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2012 Voyage – Around the World – Holland America

2012 Voyage – Around the World – Holland America

This was our first cruise around the world and we were so excited and nervous. Now we are old hats at packing (UGH), preparing and cruising.  Feel free to  follow our progress on the Cruise Updates.

January 4th, Georgetown

Two days to go – packing, packing, packing!  Can you really put 4 months worth of clothes into 2 suitacses each?

January 6th, 2012 – Day One

Day 1 3:30 is early to start the day.  The definition of a true friend is someone who will pick you up at 5 in the morning and haul you and your 8 pieces of luggage to the airport – an hour away.  Charles and Aileen Bailey fit the definition to a tee. I experienced […]

January 7th, 2012 – Sea Day

Day 2 Just down the hall and out the door and we are on the promenade which goes all the way around the ship and is the preferred morning exercise path – 3.5 laps per mile, and we are going to try to do two miles every morning. Then off to breakfast and atalk on […]

January 8th, 2012 – Sea Day

Day 3 To the fitness center then breakfast on the Lido deck. This sea day routine is becoming very comfortable, very quickly. We attended a lecture by an oceanographer on “Waves” – fascinating subject and a good teacher. He is a professor at the University of Maryland and a former Navy meteorologist. Lectures on varied […]

January 9th, 2012 – Roseau, Dominica

Day 4 Arrival at Roseau, Dominica This small island nation was governed by Great Britain for 200 years and became an independent country in 1978. Its 70,000 citizens seemed an extremely friendly and well educated bunch and their .065% crime rate is to be envied world wide. Cricket is their main sport. The island is […]

January 10th, 2012 – Bridgetown, Barbados

Day 5 Barbados, like Dominica, is a former British colony. The island nation has about 270,000 citizens, 70,000 of whom live in the capital Bridgetown, which was named for the two bridges which cross a small man-made waterway which was created to float ships in, tilt them on their side and scrape the hulls. Unlike […]

January 11-12th, 2012 – At Sea en route to Belem, Brazil

Day 6-7 The lectures have continued to be entertaining and informative. In addition to some very informative discussions on our upcoming Brazilian stops, we have enjoyed a discussion of hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons, and their relation to weather and wind movements around the earth. Fortunately, none are in our path on this voyage, at this […]

January 13, 2012 – Belem, Brazil

Day 8  Sailing 80 miles up the wide (3 or 4 miles across) Amazon, we arrived at the docking area about 15 miles from Belem, anchored, and tendered in on these boats. Some ports we use the life boats as tenders, some we use these commercial tenders, and most we dock at a pier. Waiting […]

January 14-15, 2012 – En route to Recife, Brazil

Day 9 & 10 Our cabin. You may be curious as to our luxurious quarters on the ship. Sally and I long ago began booking interior cabins on our cruises. Not only are they cheaper, but we have come to prefer them, and even turned down the offered upgrade on this cruise. Interior cabins have […]

January 16, 2012 – Recife, Brazil

Day 11 We docked at Recife, Brazil at 7:30 this morning (4:30 Texas time). Many of the ports where we normally dock on cruises have a cruise terminal because of the large number of regular cruise ship visits. The terminal usually has an abundance of goods and services aimed at travelers (souvenirs, convenience store items, […]

January 17-18, 2012 – En route to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Day 12-13 Two more peaceful, restful days at sea, preparing for Rio. When we planned this trip I made two promises to Sally (among many): One that I would go dancing with her. Many of you know that I do not dance and other than some feeble attempts when we were dating (probably alcohol assisted) […]

January 19-20, 2012 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Day 14-15 I don’t think I was prepared for the entry into Rio harbor. It is as if the mountains are meeting the sea, or perhaps as if the sea has risen to the mountain tops. We always hear of Sugar Loaf Mountain, but it is just one of many mountain peaks that the sea […]

January 21-22, 2012 – En route to Buenos Aires

Day 16-17 Days at sea are a mixed blessing – great for me, because I really enjoy them. Not so great for those of you following our journey, since it becomes boring to hear about us laying about reading, sunning, attending our dance lessons, etc., but that is what we have been doing on our […]

