CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews


Holland America Line Amsterdam by JohnL Southern Caribbean October 30, 2006

This is VERY LONG so grab a cocktail turn off your cell phones and relax and enjoy.

We just returned Nov.9th from 10 days aboard the Holland America Cruise Line"Amsterdam".

This review will go into different details of our trip from the ship to the tours.

First because there are few reviews about the Amsterdam I will start on the ship first.

And if you care to go on reading about the rest of our "Most Excellent Adventure" please do so.

What can I say. The MS Amsterdam is an outstanding ship with a great crew.

A ship is only as good as it's captain and that being said everybody did an outstanding job.

You could really tell that EVERYBODY on the ship really loves working on the Amsterdam.

Everywhere you go they are smiling and saying hello to you, as you past them and really seem to be enjoying there work.

There where 1,380 guest aboard with a crew of 590

Fuel consumption 120 tons/day (32,000 gallons)

Fresh water used on the ship 160,000 gallons a day. Ship has it's own desaltation plant on board.

Other water used that is not fresh like for the toilets (Potable water) 370,000 gallons a day.

Captain Dirk van den Berg was very visible through out the ship and very friendly.

Jill Tasker the Cruise director was outstanding very friendly (those brits and there since of humor ) she did make the cruise fun. She was always around and easy to talk to.

I also talked to the Executive chef Peter Kolfer as well as the Guest Relations Manager Grace Zerna Culinary Manager Martin Groenendijk as well as other officers and staff and you could tell that they ALL enjoyed working on this fabulous ship.

The rooms: We where on deck 3 lower promenade rooms 3315 obstructed view and 3357 inside.

Both rooms where outstanding. With 3315 we really did not care about the obstructed view because all we wanted in the room was the extra day light so that my mother could see better. Yes if you looked outside of the window and looked to your right you could see the water. But it was no big deal for us and we did save some money by going with this room.

The Amsterdam had completed the "Signature Of Excellence" upgrades and all I can say is WOW.

The Euro-Top beds where great. I never slept better. I really wanted to take the bed home. We also loved the extra-fluffy large towels that they supply in the bathrooms. (RCL and Princess could take a lesson from this). The rooms had plenty of storage for all our gear and the daily fresh fruit in the rooms was very nice. Just because I got up early every morning to walk around the promenade deck and having a fresh apple while doing this and waiting for the rest of the gang to get up for breakfast was a nice treat. (3 and 1/2 times around the ship equals 1 mile.) Also late at night when I got the munchies it was nice to have some fresh fruit in the room. (Although having room service bring fresh cookies and milk was also a nice treat late at night)

Our room steward was great keeping our ice bucket full. In fact ever time we left the room it seems that he was in there straighten things up. He was a very hard worker and a very nice person to talk to. Always with a smile and a hello

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Dinning room: The "La Fontaine Dining Room" Was very beautiful. Upper and lower level. We had the 6:15 lower level dinner time at table 168 a table for 8 people. Near the stair case in the middle of the dinning room. To me a great location to do some people watching. Our waiter team could not have been better. They remember our names by the second day and knew what we like to drink with dinner and after dinner. Our head waiter also knew that Mom has a hard time reading the menu so was always there to help her with the nightly specials.

As for the food- Ok I know that this is a very subjective thing. So I'm not going there. All I will say is that I REALLY enjoyed everything that I had and I did not have one complaint about anything when it comes to food. The presentation of every dish was great and the food was very appealing . Lets just say I did not go hungry in fact I gained 5 ponds on this cruise. The good news is that I have already lost 2 ponds of this in one week.

The "Lido Restaurant" on deck 8. Typical food but all very good. Loved the sandwich station and of course in the morning the fresh omelets that they would make. Also we all know about the fresh squeeze orange juice they have there every morning. Could not live with out my daily 3 glasses of the fresh OJ.

I do have to say that breakfast got to be the same old thing. But I'm not much of a breakfast eater so no big deal. At least lunch was always good and something new everyday.

We did try to have lunch in the "La Fontaine Dining Room" as much as possible because we wanted

The experience, being waited on and sitting at a new table and meeting new people. Plus hey, we are on holiday. Its nice to have someone waiting and serving you the food. The menu was always good and something new to try.

