- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

02 May 2017; Back in Business.

Over the past weekend the Holland America Blog was successfully revamped and transferred to a new server.  Apologies for the delay of what was supposed to be only a few days of disruption. But if a P.C can sometimes have challenges on a small scale, a web setup can have bigger ones on a more industrial scale I suppose.

I stopped blogging at the end of my Zuiderdam period and because of the transfer I could not do anything during my period on the Westerdam.  Most of that period consisted of a crossing from Ft. Lauderdale to Europe and then a number of Mediterranean ports before the cruise ended in Civittavecchia. I then went home and the Westerdam went into dry dock for a regular check up but also for a major revamp of the public rooms and the addition of some guest cabins on deck 10. As a result the ship is now similar to the Oosterdam which was the one but last of the Vista Class to go through the upgrade dry dock. The Westerdam is now the last one of the Vista Class that received the regular upgrades but also the best of the Koningsdam upgrades that were also rolled out earlier on the Oosterdam and Eurodam. This includes the Gallery Bar (ex Northern Lights Disco), the Billboard on Board (located on the starboard side by taking part of the Casino away) and a new feature, a small museum with Dutch Art sponsored by the Rijksmuseum from Amsterdam.    It is located opposite the Front Office on Main deck where once the Shorex office was. The shore excursion office has been moved to the Crows nest as part of the companies re-focussing on the combination of enjoyable cruising and cultural immersion at the same time.

The latest group of navigators to join Holland America Line

My activities on the crossing consisted of training a new group of Navigators who had joined Holland America in the previous weeks.  5 gentlemen (Dutch & Rumanian) and one Lady from Canada. The latter had sailed on the Canadian Coastal vessels and made about 20 cruises with her family on Holland America Line ships. Now she learned the other side of cruising and soon found out that there is a lot of hard work going on behind the glamour. By the time they made it to Civitavecchia , they were all well aware of what it takes to be a Holland America Line Officer  and can now walk onto their first ship with enough confidence to fit right into the bridge teams.

Thus I went home on April 13 as the presence of an extra captain during a dry dock only confuses the issue. I am now enjoying a month of vacation and then it is time for the ships sailing from Canada. I will update my schedule-tab as well but this is the plan for the near future………….. as usual subject to very much change.

18 May – 03 June ms Maasdam, Canadian Maritimes. Boston to Montreal and back.

03 June – 25 June ms Noordam, Vancouver – Seward – Vancouver.

27 June – 23 July ms Zaandam, Vancouver – Seward – Vancouver.

After that I will have another break in the schedule.

In the mean time I am keeping myself constructively occupied by supervising our phase 3 roof maintenance of the apartment building which I live in.

I will be back with the blog on the 18th of May.

7 Comments

  1. Kim Michael and Ann Rolls

    May 2, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    You have been missed — welcome back on line and look forward to the new postings on the blog.
    Some family members were aboard Westerdam on the trans Atlantic and are still touring Europe by land. Our plans include Alaska again next year so will be particularly interested in the changes you will find as you return. New piers in Juneau are visible on web cams. So we shall see. Safe travels and may the roof be whole once more.

  2. Missed Career at Sea

    May 2, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Nice to read that there is a “young salt” from Canada who wants to work under the Dutch umbrella of the Holland America Line (“onder moeder’s paraplu”)
    Some fancy Home Page you have now, Captain. I sure like your Plan A on all three ships. Do tell about Montreal, the city that embraced me coming from the damp days in Oosterbeek!

  3. Missed Career at Sea

    May 4, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    (02May17 1st try; 2nd try)
    Nice to read that there is a “young salt” from Canada who wants to work under the Dutch umbrella of the Holland America Line (“onder moeder’s paraplu”)
    Some fancy Home Page you have now, Captain. I sure like your Plan A on all three ships. Do tell about Montreal, the city that embraced me coming from the damp days in Oosterbeek [actually Schiedam].

  4. Welcome Back….even for just one posting. You were missed.

    Nice format on the new blog page, but creating it took a long time….

  5. Roger Tollerud

    May 5, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Captain A
    Welcome back. I very much missed your stories and insight from the sea. The 18th can’t come soon enough.
    Roger T

  6. Welcome back to your blog. I’m currently on the Volendam approaching Ketchikan after having been on it since Hong Kong. I’ll be looking forward to your blog from the Maasdam as we were on her for 2 months in the fall of 2016. Loved it!

  7. Will you be calling at any of the following ports during your Eastbound Canadian adventure:
    St Pierre et Miquelon
    Sydney, Nova Scotia
    St John’s
    Corner Brook
    L’Anse aux Meadow
    If so, your insights would be appreciated.

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