumbai.  Then it is off for two days in Aqaba, Jordan with a transit through the Suez Canal.  This will find the ship in the Mediterranean, but with only a few ports.  We will head directly for Italy with a visit to Naples, followed by Barcelona and Cadiz, Spain. 


This is where the cruise turns north going to Lisbon, Portugal.  One more visit to Leixoes in Portugal, and we sail to Cherbourg, France.  A stop in Zeebrugge, Belgium, will give all a chance to see Brussels.   One port in the Netherlands will be Amsterdam, then it is off to Copenhagen, Denmark.  Cruising Oslofjord, we will stop in Oslo, Norway.  Then off to Flam, viewing the Sognefjord in Norway.  Portree Scotland will be a first for us, as will be Belfast, Ireland.  We have been to Dublin and Cobh, Ireland, but it has been many years ago.  The final European port will be Bantry in Ireland.


Transatlantic sailing will bring us to Ft. Lauderdale, and going home for most.  The two of us will be sailing onward towards Seattle, with stops in Colombia, the Panama Canal again, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, San Francisco, Victoria and Vancouver, Canada, and finally Seattle, where we fly home to SF on June 3rd.   Great way to spend the first half of the year, right?


In the meantime, much of the in-and-around the house chores have kept us busy. A couple of years ago, we had a 40 year old pine tree decide to kick the bucket.  Figured it was a good time to have it taken down before it crashed the house and blocked the driveway.  Splitting and stacking the future firewood was accomplished by the more industrious one of us.  The other one of us has been occupied whipping up some new clothes for the trip, making good use of the fabric shopping abroad.  Still trying to figure out what to do with the waxed fabric from Africa…..


Our four duffels have made their way to Florida.  Normally we track them from day one, only to be frustrated as they sometimes separate and go different ways.  As we don’t need any extra worries, this time we waited until they all arrived four days later.  Where they went in the interim, it doesn’t matter, since they are where they need to be.


Now the last of the concerns has to do with the situation with the airport security check, namely the TSA agents.  Due to the recent government partial shutdown, the security teams have been slow or missing in action.  There is no control over this, so we simply pray for the best.  Going to the airport very early is another option, which we have already planned to do.  In addition, this is another reason we spend three nights in Ft. Lauderdale prior to a long cruise.  It gives us a little wiggle room for possible delays.  Bad weather this time of year comes to mind as well.  


So the next time you hear from us will be either at the airport, if we get stuck (heaven forbid), or when we check into the hotel in Ft. Lauderdale.  Looking forward to an exciting trip!


To be continued…..


Bill & Mary Ann


 PS   This is where you can find the blog complete with photos when it is available:   https://cruisingwithbillandmaryann.blogspot.com

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Excited to see the blog beginning! Your itinerary looks fantastic. It will be a wonderful read for all of us living vicariously through you. :classic_biggrin:


No worries about SFO. I checked yesterday and found out that all the agents at SFO aren’t government workers. It has been smooth as silk there. 


Wishing you a very happy Grand World Voyage,

Denise and Howie too

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Bon Voyage Bill and Mary Ann!  I'll be sailing across the South Pacific around the same time as you so will be interested to glean any tips for things to do onshore.  I've followed your blogs for a few years and get so much enjoyment from them.  Thanks again for all your efforts to share your experiences!



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I will be with you in spirit, always enjoy your blogs. The itinerary:


