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

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Did HAL's balcony smoking policy influence your cabin decision? We are very hesitant to book long voyages with them as we do not want the chance of breathing in smoke for a 100 plus days while paying for and trying to enjoy our outside space.

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Did HAL's balcony smoking policy influence your cabin decision? We are very hesitant to book long voyages with them as we do not want the chance of breathing in smoke for a 100 plus days while paying for and trying to enjoy our outside space.

 

No, we are not particularly sensitive to smoke but I don't know if that much would drift over when the ship is underway - maybe in port - but I have never been next to a smoker so I can't really say.

 

If there is an issue, the ship would try to work something out if at all possible. A friendly discussion with the Guest Relations Manager would be the place to start

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The Grand World Voyage has numerous options for entertainment:

 

  • •Queens Lounge Evening Shows
  • •Daytime Guest Lecturers
  • •Enrichment Classes
  • •Casino
  • •Cruise ship Games
  • •Movies
  • •Card Games

The focus for this post was the Entertainment in the Queens Lounge. More on the other options later.

 

I put together a 3 minute 30 second video showing highlights from 34 different acts on this world cruise. Here's the video

 

[YOUTUBE]Z-xanOFep94 [/YOUTUBE]

 

I have also added the name of every entertainer or event next to the date on the page called “Itinerary, Menus, On Location and Entertainers” under world cruise reference on the blog. So if you want to scan the names of the entertainers you can do so easily here.

 

Every night, with only a few exceptions, there was live entertainment in the Queens Lounge. The exceptions being when the ship was on an overnight as in Sydney or Hong Kong or if the ship's departure was late – past 8 pm. In these cases, they would generally show a movie, and it was normally one of the more popular recent releases e.g. Spectre, The Martian etc. On nights when they used the Queens Lounge for a grand ball, they would also not have a live show. On a few occasions, they would have a “Spotlight show” which would start at 7:15 or 7:30 so as to accommodate both early and late seating.

 

On most nights, the shows would start at 8:15 and 10 pm. The 8pm show was usually close to full, but there were always some seats available, but maybe not in the best locations. The late show attracted about 50 regulars. Our table went every night and we always sat in the balcony to the left of the Sound Booth. Occasionally we would go to the main floor in the first row if we have had the entertainer for dinner or otherwise got to know them. We jokingly referred to the first 3 rows in the balcony as the “Presidents Box”

 

Unlike most cruises, the Cruise Director has significant input into the selection of the guest entertainers on this Grand World Voyage. We were told that on previous World Cruises, a significant portion of the entertainment budget was used to book a well-known celebrity – for example Desmond Tutu. For a variety of reasons, there wasn’t any “big name” celebrity available this year so they allowed the Cruise Director to use the budget set aside for this “Big Name” to book higher quality (more expensive) acts than may have otherwise been the case. This was a brilliant move and with only a few exceptions, all the entertainers on this cruise were outstanding.

 

Nevertheless, the quality of entertainers’ is VERY subjective and sometimes people would unfairly criticize an act because they didn’t like the type of entertainer rather than the quality of the performance itself. Some people don’t like jugglers, comedians, magicians, you name it, but if you don’t like that type of entertainment you are better off finding something else to do rather that sit thru a show you know you won’t like. Judy and I made it a point to go to every show and she succeeded in sitting through every minute of every show. (Except those when we were on overland’s.) I missed parts of 3 or 4 shows when I was so exhausted I couldn’t stay awake. We love the HAL cast shows and even though we have seen most of them before, we love going again and again because live entertainment is always different and exciting.

 

Live entertainment on a cruise ship represents a unique opportunity to sample various types of performers you would never otherwise see. We would never get in our car in San Diego and drive to see a Harmonica Player, but we would gladly walk the length of the ship to see one on the world cruise. We always tried to do things on this cruise, or any cruise, that we can’t do anywhere else. We can always catch up on old movies at home but we can’t see someone play a Hammer Dulcimer except on a cruise ship. Nevertheless, one of the joys of cruising is to do whatever you would like. I encourage future travelers to take advantage of those opportunities that are probably only available on a Grand World Voyage.

