Sunday, August 30, 2009

Looking ahead....

I will now be home for a couple of weeks (with possible beach trips). Looking ahead, I have 223 days scheduled on the ms Amsterdam sailing out of Seattle on the 19th of September. It should be quit an adventure. I'm even going to some cold places again.... the sacrifices I make. Not to worry, there will be sunshine from time to time. I will be sailing with some close friends and that makes it great despite the weather, Okay....maybe that s a bit of a stretch for me the sun worshiper..... Here is the schedule for the journey ahead:
SAT 19SEP Sail from Seattle, Washington 4:00p
SUN 20SEP Sea Day
MON 21SEP Juneau, Alaska 12:00n 9:00p
TUE 22SEP Hubbard Glacier Cruising 1:00p 6:00p
WED 23SEP Sitka, Alaska2 8:00a 5:00p
THU 24SEP Ketchikan, Alaska 7:00a 1:00p
FRI 25SEP Victoria Canada 6:00p 11:59p
SAT 26SEP Sail from Seattle, Washington 5:00p
SUN 27SEP Vancouver, British Columbia 7:00a 5:00p
MON 28SEP Sea Day
TUE 29SEP Sea Day
WED 30SEP Los Angeles, California 7:00a 5:00p
THU 01OCT Sea Day
FRI 02OCT Sea Day
SAT 03OCT Sea Day
SUN 04OCT Sea Day
MON 05OCT Sea Day
TUE 06OCT Sea Day
WED 07OCT Nuku Hiva, Marquesas 8:00a 5:00p
THU 08OCT Sea Day
FRI 09OCT Papeete, Tahiti 10:00a
SAT 10OCT Papeete, Tahiti 5:00a
SAT 10OCT Moorea, French Polynesia 8:00a 5:00p
SUN 11OCT Bora Bora, French Polynesia 8:00a
MON 12OCT Bora Bora, French Polynesia 6:00p
TUE 13OCT Raiatea, French Polynesia 8:00a 5:00p
WED 14OCT Sea Day
THU 15OCT Rarotonga, Cook Islands 8:00a 5:00p
FRI 16OCT Sea Day
SAT 17OCT Pago Pago, American Samoa 8:00a 5:00p
SUN 18OCT Sea Day
MON 19OCT Cross International Dateline
TUE 20OCT Suva, Fiji 8:00a 5:00p
WED 21OCT Sea Day
THU 22OCT Port Vila (Vanuatu) 8:00a 5:00p
FRI 23OCT Sea Day
SAT 24OCT Sea Day
SUN 25OCT Cairns, Australia 5:00p
MON 26OCT Cairns, Australia 5:00p
TUE 27OCT Sea Day
WED 28OCT Sea Day
THU 29OCT Brisbane, Australia 8:00a 5:00p
FRI 30OCT Sea Day
SAT 31OCT Sydney, Australia 7:00a
SUN 01NOV Sydney, Australia
MON 02NOV Sydney, Australia 5:00p
TUE 03NOV Sea Day
WED 04NOV Melbourne, Australia 7:00a 6:00p
THU 05NOV Sea Day
FRI 06NOV Hobart, Tasmania 7:00a 6:00p
SAT 07NOV Sea Day
SUN 08NOV Sea Day
MON 09NOV Milford Sound, New Zealand 7:00a 8:00a
TUE 10NOV Dunedin, New Zealand 7:00a 6:00p
WED 11NOV Christchurch, New Zealand 7:00a 10:00p
THU 12NOV Wellington, New Zealand 8:00a 6:00p
FRI 13NOV Napier, New Zealand 7:00a 2:00p
SAT 14NOV Tauranga (Rotorua) New Zealand 8:00a 5:00p
SUN 15NOV Auckland, New Zealand 7:00a 8:00p
MON 16NOV Bay of Islands, New Zealand 8:00a 5:00p
