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Seek Timeless Treasures with Bill & Mary Ann - 2019 World Cruise -131 days

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I'm looking forward to reading your blog again, and this year it'll be extra exciting, as we'll be joining the cruise in Barcelona to do the last two segments with you! Looking forward to meeting you on the Amsterdam!

 

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I'm temporarily dry docked in Houston.  Otherwise I would have been on your world cruise.  I'll be following along with your posts as I have many times in the past.

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I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures. Thanks for taking us along! A world voyage is definitely on my bucket list.

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7 hours ago, Martezz said:

Looking forward to following you again on your world cruise adventure.  We also were on the Massdam cruise that went to Easter Island.  We were very disappointed that the residents of Easter Island were not allowed to come onboard.  It will be interesting to see if  they can come onboard the Amsterdam.

 

Ooops, disregard, just saw your correction. Great cruise, wasn't it?

 

XXXXX

I think you meant it  was Pitcairn where the prohibition was in place, not Easter Island, Though I suspect Easter Islanders were not allowed on board either - normal security procedures about guests,

 

Additionally there are no tender docking sites on Pitcairn islands, either so there was no chance there could ever be an island visit. however,  a few people were seen in the hills waving and one could see their small village and agricultural plots as we moved around the island. 

Edited by OlsSalt

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The new "thanks" on the CC website feature will be very helpful to keep the actual content flowing - hope everyone uses these to express general appreciation as Maryann's tale evolves and so we can all focus on those reports as we scroll through this lovely long journey.

 

(Click the symbols on the lower right for just general: "like', "ha ha" or "thanks".) 

The heart - then up comes the smiling face and the trophy.

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Hello from the UK

Greatly looking forward to cruising round with world with you again, particularly the last part of the voyage.

Smooth seas and Safe Sailing.

 

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Bon Voyage, & once again, thanks for taking us along.   We'll miss you in the Irish ports by about a week or so :)

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Thanks for including all of us on your adventures. We'll be in French Polynesia on the Eurodam in March, so we're looking forward to hearing about the islands on your blog. Bon voyage!

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What a fabulous trip and we are so very grateful that you allow us to tag along. You have no idea how much you brighten up a very long winter in the UK. Bon Voyage to you both

Chris

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How exciting to be able to travel along with you on your journeys!  Thanks for taking the time and effort to keep us posted along the way.

 

Smooth Sailing!    🙂🙂🙂

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Greetings fellow readers!

 

Thanks for the encouraging words....very much appreciated.  So we have a few answers to some questions such as what do we bring to make our room "like home".  Family photos and a calendar with all the important dates to remember come to mind.  And we always seem to find little mementos to decorate along the way.  No window garden this year. 

Rituals not to be missed are a few special desserts...coffee ice cream bombs or Jamaican calypso (mud) pie or Key Lime pie.  We have fixed late dining at the same table we get every year.

On previous cruises, we have only missed Pitcairn once, due to the fact that the winds were far too strong for the natives to board. 

As for packing clothes, we are prepared to layer up and even use the arctic jackets for northern Europe. 

So, stay tuned....we will be back soon!

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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On of my most favorite reads this time of year...thank you for taking the time during your travels to paint such wonderful pictures with your words.  Can't wait to read about your adventures this trip!

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Looking forward to your reports and photos over the next several months.

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Report # 2   Flying to Florida   January 19, 2019   Saturday   Home:  A nice day – no rain  Ft. Lauderdale:   70 degrees and partly cloudy

 

Today had to be the smoothest start of a vacation yet.  Always anticipating little glitches, there were none today.  Knowing that the situation at some of the major airports in the country are having issues was a major concern.  Maybe not so much in San Francisco, but other major hubs, which can cause a domino effect with delays.  Not so today. In fact maybe we did not have to get up at 3am to be ready for our driver at 5am.  Better to be early to check in, than later. 

