My wife Marty and I have over 100 days on Holland America Line (HAL), but we haven’t sailed on HAL for over a year!
We found a great price on our Nov 4th cruise which included Half Moon Cay, Amber Cove, Grand Turk and Grand Cayman!
Many of these ports felt some of the wrath of the hurricanes of 2017, but Grand Turk was probably the hardest hit.
Marty and I left our home in Jacksonville, Florida at 6:30 am on Saturday, November 4th for the 5 hour drive to the Homewood Suites hotel parking lot. We usually spend the night at the Hilton Garden Inn located in Dania Beach the night before the cruise, but the hotel was full.
We arrived at the Homewood Suites at 11:30 a.m. so we stopped at the Wendy’s next door for a quick bite before getting on the shuttle to the cruise port.
The hotel lobby was very welcoming along with the staff who helped us with parking and the shuttle. The cost for the shuttle is $20 per person roundtrip and you must pay in cash!
We boarded the shuttle for the quick 15 minute ride to the Nieuw Amsterdam. Fortunately our ship was the first stop on the shuttle as we looked at the mammoth Harmony of the Seas through our window.
We arrived at the ship around 1 p.m. and there weren’t very many people outside the terminal and going through security.
Once we passed through security, we noticed about 40 people ahead of us in line for the check-in procedure, but the line moved quickly.
Unfortunately, our room card keys were nowhere to be found, so the agent had to step away for 5 minutes to manually print our card keys. I was a little upset that our 3 star Mariner status wasn’t reflected on the cards, but no biggie.
Marty and I then made our way up the escalator effortlessly to the Nieuw Amsterdam and boom, we were on the ship. No waiting!
We immediately headed to cabin 4127 which is a fully obstructed ocean-view cabin near the aft elevators.
Marty and I both loved our cabin! Lots of storage space, large flat screen TV and a bathtub!
(Note: In the past, Holland America Line cabins had DVD/CD players in the cabin….no longer.)
After we quickly unpacked, we headed up to the Lido deck for some food.
I immediately headed for the bread pudding then to the New York Pizza near the aft pool while Marty grabbed something healthier.
Later that night we had dinner in the Main Dining Room and then I stopped by the Main Show Lounge for the Welcome Show. Cruise Director Andy was incredible.
Day 2 was Half Moon Cay! Stay tuned!
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