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BTimmer's Almost Live Downunder 2022 - (10/2/22 to 12/6/22 on the Westerdam)


Btimmer
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22 hours ago, Btimmer said:

We were on a HAL cruise this past year and a Catholic layman led their service until a priest joined the ship.

 

Not the same!  I am a Protestant.  I have experienced Priests and Protestant Ministers performing Interdenominational services.  Some do well, some do not.  A Minister/Priest/Rabbi of one's faith will offer a better service most of the time.  

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I'm on this cruise as well and I just got notice from shore excursions that yet another of my excursions has been cancelled.  This one was for Kona to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Kahuku Unit.  This brings my cancellation total up to 5.

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9 minutes ago, cruztymer said:

I'm on this cruise as well and I just got notice from shore excursions that yet another of my excursions has been cancelled.  This one was for Kona to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Kahuku Unit.  This brings my cancellation total up to 5.

I'm sorry to hear that.  Did they give a reason?  It's a popular destination and worth the excursion. We have an independent turtle excursion scheduled for 8am upon arrival in Honolulu.  
 

It remains uncertain whether we will arrive on time but we've been cruising at over 23mph all day today in 3' swells.  The blue skies have returned and it was a bit warmer on deck today.

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Earlier today, we had a brief history lesson and sample hula dances by 2 of the onboard Hawaiian Cultural Ambassadors. We've cruised with Heidi, the dancer in the picture and she's really good.

 

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I will be following your voyage as we will be boarding the Westerdam in Sydney on November 23.  So looking forward to it (even though we live in Sydney) as it's three years since we last cruised.  We did the trans-Pacific crossing on the Noordam in 2015 and would love to do it again.  Stay safe and have a great cruise.

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, ozcruizer said:

I will be following your voyage as we will be boarding the Westerdam in Sydney on November 23.  So looking forward to it (even though we live in Sydney) as it's three years since we last cruised.  We did the trans-Pacific crossing on the Noordam in 2015 and would love to do it again.  Stay safe and have a great cruise.

We will welcome you on the 23rd!  We'll have a M&G on 11/25 @1pm in Billboard Onboard.  There's a roll call for that cruise.

Edited by Btimmer
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It was a quiet night and we're cruising along at around 22 miles an hour.  It's pretty overcast with moderate swells.

 

My daily blog is current and can be found at:  HTTPS://timmer2022du.blogspot.com

 

Monday's meet and greet was well attended and a lot of connections were made after seeing just screen names these past many months. 

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Posted (edited)

Today we received a Covid testing letter describing the self administered test we have to perform in our stateroom tomorrow morning.  If both of us test negative, we give our test strips to our stateroom attendant along with the testing supplies and we are free to leave the cabin.  If one or both of us tests positive, we have to wait in the cabin, contact medical and then retest with further instructions.

 

We also received notification that the Lido seafood pop up scheduled for tomorrow was cancelled due to not making the signup threshold.  It is rescheduled for 10/29.  
 

We just finished a Pacific NW wine tasting that was excellent.  I learned there that there are some 400 4-5 star Mariners onboard.  Earlier today I saw my first child on the cruise.

 

Our speed continues to be 23+ mph and the Captain still is optimistic about arriving on time in Honolulu.  The seas are flat but rain is expected tomorrow.

 

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Edited by Btimmer
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On 9/24/2022 at 10:15 PM, Btimmer said:

It's time again to head out on another cruise adventure.  We plan to board the Westerdam in Seattle on Sunday, 10/2/22 with a scheduled departure time of 3pm.  I'll be doing my customary "Almost Live" thread from the ship for our 64 day voyage (B2B2B).  We've done this trip a couple times before, but what makes this one special is that this Westerdam cruise marks us cruising on the last Holland America ship in the current fleet that we've not sailed on previously. During the past year, we were able to sail on the previous last three (Rotterdam VII, Zuiderdam, and Noordam).

 

The projected route will take us to Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, a loop around New Zealand and finishes up with a Sydney round trip to Tasmania and out to Kangaroo Island. We've had a number of itinerary changes in the past few months, and we may have some more ahead of us. We've got our snorkel gear packed and are looking forward to lots of snorkeling.  We're doing this trip in our customary inside aft cabin.  I'm hosting the Meet & Greets after each embarkation port on 10/3, 11/9, and 11/25. These will be held in the Billboard Onboard area.

 

As has been my custom, I'll post pictures and limited commentary in this thread. Feel free to ask questions in this thread, and I'll attempt to answer them. I will record a daily blog with much more detail at https://timmer2022du.blogspot.com.  That link won't become active until 10/2 or after. 

 

And, yes, this will be our longest cruise by 2 days.  It beats a 2016 B2B Maasdam cruise from Seattle to Sydney and an Australia circumnavigation that was 62 days. 

As always looking forward to your reports neighbor. Have a great time.

