Posted by: Gary Guertin | November 15, 2012

24. Croatia/Med./Ft. Laud. Air/Cruise – Home / ms Nieuw Amsterdam

Hi All,

The end of another trip.   I’m sorry I’ve had to spend the last several days catching you up on my posts, but as you have probably guessed, when we started across the Atlantic, the internet service was spotty so I couldn’t make any postings.  Anyway, we’re home, and although we were rested after the crossing, are already exhausted trying to catch up with all the “to do” things that face you when you return.

As usual, I’m going to review the ship in this last post and then make some closing remarks.  This was our first time aboard the ms Nieuw Amsterdam (NW), the largest and newest of Holland American Line. The NW had 2111 passenger aboard for this cruise which they said was near capacity. The crew numbered 888.  The ship is an 87,000 ton vessel, 935 ft. long by 106 ft. wide (that’s three football fields long) Its maximum speed is 23 knots (1 nautical mile = 1.15 statue miles).  On this cruise between Venice, Italy and Ft. Lauderdale Fl. it traveled 6990 miles at an average speed of about 18 knots. You might be interested to know it consumes 120 tons of Diesel fuel a day or about 33,500 gallons.  It can produces 540,000 gallons of potable water per day, but average consumption is only about 220,000 gallons per day.  Roberto would want to know it is powered by 2 x ABB Azipods (2 X 17.6 MW of 48,000 HP.  It gets it’s power from 6 diesel generators (4 x 16,000 HP 2 x 11,000 HP) or 86,000 HP.

If you get my posts by email, I hope you click on the title and actually go to my site because you will notice that the cruise ship at the opening of Gary’s Space is the NW (I change the picture to the ship we’re on each trip).  Let’s go tour the ship.  We’ll do that by going through a day at sea.   I don’t have a picture of the cabin, but when you step out into the corridor, this is what you see in this huge ship:


We,re in the front of the ship, Deck 5, so we have to go to the rear where all the eating facilities are.  Once we walk this corridor we have our exercise for the day (ha, ha).  We get to the rear (aft) and take an elevator up to Deck 9, the Lideo deck, which has the Lideo (main cafeteria), the gym, SPA, hair saloon, the large covered swimming pool and the rear outdoor swimming pool.  Upon stepping into the elevator we can check to see what day of the week it is:


We arrive on Deck 9 and step out into the Lideo for breakfast (also we have our lunch here most times).  It is about 1/3 of the deck with counter after counter of just about anything you want for breakfast (in the morning), lunch (in the afternoon), or dinner (in the evening). It has sandwich and dessert bars open all day until late in the evening. The Lideo:


Finished with breakfast, let’s take a walk out onto the rear swimming pool to check the weather:


To get back to our cabin we have to go to the front of the ship so lets just walk back on Deck 9, through the Lideo, then past the large center covered pool:


We also pass the SPA pool:


Although we won’t use the gym until later on in the day, let’s pop our head in and take a look at one of my favorite hang-out:



Sometime later in the morning (very later) Susy will join us and we can go back to the Lideo for Lunch.  For fill in the morning and all afternoon let’s look around the ship at the places to relax.  There is the Library and Crows Nest (a huge lounge with a view out the front of the ship) on Deck 11:



Also look at a few outside shots from the upper decks:




Now it’s after lunch and we have the afternoon to attend art auctions (Susy’s past time), wine tasting, cooking classes, bible study, jewelry fashion show, dance lessons,, SPA seminar, many games from card playing to Bingo, just to mention a few .  One of our favorites is the lectures in the gran theater, for example one afternoon is was “Mayan Astronomy & the End of the World” (boring).  Here’s the gran theater:


There’s also a movie theater, with recliners instead of seats, showing first run movies 4 times a day.

Well we had our lunch, enjoyed a busy afternoon, rested in the cabin a little before going to dinner at 8 PM.  Here’s our regular dining room:


But the ship had several restaurants, Italian, Chinese, Far Eastern, and our favorite, the ‘Pinnacle Grill”, which served the best Filet Minion you’ve ever tasted.  You pay a little extra in these restaurants, but since Susy and I are old sailors we get a 50% discount.  Here we are in the Pinnacle one night:


I must mention that Susy passed her birthday in the Pinnacle enjoying a Gran Chief meal; 7 courses, with 5 different wines and a birthday cake made especially for her.   After dinner Susy had to always pass by the shopping area to see the daily bargains.  A part of the shopping area:


Then we usually went to a Broadway type show in the gran theater and later some Blackjack at the Casino (sorry no photos in the Casino).  As we walk back and forth through the center of the ship I have to show you the beautiful Atrium.  Here is two photos showing the chandelier which changes colors:



And finally one of the ship standing in port waiting for its passengers to climb back on and pass another day at their home at sea:


Now to close ends I said in the beginning I would show you Susy and I in our first day at sea and our last.  Here is the last:



Do we look any better?  I put on 10 lbs. and now have to struggle to get it off.  But it was worth it.  Susy has no comment except she believes she is about the same (weight I mean).  Now I have to show you one last picture of the two of us and then close.  I’m showing you it because Susy says it’s one of the best pictures of the two of us she has seen:

2012 Nov 9 Susy and Gary001

That’s it kids.  The trip is over.  I came home with 2328 photos and lots of found memories, especially “it takes a good husband to keep and produce a “still” good looking wife as we get older” (ha, ha).  The highlights for me have to be Gaudi’s Sagrade Familia Cathedral in Barcelona and the Greek island of Santorini, with Budapest and some of the villages in Croatia a close second.  As you can tell from the posting date we have been back a few days and still look forward to seeing our family and friends.  I want to thank you all for following along on our venture and especially those of you who commented.  Please let me know if I can improve in any way these posts.

Until our next cruise (Dick we are really turned off with this air travel), which only Susy holds the key to, I only want to say:

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)


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