Friday, January 23, 2009

Cruise Ship Engine

Over the past ten years, the standard cruise ship engine has changed dramatically. The propeller that sticks on the end of a shaft has been redesigned. Captain Mercer explains:

“The Eurodam has two Azipod propellers. These are electric motors that are suspended beneath the rear of the ship and they can rotate 360 degrees. The slip rings that allow the Azipod to rotate also conduct the electricity to power them. Diesel engines are used to generate the electricity.”

“In combination with the Azipods, bow thrusters can literally move the Eurodam sideways. An economical move because tugboats are no longer needed for docking.”

“The ship’s diesel engines are fueled with heavy oil, which is pre-heated prior to combustion. It is one type of bunker fuel. The ship can carry 1300 tons of fuel, at 270 gallons per ton.”

That’s 351,000 gallons. At 77 gallons per mile, the range would be about 4500 miles, although with port stops I’m sure it drops a fair amount.

POSTED BY dan h AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Captain Mercer: The Cruise Ship Security Expert

Questions for the Captain turned to security issues, particularly with several recent hijackings near Somalia in the Indian Ocean. 

It turns out that very few questions are going to be answered, for security reasons of course. Here are the two things he’s willing to tell us. 

Ships that are targeted have a low freeboard, meaning that the railing on the ship is close to the waterline. On the Eurodam it is high. 

Pirates go after slow moving ships. The Eurodam can crank up to 27 knots, or about 31 mph. This is considered fast.

From wandering around the ship, I’ve learned that security is handled by Gurkhas, who are people originally from northern India or Nepal. They have a reputation for their bravery and strength, particularly in the face of danger and hardship. I’m glad they’re here. So if you’re looking for one of the cruise ship security specialist jobs - better check your passport.

The discussion turns to sonic guns, which some luxury cruise ships do have. Whether any of Holland America’s ships have one, the pirates will be the first to know.

POSTED BY dan h AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Saturday, January 17, 2009

Becoming a Cruise Ship Captain and other Stories

Captain Jonathan Mercer is a tall, relaxed, personable man, here in Explorations Café to meet with us. He is married to an American, lives in Merritt Island, Florida, enjoys a drink, is dry on the ship, and loves golf, although he’s not very good. The work schedule is 12 weeks on and 12 off.

His route to becoming a captain started as the next best option. After failing to gain entry to flight school, maritime training in England was the next step. Twenty years later Holland America asked him to be one of their captains. 

The worst weather he ever encountered was in the roaring forties south of Africa. The bulk ore carrier was full, so the decks were low and fairly close to the sea. With hurricane force winds sweeping water over the decks, the only visible part of the ship was the tower the bridge was on. 

The wind and waves, the bridge sticking up out of the ocean, rolling from side to side, rising and plunging on the waves, these can be imagined. Enduring those conditions for hours on end is beyond comprehension. 

As for our weather conditions, there is a storm in the North Atlantic and we are feeling some of the effects of that. Captain Mercer says that they have 26’ seas. Here they are 11’, with a windy, overcast sky. His forecast is that the wind will increase. Fortunately the ship has stabilizers, which he promises will stay in service to keep a high percentage of passengers from complaining.

POSTED BY dan h AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
cruise ship captains
Saturday, January 10, 2009

Final Preparations - Cruise Vacation Eastern Carribean

Supplies and fuel are loaded for the Eurodam cruise.
Supplies and fuel are loaded for the Eurodam cruise.

I’m like a pinball in the pinball game. Here the game is the ship and the goal of the pinball is to learn where things are. First stop is storing energy in the Lido for lunch, where we meet fellow passenger, Herta. It’s a great stop as we listen to stories from when she worked as a nurse on cruise ships in the 60’s. We discover those days of cruising were more formal than things are now.

There is an announcement that our rooms are ready. Now the ball is starting the arc upwards, stopping momentarily to check out the room and drop off our carry-on luggage. The bed is plenty roomy and the upgrade with a balcony is really nice. It’s a great view from the starboard (right) side of the ship. We’re forward, and up on deck 10.

