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2023 Grand World Voyage with The Inside Cabin


The-Inside-Cabin
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2 hours ago, SJSULIBRARIAN said:

Nice to see the comeback of horse racing on ships. I remember when Princess used to have that activity even on 7-day cruises.  Congrats on the "hat" win! Did you make it on the ship, or did you know in advance and made it at home? Inquiring minds want to know.

I bought it in 2019 on Amazon for use on the 2020 World Cruise - Never wore it as many of the events were cancelled when the cruise canceled.   I brought it this time just on speculation if may be useful.   All the precruise info simply said - Derby Night -  Since this wasn't near the Kentucky Derby date - we weren't sure what may be involved.   Only recently did we learn that it was going to be a horse race around the pool.

 

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On 1/26/2023 at 8:45 AM, SJSULIBRARIAN said:

I like the idea of carrying something from your hometown to give to people you meet. 

 

I have pins with the Canadian flag and the British Columbia flag on them....I remember in Antigua, the gentleman I gave one to was thrilled!  He had a friend from Toronto, Ontario that he was going to brag that a complete stranger gave him a flag pin before his friend did!  I give them to staff on board, places where I shop, tour guides....everyone loves them.

 

L.

 

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HORSE RACING ON THE HIGH SEAS – DERBY NIGHT (POST #26)

JANUARY 26, 2023
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Derby feature

A Horse Race, Hat Contest and Bar Hop combine for a fun evening

COFFEE CHAT

Executive Chef Neil Ashworth was the guest at Coffee Chat this morning.  We learned that the menus are planned three months in advance, but the ship has more flexibility on longer cruises to change the menus based on the availability of ingredients and other factors.   Forty percent of the original menu will ultimately be changed for various reasons on a world cruise.  

chef.jpg Executive Chef Neil Ashworth

 

DERBY NIGHT

The big event this evening was Derby Night which consisted of three separate activities:  Derby Hat Contest,  Derby Horse Race, and Bar Hop Derby.  

sliders.jpg Waiters passed around delicious sliders milkshakes.jpg Miniature Milkshakes were a nice dessert

 

DERBY HAT CONTEST

Derby Night started at 6 pm as several hundred people appeared around the Lido pool wearing various hats.  They ranged from simple bowlers and fedoras to elaborate fascinators and wide-brimmed hats.  For the last few days,  hat decorating materials were available at a specified time in the Encounters Room for people who wanted to decorate their derby hats.

table-89-ladies.jpg The Ladies of Table 89

 

When we were planning this cruise, the only information available was “Derby Night – Off to the races with your best hat”.   I didn’t anticipate that this would be a horse racing theme as the Kentucky Derby isn’t until May.   We packed a few generic hats, and I tossed in the Horse Head Party Hat I picked up in 2019.   As it turned out, horse racing was the theme, so the Horse Head party hat would be perfect.  

Lydia-and-Sheryl.jpg Lydia and Sheryl

 

At 6:45, about 30 people interested in entering the Debry Hat Contest lined up and took one lap around the pool.    I joined the group, and my Horse Head hat stood out from the more typical wide-brimmed hats and fascinators.    As we completed our lap, Sandra from the activities team selected six people as Derby Hat finalists.   One by one, we were introduced, and the crowd applauded for their favorite hat.    My Horse Head hat drew the most enthusiastic response, and I was awarded first place, along with a bouquet of red roses and a bottle of Champagne.

derby-hat-finals.jpg The six finalists for the Derby Hat Contest table-89-at-the-derby.jpg Table 89 celebrate with the winner of the Hat Contest

 

DERBY HORSE RACE

race-course.jpg This photo shows the 24 numbered polls that formed the Derby Downs Lido Horse Race track

 

Six crewmembers assumed the roles of jockeys as the Lido Pool was transformed into a horse racing track on the high seas.   The horses’ names were:  Hoof Hearted, Alimony Pony, Pony Soprano, Lucy Fur, Chewbacca, and Talk-Derby to Me.   Before the race, which started at 7 pm, the jockeys were available for conversation and evaluation so the guests could select their favorite and place a “bet” by wearing a HAL Excursion Sticker Dot sticker corresponding with the horse’s colors.

jockey.jpg Ian introduces one of the jockeys red-slippers.jpg Her fabulous red slippers didn’t create a winning edge jockey-2.jpg My favorite, Pony Soprano, started fast but faded at the finish capt.jpg The Captain and Chantal wouldn’t give me any inside information

 