TUE 17NOV Sea Day
WED 18NOV Sea Day
THU 19NOV Nuku' Alofa, Tonga 8:00a 5:00p
FRI 20NOV Sea Day
FRI 20NOV Apia, Western Samoa 7:00a 4:00p
FRI 20NOV Cross International Dateline
SAT 21NOV Sea Day
SUN 22NOV Crossing the Equator
MON 23NOV Sea Day
TUE 24NOV Sea Day
WED 25NOV Kona, Hawaii 10:00a 6:00p
THU 26NOV Honolulu, Oahu, United States 7:00a 6:00p
FRI 27NOV Hilo, Hawaii 7:00a 4:00p
SAT 28NOV Sea Day
SUN 29NOV Sea Day
MON 30NOV Sea Day
TUE 01DEC Sea Day
WED 02DEC Los Angeles, 7:00a 5:00p
THU 03DEC Avalon, Catalina Island 8:00a 3:00p
FRI 04DEC Sea Day
SAT 05DEC Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 8:00a 5:00p
SUN 06DEC Sea Day
MON 07DEC Acapulco, Mexico 8:00a 5:00p
TUE 08DEC Huatulco, Mexico 7:00a 5:00p
WED 09DEC Puerto Chiapas, Mexico 7:00a 5:00p
THU 10DEC Sea Day
FRI 11DEC Sea Day
SAT 12DEC Enter Panama Canal Balboa 5:00a
SAT 12DEC Gatun Lake, Panama 2:00p
SUN 13DEC Gatun Lake, Panama 9:00a
SUN 13DEC Exit Panama Canal Balboa 7:00p
MON 14DEC Sea Day
TUE 15DEC Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica 7:00a 5:00p
WED 16DEC Corinto, Nicaragua 9:00a 6:00p
THU 17DEC Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala 8:00a 6:00p
FRI 18DEC Sea Day
SAT 19DEC Sea Day
SUN 20DEC Mazatlan, Mexico 8:00a 5:00p
MON 21DEC Sea Day
TUE 22DEC Sea Day
WED 23DEC Sail from Los Angeles, 7:00a 5:00p
THU 24DEC Sea Day
FRI 25DEC Sea Day
SAT 26DEC Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 8:00a 5:00p
SUN 27DEC Sea Day
MON 28DEC Huatulco, Mexico 8:00a 5:00p
TUE 29DEC Puerto Chiapas, Mexico 8:00a 8:00p
WED 30DEC Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala 6:00a 4:00p
THU 31DEC Sea Day
FRI 01JAN Fuerte Amador, Panama City 6:00p
SAT 02JAN Fuerte Amador, Panama City 4:00a
SAT 02JAN Enter Panama Canal Balboa 5:00a
SAT 02JAN Exit Panama Canal Cristobal 7:00p
SUN 03JAN Cartagena, Colombia 11:00a 5:00p
MON 04JAN Sea Day
TUE 05JAN Sea Day
WED 06JAN Fort Lauderdale, 7:00a 5:00p
THU 07JAN Sea Day
FRI 08JAN Sea Day
SAT 09JAN Puerto Limon, Costa Rica 8:00a 5:00p
SUN 10JAN Enter Panama Canal Cristobal 5:00a
SUN 10JAN Fuerte Amador, Panama City 8:00p
SUN 10JAN Exit Panama Canal Balboa1 7:00p
MON 11JAN Fuerte Amador, Panama City 4:00p
TUE 12JAN Sea Day
WED 13JAN Manta, Ecuador 5:00a 11:00p
THU 14JAN Sea Day
FRI 15JAN Sea Day
SAT 16JAN Callao (Lima) Peru 8:00a
SUN 17JAN Callao (Lima) Peru 6:00p
MON 18JAN Sea Day
TUE 19JAN Arica, Chile 7:00a 5:00p
WED 20JAN Sea Day
THU 21JAN Coquimbo (La Serena) Chile 8:00a 5:00p
FRI 22JAN Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile 7:00a 5:00p
