Embarkation day impressions and images from Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam
Beep Beep. My mobile phone seemed startled that someone had the audacity to text me at 4.45am on a Sunday morning. It was the car service letting me know that someone was on their way to whisk me to London Heathrow to catch a flight to Barcelona. Bleary eyed I rammed the last of my packing into my carry-on case and checked once again I had my passport, credit card and the Holland America check-in documents. I tried to carry my suitcase case loaded with my tuxedo, swimming trunks – and a wide assortment of gadgets that I unnecessarily insist on travelling with – down the stairs without making too much noise. I failed of course. I felt bad waking up my partner who was unable to join me on the cruise. Running their own law firm means limited time to join me on my journeys. Unfortunately.
Despite the early hour I could feel my excitement building. I tried to play it down as I said goodbye, but it was hard to hide I was thrilled to be off to join the Nieuw Amsterdam, one of the bigger ships on the small Holland America fleet, for a week long “Mediterranean Adventure”.
For the next week I will be seeking out what Holland America has to offer and what makes it unique and different from other cruise lines. I will be exploring the ship and sharing my observations in pictures, videos and words. As food is such an important part of any cruise, and something that Holland America prides itself on, I will also be focusing on the food, the restaurants and sharing what I learn.
Embarkation day is always exciting and special for any cruise. I always have a rush of impressions and things that strike me. Here are 6 images that capture the experience of this day:
Holland America Line’s ships have distinctive dual smoke stacks making them instantly recognisable. As soon as I saw them as we approached the port in Barcelona I only had eyes for her, despite the Norwegian Epic, Seabourn Quest, Crystal Serenity, Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas and AidaBlu also being in port!
My balcony stateroom (8021) was ready when we embarked before noon. Spacious, cosy and welcoming. Watch out for my video tour and review!
On embarkation day, “The Lido” buffet restaurant on deck 9 was a hive of excited chat for lunch. Serving a range of food from around the world, I tried some self control and decide to pace myself with a healthy salad lunch. For the first 48 hours of the cruise the staff serve all the food to help protect the ship from any risk of norovirus.
My first impression of the decor is that it is plush and stylish with interesting art and features all around the ship. I was especially drawn to the rotating chandelier with the skyline of New York which is indicative of the interesting and slightly quirky art all around the ship.
A gift of chocolate dipped strawberries in my stateroom when I returned from the muster station drill from the Holland America team added to my feeling of being pampered.
And then just after 4pm departing from Barcelona. The beginning of my Mediterranean Adventure.
Declaration: I travelled as a guest of Holland America Line on a 7-night “Mediterranean Adventure”. For more visit Tips for Travellers on Holland America page. All views expressed are my own.