Tag Archives: cabin

April 9-10 –Going home

Once at the CDG airport we were pretty tired. Our luggage had gone through to LAX so we only had our carry on’s and large purses, but that was plenty. Unwilling to search for the shuttle to the hotel we grabbed a cab. The travel agency said the Marriot was closest to the airport, but we passed several on the way, including a Sheraton which is actually attached to the airport. At least it was only a 20E ride and about 15 minutes. The Marriott was lovely with the softest beds and pillows, ever. When we checked in I realized my Visa card was gone, so I had Terry cancel it. I am pretty sure I left it in a machine at the Genoa Airport. We watched TV and caught the finale of Britain’s The Voice and then slept hard till morning.

We had coffee and caught the 8am bus for our 10:30 departure. The airport security was miles long and they decided my bag was too heavy. As Carolyn continued I had to go way back to turn in my bag. Good news, because it was a connecting flight there was no charge. Back at the first check point, they let me thru a shortcut and then I was on my way to find Carolyn. The lines were all moving so slow that I actually caught up to her. We boarded promptly and took off on time. Carolyn had bought some more gifts at the airport. On the plane, we were in the bulkhead with a man in the seat between us. Oh well, I am not sitting in the middle, so that’s the way it goes.

We had some ok food, chicken and cous cous and other stuff I ignored. I would really love a sweet right now, but have none.

My wonderful Bose ear buds ran out of charge and the noise on the plane seems so much more awful than normal, since I had a couple of hours of relative silence. I watched the Good Dinosaur, which I though was cute. It is a simple adventure story, no reason for the critics to be so harsh.

I ended up watching animated films all the way home. I did find ice cream bars when I walked around the planes kitchen. I got one each for me, Carolyn, and our seat partner. I also got coffee for all of us. Carolyn and I later spent some time in the kitchen stretching our legs and being entertained by a charming baby named Santiago.

Landing at LAX was quick but getting off the plane took a long time. Most people waited their turn, but some people shoved forward. We had to go thru customs, I was able to text Terry once before customs area blocked all cell use. The line was long but moved fairly quickly. It was interesting to see how the custom officers talked with some people a long time and just gave a quick nod to others. There was a large high school group on our plan and lots of overexcited parents waiting for them. The parents behaved as if the kids were being released from a kidnapping situation, lol. We finally got through and found all of our suitcases. Terry was waiting for us outside, he went to get the car while we waited curbside. The place was packed and it was frustrating for Terry to get to us. LAX is just too big and too messy.

We dropped Carolyn off and when we got home I managed to stay awake until 5:30, then I was out until morning.

All in all, a good trip, interesting sights cool souvenirs.

Our Trip Begins

March 25: On our way

Terry drove us to the airport. We picked up Carolyn at 6pm. We had a brief visit with Carl and then were on our way. We were able to car pool on the way over and then Terry luckily had no traffic on the way home. Terry wanted to park and help us with our luggage, but that proved impossible. So we just stopped in the Bradley lot and got a luggage cart and said our goodbyes.

We looked into a seat change at the airport but nothing better was available. We had already paid $32 to switch to a row with only 2 seats, so that’s what we kept.

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At Bradley Intl.

In the terminal we quickly went through security, though Carolyn had her luggage searched. Back in our shoes we had coffee and I had a cookie while we chatted and waited. There was a wonderful art installation in sight and it was so fun to watch. It was a series of posts with screens on them and each country that used the airport had a few minutes of decoration on the screens. My favorite was the one from Santiago, it was the neck and a bit of the body of a guitar and the strings vibrated each time a note played.

At about 9:15 we went to our gate, visited the ladies room a few times and watched a huge growing line of passengers standing, but for no apparent reason. Finally I checked at the desk, and we did need to line up, but in a much less crowded section. In less than 5 minutes we boarded.

We sat in seats 44K and when I got there a lady was there. I told her it was my seat, she said she was using it to find stuff for her little girl, and nicely asked if I would wait. I did. When she finally moved. We stowed our luggage and I sat by the window. Carolyn got the aisle seat and had an entire seats worth of room next to her. Having only 2 seats is great.

We both took something to help us sleep and then played around with the various movies and other things available on our seat screens when, to our amazement, they served us dinner at midnight local time. Carolyn had chicken with rice, she got the last one. I got pasta in lobster sauce which I did not eat. There was also a grain salad of some sort that was good. The bread was good and the applesauce was tolerable. I ignored the brownie, bleh.

After they cleared all the dishes, they dimmed the lights and we went to sleep, sort of. Carolyn slept fairly well, I am not sure if I slept or not. I felt like I was awake the entire time, but it’s hard to tell.

We both got up at about 5:30am California time. We went to freshen up a bit and I got suddenly so cold I was shaking. The steward (our section has all men) gave me some coffee and worriedly checked the temp, but I told him I was ok, just reacting to being tired.

