Posted by: gardner310 | October 1, 2011

Grand Asia & Australia Cruise; Off to Russia

ms Amsterdam Dining Room

Well, here we are on Holland America’s ms Amsterdam at the far western end of the Gulf of Alaska, near the Aleutian Islands. It has been a little rocky these last couple of days, to the point of the cast Broadway style show being canceled twice. Non-dancing entertainment was the substituted, comedians.  Not sure what the Bering Sea will bring as far as waves are concerned, so we will await further instructions on that.

This a 70 day cruise from Seattle to Russia, Korea, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, Fiji, Noumea, American Somoa and Honolulu landing us back in Los Angeles on December 5. It is our first grand voyage since going to sea so we were not sure what to expect as far as guests, activities or sightseeing opportunities.
The ship is beautifully done in darker wood and rich colors. We have two Dutch florists who do wonderfully creative flower arrangements that are constantly freshened. The ship is classy, no doubt.

We thought that business would be slow in the beginning of the itinerary as it is on most itineraries. Normally 90% of the bookings come in the last two days. We were happily incorrect as we have seen a steady stream of guests since day 1. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize how much organizational “stuff” we had to do so we are spending long hours early and late each day. I am happy to say we are almost there. I wrote up 3 weeks of program ads last night and am doing the entry today so that will give us some breathing room. We have found the paper and ink supply as well as established what brochure inventory we have on hand.

Our first port is Petropavlosk, Russia but due to the Russian government’s complicated policies we crew are not allowed ashore. That means the first time we will set foot on land after departing September 26 will be in Vladivostok on October 8. Sure hoping that the ice bar is close to the pier, we will need it.

Right, back to work on the power point presentations, our dog and pony shows. Check back in a bit for news from the Russian front.

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