January 23-24, 2012 – Buenos Aires, Argentina

  Day 18-19   Buenos Aires was as different from Rio as it possibly could be. First, the geography is very different. Rio is on the sea, with mountain tops mixing among beaches, and it definitely wins the natural beauty contest, since Buenos Aires is a flat river delta, 100 miles up the Rio de […]

January 25, 2012 – Montevideo, Uruguay

Day 20 Uruguay is the smallest country in South America. It is south of Brazil and east of Argentina, and Montevideo is its capitol. The country has about 3 million citizens about half of whom live in the capitol. Uruguayan demographics are unique in South America – the population is almost 100% Spanish and Italian, […]

January 26-27, 2012 – En Route to the Falkland Islands

Day 21-22 As we head further south, the temperatures are moving lower and the days are getting longer. At the northern portion of Brazil, near the equator, we had 12 hour days and 12 hour nights and high temperatures in the mid 90s. Now we have 14 hour days and 10 hour nights and high […]

January 28, 2012 – The Falkland Islands

Day 23 All I knew about the Falklands was that there was some sort of dispute between Argentina and Great Britain over possession of the territory, which the Argentines call Isla Malvinas. The Falkland Islands lie a few hundred miles east of Argentina and have been a possession claimed by the British since 1833. Apparently the islands […]

January 29, 2012 – En route to Antarctica

Day 24 Sailing from the Falklands we headed south toward Antarctica. Time for more Life at Sea – The Minister’s daily lectures. The Windows on the Biblical World lecture series contrasting the culture, habits, and traditions during the time of Christ, with those of today. Jack Giguere and his wife Joyce are from Michigan; a […]

January 30-31, February 1, 2012 – Cruising the Antarctic

Day 25,26,27 I wasn’t exactly sure what these three days involved when I examined the itinerary. I have always heard that rounding Cape Horn is a significant event, but should it take three days? Actually, after leaving the Falkland Islands, we went due south, passing between Elephant Island and Purcell Island, considered the unofficial “entry” […]

February 2, 2012 – Crossing the Drake Passage

Day 28 Each day, when we get in the elevator to go to breakfast this is what greets us on the elevator floor. I will try and include one on each entry, so you will also know what day it is. The captains warning was somewhat well advised. While the ship moved around considerably, the […]

February 3, 2012 – Ushuaia, Argentina

Day 29                This map is interesting from a couple of aspects. First, it proves that the iPhone GPS works no matter where you are, and that by emailing it myself I can move something from the iPhone to the PC without the cable. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly […]

February 4, 2012 – Punta Arenas, Chile

Day 30               Punta Arenas, our first stop in Chile, is at the extreme southern portion of the country and is located on the mainland (northwest) side of the Strait of Magellan. Using the same map I showed yesterday, you can see its position relative to the rest of this most […]

February 5, 2012 – Still in Punta Arenas, Chile

Day 31 The Captain’s weather alert was serious enough to alter our itinerary and schedule. I believe this day we were supposed to be cruising the Chilean Fjords, and then commencing our journey across the Pacific. Instead we spent the day in Punta Arenas while the Captain came up with some schedule (he is British […]

February 6, 2012 – A rough day at sea along the coast of Chile

Day 32 Oh oh! The seasick bags and Dramamines are back out. While there seem to be more people being affected by the motion this time, it hasn’t seemed to bother us at all. Sally has these wrist band things that are supposed to prevent motion sickness but she hasn’t needed them so she loaned […]

February 7, 2012 – We turn west across the Pacific

Day 33 Even though we are skirting the main portion of the storm to our south, we are still feeling the force of it. It is humbling to contemplate the force of wind and water, and particularly when you are at sea and can see it and feel it. Don’t get me wrong, there is […]

February 8,9,10, 2012 – Across the Pacific toward Easter Island

Day 34, 35, 36             The display of our current position and route. The rough seas are over and we are looking forward to smooth sailing westward – nothing but blue skies and rainbows on our way to Easter Island. As I have mentioned there is a huge contrast between […]

