Chris' Previous Journal
August 26, 2010, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
After leaving Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, we cruised all day yesterday and arrived in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, early this morning. This is a debarkation for many of the passengers and embarkation for new ones.
We learned that of the 1,916 passengers, only 167 were remaining on board for the next segment - the journey to Norway.
We heard the debarkation announcements beginning very early - around 7am. The process obviously went smoothly as by 10am, everyone who was leaving today was off the ship.
It was raining, so we decided to stay on board today and get some work completed. It was quiet, (for a while) so was conducive to a productive morning. We will spend three days in Rotterdam when we leave the ship, which gives us ample time to see some additional sights.
Passengers began boarding around 11:30am. Cabins generally are not ready until 1:30pm, so they are sent to the Lido Dining Room on deck 9. We decided to go to the main dining room on the 2nd deck for lunch to avoid the crowd and all the carry-on baggage and the long wait for food.
Today was a set menu - a salute to Indonesia. We started with a delicious salad, followed by a clear vegetable soup (very spicy and yummy). The entree was rice with a chicken skewer and some type of beef (which I pushed to the side). Plenty of food, the spices were fabulous, although one of our tablemates said it was too much for her.
Our cabin stewards are absolutely amazing - the best we've ever had on any ship. Our cabin is immaculate, they are very prompt in taking care of any of our requests. We had told them not to worry about our cabin today, as they have so much to do on embarkation days. The two of them are responsible for 29 cabins every day - and they had to prepare 27 of them this morning for new guests. Then, as soon as luggage is onboard, they have to deliver to all their cabins. A lot of work.
In spite of our telling them to not worry about us, our cabin was cleaned when we returned from lunch. I wish we could take them home with us!
This ship does not have a guest laundry, but they do offer unlimited laundry services for a very reasonable price. We had signed up for the first 12 days and it worked very well, so right after lunch, we when to the front desk and signed up for these next 12. They aren't making any money off us - I kept track of what it would have cost if we hadn't signed up for the unlimited and we would have spent nearly triple the amount of money. Obviously we're either very dirty or neat freaks!
We were speaking with a couple from The Netherlands who joined the ship today. They said there were nearly 1,400 Dutch people who came on board, so the Americans are definitely the minority for the Norway segment of the cruise. We should be able to pick up a few more Dutch words in the next couple weeks, for sure.
We will spend tomorrow at sea sailing to Bergen, Norway and the beginning of our Norwegian adventure. John, who is of Norwegian heritage, is looking forward to visiting Bergen, where his ancestors lived.
More info about Norway
Northern Europe Trip Page... (including photos)
Note that there are two trip maps, as this journey include two (back-to-back) 12 day cruises. The map of Norway is found below the UK map