The "Terrace Grill" Lido poolside. Great hamburgers and hot dogs. The pizza left a little to desire. The sauce on the pizza was just to bland. They also had a great taco bar. Again as I said before we never went hungry.

The "Pinnacle Grill" Lets see what can I say? How about WOW. It was a gift from our TA(Thanks Grace at CSI in Seattle) and my nephew and myself went there one night.

The service was OUTSTANDING as well as the food. Our wine Stewart knew his wines and turned us on to a very nice bottle of wine. It was so good that we had to have another bottle of it. Needles to say we where not feeling any pain that night. The Pinnacle is ruined like a 4 star restaurant and we where will taken care of.

I had also made reservations through ship services in September at the $20.00 rate before the rate went up to $30.00. We did think about going back there again and using my other reservation but we where enjoying our dinner mates at our table that we decided not to go back. And we did get a ship credit of $40.00.. Would I go back to the Pinnacle? Yes in a hart beat but I would have to think about spending $30.00 per-person. I fond the food in the main dining room at dinner was just as good. So for $30.00 it would have to be a very special occasion.

The "Fitness Center" Small but very nice well kept up, clean and plenty of excurse machines to use. I never had to wait to use any of the equipment. The staff was also very friendly and nice to talk to.

As for the bars: "Crow's Nest" great location for going up there in the day time to read and have a cocktail while at sea. At night there was always something going on and a fun place to go. Bartenders would remember your name. In fact it seems like the bartenders remember my name to whatever bar we went to.

And NO I don't have a drinking problem. I'm a lite weight when it comes to drinking. They just seem to remember you after the first time and don't forget you. (I wonder if the crew has photos of us in the crew area with our names on it that was taken when we board the ship on the first day. How can they remember so many people?)

The "Explorations Café " Good coffee drinks for a charge. Is where you will find the library. This was a great location to relax and read. A very well stock library. As well as you could rent DVD for your room $3.00 a day. They had over 100 DVD's to chose from.

"Lido Bar" by the pool, good service.

"Sports Bar" by the casino spend lots of time there. They did have ESPN and Sunday and Monday Night Football. The bartenders there where really friendly and fun to talk too.

The "Rembrandt Lounge" with the nightly piano singer of LAREE. She had a great voice and knew her songs. Great place to hang out after dinner or the shows..

Also on board was the "Explorations Speaker Series" Done by Mike Millwood. He had 3 lectures through Out the cruise and if you missed it you could see it on your stateroom T.V. that evening or next day.

He talked to us about the building of the Panama Canal and Columbus first voyage to the Caribbean. Mike is an outstanding speaker and should NOT BE MISSED. We had a chance to meet him and His lovely wife through out the cruise and they are both a wealth of information.

Next is ship board "Activities". Lets just say if you can't find something to do on this ship you are not trying. On sea days there was Bridge games going on and that made mom very happy. There was a good turn out of about 30 people every time there was a bridge game.

There where movies to be seen in the theater. Ping Pong, Shuffleboard, morning walk a Thon, bingo, spa seminar, the dreaded Art Auction, afternoon tea, shopping, dance classes, daily trivia, wine tasting classes, and of course you can leave your daily donations in the casino. As well as just sitting by the pool and chilling out and reading a good book. So if you say you can't find anything to do on a cruise ship then its your own fault. It seems to me that the days really went too fast for me to enjoy it all. I could have easily spend another 10 days on the ship.

So in a nut shell the Amsterdam crew and staff made this a very enjoyable cruise. They where very hardworking, pleasant, friendly and helpful. And I would sail her again in a hart beat.

Now I will get into the day by day stuff. So if you don't want to read on, this is a good time to leave us.

The cast of carters. Mom 86 years young, Richard her friend 84 years young and a good story teller. My nephew Jake 24 years old this was a graduation present from collage and myself John 53 years old.

I was glad that Jake was coming on this trip. Just trying to handle Mom and Richard is a hand full by myself, with Jake it make the trip a lot more easer and enjoyable. I did warn Jake that the average age on this cruise would be in the mid-60 range and this was true. But he still had a great time spending time with his grandmother and just relaxing and catching up with his sleep. He was a great roommate. We had the inside room.

