Thanks to Betsy Majma for sharing this touching story about cruising on Zuiderdam with her mother-in-law.
My mother-in-law had never been on a vacation her whole life that did not include visiting relatives. We waited for years for her husband to exit his misery so that she would be free to travel without worrying about who would take care of him. He required 24/7 care and couldn’t be put in a home due to his confused aggression. Her entire life revolved around his care rather than taking care of herself. She was isolated from having friends or any freedom because of the time required to manage him…..so when he finally passed on, we invited her to join us for our cruise to Alaska on the Zuiderdam back in July 2009.
She instantly jumped on the opportunity to breathe life into her again. This was her first real vacation ever. On the first day she cried — she couldn’t believe how wonderful this ship was or how beautiful things were around her. In typical Holland America style, we had a great time and the staff and yummy food were all excellent. By the end of the cruise she cried more saying she didn’t want to get off that ship, that she wanted to get a job there and stay forever.
The next year we went on the Baltic cruise and brought her with us for that. She’s still bragging about that rooftop tour we took in Stockholm. The year after that she went with us again to the Caribbean – this trip she brought a friend … and was mostly independent of our assistance. We’re so happy that she now has an active life to really enjoy. Thanks Holland America for the great trips!!! You’ve given my mother-in-law fantastic memories. — Betsy Majma