 

Jim

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On 10/2/2022 at 4:28 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

Bon Voyage!  Good wishes for a safe and pleasant cruise!  

rkacruiser,

In 2012, my wife and I sailed on Westerdam from Ft. Lauderdale to Seattle through the Canal. In 2016, we sailed on Oosterdam from Rome to Fort Lauderdale. We live near Seattle.

 

Jim

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On 10/4/2022 at 4:41 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

Not the same!  I am a Protestant.  I have experienced Priests and Protestant Ministers performing Interdenominational services.  Some do well, some do not.  A Minister/Priest/Rabbi of one's faith will offer a better service most of the time.  

We were on Rotterdam Dec. 2021 and HAL provided electric candles, kosher wine and challah bread for our Hanukkah services and Friday night shabbat services free of charge. They were self-directed episodes and attended by 10-15 people each night.

 

Jim

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6 minutes ago, jeh10641 said:

We were on Rotterdam Dec. 2021 and HAL provided electric candles, kosher wine and challah bread for our Hanukkah services and Friday night shabbat services free of charge. They were self-directed episodes and attended by 10-15 people each night.

 

Jim

 

1 hour ago, Btimmer said:

We passed our Covid-19 tests this morning which was a relief.

A decade ago, we were on Westerdam for about 17 days with my wife's sister. We had a Large Inside cabin that was also available for two people. It had twin beds, a chair, coffee table and a sofa bed. It was the largest cabin I have stayed in (so far). It was well priced as well since I travel on a beer budget not champagne one.

 

Jim 

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1 hour ago, jeh10641 said:

 

A decade ago, we were on Westerdam for about 17 days with my wife's sister. We had a Large Inside cabin that was also available for two people. It had twin beds, a chair, coffee table and a sofa bed. It was the largest cabin I have stayed in (so far). It was well priced as well since I travel on a beer budget not champagne one.

 

Jim 

Ours is a postage stamp with no couch.  We travel on a lemonade budget (grin) and indulge in accessory items

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We passed our Covid-19 tests this morning which was a relief.

 

It was also just announced that interior mask requirements are optional after Honolulu on Saturday.

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22 hours ago, Btimmer said:

We just finished a Pacific NW wine tasting that was excellent.  

 

Having participated in many of these wine tastings, I note what I believe are the poor snacks that are served with the tastings as compared to as recently as 2020.  Crackers?  I see one such item--maybe a melba toast piece?  

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Posted (edited)
On 10/5/2022 at 5:19 PM, Btimmer said:

Today we received a Covid testing letter describing the self administered test we have to perform in our stateroom tomorrow morning.  If both of us test negative, we give our test strips to our stateroom attendant along with the testing supplies and we are free to leave the cabin.  If one or both of us tests positive, we have to wait in the cabin, contact medical and then retest with further instructions.

 

We also received notification that the Lido seafood pop up scheduled for tomorrow was cancelled due to not making the signup threshold.  It is rescheduled for 10/29.  
 

We just finished a Pacific NW wine tasting that was excellent.  I learned there that there are some 400 4-5 star Mariners onboard.  Earlier today I saw my first child on the cruise.

 

Our speed continues to be 23+ mph and the Captain still is optimistic about arriving on time in Honolulu.  The seas are flat but rain is expected tomorrow.

 

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Did the ship provide the COVID test kit or were you expected to have a test kit with you?

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin
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1 hour ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

Did the ship provide the COVID test kit or were you expected to have a test kit with you?

Our stateroom attendant delivered two sets of test kits free at 8:30am and we were expected to immediately use them and provide the negative results 10 minutes after test.

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Tonight's entertainment was Cantaré performing songs from Stage and Screen.  It was the world public debut of this set. They were really good. It was so good that we watched both performances.

 

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We've seen this group on other ships and they are a favorite of ours.

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23 hours ago, Btimmer said:

We passed our Covid-19 tests this morning which was a relief.

 

It was also just announced that interior mask requirements are optional after Honolulu on Saturday.

That's Great News.  FYI there are 2 other HAL ships sailing towards Honolulu.   The Konningsdam & the Zuiderdam.  HAL had Passengers In Transit perform another COVID test just as they head out to Hawaii.  They also must wear mandatory Face Mask until they reach Honolulu.  I'm assuming HAL is taking EXTRA precaution on this longer cruises to minimize passengers from catching COVID & having to quarantine.  So I would say "HATS OFF for HAL"...... in trying to ensure a wonderful cruise for all!

 

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4 minutes ago, CruisingGrandmaW said:

That's Great News.  FYI there are 2 other HAL ships sailing towards Honolulu.   The Konningsdam & the Zuiderdam.  HAL had Passengers In Transit perform another COVID test just as they head out to Hawaii.  They also must wear mandatory Face Mask until they reach Honolulu.  I'm assuming HAL is taking EXTRA precaution on this longer cruises to minimize passengers from catching COVID & having to quarantine.  So I would say "HATS OFF for HAL"...... in trying to ensure a wonderful cruise for all!

 

The Noordam is also headed this way.

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