Tag Archives: Noordam

Guest Michael McNerney was grateful for Rizi and Ari, who made his cruise to Alaska extra special.
Guest Michael McNerney was grateful for Rizi and Ari, who made his cruise to Alaska extra special.

Cruises offer guests the opportunity to travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world while being treated to caring service and making memories with loved ones. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, and across the country guests are counting their blessings. In honor of the holiday Holland America Line asked Facebook fans if there was a special crew member, fabulous destination or other Holland America Line experience for which they are grateful.

The question was met with a resounding ‘yes!’ Guests were most thankful for the people that made their experiences so meaningful. Warm memories of exceptional Holland America Line crew members and family gatherings along with anecdotes and images, poured forth. Also noted were the beauty of Venice, heavenly Half Moon Cay, St. Kitts, Hawaii and astounding Alaska.

Photos shared by Mallemolen Poots, Lucy Goei and Greg Krysia Moyle.

Photos shared by Mallemolen Poots, Lucy Goei and Greg Krysia Moyle.

Several guests mentioned Hunky Dorey, the server with a great talent for remembering names, and Jean-Pierre, the unforgettable dining room host on Volendam. Margadana and Yanuar Dwi — among the best dining room managers at sea — Lawrence the charming singing wine steward and Eric Bob the fabulous dining room supervisor were all praised. Some recalled inside jokes and bonding moments with their buddies onboard. Like Mallemolen Poots who wrote,

“Cheers Bouzie Bouzie from ms Rotterdam! He brought me cold beer and always made me laugh! For bouzie: woensdag gehaktdag.”

Lucy Goei mentioned Paulus from housekeeping who is hilarious. Others were thankful for cabin stewards Wisnu, Jay and Putu that dazzled on Nieuw Amsterdam, along with pairs like Mus and Ali who were ‘the greatest’ on the Alaskan Cruise on Statendam, Ari and Kolich from Oosterdam or DJ and Lu from Ryndam who helped to make Darla Isbell’s 50th anniversary cruise more memorable.

Holland America Line and its guests are grateful for the fabulous crew. Ozgur Turnuklu shared this photo of members of the Rotterdam team.

Holland America Line and its guests are grateful for the fabulous crew. Ozgur Turnuklu shared this photo of members of the Rotterdam team.

Sea days are made all the more pleasant thanks to Holland America Line’s professional entertainers. Jazzy Jeff Davis, the DJ that makes cruising fun; Lucky Lee the awesome entertainer from Noordam’s piano bar and David Anthony, the piano bar singer on Prinsendam who Margaret Chute credited with countless hours of good times.

Many echoed the sentiment that the crew on Holland America Line goes above and beyond to make sure their guests are enjoying their vacations.

Emmy Banning said she is grateful for Henry, the waiter on Oosterdam last September who was thoughtful and insightful. Henry went out of his way to accommodate dietary needs and gave special attention to Emmy’s guest that was recovering from a stroke.

“Full marks for Henry!” she said.

Scott and Marty Lara pose with Stan Kuppens, hotel manager, ms Eurodam.

Scott and Marty Lara pose with Stan Kuppens, hotel manager, ms Eurodam.

The hope is that all goes well in travel, but in case of conflict Holland America Line professionals have been known to rise to the occasion. Scott Lara, an avid mariner, mentioned that he was grateful for Stan Kuppens, the hotel director on ms Eurodam. A friend they were traveling with had to cut her trip short due to a medical issue and Mr. Kuppens went the extra mile to help return her to the states. She recovered quickly and Lara maintains a friendship with Mr. Kuppens to this day.