Tuesday, January 22     Fort Lauderdale, FL         9:00pm
Wednesday, January 23     At Sea         
Thursday, January 24     At Sea         
Friday, January 25     Santa Marta, Colombia     8:00am     5:00pm
Saturday, January 26     San Blas Islands, Panama     Noon     6:00pm
Sunday, January 27     Panama Canal (Full Transit) (Cruising)         
Sunday, January 27     Fuerte Amador, Panama     8:00pm     
Monday, January 28     Fuerte Amador, Panama         5:00pm
Tuesday, January 29     At Sea         
Wednesday, January 30     At Sea         
Thursday, January 31     Salaverry (Trujillo), Peru     3:30am     5:00pm
Friday, February 1     Lima (Callao), Peru     10:00am     
Saturday, February 2     Lima (Callao), Peru         6:00pm
Sunday, February 3     At Sea         
Monday, February 4     Arica, Chile     8:00am     6:00pm
Tuesday, February 5     At Sea         
Wednesday, February 6     At Sea         
Thursday, February 7     At Sea         
Friday, February 8     At Sea         
Saturday, February 9     At Sea         
Sunday, February 10     Easter Island, Chilean dependency     8:00am     6:00pm
Monday, February 11     At Sea         
Tuesday, February 12     At Sea         
Wednesday, February 13     Pitcairn Island, UK Territory     8:00am     Noon
Thursday, February 14     At Sea         
Friday, February 15     At Sea         
Saturday, February 16     Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands     8:00am     
Sunday, February 17     Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands         5:00am
Sunday, February 17     Moorea, Society Islands     8:00am     5:00pm
Monday, February 18     Bora Bora, Society Islands     8:00am     11:00pm
Tuesday, February 19     At Sea         
Wednesday, February 20     Cross International Dateline (Cruising)         
Friday, February 22     At Sea         
Saturday, February 23     Nuku'alofa, Tonga     8:00am     5:00pm
Sunday, February 24     At Sea         
Monday, February 25     At Sea         
Tuesday, February 26     Auckland, New Zealand     7:00am     6:00pm
Wednesday, February 27     Tauranga, New Zealand     7:00am     7:00pm
Thursday, February 28     At Sea         
Friday, March 1     Wellington, New Zealand     8:00am     11:00pm
Saturday, March 2     Picton, New Zealand     7:00am     2:00pm
Sunday, March 3     At Sea         
Monday, March 4     At Sea         
Tuesday, March 5     Sydney, Australia     7:00am     
Wednesday, March 6     Sydney, Australia         6:30pm
Thursday, March 7     At Sea         
Friday, March 8     At Sea         
Saturday, March 9     Townsville, Australia     8:00am     5:00pm
Sunday, March 10     Cairns, Australia     8:00am     6:00pm
Monday, March 11     At Sea         
Tuesday, March 12     At Sea         
Wednesday, March 13     At Sea         
Thursday, March 14     Darwin, Australia     8:00am     6:00pm
Friday, March 15     At Sea         
Saturday, March 16     At Sea         
Sunday, March 17     Komodo, Indonesia     7:00am     4:00pm
Monday, March 18     Benoa, Bali     8:00am     11:00pm
Tuesday, March 19     At Sea         
Wednesday, March 20     Semarang, Indonesia     7:00am     5:00pm
Thursday, March 21     At Sea         
Friday, March 22     Singapore     10:00am     
Saturday, March 23     Singapore         6:00pm
Sunday, March 24     At Sea         
Monday, March 25     At Sea         
Tuesday, March 26     At Sea         
Wednesday, March 27     Colombo, Sri Lanka     6:00am     6:00pm
Thursday, March 28     At Sea         
Friday, March 29     Cochin, India     8:00am     6:00pm
Saturday, March 30     At Sea         
Sunday, March 31     Bombay (Mumbai), India     7:00am     
Monday, April 1     Bombay (Mumbai), India         6:00pm
Tuesday, April 2     At Sea         
Wednesday, April 3     At Sea         
Thursday, April 4     Muscat, Oman     8:00am     6:00pm
Friday, April 5     At Sea         
Saturday, April 6     At Sea         
Sunday, April 7     At Sea         
Monday, April 8     At Sea         
Tuesday, April 9     At Sea         
Wednesday, April 10     Petra (Aqaba), Jordan     8:00am     
Thursday, April 11     Petra (Aqaba), Jordan         11:00pm
Friday, April 12     At Sea         
Saturday, April 13     Suez Canal (Cruising)         
Sunday, April 14     At Sea         
Monday, April 15     At Sea         
Tuesday, April 16     Naples, Italy     8:00am     6:00pm
Wednesday, April 17     At Sea         
Thursday, April 18     Barcelona, Spain     8:00am     6:00pm
Friday, April 19     At Sea         
Saturday, April 20     Cadiz, Spain     7:00am     5:00pm
Sunday, April 21     Lisbon, Portugal     9:00am     6:00pm
Monday, April 22     Oporto (Leixoes), Portugal     8:00am     4:00pm
Tuesday, April 23     At Sea         
Wednesday, April 24     Cherbourg, France     7:00am     5:00pm
Thursday, April 25     Zeebrugge, Belgium     8:00am     5:00pm
Friday, April 26     Amsterdam, Holland     8:00am     6:00pm
Saturday, April 27     At Sea         
Sunday, April 28     Copenhagen, Denmark     8:00am     5:00pm
Monday, April 29     Oslo, Norway     10:00am     6:00pm
Tuesday, April 30     At Sea         
Wednesday, May 1     Flam, Norway     8:00am     6:00pm
Thursday, May 2     At Sea         
Friday, May 3     Isle of Skye (Portree), Scotland     8:00am     6:00pm
Saturday, May 4     Belfast, Northern Ireland     10:00am     11:00pm
Sunday, May 5     Dublin, Ireland     10:30am     10:00pm
Monday, May 6     Cork (Cobh), Ireland     10:00am     11:00pm
Tuesday, May 7     Bantry, Ireland     8:00am     5:00pm
Wednesday, May 8     At Sea         
Thursday, May 9     At Sea         
Friday, May 10     At Sea         
Saturday, May 11     At Sea         
Sunday, May 12     At Sea         
Monday, May 13     At Sea         
Tuesday, May 14     At Sea         
Wednesday, May 15     At Sea         
Thursday, May 16     Fort Lauderdale, FL     7:00am    

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Some detail questions, please, if you have time and willing:


----Do you bring things for your cabin to make it more "home" for these long journeys?

----How have you sorted out the packing for all the different climates?

----How have you evolved in your packing and travel planning after several of these long journeys?

----Have you created little onboard "rituals" for yourself over time? (Like never miss the peanut butter silk pie on embarkation day)

----Do you do fixed or anytime dining, even if you don't go every night?




We shared aTales of the South Pacific with you a few years ago and I know you two look very much at home on this ship, which it almost is - you do make these cruises look so easy and doable to settle in for so long. 


We went to Easter Island and Pitcairn on the first Maasdam InDepth last  Sept - we were not allowed to have anyone from Pitcairn come on board due to a "policy" decision so I wonder if this has now changed. Many were disappointed, but it was clear before we left- "scenic cruising only".  What did your itinerary state?


Besides seeing as many of the stunning moai as possible on Easter Island, be sure to try their poisson cru  - absolute best,  no matter where we tried it.  The fish must be fresher than tomorrows catch on Easter Island - just yummy, sweet and tender. 


Wishing you the best for another wonderful trip. Always enjoy your superb eye for detail and willingness to take us all along.

Edited by OlsSalt
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Looking forward to following you again on your world cruise adventure.  We also were on the Massdam cruise that went to Easter Island.  We were very disappointed that the residents of Easter Island were not allowed to come onboard.  It will be interesting to see if  they can come onboard the Amsterdam.

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I am so happy to begin another vicarious world adventure with you!  Thank you so much for your time and effort in doing this. I have just taken my second Holland America cruise and found your tips so helpful. I am a big fan of breakfast in the dining room!  Bon Voyage! 🛩⛴

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