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Cruise Diary: Recreating the Big Easy on Sea

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


Believe it or not, it is possible to recreate a Mardi Gras bash on the wrong ocean, that is, if you are willing to put the time, money and effort to build a riverboat in the middle of the vessel, fly in oysters, beer, performers and “throws” that are authentically from New Orleans.

Did you know that “parade” is an active verb? Not something you sit on your hands and watch. These guests really got into the spirit, grabbing for “throws” and checkin’ out the King and his court. It lasted four and a half hours. I had the chance to tease Henk, the hotel manager, by asking if there was any food with a deadpan expression. You see, I couldn’t see over our table since it looked like a bottle redemption center.

HAL flew in Miss Smith who got her start with Kermit Ruffin. The band was so good that they gave us a lecture about the development of jazz in NOLA this morning. Looking forward to their performance tomorrow but it won’t be through the Abita brand Purple Haze.


Thanks for all the creative effort and execution.

So you think I can’t top the Mardi Gras bash story?

Well, just remember that all Amsterdam class HAL ships have a Veranda Deck forward area under the bridge that is the best place to watch the starlight. I just saw three shooting stars and a satellite and am on the way back for more. The Milky Way is dazzling. If you get the chance to be on a vessel for long enough to reach a point far from the atmospheric effects of land and instead reach a calm sea and fair night, you will have given yourself the gift of a memory of a lifetime.

It’s been fun to share this with you all. See you aboard in Alaska next year?

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