Cruising in the Far East with RCI & HAL: Shanghaied Again

ABOARD QUANTUM of the SEAS — Early this morning the Quantum cruised into the mouth of China’s Yangtze River and then turned left on to the Huangpu River.  After docking again at Shanghai’s Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal we had a late leisurely breakfast and waited to disembark after other passengers, as we can’t board the Westerdam until 11AM.  The Westerdam just happens to be conveniently docked bumper-to-bumper in front of the Quantum.  Nevertheless, clearing Chinese immigration in …

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Holland America Line New Years Cruise: Welcoming the New Year on HAL’s MS Westerdam

ABOARD MS WESTERDAM – Even as a teenager, New Year’s Eve has always been difficult for me to deal with. When I was with Pan Am I always made sure that I was flying that night so that I wouldn’t feel the transition from one year to the next. Since then, I’ve made it a point of hunkering down and staying home to avoid the “event.” So, this year when I had the opportunity to sail on …

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Holland America Line New Years Cruise: Touring Old San Juan

ABOARD MS WESTERDAM – Gliding into port in San Juan, Puerto Rico is like entering another world. On one hand, there’s the old fort – officially known as Castillo San Felipe del Morro – constructed in honor of Spain’s Phillip II to guard the entrance to San Juan Bay in the 16th century – and on the other, large modern buildings testifying to modern-day San Juan. I used to spend a lot of time here when I …

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Holland America Line New Years Cruise: Kicking Back in Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

ABOARD MS WESTERDAM – There’s one sure way to stake a claim to beach umbrellas and securing a nice swath of soft sandy beach before some 2,000 passengers descend on the beach, and that’s to send a couple of scouts ahead. That’s exactly what we did when we woke up to our day in paradise in Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos. While a host of excursions were offered including snorkel trips, ATV adventures, kayaking tours and even …

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Holland America Line New Years Cruise: The Call of the Sea

ONBOARD MS WESTERDAM – There’s something about the sea that’s always called to me and has soothed whatever ails me throughout my life. As a child growing up in Rio, the ocean was part of our daily ritual and I guess it’s something I’ve carried with me always. Today is our first day at sea and I’m happy to leave the stress of December behind and indulge in some much needed TLC, courtesy of Holland America. I’m …

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Setting sail for the New Year on board Holland America’s Westerdam

ABOARD MS WESTERDAM – After a thankfully uneventful flight from Hartford to Ft. Lauderdale, my blended family of 10 enjoyed a painless embarkation onto Holland America’s MS Westerdam. As we joined some 2,000 other passengers in the Port of Ft. Lauderdale terminal to show our documents etc, there was a fellow passenger who somehow had left his passport – needed for embarkation – in his suitcase. It was painful to watch the horror on his face as …

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Kicking Off the New Year On Board Holland America’s Westerdam

It’s not often that you get to bid farewell to an old year, and kick off the new on board a luxurious ship in the balmy Caribbean. I’m lucky enough to be doing that this year with my family so with such an auspicious start, I’m programming a wonderful year ahead. I’m counting my blessings as I pack for my upcoming voyage on Holland America’s Westerdam. We’ll be boarding in Ft. Lauderdale on December 26 for a …

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Holland America Line hosts Catholic Seafarers’ Center luncheon aboard the ms Westerdam in Seattle

Holland America Line hosted a “Home from the Sea” fundraiser luncheon for the Catholic Seafarers’ Center aboard ms Westerdam Saturday, June 1, 2013, at the Port of Seattle. The event was attended by the Most Reverend J. Peter Sartain, Archbishop of Seattle, along with Holland America Line President and CEO Stein Kruse and Father Tony Haycock. Before the luncheon, attendees gathered for an award ceremony where Catholic Seafarers’ Center representatives honored several community leaders. In addition, a …

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