 

Saturday or Sunday have to be the best days for traffic in the Bay Area. Our driver had us to the airport and Jet Blue in a little over an hour….record time.  Locating the counter, we discovered there were only two people checking in, although one of them was re-arranging clothing to balance the weight.  Been there, done that, until we discovered the nifty hand-held scale.  We came within 2 ounces shy of 48 pounds each.  Expecting to pay the baggage fee, the agent said put that card away…it is on us today.  How about that?  And we have only flown once with this airline in the past.

 

So the rest of the day went just as well, especially getting the pre-check TSA on our boarding passes.  They do a very smart thing by handing us each a printed card outlining exactly what we needed to do at the xray.  Light jackets and shoes could be kept on, but any electronic item larger than a cell phone, had to be pulled out of the hand bags.  Small liquids also had to be shown in the ziplock.  And that was it.  Today there was literally no line, and a lot of agents happily doing their job. We don’t believe they are federally employed.

 

We had plenty of time to enjoy Peets coffees and a breakfast sandwich at Boudin’s.  Can’t beat their fresh sourdough bread.  By the way, Jet Blue has their terminals in the international end, so we got to see the new building.  Not glitzy, it is a huge improvement from the old one.

 

As always these days, several requests went out for folks to check the rolled luggage, most of which looked over-sized to us.  Many people did give them up.  This is one aspect that we think the airline industry should re-think.  If you happen to board towards the end of the line, you may have no overhead space to store your stuff.  That’s not right.  We have been lucky, but not so for everyone.

 

The flight was close to 5 hours, and considering the storm that has tracked east from the west coast, it was relatively smooth.  A few bad spots with turbulence hit us, but it did not last long.  Good thing we had TV screens in the seats with most everything free. Watching two new movies, and we were almost to Florida. Food could be purchased, but they did serve unlimited snacks such as pretzels, chips, and cookies.  Non-alcoholic drinks were readily available as well.  At one point, all were invited to help themselves at the serving stations.  Unheard of.  It did help that the seating was spacious with plenty of legroom.  Yes, we will request flights with Jet Blue more often.

 

It’s been a long time since we have flown into Ft. Lauderdale, as we normally get the straight-through to Miami only.  This was so much better, and closer to the hotel, Pier 66.  Gathering our 2 pieces of luggage, we got a taxi in no time, and had a 15 minute ride there.  This time, we are booked with a different agency, so we did not get the transfer complimentary.  Truthfully, we did not miss waiting on a large group of people while they took their sweet time keeping with a group.  By the time they might find their bus, we were already at the hotel and checked in.

 

Speaking of checking in, the nice receptionist gifted us with cocktails one evening and a complimentary breakfast buffet for each of us one morning. This has never happened before.

 

We will have three nights here before joining the Amsterdam on Monday.  Tonight, we enjoyed a light dinner in the Lounge of the hotel, unpacked the essentials, and are anticipating a comfortable evening.  It’s been a long day, but a great start.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

 

 

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What a seamless way to begin your vacation - let's hope the trend continues!

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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Fabulous way to begin a trip!!! Nicely done. 

 

Cheers, Denise and Howie too

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5 hours ago, WCB said:

Report # 2   Flying to Florida   January 19, 2019   Saturday   Home:  A nice day – no rain  Ft. Lauderdale:   70 degrees and partly cloudy

 

Today had to be the smoothest start of a vacation yet.  Always anticipating little glitches, there were none today.  Knowing that the situation at some of the major airports in the country are having issues was a major concern.  Maybe not so much in San Francisco, but other major hubs, which can cause a domino effect with delays.  Not so today. In fact maybe we did not have to get up at 3am to be ready for our driver at 5am.  Better to be early to check in, than later. 

