August 25-September 10, 2000
Journey to the Northern Isles
Mary Ann Rizzo
Since there appears to be more than casual interest in the
travelogue aspect of this review, this review covers the itinerary and
cruise itself. As always, the
opinions are my own. Others who
were on the cruise may have differing views.
For those who may be reading one of my reviews for the first
time, my first ocean voyage was 50 years ago, and my love of ships and
the sea has never abated. I
have sailed well over 100 times (I’ve honestly lost count), but the
Lines include Holland America, Crystal, Silversea, Seabourn, Cunard,
Princess, Royal Caribbean, Matson, United States Lines, American
Export, Italian Line. . .I probably have made as many ocean crossings as I have cruises. This
particular voyage was a wonderful blend of the two in that we had a
mix of exciting ports and relaxing days at sea as we traversed the
North Sea and North Atlantic.
More than a year ago, we noticed a most intriguing itinerary
in Holland America’s just-released MARINER (Alumni) publication.
It was a 16-day cruise/crossing aboard the MAASDAM from Copenhagen to New York,
calling at Oslo, Greenock/Glasgow, Belfast, Stornoway (Isle of Lewis,
Hebrides Islands), Reykjavik (Iceland), Qaqortoq (Greenland) and St.
John’s (Newfoundland). Quite
different from Holland America’s usual transatlantic repositionings...
Fortunately, we had the good sense to pounce immediately because it
did not take long for the ship to sell out!
It also featured the Big Band sound of the Harry James
When planning such a trip, I always arrive in my departure
city at least one day before sailing, and this was no different,
except that I added an additional day to visit friends in New Jersey
before continuing on to Copenhagen, and then stayed in my old home
“town”, Manhattan, three days afterwards to take care of some
business and to see additional friends.
I arranged my own air using frequent flier miles from Phoenix
to Newark and return from JFK Airport, and booked Holland America air
from Newark non-stop to Copenhagen on SAS, upgrading to Business Class
(there is no First Class). Despite
a summer rife with airline problems, I was extremely fortunate – my
flights from/to Phoenix on America West were excellent, as was my
flight on SAS. I stayed
overnight at the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, where I
normally stay. It is centrally
located across from Tivoli Gardens, and, this year, I had a lovely,
renovated room on one of the Club floors.
It is only a short taxi ride from there to the Langelinie
pier. Since I had made my own
hotel arrangements, I did not have a transfer as did those who had
booked a pre-cruise package through Holland America.
Friends who had booked such a package told me that they were
given a wonderful, several-hour tour of Copenhagen in the morning
before going to the ship.
Check-in was a breeze dockside, and I was soon walking up the
gangway. Gloved Stewards
were plentiful, greeting guests as they boarded, and taking their
hand-carried pieces as they escorted them to their accommodations.
My suite was midships on Navigation Deck (Deck 10).
The suites are approximately 563 square feet with the verandah,
and extremely spacious and comfortable.
The verandahs are a dream! Among
the suite amenities are fluffy terry robes for use during the voyage,
FREE laundry/dry cleaning/pressing, personalized stationery, hot and
cold late afternoon hors d’oeuvres, invitations to cocktail parties
and to dinners and/or lunches (depending upon the length of the
cruise) hosted by the ship’s Officers.
Dinner menus are brought early each day so that you can peruse
the meal selections. One
Steward does ALL the work, and no matter how soon I returned in the
morning, my suite was already cleaned and made up.
By coincidence, my Steward, Amoy, was the same gentleman I had
aboard Veendam in 1996!
MAASDAM, the second in the series of S-class ships, is
beautifully elegant like her sisters. She
started service in 1993 after Statendam (1992), and was followed by
Ryndam (1994) and Veendam (1996). The
four ships are virtually identical (a few minor differences in some
public room design) except for decor, and when you’ve already sailed
on one of them, you feel right at home in the others.
For that matter, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Volendam and Zaandam are
slightly larger versions of the S-class sisterships, but with the
addition of a midships bank of elevators and companionway, an
alternative dining room, and — in the case of co-flagships Rotterdam
and Amsterdam — a deck exclusively comprised of suites with their
concierge and lounge.
Rather than go into details about the ship, let me
concentrate on the itinerary. We “steamed” a total of 4741
nautical miles in 16 days. We
missed our call at Stornoway because of heavy seas and strong winds,
and our Captain wisely decided to move on when he determined that
conditions would not improve.
A word about our Captain, Peter J. van Maurik.
