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Join Pete and Judy on their FIRST World Cruise on the Amsterdam

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Day 10, Enroute Nuku Hiva

 

Our steady progress across the Pacific continues and we continue to close on the equator and will soon enter the South Pacific. The weather continues to cooperate, and while a little on the warm side, it is quite pleasant on deck especially in the morning. We are back on California time and as the daily drumbeat of retarding clocks continue, it gets easier and easier to get up early.

 

It is already very light outside at 6:45 am when I head up to the gym to exercise and check out the crowds. On my last cruise(Alaska – Oosterdam) , the gyms were packed at 6:45 and I had to wait a few minutes for exercise machines to open. Not today. Only about 1/3 of the machines were in use. They had a nice assortment of equipment and to my pleasant surprise, more cycling machines than was on the Oosterdam. First stop was the dreaded scale, which I was hesitant to use, but I needed to establish my baseline. For better or worse, the scale was unusable today since the ships motion caused a 10% swing in your displayed weight. I will probably have to wait for our next port to get an accurate reading as the ocean swell is creating too much movement.

 

Here is a rundown of the equipment in the gym:

 

A standard set of dumbbells.

 

The usual assortment of workout stations/resistance machines

 

7 Treadmills with TVs

 

5 Elliptoid machines with TVs

 

3 recumbent bicycles

 

3 upright bicycles

 

2 recumbent bicycles with software and a screen that allowed you to race other simulated cyclists. As I used to race bicycles this machine was my instant favorite. You are required to steer the bike around a course and can shift gears easily – a lot of fun to try and win against the other “cyclists”. I would normally read a book on my kindle or listen to an audio book, but today it was more fun to race the other bikes and the exertion required made reading or listening impossible.

 

I enjoy attending Good Morning Amsterdam. They always have an interesting guest and I can meet and chat with fellow passengers and pick up a vibe for how the cruise is going for others. The show is taped for broadcast later on the ships TV. It is not shown live. Gene starts the taping with explanation of the “Greeting Protocol” that must be followed: Gene says Good Morning to the guest who then says Good Morning to Gene – then Gene says Good Morning to the co-host Donna (The Culinary Arts Center host) who replies in kind. Then Donna and the guest exchange a similar series of “Good Mornings” – followed by a crowing rooster and shouting Good Morning Amsterdam. I don’t think this exchange has been successfully completed on the first take yet. But it is all very light and puts the audience in a good mood.

 

Today our guest was the Onboard Events Manager, a positon we learned will be eliminated on future sailings. I suspect that more and more functions will be managed by people in Seattle and only jobs that require customer interface will remain onboard. The event manager is responsible for coordinating and scheduling the various on board events published in the daily “On Location” We learned that the daily On Location is sent to the Ship by Seattle as a template that the ship can modify based on local conditions. He mentioned that they have a lot more flexibility on a World Cruise to schedule events than they do on shorter sailings.

 

The “reward” for attendance at Good Morning Amsterdam continues to dwindle. We received 10 Dam Dollars for the second show. 3 dollars a few days ago and now it is down to 2 dollars. My “bank” is now about $20 – not sure what this will get me during the first redemption opportunity.

 

I find myself passing by the Hudson room frequently and have noticed the Bridge classes remain full. They have a beginners class at 9am and an intermediate class at 10 am.

 

I had planned on playing blackjack during the cruise, but the casino dealers remain the “Maytag Repairmen” of this cruise. I have yet to see more than 3 people playing any card game – except for Texas Hold’em – which always seems to have a lively group. While I have never played Texas Hold’em in a casino, I decided to get up to speed so I could join in on the fun. I was able to download the book “Texas Hold’em for Dummies” while in Panama and have been reading away for the last few days. One of our dinner companions is quite good (having won several of the tournaments) and he has been generous sharing his strategy and tips. Today the casino held a Texas Hold’em class which was well attended.

 

NOTE: I have learned that if an event you would like to attend has limited space – best to get there early – until you can gauge the actual interest. The Texas Hold’em call filled up 15 minutes ahead of the starting time, but they could accommodate all who stopped by if they chose to stand around the table.

 

The class focused on the mechanics of the Texas Hold’em game on the Amsterdam and assumed you already knew poker hands and the basics of betting and poker terms. After I finish reading up, I will jump into a game and see how it goes. My tablemate says that the atmosphere on the ship for the Texas Hold’em game is great and very friendly and no one takes it too seriously.

 

We had a little time to practice our Ukuleles before the class started at 12:30. We are learning to play – as well as sing - the song “Vini Vini Vana Vana”. The class is well attended and with two sessions, you don’t have to get there 30 minutes in advance to find a seat. Today we learned a new chord “D” which requires covering 3 strings with one finger – a little more difficult than most, but this was only the second day.

 

We usually have lunch in the Lido as we enjoy the selection and it is easier to control portion size. Judy and I will typically share a single plate – I will get the entrees while she gets some sushi and other sides. We never had any trouble finding a table, regardless of the time. Beverage service is prompt.