Now the pinball is arcing to the top on deck 12. I bounce around and wind my way down through the ship - exploring end to end and deck to deck. I learn where the library, pools, restaurants, Mainstage, gambling, bars, shopping and more is. Looking over the railing I see the last of the fuel and supplies being loaded on board. Now it’s time for this happy, satisfied pinball to take a break and sit down.

POSTED BY dan AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
carribean cruise, Eurodam cruise
Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Eurodam Cruise Vacation Eastern Caribbean

Sunset in the US Virgin Islands
Supplies and fuel are loaded for the Eurodam cruise.

Today’s the day! My first Caribbean cruise. We’ve been so busy that I paid little attention to what was coming up. We’re about to head off on a 7 night Caribbean cruise on the Holland America Eurodam.

This morning we’re running around Pompano Beach picking up a few last minute items. As it gets closer to the time to head to the ship I can feel a tiny bit of anxiety – the kind when that little part in the back of my mind pops up with reasons why we won’t make the ship. I realize I do the same thing when I’m headed for a plane.

My niece, Bonnie and her fiancé, Steve, are taking us to the dock. It’s amazing, but one of those things that get in the way pop up. Police cars have the highway blocked off. We do a u-turn and we’re off in another direction. Fortunately we planned to be there shortly after boarding starts so there’s still lots of time.

We’re leaving from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. At the entry they check our id’s and tell us which pier to go to. Curbside unloading is similar to an airport and the baggage handlers direct us forward. Inside the terminal we’re handed a medical checklist which has about ten ways to ask whether you have an intestinal problem. Final paperwork is handled and our pictures are taken.

Boarding is very smooth and well organized. There is virtually no waiting with lots of people directing us toward the ship. Since our rooms aren’t ready yet we’ll be heading up to the Li
POSTED BY dan h AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Holland America Eurodam, first time cruise, 7 nights caribbean cruise, cruise vacation eastern caribbean
Saturday, December 27, 2008

MS Eurodam - Holland America Cruise Reviews

MS Eurodam
MS Eurodam on the water

The MS Eurodam is a brand new ship, launched just a few months ago. It looks and feels like a very nice resort hotel, with extra amenities. So here’s my opinion among all the Holland America cruise reviews.

The big pros:
  • There is more than plenty of food and most of it was really quite good. A few things could have been better and some sauces were not quite my taste. I like to control how much sauce I pour over my food, so I order it on the side. That worked.
  • Lots of walking. Wandering around the ship and walking the decks easily added lots of steps.
  • I loved the bed – the mattress was great! I overheard a complaint that the bed was too hard. Must be personal taste.
  • The piano bar was great fun!  The singer/pianist had a great rapport with the listeners and there was a lot of laughter. A memorable evening, particularly when my husband said only one song and stayed two hours.
  • Three sessions at the acupuncturist, Rebecca, fixed me up fine.
This is what bothered me.
  • Electrical Plugs-There are no plugs on the wall with the bed. Some people use a cpap like I do to breathe better while sleeping, and more need to use them than does. A crewmember ran an extension cord across the room for me. The electric toothbrush had to be charged on the desk. I understand that this limits electrical consumption but this is a significant deficit.
  • Being able to travel light and throw clothes in a washer would have been nice, but then this is a traveling hotel and it doesn’t work that way. Maybe living in an RV has given me certain expectations.
  • More time to explore in each port. Maybe when fuel costs rise again they’ll do that to control costs. It was nice to discover which places we liked the most. May not have found them otherwise.

This could be one of the best value cruise ships, but then this is my first cruise. Guess I’ll have to go on some more and find out. 