Back at our seats we sipped coffee and tried to play solitare on the screen, but it required more button pushing that either of us could stand, so we gave up. Carolyn played a game on her ipad for a while and I am typing.

We had breakfast on the plane, some sort of egg sandwich, but there were mushrooms in the same container, I did not eat them. The orange juice was yummy and the coffee was decent.

Once on the ground we got off the plane fairly quickly. The lady in the row in front of us was searching for a lost ring, so she was still there when we left.

Our luggage is going to Genoa without us, but even so, security made me throw my water away, even though I had to have been through security to get to where the next one was. Oh well.

We took a shuttle a long way to terminal 2-G and are not waiting for our 90 min. flight to Genova on HOP Regional. Once there a driver will pick us up (we hope) and take us to the hotel.

We are tired, but happy and excited.

Carolyn says she is very tired but it is well worth it.

Sunday off the ms Amsterdam and in Seattle July 5

We woke up about 7 to the sound of being at dock. Our luggage was gone, as expected. We both cleaned up and got dressed. At the Lido buffet we got juice, coffee and dry cereal. We brought it back to our room. We felt relaxed, and finally left the room about 8:30 and sat in the library until they called us. We were Yellow 1. The line to get off the ship was very long and only got longer while we waited. Once off the ship it was surprising simple. The luggage was neatly gathered by color and we found our easily. They had spread out the disembarkation very well and there were not big crowds. Once through customs we discussed our next move. There was a place we could leave the suitcases, but the temperature was headed for 95 and we were only on foot. We decided to use Uber and had a pleasant, chatty ride to the Holiday Inn. Breakfast was still going on when we arrived. We had to wait a couple of hours for our room, but the lobby was big and comfortable and we were able to use wi fi.

I was able to get our boarding passes, both “A”s and finally we got a room. Terry is very happy to have a room with wi fi and normal TV. We walked across the street to a festival near Angle Lake. It was a tiny fair with one food booth. And it was hot and there was trash everywhere. So, back to the hotel, and we have ordered a pizza to be delivered from a local pizza place called Pizza Time. Hopefully it will be good, but even mall pizza is better than what they had on the ship.

Our plane leaves tomorrow at 12:25 and we are looking forward to seeing friends, Otis and home.

Are there any cruises in the future? Yes for me, but no for Terry. I will travel with an enthusiastic friend, and Terry will be happy in the garage with his scooters. And, you know, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Friday on ms Amsterdam July 3

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We woke up early and excited. Zip lineing, hooray and OH MY!!!
I wore my fleece lined leggings and a book t shirt and a book sweatshirt, and carried a jacket, but it was an extremely warm day and the sweatshirt proved enough. We did not have breakfast, we had to get up at 6:30 and be on the dock at 7:20.
Our driver of the Grayline bus that picked us up was a nice girl named Kat. She chatted with us, and the two brothers from our ship, who were also going. She stopped at another cruise line and picked up about 12 people who were going on a rainforest hike. When we reached the base camp for zip lining she let us off and continued on her way. Then, we were driven in a big four wheeler called a Unimog to the place where we got all hooked into our gear. Our guides, Taylor and Jeff were great. Young men, they were funny and casual but obviously very professional. I was nervous and they made me feel safe, I could tell they knew what they were doing. We left all our stuff, jackets, purse, etc in a big box and watched a tiny safety film, which was pretty useless.

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We put on red helmets and gloves that are big and silly and they guys began helping us into our harness. As we left the little building we walked out to a small platform and our first line.

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Before we started and often after that, they guys tugged on our gear and checked all the attachments. Tylor explained and demonstrated a little, how to zip line and then it was our turn. The brothers went first and then me. Tylor was at the next platform and Jeff hooked my sling to the cable and told me I could go. I thought about it for a brief moment and then stepped off.

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Wow, it was great. The gear completely holds you so you do not need to use any strength to zip line. As directed, I held my little handels, leaned way back and crossed my ankles. As I neared Tylor he called out to break. I lay one hand on the cable above me and that slowed me down. We had been warned not to grip it. Just as me feet were at the platform Tylor reached out and tugged me in. It was like flying, like going up on a swing when you’re a kid and feeling sure that you can touch the clouds.
Tylor and Jeff always seemed to know whose clip was whose and gave us turns to be first. After we had zipped a few times, we went on the longest one, almost 800 feet. I would have been happy if it had been twice that long!
On one of the platforms, Jeff, the comedian, shouted “oh no, wait” to one of the brothers just as he took off. Not being the victims of this prank we laughed at his horrified face. But he laughed also. I sternly warned Jeff that jokes were not to be played on me.
Next we walked across a suspension bridge. It was more like a narrow wooden curb than a bridge. We were hooked on but about halfway across we all stopped and enjoyed the scenery. We had such beautiful sunny weather, we saw several eagles but no bear. We chatted and joked on the bridge and then finished the walk. The last part was very up hill, I got to a place where there were no knots in the rope and I was almost stuck, I had nothing to keep from sliding back. Finally I got a good grip on the rope rail and pulled hard and got across. There was a second smaller bridge and though I was hooked on and holding the rail ropes, I still slid on the slightly down hill part, I shouted that I was ice skating!
Then we came to the last platform. I was sad, we had been having such a very good time. It was too soon, I wanted to zip all day!