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin

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You had Rita Rudner. I think that's kinda a big name. Could Tutu really have been that expensive?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

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You had Rita Rudner. I think that's kinda a big name. Could Tutu really have been that expensive?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

 

Didn't Tutu come with a large entourage? Seems I remember several bloggers mentioning that.

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Could Tutu really have been that expensive?

Yes. There are lots of comedians, only one Desmond Tutu. Check with his agent about speaking fees.

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Yes. There are lots of comedians, only one Desmond Tutu. Check with his agent about speaking fees.

 

We heard that Desmond Tutu cost in the neighborhood of $250,000

 

Rita in neighborhood of $50K

 

More ordinary acts $3 to $10K per week. Most acts are booked for a week, then daily afterwards. Everything is negotiable so these amounts can vary based on many factors. Bringing on Australian Tenors for 2 days is cheaper than flying Rita over from Vegas for 2 weeks

 

 

My info is from reliable sources from people who know, but I didn't see anything in writing either....

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin

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In looking at a travel agent's advertisement for the Holland 2017 and 2018 World Cruise, it states " capacity for 1380 passengers" on the Amsterdam. Do you know what the actual passenger count was for the 2016 World Cruise?

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In looking at a travel agent's advertisement for the Holland 2017 and 2018 World Cruise, it states " capacity for 1380 passengers" on the Amsterdam. Do you know what the actual passenger count was for the 2016 World Cruise?

 

 

 

1050 or do leaving FLL. Around 850 returning to FLL....lots of people left in Dubai

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We heard that Desmond Tutu cost in the neighborhood of $250,000

 

Rita in neighborhood of $50K

 

More ordinary acts $3 to $10K per week. Most acts are booked for a week, then daily afterwards. Everything is negotiable so these amounts can vary based on many factors. Bringing on Australian Tenors for 2 days is cheaper than flying Rita over from Vegas for 2 weeks

 

 

My info is from reliable sources from people who know, but I didn't see anything in writing either....

We enjoyed the 2014 WC, but meeting Archbishop Tutu made it a once in a lifetime experience, something that I will never forget.

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We enjoyed the 2014 WC, but meeting Archbishop Tutu made it a once in a lifetime experience, something that I will never forget.

 

 

 

How did that work out? Did he speak in the Queens Lounge to large groups or in smaller groups? Did you have much time with him or was it a receiving line meeting for a few seconds?

 

Did most people feel the same way? You are first person we heard from with first hand experience. Thanks for posting!

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We felt that the captain, or by way of Seattle, took a real slow speed getting

From Durban to C town, in order to give his very big retinue some cruise time

On board, of course cutting our time in C town. I thought that $50,000 was

The general amount bandied about. They sure could of used that to do

Something with the I net, which is still lousy. We did not see him, nor do I think

Many others also. I'm sure Seattle has had many second thoughts about

Doing that little bit of pandering again.

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How did that work out? Did he speak in the Queens Lounge to large groups or in smaller groups? Did you have much time with him or was it a receiving line meeting for a few seconds?

 

Did most people feel the same way? You are first person we heard from with first hand experience. Thanks for posting!

 

His group boarded in Durban, along with Stein Kruse and his family and Arnold Donald and his family. We received a beautiful book "Tutu, The Authorized Portrait" with a card stating "My wife, Linda, and I hope that you enjoyed this evening as much as we did. As a token of our thanks, please accept this book celebrating the life of our honored guest, Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whose humanity and compassion have touched the lives of millions around the world." Signed Stein Kruse, President & Chief Executive Officer Holland America Line. Within the book was also a card signed by Desmond Tutu. There were two speaking engagements and question and answer sessions in the Queen's Lounge and we received a ticket to one or the other so there would be adequate seating.

