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Feb 2016

07 Feb. 2016; Port Everglades, Florida USA.

And thus today reality kicked in and I arrived on the Nieuw Amsterdam after having been on vacation since December last year. Officially I was not supposed to be here as the Maasdam was on the schedule but another “school class” popped up and then things can change. I could have conducted the Nautical Excellence Class on the Maasdam as well as there might have been cabins but another challenge loomed at the horizon and one which was hard to overcome. Brazilian Visa Requirements. Brazil has a reciprocal Visa system. I call it a tit for tat system. If a country requires Visa’s for a Brazilian then the Brazilian Government requires Visa’s for people from that Country. The USA and recently also Europe requires working Seamen coming into the country to have a Visa. Thus Brazil has instituted something similar to the C1/D1 of the USA. That would have required all six new officers to go to the Brazilian Embassy for an interview and then get the stamp. A lot of work for little use as HAL seldom has crew joining in Brazilian ports. Most cruises to Brazil start from the USA and we normally join and leave in the American home port.  To avoid the whole hassle we shifted the class to the Nieuw Amsterdam.    And that is the reason why I am here. One week by myself and then on the 14th of Feb. the class arrives for two weeks. I could not get them any earlier on board as this week’s cruise is a charter for RSVP and there is/was a waiting list with 600 who also wanted the go. So the ship is filled to capacity, no empty cabins.  Because it is a charter the ship is making a slightly different cruise than her normal 7 day Caribbean HAL season. We are now calling at Half Moon Cay, then Gustavia on St.Bartholome, followed by St. Thomas.  The great thing with a charter cruise is that the charterer quite often does something different than what the regular company schedule calls for. Sometimes there are overnights, sometimes […]

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