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Pete and Judy's 2020 World Cruise on the ms Amsterdam, Holland America Line


The-Inside-Cabin
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Thank you for letting us cruise with you again!  I remember your 1st WC thread and the excitement for this WC seems to be just as high.  Looking forward to your reports and unique excursions, and of, course the inclusion of the good friends you have made along the way.  Enjoy the sailaway!   Cherie

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 Thank you for taking us all along. Very excited to read of all the " live-from" bloggers. We at home will never get a thing done all winter! It will pass the time until we board the Nieu Amsterdam in April.

  Have a wonderful journey!!

 

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7 hours ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

We are arriving at Terminal 26 now!!!!

A few people got turned away by security when they realized this was not the Nieuw AMSTERDAM!!!

5940636562600eb2037345ebd035a976.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Wonder where their luggage went?
 

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Will be posting (or trying) to post short videos to my twitter feed. Can't post videos directly to cruise critic via tap-a-talk. Or at least I haven't figured it out.

 

Here is a link to the sail away party. Not sure if it will play. Let me know.

 

 

 https://twitter.com/theinsidecabin/status/1213664586479611905?s=21

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow me on twitter and subscribe to the blog!

 

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15 minutes ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

The piano bar performer is Diane

She's excellent; hope you have a chance to enjoy her. 
I understand Diane is on only to Australia. If so, I would love to know who replaces her, please. When the time comes, of course. 

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2 hours ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

Will be posting (or trying) to post short videos to my twitter feed. Can't post videos directly to cruise critic via tap-a-talk. Or at least I haven't figured it out.

Here is a link to the sail away party. Not sure if it will play. Let me know.

https://twitter.com/theinsidecabin/status/1213664586479611905?s=21

Follow me on twitter and subscribe to the blog!

 

It would not play on my computer.

Thanks for blogging so much and bringing us along on this GWV.

Barbara 

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1 hour ago, larry1365 said:

Bon Voyage!

 

Know several friends joining you. We haven't cruised with HAL yet, so that will make your thread even more interesting.

We did a Seabourn and Crystal Cruise in the last 2 years - they are great cruise lines, but we like the value we get on HAL

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1 hour ago, bcummin said:

But it did play using the link above in the quote.

The mysteries of technology !

Barbara 

I usually post videos to you tube then I can line anywhere.  But I can't upload to You Tube easily from my iPhone - Twitter was easier - so I will post quick videos from time to time to twitter - until I can figure our a different method

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14 hours ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

Will be posting (or trying) to post short videos to my twitter feed. Can't post videos directly to cruise critic via tap-a-talk. Or at least I haven't figured it out.

 

Here is a link to the sail away party. Not sure if it will play. Let me know.

 

 

https://twitter.com/theinsidecabin/status/1213664586479611905?s=21

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow me on twitter and subscribe to the blog!

 


it worked!  Thanks for sharing just a glimpse.  I followed you so maybe I will start reading Twitter again!

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Day 1

4 Jan 2020

We arrived in Fort Lauderdale mid-day Thursday which gave us one full day to recover from our jet lag before boarding the Amsterdam on Saturday.

 

In the past we stayed at one of the many hotels near Port Everglades, but this time we stayed at the Residence Inn in Plantation, which is within walking distance to the Westfield Mall, a Target and several restaurants.

 

For us, the rooms were a little cheaper than those near Port Everglades, but always check around as prices can vary a lot throughout the year.   The shuttle cost $35 for up to three people, which is a little more than the shuttle from the hotels closer to the port.

 

The hotel is on a major north south street and there were plenty of public buses available for $1 per ride (exact change – senior citizen rate)

 

We used Lyft/Uber to run some errands and do some last minute yarn shopping (of course) at the nearby local yarn shop “Sheep Thrills”.

 

Sheep Thrills is a very large yarn shop with a huge selection of lightweight yarns for Florida knitters, heavier yarns for colder climates and everything in between. The staff is very helpful and there is always a small contingent of local knitters at the table working on projects that will offer to help. They even have a comfy recliner for spouses (me) to relax in. 

