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Cruise Diary: Personal Favorite Grand Voyage Amenity

Dutch TV host and adventure seeker Charlotte Squarcy is on board for segment of Amsterdam’s Grand World Voyage, and she is chronicling her journey. Enjoy!

Calista and Eddy.

I guess it’s just the Dutch blood in me. After all, we are at sea crossing a huge swath of the globe and I like having a bit of garden around me.

Having the pleasure of viewing the arrangements by Calista and Eddy around the ship has enhanced my personal enjoyment of the voyage. They have a substantial budget from HAL to spend on their classical and more modern asymmetrical arrangements. Not to mention the 500 or so small vases they tend to on all the room-service trays, dining tables, spa shower rooms, etc. Just about everywhere you turn there is a spot of living color.

Eddy and Calista.

Flower arrangements.

Guests have hoped for a book of technique and recording of some of the fantastically creative pieces, because they really are works of art. If HAL can produce one for folding towels into animals (which is funny and cute each night too) then this is a clear winner.

I had the opportunity to “go below” and see the raw intake of flowers not only arriving from all over the world, but the fresh and local specialties from Easter Island and Tahiti. Imagine what a cool job to be able to take your professional skills and apply them to new varieties as you travel the globe!

Eddy and Calista.

Market in Tahiti.

Market in Tahiti.

Market in Tahiti.

Interestingly, they were ready to work with the new offerings by having some thematic raw material at their disposal to enhance the creative process. By that I mean that when we were in the Antarctic, all the large bouquets were in white; as we approached the tropics, tapa cloth strips were used to bind the flowers (not only decorative but also a functional use for structure); and in South America cattle horns were used in many ways. Now, as we travel the Equatorial zone, we will begin to see a foundation of pandanas leaves – very, very illuminating. It’s like having a curator explain a painting; there is so much more to see if someone trains your eye.

Flower arrangement.

Flower arrangement.

Unfortunately, I leave the ship in Sydney so I won’t see the use of hats in Vietnam, bamboo sticks in China, or peacock feathers used in India.

So readers, what should I stow away?!

3 Comments
  • Tom & Carol

    Charlotte….
    Possibly stow away a promise to yourself to return to Sydney soon to continue your world illumination adventure.
    We have enjoyed your posts.
    So, what cherished thoughts might you have as your depart the ms Amsterdam?
    We are curious roughly how much does one budget (in addition to the basic advertised stateroom costs) for the fun, frolic, and adventure enjoyed over 34 days? Will the amount you share represent the average, typeically. Very curious.
    T&C

  • charlotte squarcy

    hi i am just home and only reading these posts forthe first time my self i will have a few more post posts i believe but i will not fail to answer you—i would like to keep a dialogue going about the kind of questions you may have but i literally walked into the house last night after taking a week to visit on the west coast before returning East—thanks for your remarks and give me a week

  • charlotte squarcy

    OK so it’s more than a week – but in reply to your pricing question a good travel agent will know you better
    It depends how much you drink,gamble,take excursions and enjoy the spa.
    Becausethere was smoking in the casino I didn’t bet a dime…I don’t go that far out to sea to breathe second hand smoke and HAL understands and is phasing out more and more of the ship to no smoking…(Now no smoking in cabins so you don’t share the nearby air with a smoker)
    thee are so many beverage packages and indulgence options on the HAL website you could make a plan and budget yourself.
    As for the spa thee are a number of specials that you could take advantage of…
    the biggest point is that if you are on a Grand Voyage you may havethe opportunity to purchase a really unique excursion, as I did taking a small plane up into the andes to visit the best national park in South America. Yes it was over $1,000, but I am not going to go back to Chile again and take an entire vacation there when I can see the best of the best in one day…so it all depends what you want from the journey
    I ,for one, lovethe ships and look for sea days. there are so many complimentary games,demonstrations,movies, ,usical performances of all types that you could get onboard, drink the processed seawater and never spend a dime and have a wonderful time!
    I MUST add to that , hoever, that the suggested tipping that is the daily hotel charge on the bill is really the minimum to tip for all of the service that surrounds you constantly. So you must budget for that and the daily hotel chage deduction is a fine way to handle that. it also takes are of those who work so hard for you that you never meet.

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