 

Saturday or Sunday have to be the best days for traffic in the Bay Area. Our driver had us to the airport and Jet Blue in a little over an hour….record time.  Locating the counter, we discovered there were only two people checking in, although one of them was re-arranging clothing to balance the weight.  Been there, done that, until we discovered the nifty hand-held scale.  We came within 2 ounces shy of 48 pounds each.  Expecting to pay the baggage fee, the agent said put that card away…it is on us today.  How about that?  And we have only flown once with this airline in the past.

 

So the rest of the day went just as well, especially getting the pre-check TSA on our boarding passes.  They do a very smart thing by handing us each a printed card outlining exactly what we needed to do at the xray.  Light jackets and shoes could be kept on, but any electronic item larger than a cell phone, had to be pulled out of the hand bags.  Small liquids also had to be shown in the ziplock.  And that was it.  Today there was literally no line, and a lot of agents happily doing their job. We don’t believe they are federally employed.

 

We had plenty of time to enjoy Peets coffees and a breakfast sandwich at Boudin’s.  Can’t beat their fresh sourdough bread.  By the way, Jet Blue has their terminals in the international end, so we got to see the new building.  Not glitzy, it is a huge improvement from the old one.

 

As always these days, several requests went out for folks to check the rolled luggage, most of which looked over-sized to us.  Many people did give them up.  This is one aspect that we think the airline industry should re-think.  If you happen to board towards the end of the line, you may have no overhead space to store your stuff.  That’s not right.  We have been lucky, but not so for everyone.

 

The flight was close to 5 hours, and considering the storm that has tracked east from the west coast, it was relatively smooth.  A few bad spots with turbulence hit us, but it did not last long.  Good thing we had TV screens in the seats with most everything free. Watching two new movies, and we were almost to Florida. Food could be purchased, but they did serve unlimited snacks such as pretzels, chips, and cookies.  Non-alcoholic drinks were readily available as well.  At one point, all were invited to help themselves at the serving stations.  Unheard of.  It did help that the seating was spacious with plenty of legroom.  Yes, we will request flights with Jet Blue more often.

 

It’s been a long time since we have flown into Ft. Lauderdale, as we normally get the straight-through to Miami only.  This was so much better, and closer to the hotel, Pier 66.  Gathering our 2 pieces of luggage, we got a taxi in no time, and had a 15 minute ride there.  This time, we are booked with a different agency, so we did not get the transfer complimentary.  Truthfully, we did not miss waiting on a large group of people while they took their sweet time keeping with a group.  By the time they might find their bus, we were already at the hotel and checked in.

 

Speaking of checking in, the nice receptionist gifted us with cocktails one evening and a complimentary breakfast buffet for each of us one morning. This has never happened before.

 

We will have three nights here before joining the Amsterdam on Monday.  Tonight, we enjoyed a light dinner in the Lounge of the hotel, unpacked the essentials, and are anticipating a comfortable evening.  It’s been a long day, but a great start.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

 

 

Hey Guys 

 

I would love to send you an email , but it would not deliver my note. I suppose your email has changed.  Could you send me an email so I can respond with questions I have.  My email has not changed.

 

Judy & Glenn Biggs

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Report # 3   Ft. Lauderdale – Day One   January 20, 2019   Sunday   Rainy, windy, partly cloudy & sun   High of 70 degrees & low of 60 degrees  65 Pictures

 

The morning began with some rain and wind, so our best plan was to take advantage of the complimentary buffet breakfast in the Mariners Café, off of the main lobby.  Although we are not huge fans of buffets, it would work OK today.  It was busier than we expected, but then we discovered that there were six large cruise ships in Port Everglades, and it became apparent that several guests were either coming from or going to sailings in the Caribbean, we suspect.  The offerings were limited, but sufficient.  When we were about finished, good friends, Martha and Bob, popped in to dine.  Martha will be sailing on the full cruise, but Bob will join for the final segment in northern Europe.  Sure was good to see them and we will certainly spend some more time chatting at the dinner tomorrow night.