I was absolutely delighted when I saw his name upon boarding
the ship. He was Master of
Statendam on my Circle Hawaii cruise in 1997, and he left a very
positive impression on me. He
did not disappoint during this voyage.
First and foremost, he is a fine Officer.
But he also is most knowledgeable, has a charming personality
and great wit. We eagerly
awaited his 1:00pm daily “The Voice From the Bridge” navigational
reports, which usually left us chuckling for one reason or another.
Lifeboat drill was held at 4:15pm August 25th,
while we were still dockside in Copenhagen.
These drills are taken very seriously on Holland America, and
this was no exception. An
additional lifeboat drill was held our second week at sea.
We held a sailaway cocktail party for our group in the
Crow’s Nest at 5:00pm so that everybody could meet each other, and
so we could view our departure from a prime vantage point.
The North Sea was calm that night as we sailed at full speed
towards Oslo, and we awoke to a sunny, warm day
(mid 70’s F) as we made our way through the Oslofjord to Norway’s
capital city. Having been to
Oslo a number of times, I decided simply to walk around on my own, but
I had recommended Vigeland Sculpture Park as a must-see for those on tour or sightseeing
on their own.
Our next two days were at sea, giving those with jet lag some
time for relaxation and adjustment to the new time zones.
The North Sea can be rough, and August 27th was no exception.
We passed a number of oil rigs, but some guests were losing
their sea legs and probably missed seeing some or all of them.
I wasn’t bothered at all, and barely noticed the motion.
The next day was sunny and calm as we sailed north of Scotland
through the Hebrides and the Orkney Isles.
The ocean was mirror smooth and it was one of those days where
you didn’t know which way to turn. These rather barren-looking
islands were most impressive for their ruggedness.
We docked in Greenock, Scotland (port for Glasgow) at
7:00am August 29th – a bright, sunny, mild (mid-60’s F)
day. Friends of mine came
aboard to spend the day with me so, once again, I had not arranged any
tours for myself. My advice to
those who asked me was to be certain to choose a tour that included
beautiful Loch Lomond. Without
exception, they all raved about its beauty and the beauty of the countryside.
I merely sighed wistfully, as my former beau lives near
Glasgow... As we sailed from Greenock at 6:00pm, bagpipers were
playing for us on the pier. They
happened to play one of my favorites, as I stood there transfixed.
I’m one of those who love bagpipe music.
You could see traffic lined up on the shoreline road in
Greenock as we sailed down the Clyde – I remembered the same scene
ten years ago as I departed Greenock on QE2.
We docked in Belfast, Northern Ireland the following
day. Once again, we were
blessed with excellent weather – clear, mild (mid 60’s F).
We docked close by the Harland & Wolff shipyards of Titanic
fame, and which lost out to Chantiers de l’Atlantique in France on
the bid to build Cunard’s QM2 Project.
I chose the “Giant’s Causeway & Old Bushmills
Distillery” (8.5 hours) tour.
and enjoyed every minute of it. There
were a number of motorcoaches, so some went to Giant’s Causeway
first, others, to Old Bushmills first.
My bus was among the latter. It
was around a 2-hour drive from Belfast to the Distillery, through lush
green countryside. The rolling
hills with grazing sheep and/or cattle, and the beautiful homes were
just as impressive as those in the Irish Republic.
We spent about 1.5 hours at Old Bushmills, said to be the
world’s oldest legal distillery (dating back to the early 17th
Century) – a most interesting tour with video, then walking through
the distillery to learn about the various stages of distilling the
single malt whiskey (Irish whiskey is spelled with the ‘e’, Scotch
whisky is without that vowel). Afterwards,
some volunteers were called upon to test various whiskeys and everyone
was given samples of our choice. I
can truly say it’s the first time I ever had a drink at 10:30am!!!
But the hot toddy that I selected was very good indeed.
Now if I could only remember the proportions of the
ingredients! We had a little
time to mill around the gift shop and walk around the premises.
I must comment on one unusual topic of conversation while we
were there. They have the most
extraordinarily clean lavatories we have ever seen anywhere!
It was amazing.
Bushmills, we continued on to Ballantrae where we
stopped for lunch at a charming restaurant named Sweeney’s,
overlooking the water. We were
served a nice meal, but it was amusing to see the varied reactions on
the faces of those who ordered, and tasted, Guinness for the first
time. Some were not expecting
its dark color and bitter taste.
