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Old 05-28-2008, 08:38 PM
MarkD MarkD is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3
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Thanks for the replies and the welcome.
Yes, the current Amsterdam was new in 2000. IIRC, went into service 2001. So, 8 or 9 years on her since new. It is a beautiful ship inside, and outside too, if aboard.
I would, of course, consider going with H.A. again. Not only because of the good trip overall and the way we were treated the entire time, but also from what I have heard. I have heard that this company treats their people very, very well. The crews seem to reflect what I have heard, because they seemed to be happy, and were perfectly willing and able to indulge in a little conversation and humor with passengers. I like that. I don't like stiff and formal all the time. Actually, not at all.

But that vibration! I wouldn't have minded so much if I hadn't been trying to take pictures from upper decks somewhat forward.
Basically, decks 9 and 10. They call them Sport deck and Sky deck, respectively.
It was ok when taking close in shots, but in trying to take a picture from away from the ship, using a long lens, the shaking was so much that I couldn't get a clear picture. I am not exaggerating.
Interestingly, it was stronger forward than aft.
They don't seem too worried about it, whatever it is, because; We left Seattle around 4:30 or so aboard the Amtrak #8, Empire Builder. Leaving Seattle, we were headed northerly, along the sound. What should appear, but Amsterdam, working her way northward again, with another batch of happy passengers aboard. Already. Well, they have to keep those boats working to earn their keep. But my guess is that people who know more than I about it have determined that whatever it is, it can go on until there's time to take care of it. Still, it is shaking that boat pretty hard.
Even fittings in our stateroom,roughly midship, were shaking and rattleing. Sort of annoying to passengers. My wife didn't like it at all.
In the movie theater, the screen was shaking. That made Michael Clayton seem somewhat jumpy.
Oh well.
Yes, I had a great time. It was my first trip on a cruise ship, and it was great. I don't want to come across as a whiner. I'm just curious about that vibration. It is too strong to be something that would be inherent in the design.
I sure got a lot of great photo's regardless. I took well over 1000. Half film and half digital.
At one point, one morning a Canadian C-130 decided to use us as a practice target. He dropped to around stack level, then proceded to bank around the ship, astern from port to starboard. I had the motor drive on the film camera going, as I just happened to be at my normal station on deck 10, just aft of the Skydeck on the port side. I followed him around and keept the camera shooting until he flew off. Most people never saw him. They were too busy playing bingo, or some such.
Those photo's came out just incredible! At one point, he is hidden behind the stacks, as his altitude was that low! I loved it! In the pictures I can read the numbers off the aircraft.
That alone would have made the trip worthwhile! Then there was Glacier Bay. Another hilight, and Sitka, my original main reason for wanting to go. Well, I found Sitka is pretty much tourist trap, naturally, but still there is a lot of history. I didn't go back to the boat until I had to.

We used the tenders to go ashore there. As we reboarded the ship, one of the officers was standing near the gangway as we stepped aboard. I mentioned that a great entertainment for the passengers would be to have tender races. They take all four and run them in an oval of, say, 6 laps around the ship. Maybe about 100 yards out to keep it longer, and them away from the ship. It didn't take, but he did chuckle at the thought.
I still think it's a great idea.
Mark D.

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