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rafinmd

MS Nieuw Statendam inaugural Eastbound Transatlantic

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Bon voyage, Roy.  I hope you have a great trip with multiple cruises.:classic_smile:

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Day NSminus2, Good Friday, April 19, 2019


The Nieuw Statendam is at sea from St Thomas to Half Moon Cay.  Queen Victoria is at Sea from Walvis Bay to the Canary Islands.  QM2 is at sea from Southampton to New York.


This is my travel day to Fort Lauderdale.  I had not realized I would be embarking on Easter Sunday but my congregation has a service on Maundy Thursday but not Good Friday so I was able to do that.  I wanted to allow plenty of leeway in being on time for the Nieuw Statendam so I booked a mid-morning flight.  


I had booked the Airport Shuttle for a 7AM pickup to be at BWI airport in plenty of time for my 10AM flight to Fort Lauderdale.  They called Thursday evening and revised my pickup time to 6:45.  When I went outside to check on my driver at 6:40 he was waiting just outside the door.  I was at the airport and inside security just after 7:30 with almost 2 hours before boarding started.


Flight 1917 was slated for gate A4 which is on a somewhat lower level than most of the concourse and I got coffee at the food court at a table overlooking the gate.  About 8:50 I noticed that while the incoming flight arrived a bit early at 9:10 the departure was pushed back almost an hour until 11AM.


https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/gatea4.jpg


I was thinking maybe a maintenance issue but all Florida bound flights were delayed and we were told it was an air traffic issue.  We started boarding at 10:30 and our takeoff roll came about 11:03.  I was surprised on boarding that our passenger emergency card was marked Boeing 737 Max.  Our crew was careful to emphasize that our plane was not a Max.


https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/max.jpg


Most of my regular readers know I am obsessed with "Come From Away".  I don’t really spend much time reading but will do quite a bit at airports and onboard airplanes.  My book this time was "Channel of Peace" by Kevin Tuerff, one of the real "plane people" featured in the musical.  I finished the book about midway through the flight.


We landed about 1:30, roughly 45 minutes behind schedule, and I headed for the rental car counter after picking up my bag.  I drew a VW Jetta, the first car I have had that did not have a slot in the door for a key.  I wonder what happens if the battery dies so the remote doesn't work.


https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/ontheroad.jpg


After some shopping rounds (grocery and pharmacy) I stopped at Panera for a late lunch and checked in at the Sheraton Four Points on Route 1.


https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/4points.jpg


One of the youth when I first joined my congregation in Columbia went into the ministry and is now a pastor in South Florida.  Miramar United Methodist observed a Good Friday service at 7:30 but I got lost enroute and missed the service.  I will do some more reconnaissance Saturday so that does not happen Easter morning.

 

I watched about  1 ½ hours of TV Friday evening and was in bed about 11:30.

 

As a parting shot this is a weekend of sad memories with the 24th anniversary of the Murrah Building on Saturday and the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting on Friday.  While most people will probably remember Columbine most, the Murrah building really stands out for me as many of the victims were my colleagues at the Social Security Administration.  I wish healing for the survivors.

 

Roy

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6 hours ago, Scrapnana said:

Are you staying in the same hotel as January?

I'm at the Sheraton Four Points on Route 1.  It's right next door to the CVS.

 

Roy

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Hope you have great cruise Roy, I look forward to following along with your voyage.

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Your hotel room looks lovely.  We have stayed at Sheraton Four Points in a few places.

 

North Florida had a lot of bad storms yesterday and a lot of flights were delayed thus backing up air traffic.

 

About those batteries in the car key fob -- when they die -- make certain you have the second key handy.  Our cars do have the battery operated keys but there is also a real key that can be popped out and inserted into the door -- I know -- I have had a couple of batteries die on me.  I do get a message on my dash board when the battery is getting low so I know to put in a new one.  Joe doesn't get a message -- it just dies.

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Hi Roy

Im glad you made it safely to FLL even with the delays. Sorry you missed the Good Friday service. You found it now so you can attend Easter?

Have a Nice Saturday and Easter. Next is NS embarkation 👍

Denise😊

 

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Day NSminus1, Saturday, April 20, 2019


The Nieuw Statendam is in Half Moon Cay.  Queen Victoria is at sea from Walvis Bay to Gran Canaria.  Queen Mary 2 is approaching New York from Southampton.


I was up about 6 and did not do a lot during the day.  It had rained overnight and was still extremely cloudy when the sun should have come up.  The weather did pretty much get better over the course of the day with several hours of sunshine and temperatures in the high 70's.


My main activity of the morning was a dry run of the route to my Sunday destination.  I found that Friday evening I had stayed on I95 about 8 miles too far and was in entirely the wrong area.  With the correct plan getting to the church was easier than I feared but more difficult than I had hoped, and I should be prepared to get to the 8:30 service, drop my bags at the terminal, my rental car at the airport and possibly be on time to have lunch in the dining room.  At least I hope so.