Monday, October 30th

So to begin with we left Denver on the day of the cruise. Usually I like to leave the day before but Jake wanted to go with his dad to the Bronco game that Sunday. He lives 6 hours away from Denver and does not get much of a chance to see them play anymore living so far away. Plus my brother and sister in-law where in town for the weekend , so A Monday flight to Ft. Lauderdale was to be done. This made me nervous with the kind of weather we get in Colorado in November but it turned out to be a very nice day. (Denver temp was 40F. When we got to FLL it was 80F.) We boarded our Frontier Airlines flight at 7AM and the flight left on time at 7:35AM non-stop getting into FLL at 1PM, 15 min ahead of schedule. All our bags arrive. Got a cab for the 4 of us for $15.00 with tip and where at the dock by 1:35PM and on the ship at 2PM. Having our first of many meals at 2:30PM.

Lifeboat drill was at 4:15 and over by 4:30. We sailed away on time at 5PM.

On board the ship was the usually sail away party's going on and people getting settle in for there 10 day adventure. Dinner for us was at 6:15PM in the lower level of the Fontaine Dining Room and we where seated with 2 other great couples making it a table of 8..We all enjoyed each other company and it made for a great 10 days. After dinner we walked around the ship getting our bearings and went to the Queen's Lounge for the welcome aboard show. It was ok. Nothing special. As you all know the first night in the show lounge is more of what's going to happen for the rest of the week. Show was over by 9:30PM so a quick stop to make my donation in the casino and off to bed. It has been a very long day.

Tuesday, October 31st

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. This is Holland America private island. We arrived there at 7:15AM but we did not take the tender until about 10AM. We all slept in this morning and had a light breakfast. What can I say about the island. It's beautiful white sand beach the temp was 82F with a nice breeze and crystal clear waters. The water temp was around 80F. I had pre-reserved 2 clam shells for shade on the beach and I'm glad we did. Otherwise we would have been much too hot just sitting out in the sun. Richard was asleep as soon as he got settle in his clam shell mom and Jake joined me in the water. We did get Richard into the water. At first he did not want to go in, but once we got him in the water we could NOT get him out. He really enjoyed himself on the island. At 12:30 we made our way to the BBQ they had and we found the food to be very good. They had fresh fish, burgers, hotdogs, chicken, and ribs as well as a nice selection of salads and killer cookies for desert. We where one of the last to take the tender back to the ship at 3ish. Did not realize how sun burned I got until I got back to the ship. I usually wear a shirt when I'm in the water. This time I did not and I paid for it for the rest of the cruise. All well live and learn.

A quick note about the staff working on the island. I found them very rude and not helpful at all.

I'm NOT talking about the ship staff that came ashore to help with lunch. I'm talking about the staff that comes over from the near by island where they live. They act like they own the island and had no time for us. Too busy talking with there friends there radios playing very loud . They could use a class in guest service‘s. Kept giving us the run around about where to go to get our clam shells set up. They just seemed that they could care less if we where there or not. To them it was just another day at a low paying job.

That day was Halloween and some of the guest did dress up that night for dinner in costumes. But the dinning room staff where all dress up for Halloween all looking great. I think they enjoyed putting on make-up and looking like zombies and the such. They also did a great job with the decorations at the entrance of the dinning room with smoke blowing and a grave with a crew member in it. At least I think it was a crew member. Could have been that stowaway passenger we heard about and what they did to him. :-)

Tonight's show in the Queen's Lounge was "Pampas Devils Gauchos" Traditional songs and dances of Argentina. We did not attend but heard the show was good. In stead we went to see the movie "The Break Up" with Jennifer Aniston. Movie was ok. Best thing about HAL movies is the free popcorn that they give you before the show. That's right we are still eating. Hay its been at least 2 hours since dinner. After the show a quick stop at the casino to make another donation then Jake and I headed Rembrandt lounge to hear Laree play the piano and sing. We also went up to the Crow's Nest to check out the Halloween costume party. Some very unusual costume to say the least. All had fun up there that night.

Wednesday November 1st.

A great day at sea. Temp was around 85F. Boy where did that day go too. It sure went fast.

Left Jake to sleep till about 11AM. Took Mom and Richard to Breakfast at 8:30AM.

Mom then went to a bridge lecture at 10AM, Richard roamed around the ship and I did a kitchen tour at 10:30. I really enjoyed the kitchen tour. Its amazing what and how they get things done in the kitchen serving over 4,000 meals a day.

