Captain’s Log: Back in the Caribbean

Captain’s Log: Back in the Caribbean

Our second Caribbean cruise has just started, this time on a slightly different itinerary, I’m pleased to say. Sometimes one finds oneself on ships which repeat the same itinerary every week and alternating is a far better option, providing the Officers and Crew some variation in their routine.

On this particular cruise, we go to Grand Cayman and Mexico apart from Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk and as I write, we are anchored at HMC, it’s ‘partly cloudy’ day, periods of sunshine interspersed with some cloud. The weather seems to have improved too, last week was quite windy and we experienced some large Atlantic swells, the aftermath of ‘Thomas’ and a storm off the east coast far north. As we left Half Moon Cay last Friday, we experienced one of the largest swells I have seen for some time, a 20 feet high, long northerly swell as sailed past Eleuthra Island and we pitched quite considerably; thankfully, once we turned into the lee of the Great Abaco, we began to lose it. This morning as we sailed south towards HMC, it had reduced considerably ‘only 12 feet now.

I was looking this morning at an electronic shipping newsletter, which covers most aspects of worldwide ‘happenings’. One of the articles was a photograph, the “Allure of the Seas” arriving in Fort Lauderdale last Friday, surrounded by tugboats and pleasure craft, water-sprays everywhere. I was saddened to see it and asked myself the question why did our lovely new ship not receive the same treatment? I know we arrived at 1 a.m. on our first call, but hey, we came in on schedule this week, didn’t we? We had the flashing blue lights of our Coast Guard and Police escorts, however they are there for a purpose, our safety, but as far as a welcome was concerned? Not a peep. Must have something to do with the bigger you are, the more attention you receive…

On a lighter note, this week should bring the news that I’m a granddad. Samantha, my eldest, has been married to Antony (Ant) for several years and she is ‘laden with child’ :) their first, sometime around now is the day, so Dad is eagerly watching his email. Sam and Ant chose not to know whether ‘it’ is a boy or girl, however the betting is odds-on favourite for a boy.

Last week, I received the most beautiful gift from our Centurion (top sales) group and our corporate personnel that sailed with them. We have some of the most glorious paintings of our ships, past and present, around the Nieuw Amsterdam. They are painted by Steven Card and one can see them on any HAL ship, each one being unique. Of the many on here, there has been one that always catches my attention, it is a stunning painting of the Nieuw Amsterdam, departing Venice at twilight and passing the Punta della Dogana in the Canale della Guidecca. To my delight, I and the Hotel Manager, Mark, were presented with a copy. You know by now how much I adore Venice and to have this painting, of my ship, in my favourite city, hanging on a wall at home, is more than I could have asked for.

Captain Jonathan


Join the Discussion


  1. Kate Ruvolo November 17, 2010 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Another nice update Captain! I was wondering if you had received any Maiden Calls in Ft. Lauderdale and your notice of the Allure was interesting. We sailed with you last week and our dock porter told us that Al Pachino was on the Allure filming a movie. Guess you need to be a movie star to get all the bells and whistles.

  2. Captain Jonathan November 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Coincidence you should mention that Kate. I have digataries coming on board this Sunday for our maiden call ceremony! Now, if Catherine Zeta Jones were do come and do a movie too………. :-)

  3. Margaret Brokaw December 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Captain, Love reading about the ship, as my daughter and I will be on board Jan.16th to see her. Will you still be the captain, if not who will be? I am approaching 1000 days with H.A.L and sailed on every ship except her.
    Thanks, Margaret Brokaw

  4. Suzanne December 18, 2010 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Hello Captain, I will be sailing on the Nieuw Amsterdam February 6th my first with HAL and only second cruise..I have so enjoyed this blog and appreciate all the people it must take behind the scenes to not only keep us informed, with this blog, but entertained along the way..I feel from reading this blog I know every nook and cranny of this beautiful ship, but I also know that the minute I step aboard I will be in awe of all the stunning artwork..I am so looking forward to taking that tour.

    Your time in the Caribbean so far seems to have had it’s challenges weather wise, I hope we will have smoother sailing in February..I am enjoying your contributions to this blog. Thank You for taking the time..

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