After lunch, we continued along the rugged County Antrim
coast to the ruins of Dunluce Castle. We
were given a few minutes to take photos of this impressive site, its
origins dating back 500 years or more.
It was a short ride from there to the visual splendor of
Giant’s Causeway. Although
this awesome formation at the water’s edge was formed by volcanic
eruptions and cooling lava, it has a mythological “explanation” as
well. Legend has it that it
that it was the work of giants (hence its name), and in particular,
that of one Finn McCool, an Ulster warrior who lived in the County
Antrim headlands. He built the
Causeway so that the giant lady he loved, who lived in one of the
Hebrides Islands, could walk across it to Ireland.
Legend aside, Giant’s Causeway is an utterly amazing area of
some 40,000 basalt rock columns and formations up to 40 feet high.
The lava in the cliffs is said to be 90 feet thick in places.
Many Maasdam passengers seemed to be children again as they
made their way up and down the rocks, frolicking and laughing.
For anyone who knows what the weather in that area can be like – cold, blustery, stormy with gales – the sea
was amazingly calm. We were
extremely fortunate with calm winds, bright blue skies and mild
temperatures in the mid-60’s F. We
could not have “ordered” better weather!
The Tour was over 8 hours long, cost $148.00, and was worth
every penny to me. Although
I’m not usually one to opt for all-day tours, this was the first of
two during our cruise/crossing, each of which I thoroughly enjoyed and
heartily recommend to anyone who may be taking this journey in the
Our next port of call was to have been Stornoway, Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides
(home of the famous Harris Tweed) on August 31st.
Unfortunately, high seas and strong winds prevented safe tender
operations. We remained at
anchor for a while, but Captain van Maurik wisely decided that it
would be too dangerous to allow people to go ashore when the weather
showed no signs of improving, so we pulled anchor and continued on our
way toward Iceland. Our onboard
accounts were promptly credited for the port charges and complimentary
wine was offered at dinner.
We were at sea the next day, sailing in a Force 7 (near gale)
storm. I’ll say it now, and
I’ll say it again farther along. Maasdam
took the heavy seas extremely well.
I was barely aware of motion, and the fact that the dining room
was not empty at meal times attested to the fact that guests were not
losing their sea legs. In fact,
we had been informed that at least one of our group was very prone to
seasickness. Lucky lady
appeared to be fine throughout the voyage, regardless of sea
conditions! I was pleased for
her sake. According to our Cruise Log, the Aurora
Borealis was visible around 1:00am on
September 2nd. Unhappily, I was
not one of those who saw it.
We docked in Reykjavik at 8:00am September 2nd,
another bright, sunny day with temperatures in the mid-50’s F (it
felt warmer). How can I
describe the day? I cannot even
begin to do it justice by describing it in superlatives!
The Icelandic landscape is nothing short of surreal.
The panoramas are breathtaking.
The air is so refreshingly unpolluted.
Even this worldly traveler could do nothing but marvel at one
breathtaking sight after another. I
wisely selected “The Golden Circle” Tour (8 hours), which
included Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park.
Our first stop was the village of Hveragerdi.
Iceland is a land of geothermal waters and these heated waters
have helped to build a thriving greenhouse industry to raise plants
and crops. We stopped at one of
them, named Eden. Definitely
not what one would expect to see not far from the Arctic Circle!!!
As we headed out into the countryside, we became aware very
quickly of the total lack of trees. There
is only one way to describe the countryside – surreal.
I thought I was living a Salvador Dali
painting! Was this a
lunar landscape covered in green grass?
How amazing. The terrain
was definitely volcanic. Look
left. Look right.
Puffs of steam vapor arising here, there.
Which way to look? We
stopped at a volcanic crater whose bottom was filled with water.
Photo opportunity. We
stopped at a lovely, modern church in a historical parish named
Skolholt. Another photo
tranquil panorama with Icelandic ponies grazing nearby. More photos.
From there, we continued on to the Geysir geothermal area.
Again, the only word that comes to mind is ‘surreal’.
It is filled with steam vents and hot springs of varying sizes,
and the odor of sulphur permeates
the air near some of them. The
most active of the hot springs is a geyser named ‘Strokkur’, and
it spouts every 3 minutes or so. One
can stand close to it to watch the sequence of action.
The pool’s water bubbles, then is sucked
down as if in an eddy, and finally water is spewed forth 20-30
feet (possibly more) into the air. Then
the water settles in the pool and the whole process begins anew.