POSTED BY lindie hunt AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Thursday, December 25, 2008

Best Cruise Food

I think I have this figured out now. I always hear about the food on cruise ships. There has been a nice variety and a lot of healthy choices and snacks and room service available at no additional charge (except in the Coffee Shop where you pay for special coffees and the same cookies that are free downstairs). 
And the food has been good and plentiful but so far I wouldn’t write home about it - but I am. Tonight I splurged and had soup, salad, entre, and dessert. This is a lot better!
The difference? I didn’t pick the healthy choices for all of it. Ah, now I understand. Food is better with sauces and creams, etc.   Since I have been avoiding those things, I haven’t really participated in the main activity on a cruise ship…"eating." Not just food for nutrition, but Eating with a capital “E”. Now I get it! The best cruise food is eaten with gusto.
That said, the good news is that the choice is ours. In my defense (if I needed one on a cruise ship - which I don't), I walked about 13,000 steps yesterday and again today. It's easy to get a lot of walking in on a ship this large, going to meals and back is a great boost. Add in an active day, even shopping,  and you can add a lot more in.
I did find the food at the Tamarind Restaurant superior without adding the fat and calories.  We dined at two of the three specialty restaurants.  The Canaletto, Italian, was supposed to be fancier than the Lido but it wasn't. The Tamarind was excellent.  There was no extra charge for Caneletto and Tamarind cost a little extra. Be sure to make reservations in advance.  (And if you are like me, pick an early time...8:30 is too late for a 3-4 course meal unless you are going to stay up late that night and enjoy the entertainment.)
Bon appetit!
POSTED BY lindie hunt AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Cruise

Stuff comes up, delays scheduling and suddenly we're on a Thanksgiving cruise. 
There are some holiday cruise kids. They must be busy at the pool and Club Hal because we don't see much of them except at meals. A lot of the family groups look like the grandparents are along as well. Thanksgiving is popular since they only miss a couple of days from school.
It's a relaxing way to celebrate the holidays, particularly since others cook and clean, there are plenty of activities, and a nap is easy to take in.
POSTED BY lindie hunt AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Kid Friendly Cruises

We met a young man about 9-10 in the elevator one morning. Asking how he liked his trip he said "I do!" What do you like best? "The X Box." Do you have one at home? "Yes." For him this is one of the kid friendly cruises.
I did listen to a grandfather comment to another adult that this cruise line doesn’t have as much kid oriented activities as some lines. According to him, Royal Caribbean is much better for kids. Ice skating, roller blading, wall climbing and other active sports. None of the kids I saw were unhappy - they were having fun.
I had never known that cruises would specialize. Of course Disney is kids oriented as well.
Some have said Holland America is more for the 40+ group. Carnival for the younger party set. So keep that in mind when you start planning a cruise.
Many of people were cruising with grandparents or other relatives.  Sort of a family reunion on water.  Many others like to take advantage of the short school week and get away with just them and the kids.  Some might have taken a break from the kids and left them with friends or family, although that isn't very likely on a holiday weekend.  But then you never know, do you?!
POSTED BY lindie hunt AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Sunday, December 14, 2008

Work on a Cruise Ship

The people, mostly men, on the crew are incredibly hard workers. The room stewards get up about 6:00 in the morning and work all day. They may get breaks, but they work until 9:00 or 10:00 at night, 7 days a week for 10 months.
On HAL, the crew is primarily from Indonesian and the Philippines. The two cultures work well together on the ship and their friendliness is a delight. It is doubly amazing since they are away from their families for so long and work such long hours. (And we think we have it tough!)
I’ve gotten to know a couple of the crew with a little more than a passing “how are you today”. "Lucky" is a room steward. Very personable and friendly. His towel animal creations were fun to find.
“Burt” Reynolds hands out trays/dishes at the buffet for breakfast and lunch.  He is familiar enough with the United States that he can sing a song about several states, including Texas. I taught him “Deep in the Heart of Texas” and wrote down the two verses I remember. At least once he was working the evening meal as well.
I don’t know his name but there was a gentleman who works the front desk whose whole face lights up when he smiles. I was watching him for a few minutes and commented to him about what a nice smile he had…he replied with that wonderful smile again. Two nights ago and I still think back on it.
The captain works 3 months and then is off three months.  I don't remember about the Environmental Officer. It seems the higher your ranking, the shorter the work term.
Since most of the crew are not American citizens, once every 3-4 months they have to meet with US Immigration Services.  That happened on the day we disembarked.  I think it is pretty quick/easy but it adds to their tasks for the day as they have about 4-5 hours to clean the rooms and get them ready for the next set of passengers.
POSTED BY lindie hunt AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cruise to Bahamas - Half Moon Cay