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There was photographers along the way and the last one took some group shots. Once we got out of all our gear we went into the little store for some salmon on crackers, cookies and coffee. Terry bought a water for us. I bought 4 photos, one of each of us, and one group shot and one from the suspension bridge. They were very pricey but had to have them.
We looked at the small blacksmiths shop and visited Sitka, a beautiful bald eagle who lives there. She was hit by a car when she was a year old and lost a back talon and injured her wing. She is not able to go back and has lived there a long time. She is huge, 13 pounds, and very majestic.

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Our van arrived to take us back to town. We chatted about our adventure and the driver pointed out interesting sights. Back in town our plan was to wander around and see the sights. We only had about 2 hours until our ship was leaving. Suddenly we realized Terry did not have his messanger bag. We did a quick cabin check and then panicked a bit. A nice crossing guard (live signals) gave us the number for a cab and we were soon on our way back. The driver was a nice guy and chatted with us about fishing and his life in Alaska. When we got to the store, he waited while we jumped out, Terry ran to his last spot and I went in the store where they were just looking at the bag and trying to decide what to do. Whew! It was a $70 mistake, but that’s life. Back in town, our time was very short, so we walked a tiny bit and then used the rest of the time to take advantage of having some internet.

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I had some lunch while Terry finished loading pictures to our laptop and ipads. I had chicken and mashed potatoes again, safe and easy, tastes best to me. They were having a beerfest on the pool deck and though I skipped the beer, I did take some of the bratwurst to Terry. Along with 2 very large pretzel breads. For dessert, Angie scooped strawberry and chocolate with nuts and chocolate syrup for me.
I was able to make 6:30 dinner reservations for tonight at the Pinacle Grill. Hopefully the food will be better, since it is $29 apiece but anything will beat ship food.
We went to the Pinacle Grill with high hopes. We were seated in a nice booth, and the hostess laid a jacket across on of our chairs to imply Terry had a jacket, pretty funny. We were served an appetizer that was escargot in a cream sauce, it was wonderful and we had a good feeling. I ordered a baked potato and a medium rare, bone in rib eye. Terry got the same and we also ordered grilled asparagus. For starters Terry had crabcakes and I had lobster bisque. The potato was good of course, and I though my steak was delicious. I did not care for the asparagus or the soup, but Terry found them to be ok. He though his steak was too fatty. I only wished I had smuggled in a baggy, because I must have left over half my steak and they wouldn’t wrap it to go. I had coffee and sherbet for dessert and Terry had fresh berries. The best part of dinner was how peaceful it was in the restaurant instead of the chaos of the Lido deck.

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After dinner I went to the lounge to watch another singing/dancing show and Terry headed for the room. He had to take his key to the front desk because it stopped opening the door, but they fixed it. When the show was over I went back to the cabin and we spent the rest of the evening watching movies. It was very relaxing.
I filled out the breakfast order form and hopefully the food will be decent.
I have been doing most of my writing in the ships library, it is fairly peaceful here and the table / chair height ratio is perfect for me.
Tomorrow we will get to Victoria about 6pm. A long ride ahead of us.

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Tuesday on the ms Amsterdam June 30

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We went to see a show last night. There was dancing and singing. The young performers were hard working and talented enough for the 35 minute show.

We had a surprise when we returned to our room!

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Slept in and woke up rested ready for another day. We had breakfast on the lido deck and eventually made our way to the upper rear deck where we grabbed some chairs to enjoy our progress thru the Tracy Arm. I am excited to see a fiord in person. We have seen several small whales and Terry go a good tail picture.

The food is turning out to be mediocre, but I don’t care and Terry is managing.

We saw a boat pull up to our ship and a man got on our ship from it. He is the pilot from the National Forrest service to guide us thru the fiord and make sure we don’t bother the wildlife.

 

Barbara, the ship guide, began a talk about the fiord and will point out interesting sights and explaining what we are seeing. We had comfortable seats for viewing.

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And we saw several whales!

 

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Terry spotted a tiny iceberg, our first!

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And then icebergs were everywhere and one was so dark blue it did not seem real. It was a very rare type, even the crew were excited to see it.

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We saw seals resting on the icebergs.

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We finally reached the end of the Tracy Arm and right in front of us was a huge glacier. The ship stayed still for a long while so we could get all the pictures we wanted.

