The below was entered into Holland America Line’s trans-Atlantic essay contest. For details on how to enter, click HERE.
The following account is a transatlantic crossing on March 14, 2009, aboard the Holland America Line ms Oosterdam from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. to Rome, Italy.
Smile, yes I am smiling while I write this. My wife and I just finished talking about our trip from Fort Lauderdale to Rome on March 14th, 2009, it was a trip of a life time and a return of an Italian descendent. A young girl who at fourteen years of age was scared out of her mind travelling to a new country to marry someone she didn’t even know. My wife often talked about her grandmother on our trip, and at about two thousand miles from the United States the water was smooth as glass. We were on the stern of the ship with the sun going down and there was a smile on my wife’s face, she was so happy to finally in her early sixty’s to be doing what she always dreamed to do. You see not just for her grandmother and to visit her homeland, but also to experience the sea, for her father was in the Merchant Marine during the second World War and often spoke of the beauty of the sea on calm nights with the wind in your face and the smell of life in your lungs as you remember your love ones.
The professional people working on the Oosterdam were of the highest quality, they made our trip perfect in every way, from the cabin steward to the dining room, the entertainment, the updates from the Captain, everything left a smile on our faces. Especially when we returned to the ship from our first stop, the greetings from the crew was a real welcome home. Sitting down to dinner the waiters and bus boys both asked how our day was ashore and you knew they cared by the way they respond to my comments. I can’t say enough about the food, the word great is just not enough to express our pleasure. I do miss the bread pudding.
Thank you for a great experience and the smile on our faces as we as we write this. My wife is touching the whale tail necklace she bought on our first trip on your ship the Zaandam to Alaska, and that is another story and smile. We only wish we had the money to travel more on your ships, they are the greatest. Thank you again for the memories and the smiles.
Submitted by Lorraine & Jesse