While St. Johns was Dan's favorite place (and it was wonderful), Half Moon Cay (pronounced "key") was mine.  This privately owned island in the Bahamas was paradise.
The water was a bright, clear turquoise and the sand white.  There was a great band (they even played Stevie Wonder's Sir Duke for me) and a barbeque.  The weather was perfect although Dan thought the water was a bit too cool (low 70's).
Parasailing, swimming, sand castles, snorkeling, feeding sting rays, bicycling, kayaking, bus ride, hiking...almost anything your heart desires.
Only about 35 people live on this small island.  Most of the staff commute from a larger island (Eleutheria), an hour and a half commute each way.  What a commute though!
It really felt like a holiday.  Only one shop and about a half dozen booths so it was more laid back than the cities we have been to. 
POSTED BY lindie hunt AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Monday, November 24, 2008

An Extra Day At Sea

I seldom (read that never) have a day in which I haven't planned what to do in advance.  I may not always do it, but I have at least some plans.  So it was unique to suddenly find ourselves with an extra day at sea.  Lots of choices on what to do:  classes, spa, gym, read, play games, eat, talk to people, explore the ship, eat, write my blog, and did I mention you can eat?  (Fortunately I didn't pig out.)
It was a nice relaxing day at sea except for the wave activity. I got some pills for sea sickness, and they helped a little but, mostly, they made me sleepy.
I went to a talk on back and posture at the fitness center and decided to have a personal trainer help me with exercises I can do in the RV. Those of you who don’t know me, don’t know that we live in a fifth wheel full time. Usually we aren’t anywhere we can go to a gym to work out. Personal training will be Thursday.
The acupuncture helped my leg some, so I went again this afternoon. I will go again later in the week. Even though I hadn’t bought a package of 3 sessions up front, Rebecca gave me the discount. It is appreciated. 
Other than that, I mostly read/dozed/sat in the hot tub. the relaxing day was a welcome relief. Most people felt the same way and weren’t upset about the travel changes. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. It was the first time the captain had ever had to cancel a port because of weather in almost 30 years. 
Well, I say it wasn’t anyone’s fault but Kim took credit. She ate dinner with us and a number of others this evening. She says every cruise she goes on, something happens. Last year, one of the engines quit and they had to cancel some ports as a result. She is planning that cruise again and will just do the things they missed last year. Very good sport about it…what else can you do anyway?!
I ran into the environmental officer for the ship today. HAL has a very progressive recycling program. The trash cans in the rooms even have a “paper only” section and there are bins around the ship for batteries, paper, plastic, and cans.  He agreed to talk with Dan later in the week and we are going to see if we can get a
POSTED BY lindie hunt AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Monday, November 24, 2008

An unexpected day at sea

First of all, I don’t recommend the late dining if you have to get up early the next morning. Even though I ate lightly, it was hard to be comfortable laying down shortly afterwards. In the end, I slept very well. Did I say the mattress is very comfortable? 
We arose before 6:30 to get ready, have breakfast and disembark at Grand Turk. After breakfast we found out that the winds were too high and we were not going to dock at all today. We are awaiting the final word on that but it doesn’t look promising. It is overcast and the wind doesn’t seem all that bad…at least the waves don’t look high. But it isn’t worth risking it.
So if that is the case, a quiet day will be nice. I’ll probably get another acupuncture treatment, read, maybe swim or go to the exercise area. We’ll see. I heard one person grumble about being stuck on the boat another day but it will be fine with me. I may get something to lessen the queasiness. Fortunately it isn’t really bad but it is fairly persistent.
POSTED BY lindie hunt AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Sunday, November 23, 2008