When the race was ready to start, the six jockeys lined up at the first of 24 numbered poles positioned around the pool.   A large die was tossed in turn for each horse, and they moved around the track based on the number rolled.  Each horse made their way around the track, but the jockey had to roll the exact number to finish. It turned out that all the jockey’s bunched up at the end until one finally hit the exact number.   The jockey celebrated his victory by diving into the pool.   All the guests who selected the winning horse received coupons for free drinks.

dice-roll-2.jpg A roll of the giant die determined how “fast” each horse ran post-race-jockeys.jpg The jockeys all celebrate the end of the race. The winner is the second from the right.  He dove into the pool after his win to cool down

 

DERBY BAR HOP

Once the Derby Horse Race was completed, about 50 guests who paid $25 each assembled alongside the pool to start the Derby Bar Hop.   We lined up on either side of the tables, and each side had to drink their paper cup of beer and then flip the cup over – so it landed upside down – before moving on to the next guest.   If you have participated in any Pub Crawl on another HAL ship, you are probably familiar with this activity.   Afterward, we enjoyed watching a juggling demonstration while we were served Mint Juleps.   If you don’t drink, you can tag along with the group and still enjoy the spectacle and bar demonstrations.

bar-hop-starts.jpg Ready to start the Bar Hop with the first party game mint-juleps.jpg Mint Juleps were the first drink served by the Lido Pool

 

Our next stop was the Crow’s Nest for more bar tricks and another drink before we headed down to the Ocean Bar, where we were greeted by a long line of 16 oz glasses with shot glasses balanced on top.    To our surprise, they tipped over the first shot glass, which started a chain reaction with each shot glass falling into the tumbler in turn.   The shot glass and tumbler combination was our next drink which we enjoyed before moving on to our final stop: The Rolling Stone Lounge.

crows-nest-drinks.jpg Getting the drinks ready in the Crow’s Nest bar-trick.jpg Our drinks in the Ocean Bar were served after an amazing bar trick. Watch the video below to see what happened.

 

When the Bar Hoppers arrived at the Rolling Stone Lounge, the dance floor was packed, and the party was going full blast.   We enjoyed our final drink, The Purple Rain, as we danced a conga line and enjoyed all our favorite cruise ship party songs.

Rolling-Stone-Lounge.jpg Our final drink, Purple Rain, was served in the Rolling Stone Lounge Rolling-Stone-Lounge-dancing.jpg The Rolling Stone Lounge was rocking!

 

Derby Night was a big hit, and everyone had a great time.

 

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin
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FASHION SHOW ON THE HIGH SEAS (POST #27)

JANUARY 27, 2023
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pamela shop manager feature

Deck 3 turns into a runway for a fashion show

Fourteen guests volunteered to stroll down the “runway” outside the shops on Deck 3 this afternoon at 2:30 pm.  The ladies were all volunteers who signed up in advance while visiting the shops.  They all wore their own clothes but were able to show off various purses, accessories, and jewelry.  About 50 guests lined the hallway to enjoy the show and cheer on their fellow guests.

runway.jpg The passageway between the shops on Deck 3 become a fashion show runway today at 2:30 pm ready-to-go.jpg The guests modeling various purses, accessories and jewelry selected by the shop’s staff modeling-purse.jpg Everyone had fun with the fashion show fashion-show-models.jpg The models posed for a group photograph afterward pamela-shop-manager-feature-2.jpg Pamela, the retail shop manager, organized the event which was a great success.

 

The comedy trio, The Biddys, returned to the Mainstage for their second show and were very funny.

the-biddys-2-1.jpg The Biddys

the-biddys-1.jpg

Another sea day tomorrow as we cross the International Date Line this evening.  January 28th won’t exist for us.

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin
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Pete & Judy:

Your group just epitomizes the fun and camaraderie that a long cruise elicits!  Thanks for sharing!

I know you're a long way from home (and the NFL) but tomorrow is a big day for us Buckeyes. ❤️🏈❤️

 

 

 

ibj4y7rn2bqtu2gsxu7w.jpg

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2025 GRAND WORLD VOYAGE – SNEAK PEAK (POST #28)

JANUARY 29, 2023
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henk 1080

Hotel GM, Henk Mensink, was the guest at Coffee Chat.  He speculates on the likely 2025 World Cruise Itinerary.  

Hotel General Manager, Henk Mensink, was Ian’s guest at Coffee Chat this morning.  The Rolling Stone Lounge was filled with only a few seats remaining once Ian welcomed Henk and opened the discussion.  