Ours was from 1:30 to 3:00 pm on Saturday. On Sunday he conducted a religious service also but we didn't attend assuming it would be too crowded. One thing I remember about him is his sense of humor and laugh. If you have ever listened to a talk by the Dalai Lama, they both have almost exactly the same humorous laugh.

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His group boarded in Durban, along with Stein Kruse and his family and Arnold Donald and his family. We received a beautiful book "Tutu, The Authorized Portrait" with a card stating "My wife, Linda, and I hope that you enjoyed this evening as much as we did. As a token of our thanks, please accept this book celebrating the life of our honored guest, Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whose humanity and compassion have touched the lives of millions around the world." Signed Stein Kruse, President & Chief Executive Officer Holland America Line. Within the book was also a card signed by Desmond Tutu. There were two speaking engagements and question and answer sessions in the Queen's Lounge and we received a ticket to one or the other so there would be adequate seating.

 

Ours was from 1:30 to 3:00 pm on Saturday. On Sunday he conducted a religious service also but we didn't attend assuming it would be too crowded. One thing I remember about him is his sense of humor and laugh. If you have ever listened to a talk by the Dalai Lama, they both have almost exactly the same humorous laugh.

 

 

 

Sounds like a great experience! Thanks for sharing

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We have been back now for a couple of weeks and have had some time to get back into our normal routine. As I discussed during the cruise, I plan to continue posting on various lessons learned and other insights Judy and I picked up regarding world cruising. The first topic I will tackle is packing! What to take, what not to take.

 

Here we go

 

PACKING FOR A WORLD CRUISE

 

What to pack for a 4-month cruise! When you first start to think about such a long cruise, the thought of packing can be a little intimidating. We can make if a little simpler by breaking down the chore into various categories.

 

Clothes/Shoes

Prescription medication

Over the counter medication

Misc. Consumables

Food/snacks

Electronic Devices

Entertainment items

Cameras

Computers and accessories

 

Let’s dive into each one a little deeper.

 

Clothes/Shoes

 

Think of a world cruise as a string of 14-21 day cruises. One difference is that you will likely experience more changes in climate. World cruises all spend a lot of time in the tropics where it is hot and humid, but many will also spend some time in the Mediterranean or the North Pacific where it will be much cooler. Here is a list of the various categories you need to plan for:

 

Daily clothes for sea days

Daily clothes for warm weather ports

Daily clothes for cold weather ports

Daily clothes for dinner

Clothes for Gala nights

Pool Attire

Workout/Gym attire

 

Foul weather clothing

 

Hats

 

Sunglasses

 

Theme night attire – World Cruises will have many theme nights and balls. About a month before the cruise, HAL will send you a booklet with the dates and themes for all the various special events. Now you will have time to shop accordingly. Most people did little more than wear green for St Patrick’s day, or red for Valentine’s day but there were probably 25 to 50 people who brought more elaborate costumes. For other themes, the ship would provide a hat or a mask or something to wear. The Black and Silver Ball and the All White theme had higher than normal participation. A list of the theme nights for the 2016 cruise can be found HERE.

 

Here are some points to ponder when thinking about your approach to clothing.

 

• Decide how often you want to do laundry or how many different outfits you would like. Some people are comfortable rotating thru 2 pairs of jeans while some women brought a different dress for almost every day of the cruise. Evening.

 

• I would start with your experience on a 14-day cruise and then adjust for different weather possibilities and your personal tolerance for repetition.

 

• If you are handy with spreadsheets, you can build one that has the itinerary for your cruise along with three columns, day, evening and temperature. Using this spreadsheet, you can fill out the clothes you will wear for each day.

 

• Err of the side of taking less. There are plenty of opportunities to buy more clothes if you realize you need more.