All day at sea

Well, I did better than I was afraid of but not as well as I would like with the rolling motion. I did sleep well, once I got to sleep…but that’s my MO, having trouble getting to sllep.
I’ve been wearing the wristbands and they seem to help some. Not a big problem but I'm a little queasy, especially when I go to eat. Dan likes to eat at the tables next to the windows and the view. I do better not looking out and eating something bland, like a roll, early on.
An acupuncture treatment today is for a long term problem I have had with my leg. Rebecca is very professional and compassionate. She showed me a better way to wear the wrist bands, 4 fingers above the rist - not three like the package says. She also pointed out a place to rub on my legl for the queasiness. Helps psychologically at least.
I then went to a cooking show, a shopping show, and a show about diamonds and other gems. The cooking show was fun. Chef Phil is very entertaining. I came away empty on the shopping since I am not interested in spending any extra money.
We had planned to do a lot of shore excursions but decided to kick back the pace and cancel the canopy adventure. Apprehension and cost won out over adventure. Decided to put the money into the acupuncture and relax rather than the usual go, go, go of our lives.
Oh, I won a fun shirt. It is a white tshirt with a black outline picture on it. When exposed to the sun, the colors show up. I was sitting on the front row and the guy said to stand up and show you wanted it. Everyone stood up but I wiggled my bottom and he saw me. Surprised I did that "butt" it was fun.
We went to Canelettom the Italian restaurant for dinner. There is no extra charge for it. The food was good, but the service was extremely slow, even though they weren’t busy. Maybe that is the style of the restaurant but it took about 20 minutes or more to place our orders.
Wait staff not as warm as the ones at the other places we have been the last day or so.
And strangely, they brought cotton candy for after dinner, before dessert! Cotton Candy? Go figure.
OK, early day tomorrow.
POSTED BY lindie hunt AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Monday, July 28, 2008

Holland America Cruise to Panama Canal

Imagine your cruise thru the Panama Canal – traveling from the Pacific to the Caribbean in about 9 hours. Surprisingly, there are only three sets of locks along the way. The rest of the journey is traveling along rivers, across lakes and through rainforest.
The locks are fascinating. There is a mule, an electric locomotive, on either side of the lock. With tow cables attached to the ship, the mules pull the ship forward into position in the lock. For the biggest ships passing through, the clearance on each side can be less than two feet!
Holland America Cruise Lines has many options for sailing through the Panama Canal. Take a short trip of 14 days, as long as 36 or somewhere in between. West coast departure ports include Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego. East coast departures are through Fort Lauderdale
Along the way spend time at Mexican and Caribbean beaches, explore the old walled city of Cartagena, discover the natural diversity of Costa Rica, visit Mayan ruins in Guatemala and meet present day Mayans. Interested in how coffee is grown? Take a tour to a plantation. Whichever tours you choose, the shore excursions open up another world of cultures.
POSTED BY dan h AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Activities on a Cruise Ship

What a dream – could I really learn to cook some of the food that was served last night? I don’t know if I can duplicate it, but if it’s even close – ooh-la-la! 
There’s this place on Holland America’s ships called the Culinary Arts Center. When I first walked in I thought it was a TV studio. They have seating for demonstrations and shows. The stage area looks like a full blown commercial kitchen, with monitors for close up shots of food prep and lots of equipment for classes.
Last night I had a lovely turkey breast recipe that was just so succulent…and the herbs and spices were done just right. Oh to serve that up at home! I’m surprised to find it’s one of the items there’re covering today. Who would have thought I’d find recreational cooking classes in the Caribbean or should I say on the Caribbean.
The chefs are wonderful and well organized. We quickly cover the basics and get into the real meat of the class. What fun and then I realize someone else cleans up! 
POSTED BY audrey b AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Friday, July 18, 2008

Wobbly Legs

Here I am walking off the ship onto home soil. It feels solid compared to the gentle occasional rock from the ship for the past 7 days. Subconsciously I am mimicking everyone else walking off with luggage. Our gait is the same and we are all rocking in a synchronized wave. Looking around I see others that had far too good a time the previous night. Seeing the entire cruise ship’s occupants have that same appearance is quite amusing.
Glancing back at the ship, the huge size momentarily disorients me.  It was home for seven days and while there I definitely got some excellent exercise walking from one end to the other. Now standing in its shadow I feel its residual power in my muscles.
Now it’s off in a taxi back to our hotel, across the bridge and I look back, seeing the boat getting smaller and smaller. Its mass got less and less apparent, and my muscles’ memory as well as my own slowly fading.
POSTED BY audrey b AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