SAT 23JAN Isla Robinson Crusoe, Chile 12:00n 6:00p
SUN 24JAN Sea Day
MON 25JAN Puerto Montt, Chile 8:00a 5:00p
THU 28JAN Punta Arenas, Chile 7:00a 8:00p
FRI 29JAN Ushuaia, Argentina 1:00p 7:00p
WED 03FEB Sea Day
THU 04FEB Pt. Stanley, Falkland Islands, 7:00a 3:00p
FRI 05FEB Sea Day
SAT 06FEB Sea Day
SUN 07FEB Buenos Aires, Argentina 6:00a
MON 08FEB Buenos Aires, Argentina 5:00p
TUE 09FEB Montevideo, Uruguay 8:00a 5:00p
WED 10FEB Sea Day
THU 11FEB Sea Day
FRI 12FEB Sea Day
THU 18FEB Walvis Bay, Namibia 8:00a 5:00p
FRI 19FEB Luderitz, Namibia 8:00a 5:00p
SAT 20FEB Sea Day
SUN 21FEB Cape Town, South Africa 8:00a
MON 22FEB Cape Town, South Africa 11:00p
TUE 23FEB Sea Day
WED 24FEB Port Elizabeth, South Africa 6:00a 11:00p
THU 25FEB Sea Day
FRI 26FEB Durban, South Africa 6:00a 11:00p
SAT 27FEB Sea Day
SUN 28FEB Sea Day
MON 01MAR Sea Day
TUE 02MAR La Possession, Reunion 8:00a 5:00p
WED 03MAR Port Louis, Mauritius 7:00a 6:00p
THU 04MAR Sea Day
FRI 05MAR Sea Day
SAT 06MAR The Seychelles 7:00a
SUN 07MAR The Seychelles 12:00n
MON 08MAR Sea Day
TUE 09MAR Sea Day
WED 10MAR Sea Day
THU 11MAR Mumbai (Bombay), India 8:00a
FRI 12MAR Mumbai (Bombay), India 6:00p
SAT 13MAR Marmagao (Goa), India 8:00a 5:00p
SUN 14MAR Sea Day
MON 15MAR Sea Day
TUE 16MAR Sea Day
WED 17MAR Sea Day
THU 18MAR Port Kelang, Malaysia 8:00a 6:00p
FRI 19MAR Singapore3 7:00a
SAT 20MAR Singapore 5:00p
SUN 21MAR Sea Day
MON 22MAR Sihanoukville, Cambodia 7:00a 6:00p
TUE 23MAR Sea Day
WED 24MAR Phu My, Vietnam 6:00a 8:00p
THU 25MAR Sea Day
FRI 26MAR Halong Bay, Vietnam 10:00a 6:00p
SAT 27MAR Sea Day
SUN 28MAR Hong Kong, China 7:00a
MON 29MAR Hong Kong, China 6:00p
TUE 30MAR Sea Day
WED 31MAR Sea Day
THU 01APR Shanghai, China 8:00a
FRI 02APR Shanghai, China 5:00p
SAT 03APR Sea Day
SUN 04APR Sea Day
MON 05APR Xingang (Beijing), China 8:00a
TUE 06APR Xingang (Beijing), China 5:00p
WED 07APR Sea Day
THU 08APR Cheju City,South Korea 7:00a 2:00p
FRI 09APR Kagoshima, Japan 8:00a 5:00p
SAT 10APR Kobe, Japa3 3:00p
SUN 11APR Kobe, Japan 5:00p
MON 12APR Yokohama, Japan 2:00p
TUE 13APR Yokohama, Japan 6:00p
WED 14APR Sea Day
THU 15APR Hakodate, Japan 7:00a 6:00p
FRI 16APR Sea Day
SAT 17APR Sea Day
SUN 18APR Petropavlovsk, Russia 7:00a 5:00p
MON 19APR Sea Day
MON 19APR Cross International Dateline
TUE 20APR Sea Day
WED 21APR Sea Day
THU 22APR Sea Day
FRI 23APR Sea Day
SAT 24APR Sea Day
SUN 25APR Vancouver, British Columbia 8:00a 5:00p
MON 26APR Seattle, Washington 8:00a 5:00p
TUE 27APR Sea Day
WED 28APR Sea Day
THU 29APR Debark Ship Los Angeles, 7:00a