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I wrote some Haikus as we moved through the Tracy Arm.

I am a glacier

Slowly reaching toward the sea

The past behind me

 

 

I finally broke free

I am iceberg on my own

Melting now goodbye.

 

See me blue like sky

See me white like a snowcone

See me drift along

 

At 3pm they will serve split pea soup, they say it’s a HAL (Holland America Line) tradition. We are outside on deck 3 now watching as we go through the Tracy Arm. The scenery is breathtaking. They brought us bowls of split pea soup and it was actually the best food we’ve had so far.

Once the Tracy Arm was completed we had some dinner and then went to the comedy show in the Queen’s Lounge. It was funny when the woman, Maria, did her own material, but when she tried to do ship jokes and clean up her act for the kids in the audience, then not so funny.

We went to bed early because we had an early wake up for our helicopter flight and glacier walk in Juneau. Today was a much better day for both of us. I do not think the sea days are our thing, on the River cruises you get off the ship pretty much every single day and that makes time zoom by. An at sea day is slow.

Monday on the ms Amsterdam June 29

 

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We both had trouble falling asleep but not much waking up. I got up at 6:30, wrapped in a blanket and coat, I sat on the balcony for a while, it was great!

We both were up about 8:30. I went up for breakfast and had cereal and a grapefruit. Terry was not ready to eat.

We have made a discovery, we are looking forward to our off shore time, but find the ship rather confining. There is a lot of children swimming in both pools and the jacuzzis, bleh,  and even more drinking. People seem to start very early, I saw a lady having a martini with her breakfast! And there are so many “commercials” for things to buy on and off ship. We were not expecting that at all. I went to the shopping seminar and gosh, it was such a long commercial about diamonds, blah, blah, blah.

Since we are not swimming, not drinking and not getting internet, we are sort of wandering. We like our room and balcony very much, our room is narrow but otherwise spacious. There is so much closet space, and so many drawers that storage is not a problem at all.

I had lunch and sat with a nice couple, Kristen and Bryan. Terry joined us later. I had chicken and some fruit. Even though I feel ok, my stomach is a little uneasy, so I am eating gentle food. It could be the boat, but it is more likely just my fussy stomach.

We have met some nice people, including some from near us in Mission Veijo, but the majority of people are in their own groups. Everyone is happy and smiling and that is lovely.

Tonight there is a show in the main theatre at both 8 and 10. We plan to go to the 8:00 show. The captain gave a champagne toast to the passengers and the cruise.

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We are both glad that we did not take a specific meal time. We have enjoyed the Lido Buffet and the Dive Bar and there is ice cream! We have found the buffet to be tasty enough for us, and that is really all we ask.

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Right now we are watching a movie in the room, McFarland USA and Terry is eating Rocky Road and cookies.

The sunsets are amazing!

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I must admit that in spite of earlier bragging about knowing the ship, I keep getting sort of lost. I am always on the correct floor, I have that down, but I wander a lot looking for the exact room I want. Well, I am getting exercise for sure.

Sunday on the ms Amsterdam June 28

Everyday the mat in the elevators is changed, and that really helps!

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Still at the hotel, we slept in a bit today. Our shower was weak but the towels were huge. Once dressed we got a Starbucks  for me and then went to Safeway for some good face SPF. Terry also bought two bags of rainier cherries, our favorite!

I called the cruise line to double check boarding time and found we could board much earlier than expected. We took Uber to the pier where our driver patiently wove through the chaos to locate the correct location. We left our luggage with a porter, our ms Amsterdam tags prominently displayed. We entered the building and filled out a brief health form. Then showed proof  that we had our passports. Next we put our carry on’s thru the xray.  Finally we checked all the way in and got our room key, letter B for boarding and 08 for our lifeboat number. Then we waited and chatted with other passengers. Terry paced impatiently. We watched them set up the “as you board” photo booth. At 11:25 they began the A group. There is a security guard walking about with a big dog. It’s kind of like the airport before 9/11, with a few additional safeguards.

Once on the ship, the wait was really brief, we began to explore right away. I had spent time learning the different decks, so I was a fair guide. We got to visit the “teen and kids area only” because there was no one there. The ship seemed deserted except for spots with food, those were crowded. After we saw the entire ship we went to the Lido Buffet to eat. Terry had meatloaf and mac&cheese while I had a drumstick and some cheese. We nabbed a sandwich and some more cheese for our room.

Did I mention the wonderful library?    IMG_0019

 

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We went to our room and it was great. So much closet space, huge bathroom storage and two nice beds, a little living room and our balcony. We are spoiled for sure.

Here are a wide variety of ship photos, some of which feature me and Terry!

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Deck 3. A mile is 3 1/2 times aroundIMG_0043

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The atriumIMG_0002

This is where we checked in, still on shoreIMG_0001 IMG_0025