A visit with the hotel manager of the Nieuw Amsterdam

Marcia Levin is currently sailing on Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam. Marco Van Belleghem is hotel manager on the Nieuw Amsterdam. The 39-year-old Dutch native has been with Holland America since 1995 and begain his training on the Maasdam in Information Services and has worked as assistant comptroller and comptroller. He is currently one of three hotel managers rotating between Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam and is fortunate to have his wife and their four-year-old son traveling with him. …

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There are programs for everyone, all day long, on the Nieuw Amsterdam

Marcia Levin is currently sailing on Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam. I didn’t blog yesterday. Instead of sitting here in my cabin at my trusty laptop, I took an early water aerobics class, then sat in on a cooking class where passengers learned to make flowers out of a watermelon, and finally took a five-hour tour to El Yunque rain forest in Puerto Rico which I enjoyed tremendously. Today the ship is in St. Martin and before I …

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Educational offerings on board please many cruise passengers

Marcia Levin is currently sailing on HAL’s Nieuw Amsterdam Not every cruise passenger wants to zip through the air, box, bowl or zoom through a tube on top of rushing water. Some of us may enjoy watching our friends and relatives take part in any or all of the above, but me? I prefer things like lectures, seminars and how-to classes while I am on a ship. Over the years I’ve heard lectures on financial matters, politicos …

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First impressions of the Nieuw Amsterdam: Classy and calm

  Marcia is currently sailing on Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam First impressions are important. Whether it is of a new boss, a man who asks you out on a date, a doctor your friend has recommended, or a new vacation destination. Walking aboard Holland America’s beauiful new Nieuw Amsterdam is a case in point. Decorated almost entirely in lovely warm shades of brown, taupe or beige, Nieuw Amsterdam – the fourth ship in the line to bear …

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Hurtigruten: Cold climes, ice floes, fjords and the like have a weird attraction

I guess I’ve lived in sunny South Florida so long that the idea of cold climes, ice floes, fjords and the like have a weird attraction for me. It is a kind of siren song attracting me to parts of the world where the sun is a stranger, but where a different kind of natural beauty exists. Okay, I’m not moving to Alaska or Iceland any time soon, but I do love the look – the change …

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Falmouth Harbor in Jamaica: A new port in an old city

Jamaica has always been one of my favorite places in the Caribbean. The thought of Jamaica’s beautiful white sand beaches, wonderful laidback lifestyle and the lilting sound of steel drums prompt great memories and make me smile. When I first heard about Royal Caribbean teaming with the government of Jamaica to build a new port at Falmouth I was delighted. It’s a new way to see a lovely island and get a feel for the history of …

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RCL debuts two short films aboard Allure of the Seas

Royal Caribbean debuted two short films on Sunday afternoon aboard Allure of the Seas in Port Everglades, Fla. The film, ROYAL REUNION, directed by and starring James Brolin is a charming tale of family life culminating in a 40th anniversary celebration at sea. The other is a delightful comedy called THE ALLURE OF LOVE directed by and starring Jenny McCarthy. Both films feature wonderfully telegenic actors from television and film. A major co-star is the amazing Allure …

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Travel writers learn to be at home wherever they are

I am delighted to be blogging at AllThingsCruise.com alongside such distinguished writers and longtime friends as Cynthia Boal Janssens and David Molyneaux, whose work I have always respected. I have a degree in journalism from the University of Miami, where I also did my graduate work, and have lived in South Florida since I was a teenager. I have had a front row seat for the growth of the cruise industry at Port Everglades and Port of …

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