Travel Journalist and co-creator of CruiseReport.com Chris Dikman recently sailed on Nieuw Amsterdam and sent us several cruise diaries from his voyage.
Things were looking promising this morning as we sailed into Grand Turk. However, mother nature was not our friend, yet again. The Captain’s voice came over the PA around 8:45 a.m., telling us that the seas were just to rough to risk docking the ship at Grand Turk. The rough seas combined with 30-knot wind made tendering unsafe. Oh well, these things do happen from time to time. The good news is we are on Nieuw Amsterdam where there is no shortage of activities, and a crew that can quickly adapt the daily schedule to keep everyone entertained.
This morning I grabbed my camera gear and started taking photos and video of some of the various interior spaces on the ship. I have been unable to get any exterior shots due to the heavy cloud cover. Maybe tomorrow. As I walked around the ship shooting photos I became even more aware of how much effort the crew has gone to in regards to Christmas decorations. There are Poinsettias everywhere! In the lobby areas there are large Gingerbread houses and decorated Christmas trees throughout the ship. If you were not in the Christmas spirit when you boarded the ship, you certainly will be by the time you disembark!
Rickee decided to sleep later than usual today so I worked on my notes for the review while she slept. By the time she got up and ready is was almost time for lunch. Once she was ready, we decided to give the Terrace Grill a try for lunch today. Located poolside on Deck 9, the Terrace Grill offers burgers, hot dogs and fries. As with any day “at sea,” the pool area was crowded, yet we had no problem finding a table. We ordered a couple of Cokes to accompany my lamb burger and Rickee’s hot dog. Note to HAL, Rickee says you should offer pickle relish at Terrace Grill to go with the hot dogs.
After lunch we decided to attend a lecture in the Showroom at Sea (Theater) on Deck 2 by Ian, the ship’s Travel Guide. Today’s lecture was “Conquest of the Vikings” and was an interesting talk about the history of the Nordic conquerors complete with slide show presentation.
This evening we opted for dinner in the Lido. We tried to get reservations in Canaletto, the alternative Italian-theme restaurant, but it was completely booked. We were able to make reservations for later in the week, so the lesson here is to make your dinner reservations as soon as you board the ship! Better yet, book them in advance through the Holland America website.
After dinner, we sat outside at the Seaview Pool and just enjoyed the Caribbean weather. I should also mention that tables are set with tableware outside for Lido diners wanting to dine “al fresco.”
Tonight’s feature show is titled “Cantaré” and features the vocal talents of four male singers who go by the same name. The show focuses strictly on vocal talent, there is no dancing, flashy costumes and minimal stage effects. And, quite frankly, this show did not need it. The vocals were more than enough. With a variety of songs ranging from rock and roll to soul to opera, Cantaré delivered the goods. This show was considerably better than the previous night’s presentation, in part due to the live orchestra music provided by the HALCats. The Adagio Strings (classic quartet) even got in on the action. This was an excellent show by any standard and the standing ovations a the end would indicate that everyone in attendance agrees.