 

More on the blog including items I would not take again and items I wish I had brought http://www.theinsidecabin.com

 

 

 

Prescription medication

 

You will need to have a 4-month supply of all your prescription medications. The term most insurance programs are familiar with is called “Vacation Override”. Start your conversation with your insurance company and your doctor to see if this is going to be easy or hard. This is something that you don’t want to put off to the last minute, but I haven’t heard of anyone not being able to reach an accommodation. If your medication requires special handling or involvement by the onboard medical team, get your travel agent and HAL involved sooner rather than later. We use Tricare Express Scripts and we were able to get everything we needed in advance. Be ready to spend some time on the phone and some people in the insurance companies may be new and not understand all the options. Start early and be politely persistent. We did have to pay but I think it was what we would have been charged anyway.

 

Over the counter medication

 

The ship has very limited amount of OTC medicine. Ships medical will have more, but it will be very expensive compared to what you can buy it for at your local drug store. Bring enough to deal with one typical cold or similar episodes.

 

Miscellaneous Consumables

 

Lotions, creams, make-up, razors. toothpaste, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, shampoo, hair color. Keep track of what you use during 1 month while at home to gauge what you should bring on the cruise. If you aren’t picky about the brands, you will be able to buy more of all of these items during stops at your more modern ports.

 

Food/snacks

 

You certainly won’t go hungry on a cruise ship, but if you have to have a special treat e.g. Snickers Bars, a certain brand of peanut butter, gum, candy etc, then you should bring your supply from home. Certain items you can pick up at many ports – Snickers bars for example, but other items may be harder to find. Many ports prohibit taking food ashore. We always pack something like fig bars or equivalent which are in sealed wrappers that can come in handy during a long bus ride. I enjoy popcorn and even brought an air pop popcorn popper, but I discovered that the Wajang Theater puts out dozens of small popcorn bags during the daily movie. Bring a Rubbermaid tub with a sealed lid and you can grab some popcorn from the theater and keep it fairly fresh in your cabin.

 

Electronic Devices

 

Cabins don’t have many electrical outlets. There are two extra plugs at the desk which can be available to use with minimal effort.

 

Next to the standard 110-volt North American outlet on the desk, there is an 220V outlet made for European plugs. Most all electrical devices can use either 110 or 240 volt outlets. Bring an adapter for the European outlet and you can use it for many of your electrical devices. Be careful with anything that heats up – curling irons, hair dryers etc. Some can handle dual voltage but many cannot. Those that can usually have a switch to select the correct voltage.

 

The DVD player under you TV is plugged into a separate outlet. We never used this player so I unplugged it and freed up another outlet.

 

If your room doesn’t have a refrigerator, if might still have electrical outlet that you may be able to reach.

 

Bring enough chargers and cables to support keeping all your devices charged.

 

Adapter plugs for any country where you will be travelling overland will come in handy

 

We used a portable power bank to help keep our iPhones and iPads charged while on longer shore excursion. There are many products out there, but this is the one we used: Intocircuit 15000mAh 4.8A Dual USB Portable Power Bank with SmartID Technology, available from Amazon.

 

Entertainment items

 

If you enjoy certain games – bring them! Don’t forget your dominoes, Mah Jongg cards, Sudoku books, Crossword puzzles. Be sure to download any games for your iPhone before you leave.

 

If you like to knit or crochet, bring enough projects to keep you going for the 4 months.

 

Cameras

 

If you are buying a new camera for the cruise, be sure to leave enough time to learn how to use it before you leave. Learn how to use the fill flash and how to take pictures under low lighting conditions and situations that are backlight. Bring an extra battery and memory card. If your battery goes bad, these can be hard to fine – bring a spare.

 

We used the following cameras on the cruise and were very happy with them.

 

Canon PowerShot SX710 HS - Wi-Fi Enabled

 

Panasonic HC-V770 HD Camcorder

 

Computers and accessories

 

Since I was blogging, I brought more computers and accessories than the average person. Here is what I was using:

 

Microsoft Surface Book (512 GB, 16 GB RAM, Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce graphics)

 

CANON PIXMA iP110 Wireless Mobile Printer With Airprint And Cloud Compatible – Printer is wireless and uses a rechargeable battery. We used it to print out photos to share with friends. Small and light.