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Going home.....

We arrived into Boston this morning around 0530 as I awoke. I said my goodbyes to friends and got my stuff together to head home. I heard and interesting and very sad story this morning. Talk about ineffectual feedback!!!! The shore excursion staff on this voyage was very poor as I have previously mentioned. I heard this morning that the one who was the most rude and condescending to guests got a promotion for her next contract to Manager. This definitely falls into the unbelievable category. If the Indonesian or Filipino crew treated guests in the same manner as this woman they would be heading home. Promotion???? Amazing stuff. I don't care since I will make a point in staying away from that staff in the future. The Rotterdam & Amsterdam had an excellent shore excursion staff. I got to the airport this morning around 0930 and checked on taking an earlier flight and I was successful. The only downside was that while I got to Philadelphia 2 hours earlier my outbound flight remained the same. It was a good move to get out of Boston though because there is definitely a lot going on there today. I am currently sitting in the Philadelphia Airport using free internet.... Yeah!!!! Once again, I cannot thank Andre & Firmin enough for a fabulous voyage (shore excursion staff aside). I hope they have smooth seas as they take the Maasdam forward on the next voyage. I look forward to the day when I have the privilege to sail again with them.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 35 At Sea

Today was just fabulous!!!! Nice way to end a voyage, nice sunny weather. Too bad we can’t extend that into tomorrow. Boston is looking rather wet. I can’t say enough about this voyage…. It was amazing! It was only 35 days but seemed much longer because it was filled with so much. I’ll write more when I get home. Once home I’ll have to get busy…. I fly to Seattle on September 17th to join the ms Amsterdam on the 19th for 223 days. More later, stay tuned…..

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 34 At Sea

Well ….things are winding down. This morning we were scheduled to go to St. Pierre & Miquelon but it was not to be. Due to weather conditions and lack of a pilot (boat broken) the Captain made the correct decision to keep the vessel and passengers safe and bypass the port. All was not lost however since the dense fog lifted and brought forth a spectacular day filled with sun. This was long overdue…. As we wind down it’s a good time to reflect on this Voyage of the Vikings… The Captain, Hotel Manager and crew should be very proud. They put on a great voyage. Were there bumps along the way? Sure there were but they didn’t take away from a fabulous adventure. I know HAL doesn’t like it when I make criticisms on the blog but they can’t say that I am dishonest about whatever the item is. If they look closely at why most of them get there in the first place it is generally because someone on the ship has waived off my issue or concern. I don’t deal well with getting blown off….. Most issues never see the light of day…. Again, the voyage has been excellent and the crew deserves congratulations. I strongly recommend this voyage to anyone who is looking for something out of the ordinary on a ship that provides great service. We visited some very interesting ports and Greenland was a definite highlight for me. I hope Holland America will add Narssarssuaq, Greenland as a port on one of their future sailings so I can get to the actual site of my birthplace. Yes, I would do this voyage again even though the weather is not exactly my cup on tea. But most people aren’t as ridiculous as me when it comes to sun worshiping…. Tomorrow is our last day at sea and I hope it’s a good one. Boston looks a little troublesome for flying out Saturday. Hurricane Danny, the President coming to town and Senator Kennedy’s funeral…. Could be a problem…….

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 33 St. John's, Newfoundland

The view from the sail into St John’s this morning was spectacular!!!! This one certainly one of the most picturesque ports we have sailed into. The sun shone brightly on the cliffs and narrow opening to the harbor as we sailed int. The magnificent lighthouse on the left and Cabot Tower high up on Signal Hill on the left was fabulous. After we docked, I hooked up with a fellow shipmate, Stan, and we headed out to explore St. John’s….. Stan’s last visit here was well over 60 years ago during his Navy days with the Canadian Navy during WWII. I think this trip was better…. Our first stop was high up on Signal Hill where Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal. The view was breathtaking. We looked down upon St. John’s beautiful harbor and the lighthouse than adorned the cliffs on the opposite side of the harbor entrance. Magnificent!!! We then walked back into town looking at all the colorful houses and flowers along the way. We checked out the beautiful Roman Catholic Basilica, Basilica of St. John the Baptist, along with St. Andrews and the Anglican Cathedral…. It was a very interesting and colorful walk. We then walked back across town to have a look at the War Memorial. It was a lovely day to stroll around beautiful and quaint St. John’s…

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 32 St. Anthony, Newfoundland

Today I went to L’Anse aux Meadows on a private tour. Here is a description (from the ship’s tour). Travel back in time 1,000 years to the first European settlement in the New World located at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. This site is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is run by Parks Canada as a National Historic Site. Here you will visit the park interpretation center and see firsthand how this site was discovered. View 3-D displays depicting how the Vikings lived. Travel around the site and see the small smithy where nails and rivets were made from bog ore. A large sod hut will show you how these tough people lived, ate and rested when not at sea. Next you will visit Norsted, a real Viking port of trade located about a mile from L'Anse aux Meadows. Your guide will take you to the Chieftain's Hall as you journey through this rough and ready site like fierce Viking Warriors of the past. It was very interesting to see this old Viking settlement and how they lived. After spending a couple of hours there we went back to St. Anthony and walked through town all the way out to the Lighthouse enjoying the sights along the way…. It was a beautiful day and wonderful stop in Newfoundland…