 

The rain had stopped, so we explored the grounds of the hotel, which reminds us of a typical 60’s style motel complex.  The iconic Tower is closed for renovations, since it sustained considerable damage from recent hurricanes.  The rooms are now arranged in a square, all with outside entrances on two levels.  The pool area is located in a garden in the central courtyard.  We happen to be facing the Oceanside and the Intercoastal Waterway, a much more quiet side of the hotel. 

 

Following the hotel’s map, we located the other two restaurants nearby, but we decided to check those out later on.  The main highway has a bridge that crosses over the canal, so we found our way halfway across it.  Then we heard bells, and found the walkway closed off with a gate, and red lights stopping the traffic.  The bridge was going to rise up to let a  big sailboat go under it.  Fun to watch, and also a good spot to take some pictures.  It did not take very long before the bridge was lowered and we were on our way. 

 

Two years ago, we had walked to this area from the Amsterdam, which was docked at Pier 26.  A long hike, we recalled finding a lot of convenient stores and restaurants.  So today we went in and out of several strip malls on the opposite side of the highway.  And it was busy today, being Sunday.  Many families were out and about, as well as visitors like us roaming around.  We like to venture through the Dollar Store, so we popped in and found some ready-to-go potted plants.  Perhaps we will have a small window garden if the flower seeds grow. 

 

Lunch was at Duffy’s, a sports bar near Publix, a local grocery store.  The sodas never tasted so good, as did the house salad and bacon cheeseburger.  The place was full of guests enjoying every type of sporting event on TV that you can think of. 

 

Making our way back to the hotel, we paused once again while the bridge was lifted.  Nice benches were placed near the gate that closes off the walkway….perfect place to watch the waterway boat traffic. By now, the sun was actually peeking out, but the warm wind was blustery.  We counted six big ships and one little ship in port…..the Nieuw Amsterdam and Nieuw Statendam, as well as two Celebrity ships, the Edge and Silhouette.  The Regal Princess and the Harmony of the Seas was docked near the small Balereac Caribbean.  Funny thing, we spotted many crew members buying snacks of chips and candy in the Dollar Store.  They got a lot for their $$$.

 

Getting back to the hotel after 3pm, it was a surprise to us that the room had not been serviced.  There was no sign to leave on the door except DO NOT DISTURB, so we guess it will be done before the day is over.  Another odd thing we found was a note stating that the linens and toweling would not be changed the first day, unless we wished them to do so.  Sheets are one thing, but wet towels?  Come on.  So we had to place a call requesting fresh sheets and toweling.  Kind of reminds us of the “straw” thing at home in our favorite restaurants.  Unless we ask, you will not be given straws with your beverages.  New state law.  They are saving the planet from straw garbage.  We figured this was only in California, but no, we saw a sign in one restaurant saying that re-usable metal straws were available for 75 cents.  Bet that happens where we live soon, because the restaurants can make a profit out of that deal.  Aren’t straws re-cycled like other plastics?  By the way, the room attendant arrived after 5pm.  Maybe this is the new normal.

 

Deciding on an early light dinner, we headed to the Lounge once again.  There were several great suggestions for nearby restaurants with seafood, but one of us is very allergic to much of it.  And not wishing to take chances with cross-contamination, we stayed here.  We did take advantage of the free beverages given to us yesterday, which turned out to be two beers, one of which was Funky Buddha.  Of course the name alone made it worth a try.  Not bad with a higher alcohol content.  Both of us ordered sandwiches with small dinner salads.  All was delicious and just enough.  And the crowds from this morning were gone as there was a slow but steady stream of new guests arriving for tonight.

 

If we can stay up a bit later this evening, we might be able to see the “blood moon”, a once-in-a-while happening when it actually turns dark orange.  Naturally, there is a scientific explanation, but too hard to describe entirely correctly.

 

Tomorrow will be a busy one with a special dinner with our travel group and three of their top agents including ours.  Looking forward to it.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

 

 

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Enjoying your report.

 

We have eaten many times at Duffy's -- in fact we joined their club and got several free meals from them.