 

We have become regulars at Judi and Skip’s Arts & Crafts class. Unlike some of the other activities – where you have to join at the beginning of the cruise or miss out – Crafts is easy to join at any lesson so we are always meeting new people. Working on a simple project is a great way to start the conversation. Today we started the first of 4 lessons where we will make some kind of paper beads. I’m not sure exactly how it will end up, but fortunately knowing that wasn’t necessary to finish.

 

After crafts I stopped by the Casino to watch the end of the Texas- Hold’em tournament. They have one every day with a $60 buy in with winner getting $250 to $350 or so depending the number of players. Our tablemate won and he was once again generous with his strategy and tips. The atmosphere at the table was fun and lively and I am looking forward to joining in once I finish my homework.

 

Tonight’s show was “The Evasons” with Jeff and Tessa Evason who put on a single show at 7:15pm. I learned that they only did a single show since it requires a full audience and the usual turnout at the late show would not create the right atmosphere since the show involves significant audience participation. Jeff was the host with his wife, Tessa, the mind reader. She would turn from the audience or be blindfolded and proceed to call out peoples names Jeff would point to, or identify people in photographs on their phones. One of the more amazing feats, was when Jeff went around the audience and people would write various numbers on a whiteboard – year of first cruise etc and after about 5 people provide numbers, another person added all the numbers which then matched a number that had been previously sealed in an envelope on stage. A very well done performance and we had no idea how they managed to pull it off. It was a lot of fun and everyone seemed to enjoy the show.

 

Kermet Apio, the comedian from a few nights ago, joined our table for dinner. We have an empty seat at our table so our group is always on the lookout for interesting people to invite to our table for dinner. We have learned that HAL employees need clearance from management, which we are told is almost automatic. The entertainers seem to be able to accept invitations on their own and we only need to let the dining room staff know so they can set an extra table.

 

Our table is always lively and Kermet was very interesting and made for a wonderful evening. One of the people at our table purchased the “glass of wine” a day promotion and she received a 4x6 card with numbers 1-115 printed in a table. Each day they cross off another number, so if she misses a day, she can make it up on another. She was also able to easily use the card at the specialty restaurants.

 

Jazz-Jams.gif

 

There was no late show tonight but the ships musicians gathered in the Ocean Bar for a Jazz Jam. I was too tired to attend, but Judy said that the “Neptunes” were very good and enjoyed the performance. The hit of the performance was with the classically trained Hungarian piano/violin duo putting a jazz spin on their performance. After performing three tunes, including ‘Take the A Train’, the clarinet player commented on how amazing they were at playing jazz.

 

More on the blog http://www.theinsidecabin.com

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin

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Really a fun read!

 

So, your baseline was not set on the first day. I see how it is! You have a smart way to do this, unlike me! Good luck with the scale.......

 

FOOD! If you have any spare time could you talk about food, menus, Lido, MDR, Pinnacle? Any passing comments are most welcome.

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This thread is really fantastic. Thank you so much for letting us all live vicariously through you.

Edited by Joules1111

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Any word on theme nights in the Pinnacle? These have always sounded interesting to us.

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Day 11 - Sailing towards Nuku Hiva

 

The sun was up very early this morning as our time changes are marching ahead of true local time. We will retard clocks one last time tonight, by 30 minutes, but we still have over 2000 miles until Nuku Hiva. With a time zone roughly 1000 miles wide we are ahead of schedule on the time changes, but now we will have 4 days to adapt to the local time on Nuku Hiva.

 

Good Morning Amsterdam (GMA) was Standing Room Only today – which means the attendance payout is doubled to $4 in Dam Dollars. The previous night’s entertainers continue to be the guests on this morning show. Jeff and Tessa Evason live in Annapolis and described how their act transformed from a Magic Show with Tessa as his assistant to the Mentalist show it has become today.

 

GMA wrapped up just in time to catch Barbara’s lecture on Avatoru, Rangiroa, French Polynesia where we will anchor. The Island doesn’t have much tourist infrastructure and Barbara is always working to set peoples expectations. She always reminds people to think of what a port offers as opposed to dwelling on what a port lacks.

 

During Ukulele class we finished going thru our song and began to fine tune some of the timing. We are also learning to sing the song and it is a good thing that we are in a large group with the vocals masked by the Ukuleles.

 

I stopped by the first Veterans group meeting. A great bunch and we all traded sea stories of varying degrees of exaggeration I’m sure – of course all of my stories are precisely true.

 

Day 2 of our 4 day craft project continued with our shellacking of the paper beads that were drying on overnight on sticks. Tomorrow morning we will remove them from the sticks and continue with the project in the afternoon.

 

We missed lunch and decided to head up to the Crows nest for tea. However we failed to notice that today’s tea would be in the MDR and was billed as a Royal Dutch High Tea. There was a big turnout and ¼ of the MDR on deck four was filled. There were more baked goods than normal, along with small sausage cakes and some miniature chicken pot pies – which were very good. It wasn’t clear to me what the difference is between a Royal Dutch Tea as opposed to the normal teas.