An Affair to Remember: Cruise Ships at Night

Being on the cruise ship has revived my adolescent obsession with that old Cary Grant movie, An Affair to Remember, a dramatic, romantic love story set into motion by a meeting at sea. Being onboard for the first time at night, it is easy to understand the romance caused by a ship at sea. It is a very old-world way of travel. It inspires old-world romances with the heroes and heroines of a past time.
Walking out on the top deck for the first time at night was a very humbling experience. There was a darkness that was overwhelming yet light. The ocean was completely surrounding, and its sounds and smells filled the air. The scent of the ocean is different away from land. It is a fresh aroma, intensified by a light breeze. There is not even a hint of the stagnant life smelled at the beach. It is a scent of pure salt water. The gentle waves, as opposed to harsh beach breaker waves, provide a rhythmic background to walking around the ship. The light was softer at night, the activity was lighter at night, and the mood was simply more relaxed.
Although Cary Grant didn’t walk up the stairs to sweep me off my feet, despite my watching and waiting, the power of the night onboard was still felt. I took only a twenty minute walk on deck, but it was perhaps my favorite twenty minutes on board.
POSTED BY audrey b AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Friday, June 13, 2008

People Watching and Socializing On Board

My favorite part of cruising so far, is the people watching. I might sound like some nosy, little old lady who peers out her curtains to spy on the neighbors, but I don’t care because it turns out people watching is a very entertaining activity.
I was headed for the lounge chairs by the pool, when I glanced over my shoulder to see a newly wed couple walking hand in hand with the new glow of love in their eyes.  Cruise vacations make the perfect romantic getaways for honeymooners.  What better way to celebrate a new venture in life together than on a cruise...just the two of you....sigh...what a sweet sight that was. 
My mornings were spent relaxing and saving up my energy for the day to come.  Lounging in a chair on the top deck amongst a large number of people was a soothing way to reenergize. Not only was there the sweet newlywed couple, there were also two very sultry retirees, two Los Angeles fashion queens with less than important problems, some imaginative children reenacting the lives of vicious pirates, a group of guys from Italy to pique my interest, as well as a pair of women who were doing the exact same thing as I was.
The women and I ended up talking and becoming cruise buddies.  We shared shore excursions, favorite drinks, and talked a lot.  Being from different countries didn't matter at all. 
My people-watching adventures not only filled my mornings, but they also allowed me to find people. I quickly learned that this was the most prevalent activity on the ship. Socializing is a core to cruise life. Although it was easy to get alone time, the opportunity for meeting and talking with new people presented itself readily. It gave an added richness to my cruising experience.
POSTED BY audrey b AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sunny Day at Sea

I decided to just sit and relax by the pool on our second full day. There were no stops to be made and no distractions like at home. I grabbed a book, a towel, and my sunglasses and headed up to the pool.
First of all, all worries about body image in a bathing suit were banished; there were plenty of unembarrassed people there of ALL body types. There was enough of a range, that I quickly found my place and felt good about myself.
Second of all, it turns out I wasn't paying attention to the sun. On the way back to the room, I began to feel a heat burning at my skin. On entering the room, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I wasn’t exactly tomato red, but crimson was definitely part of my new sunburn look. To be sure of my predicament, I adjusted my swimsuit strap to reveal a whiteness that was startling in its surroundings. It started to hurt.
Bed was early that night. Fortunately, the family size container of aloe was in stock at the ship’s convenience store. I coated myself so much, I’m afraid there is permanent green stain in the shape of my body on the sheets. Fortunately, the coolness of the cotton and the coldness of my morning shower has alleviated the situation. However, the desire for a base tan and the need for SPF 1000 has become all too real.
POSTED BY audrey b AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Meals on a Cruise Ship