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Report # 4   Ft. Lauderdale – Day 2   January 21, 2019   Monday   Cold & 45 degrees…..really?   Part # 1 of 2   69 Pictures

 

Our second day in Ft. Lauderdale began with chilly temperatures, not expected often this time of year.  But we do recall that back in 2010, when we arrived here prior to the Grand South America Voyage, the thermometer had plummeted to 32 degrees or freezing…literally.  Naturally, we had planned on spending pool and beach time during our three day stay, but it never happened.   So 45 degrees was not so bad.  In fact, as the day progressed, so did the weather, for the better.

 

Instead of the buffet breakfast, we ordered from the ala carte menu, which had several better choices.  Sure, it was a bit more, but we got our eggs the way we like them.  Little by little, many friends wandered in looking for that morning coffee.

 

Our travel agency had tables set up in the lobby and would greet everyone during the day.  The group was wheeling in their supplies as we were leaving the hotel for the day.  We would catch up with them later.

 

Checking with the concierge, we asked about going towards the beach area from here.  He suggested that a shuttle would work better, since it may be too far to walk. Well, that’s all we need to hear, and we are more determined to take our time, and walk.  He said the beach was 2 miles away, and the Las Olas area was 2 more miles beyond that.  As it turned out, it took us 20 minutes to the Ft. Lauderdale Beach Park, a really nice and clean beach.  Too bad it was so cool to enjoy it, but it probably saved us from that first sunburn.

 

Besides swimming and sunbathing, there were many rental bikes and scooters along the way.  Most of the younger group were already in  motion, swerving around the walkers.  We also have these bikes where we live, and they are catching on slowly.

 

By the time we got to the boardwalk, we spotted a Bubba Gumps Restaurant.  That would be our destination for lunch.  Continuing on, we made it all the way to the Westin Hotel, touring their lobby.  Many high rise hotels are on this strip, including the elegant Ritz-Carlton.  We made a sweep through their lobby as well, and agreed it was most impressive.  No wonder it has 5 stars in the AAA booklet.

 

We decided to stroll up Las Olas Blvd. and go over the drawbridge there.  It is a smaller version of the one on 17th where the Pier 66 is located.  Once across it, the time had arrived for the bridge to lift.  Always fun to watch, as the walkway and road are blocked for traffic.  It appears the bridges are timed every ½ hour, whether there are boats or not.  The Bridge Control House in the middle dated back to the 1930’s, and was obviously manned. 

 

We do recall that Las Olas has numerous restaurants and shops, but from what we could see, they were a few miles inland, and too far to walk.  You always have to keep in mind that we still had a long way to get back to Pier 66.  So we headed back across the bridge.  That’s when we spotted some pelicans and one lone extra-large iguana.  He happily posed for pictures.  At least we got to see one of them, compared to the dozens we usually see on the canal.

 

Bubba Gumps was not too crowded, considering that today was a holiday.  We were seated quickly, and served just as fast.  Again those sodas sure hit the spot.  Sharing a burger, we opted to also split an order of key lime pie.  Mostly because we remember it to be so tasty in Honolulu, we wanted to try it again.  Funny thing, that was to be on the dinner menu tonight at the travel agency’s gathering.  But it was not to happen.  Anyway, our waiter said that all the pies are made on site, and totally from scratch.  Yep, every bit as good as we recalled.

 

Time to head back, since the meeting time for dinner would be 5:30pm, and one of us wanted to rest up for a bit.  Well, that was not going to happen, because we were greeted by all three top agents, including our favorite, Debra.  Barb had arrived, so we were here to stay, visiting with all.  Many fellow cruisers came into the hotel to check in, even the sisters, Cathy and Ann, even though they are not sailing on the world cruise this year.  They were simply here visiting friends and taking last minute short cruises in the Caribbean…better than being in below zero weather in Canada.

 

We were all gifted with special logo handbags, really nice sweatshirts, and diaries and calendars.  Off to go a great start.

