Here are some photos of Nordam with my new wide-angle lens.
Prinsendam’s fun loving and always a barrel of good times Explorations Team celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in royal style!
Odir Rodriguez is Prinsendam’s human resources manager.
Day 99, April 14:
We had been to Ajaccio, Corsica, a lovely island that is a part of France, a few years ago during a Mediterranean cruise, so at a call there during our 112-day Grand World Voyage on the Amsterdam, Humberto, Duffy (our bear that went around the world) and I decided to do something we sometimes do when we have already visited a port: enjoy having the ship practically all to ourselves! We got off the ship briefly to walk around and get to a great outdoor market a few blocks from the cruise terminal, and to buy some souvenirs, including the wonderful Corsican olive oil that has a controlled appellation like fine wines do.
During the past weeks, I have been approached by numerous guests, all asking the same question, ‘will we get into the Falklands’? It seems that previously, on every occasion they have tried, the call has been canceled, usually due to weather. Even some of our guests who are regular Grand World voyagers have missed it, so the pressure is on for me to make amends and make it
The morning brings thick fog, not an auspicious start and we can’t see my hand in front of my face, let alone any land. We navigate on radar, at reduced speed and hope that the visibility will improve, although after an hour, there’s no sign of that. Our agent ashore eventually hails us on the VHF radio and asks of our whereabouts and we in turn ask him of the visibility. He replies that he can see across the harbour, which is good news and so we proceed inwards, avoiding fishing boats and cargo ships which are anchored in the Sound. We still don’t see any of the headlands we are passing until we are approaching our anchorage position; a ‘reefer’ ship, (which carries chilled cargo) looms out of the fog. He is loading fish, there is a fishing boat alongside, discharging his catch into the cavernous holds of the cargo ship.
Days 9-10 – Jan. 14-15 – At Sea.
On the morning of January 14, the words of novelist John Steinbeck “A journey is like a marriage – the only way to go wrong is to think you can control it” rang through my mind. So many things can interfere with a journey including, but not limited to, weather and local infrastructure. To seasoned travelers this is precisely the excitement of a trip or cruise: the adventure of letting go – of not being able to control all aspects of the journey. Yesterday, for example, a strong current in the Amazon Delta made it difficult for our tender to come alongside the Amsterdam and disembark passengers safely, so a tendering operation that normally takes minutes took more than an hour.
Instead of being exasperated I let the occurrence take over to see what I could experience. I looked around and instead of obsessing about the tender operations, I concentrated on the river and several fishing boats and other craft anchored in it and passing by. It was a very picturesque scene that I might have missed if the tendering had gone faster. Whenever the journey “takes over” I go with the flow. I’m happy to relinquish Georgina “Cruz control” to “cruise control” and my experience is so much more rewarding – perhaps the same thing has happened to you?
Freelance travel writer Georgina Cruz and her husband Humberto are currently sailing on Amsterdam’s 112-day Grand World Voyage and will be sending in cruise diaries throughout their time on board. She has logged 174 voyages to all seven continents and visited more than 100 countries. Enjoy!
Day 7 – Jan. 12, 2012
So we have been here a week already – only 15 more weeks to go! Part of the process of “settling in” on the ship as a home involves a routine. We have started one, not etched in stone, but as a guide. It includes, for example, having breakfast at the same table every morning in the Lido and then lunch at another table (but the same one each time in the Lido) every day during this cruise. But even if we did not have a routine, it is easy to feel at home on the Amsterdam because the Indonesian/Filipino crew is so friendly, always greeting you warmly in hallways and public rooms and often doing so by name.
Members of the staff and entertainers do so too, including pianist Debby Bacon, who uncannily seems to know everyone by name and waves at them in between piano notes as they enter, exit or cross the Piano Bar. We went for a walk around the public rooms today to take in the wonderful art collection of the Amsterdam. Some of our favorite pieces are in the Explorer’s Lounge including a large oil called “Ships in Front of 17th Century Amsterdam” by Peter J. Sterkenburg, and sculpted pieces in the style of the Yuang, Ming and Qing dynasties of China. Being surrounded by great art at sea is a pleasure.
In Argostoli, Greece, we were blessed with a visit from the town’s Vice Mayor who brought several Argostoli dignitaries with him. The Captain gave them a warm Nieuw Amsterdam welcome in the Crow’s Nest with some beverages and canapés, followed by a tour of the ship including a visit to the Navigation Bridge and ended with lunch. The visitors thoroughly enjoyed their time on board.