That afternoon Jake joined us for lunch in the Lido Restaurant. Like I said before it was good but we then decided that from now on we would do lunch at the La Fontaine Dining Room on sea days from now on.

That afternoon Mom had a hot bridge game to go to. Jake went to the pool to read and relax and I really don't remember what I did. Most likely I fond a place to read and sleep. Just like Richard..

's welcome reception and then to dinner.

A great meal was enjoyed by all of us at the table.

After dinner it was show time with the Talented singers and dancers of the Amsterdam cast. It was good. We also went to see the movie "Click" with Adam Sandler. This was the second time I saw it and was not as good as the first time. At least Richard got in a good nap before going to bed. Again we did the usual things of hitting a lounge or two before going to bed. I do have to say we where in bed most nights by midnight.

Of course Mom and Richard where in Bed by 10PM most nights.

Thursday November 2nd

Oranjestad, Aruba. We did not get there till about 11AM. I let Jake sleep in till about 11AM and he met us for lunch in the dinning room at 12.15PM. That morning Mom had another hot bridge game at 10AM. After dropping off mom I went to the gym to work out and Richard found a nice place to read and take his morning nap.

Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt and gets less rain then virtually any other popular island in the Caribbean. The island is 20 miles long and 6 miles wide. The temp is a constant mid 80s with a breeze all the time making it not too bad.

At about 1:30PM we got off the ship. I found a taxi driver that would take all 4 of us around this very small island for a 3 hour tour. We saw the outdoor market place, Saw the Santa Cruz and Frenchman's Pass--A historic battlefield. The gold mill ruins and the famous divi divi trees shaped by the trade winds. We also headed to Casibari Rocks and the quaint village of Noord. Our driver William Gomes was very good had a brand new taxi with good air and told us a lot about the history of the island. Just ask for taxi number 217 or you can e-mail him at iraida71@hotmail.com .

I found Aruba an ok place to visit but I prefer Curacao if I plan on spending any time on these islands.

That night Jake and I where going to have dinner in town. Ship was going to leave at 11PM. After hitting a few bars and finding nothing to our liking and the town pretty much closed up for the night, we headed back to the ship for dinner. That night they where doing a Poolside BBQ and it turned out to be fun and boy where those ribs to die for. They also had fish, chicken, stake. And a whole lot more to gorge on. And yes we did gorge ourselves. They also did a Ice Carving Demonstration at the pool during dinner.

After dinner you could go to the Latin Fiesta Deck party at the back pool or, That night there was no show in the Queen's lounge. Instead they had a movie "Looking for Kitty" not a bad movie. They where also showing "Find Me Guilty" a Vin Diesel in the other movie theater. By the time the movie was over at 10:30, I made my way up to the Crow's nest for the Broadway Trivia and then made my nightly donation. Also that night was the Indonesian Crew Show. Something you should not miss. They put on a very good show. If you miss it because it starts at 11PM you can always see it the next day in your in room TV.

Friday November 3rd

Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. This island was claimed in 1499 by Spanish explorers. More then any other islands in the Antilles, Curacao is reminiscent of Holland. You'll notice it at once in the local architecture. Willemstad was established in 1643 and the porches shutters, and pastel colors accommodate the warm Caribbean climate, but overall style is distinctly Dutch. As you sail into port you can almost reach out and touch the colorful buildings.

The ship arrived at 7AM. We had a nice breakfast at 7:45AM. Jake had room service, Uncle John made the delivery and we where off the ship by 9:00AM. The temp was about 88F that day very humid with a light breeze.

I had made arrangements with Mingo at "Blue Angle Tours". through the net to take us on a tour of his island. This was a 5 hour tour and some of the sites we saw where the "Synagogue" one of the oldest Synagogue's in the Caribbean with a sand floor. We also toured the Kura-Hulanda museum. This is where slaves from Africa where brought to before they reach America. (It was the Ellis Island of that time for slaves) I found this museum very interesting and could have spend another hour or two there but Mom and Richard where getting tired as this was our last stop of our tour. Although the ship was dock only a 10 min. walk away from this museum. Also no stop at Curacao is complete without a stop at the Curacao Liqueur factory. Made with the peals of oranges.

