Yes, three weeks have already passed since
your first Cruise
Update! I hope your brochure has arrived and you are enjoying
the prospects of Cruising next January. (I'd like to know how
the Cruise Line did in sending brochures requested from their web
site, so if you requested one, please let me know.)
With this update I'll begin two regular
features; frequently asked
questions and "a day on the MS VEENDAM" (an abbreviated log
of the week on the ship).
Question 1. What travel documents
and immunizations do I need
to travel with the MS VEENDAM?
For U.S. citizens, a passport
is not needed. An official (raised seal)
birth certificate and driver's license will do. Remember, a photo ID is
required for domestic air travel these days.
Since there are no endemic diseases
in our areas of travel, there
are no required immunizations. The CDC advises that Caribbean
travelers obtain the Hepatitis A vaccine. (I do not, for a cruise.)
Question 2. Will I get sea sick?
Although this is a very individual
problem, it is remarkably rare
on a ship this size. Unless you get motion sickness riding in the
front seat of an automobile, you will do fine on a Caribbean Cruise
on this size ship. Of my 80 days at sea, only one was rough enough
to lead me to take an anti-nausea pill. With that, I had no problem.
I enjoy cruising without a worry, even though I consider myself
quite sensitive to motion. (I HAVE become ill after small boat fishing,
riding in the back of a van, or when reading in a car, so don't join me
for those activities.) :-)
Don't wait for me to answer your question
in this feature. Send
me an e-mail with your question. I'll send you a personal response
and it will help me address other's similar questions in this forum.
Both the Fly Cruise Plan and the Transfers
mentioned below are
described in the Holland America Caribbean Brochure. You can
also get information or purchase them by calling Brooke at:
120 N. Wayne Street
Angola, IN 46703
(219) 665-1166 fax
DAY ONE ON THE MS VEENDAM
If you fly into the Miami or
Fort Lauderdale airport on the Fly
Cruise Plan or purchase a Transfer (for those making their own
flight arrangements), a Holland America Employee will greet
you at your gate and direct you to a waiting bus. Your checked
luggage will be handled for you and appear at your cabin this
As you arrive at Port Everglades in
Fort Lauderdale the size
of the many cruise ships becomes apparent. Six or seven HUGE
ships are in line at their companies' terminals. There is electricity
in the air as you step up to present your boarding documents to
the Holland America personnel at the boarding desk, traverse the
gangway and board the ship.
As you enter the ship, you find yourself
five floors up on the
Promenade Deck with an open atrium. It reminds me of the lobby
of a Hyatt Regency Hotel. An attendant welcomes you aboard
and directs you to your cabin. Once there, you'll find it spotless
and ready to explore. The steward for your room will stop by to
introduce himself. He will become a good friend during the next
seven days, working very hard to please you.
After "muster" (a lifeboat drill) you'll
join most passengers on
the sun deck to enjoy a "sail away" party and watch the ships and port
as you cast off and head out to begin your vacation. Then it's time
to meet and greet your fellow cruisers at our group's private cocktail
party. An open bar, hot and cold Canapés and friendly libertarians
make this a great beginning for our vacation. Then on to the dinning
room for the first of many gourmet meals. You'll meet your server
and his assistant when you get to your table. They'll pamper you at
every meal and leave you wondering how they do this 12 hours a day,
seven days a week and still remain so cheerful.
Dinners become a get-together for you
and your friends to share
the day's events after everyone "does their own thing" each day. If
you've requested a table for two, each evening becomes a private
renewal of the relationship you've come aboard to celebrate.
That evening you'll be able to enjoy
a stage show, the casino, the
midnight buffet, late night dancing and more! I'll be sleeping so I
can enjoy sunrise at sea with coffee on deck the next morning.
Something new at the web site is a
tale called "BON
written and shared by a recipient of these updates who ventured
aboard a nude cruise. I found it hilarious and hope you enjoy it as
well. To get there directly just click on:
Back to Updates