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Cruise Diary: ‘Settling In’ on Amsterdam

Freelance travel writer Georgina Cruz and her husband Humberto are currently sailing on Amsterdam’s 112-day Grand World Voyage and will be sending in cruise diaries throughout their time on board. She has logged 174 voyages to all seven continents and visited more than 100 countries. Enjoy!


Day 7 – Jan. 12, 2012

So we have been here a week already – only 15 more weeks to go! Part of the process of “settling in” on the ship as a home involves a routine. We have started one, not etched in stone, but as a guide. It includes, for example, having breakfast at the same table every morning in the Lido and then lunch at another table (but the same one each time in the Lido) every day during this cruise. But even if we did not have a routine, it is easy to feel at home on the Amsterdam because the Indonesian/Filipino crew is so friendly, always greeting you warmly in hallways and public rooms and often doing so by name.

Members of the staff and entertainers do so too, including pianist Debby Bacon, who uncannily seems to know everyone by name and waves at them in between piano notes as they enter, exit or cross the Piano Bar. We went for a walk around the public rooms today to take in the wonderful art collection of the Amsterdam. Some of our favorite pieces are in the Explorer’s Lounge including a large oil called “Ships in Front of 17th Century Amsterdam” by Peter J. Sterkenburg, and sculpted pieces in the style of the Yuang, Ming and Qing dynasties of China. Being surrounded by great art at sea is a pleasure.

The oil painting in the Explorer's Lounge.

Chinese-style sculptures in the Explorer's Lounge.

Chinese-style sculptures in the Explorer's Lounge.

After fajitas for lunch – which I brought to “our” Lido table from the poolside outdoor grill – and a watercolors class during which I painted a picture of one of the colorful small houses from Dominica, we attended an Explorations Speaker Series enrichment lecture on the Amazon by Tommie Lee Montgomery – we can’t wait to get to that river, the second largest in the world (after the Nile), tomorrow.

Then it was on to dinner and, instead of the show in the Queen’s Lounge, we opted for a movie, “Midnight in Paris,” which we really enjoyed. The Amsterdam has an actual cinema, the Wajang Theater, where they show movies (as opposed to showing them in a regular lounge) and they have free popcorn also! We spent some time at the Piano Bar and Debby Bacon played Humberto’s request, a fine rendition of “Color My World” with the flute along with a pre-recorded piano part for the melodious introduction, then also sang the lyrics. A lady next to Humberto remarked she did not know that song before and she thought it was beautiful.

1 Comment
  • Tom & Carol

    Hi, Georgina…
    I think it’s fascinating how you have so quickly established a routine with a specific breakfast and lunch dining tables. A novel good idea. Seems in this way you anchor yourself to an enjoyable pattern to begin each day. Also, you or hubby can find each other easily at meal times. That brings up a question…. how do you contact each other aboard ship if separated? Do you each carry a portable phone? Maybe ms Amsterdam rooms don’t have the 2 portable ‘wave-phones’, as Disney called them aboard “the Dream”. Keep up the fine diary accounts, and enjoy!
    T&C

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