“Last year on the Eurodam on a Canada to Ft Lauderdale repositioning cruise we had to disembark in Bar Harbor due to a family emergency. Our Cabin Steward Putu helped us get off the ship by assisting with our luggage, some pieces were bigger than he was.” – Michael Lewis

Guests were also grateful for the memories made while cruising and the time spent with loved ones on Holland America Line. Touching stories emerged of togetherness, like Rex Parker who said, “As the holiday season comes upon us I keep thinking of my last trip to Alaska in September 2012 on HAL with my parents. We lost my step-dad earlier this year and as I wrap myself in memories the week we spent cruising Alaska on the Westerdam keeps coming to mind as it was such a fun and special trip for all of us enhanced by the wonderful Westerdam staff and crew.”

Precious memories with Holland America Line shared by David Mellichamp and Linda Hansell.

Precious memories with Holland America Line shared by David Mellichamp and Linda Hansell.

Linda Hansell shared a story of special times onboard with her mother:

“Years ago we had a waiter in training while cruising with my Mom. He was trying so very hard to please. During one of the meals we hid the silver after he had so carefully arranged each piece. You should have seen his face when everything was missing.

“We later cruised on the same ship hoping to find Mom’s friend, and took a picture my Mom treasured of them together, just on the chance he would be there. Luckily, he was.

“I no longer have my Mom, but will always carry fond memories of a very special young man.”

Other guests were thankful for having spent anniversaries, birthdays and vow renewals with Holland America Line. David Mellichamp wrote on behalf of his family. He said that his vow renewal at Half Moon Cay was a day to remember forever thanks to the staff of Westerdam, especially Buzz, Nickie, Diane, Dr. Nancy and Phil.

Family bonding is certainly on the minds of many during this season. Carla Vleugels mentioned her daughter Lynn who is working onboard Volendam as a cadet, and Will Dean Pham who offered props to his parents.

“One of my blessings is my parents who have taken me on Holland America Line three times!!!! And I’m only 14. I also thank the crew, service and food on your line. You guys are just amazing.” – Will Dean Pham

Photos shared by Jackie Buonocore Ferriso, Dianne Dundon Betzel, Joanne Spirito Stigerts and Stephen Fowler.

Photos shared by Jackie Buonocore Ferriso, Dianne Dundon Betzel, Joanne Spirito Stigerts and Stephen Fowler.

All in all folks are grateful for intangibles in their Holland America Line experience. Like Marjorie Shenkir who got something back from cruising.

“I am thankful for Scotty, my personal trainer aboard my Panama cruise Spring 2014. He got me started on the Rennaisance of my life! I’ve never been fitter, happier or healthier!” she said.

Jo Ann Cheek Baker said the fun time she had with Holland America Line left her glowing.

“Three older women, me included, took the eleven day land and sea cruise two years ago. It was the best vacation any of us ever had,” she shared. “Especially the cruise. Just can’t say enough about it only if we had a chance we would do it again. Thank you for making us feel young again. And special.”

Debbie Gulnick summed it up nicely when she said,

“Whenever I am on a Holland America Line ship I always feel at home and there is always someone I know. They are a part of my extended family, and its like going home every time I am on a HAL ship.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!”

Do you have a Holland America Line experience for which you’re grateful? Share below!

Follow Holland America Line on Facebook to join future conversations!

Guest Lin Yeazel snapped this beautiful photo of the Pitons on her Caribbean cruise, which is eligible for Explore4 savings.
Guest Lin Yeazel snapped this beautiful photo of the Pitons on her Caribbean cruise, which is eligible for Explore4 savings.

If you’re thinking about booking a 2015 or 2016 cruise and want to take advantage of the Explore4 savings, time is ticking and you have until Oct. 31, 2014, to make your reservation.

Select sailings are eligible for the “Explore4” benefits that include a free Signature Beverage Package and free Pinnacle Grill dinner for guests booking an ocean-view and higher category stateroom, free or reduced cruise fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom on select sailings and 50 percent reduced deposits. Suite bookings also receive a $300 onboard spending credit per stateroom ($150 per person) and a free Canaletto dinner in addition to the other four offers. Guests can receive all of the offers when booking a qualified itinerary.