 

We needed a part for a camera monopod that I ordered on Amazon but since it was so close to our departure, I had to ship it to a Fort Lauderdale address. For the first time I used the Amazon feature called Amazon Lockers which delivers the item to a nearby 7-Eleven or similar store and this worked out well. Comparing some of the shipping options it was faster to go to one of the Amazon lockers than it was to ship the same item to my hotel even though the locker was only a mile away.

 

Later on Friday, we walked over to the Westfield Mall for quick lunch and then on to the nearby target to buy some last minute items.

 

Our shuttle arrived at 10:30 AM Saturday morning to take us to the Amsterdam which was at Terminal 26. We shared the shuttle with several other couples who were going to the Carnival Magic and the Celebrity Equinox. The shuttle driver was able to use an entrance reserved for large trucks and other commercial vehicles which allowed us to avoid the main road which was quite. It would have taken longer in a taxi or ride share which would have to enter the port at the main gate. This is the first time we’ve taken a shuttle -- usually we take taxi so maybe this is old news to many.

 

At 11:21 AM we arrived at Terminal 26 where porters were standing by to take our luggage and we were soon inside. The first stop was a check of passports right by the front door. They were also checking to make sure people were boarding the Amsterdam as opposed to the Nieuw Amsterdam which was also leaving today. We did observe a few couples that were surprised to find out that there were two ships named Amsterdam they were at the wrong terminal.

 

We arrived at the peak time and found long lines that moved fairly slow. It took us about a half an hour to get through the security line x-ray. Much of this delay was waiting for the subsequent check in line to clear and make room for everyone going through the faster security screening.

 

We cleared security at 11:50am and an hour later we are at the front of the check-in line. There were two lines, one for suites and four/five stars and the other for everyone else. The line for priority had twice as many people as the non-priority check-in line but with 10 agents working check-in’s on the priority side as compared to about five on the non priority side. The priority line probably moved a little bit faster but not by a huge amount.

 

Snacks-in-Line.jpg

Along the way it was old home week in many cases as we would see people we knew from previous World Cruises. Despite the long line everyone remained in great spirits as we were starting a wonderful adventure. This voyage required us to produce several visas along with yellow fever documentation and check-in was delayed when some people had to dig through luggage to produce these documents.

 

After check-in we were off to the second floor of the terminal where we found the ships photographers taking the embarkation photographs. We always enjoy these pictures and it appeared about half of the people stopped to participate.

 

Once on the ship we quickly found our way to Cabin 6193, where four of our bags from our advanced shipment were already waiting in the hallway. The rest of our bags would dribble in throughout the day. We received the final bag around 4 PM.

 

Sometimes bags wind up in the Hudson room or some other spot on the ship where the are quarantined for additional inspection due to some item that might be contraband or looks unusual on the x-ray. Throughout the day I would check to see if our bags might have appeared in one of these rooms but it didn’t look like any bags were in any kind of a quarantine that was obvious.

 

The ship was delayed in delivering all of the pre-purchased amenities and indulgence packages. There was a message in our room letting us know that these items would be delivered over the next several days. We pre-purchased an Internet package and normally there is a voucher code in our cabin. Since this was delayed we were assured by staff that we should simply log on as if we purchased the package and they would sort it all out with accounting later.

 

Be sure you leave on a HAL cruise be sure to download the Holland America app into your smart phone as this will make things much easier once on board. In the past we would create an onboard account using a combination of our last name and cabin number but now we used our Holland America website login which is simpler although a little bit longer to check-in, but once you are logged in your device will usually remember your login information.

 

We missed the Mariner reception earlier in the afternoon.  Our first event outside our cabin was to attend the muster drill 3:45 PM.

 

The Bon Voyage party was held by the Lido pool where they offered a wide assortment of beverages along with a selection of hors d’oeuvres being passed by roving waiters. They added a small sign to each tray identifying the hors d’oeuvres which made things simpler for the staff as well as guests

The Bon Voyage party was well attended, and the pool area was comfortably full. The Station Band played your typical Bon Voyage party music ending up with a stirring rendition of YMCA by the Village People.