Our tour guide Mingo was great. Not only did he show us the island he went out of his way to make us feel at home. He was a wealth of information and was able to answer all our questions. Told us about the school system and there health care system.

He showed us the rich and the poor side of this beautiful island. Made a stop at a beautiful beach where the water was so clean and clear I could have spend a few days there. And of course to a top of a mountain area for another great view of this beautiful island.

We also saw the floating market and had a very nice tour of the downtown area.

I will be back to this island to do some diving and I will use his service again when I return. He is a great person And I highly recommend his service, if you do plan on seeing this island. He is much cheaper then a ship tour and you will get the personal attention that I know you will like.

You can contact him at his web site. www.blueangeltours.com

After our tour with Mingo Jake and I went back into town to look around and have a drink or two at the local bars.

Back on the ship by 4PM Jake went to the gym I just relax and read my book before dinner.. That night they had face up blackjack. We did not go to the show that night but heard it was very good.

That night Mom and Richard where able to stay awake for the "Dutch Chocolate Dessert Extravaganza" by the pool. At 10:30PM. All I can say is wow. They put up one heck of a show with all the great desserts. I really loved the deep dish Dutch apple pie.

With a full stomach and a sugar rush we all headed to bed. After a super day in Curacao.

Saturday, November 4th

Day at sea: Met Mom and Richard for breakfast at 8:30AM Jake slept in till about 11ish.

After breakfast we went to see the "Explorations speaker" Mike Millwood speak about the "Trans Ocean Canal Project" An excellent series put on by Mr. Millwood. Mom and I really enjoyed it. Richard got his morning nap in during the lecture. We met Jake in the dinning room for an excellent lunch. After lunch I had entered myself, Richard and Jake into the Slot Tournament. Richard did good and place but was knock out of the finals but he did have a fun time. Mom had another hot bridge game that afternoon and Jake and I went to the gym while Richard set out on deck reading and sleeping. And meeting new friends.

That night Jake and I had dinner in the "Pinnacle Grill" as I said at the begging of this review this was a super meal and we where feeling NO PAIN when we left after our 2 ˝ hour meal. We both had a hard time sleeping that night, too much food and wine.

Sunday November 5th

The Panama Canal: I was up by 6:00AM so that I could watch us go through the first set of locks. What a beautiful sunrise it was, watching the sun come up over the jungle and the canal. This was truly a special time to be up on deck.

They where also serving juice and coffee and rolls on deck for all of us early risers. (That's right more food) I called Mom and Richard to get them up, but by the time they got to my viewing location we had already started going through the first set of locks. (7AM) We final got through the 3rd set of locks at 8:00AM and it was time to get some breakfast before we started our tour. At 9:45AM we boarded a tender in Gatun Lake to start our tour of the Canal.

This tour is called "The Canal Experience to Colon" It was a 7 hour tour. And both Mom and Richard did a good job by making it through the tour. Richard was able to get his afternoon nap in on the bus ride back to the ship. On This tour we experience the full wonder of the Panama Canal. We first had a 40 min drive through the Isthmus to Gamboa, where our tour boat was waiting for us to take us through the rest of the locks. We crossed the continental Divide. Enter the Pedro Miguel Locks, which lower our tour boat 28 feet on its way to the Pacific. We then sailed across the Maraflores Lake to the Maraflores Locks, which lower us another 56 feet, matching the level of the Pacific Ocean. At around that time it started to rain and I mean rain. A typical jungle thunder storm that lasted for about 15min and cooled everything down. Temp was around 85F with a light breeze. We did get a little wet but no big deal by the time we got off the boat we where dried.

About the boat we where on. It was a small tour boat that was cover with a tarp, that holds about 250 people. I say there was about 150 on board. They did have drinks on board and told us to drink lots of water. Lunch was supplied by the ship and was just a sandwich, that's ok with us we could skip a big meal for a change. Also there was a little room on this boat for people that fond it too hot to sit outside that was air condition. Richard spend most of his time in there. Jake and myself did not find the weather too humid and enjoyed watching the boat going through all the locks.