Guests looking to take advantage of the “Explore4” program can choose select itineraries to nearly all of Holland America Line’s global destinations, including Alaska and Alaska/Yukon Land+Sea Journeys, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, Canada/New England, Caribbean, Europe, Mexico/Hawaii, Panama Canal and South America/Antarctica.

Exp4

Suite Travelers Receive an Added Perk
Guests who book a cruise in a suite category stateroom will receive all of the above offers, plus an additional $300 onboard spending credit per stateroom ($150 per person) and a free Canaletto dinner. Canaletto is the line’s alternative dining venue that showcases cuisine from regions throughout Italy and a new “small plate” menu designed around contemporary new serving styles with flavorful dishes designed for sharing.

Good Things Come in Fours for Holland America Line Cruisers
Guests who book an ocean-view or higher category stateroom receive a free Signature Beverage Package valued at $100 per stateroom ($50 per person) per day and includes wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, sodas and coffee. The beverage offer is only applicable on the cruise portion of Alaska Land+Sea Journeys.

“Explore4” offers also include a complimentary dinner at the award-winning Pinnacle Grill for guests who book an ocean-view or higher stateroom. The Pinnacle Grill features a tantalizing menu highlighting steak and seafood dishes like filet mignon and broiled Alaska king salmon, yet also includes favorites like roasted pumpkin risotto and grilled lamb chops.

With free or reduced cruise fare for third and fourth guests on select sailings, a family of four can take a vacation to Europe, a tropical sailing to the Caribbean or longer journey to an exotic destination. In the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexico, fares for seven-day cruises start from $799 for the first and second guests in an ocean-view stateroom, and the third and fourth guests sail free. A seven-day European cruise starts at $1,199 for an ocean-view stateroom for the first and second guests, and the third and fourth guests sail free.

By taking advantage of the 50 percent reduced deposit offer, guests will have more flexibility and time to pay the final deposit on their cruise.

Explore4 Cruise Itineraries
If your looking to take advantage of Explore4 savings but aren’t sure which cruise to book, here are a few options of eligible itineraries.

ALASKA:
While several Alaska itineraries are available for Explore4 savings, here is one cruise that is filled with scenic beauty, adventurous shore excursions and an opportunity to learn about the state’s culture and history.

7-DAY GLACIER DISCOVERY NORTHBOUND
Set sail on ms Oosterdam from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Seward, Alaska, for a seven-day journey that calls at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. The cruise also features spectacular scenic cruising through the Inside Passage and Glacier Bay.

Guest Dale Wood combined his Alaska cruise with an overland tour and took a Double Denali Land+Sea Journey, which is eligible for Explore4 offers.

My wife and I booked a 14-day Double Denali tour, which we did in Sept 2014. We flew into Fairbanks and the adventure began. The next morning it was 37 degrees, which was pretty cold for us since we are from Las Vegas, Nevada. During the land portion we saw moose, caribou, grizzly bears, dall sheep, golden eagles. We even had one of the rare days where Mt. McKinley was in full view! In Anchorage along the Seward Highway we even saw beluga whales! The Alyeska Resort was marvelous and first rate. At the wildlife conservatory we even saw the end of the rainbow! Sorry folks, but when we left the pot was empty… — Dale Woods

CARIBBEAN:
Several Caribbean itineraries are eligible for the Explore4 savings. Here’s one exciting and tropical option for you to consider.

11-DAY SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN WAYFARER
Noordam sets sail for turquoise waters and balmy breezes on this 11-day voyage roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. Along the way the ship calls at Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Castries and Soufriere, St. Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Fort-de-France, Martinique; St. Johns, Antigua; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; and Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private island in the Bahamas.

Always dragged our feet about taking a Caribbean cruise. But the 11-day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer turned out to be terrific. Amazed at how different each island is, how good the shore excursions were and how relaxing the ambiance was. Caught this photo of the Noordam in “full frontal” view coming from Anse La Raye, St. Lucia. And lucky we saw the rainbow over the Pitons. These islands are stunningly beautiful. — Guest Lin Yeazel

Lin got a great photo of SHIP during her cruise in the Caribbean.

