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Melianne

Zaandam Review 12/1118/2004 Part 4

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Excursions: While on Tortola we took the one excursion we booked through the cruise line over to the Baths of Virgin Gorda. On Tuesday morning at 8:15 we boarded a jitney which drove to the marina, where we boarded a ferry that docked in Virgin Gorda. We then took another short, bumpy jitney ride to the baths, which were SPECTACULAR. It was an eerily beautiful beach accessed by a 350 yard walk down a rocky pathway to the sea. Once at beach level we encountered powdery sand and clear, aqua-blue water. The whole area was piled with ENORMOUS boulders balanced precariously atop one another. It was breathtaking! Advice: GO TO THE BATHS!!

 

St Thomas – way too crowded, and we’ve been there before, so I remained on ship. My husband ventured into town and had a difficult time getting a taxi back to Crown Bay.

 

Half Moon Cay – I cannot say enough wonderful things about this island. It is paradise. We didn’t do an excursion- we just "rented" a clamshell and sat with our jaws dropping open wondering at the beauty of it all. Okay, we walked the beach a little, had a nice barbeque lunch and talked with friends. But mostly, we just kept staring at the water! We had to leave by 2:30 p.m. – way to little time to spend on such a remarkable little Bahamian island.

 

Brief note: Thursday was another day at sea, quite unlike any I've had before. When we woke up the skies were dark, full of rain and the seas were rough. Being the eternal optimist, I figured it would be sunny by noon, but it became darker and the seas became even fiercer. By 1 pm the captain announced that we were in the midst of a wintry Atlantic "swell" (the water temps were still in the 70's) with waves reaching 15-20 feet and winds at 40 knots. The ship relentlessly rocked and swayed, making it difficult to walk throughout the ship. Fortunately, neither of us became seasick, so we were able to enjoy the day reading and napping. But not everyone fared as well. But at 3 pm that afternoon the crew served the chocolate dessert extravaganza and you would be surprised how many people crawled out of bed so as not to miss the biggest assemblage of dessert ever seen. . It really was over the top. The seas settled down about 6 pm, (just in time for everyone to get out of bed and dress for another formal night), but they picked up again about 9 pm and the rough seas continued through the night.

 

Overall: It was a great trip, and we had a pretty good experience with HAL. I would sail with HAL again, possibly on a larger ship. (I think I’m more of a "floating hotel" person). The cruise was an excellent value, we met wonderful people, and I thank the many of you here on the HAL boards that provided so much helpful information.

 

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Overall: It was a great trip, and we had a pretty good experience with HAL. I would sail with HAL again, possibly on a larger ship. (I think I’m more of a "floating hotel" person). The cruise was an excellent value, we met wonderful people, and I thank the many of you here on the HAL boards that provided so much helpful information.

 

Glad you enjoyed the trip! Evidently just enough went a bit less than perfectly so that boredom could never set in :rolleyes:

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Melianne,

 

Thank you for posting your review. I was on the same cruise but didn't get the opportunity to meet you. You pretty much had the same experience I did, minus the noisy, smokey cabin. I heard a lot of people complaining about ship motion/seasickness. For me, it was the smoothest cruise I've ever taken. Just goes to show you how people can differ in their perceptions and how people can be affected differently by the same set of circumstances.

 

Roz

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thanks for sharing your review! I enjoy reading cruise reviews..feels like we can come along for the journey too .. at least for the brief few minutes we are reading the reviews!!

 

We too encountered very rough seas in November on the volendam, sister ship to the Zaandam. It was quite an experience..one moment you felt like you were walking up hill the next you were running down hill...or walking on the left and suddenly finding yourself on the right. We too fared well, and didn't get sick...we did giggle a lot walking around the ship though!

 

Interesting, always seem to read reports of rough seas when on eastern sailings, but don't often hear about rough waters on western cruises. We've never taken a western sailing...I wonder if the seas are calmer?? Anyone?

 

We sail on the Zaandam end of May .. Alaska bound... Thank you again for taking the time to post such an informative review. Glad to read you had a great time and sounds like you met some great people on board too!!

 

Peggy Sue

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Whenever you sail in the North Atlantic in the winter time you will encounter rougher seas than in the Western carib. I was on this sailing and the one following it and going down to the Eastern and the southern carib. it was pretty rough. Thankfully I don`t usually get any motion problems and just roll with the ship!!....jean :cool:

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I once sailed the old Niew Amsterdam out of New Orleans and on the way home in the Gulf of Mexico, we had a fairly rough day but it wasn't as rough as that Saturday evening when we were just north of St. Thomas. That was one rough night and you described it well,

 

Himself

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