The people who joined our table were from Hawaii and Florida. They went to the Captains Dinner the previous evening and explained that while you will be in the same restaurant as the Captain, there is no expectation that you will be at his table. They remarked that they only saw him when he made some brief remarks opening the dinner. They suggested that Presidents Club people will be seated at his table with the other guests sharing tables with various other officers.

 

Tonight was James Bond night in the Pinnacle Grill. A lot of white dinner jackets and classic tuxedos. Here is a picture or the entrance decorated for the evening.

 

Pinacle-James-Bond.gif

 

We were joined by Sarah for dinner this evening. She is a British Saxophone player who will be providing the entertainment in a few days. She joined the ship in Fort Lauderdale, arriving 15 minutes prior to sailing due to flight delays. Her baggage was delayed, but she always brings one instrument in her carry on to give her something for a show if the other bags don’t catch up in time. She was reunited with her bags in Puerto Limon and we are looking forward to her show in a few days.

 

The Jack Pack – a male quartet – singing beautiful harmonies such as “Save the Last Dance for Me”, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “My Way”. They were very good and received a standing ovation. The 22 entertainers are frequently seen throughout the ship and the Jack Pack has gained a loyal following in the Crow’s Nest after Midnight. The entertainment thus far has been exceptional.

 

jack-pack-3.gif

 

More pictures, menus and on location guides on the blog at http://www.theinsidecabin.com

 

The blog also shows where we are on the world map. Current location is in Red

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin

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Thoroughly enjoying both your blog and your comments here!! Thank you so much for taking the time (and the expense) to bring us along on your WC, especially when you're enduring spotty internet reception.

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Thank you for taking us along on your world cruise! I have read many world cruise blogs. Yours is hands down the very best! Your writing is fantastic. Amazing! Thanks again.

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It's great to read a World Cruise blog through the eyes of a first timer. It gives us a good feel for what the activities offered are. Thank you for your time, effort, and $$$ in bringing it to us.

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It wasn’t clear to me what the difference is between a Royal Dutch Tea as opposed to the normal teas.

Can't swear what the difference is on a World Cruise, but on your average run-o'-the-mill cruise it's the addition of the hot foods.

 

Love your continuing descriptions of what goes on all day while at sea. You are joining in what seems to be everything, and your enthusiasm is coming through loud and clear.

Thanks.

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I want to post my thank you also for this....I'm living vicariously thru you and your wife! I am enjoying your blog - I have it set as a bookmark and I love seeing the menus. How do you possibly decide what to eat each night? So many options sound so good! I'd love to see some pictures of the dinners since I am a firm believer we eat with our eyes first. Thanks again for taking us along.

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Rangiroa is very beautiful and so different, being an atoll. The lagoon has fantastic snorkeling, which I did on a ship tour while DH walked the beach and photographed the wildlife. I hope you get out and enjoy it. It's so interesting (to me as a geologist) that the reef still remains after the island around which it once formed has eroded into the sea leaving the lagoon 70+ miles across. Not many ships stop there so it's a quite a treat! Enjoy, m--

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I want to join all your admirers and thank you for your blog.This is the best world cruise description!

As someone who will never have the joy of this trip, I follow along and am almost there with you.

Ellie

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Are they charging more or have a special menu for the special pinnacle dinners? Love you posts.

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Are they charging more or have a special menu for the special pinnacle dinners? Love you posts.

 

 

They have the standard Pinnacle menu for $29....$59 for a special 36 oz steak....see earlier post for photos.

 

The theme nights, like James Bond last night, are $79 and include wine pairing ...no price difference for non wine drinkers. Will try and get the theme menu to see if different. I am pretty sure the menus for theme nights are different.

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We were on the volendam last year on Valentine's Day and had dinner in the pinnacle. They did have something different but just can't remember what. Next year we will be on the veendam.

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Just wanted to say thanks again. Your reports are fantastic!

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Can't swear what the difference is on a World Cruise, but on your average run-o'-the-mill cruise it's the addition of the hot foods.

 

Love your continuing descriptions of what goes on all day while at sea. You are joining in what seems to be everything, and your enthusiasm is coming through loud and clear.

Thanks.

 

Royal Dutch Tea: Right, Ruth, plus some different Dutch cookies, some with almonds and often chocolate covered strawberries.

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Where am I ?

 

Who can tell me where this photo was taken on the Amsterdam ? I will be posting "Where am I" from time to time. Difficulty may go up depending on how clever everyone is. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1452973880.092205.jpg.6fb3653332ac6c182912ec67cf3e2181.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Where am I ?

 

Who can tell me where this photo was taken on the Amsterdam ? I will be posting "Where am I" from time to time. Difficulty may go up depending on how clever everyone is. [ATTACH]373792[/ATTACH]

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

The library!

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