Lin got a great photo of Noordam during her cruise in the Caribbean.

EUROPE & THE MEDITERRANEAN
From the North Cape to the Mediterranean, Explore4 offers dozens of cruises in Europe. Whether you want to cruise the fjords of Norway or bask on the beaches in Greece, there’s an itineraries for everyone. Here’s one example of an eligible Explore4 European voyage.

10-DAY MEDITERRANEAN ADVENTURE
Ryndam departs Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for Barcelona, Spain, on this 10-day adventure around Iberia. Guests will visit the memorable cities of Leixoes (Porto) and Lisbon, Portugal; Cadiz, Spain; Gibraltar, British Territory; Almeria and Cartagena, Spain; and Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands.

Guests Evelyn and David Stahl took a similar cruise on Ryndam from Dover to Barcelona and had a great time!

Loved the itinerary on Ryndam’s trip from Dover to Barcelona. The accommodations, service, staff and cuisine were outstanding. — Evelyn and David Stahl

Evelyn and David had a great time on their cruise and enjoyed beautiful weather and scenery.

Evelyn and David had a great time on their cruise and enjoyed beautiful weather and scenery.

HAWAII

The Hawaiian Islands are some of the most beautiful locales in the world. A cruise to Hawaii on Holland America Line combines these stunning ports with plenty of relaxing days at sea where guests can take advantage of the shipboard programming and amenities such as the Greenhouse Spa, Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine, Digital Workshops presented by Windows, fitness center, “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” programming, lectures and so much more!

17-DAY CIRCLE HAWAII

Photo by Inez.

Photo by Inez.

Zaandam visits the gorgeous Hawaiian Islands on a 17-day trip from Vancouver to San Diego, Calif. The ship enjoys several days at sea before reaching Hawaii where guests will have an overnight at Honolulu and then sail on to Nawiliwili, Lahaina, Kona and Hilo. More sea days are on the return route to San Diego where guests can relax and rejuvenate their mind, body and spirit. Guest Inez Siegers had a great time on this itinerary.

It was my first time ever to travel to the Hawaiian Islands by ship, on board the beautiful ms Zaandam. I wanted plenty of sea days, which I got. My experiences on board, while sailing and on shore exceeded my expectations. What was a step back in time for me was going for anchor at Lahaina! That too was a first for me. I couldn’t help but think how in the past all the sail ships arriving at the Hawaiian Islands had to go for anchor. I tried to catch this photo from the Front Street in Lahaina, how it might have looked some centuries ago – granted the ship would have to have been made of wood … — Inez Siegers

There are plenty of other destinations eligible for Explore4, like South America and Antarctica, Mexico, Bermuda and Canada/New England, making it the prefect time to book your next Holland America Line cruise. But don’t delay or you’ll miss the Oct. 31 deadline.

Have you already made your Explore4 booking? Tell us where you are going in the comments below!

Shore excursion @halcruises in Pisa. The famous leaning tower. The guided tour in the cathedral was great! - Lisanne @atg_nl
Shore excursion @halcruises in Pisa. The famous leaning tower. The guided tour in the cathedral was great! - Lisanne @atg_nl

Holland America Line’s Jocelyn Wu, special events coordinator – public relations, just disembarked ms Noordam with a group of journalists. She and many of the writers chronicled their cruise through the Mediterranean on Facebook and Twitter through fabulous photos and fun captions.

Journalist Gail Jennsen was onboard writing a story for Avid Cruiser and she’s tweeting photos of her adventure at @fourthirtyam. Anita Dunham Potter sailed to cover the Noordam cruise for her website, Expert Cruiser. She’s tweeting with @ExpertCruiser. Photos and tweets from Dutch journalist Lisanne Kerstens, who is writing for Around the Globe, can be found at @atg_nl.