 

There was about an hour before we had to meet in the lobby again, and a little time to begin re-packing again.  All of our luggage would have to be brought to the lobby (or picked up) by 10am tomorrow.  Since we had everything scattered, it did take some re-arranging. 

 

Some folks were already fueling up with drinks at the bar before we loaded into a comfortable coach to the restaurant.  We knew most everyone, except for about 10 people.  The total amount of the group was around 60.  It was a short drive to the Bistro Mezzaluna, an Italian restaurant a mile or two up the road.  Originally, we were supposed to take over an outdoor patio, but due to the cooler temps and possibility of rain, we had to dine upstairs in a small banquet room.  Not a big deal, but outside would have been nice.

 

The meal began with cocktails in an adjacent room…..anything we wanted.  No waiting in a long line, since our group was small.  We all liked that.  Our tablemates were Barb, Bob, Martha, Mike, Pauline, and Aldona.  All friends from previous grand voyages and more.  The meal began with bruschetta, shrimp spring rolls, followed by a pear and gorgonzola salad with rolls.  Choices for the entrée was filet mignon (mine), a pork chop (Bill’s), or salmon.  All were equally excellent, although the servers recommended the pork, bragging that they had marinated it all day before grilling. 

 

Dessert was supposed to include key lime pie, but it was missing, with flourless chocolate cake or cheesecake as the options.  The best was the cheesecake.  Wine was not served with the meal, although people still had the option to get a fill-up at the bar.  Many did just that.

 

By 8:30pm, we were bussed back in a drizzling rain, to the hotel.  With a little more packing, we were ready to crash for the night by 10pm.  Tomorrow should be a busy day checking out and boarding the ship.  Hope all goes smoothly.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

 

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Thanks for posting for those of us who are years away from a dream trip such as this.

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Report # 5   Embarkation Day   January 22, 2019   Tuesday   Mostly cloudy & 68 degrees     Part # 1 of 1     54 pictures

 

We knew today would be a very long one.  Getting up early to beat a possible crowd for breakfast was our plan.  So by 7am, we were among the first diners in the hotel’s restaurant, ordering typical bacon and eggs with lots of coffee.  Better to start the day fortified, because heaven knows when we will be able to eat again.  We’re joking, of course.

 

Our two pieces of luggage were picked up by the hotel’s staff, and brought to our waiting coach.  The group had followed directions and all were present by 10:30am for the short transfer to Pier 26.  Today there were only two large cruise ships in port…..the Amsterdam and the Costa Deliziosa.  Turned out that there was still some confusion at the terminal, because we all had to identify our luggage and direct a porter to load the bags on a trolley.  The porters were taking tips right and left, promising to load your luggage.  We did not wait until the bags were loaded, but we soon learned perhaps we should have waited.

 

We proceeded inside, having our boarding passes and passports checked.  Next was the security xray check, followed by the line-up for the embarkation procedure.  Right before we went through xray, some of our buddies came to tell us that our bags were left by the wall outside.  The porter did not do what he promised.  We figured we would do the check-in, and perhaps go out to look again.  However, the entire hall was loaded with lines of people, and we were afraid we may have trouble getting back inside.  We’d have to follow up on it later.  The same happened to another friend, who said her bag was missing as well.  Made us all question if the fellow was really a porter.  Lesson learned…..we will wait until the bags are loaded on carts next time.

 

No more filling out the health questionnaire.  We wonder how many people really filled them out truthfully anyway.  This year it appeared that the process was more organized.  The line for the suites on deck seven and the President’s Club members was short, and the check-in process was speedy.  From there, we went up an escalator to the upper level, where Gerald B, the Mariner Director and Orlando A, the President of HAL were waiting to greet us and join in a group photo.  Most of the guests that reached this room were seated and waiting to board.  However, as president Club members, we were escorted onboard ahead of everyone.  A lady who thought she could sneak around us to board, was stopped by security, where her room key was checked.  In fact, Christel M, the customer relations officer, also checked her status, and said, no, we are not ready for you yet.  She had no choice but to turn around and go back.  Nothing is worth that kind of embarrassment just to get onboard early.