It’s mesmerizing! We
spent around 30-45 minutes there, and walked across the street to a
delightful restaurant where we enjoyed a leisurely 3-course luncheon
before continuing on to our next spectacular stop, Gullfoss or
‘Golden Waterfalls’. It has
a 105-foot double cascade, and is Iceland’s most powerful waterfall.
Legend has it that, if you see a rainbow in its mist, you will
return to Iceland. I’m
overjoyed to say I saw one! This
was another area where folks were walking and running hither and yon
to take photos. Our tour guide
mentioned to us that the Icelandic government, at one time, wanted to
transform this magnificent waterfall into a hydroelectric plant, but
the daughter of a nearby farmer took it upon herself to plead with the
government not to do so... and, thank goodness, she won, having got
the support of the Nation! Gullfoss
was turned into a national park. We
hated to leave, but there was more on the agenda for the day, so it
was back on the motor coach.
As we were driving through the countryside, we came upon some
Icelandic ponies and their riders, and we asked if we could stop.
Our driver and tour guide obliged.
Now, mind you, I’m lucky that I can distinguish the head from
the tail on a horse, but I found the history of these ponies most
interesting. They are rather
short (well, they are ponies!) and are absolutely
purebred. They date back as far
as modern Icelandic history goes (over 1000 years), and there has been
no crossbreeding. They are the
same animal that has existed down through the centuries.
The riders were quite pleased to have us dote over their
ponies. They (the ponies) would
soon be going up the mountains on their own (!!) for the winter, and
the owners would retrieve them in springtime.
Our final destination, before returning to the ship, was
historic Thingvellir National Park, the site where the first
legislative assembly (parliament)
convened in 930 AD, and continued for many centuries.
Nothing remains today, however.
But Thingvellir is noted for something else.
It is where the tectonic plates of the North American and
Eurasian continents converge. One
can actually stand with one foot in “North America” and one foot
in “Eurasia”. Did I do so?
No. This was our last
stop before returning to the ship. For
anyone visiting Iceland, I most heartily recommend this tour.
It was my second all-day tour on this voyage and, again, worth
every penny. As you can probably surmise, I was fascinated by Iceland
and hope to return!
Sunday, September 3rd was another sea day, this
time sailing through the Denmark Strait as we made our way through
Force 8 winds (gale), rain and 20-25 foot seas towards Cape Farewell/Prince
Christian Sound in Greenland.
Once again, motion was negligible aboard Maasdam, even in the
Crows Nest, which is high up and at the forward end of the
I had not been able to find much information on Prince
Christian Sound, and map makers must have conspired to keep details
pretty much to themselves as well. So
we (the guests) were rather unprepared for what lay ahead.
Captain van Maurik told us that we would be cruising the area weather permitting, that it was the first time Holland America was sailing
there, and that we would have no pilot.
September 4th dawned to bright skies (although it did cloud
over) and placid waters. The
weather gods were blessing us! This was to be another day of visual
delights, one more breathtaking than the next.
Picture the splendor of the Norwegian fjords, combine it with
the majestic ruggedness of Alaska (Glacier Bay, Misty Fjord, Tracy
Arm/Endicott, Hubbard Glacier, etc), and you can barely begin to
describe Prince Christian Sound! Icebergs
(yes, ICEBERGS) to port and starboard, ice floes everywhere, glaciers,
placid fjords. Absolutely incredible, pristine beauty.
We sailed slowly and silently through the area from around
8:00am to shortly past 6:00pm, barely creating a wake.
And what an awesome background in which to hold our second
safety drill of the voyage! The
air was crisp and cold, and you could “smell” the ice. I remember
when we used to cross the North Atlantic in April or late September
aboard RMS Queen Elizabeth, you could always tell when you were near
ice floes or icebergs by the odor in the air!
This was indeed a most memorable day, and kudos go to the
Bridge for outstanding navigation, thus making it possible for us to
experience such wonderful scenery. It
wasn’t Alaska in Greenland, nor was it the Norwegian fjords in
Greenland. It was uniquely
Prince Christian Sound.
Around 7:00am on September 5th, we dropped anchor
off of Qaqortoq (Julianehaab),
Greenland. It was a dreary day,
with a soft rain falling. This
is the largest village in southern Greenland, population approximately
3,500. The wood-sided buildings
were all brightly painted – blue, red, yellow, etc.