Come along on their amazing photo journey and witness the culture, charm and beauty found on a cruise through the Mediterranean.

First stop, Rome, Italy. The ship departs from the port of Civitavecchia, and arriving a few days early enables plenty of time to see all that Rome to offer.

The Pantheon.

Jocelyn admires Rome’s Pantheon.

Welcome aboard!

Welcome @halcruises MS Noordam! #Hollandamerica - Lisanne

Welcome @halcruises MS Noordam! #Hollandamerica – Lisanne

At Naples, Italy, the sun rose over Mt. Vesuvius, and Anita captured the moment beautifully.

Good Morning from @HALcruises #Noordam in Naples it's a lovely day and check out Mt Vesuvius! - Anita

Good Morning from @HALcruises #Noordam in Naples it’s a lovely day and check out Mt Vesuvius! – Anita

The group took a tour that visited the Ruins of Pompeii, perfectly preserved since the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79.

The ruins of Pompeii. Shore excursion with @HALcruises. Beautiful preserved archeological site. - Lisanne

The ruins of Pompeii. Shore excursion with @HALcruises. Beautiful preserved archeological site. – Lisanne

From Naples, the group took a shore excursion that visited the stunning isle of Capri.

Taking the ride up from Anacapri. A great souvenir from Capri is their famous sandal. - Anita

Taking the ride up from Anacapri. A great souvenir from Capri is their famous sandal. – Anita

The next call was at Palermo, Sicily, and some of the group learned how to prepare an authentic Sicilian dish on the A Taste of Sicily: A Cooking Lesson tour.

Sicilian cooking lesson at agritourismo farm Antica Masseria from Baroness Di Salvo. - Anita

Sicilian cooking lesson at agritourismo farm Antica Masseria from Baroness Di Salvo. – Anita

Lisanne took a different tour and visited the Teatro Politeama.

Nice shore excursion @HALcruises in Palermo today. This is Teatro Politeama at the main square. - Lisanne

Nice shore excursion @HALcruises in Palermo today. This is Teatro Politeama at the main square. – Lisanne

Another incredible stop on the cruise was a call at Livorno. From here, guests can take the “Tuscan Landmarks: Florence & Pisa” tour and visit two incredible places. In Florence, a half-day walking tour includes many of the city’s masterpieces. At Pisa, the group explored the Piazza dei Miracoli — site of the Leaning Tower, the cathedral and the baptistery.

After visiting Pisa, top left, Jocelyn went to Florence and went to the Piazza del Duomo.

Before visiting Pisa, top left, Jocelyn went to Florence and explored the Piazza del Duomo.

The ship continued to make its way through the Med with a call at Calvi, Corsica, where Anita captured a gorgeous sunrise and Gail discovered that it’s one of her favorite ports.

Calvi, Corsica, was a favorite call on the cruise. Anita shared this stunning photo on Twitter. @ExpertCruiser

Anita shared this stunning photo on Twitter. @ExpertCruiser

I've fallen deeply in love w Calvi, Corsica. I've only traveled in northern France and I must say, I've missed out. - Gail

I’ve fallen deeply in love with Calvi, Corsica. I’ve only traveled in northern France and I must say, I’ve missed out. – Gail

At Monte Carlo, Gail made her way to out of the city on a tour to Nice and Eze.

Day 8: Nice & Eze introdcued me to Cote D'Azur, Provence, French Riviera. I'm hooked. - Gail

Day 8: Nice & Eze introdcued me to Cote D’Azur, Provence, French Riviera. I’m hooked. – Gail

Anita admired the yachts in the harbor and went to the palace to see the changing of the guard.

Changing of the guard at Monaco palace no Prince or princess sightings. - Anita

Changing of the guard at Monaco palace. No prince or princess sightings. – Anita

Marseille, France, was the next port of call, and Gail and Lisanne enjoyed shopping in the markets and seeing the beautiful architecture. Gail called the region:

“A storybook dreamscape.”