Although I used to think of cruises as being full of bad buffets and the elderly, I now most apologetically regret those feelings. Lots of age groups are present, and the food is delicious, if not heavenly.
The cruise ship is where I took my dive into gluttony. Now, at home, I try to control what I eat and do a pretty good job. The onboard food has been absolutely decadent and the variety was definitely a positive attribute. The main dining area let me try some new international cuisine, while the casual dining let me relish in old favorites. I surprised myself by enjoying the formal dining the most.
All of the food was definitely well-made, quality food. The menus changed nightly and the number of courses provided for a very filling evening.
My favorite dish so far has been a bread pudding. I have never liked bread pudding, but the menu description sounded sweet. It came out in a little dish, very unassuming, but as soon as my spoon dug into the soft sweet, I realized this was not simple bread pudding. It was a beautiful combination of layers and temperatures. While the top layer was a soft cool pudding, a middle layer consisted of ice cold bittersweet chocolate and a bottom, steamed  layer of hot sweet-soaked bread. Oh my. The moment that my spoon hit the bottom of the bowl I almost cried.
POSTED BY audrey b AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Saturday, May 24, 2008

Seasick Stories Anyone? Here's Mine!

The truth is that I don’t have much of a seasick story. The movement of the ship is pleasant and at night helps me sleep. 
However, I see people with Dramamine patches behind their ears and in talking with them, learn that it is the difference between enjoying the cruise and not. Seasick patches are not a very good flesh tone, but that’s ok. Some things just have to be done. I’ve had skin cancer and know to use sun screen and to cover up if I’m out for even part of an hour.
The major problem with seasickness is that the mind and body are at war. The mind knows what is going on, but the body can’t reconcile the movement to reality. The result is a very upset tummy.
POSTED BY audrey b AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Monday, February 04, 2008

A new blog about Holland America Cruises!

Check out the new Holland America blog.
POSTED BY lindie hunt AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Edingburgh, Scotland
Invergordon (Inverness), Scotland
Lerwich, Shetland Islands by Cruise Ship
Akureyri, Iceland by Cruise Ship
Reykjavik, Iceland by Cruise Ship
Alaska Cruises
Cruise Tours
Caribbean & Bahamas Cruises
Mexico Cruises
Hawaii Cruises
Panama Canal Cruises
Onboard Activities & Info
Shore Excursions
Eastern Mediterranean Cruises
Northern Europe Cruise
April 2012
July 2011
April 2010
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
February 2008
It’s not a dream; it is a Holland America Alaska Cruise!

No one knows Alaska like Holland America Line. Premium service and comfort has been perfected. Tradition is evident everywhere, from classic teak deck chairs to friendly stewards offering hot chocolate - complimentary, of course. Every stateroom is larger than most other cruise lines and offers stylish appointments such as the custom-designed Mariner's Dream bed.    Get the most from Alaska by enjoying a verandah stateroom or suite, which are more spacious than any other ships in our class. Dining on a Holland America ship is a delight to experience with detail to quality and service that is top notch. Enjoy the elegance of the main dining room, the Pinnacle Grill or a quick bite by the pool or room service.


Every day on board brings a wealth of activities and enrichment programs to showcase Alaska at its best. Learn new ways to prepare seafood in the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine. Keep in touch with your work or loved ones in the Explorations Cafe, powered by The New York Times. Relax in the Crow's Nest and enjoy panoramic views. 

What makes Holland America Line a step above?
  • Every cruise in Glacier Bay National Park will feature ranger commentary from the bridge and an informative presentation. A Hunan Totem speaker will talk about their ancestral ties to the land.
  • A ranger from Wrangell-St. Elias National Park will provide bridge commentary for every visit to the mammoth Hubbard Glacier. Tinged natives will showcase their culture during visits to Yakutat Bay.
  • Seattle departures will host a pre-cruise presentation by a ranger about thonal parks of the Inside Passage.
  • Land tours offering several choices to fit your time and to see the most of Alaska.
  • Comfortable domed rail cars and coaches making travel enjoyable to some of most desirable destinations in Alaska.

Be sure to bring your binoculars along to view the many different wildlife experiences up close.




Denise Belisle Stone
Denise Belisle Stone
Create Your Badge
© Copyright 2018 All rights reserved. Site Usage Information site design and hosting by Site Street