February 11, 2012 – Easter Island

Day 37             Easter Island is such a special and spectacular place. I am sure that the fact that it is so remote lends itself to the unique nature of the place – you have to really want to get there. If Polynesia is a giant Pacific triangle with Hawaii […]

February 12, 2012 – At Sea – Tender Operations Discussion

Day 38               As I have mentioned before, most ports we are tied up at a pier, but some, due to too many ships or lack of a pier big enough we use a tender process to get everyone ashore and back while the ship stays in the harbor. […]

February 13-15, 2012 – At Sea

Day 39-41             Three great days at sea. Our scheduled cruise by Pitcairn Island had to be cancelled in order to make up the time we lost skirting the storm. This “cruise by” would have included us stopping near the island, allowing some residents of Pitcairn, descendants of the Bounty mutineers, to […]

February 16, 2012 – Papeete, Tahiti

Day 42                 As we pulled in to the harbor and docked at dawn, the sun hit the hillside highlighting the vivid colors of the water, the whites and pastels of the homes, and the lush vegetation – reminding me of the reason that Gauguin and other impressionists […]

February 17-18, 2012 – Sea Days

Day 43-44           A couple of quiet days at sea, reading and resting. Smooth sailing – a far cry from the seas of a week ago.  

February 19, 2012 – Pago Pago, American Samoa

Day 45               This is our first American port since leaving Ft. Lauderdale. The capital is Pago Pago, which is pronounced “Pango Pango” – I know not why! The people of American Samoa are US Citizens through and through and very proud of it, but they are pure Polynesian, […]

February 20-24, 2012 – Sea Days en route to Australia

Day 46-49           Ok, so here’s the deal. Sunday night, after leaving Samoa, we crossed the international dateline, and lost Monday.  Most of you who know me, know that I am a fairly logical guy – ex systems analyst, computer programmer, amateur deal maker, etc. But I must confess to extreme […]

February 25, 2012 – Sydney, Australia

Day 50             Sydney is maybe the favorite place we have ever had the good fortune to visit. We were here for the first time a year and a half ago for 4 days before a cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a city of some 4 or […]

February 26, 2012 – Sydney, Australia

Day 51               Our second day in Sidney included a tour to The Blue Mountains, a range of mountains about 90 minutes to the west of Sydney. This beautiful range of sub-alpine (about 3,500 feet above sea level) mountains is an obvious destination for weekend trips from the city. […]

February 27-28, 2012 – En route to Cairns, Australia

Day 52-53           We were ready for a couple of days rest after two active days in Sydney. Leisure time spent at sea, smooth sailing to Cairns. With the news of problems on other cruises, I feel like we are dodging bullets. The rumor here is that due to the turmoil […]

February 29, 2012 – Cairns, Australia – The Great Barrier Reef

Day 54               The first thing to learn about Cairns is how to pronounce it. It is pronounced “cans” as in beer “cans”. Nothing will identify you as a tourist quicker than saying “carnes” or “cairns” – it is “cans”. The second thing to learn is that the main […]

March 1,2,3,4, 2012 – The Great Barrier Reef to Indonesia

Day 55,56,57,58                   Leaving Cairns, we spent the next few days sailing through the Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately it was overcast for most of the trip so we had grey skies and steel blue water instead of the aquamarine blue to which we had been accustomed. We […]

March 5, 2012 – Komodo Island, Indonesia

Day 59 Komodo Island is the home of the Komodo Dragon which lives on this island and a couple other small nearby islands. This island is an Indonesian National Park and is the home of some 1200 Komodo Dragons, which run free on the island. These are the largest of the monitor lizards and this […]

March 6, 2012 – Lombok Island, Indonesia

Day 60 I don’t know about all of you, but I need to confess my ignorance of the country of Indonesia up to this point. I have always thought of it, if I thought of it at all, as some vague place in the far eastern Pacific…. Well I was right on its approximate location […]