Soap made from honey. Soap made from olive oil. Soap made from lavender. Check. Check. Check. - Gail

Soap made from honey. Soap made from olive oil. Soap made from lavender. Check. Check. Check. – Gail

Marseille was charming and thoroughly enjoyed by Gail.

Marseille was charming and thoroughly enjoyed by Gail.

Lisanne tweeted these photos of Marseille on @atg_nl.

Lisanne tweeted these photos of Marseille at @atg_nl.

Barcelona, Spain, was the last call of the cruise and the port of disembarkation. Barcelona is another city where a spending a few days after (or before) a cruise would provide time to explore all that the city has to offer, and perhaps attend a futbol game!

Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia is a "must see" when visiting Barcelona. Three shots from left: Jocelyn, Gail and Lisanne. Gail wrote on Twitter ... #bucketlist!

Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia is a “must see” when visiting Barcelona. Three perspectives, from left: Jocelyn, Gail and Lisanne. Gail wrote on Twitter … #bucketlist!

The group went to a Futbol game - one of the most popular activities in the city.

The group went to a Futbol game – one of the most popular activities in the city.

While making their way through the Mediterranean, the group also took every opportunity to indulge in local cuisine!

Jocelyn, bottom left, enjoyed the variety of local culinary indulgences around the Med.

Jocelyn, bottom left, enjoyed the variety of local culinary indulgences around the Med.

And sweet treats are a must on any cruise to Italy!

"Yum, gelato!" said Anita.

“Yum, gelato!” said Anita.

To read upcoming stories about their cruise, check their websites. Anita can be found at www.expertcruiser.com; Gail is writing for www.avidcruiser.com; and Lisanne’s story will be at www.aroundtheglobe.nl.

When you travel, do you take time to post photos to social media, or do you prefer to wait until you get home to show your friends and family where you’ve been?

Be sure to follow Holland America Line on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see even more fabulous photos that show the true cruise experience.

Noordam took home a silver Magellan Award in the Premium Ship category.
Noordam took home a silver Magellan Award in the Premium Ship category.

Travel Weekly magazine announced the recipients of its 2014 Magellan Awards, and Holland America Line received eight of the prestigious honors. The line won five gold awards in the following categories:

  • Blog: Holland America Blog
  • Restaurant Design: Canaletto Small Plates
  • Television Commercial: for “Breathtaking Meet Impeccable”
  • Direct Mail: 2014 Winter Mariner Magazine
  • Advertising/Marketing Campaign: Discover HAL’s Alaska.

Three silver awards were bestowed on the line in these categories:

  • Entertainment: B.B. King’s Blues Club program
  • Direct Mail: Holland America Line Cruise Atlas
  • Premium Ship: ms Noordam.

The Magellan Awards honor a broad range of industry segments, including hotels and resorts, travel destinations, cruise lines, online travel services, airlines and airports, travel agents/agencies, tour operators and car rental companies. Entries are evaluated by a panel of respected travel industry professionals against standards of excellence established by Travel Weekly, which has been published since 1958 and is written for U.S. travel agents, tour operators, corporate travel executives and travel industry suppliers.

The Holland America Blog took home a gold in the category of Blog. As loyal readers know, the Holland America Blog is designed to provide unique insights into every aspect of the company and features regular posts written by company executives, shipboard officers and guests that cover a wide variety of topics. The cruise diaries chronicle a voyage from the eyes of a guest, while the Captain’s Logs see the cruises from the eyes of our masters. On the blog visitors can learn more about special programming like “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” or the Culinary Arts center, and so much more.

Canaletto's popular Small Plate menu took home a gold Magellan.

Canaletto’s popular Small Plate menu took home a gold Magellan.