 

One of the first officers we ran into was Phillip, the over-all head of the dining venues (formerly the dining room manager).  He had been transferred to the Prinsendam, and had not expected to be back until 2020.  Much to our surprise, he emailed us to inform us that by popular demand by crew and passengers, he was back on the Amsterdam.  That proves that it does pay to speak up sometimes.  He made his staff and his loyal passengers quite happy.

 

It only took a few minutes to get to our room since it is the same one we always get.  Just like home to us.  The desk was filled with goodies….champagne, two bottles of alcohol, candies, and several envelopes with gifts for shipboard credit.  There were no flowers like we usually have, or a tray of fruit and cheese.  We did put a few things away, then decided to go look around the ship. Our travel agents would be coming on for a while, and we wanted to thank them for everything.  Wasn’t long before we ran into at least a dozen folks we know.  Some have been onboard since Christmas, then sailed through the Panama Canal from Los Angeles.

 

Then it was off for a light lunch.  The sandwich bar in the Lido has come back for the grand voyage.  We are most happy about that.  We failed to read the daily newsletter, so we missed the complimentary sparkling wine event in the Lido Dome.   It was short-lived, however, since usually it goes on for hours.  No more.  There would be another party at 8:30pm with drinks and snacks, but that is during our dinner time.  Bad timing again.  Oh well, we did down the Nicolas Feuilattee Champagne in our room, gifted by HAL.  That will do for quite a while.

 

Best buddies, Leta and Bill, were at their favorite spot, the Dive-In Grill for burgers.  We are happy to report that Bill is doing much better after his accident last fall.  At our yearly meeting in Honolulu last year, Bill had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance due to an injury going bad.  Not the best way to spend a vacation in Hawaii.  We are so happy to see them and we have lots of catching up to do.

 

At 4:15pm, all were invited to the mandatory muster drill.  It proceeded smoothly with everyone listening for a change.  Many are seasoned travelers and have done this drill more than once.  We watched the action on the pier after the drill as they continued loading supplies and luggage.

 

Finally back at our room, we had one suitcase…a good sign that perhaps the other one was also onboard.  Eventually that one showed up too.  Our friend did get hers too, although she had a plug strip taken away, apparently not allowed.  That’s news to us.  Later three of our duffels arrived (one was really injured beyond repair).  One is still missing somewhere, and by 10pm, it still never showed up.

 

Putting away some stuff, we soon found it was time for dinner at 8pm.  We have the same table as always, but have had to reduced to an eight top.  It is perfect as we can all hear better.  There is a lot of space now from the serving stations and surrounding tables.  Heo and Greg will like it when they arrive in Singapore to join us.  In the meantime, we can invite guests and also have some crew members and officers.  The meal was great, mostly because we have the same waiter now for the third year in a row……Slamet.  His assistant, Marco, seems very nice.  While we dined on the tasty and hot food, more waiters came to say hi, such as Gan and Nass.  The staff seems to be hand-picked for these longer cruises, and we are sure happy about that. And the nice aspect of a table for three, we were done by 9:30pm. 

 

Shortly after 9pm, the ship silently pulled out of the harbor.  Slam had told us about rough seas and winds as they came into the port yesterday, so we can expect the same tonight and the following few days.  We did make a sweep through the Lido Dome to see a small crowd of folks dancing to the music of the Station Band.  Assorted wines and soft drinks were available as well. 

 

Time to turn in for the night as it had been a very long day, just as we remember.  Our room stewards had missed our room, and came with our stuff around 10pm apologizing profusely.  It had been a long day for them as well.  Plenty of time tomorrow to unpack. 

 

Bill & Mary Ann

 

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