Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On my way.....

I must be getting excited about my trip. Originally I was leaving the 2nd of January to drive to Ft. Lauderdale then changed it to the 1st so..... I left today, New Year's Eve. I drove to Florence, South Carolina and will be on I-95 all the way to Ft. Lauderdale. Tomorrow I will drive to Melbourne, Florida and spend two nights there before I finish the trip to Ft.Lauderdale. I will be in Ft. Lauderdale for two days before we sail..... I'm ready to get this Grand World Voyage underway.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's getting to be that time again.....

First of all, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. I am at home preparing for the next Grand Voyage. I am packing and planning for my 131 day Grand World Voyage on the ms Rotterdam leaving from Ft. Lauderdale on the 5th of January 2009. I am going to try something different this time and actually drive to Florida to join the voyage. It will take the hassle of airline travel out of the equation. I am really looking forward to this voyage. I will see a lot of friends and will be going to a lot of new places especially in Africa. I have some nice tours awaiting me to see the big game of Africa and amazing places like Victoria Falls.... very cool. The ms Rotterdam will be a new ship for me but it should be similar to my home away from home the ms Amsterdam. I will also have a different Captain. I will miss Edward and his wife Apollonia... I am sure that changes to the itinerary are at least being considered, especially in Mumbai. Time will tell.... Those pesky pirates from Somalia could cause some issues as well. Anyway, I'm OK with the itinerary, I'll have to wait to see what Holland America does. Anyway, here it is, the current itinerary for my 2009 Grand World Voyage:
MON 05JAN Sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida 5:00p
TUE 06JAN Sea Day
WED 07JAN Sea Day
THU 08JAN Cartagena, Colombia 7:00a 1:00p
FRI 09JAN Enter Panama Canal Cristobal
FRI 09JAN Exit Panama Canal Balboa
SAT 10JAN Sea Day
SUN 11JAN Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica 7:00a 8:00p
MON 12JAN Sea Day
TUE 13JAN Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala 6:00a 4:00p
WED 14JAN Huatulco, Mexico 11:00a 6:00p
THU 15JAN Acapulco, Mexico 8:00a 5:00p
FRI 16JAN Sea Day
SAT 17JAN Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 7:00a 2:00p
SUN 18JAN Sea Day
MON 19JAN Los Angeles, California 7:00a 5:00p
TUE 20JAN Sea Day
WED 21JAN Sea Day
THU 22JAN Sea Day
FRI 23JAN Sea Day
SAT 24JAN Hilo, Hawaii 8:00a 8:00p
SUN 25JAN Honolulu, Oahu, United States 8:00a 11:59p
MON 26JAN Sea Day
TUE 27JAN Sea Day
WED 28JAN Sea Day
THU 29JAN Sea Day
FRI 30JAN Sea Day
SAT 31JAN Golden Line Crossing
MON 02FEB Sea Day
TUE 03FEB Luganville, Vanuatu
WED 04FEB Port Vila (Vanuatu) 7:00a 6:00p
THU 05FEB Sea Day