Taking home a gold award in Restaurant Design for Canaletto Small Plates, the alternative Italian eatery recently introduced a “small plates” course in addition to the pasta and large plates. With several new dishes, the variety of options encourages guests to share their plates, as is often done in the Italian culture.

The winter edition of Mariner Magazine brought home a gold.

The winter edition of Mariner Magazine brought home a gold.

Holland America Line’s marketing and advertising efforts took home three gold awards. The gold award for Television Commercial for the “Breathtaking Meet Impeccable” campaign honored the spot that shows off the line’s premium shipboard experience combined with its global itineraries. A gold in Direct Mail was earned for the 2014 Winter Mariner Magazine edition, a high-end glossy publication for members of the line’s past-passenger loyalty program. The gold for Advertising/Marketing Campaign was earned by the Discover HAL’s Alaska program that communicated through brochures, advertising, posters, postcards, social outlets and more that there is no better way to experience the wonders of the Great Land than with Holland America Line.


The “Breathtaking Meet Impeccable” campaign won a gold Magellan Award.

The silver award–winning B.B. King’s Blues Club is on six ships in the Holland America Line fleet. World-class musicians from the B.B. King’s Blues Club Band create a dynamic energy in the ships’ Queens Lounge that has been transformed with a special stage and portraits of the blues guitar legend, illuminating the prominence of Memphis blues and its influence on everyone from Sam & Dave and Otis Redding to the Rolling Stones and Neil Diamond.

A live performance at Eurodam's B.B. King's Blues Club. Photo by Barbara Fox.

A live performance at Eurodam’s B.B. King’s Blues Club. Photo by Barbara Fox.

Holland America Line’s silver-winning Premium Ship ms Noordam exemplifies the classic style of cruising with contemporary amenities and modern enhancements. The newest addition is the B.B. King’s Blues Club at sea that replicates the soulful club’s namesake on land. The ship also features the line’s signature Pinnacle Grill alternative restaurant, Canaletto restaurant, Digital Workshop powered by Windows, the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine, the pampering Greenhouse Spa and Salon, and more.

Noordam's many amenities made it a silver winner among top premium ships.

Noordam’s many amenities made it a silver winner among top premium ships.

The award-winning cruise atlas.

The award-winning cruise atlas.

A silver award was earned in the Direct Mail category for the Holland America Line Cruise Atlas. A compendium of itineraries, amenities and ship information, the 2014-15 cruise atlas featured stunning photography, descriptive copy, detailed maps and an abundance of information to put everything in one place for the excited cruiser.

Since 2008, Travel Weekly has been recognizing excellence in travel with the annual Magellan Awards, and Holland America Line has received more than 40 awards in various categories since the Magellan Awards’ inception.

Congratulations to all winners!

If you could give Holland America Line any award, what would be it? Would it be best in Alaska? Best for romance? Best for culinary excellence? Tell us below!

The Caribbean boasts some of the finest snorkeling opportunities in the world.
The Caribbean boasts some of the finest snorkeling opportunities in the world.

It’s all about sun, sand and surf as Holland America Line gets ready to sail into the 2014-15 Caribbean season this fall and winter. After spending time in Alaska and Europe, nine ships in the fleet are preparing to make their repositioning cruises to the turquoise waters of the tropical Caribbean where powdery beaches, balmy breezes and the award-winning private island of Half Moon Cay await.

From October 2014 through April 2015, ms Eurodam, ms Maasdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Ryndam, ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam sail regular Caribbean voyages, while ms Amsterdam and ms Prinsendam each sail one December holiday cruise in the region. The ships feature more than 10 different seven-, 10-, 11- and 14-day itineraries that can be combined into longer Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 14 to 25 days.

On all cruises sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, guests will get to visit Half Moon Cay, the line’s private Bahamian island. While Holland America Line is committed to keeping 96 percent of its pristine private island wild, Half Moon Cay offers everything you need for a day of play. Park yourself in an air-conditioned cabana along a two-mile crescent of gorgeous white beach. Visit Stingray Cove to feed and learn more about the gentle creatures. Ride a horse to a deserted beach and into the surf. Or, take the kids to Half Moon Lagoon, the island’s aqua park and children’s playground.

