Treasures of Scandinavia and Russia

Final Day! …. Sailing the North Sea

Sunday July 27, 2008

From the Navigator

Unfortunately your cruise is ending. Fortunately it is in the wonderful city of Rotterdam, Holland. The navigating officers hope you have enjoyed your cruise and hope to see you back soon on the elegant flagship of Holland America Line, the ms Rotterdam.

As we exited the fjords of Norway our navigator set a course on a south-southwest heading that would take the ms Rotterdam into the North Sea along the west coast of Denmark, to our final destination. We are scheduled to arrive at the port of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in the early morning hours of Monday the 28th of February and will begin our disembarkation around 9 am.

The United Nations” of the ms Rotterdam

“Nowhere else is the term “United Nations” better served than on board one of Holland America Line ships. Here, on the Rotterdam, we prove that people of many nations, religions and beliefs can work and live together, not only adequately, but very well indeed. Ask any ship employee of Holland American Line what his or her fondest memory of life at sea is and they will tell you it is the joy of meeting so many diverse people. On board ship we celebrate the national holidays of the Netherlands, England, the Philippines, Indonesia, the United States and Canada. Each celebration is different and accorded all respect. Religion also plays a large part of the lives of many shipboard personnel. Our staff includes the Catholic, Muslim, Protestant, Hindu and Jewish faiths, to name just a few. All religions are respected and time and room is set aside for all to worship as her or she sees fit. You will notice the word respect crops up several times in the article. It is probably the key to the harmony that is evident to all who sail our ships, as crew and guests.” (Source ms Rotterdam Daily Program) 

So, here we are – the final day of a fantastic experience. During the last 11 days we have been privileged to meet people of other cultures, get a small taste of what their lives are like and form a bond with our fellow cruise-mates, especially many of those in our “travel with Alan” group. Alan and his assistant, Greg Martin, have fostered a strong sense of community within our group of 47. They also insured that as we traveled ashore on our tours that we were well taken care of and that each of us received value for money spent, and at times throwing in a few pleasant surprises along the way.Even though it is our last day, our crew makes sure we will still have plenty of activities in which to participate. At 10 am all cabins are requested to send one member to attend the disembarkation briefing and crew farewell. For Barbara and I this is always one aspect of cruising that we enjoy with bittersweet misgivings as it represents for us a farewell to new friends. Cruise Director Teresa Papp, will make this presentation, which will include the introduction of a representative from every department, many of whom have personally served us so well.Our Cruise Critic Roll Call group also had its final gathering at 4pm. We were again, catered to superbly by the Beverage Manager and his staff. Though we are a small group we did not lack for adventures to share. Thanks to Barbara we were able to share a very nice wine with our group.Early in the day the crew had placed a large metric scale in one corner of the atrium on deck 3 and as the day progressed it became very popular, as passengers tweaked their luggage contents. A good majority of the passengers had flown into Copenhagen and would be flying home – a little heavier – and were making sure that their bags met the airline weight limit. As we later learned, overweight baggage can add quite a bit to the cost of ones cruise.The ms Rotterdam is a beautiful ship and so well taken care of. During different times of the day I like to stroll about the ship taking pictures of my favorite places, and things that have piqued my interest during the cruise. What follows are just a few of those pictures.

















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