FRI 06FEB Noumea, New Caledonia 7:00a 11:59p
SAT 07FEB Ile De Pins, New Caledonia 7:00a 5:00p
SUN 08FEB Sea Day
MON 09FEB Sea Day
TUE 10FEB Sydney, Australia 7:00a
WED 11FEB Sydney, Australia 7:00p
THU 12FEB Sea Day
FRI 13FEB Melbourne, Australia 7:00a 6:00p
SAT 14FEB Sea Day
SUN 15FEB Adelaide, Australia 8:00a 11:00p
MON 16FEB Sea Day
TUE 17FEB Sea Day
WED 18FEB Sea Day
THU 19FEB Perth (Fremantle), Australia 8:00a
FRI 20FEB Perth (Fremantle), Australia 5:00a
SAT 21FEB Sea Day
SUN 22FEB Sea Day
MON 23FEB Sea Day
TUE 24FEB Lembar, Lombok, Indonesia 7:00a 4:00p
WED 25FEB Slawi Bay, Komodo, Indonesia 8:00a 5:00p
THU 26FEB Sea Day
FRI 27FEB Semarang, Indonesia 8:00a 8:00p
SAT 28FEB Crossing the Equator
SUN 01MAR Sea Day
MON 02MAR Sea Day
TUE 03MAR Sea Day
WED 04MAR Hong Kong, China 8:00a
THU 05MAR Hong Kong, China 6:00p
FRI 06MAR Sea Day
SAT 07MAR Sea Day
SUN 08MAR Shanghai, China 8:00a
MON 09MAR Shanghai, China 4:00p
TUE 10MAR Sea Day
WED 11MAR Sea Day
THU 12MAR Sea Day
FRI 13MAR Nha Trang, Vietnam 8:00a 5:00p
SAT 14MAR Sea Day
SUN 15MAR Kemaman, Malaysia 8:00a 5:00p
MON 16MAR Singapore 8:00a 11:00p
TUE 17MAR Sea Day
WED 18MAR Phuket, Thailand 7:00a 11:00p
THU 19MAR Sea Day
FRI 20MAR Sea Day
SAT 21MAR Sea Day
SUN 22MAR Sea Day
MON 23MAR Marmagao (Goa), India 8:00a 5:00p
TUE 24MAR Mumbai (Bombay), India 8:00a
WED 25MAR Mumbai (Bombay), India 6:00p
THU 26MAR Sea Day
FRI 27MAR Sea Day
SAT 28MAR DUBAI, U.A.E. 8:00a
SUN 29MAR DUBAI, U.A.E. 11:59p
MON 30MAR Sea Day
TUE 31MAR Muscat, Oman 7:00a 6:00p
WED 01APR Sea Day
THU 02APR Sea Day
FRI 03APR Sea Day
SAT 04APR Sea Day
SUN 05APR Victoria, Seychelles 7:00a
MON 06APR Victoria, Seychelles 6:00p
TUE 07APR Sea Day
WED 08APR Sea Day
THU 09APR Mombasa, Kenya 8:00a
FRI 10APR Mombasa, Kenya 4:00p
SAT 11APR Sea Day
SUN 12APR Nosy Be, Madagascar 8:00a 5:00p
MON 13APR Mamoudzou, Mayotte 8:00a 3:00p
TUE 14APR Sea Day
WED 15APR Sea Day
THU 16APR Maputo, Mozambique 8:00a 6:00p
FRI 17APR Richard's Bay, South Afri 10:00a 6:00p
SAT 18APR Durban, South Africa 7:00a 6:00p
SUN 19APR Sea Day
MON 20APR Cape Town, South Africa 1:00p
TUE 21APR Cape Town, South Africa
WED 22APR Cape Town, South Africa 5:00p
THU 23APR Sea Day
FRI 24APR Luderitz, Namibia 7:00a 4:00p
SAT 25APR Walvis Bay, Namibia 7:00a 4:00p
SUN 26APR Sea Day
MON 27APR Sea Day
TUE 28APR St Helena, Great Britain 8:00a 5:00p
WED 29APR Sea Day
FRI 01MAY Sea Day
SAT 02MAY Sea Day
SUN 03MAY Sea Day
MON 04MAY Sea Day
TUE 05MAY Devil's Island, French Gu 12:00n 6:00p
WED 06MAY Sea Day
THU 07MAY Port of Spain, Trinidad 8:00a 6:00p
FRI 08MAY Bridgetown, Barbados 7:00a 11:00p
SAT 09MAY Sea Day
SUN 10MAY Gustavia, St. Barts 8:00a 5:00p
MON 11MAY Sea Day
TUE 12MAY Sea Day
WED 13MAY Fort Lauderdale, Florida 7:00a 5:00p
THU 14MAY Sea Day
FRI 15MAY Sea Day
SAT 16MAY Debark Ship New York, New York 7:00a
I hope you enjoy the journey!!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Returning home.....

