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Travel The World with Bill & Mary Ann HAL's Grand World Voyage 2007

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Then I guess you don't want the link to Ides of March round the world blog from the 2006 world cruise or SusieSails partial blog from the same cruise....:D

 

I wonder what ever became of Susie or if I had imagined her and her life of troubles.

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Then I guess you don't want the link to Ides of March round the world blog from the 2006 world cruise or SusieSails partial blog from the same cruise....:D

 

No, I don't want another link! I'm stilll looking at your photos. My favorite so far is the ugly American at the crack of dawn. Ha!

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We just got off of the Amsterdam a month or so ago.

Knowing that the Amsterdam was going on a world cruise I asked our Waiter if he would be woking aboard the vessel during the world cruise.

His answer was honest and very interesting. He stated that he has now worked many years for HAL. Early in his employment he worked a world cruise. He learned quickly that he never wanted to work another one.

He said he had passengers who were extremely demanding and could never be satisified with anything from food to service. Each night it was a different problem with someone.

He said he was "stuck" serving this table from "hell" for 3 months. He vowed to himself never again.

He said that he now schedules his contract vacation during the time of the world cruise so he is home enjoying himself.

If that cannot be arranged to his pleasure than he contracts for a vessel that is not making a world cruise.

Never again he said he will be stuck for 3 months with a bad table to work.

So you all on board be nice to your wait staff now. Remember you can change tables, but they cannot.

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Dear Bill and Mary Ann

 

I have loved reading your reports and look forward to more. I hope you are having a wonderful time.

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Dear Bill and Mary Ann

 

I have loved reading your reports and look forward to more. I hope you are having a wonderful time.

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It looks like the amsterdam is just coming into Gatun locks. I'll be watching to make sure all of you world cruisers are having a good time.

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Thanks Grumpy for the heads up on the Amsterdam in the locks. She looks beautiful this morning indeed. Have a great day Bill and Mary Ann. We are closely following your voyage and look forward to each posting.

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Grumpy,

Thanks for the picture of the Amsterdam in the Canal. That's a bit early for those of us on the West coast. Hope you are feeling better.

 

With each of these world cruise journals, I'm more convinced I must do this someday....

Bob and Mary Ann thanks again for sharing.

Peggy

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I just got back from my walk around the neighborhood and thought i would check to see what was happening around the Centennial Bridge cam. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the Amsterdam was just sitting there waiting for me to take a picture:D

Amsterdam2.jpg.8e21ffe5db2c27de5789ee3676b9f7b0.jpg

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Thank you for posting those cam shots Grumpy.

It is now Friday morning here and we are watching live.

It was great to be able to see what we missed from the very early hours of this morning.

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Report # 4

 

The weather has been surprisingly comfortable as we headed southeast, navigating our way around Cuba towards the Panama Canal. The seas are choppy due to strong winds, but not too bad. Unfortunately, there are no stops in the Caribbean on our trip. This time of year is their peak season, so as many as seven ships can be in port on the same day. It's just as well we are not stopping.

 

We're still unpacking, and will be for a few days. On our last long trip, we brought 2 hanging shoe bags that had 24 compartments each. These hung from the bathroom door and the door stop alongside. They are great for storing small items such as purses, tank tops, T shirts, or jewelry. We also shipped toiletries , medications, and breakables in plastic shoe boxes. These traveled well, and stacked perfectly under the bathroom sink. The ship supplied us with a stack of cardboard drawers that fit on the nightstand. These are perfect for all the little things like paperwork, pens, tools, flyers, make-up and other girly stuff. And a nifty spot for less used items went into the center of the barrel desk stool. Yes, the lid comes off and the balcony blankets were inside. Out they went, and we filled it up. Did we mention the large drawers under the beds? It was here that we stashed at least 70 t-shirts. It's looking better in the room now. Just two more layers of clothes left on the couch to go!

 

Since we have the laundry package, all the shirts and blouses will go out and come back on hangers. So convenient.