 

Henk briefly discussed his early career with Ritz Carlton in Boston and working in a family furniture business in California.  

 

Henk recalled how he met his wife, Christel, who is not sailing with him for the first time in years but is remaining in the Netherlands to help care for her ailing mother.  Henk met Christel, who was working is a men’s clothing store, when he was shopping for a new suit.  He found reasons to make multiple return trips to purchase various accessories for his suit, and one thing led to another, and they remain happily married after many years.  Henk mentioned that he still owns the jacket!  

 

Henk described the current challenges for this World Cruise, with the most significant being keeping the supply chain in place for the myriad goods and services necessary to support a World Cruise.  

 

Henk left his tandem bicycle at home since Christel is not here to ride it with him on this cruise but he is getting more time practicing with his guitar.  

 

While not officially announced, Henk speculated that the 2025 world cruise will start a little later in January of 2025 and go Pole to Pole.  

Option-D-770.jpg The Pole to Pole option is considered the favorite at this point for the 2025 World Cruise Option-D-770-2.jpg Here is the detailed Pole to Pole itinerary – Note that this cruise will start Jan 25th and end June 7th

 

You can download a file with all the 2025 World Cruise Options that were considered  HERE

Option A
Option A
Option B 770
Option B
Option C 770
Option C

 

Henk promised to return to Coffee Chat about once a month on this World Cruise.  

 

The Zuiderdam Singers and Dancers performed “Encore” to another standing ovation.

encore-3.jpg Michael Roach encore.jpg Kiana Bell, Michael Roach, Sveva Petruzzellis and Cole Cloutier

encore-2.jpg

We will be in Tonga tomorrow. 

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin
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Wow.  What an awesome time you are having.  I truly am enjoying the pics, videos, and comments.  The derby night and fashion parade look like so much fun!

 

So I finally looked up Table 89 and discovered that’s the same table that our family had (9 in total) on our first two Zuiderdam cruises!  That’s a great table.  (It could also be the company 🙃)

 

Thanks for the info on the 2025 World Cruise.  I’ll have to wait a few years for retirement but I may just be lucky enough to join in the fun!

 

Looking forward to more posts.  👍

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1 hour ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

While not officially announced, Henk speculated that the 2025 world cruise will start a little later in January of 2025 and go Pole to Pole. 

If that's the case, would be curious if they skip the Grand SA and have Zuiderdam cruise a different itinerary (maybe a Grand Asia --- Hint hint 🤞🤞 - but probably out of season). 

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2 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

Wow.  What an awesome time you are having.  I truly am enjoying the pics, videos, and comments.  The derby night and fashion parade look like so much fun!

 

So I finally looked up Table 89 and discovered that’s the same table that our family had (9 in total) on our first two Zuiderdam cruises!  That’s a great table.  (It could also be the company 🙃)

 

Thanks for the info on the 2025 World Cruise.  I’ll have to wait a few years for retirement but I may just be lucky enough to join in the fun!

 

Looking forward to more posts.  👍

We like it.  It's set for 8 but we can get nine easily and probably 10 if we squeeze 

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I wonder if any of the cruise planners at HAL have checked the March weather in Antarctica?  We have been there over Christmas and New Year and have had wonderful weather, (Amsterdam 2003) but by March it becomes poor with daytime temperatures as low as -50 degrees F.  Of course, starting in late January would cause the ship to be there at that time.  Just wondering if Henk mentioned the reason they are starting the cruise so late.

Appreciate the info as to why Christel is not aboard.  She was always so helpful as Guest Relations Manager.

Ray

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1 hour ago, USN59-79 said:

I wonder if any of the cruise planners at HAL have checked the March weather in Antarctica?  We have been there over Christmas and New Year and have had wonderful weather, (Amsterdam 2003) but by March it becomes poor with daytime temperatures as low as -50 degrees F.  Of course, starting in late January would cause the ship to be there at that time.  Just wondering if Henk mentioned the reason they are starting the cruise so late.

Appreciate the info as to why Christel is not aboard.  She was always so helpful as Guest Relations Manager.

Ray

Henk didn't say - I can only speculate that they assume the Antarctica weather will be "good enough"  in march and this way they get warmer temps for the second half of the cruise up in Scandinavia

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BLOW HOLES ON TONGA (POST #29)

JANUARY 31, 2023
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blow hole feature 1080

We visit the best Blow Hole in the world and revisit the Tsunami Rock

A beautiful sunrise greeted us as we closed on Tonga early this morning.  We arrived at 7 am and would depart at 5 pm.

