Notes for the Reader & My sailing Schedule

Why this blog.

I enjoy writing and I love to write or talk about my job. About the great company that I work for and about life at sea in general. As the cruises tend to go to less and less sea days and the work of the captain gets more and more intense, there is less and less time to communicate directly and on a regular basis with the guests. Thus a blog is an excellent opportunity to alleviate this a little bit. As explained below it does not cost me that much time and hopefully the “daily result” is enjoyed by the readers.

You will not find issues about the ships or the company on this blog that involve customer relations. That is for the company head office to deal with through the proper channels. Whether the issues are positive or whether they are negative. A ships captain executes company policy; he does not make it.

I am trying to give the reader a bit of insight in what the world looks like from the captains perspective. As I try to live my life with a smile of my face, you will not find much moaning and groaning. A problem is for me a challenge and an opportunity and the glass is always half full, ………..even if I do not drink during my tenure on board. If you raise a question that fits in these general parameters that I have set myself, I will try to answer it during one of the next blogs.

My sailing schedule
As announced on 20th. of March 2014,  my career took a partial turn with working as a travelling trainer Master/ captain. This means that in the forsee-able future I will not sail on one specific ship but sail on them all and travel from ship to ship.  My sailing schedule was always “subject to extremely much change” and that is the one thing that will not change in the future.

2017 Schedule. Please verify on a regular basis as it will change.

18 Feb. – 25 Feb. Eurodam

25 Feb. – 22 Mar. Zuiderdam

24 Mar. – 13 Apr. Westerdam

Vacation

15 May. – 03 Jun. Maasdam

04 Jun. -25 Jun. Noordam

27 Jun. – 23 Jul. Zaandam

Vacation

10 Sep. – 01 Oct. Amsterdam

02 Oct. – 22 Oct. Zuiderdam

23 Oct. – 16 Nov. Koningsdam

18 Nov. – 15 Dec. Prinsendam

2018.

TBA.

But in the later part of the year ms Nieuw Statendam

My blog and other articles such as the ships and captains from the past.

I try to write one page each day during the time that I am at work. During my time off, I add pages with articles about cruises in the past, based on books and other material that I have in my collection. I am spending a lot of time at the moment on the biographies  of the captains of the ancient days and I will let you know through the blog each time an update takes place.

The blog is now officially a part from of the Holland America blog part of the Holland America.com website and be reached by clicking on the blog area on the main page.

I normally write my blog in the evening. It takes about 20 minutes to make a rough draft and another 10 to take the mistakes out. It goes on line, whenever I get a chance to log on to the internet. If it goes on line the same evening, then you will see it during breakfast the  next morning. However as I travel worldwide, “breakfast time” might be variable.

Spam:

With more and more people reading my blog, I get more and more spam. Most of it is filtered out automatically by a spam filter. I try to check this spam folder regularly and sometimes, lately quite often, I find genuine comments from readers in there. When I find them, they get re-instated, whether positive or negative. If your comment does not appear under the blog-day that you clicked on it most likely got lost in the spam filter permanently.

66 Comments

  1. Thank you for reading my blog.

    I have no idea what the plans are with the Behind the scenes tour as of this moment. The entertainment department is only starting to gather now. These have been taking place on other ships with the caveat that it is not possible during every cruise due operational reasons. No doubt it will be reviewed and considered as soon as the Koningsdam has settled down. If I find something out in the days before the ship actually sails, then I will let you know.

    Best Regards

    Capt. Albert.

  2. Love your blog on the Kdam – we’ll be aboard in October for the inaugural transatlantic!

    One quick question – the website schematics show no obvious “ladies dressing area” in the standard Neptune suites. I’ve got to believe that this exists, if it does for the other categories. Any idea where it is? It would be great if we could see a photo!

    Thanks so much again.

    Ted Strauss

  3. Thank you for reading my blog.

    I can not get into those cabins yet as they are still under yard control and the soft furnishings are not in yet. But I will see what I can do in the coming days and post a photo on the blog of some of the cabins.

    Best regards

    Capt. Albert

  4. Excellent reporting…you have us anticipating each day’s blog. Hope to see you on April 8.

  5. Capt. Albert:
    I am a Naval Architect /Marine Engineer (retired) who will be aboard MS Koningsdam on April 15 to 27 on Voyage 3 with my wife Joan. I am enjoying your blog on the final days before delivery. I look forward to meeting you.
    Paul Mentz, Maryland USA (Life Member and Fellow, SNAME)

  6. Capt. Albert,

    I am thrilled and honoured to be sailing ms Koningsdam with you as our esteemed leader for our 27 April itinerary. I have never seen such a garlanded master mariner.

    May I also take this opportunity to wish you and your lovely wife Lesley a fabulous silver wedding anniversay.

    Samantha and myself are looking forward to meeting you.

    Dave

  7. Your blog is truly amazing. My husband and I leaved 4/18 from Fort Lauderdale to Copenhagen then fly to Rome to board the Koningsdam on 5/9 to 6/12. We cannot wait.

  8. Really enjoying your blogs. Will you still be on board Koningsdam sailing from Rome on 27th April.

    Also I cannot find a cinema in plans of this ship. Is there one- very disappointing if not.

  9. Thank you for reading my blog,

    but I have to disappoint you twice, one,I am leaving the ship the day you join. Two, there is no real cinema on board anymore, so the ship does not offer the intimate movie experience of the other ships. But there are movies under the stars on the big screen on the lido deck and what I really like is the number of movies available on the TV in the cabin. It is interactive TV so there are a quite a large number of movies you can watch at the time you want and when you want. I have been experimenting with it all and you can even stop them and start again the next day where you left off. I think it is quite a good compensation for not having a Cinema. I watched Mad Max three times to get all the details right and that I could not have done with the regular cinema.

    I hope this helps

    Best regards

    Capt. Albert.

  10. Mr. Thackeray,

    Thank you for reading my blog and for your congratulations for our coming silver wedding, much appreciated. But I will not be there. 27 April is the day I leave. Also I am currently on board not as the Captain of the ship, which is Capt. Emiel de Vries but as the Travelling Master of the company. I am here to support the Koningsdam captain with whatever is needed and that is a slightly different function than being the one who pushes the buttons.

    Still I hope I will have a fabulous cruis and will be very impressed with the ship.

    Best regards and safe sailing

    Capt. Albert.

  11. I see you will be on the New Amsterdam over Thanksgiving. Will Leslie be with you. Looking forward to see you.

  12. Captain, I noticed that you are scheduled on June 4th on board the Noordam. I will be on that cruise and hope to be able to meet you. I have enjoyed your blog and you have taught this old navy man some new things.

    Paul Wamsley

  13. Captain,

    I have a postcard of 8.IX.1906 with a large round purple cancel with at the bottom the text “N.A.S.M”.

    Do you anything about this kind of cancel?

    If I could get your email address I could send you a scan.

    Thanks,

    Hans

  14. I am a recently retired Air Traffic Controller (if you flew in or out of NY over the last 26 years, I probably worked your flight). I am very interested in the day-to-day operation and navigation of a cruise ship. I will be on the March 4-11 Eurodam cruise and hope I get a chance to chat with you about it. I would also be happy to tell you all about my job, since both our jobs have us in charge of the safety and security of a large groups of people.

    I really enjoy your blog. This is just another reason why Holland-America has moved to the top of our cruising company list.

    Thank you and hope to see you soon. Jim

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