It was a very nice day. Our tour ended at the port of Balboa in Panama City. Boy, the water at this port was dirty and polluted . You would think that the Panama authorities would spend some money cleaning up this port. After all they do charge a lot for ships to go through the canal. I was told it cost our ship $120,000 just to go through the first 3 lock before it turned around and went back to wait for us in Colon, Panama. After getting off in Balboa our bus was waiting for us for the 90 minute ride back to the ship. It was a nice drive but the country side we notice near small towns was very trashy. It seems like people just throw there trash anywhere along the road they want. Again you would think that the Panama government would do a better job in keeping there country clean. Yes I know it's a third world country. But again with the money they are making on the canal you would just think they could clean things up a little. Or maybe the locals just don't care.

We where back in Colon, Panama around 4ish. And where drop off right by the ship. There was a Shopping area with local things to buy. Nothing really caught my eye. But, Yes I did have to buy a $5.00 t-shit with the Panama Canal on it. Just another shirt I don't need but had to buy. Ship left port at 7PM.

Another nice dinner was enjoyed by all of us in the dinning room that night with our table mate.

After dinner we went to see the Show. It was very good the person doing this show was name "Kirby" and he was an excellent stand-up comic. Doing amazing sound-effect routines and impressions, along with his hilarious humor and musical bits. Everybody on the ship really enjoyed his show and want him to do another show sometime on the rest of the cruise. He did on the final night. Just as good as the first night with new routine.

This was an early night for us as we where up very early that morning and needed to get up early the next day, we all where in bed before 11PM. Jake and I rented a DVD and where asleep before the movie ended.

Monday November 6th.

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica: To start off with I can really say that, Costa Rica is a beautiful place to visit and I cant wait to go back to spend more time there seeing more of this country and doing some diving

.

As I was watching the sun come up over the mountain of Costa Rica I was really impress on how green the mountains looked. Yes I know I was looking at a jungle on the mountains but you got to remember I live in Colorado and our mountains DO NOT look like anything like what I was looking at.

I got everybody up by 7AM so that we could meet our tour by 8:30AM. Again I brought breakfast to Jake in the room. He just does not like getting up early.

This was going to be another long day for Richard and Mom but only about 6 hours.

I had made arrangements through , Oscar Brown Tours http://www.oscarbrowntours.com/ It started to rain as we started our tour but it was not too bad and it seemed to stop every time we got out of the van, with the exception of our stop at the banana plantation where it came down in buckets. Hey what do you expect when you are in the Jungle. Anyway at the banana plantation it was no big deal as we where covered by a building while watching the worker cut the banana plant and sort them, wash them and pack them for shipping all over the world. I found this a very interesting stop. From there we stop at a small home along the road where Oscar showed us different types of plants and coffee beans plants, as well as a sloth and some other type of critters. After that it was on to our tour of the "Tortuguero Canal". This tour on a small boat took us through the rain forest, (yes it was raining) where we saw the native wildlife, including, alligators, monkeys and more sloth's and a variety of different types of birds and plants..

Oscar dropped us off at hotel Bary where our boat through the canal and our guide HARLIN was waiting.

This was a one hour trip and HARLIN really made this trip for us. He knew his wildlife and the local plants. He fond the plant that they make Channel #5 out of. All we did is rub a few leafs from this plant on our hands and our hands smelled nice all day. We kept sniffing our fingers through out the tour.

HARLIN was an excellent guide and if you do book through Oscar Brown make sure that he gets you HARLIN for your tour through the Tortuguero Canal.

In fact I wish Harlin was our guide through the whole day. He really know his stuff and told us a lot of interesting things about Costa Rica that Oscar did not tell us.

I'm glad we did go through Oscar Brown Tours because it was much cheaper then the ship and we where a small group of 6. But Oscar needs to learn more about Costa Rica and the history and be more outgoing and telling us things with out us having to ask. He was more of a driver then a guide. Oscar you have a good new business that you are starting but you need to tell your guest more information and be more outgoing, telling us about life in Costa Rica and how you and the people live in Costa Rica.

Anyway back to our tour. After our Canal tour Oscar dropped Jake and myself off at "Brisas de la Jungal"

www.junglebreeze.com for our canopy zip line tour. Mom and Richard got some more of a tour of the area while we went zip lining.