The morning we arrived into San Diego was overcast and gloomy. It kind of matches the mood of leaving new friends. My flight home was pretty good. I flew first class so it was pretty comfortable. I hate long flights. My ride home from the airport was a kick.... I'm glad my neighbors were asleep. Nothing like arriving home in a white stretched limo..... Until the next voyage, see ya!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day 65 At Sea

Last night’s Captain’s Farewell Cocktail party and dinner was a lot of fun. At dinner we had three guests…. Arkie & Shirley, the future cruise specialists and Joann Taylor, the Mariner Manager from Seattle. It certainly was a fun night. Today, once again, if you got out of the wind the day was great. Few people figured this out so I was the only one out for most of the day. Ian & Carol joined me later in the day. Then it was time to visit some friends and say goodbye… so sad. Now…. Packing!!!!! This evening I met friends in the Crow's Nest before dinner for drinks and Joann Taylor joined us for dinner. It was a nice final evening aboard the ms Amsterdam....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Day 64 At Sea

Today was very similar to yesterday, sunny but very windy. The temperatures are cooling a bit as we head north to San Diego. Today they had the presentations for the photo contest. I got first place for the Rice Fields of Bali in the Landscape. I guess I owe a big thank you to my buddy Randy for suggesting I submit that one. Thanks! I received a second place award for the Wildlife category with my photo of the baby birds. Finally, I also received another second place award for the people/life category for my photo of the Floating Markets in Bangkok…. Not a bad day….. Thanks to all who voted for my photos..... Tonight is our last formal night and our farewell dinner. This will be preceeded by a cocktail party with the Captain and his staff.... should be fun

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 63 At Sea

Last night’s dinner at the Pinnacle was really nice. I was disappointed that my favorite, Thai Chicken Soup, was no longer on the menu. Anyway, a great time was had by all. Today was once again great once you go out of the wind…. Amazing! I hope the sunny weather lasts. It looks pretty cold back in Virginia. I am not looking forward to 5 weeks of possibly very cold weather. I am not used to chilly weather anymore. I just hope our last two sea days are good…..

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 62 At Sea

Today was a nice day but once again very windy. The winds were near gale force…. This has been the windiest voyage I have been on by far. I have spent a lot of time getting out of the strong winds. I was able to get out of the wind so it was pretty nice. Tonight is a formal night and I am going to the Pinnacle Grill with Ian & Carol. It should be a nice evening. I got my suitcases delivered today…. time to start packing. It seems amazing that there are only three sea days left on this voyage.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 61 Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

We arrived very early this morning in out anchorage spot in Lahaina, Maui. The skies were very overcast and it was very wet. Due to the apparent crappy weather ahead of us for the day and our early arrival I decided to not take my tour and go ashore on the first tender. I was on the same tender as my friends Ken & Helen so we toured the town together. The only problem is we got ashore so early that we had a pretty long wait before most of the stores opened. As the morning worn on the weather gradually improved and the afternoon was great…. We sailed at 2:00 on our way to San Diego….. I have 4 days at sea before I disembark and head home. It will be good to get home, see family and friends and celebrate the holidays and then……. 5 January 2009, 131 day Grand World Voyage on the ms Rotterdam…….

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 60 Honolulu, Hawaii

The weather gods weren’t smiling on me today…. That’s what comes with a tropicl paradise. The beach didn’t look like a good bet so we headed out this morning for a little shopping. You can never have enough tank tops. We went to Hilo Hattie’s and then to the International Market Place. After I gort back to the ship I sat out for a little while when I decided to go up to the top of the Aloha Tower for a few quick photos. The weather still wasn’t great so I pretty much called it quits after that. Tomorrow we hit out last port of call, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. We have a short day ther, leaving at 2:00 in the afternoon. I am taking a tour to get the most out of the visit. Here is the description: Valley to Ocean Discovery
Explore Maui from above the ocean and below! You will visit the lush landscape of Iao Valley, followed by the Maui Ocean Center. In the Iao Valley you will stop at the scenic lookout called the Iao Needle. History claims that the Valley was where King Kamehameha conquered the forces of Maui in the Battle of Kepanewai. Walk through the fragrant, fresh island flowers while basking in the serenity of the valley. Next is a journey beneath the waves at the Maui Ocean Center--the only aquarium in the world devoted solely to Hawaii's unique marine environment. Explore the creatures of the Living Reef, the
Turtle Lagoon and the Stingray Cove exhibits. Learn about Hawaii's largest undersea inhabitants at the Whale Discovery Center, and stroll through the Underwater Journey's transparent tunnel to see exotic fish and sharks swimming all around you. The live exhibits and hands-on activities make this a trip to remember.