“Oscar Night” came to the Amsterdam at 9:30 AM Monday Morning. The Queens Lounge was decorated with a movie theme, special drinks were offered and light pastries with coffee and OJ were provided on tables set up on deck 4 right inside the Queens Lounge door. The room was probably ½ full, and the large picture and sound was wonderful with the Oscars seeming slightly more glamorous when shown on a big screen. The normal morning events: Good Morning Amsterdam, Tai Chi and the usual 10 am and 11 am presentations were cancelled.
See special Oscar Drinks HERE
At times there was 50 knots of relative wind over the deck, but since it was right down the bow it didn’t seem so bad when out on the promenade or on your verandah. I was interested in seeing if there was any spray coming over the bow so I ventured up to the deck 6 observation deck right below the bridge where I would have a clear view of the bow. There are two ways for passengers to get to this area.
- Go to deck 6 and proceed all the way forward down the port passageway, turn left and go out the door directly onto the deck.
- Go all the way forward on deck 3 promenade where you will see several sets of doors. There are some marked staff only and others that are unmarked. Go thru the unmarked double doors and then up three levels to the deck 6 observation deck.
Once on the observation deck, and as expected with 50 knots of wind, it was almost impossible to stand still and walk in a straight line. There wasn’t any spray coming over the bow so I took a few pictures, looked at the Long Range Acoustic Devices mounted for anti-piracy measures, and quickly sought shelter inside the ship. We learned from last night’s dinner guest, Steven, one of the ships third officers, that the Amsterdam’s high freeboard (the distance between the water and an open deck) provides another level of security against pirates since it makes a hostile boarding difficult.
Here is a picture of an aircraft carrier taking water over the bow in heavy seas!
Stir fry was an option again for lunch today near the Lido pool. There is no longer much of a wait to get your food cooked as the number of cooking stations seems to be just right to avoid any lines. See my post from February 18TH, on the blog, for pictures and a more detailed description of how the stir fry works. We always look forward to the stir fry’s and the cooks do a wonderful job.
Florist Eddy presented a flower arranging demonstration in the Wajang theatre at 1PM. It was amazing to watch him work as he explained some of his tips about arranging flowers. I learned that if you add a teaspoon of bleach to a liter of water and use this mixture in your flower vase, the plants will last longer since the bleach will kill bacteria than can cause plants to shrivel sooner. Eddy also explained that Tulips are among the few flowers that continue to grow even after being cut and placed in a vase. After the demonstration, I went to the Atrium on deck 5 where the other florist, Callista, was selling fresh flowers and some beautiful vases that are exclusive to Holland America.
During Crafts today Judy made a greeting card with a “Spinelli” design glued to the front. My winning streak at Texas Hold’em came to an end when my three nines were beat by a full house on the river. I can’t complain as I have had more than my share of good cards recently.
Once during the world cruise, every full cruise passenger is invited to the Pinnacle Grill for the Captain’s Dinner. The Captain and his wife will host one of the very large tables in back with the remainder of the guests being spread around the other tables. Each table is hosted by one of the ships officers. Dinner is at 6pm and starts with a receiving line with the Captain and his wife with the ships photographer standing by to take pictures. Unlike shorter cruises, where handshaking is avoided, the Captain and is wife, Karen, will greet you with a pleasant smile, a few kind words and firm handshakes.
The menu is fixed and I have posted a copy on the blog in place of the normal main dining room menu under the world cruise reference section. Our host was Nicolai, the ships IT manager, and we were joined by another couple from Ontario, near Toronto. Nicolai is from Serbia and he shared his interesting background and how he came to be working for Holland America. He is having a wonderful time on the world cruise and enjoys his job because he gets to work in many different areas as opposed to being very specialized if he was working ashore. We learned that there are two antennas for the ships internet, a primary and a backup. HAL contracts with vendors for a minimum amount of bandwidth, but the actual number may be greater depending on conditions and how many other ships may be sharing the same “lines”. There are over 300 antennas throughout the ship so you can get a Wi-Fi signal almost anywhere. There are still a few obsolete “Wi-Fi hotspot” signs around the ship that used to indicate the Wi-Fi hotspot locations when there were only a few.
The Pinnacle Grill staff prepare a different menu for each of the 12 Captains Dinners, but again there are no choices the night of your meal. They will accommodate dietary restrictions if you let them know in advance. Here’s a description of the courses we were served.
- “Peanut Butter and Jelly” with Foie Gras, Rhubarb, Brioche and caviar
- Roasted Corn and Butternut soup
- Caprese – Tomato and Mozzarella
- Mushroom Duxelle Crusted Petit Tendeloin
- Red Velvet Cake
The HAL singers and dancers performed for the last time this evening as they will be leaving the ship in Hong Kong. The show, “Rock at the Opera”, was a wonderful combination of singing and dancing. They performed a variety of hits from pop “operas”, like Pinball Wizard and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. Their final number was a stirring rendition of Con te Partiro (Time to say Goodbye) made famous by Andrea Bocelli. Martin opened the number and was joined by Beth singing in Italian. Emily joined in next singing in English and finally Daniel completed the quartet and they finished the song together alternating between English and Italian. They received an enthusiastic standing ovation and after the final curtain calls, we will be saying goodbye to this wonderful group of performers.This entry was posted in Uncategorized