WOW what a great time. If you want an adrenaline rush then this is the tour for you! Glide through the treetops with this exhilarating adventure: 12 cables and 13 platforms stretched across the length of the rain forest. The longest cable is 270m long and you will experience heights up to 60FT. Here you can enjoy the gripping thrill of the wind in your face as you soar through the rain forest witnessing some of the most spectacular views. Even though it was lightly raining while we where doing our zip-line we never really did get that wet. I guest the heat and humidly help kept us dried. Our two guides Jamie and I forgot the other person name where very professional and safety came first over everything else. What a great afternoon we had zip-lining over the rain forest in the jungle. Jake had a great time talking with Jamie as she was just starting collage. She is taking tourism classes to be a tour guide in her beautiful country.

Oscar was waiting for us with Mom and Richard as we finish our zip line and after saying are good by's to our zip line guides and give them a very nice tip it was off to the ship. Mom and Richard where tired now so we did not do any more stops. After saying good by to Oscar. Mom and Richard headed back to the ship. Jake and I headed into town to look around and to by some coffee. The town of Puerto Limon is not much to see but right at the dock they do have booths set up to sell you anything you might want and I did find the prices better there then in town so we did all our buying by the dock. But if you do get a chance to go into town go for it. We did feel safe and it's something you should see.

That night on board the ship was the "Master Chef's Dinner" in the dinning room. It is like a Broadway show with your dinner. (Dinner and a show) I guess this is replacing HAL Dutch Night. It was very entreating but the menu was set that night and the food was just ok. don't get me wrong it was good but I wish we had more to select from. After dinner went to the show and saw "Petrina", www.petrinasworld.com she is a very gifted person and very big in U.K. After that it was another stop for my nightly donation and off to bed.

Tuesday and Wednesday November 7th and 8th

Two days at sea as we head home. The seas where very nice and we did not hit any bad weather. Yes we did hit a few rain showers but no big deal.

Time to rest up after the past few days. I really do not remember what we did. As the days went by very fast. I do know there was plenty of things to do and we where kept busy with whatever activities we did. All I know was I was exhausted at the end of each day. Really got into those sea days. As well as Mom, Richard, and Jake.

On Wednesday our last day at sea we spend the late afternoon packing and saying good by to all our new fond friends.

Thursday November 9th.

Back in Ft. Lauderdale. Ship Docked at 6AM. And people where starting to get off by 8AM.

We where in NO hurry as our flight did not leave until 2PM. So Mom, Richard and myself went up for our final meal around 7:45AM. Jake slept in and had room service bring him something around 8AM.

We where out of our rooms by 9AM and went up on deck to relax until we where called off the ship.

At 10AM then made the announcement that anybody left on the ship must leave now. So as we where kicking and screaming as they made us leave the ship we headed down the gang way. Cleared customs in 5min. And yes we where the last one's off. Our bags where waiting with a porter who thought he might have to put them in storage as they where the last bags and nobody else was getting off. He had us and our bags in a taxi with-in 10 min after we where off the ship and we where at the airport at 10:30AM. We could not check our bags in until Frontier Airlines counter open at 11:30AM. But someone came to work early and we where able to check-in at 11AM. And then out to the gate for our 2 PM flight. The 3 hours went fast and before we knew it. It was time to get on board. Flight home left 20 min. late taking off but we made up time in the air and got home at 4PM 20 min. earlier.

All in all we all had a super time

Mom, was a real trooper and would do anything and seemed to be really enjoying herself. She ate very well on this trip. And it was good to see her eat and put on a few more ponds.

Richard ,who did not really want to go on a cruise also seem to enjoyed himself, I feel he did have a good time when he was not napping , and also was a good eater on this trip. Both Mom and Richard don't eat much any more but they sure did eat very well on this trip. It made me feel good to see them both eating for a change.

Jake ,what can I say. He is just like his Mother (Debbie) could not pass up a bathroom if given the chance. In fact the plumber on the ship and Jake got to be very good friends in our stateroom. I'm glad Jake joined us. It made the trip easy for me and I also enjoyed his company. He made a great roommate and we had a super time being with each other. I look forward too traveling with Jake again.

I myself love too cruise and can't wait to go on another cruise a.s.a.p. . "The Thrill of The Seas is the Important thing. And I will Continue too enjoy All the cruising that I can do for a very long time."

Well congratulations you made it through the whole review. I hope that you enjoyed our "Most Excellent Adventure".

John

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