March 7-8-9-10, 2012 – At sea through Indonesia to Hong Kong

Day 61-62-63-64                   As we sail north through Indonesia toward Hong Kong we cross the Equator, which always calls for a ceremony on board ship to “initiate” first time crossers. Seafaring tradition holds that people who have not crossed………… the Equator are considered pollywogs and must be […]

March 11, 2012 – Day 1 Hong Kong

Day 65   Hong Kong has been one of the major targets of this trip for us. From a distance, in the news, in movies and on television, it has seemed a place of excitement and mystery and we have been very anxious to experience the city. Hong Kong consists of Hong Kong Island, plus […]

March 12, 2012 – Day 2 Hong Kong

Day 66 Our second day in Hong Kong and I wish we could stay for a week – it would take that long, at least, to see everything you might want to in this wonderful city. We were off this morning to a wholesale jewelry company in Hong Kong Central which was arranged by the […]

March 13, 2012 – En route to Vietnam

Day 67               Today I received an invitation to tour the engine room. We met the engineering officer at the front office and he led us………….down to deck one and then through a door into the crew area, where I have never been before and then through a secured […]

March 14, 2012 – Nha Trang, Vietnam

Day 68                 Nha Trang is a coastal resort which has experienced a growth spurt in the past few years due to increased tourism, both from cruise ships and as a “fly in” destination from Europe, primarily from Russia….. with several direct flights each day from Moscow. Nha […]

March 15, 2012 – Saigon, Vietnam

Day 69                 Our port of call today is Phu My, Vietnam. Phu My is the port location to visit Saigon, which is about 60 miles up the Saigon River. While the official name was been changed to Ho Chi Minh City following the war, no one that […]

March 16 – 17, 2012 – En route to Singapore

Day 70 – 71 Two days at sea to rest up for Singapore – smooth sailing southbound. No big shipboard shindigs.

March 18, 2012 – Singapore

Day 72               Singapore is one of the places on this itinerary I have really been looking forward to visiting, and it did not disappoint! We have two full days here and we intended to make the most of them. Our berth was occupied at the cruise center so […]

March 19, 2012 – Singapore Day 2

Day 73 One time, several years ago, while walking to the river in New Braunfels, our family passed an elderly man coming from the river with his tube over his shoulder, his street shoes and clothes soaked. He said “You gotta be tough to have fun!”. Truer words were never spoken. By the way – […]

March 20-21, 2012 – Phuket, Thailand and the sea day to get there

Day 74-75                                             It seemed like a very short trip to Phuket Island, Thailand. Our first visit to this country, which I knew absolutely nothing about, so I had no expectation whatsoever….. This is […]

March 22-24, 2012 – Colombo, Sri Lanka and the sea day to get there.

Day 76-78           A very pleasant two days at sea and we arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Saturday morning. Sri Lanka is the former Ceylon, an island south of India….  Officially known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka has been held by the Dutch, Portuguese, and […]

March 25-26, 2012 – Mangalore, India and the sea day to get there.

Day 79-80                                     Our first of three stops in India, all along the west coast of the Country. Mangalore is a port that does not get a lot of tourist travel, so the facilities for handling a shipload […]

March 27, 2012 – Marmagao, India

Day 81               Goa, India is our second stop in this country. Goa is much larger and busier than Mangalore and is much more of a tourist center. Today there were eight of us who decided to tour together, and after failing … to find a van, we engaged […]

March 28, 2012 – First day in Mumbai, India

Day 82                 I have to confess to some apprehension about this visit. I guess I have been preconditioned by our earlier ports in India, by other passengers and my own misinformation, to expect enormous crowds, waves of beggars and vendors and general difficulty in getting around and […]

March 29, 2012 – Second day in Mumbai, India

Day 83               Our second day in Mumbai. The name, by the way was changed from Bombay a few years ago. Bombay, loosely translated means “good bay” in Portuguese….. but most of the local folks we have met, still call it Bombay. It looked like this might be another […]

March 30, 31, April 1,2,3, 4 2012 – Sea Days through pirate country.