When I returned from my explorations I walked to Publix for milk (and other supplies) and then to Panera for lunch plus dinner take out, a total of about 2 miles.

 

https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/4points3.jpg


I was in the hotel most of the rest of the day with just a short ride to the area across from the terminal plus a walk to Burger King (across the street) in the early evening for ice cream and coffee.  I only made minimal use of the camera with just a couple of additional pictures of the outside of the hotel.  I plan to wrap up the post early and be ready to be up early in the morning.


My parting shot will be a wish for a blessed Easter for those who observe it and a wonderful rest of Passover for those who celebrate that.


Roy

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1 hour ago, rafinmd said:

Day NSminus1, Saturday, April 20, 2019


The Nieuw Statendam is in Half Moon Cay.  Queen Victoria is at sea from Walvis Bay to Gran Canaria.  Queen Mary 2 is approaching New York from Southampton.


I was up about 6 and did not do a lot during the day.  It had rained overnight and was still extremely cloudy when the sun should have come up.  The weather did pretty much get better over the course of the day with several hours of sunshine and temperatures in the high 70's.


My main activity of the morning was a dry run of the route to my Sunday destination.  I found that Friday evening I had stayed on I95 about 8 miles too far and was in entirely the wrong area.  With the correct plan getting to the church was easier than I feared but more difficult than I had hoped, and I should be prepared to get to the 8:30 service, drop my bags at the terminal, my rental car at the airport and possibly be on time to have lunch in the dining room.  At least I hope so.


When I returned from my explorations I walked to Publix for milk (and other supplies) and then to Panera for lunch plus dinner take out, a total of about 2 miles.

 

https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/4points3.jpg


I was in the hotel most of the rest of the day with just a short ride to the area across from the terminal plus a walk to Burger King (across the street) in the early evening for ice cream and coffee.  I only made minimal use of the camera with just a couple of additional pictures of the outside of the hotel.  I plan to wrap up the post early and be ready to be up early in the morning.


My parting shot will be a wish for a blessed Easter for those who observe it and a wonderful rest of Passover for those who celebrate that.


Roy

Good evening Roy!

Its going on 8 pm in San Diego, and I did not expect you to write.

Happy Easter Roy have a wonderful day enjoy your service relax! God would want it that way for all.

Get onboard and promise me sunrises and sunsets ok? I still say you could put a book together on the subject! I would buy your book.

I will be watching your sail away!

 Denise😊

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Bon Voyage, Roy!

 

We had quite a line of storms go through Florida on Friday. It wreaked havoc with flight schedules everywhere.

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29 minutes ago, cat shepard said:

Bon Voyage, Roy!

 

We had quite a line of storms go through Florida on Friday. It wreaked havoc with flight schedules everywhere.

 

And with power - mine was out for almost 7 hours. Then the cable dropped out for another hour plus. I don't envy anyone who flew into this storm.

 

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Those southern storms moved into our area around 3:30 PM yesterday and lasted for hours.  Power kept clicking on and off.  High winds, roads flooded out, land slides.  Calm today.

 

Roy

Hope you find your church this morning and get to the ship safely.

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Hi Roy, I’ll be following you here for the TA. We were booked for this sailing but decided to wait till next year to do it. Happy Easter, hope you located the church this morning with no problems. Have a terrific voyage, Mark 

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Have a great cruise Roy- I can’t wait to hear from you along the way!!!  I sail her in September leaving from Amsterdam.  Would love to see pictures if you can.   

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Posted (edited)

Bon voyage, Roy! Someone captured a pic of you with your towel!

Edited by cat shepard
Misspelled word

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Hi Roy; have a nice east-bound trip across the pond! Go check out the Rolling Stone Rock Room band :classic_wink:

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Thanks all.  Running behind and have a busy morning (Meet and Greet plus cabin crawl) but will catch up sometime.

 

Roy

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On 4/20/2019 at 7:21 AM, rafinmd said:

My book this time was "Channel of Peace" by Kevin Tuerff, one of the real "plane people" featured in the musical. 

 

What did you think of the book?  I happen to have it in my Amazon cart, along with “The Day the World Came to Town.”  I don’t know when/if it will be available in the US but try to see “You Are Here:  A Come From Away Story” when you get the chance.  It is very moving.  I don’t know why but there are two versions.  One of them focuses on the more technical side.  It is the other one you want to see.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, *Miss G* said:

 

What did you think of the book?  I happen to have it in my Amazon cart, along with “The Day the World Came to Town.”  I don’t know when/if it will be available in the US but try to see “You Are Here:  A Come From Away Story” when you get the chance.  It is very moving.  I don’t know why but there are two versions.  One of them focuses on the more technical side.  It is the other one you want to see.

I enjoyed the book, although I actually liked "The Day the World Came to Town" better.  "Channel of Peace" is a very easy read and covers some material that I haven't seen anywhere else.  If they aren't too expensive I think it's worth while to get both.

Unfortunately, I don't have cable so unless there's a miracle I'm unlikely to get access to the documentary.