The town is noted for its collections of stone art, all
sculpted out of the local granite to create the theme of “Stone and
Man”. Sculptor, Aka Hoegh,
brought 18 Nordic sculptors to Qaqortoq during 1993-94, commissioning
them to carve relief or sculpt from native monoliths.
There are 24 modern “petroglyphs” depicting, in some form
or other, Nordic life. Although
two tours were offered, I chose to stroll around parts of the town
with friends. We laughed like
children, not having sense enough to come in out of the rain! The
challenge of the day, and of the remainder of our trip, was to learn
the proper pronunciation of Qaqortoq – was it KAKortok, QUACKortok,
CAULKortok?? Evidently, all are
We raised anchor just before 4:30pm, and set our course in a
southerly direction toward Newfoundland.
Having been fortunate enough to visit, previously, the other
ports of call on this itinerary (except for Stornoway), Iceland and
Greenland were the two countries that I really had been looking forward to
seeing. I was not disappointed!
September 6th was another sea day, cool (upper
40’s F), overcast and Force 8/9 winds.
Force 9 (strong gale) on the Beaufort Scale translates to winds
up to 54mph, waves up to 32 feet. Again,
Maasdam took the seas very well,
and the various dining venues were full at meal times.
Obviously, sea legs were quite sturdy!
We were around a half-hour late docking in St.
John’s the morning of September 7th and,
once again, it was a glorious, sunny day with temperatures around 60
F. We were welcomed at the pier
by the Town Crier, and Sailor, the Newfoundland dog.
Although I had never been to this city, I opted to walk around
on my own with friends. In
retrospect, I regret not having taken one of the city tours – well,
next time. European fishermen called St. John’s harbor their summer
home as early as the late 15th century, but the British were
considered the first permanent settlers in the mid-eighteenth century.
I didn’t wander much further than the immediate area near the
port, but others on tour commented how pretty and interesting they
found the city. As I said –
next time! Some local talent
came aboard in mid-afternoon, but being a dog-lover, I was most
interested in Sailor, the Newfie who was permitted on board.
Those of us owned by our pets wished that ours were there,
too!! By that time, I had been
separated from Cappuccino (Pucci), my pup, for almost 3 weeks, and I
This was our last port of call before reaching our
destination of New York. We had
two more sea days ahead of us, but the thought of journey’s end was
already becoming a reality. I
was able to pack at leisure during that time, and didn’t even have
to resort to an expandable, folding bag that I always pack with me.
Friday, September 8th was another day of Force 8 winds and
heavy seas – again, barely perceptible motion on the ship.
The next day, the seas were mirror smooth.
It’s not unusual to encounter fog in this area (off the grand
banks of Newfoundland), but we had none.
Friends of mine were on this cruise, most of whom had never
sailed into the port of New York. I
moved from Manhattan 18 years ago, and have not regretted the move.
I must admit, however, that I still become teary-eyed when passing the Statue of Liberty, seeing
the Manhattan skyline and sailing up the North (aka Hudson) River.
I suggested that they be out on deck by 5:30am, which was
before dawn, and I would explain the sights as we headed up river.
We were playing tag with Pacific Princess, too. We docked the
farthest north at the New York Passenger Terminal, and as it turned
out, four other ships followed us in in short order – Pacific
Princess, Nordic Empress, Rembrandt (formerly Rotterdam V) and Regal
Having disembarked in New York for 49 years, when I noticed
that five ships arrived at the same time, I thought “OHMYGOSH”.
Pandemonium on the piers. Well,
it did take awhile to clear the ship –
but that was 95 percent due to those charming stragglers who
inevitably forget to present themselves to the Front Desk to settle
their accounts. I disembarked
about a half hour later than anticipated, but I was comfortable as I
waited. Suite guests had been
instructed to muster in the Piano Bar. I had already had breakfast,
but noticed that orange juice, coffee and pastries were available
while we waited.
Let me comment a bit about the onboard experience.
For a veteran sailor, this 16-night itinerary was an ideal
combination of ports of call and sea days.
Not including Copenhagen and New York, we had seven ports (one
of which we missed). The rest
were tranquil sea days. This
was the first crossing for a number of members in our group, and it
was an excellent introduction because of the balance of ports with
days at sea.
I have already expressed my opinion of the ship’s Master,
Captain Peter J. van Maurik – a fine Officer and gentleman in every
sense of those words. Our
Cruise Director, Susan Wood, was outstanding – bright eyed,
cheerful, visible, vibrant. She
lit up the room whenever she was there.
The same can be said of the Social Hostess, Holly Fraser.