All roundtrip Fort Lauderdale itineraries include a call at Half Moon Cay (top), the line's private island. Other calls may include St. Thomas, bottom right, and Grand Cayman.

All roundtrip Fort Lauderdale itineraries include a call at Half Moon Cay (top), the line’s private island. Other calls may include St. Thomas, bottom right, and Grand Cayman.

Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale Itineraries
During the season, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Westerdam and Zuiderdam will sail a series of seven-day eastern and western Caribbean itineraries that can be combined to form a 14-day Collectors’ Voyage spanning both regions. Maasdam sails seven- and 10-day eastern routes, as well as longer 11- and 14-day southern itineraries. Noordam also features 10- and 11-day southern Caribbean cruises ideal for guests looking for a longer vacation.

Are you ready to sink your toes into the warm golden sand?

Are you ready to sink your toes into the warm golden sand?

In addition to the 14-day Collectors’ Voyages, the itineraries can be combined to form a diverse range of options, including an 18-day southern and western cruise on Noordam, a 21-day southern and eastern option on Maasdam and a 25-day nonrepeating double-southern route on Maasdam.

New for 2015, Noordam, Eurodam and Ryndam have added more dates to their already-robust schedules, giving guests expanded options to choose from.

Grand Turk is known to have some of the clearest waters in the world.

Grand Turk is known to have some of the clearest waters in the world.

Roundtrip Tampa Itineraries
Ryndam spends the Caribbean season cruising roundtrip from Tampa on seven-day western and 14-day southern itineraries. The two options can be combined to form a 21-day western/southern Caribbean Collectors’ Voyage. The ship makes a maiden call at Banana Coast, Honduras, and also visits Puerto Rico, Antigua, St. Lucia, Aruba, Curaçao, Guatemala, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Key West, Fla.

Tampa itineraries visit ports in (from left) Aruba, Guatemala and Curacao.

Tampa itineraries visit ports in (from left) Aruba, Guatemala and Curacao.

Celebrate the Season with a Festive Holiday Cruise
For travelers who like to get away from the hustle, stress and chill of December, the holiday season is a special time onboard. A total of 15 holiday sailings will ply the warm waters of the Caribbean on itineraries ranging from seven to 25 days. Several non-repeating itineraries can be combined to form a grand Holiday Collectors’ Voyage.

Guests looking to explore the Caribbean on Prinsendam and Amsterdam during the holidays can embark on their only Caribbean sailings of the season. Prinsendam leaves Dec. 18 on a roundtrip Fort Lauderdale cruise to the southern Caribbean. The 16-day itinerary includes 10 ports and stretches from Half Moon Cay to Tobago. Departing Dec. 22, Amsterdam sails a roundtrip Fort Lauderdale cruise on a 14-day southern Caribbean cruise.

During the holiday cruises, guests can take part in a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, enjoy traditional holiday meals with all of the trimmings and indulge in a special Royal Dutch High Tea with fanciful holiday cookies and pastries. The ships’ international crew chorus performs a magical holiday show, while caroling and sing-alongs take place around the ship. Kids will delight in a visit from Santa Clause and holiday-themed crafts.

holiday

The New Year’s Eve sailings are the ideal setting to ring in a new year, featuring a festive holiday ball with a champagne toast. Prior to the ball, book a special evening at the Pinnacle Grill to celebrate all of the good things to come over a meal of caviar and filet mignon. You can pre-book your Pinnacle Grill dinner by clicking HERE.

So whether you’re looking to get away for the holidays, or just get away, the laid-back vibe, warm weather and beautiful beaches of the Caribbean are the ideal escape this winter.

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Have you taken a Caribbean cruise? What did you like best about the destination? Tell us in the comments below!

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