Day 84-85-86-87-88-89                   As we sail westward from India, we pass through an area noted for pirate activity……   If you look on the map you can see all of those friendly countries, such as Somalia, Yemen, etc.                   […]

April 5, 2012 – Safaga – Luxor, Egypt

Day 90 The port of Safaga is the nearest one to Luxor – our target for the day. Luxor, an important city in ancient Egypt, was the primary center of worship, governance, and residence for some thirty pharaohs .. from about 2100 BC to approximately 1000 BC (at least as near as I can tell). […]

April 6, 2012 – Sharm el Sheik, Egypt

Day 91 Sharm el Sheik is a small resort town which has been expanded from a small fishing village into a planned resort community, very much in the manner that Cancun was built into a tourist attraction…. by the Mexican government. Recently, Sharm was in the headlines as the location of the villa in which […]

April 7-8, 2012 – Suez Canal, Egypt and day at sea in Mediterranean

Day 92-93 We left Sharm el Sheik and made a fast run up to a point just south of the Suez canal. This was necessary to assure our spot in the convoy in the morning. There are two southbound convoys… and one northbound convoy. The first southbound convoy goes halfway and then anchors in one […]

April 9-10, 2012 – Piraeus (Athens) Greece

Day 94-95 Piraeus is the port for Athens Greece – another place we have never visited before, but since Chandler & Jeff were here in late August & September on their honeymoon, we called upon them for some expert… .. travel advice. Their advice was “stick to the old stuff”, which we pretty much did […]

April 11, 2012 – Katakalon, Greece

Day 96 A short overnight trip from Athens brings us to the charming little port of Katakolon, Greece. Where Athens is big and bustling, Katakolon is small and charming – a welcome break.            Katakolon looks too small to support any cruise traffic, but they have two huge piers and there were […]

April 12, 2012 – Messina, Sicily, Italy

Day 97 Sicily is another first for us. All I know about Sicily is that it is the birthplace of the Mafia – home of… ..Don Corleone, and is the first place in Europe that George Patton was successful. If I remember correctly, it is this very town of Messina to which Georgie boy beat […]

April 13, 2012 – Naples, Italy

Day 98 Naples was our first encounter with really bad weather – it was raining and in the low fifties…. From our previous visits here, we know Naples to be more of a commercial port and less of a tourist stop, at least the center of Naples is so. Outlying points of interest, which we […]

April 14, 2012 – Ajaccio, Corsica, France

Day 99 Another place we have never been before, about which we are quite curious. Corsica is a large island, which is French. It is just north of another large island, Sardinia, which is Italian. Corsica is most ……. … famous as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. Our port is in Ajaccio, the town in […]

April 15-16, 2012 – Barcelona, Spain

Day 100-101 Barcelona is one of our favorite places to visit – we have been here three or four times on cruises…. … and we have always wished to stay longer. It is truly one of those places that it might take an entire summer to see completely. Hmmmmm???             […]

April 17-18, 2012 – Through the Strait of Gibraltar to Cadiz, Spain

Day 102-103 We went through the Strait of Gibraltar in the middle of the night, but Sally and I got up ……..             ..to watch. We took these pictures, obviously not the best quality, but the one on the left is the European side, with the rock barely discernable, and […]

April 19-20, 2012 – A day at sea and a day in Funchal Madiera

Day 104-105 We have visited Madeira several times in the past. It is a usual stop when making an Atlantic crossing. The Madeira Islands are volcanic, like Hawaii, and belong to Portugal. They were settled …… ..relatively early, compared with the Americas, due to their proximity to Europe. They actually lie west of Morocco about […]

April 21-27, 2012 – Sea days across the Atlantic to Ft. Lauderdale

Day 106-112 If you have followed this journey, I am sure you understand that I absolutely love days at sea.  In fact..   ..I have often said that if the cruise lines offered a trip that sailed out into the ocean for a week, turned around and sailed back, with no ports, I would consider […]

World Cruise 2012 Epilogue

World Cruise 2012 Epilogue Back home in Georgetown and back to the real world.  I would have to say that we may be addicted to cruising since, prior to arrival in Ft. Lauderdale, we checked to see if our cabin was available for the 2 weeks following (Ft. Lauderdale to Seattle).  Alas, the ship was […]