Kudos also go to the Port Lecturer, Joe L’Episcopo – he is
the best I can ever remember (and coming from me, who normally does
not listen to Port Lecturers, it’s a true
compliment!). His talks were
low key, informative and interesting, without a lot of fluff or
extraneous nonsense. Toward the
end of the voyage, we learned he had another talent as well.
He is a Titanic buff, and gave an SRO lecture.
He dressed in a replica of the uniform of one of the
Titanic’s Officers (I believe First Officer, but could be wrong),
and displayed his personal collection of Titanic memorabilia – some
authentic, a few pieces that were replicas.
He is in the final stages of writing a novel based on what he
believes today’s world would have been like had the tragedy never
occurred, and had people such as the Astors, Straus’, Guggenheims
gone on to live their fabled lives. Sounds
most interesting to me!!!
The sea days were replete with activities to suit just about
everyone, including simply kicking back and relaxing – there are
many nooks and crannies for doing so, including the comfort of one’s
own spacious stateroom! There
were the usual staples such as Bingo; team games such as Team Trivia,
Scattergories, Pictionary, etc.; Scrabble; Bridge and Bridge lectures;
as well as golf tournaments for both gentlemen and ladies; paddle
tennis; wine tasting seminars; slot tournaments; galley tours; fitness
activities, etc. There were
also some lectures given by a maritime historian whose name I shall
not mention, but not one who immediately comes to mind.
While he may have an encyclopedic mind for minutia, I must
admit he was not among my favorites – I was unimpressed by his
mannerisms and method of presentation, and his bias for and against
certain shipping lines was most unappealing to me.
There was also a series of lectures presented by Col. Ralf
Vargas, who spoke on such topics as the European Union, NATO, etc.
He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Nevada when not
on the geo-political lecture circuit. Of
course, there were daily movies in the Wajang Theatre (and the ever
popular cart outside the entrance with the enticing aroma of fresh
popcorn), or the nearby Java Café with a luscious free selection of
coffees or hot chocolate.
An Internet Cafe was available, but was inoperative most
of the time because the ship's satellite had a case of indigestion for
most of the voyage.
In the “food department”, there were a number of theme
buffets at lunchtime served outside of the Lido Café – seafood,
Italian, Mexican, etc. There
were also midnight buffets offered in the Lido Café.
I behaved myself and stayed away. J
For breakfast, more often than not, I dined in the King’s
Room, one of the private dining rooms near the Rotterdam Dining Room,
which is reserved for suite guests. For
lunch, I dined equally in the Lido Café and the Rotterdam Dining
Room. For dinner, we were 9 at
our table (all part of our group), and I became the unofficial (or
official?) hostess. There was
an option of dining casually in the Lido Café each evening, but I
never dined there. It is a popular option, however, especially for First Seating
guests on a port night.
We planned several social activities for our group, and they
seemed to be well received. I
already mentioned our sailaway cocktail party.
During the voyage, we arranged an Indonesian luncheon, which
was attended by all. Then, I
hosted a cocktail party in my accommodations for our group and a few
of the Officers. I was most
impressed by the way Holland America catered the cocktail party.
The Bar Manager supervised the set-up.
He sent two Bar Stewards with a rather extensive choice of
liquors, and there was a super-abundance of excellent hot and cold
hors d’oeuvres. There is only
one drawback to planning activities with guests at both First and Late
Seating – finding a time suitable to include everyone.
You need to arrange your party after early dining and before late dining. It puts
a time constraint on everyone, but...
Being a Harry James Big Band Cruise, the orchestra was
featured almost daily at various times.
Brought back many memories of the kind of dancing *I* enjoy!
The evening entertainment in the Rembrandt Lounge was a
mixture of production shows and featured guests, but I attended rather
few. I always enjoy the
Explorer’s Lounge for light classical music or, on this voyage, the
Piano Bar since some of my friends congregated there.
Perry Grant was playing, and this very talented gentleman has a
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this voyage – not only for
the itinerary and the comfort of the ship, but also (and very
importantly) for the friends, both old and new, who were traveling
with us. Not only did I renew
some old friendships and sail with friends who live nearby, but also I
finally had the opportunity to meet people with whom I had
corresponded for years. My
thanks to all who helped make the trip so enjoyable for me.
I choose this itinerary again in the future?
IN A HEARTBEAT!!! For
any of you who may be fortunate enough to be sailing this journey,
you’re in for a treat!
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