 

Epson Perfection V39 photo Scanner – Very small and light scanner – doesn’t need to be plugged into an electrical outlet. Gets all its power from the computers USB Port

 

HooToo TripMate Elite Wireless Travel Router, USB Port, 6000mAh External Battery – This allows you to share a single wifi login with multiple devices. Handy on the ship. It also has a power bank which can be used to charge iPhones etc.

 

A more detailed check list is on the blog http://www.theinsidecabin.com along with a few things we forgot to take and a few things we would leave behind next time

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Thank you for this packing information. Could you discuss Travel Insurance? Any issues/problems getting the insurance for extended periods of travel. Thanks.

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Thank you for another great post, full of information.

 

You didn't mention phones in your post. I am curious to what service provider you used or you used an unlocked phone and purchased sim cards abroad. Did both you and Judy have separate phones, or did you make do with a single phone.

 

We purchased an unlocked phone for travel, but haven't put it to the test other than using it in Scandinavia.

 

Binoculars where also not mentioned. Any thoughts on binoculars?

 

Can you expand on your use of the HooToo TripMate Elite Wireless Travel Router? Maybe a posting on how to utilize wifi on the trip most efficiently (minimize cost) I am guessing this router's purpose was to do just that.

 

Thank you so much for all your posts.

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Excellent list and very useful.

 

One question: in reading your blog and then this list, I wondered how you kept you weight down for four and a half months of eating not just on the ship, but in ports and what you bring, too.

 

Looking forward to the next installment of the WC tip posts.

Edited by SilvertoGold

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Thanks for the detailed information on the various electronics.

Some of my new favorite cabin organizers are from the Container Store. They carry a brand of organizers that have magnets on the back and adhere to cabin walls beautifully. The Urbio magnetic modular system has small and large components for all sorts of essential items. I loved that I could put them on the wall near the vanity and keep that surface open for chargers and the computer. I even have one that I put cut flowers in! The Container Store also has ABS plastic magnetic hooks and wall clips that work well. Lastly, they have large suction cup hooks that I use on the window. Great place to put damp clothes to dry when the sun is out.

Thanks again for taking us along on your cruise.

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Thanks for the detailed information on the various electronics.

Some of my new favorite cabin organizers are from the Container Store. They carry a brand of organizers that have magnets on the back and adhere to cabin walls beautifully. The Urbio magnetic modular system has small and large components for all sorts of essential items. I loved that I could put them on the wall near the vanity and keep that surface open for chargers and the computer. I even have one that I put cut flowers in! The Container Store also has ABS plastic magnetic hooks and wall clips that work well. Lastly, they have large suction cup hooks that I use on the window. Great place to put damp clothes to dry when the sun is out.

Thanks again for taking us along on your cruise.

Will that work on a Holland ship .Metal walls ?????

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Thank you for this packing information. Could you discuss Travel Insurance? Any issues/problems getting the insurance for extended periods of travel. Thanks.

 

I only got the medical coverage and a medical evacuation policy from http://www.insureandgousa.com/ and it was less than $150 for 4 months. I didn't get any trip cancellation coverage but assumed the risk myself.

 

InsureMyTrip.com‎ is a good site to compare policies.

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Excellent list and very useful.

 

One question: in reading your blog and then this list, I wondered how you kept you weight down for four and a half months of eating not just on the ship, but in ports and what you bring, too.

 

Looking forward to the next installment of the WC tip posts.

 

I gained about 8 pounds but lost 4 of those already.

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I gained about 8 pounds but lost 4 of those already.

 

Oooooh! You men can lose weight at will, it seems.

 

Congratulations on this minimal weight gain. How do you manage eating on this length of cruise? I notices some big meals in your photos!

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