Roy

Edited by rafinmd

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Day NS0, Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, Board Nieuw Statendam, Fort Lauderdale


Queen Victoria is at sea from Walvis Bay to Gran Canaria.  QM2 is in New York


This was a picture perfect day in South Florida.   I set the alarm for 5 but was actually up a bit earlier.  I watched the arrival of my ship on the Fort Lauderdale webcam, did some last minute computer work, and repacked so everything including the things I had bought in Ft. Lauderdale fit into my 2 bags.

https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/ns4me.jpg


Around 6:30 I had enough done to feel there was time for a little walk.  When I first went outside it was clear that the moon was just about clear.  There were too many buildings around to see a sunrise but there was some nice color in the sky as I left 17th street and turned towards Publix before returning to the hotel.  My total walk was about 20 minutes.

https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/dawn0321.jpg


I checked out of the hotel at 7:30 confident I could make my church in time for the 8:30 service.  The drive actually took less time than I expected and despite looking for a store where I could buy a USB cable I need (not found until after the service) I was at the Miramar United Methodist Church by 8:15.


https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/miramar1.jpg


Pastor David Range was circulating around the church and soon found me and introduced me to several members of the church.  The congregation is diverse but probably somewhat of a majority people of color and it was a very lively service.


https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/miramar2.jpg


At the end of the service I took a slightly different route back, finding the cable I needed at a Walgreens.  I dropped off my big bag at the port, filled the tank, and headed back to the airport to turn in my car.  A taxi had me back at the port about 11:45 and I was crossing the gangway at noon.


In the past embarkation day lunch in the dining room was a perk for Mariners (past HAL cruisers) but it opened to everyone a few years ago although it tended to be a defacto Mariner lunch since it was never listed in the program.  This is actually the first time I've seen it listed and I headed off to the dining room soon after dropping my carryon in the room.  Lunch was a chicken dish, skim milk, and a pastry type desert.  


https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/lunch21.jpg


The bag I left with the porters arrived about 2:30 and unpacking began in earnest.    The bag I sent via Luggage Forward was last to arrive, during the first stage of the muster drill.  There is another revision to the muster drill (not certain if it's just some ships or fleet wide).  Now there are only 2 stages instead of 3.  The first stage appears to be a hybrid of the old first 2.    Soon after the call of the first (Crew) alert we are told to return to our cabins (and on the Nieuw Statendam are instructed to watch the safety video on our cabin TV.  A bit of confusion has been removed from the final stage.  I remember the general alert to be sounded and told midway through the announcement not to leave our cabins until the announcement has been finished.  By the time that instruction comes I've always been at least halfway to the muster station.  Now we leave as soon as the General Alarm is sounded.  My muster station is in the Rolling Stone Rock Room just one deck above my cabin.


My early dining is at 5PM, and that was also sailaway time.  This sailaway addict was not going to be in the dining room when we left so I headed up to my planned perch on deck 11.  A webcam follows cruise ships out of Fort Lauderdale, and a group of Holland America Cruisers likes to watch the ships leave.  I have a large towel with a message on it and set up just above the Nieuw Statendam.  While I was waiting the Zuiderdam left port ahead of us.


https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/zuiderdam.jpg

 

Then it was out turn to head out to sea.  I did not "request a wave" and the camera didn't zoom in on me but an alert poster caught me and posted a screen shot of me.


https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/meatsailaway.png


I stayed in the lido for an entree (I would have chosen a poultry dish if I had not gotten chicken at lunch) and the grilled cheese looked (and tasted) very good.  I stayed for ice cream and just on a guess dropped down to my table in the dining room (8-top) next to the back window on deck 3) and joined my table for coffee and desert.  There was a nice Easter display outside the door.


https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/dishes21.jpg


The featured entertainment in the World Stage was comedian John Wing.  I thought he was good.  

https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/wing.jpg


After the show I stopped at Billboard Onboard for a diet coke.  That venue was quiet but it the music from the Rolling Stone Rock Club was quiet prominent.  The view out the window was calm seas  and a pretty sky.


https://getawaysfrom21044.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/dusk0321.jpg


I spent most of my post show time unpacking and was in bed about 11.


As a parting shot this voyage began in picture perfect conditions.  May we have several more


Roy

 

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Hi Roy!!!!

I loved your pictures and your review on board the first day of NS👍

Glad you were able to be at the congregation and a visit with your pastor friend!! I bet he was surprised to see you.

I saw a picture one of our CCers took of you waving your flag.

please let me know how the promenade deck is for your morning walks ok?

Your last picture of the sky at night was my sunset!

Thank you

Denise😊

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You certainly did have a lovely day on Sunday.

 

Glad you found the church and made it to the service.  

 

I hate when luggage arrives while we are at lifeboat drill and then I have to struggle to get things done before dinner.

 

Is 5 PM the normal early time for dinner in the dining room?  Will the specialty restaurants also open at 5 PM?

 

Great pictures.

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