Trip Start Jan 21, 2012
Trip End Mar 16, 2012

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ms Amsterdm

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Because I was one of the last to check in on the ship, I was whisked thru the process and it was totally painless. And we were off! Most of the 1000 or so people on the Amsterdam are going all around the world and had embarked 20 days earlier in Ft Lauderdale.  Because there was an outbreak of Norovirus and Holland America was trying very hard NOT to be quarantined (as many other ships have been in recent weeks), hand sanitizers abound and all food is served by gloved waiters.  Days later, when we were declared noro-free, we were served all the champagne we could drink for dinner and got to shake our own salt and choose our own butter, fruit, rolls, etc! I'm not complaining, by the way, the people who got it spent a few very miserable days so I am delighted the ship’s measures helped me to remain healthy!

My cabin in reasonably large; ~3 ft wider on both sides than the king bed with a big leather couch, desk, lots of closets and a big bathroom.  It is more than enough room for one person and would be fine for two.  I am near the front of the ship on Deck 1 (two decks above sea level).  I don’t have a balcony - - much of the cruise segment I am on are in cold places (with bad weather and rough seas) or on the open sea (with little to look at) so it didn’t seem worth the extra cost. Instead, I have a big window (that was later covered by waves and spray repeatedly when the weather turned). Because I am on the first floor, it is relatively stable, but the noise of the ship whacking larger waves and spray hitting the windows made me nervous at first.  On the other hand, it made the whole sailing thing seem more real somehow once I got used to it - - a lot of the time the ship simply feels like a hotel!  I am spending a lot of time running (well walking) up and down stairs (everything is at least 5 floors up and most of the food is 8 floors up) so I didn’t gain any weight. The ship is really lovely - - beautifully decorated, exceedingly well-maintained and clean, lots of comfortable places to enjoy the great outdoors (or shelter from in in cozy comfort). Holland American does a really good job of making its Around the World passengers comfortable and entertained. 
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