The ship was delayed slightly leaving due to all the extra provisions being loaded but no one seemed to notice as this would not affect any future schedules. 

 

We requested main seating, which is at 8 PM, although we anticipated a potential change to 7:30 PM based on reports from the Amsterdam’s earlier cruise. They did change the time for the evening shows  to 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM, one half hour earlier than our last cruise. While there wasn’t any show tonight in the Main Stage getting through dinner which starts at 8 PM in time for a show at 9:30 will be a challenge.

 

Our table number is 52, an 8 top, per our request. The number of people at the second seating was very small. Over half the tables were empty while many of the others only half-full or less. We only had three people total at our table tonight. We will see if more people arrive tomorrow night as the first night can be a little sparse in the main dining room.

 

Our waiters from the 2018 World Cruise, Deden and Billy, surprised us as they are still working the same area they did in 2018  and it was good to see them again. The longtime dinner manager, Presty, is back and we enjoyed the chance to chat with him earlier in the evening.

 

After dinner I walked through the public areas which were deserted except for a handful of people in the Crows Nest. I’m sure everyone was busy unpacking and catching up on rest after long travel days.

 

Our first sea day of many is tomorrow as we set sail for Dominica arriving there on January 8.

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3 hours ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

Day 1

 

4 Jan 2020

 

We arrived in Fort Lauderdale mid-day Thursday which gave us one full day to recover from our jet lag before boarding the Amsterdam on Saturday.

 

 

 

In the past we stayed at one of the many hotels near Port Everglades, but this time we stayed at the Residence Inn in Plantation, which is within walking distance to the Westfield Mall, a Target and several restaurants.

 

 

 

For us, the rooms were a little cheaper than those near Port Everglades, but always check around as prices can vary a lot throughout the year.   The shuttle cost $35 for up to three people, which is a little more than the shuttle from the hotels closer to the port.

 

 

 

The hotel is on a major north south street and there were plenty of public buses available for $1 per ride (exact change – senior citizen rate)

 

 

 

We used Lyft/Uber to run some errands and do some last minute yarn shopping (of course) at the nearby local yarn shop “Sheep Thrills”.

 

 

 

Sheep Thrills is a very large yarn shop with a huge selection of lightweight yarns for Florida knitters, heavier yarns for colder climates and everything in between. The staff is very helpful and there is always a small contingent of local knitters at the table working on projects that will offer to help. They even have a comfy recliner for spouses (me) to relax in. 

 

 

 

We needed a part for a camera monopod that I ordered on Amazon but since it was so close to our departure, I had to ship it to a Fort Lauderdale address. For the first time I used the Amazon feature called Amazon Lockers which delivers the item to a nearby 7-Eleven or similar store and this worked out well. Comparing some of the shipping options it was faster to go to one of the Amazon lockers than it was to ship the same item to my hotel even though the locker was only a mile away.

 

 

 

Later on Friday, we walked over to the Westfield Mall for quick lunch and then on to the nearby target to buy some last minute items.

 

 

 

Our shuttle arrived at 10:30 AM Saturday morning to take us to the Amsterdam which was at Terminal 26. We shared the shuttle with several other couples who were going to the Carnival Magic and the Celebrity Equinox. The shuttle driver was able to use an entrance reserved for large trucks and other commercial vehicles which allowed us to avoid the main road which was quite. It would have taken longer in a taxi or ride share which would have to enter the port at the main gate. This is the first time we’ve taken a shuttle -- usually we take taxi so maybe this is old news to many.

 

 

 

At 11:21 AM we arrived at Terminal 26 where porters were standing by to take our luggage and we were soon inside. The first stop was a check of passports right by the front door. They were also checking to make sure people were boarding the Amsterdam as opposed to the Nieuw Amsterdam which was also leaving today. We did observe a few couples that were surprised to find out that there were two ships named Amsterdam they were at the wrong terminal.

 

 

 

We arrived at the peak time and found long lines that moved fairly slow. It took us about a half an hour to get through the security line x-ray. Much of this delay was waiting for the subsequent check in line to clear and make room for everyone going through the faster security screening.

