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catlib55

Back from Rotterdam 12/2

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We had a wonderful cruise. Our embarkation experience was totally different from Localady's, though, since we did not have a suite. We waited in the terminal for an hour before we could get processed and board the ship. We almost missed the buffet lunch in the Lido. Our cabin steward was very efficient, but I don't even know his name since he never introduced himself to us. There were two of them roaming around the hallway, and I think I know which one cleaned our cabin!

Our dining stewards were wonderful!! They were friendly and efficient, and we had excellent meals every night. One unusual thing, though. We did not request a table for two, but that is what we got. The first night, it was just the two of us, but the second night and on, there was another table for two right next to ours, and another couple were seated there. They said they had requested a table for two, and the first night, they were seated at a table for six. They spoke with the maitre d and said they wanted a table for two. The next night, they were reassigned originally to a table for eight!! When they complained again, they were give the table for two next to ours. We enjoyed getting to know them. It was almost like being at a table for four, but there was a column separating the two tables.

Half Moon Cay was absolutely beautiful!! We thoroughly enjoyed the beach and the water. Surprisingly, it wasn't that crowded even though there were two ships there. It was a little interesting finding a table for lunch, but we persisted and shared a table with a couple on the Zaandam.

In Aruba we did the De Palm Island snorkeling excursion and saw the most beautiful fish I have ever seen -- the bright blue Parrot Fish. Plus some other gorgeous varieties. The weather was perfect and the beach was beautiful.

In Curacao we did the highlights tour and folkloric show. It was a very nice tour. Curacao is beautiful!! The pontoon bridge is fascinating. It was fun watching the big huge tankers going in and out of the port there.

Since this was our first time in the Panama Canal, we were fascinated by the workings of it. What a magnificent piece of engineering. It was wonderful to learn all about it.

I'll write more later since this is getting very long.

Mary Ellen

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Mary Ellen- I am sure that you and I met, we just didn't know it!! My husband Bob and I also did the Ticket to Paradise on DePalm Island. I am sure we shared the boat with St. Nick and his helpers on the way back from the Island. We found the Parrot fish to be quite fabulous...they seemed quite attracted to my blue swimming suit and snorkelling there was one of the highlights of the trip for me!!!

 

I was also pleased to see that the beach at HMC didn't seem too crowded despite having two Ships in that day. Totally agree that Panama Canal was fascinating!

 

Glad you enjoyed your trip also! Sorry we didn't formally meet:)

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Yes, they were beautiful. It was a perfect day, and I remember St. Nick and his helpers on the boat back to the bus.

Sorry we didn't get to meet!!

Mary Ellen

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It's interesting....the Rotterdam and the Zaandam together at HMC and it did not seem crowded.

 

We were there on the Volendam with the Oosterdam, a larger ship, and the place seemed really crowded. Could it be that the additional 400 or 500 passengers on the Oosterdam made the difference?

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I think one difference was that an awful lot of the Rotterdam passengers were in wheel chairs or on scooters and couldn't manuever on the beach.

That's just my opinion. There were only two children on the ship on this cruise, four year old twins who turned five the last day on the ship.

The Zaandam had a much younger crowd, and they probably made up most of the group on HMC. They got there earlier and left earlier. After they left, the beach was almost empty.

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Glad you enjoyed your cruise on the Rotterdam - love that ship.

It is interesting that HMC was not crowded. We have been there when 2 ships were in HMC - before the Vista class ships and the crowds were terrible - lunch lines horrible.

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Mary Ellen .... Glad you had such a great cruise!

 

Special thanks to you and LocalLady both for the "thumbs-up" on taking "Ticket to Paradise" to DePalm in Aruba. We have been planning to do it in January. Is there anything else we need to know about this excursion?

 

Thanks again! Happy Sailing! OCruisers :)

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It is a wonderful excursion. They had free strawberry daiquiris or beer. I believe you could also get water. They offered a Caribbean style buffet lunch, but we had just eaten on the ship, so we didn't try any of the food. We were surprised that the buffet was offered. We thought we would just get a snack of some kind along with the open bar. But it was a great afternoon for us.

Mary Ellen

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The one thing I am kicking myself for is not bring an underwater camera!

 

The big blue parrot fish were very friendly and would have made a beautiful photo opportunity! We will be back in Aruba with the Veentastic Veendammers next Nov., this next time I will have one with me!!!!:cool:

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Mary Ellen and Localady .... Thanks for the additional info! We'll be sure to take our underwater cameras! :)

 

:confused: Have WONDERED: How is the "beach area" after snorkeling?

 

Localady .... We'll be on the 14-Day Southern on Veendam in January. Think :rolleyes: it's the same itinerary you will have in November.... Let us know if you have anything you might like us to "check-out" for you..........

 

Looking forward to "Ticket To Paradise"! Thanks!

 

Happy Sailing! OCruisers :)

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Ocruisers-

 

What a generous offer!!!! If you have any recommended "to do's" when you get back, we'd sure love to hear about it. There is a nice deck area that we situated ourselves on after snorkeling the day we were on DePalm Island. It had loungers to sun on after snorkeling. Have a great time!:cool:

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