You will find a self-guided walking tour at the bottom of this post.   

tonga-sunrise.jpg

welcome-to-tonga-770.jpg Tonga welcomes the Zuiderdam.  We were the 3rd of 19 cruise ships expected in 2023 Tonga-Island.jpg Here are the locations of many Tonga tourist attractions

 

tonga-map-new-770.jpg

The Tonga police band played on the pier in the morning welcoming the guests as they started their day ashore.

We spent the morning in our cabin until 11:30.  Our plan for the day was to visit the Blow Holes and the Tsunami Rock.  We visited both spots on our first trip here in 2020 and looked forward to seeing them again.

The Tonga Police Band played in the tent shelter closest to the ship.  Moving down the pier, there were various souvenir vendors, tour operators, and a booth from the ministry of tourism.  Free Wifi was available in one area for those who paused to complete a survey.

tonga_-1.jpg A view from the ship of the vendor’s tents on the pier leading into town vendor-booths.jpg On the pier heading to town free-wifi-if-you-take-the-survey.jpg A few people took advantage of the free Wi-Fi on the pier

 

We learned at the tour booth that taxi fares on cruise ship days are fixed and posted.  The fare to the blow Holes was listed as costing $60, and the Tsunami Rock was listed as $40.  Returning guests told us that many Taxis were available further down the pier.

taxi-fares.jpg This sign was posted on the back of a tent providing information on tours

 

Toward the end of the pier, closest to the mainland, we found several taxi drivers sitting in chairs.  The chart above wasn’t clear on the rate for combined locations so we inquired about the cost of going to the Blow Hole and Tsunami Rock.  The driver Pali, asked what we wanted to spend, and I offered $50 USD, which he accepted.

The drive to the Blow Hole was about 10 miles, and we arrived at 12:07 after a 30-minute drive.  As we arrived, two larger HAL tour buses were leaving, so there were very few people in the area, and it was easier to find a spot for unobstructed photographs.  We walked about 100 yards down a rocky path from the main viewing area, and we found a spot that had good wave action to make a nice photograph.  We brought our tripod to set up the camera and let the 4K video run.  This way, we could go back a get a decent screen capture with the optimum wave action in the background.

blow-hole-770.jpg Here is a screen capture from our 4K video

 

After 25 minutes, our driver, Pila, drove down the small road and picked us up, and we were off to Tsunami Rock.  Recent rains made the small path to Tsunami Rock puddled and too muddy and deep for us to wade across.  We admired the rock from a couple of hundred yards away and then headed back to Nuka Alofa.

tsunami-Rock-arrow.jpg We decided not to wade across this muddy path to Tsunami Rock Tsunami-Rock-770.jpg With the help of Photoshop, I put our current photo in front of our picture of Tsunami rock from 2020

 

Pali dropped us at Friends Café, a popular café near the pier and a spot many private tours will arrange to meet.

pete-and-Pali.jpg Pete, with our taxi driver, Pali

 

Friends Café accepts credit cards and has a varied menu with some draft beers and the local beer Maka available in bottles.  Don’t stop here if you are in a hurry, as it took about 45 minutes to get served.  The food was good, and we enjoyed the ambiance.

Friends-Menu.jpg Friends Menu pete-and-maka.jpg Maka is the local beer

 

Directly behind Friends is a small craft market with a couple of vendors.  We didn’t find anything at the craft markets or vendors in the city that we couldn’t find with the vendors on the pier.  We didn’t check prices, so you may find better bargains once you are further from the ship.

Maketi Talamahu, a local market, is a few blocks away from the port entrance.  There is fresh produce on the ground floor and more vendors selling souvenirs on the second floor.

market-upper-floor.jpg The second floor of the Maketi Talamahu ministry-of-tourism_.jpg Anaseini, from the Ministry of Tourism, was very helpful.  She worked in the air-conditioned booth on the pier

 

On the way back to the ship, the Tonga Police Band was back performing for our sail away.  They are very good, and a few guests sat nearby to enjoy the performance close up.

tonga-police-band-3.jpg Tonga Police Band

tonga-police-band-2.jpg

An isolated rain shower cleared the Seaview pool during the Sail-Away, but the skies cleared after a few minutes.

wet-sailaway.jpg

tonga-map-page-1-770.jpg

tonga-map-page-2-770.jpg

Download the Walking tour HERE

You can get a copy at the Ministry of Tourism Booth on the Pier – and probably other places.

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin
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