 

Our walk on the promenade deck was a nice change of pace. It takes 3.5 laps to do a mile, so we strive for 21 laps. Even if it takes 2 hours, sometimes more when we run into friends. But that is OK. We have all day. And we have run into more walkers from the past trip than we can count. It speaks volumes when you see so many repeat passengers, doesn't it?

 

The ship has launched into its activity mode with lectures, movies, games, bingo, dance and art classes to name a few. But the busiest places we have noticed are the front desk and the shore excursion office. We had to follow up on a missing bottle of scotch ( heaven forbid ), and the daily bottle of water we purchased. We have been promised the deliveries shortly. Two of our pre-booked shore excursions were cancelled, so we booked another one in Hong Kong, and are wait-listed for Bora Bora. Sure wish that HAL had informed us while at home, so we didn't miss out. Bora Bora is so small and rural, that without a tour, there is little to do on your own. We'll just keep our fingers crossed that they find room for the snorkel trip we want.

 

We also have the opportunity to visit with our hosts and other members of our travel group every seaday between 9:30 and 11:30 am. Great way to keep in touch. The group's calendars have been distributed, so now we can keep up with the tours and the cocktail parties. Don't want to miss any of those!! It was when we hung up our own calendar, that we realized that we missed the first Cruise Critic meeting. Drats!! Will have to be more careful in the future. Hope we run into Paul123 who can tell us what we missed.

 

The day dissolved rapidly after our light lido lunch. Cocktail time was very pleasant in the Crow's Nest while we listened to the Latitude band play and watched the people dance.

 

Dinner was late again, but the food was wonderful. The prime rib was the best. Ellen, our host, joined our lively table of nine. We are starting to get to know each other, and realize we share many similar experiences while traveling. No worries about moving tables this time. We have run into many people that moved immediately the first night. Been there, done that! Makes it awkward when you see these former tablemates later on the ship. And it seems like you run into them more often than anyone else!! Murphy's Law, right?

 

We got out of the dining room a bit too late for the show, so will have to ask about it tomorrow. We believe the entertainer was Norm Crosby, and he should be funny.

 

Until tomorrow, good evening,

 

Bill & Mary

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Hey Grumpy, that's cheating!! We can't keep up with these webcams!! The Volendam came through the Gatunlocks, then anchored for the afternoon, tendering people ashore. We understand that they will head out layter today.

We just came down to post e-mails as we are going through the last lock heading towards the Pacific Ocean.

Great picture of us! Thanks,

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Thanks for the posts. They are giving us good ideas about packing and unpacking for next year, even for our upcoming 2 month cruise on the Prinsendam. Can't wait to hear the next installment.

Judy

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is amazing. I loved the photos of the Panamal Canal. I really want to do that cruise with HAL but my only issue is that we have been to many of the ports included in a HAL Panama Canal, and there are so many places we want to go in the world.

 

We spent a week in Costa Rica, a week in Aruba etc., so looking for what else may be included in a Panama Canal crossing.

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this summer (the itineray looks great) but I had initially said I woud never book anything larger than the Veendam..but we wanted a new experiance on a different ship.

 

How did you like it (honestly) after cruising on the Prinsendam?

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I really want to do that cruise with HAL but my only issue is that we have been to many of the ports included in a HAL Panama Canal, and there are so many places we want to go in the world.

 

We spent a week in Costa Rica, a week in Aruba etc., so looking for what else may be included in a Panama Canal crossing.

How about a repositioning cruise?

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this summer (the itineray looks great) but I had initially said I woud never book anything larger than the Veendam..but we wanted a new experiance on a different ship.

 

How did you like it (honestly) after cruising on the Prinsendam?

It's a "dam" ship... It's gotta be good:D We still much prefer the Prinsendam, but we enjoyed both the Noordam and the Westerdam. I don't think I would want to do a long cruise on Westerdam, but a week or ten day is OK. Rotterdam was quite nice also, so I'm sure we would enjoy a longer cruise on an S or R class ship.

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Grumpy1 ... thanks for all the great shots today of the ms AMSTERDAM in the canal. They were absolutely fantastic and I wanted to let you know how much it was appreciated.

 

Hope you continue to recover quickly!

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