 

 

 

We cleared security at 11:50am and an hour later we are at the front of the check-in line. There were two lines, one for suites and four/five stars and the other for everyone else. The line for priority had twice as many people as the non-priority check-in line but with 10 agents working check-in’s on the priority side as compared to about five on the non priority side. The priority line probably moved a little bit faster but not by a huge amount.

 

 

 

Snacks-in-Line.jpg

 

Along the way it was old home week in many cases as we would see people we knew from previous World Cruises. Despite the long line everyone remained in great spirits as we were starting a wonderful adventure. This voyage required us to produce several visas along with yellow fever documentation and check-in was delayed when some people had to dig through luggage to produce these documents.

 

 

 

After check-in we were off to the second floor of the terminal where we found the ships photographers taking the embarkation photographs. We always enjoy these pictures and it appeared about half of the people stopped to participate.

 

 

 

Once on the ship we quickly found our way to Cabin 6193, where four of our bags from our advanced shipment were already waiting in the hallway. The rest of our bags would dribble in throughout the day. We received the final bag around 4 PM.

 

 

 

Sometimes bags wind up in the Hudson room or some other spot on the ship where the are quarantined for additional inspection due to some item that might be contraband or looks unusual on the x-ray. Throughout the day I would check to see if our bags might have appeared in one of these rooms but it didn’t look like any bags were in any kind of a quarantine that was obvious.

 

 

 

The ship was delayed in delivering all of the pre-purchased amenities and indulgence packages. There was a message in our room letting us know that these items would be delivered over the next several days. We pre-purchased an Internet package and normally there is a voucher code in our cabin. Since this was delayed we were assured by staff that we should simply log on as if we purchased the package and they would sort it all out with accounting later.

 

 

 

Be sure you leave on a HAL cruise be sure to download the Holland America app into your smart phone as this will make things much easier once on board. In the past we would create an onboard account using a combination of our last name and cabin number but now we used our Holland America website login which is simpler although a little bit longer to check-in, but once you are logged in your device will usually remember your login information.

 

 

 

We missed the Mariner reception earlier in the afternoon.  Our first event outside our cabin was to attend the muster drill 3:45 PM.

 

 

 

The Bon Voyage party was held by the Lido pool where they offered a wide assortment of beverages along with a selection of hors d’oeuvres being passed by roving waiters. They added a small sign to each tray identifying the hors d’oeuvres which made things simpler for the staff as well as guests

 

The Bon Voyage party was well attended, and the pool area was comfortably full. The Station Band played your typical Bon Voyage party music ending up with a stirring rendition of YMCA by the Village People.

 

The ship was delayed slightly leaving due to all the extra provisions being loaded but no one seemed to notice as this would not affect any future schedules. 

 

 

 

We requested main seating, which is at 8 PM, although we anticipated a potential change to 7:30 PM based on reports from the Amsterdam’s earlier cruise. They did change the time for the evening shows  to 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM, one half hour earlier than our last cruise. While there wasn’t any show tonight in the Main Stage getting through dinner which starts at 8 PM in time for a show at 9:30 will be a challenge.

 

 

 

Our table number is 52, an 8 top, per our request. The number of people at the second seating was very small. Over half the tables were empty while many of the others only half-full or less. We only had three people total at our table tonight. We will see if more people arrive tomorrow night as the first night can be a little sparse in the main dining room.

 

 

 

Our waiters from the 2018 World Cruise, Deden and Billy, surprised us as they are still working the same area they did in 2018  and it was good to see them again. The longtime dinner manager, Presty, is back and we enjoyed the chance to chat with him earlier in the evening.

 

 

 

After dinner I walked through the public areas which were deserted except for a handful of people in the Crows Nest. I’m sure everyone was busy unpacking and catching up on rest after long travel days.

 

 

 

Our first sea day of many is tomorrow as we set sail for Dominica arriving there on January 8.

Amazing!!’ I am so looking forward to your journeys!! Thanks again!! Hope our WiFi on Rotterdam will be good so I can follow along from San Diego to FLL in March! Doing 3 cruises to get to Europe and will stay at our apt. In Nice. 
Have a marvelous time!

Denise😊

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