period 01/19/07 thru 08/15/07 has been covered in Updates 1 through 25.
We continue with UPDATE 2007 # 26.
2007 #26 08/16/07
Welcome back to the new Adventures of the trawler AMARSE.
At last update, we were getting ready for our upcoming trip to Alaska.
BRUNSWICK, GA to DALLAS, TX
We awoke with great excitement and anticipation toward our new adventure
that commences this morning.
Before departing the marina at about noontime, we had AMARSE settled for
our absence. The
folks at Sheltair, a corporate aircraft service facility at the Jacksonville
airport, kindly allowed us to leave our car with them.
Unfortunately, the car was misbehaving again and will need more attention
when we get back.
I certainly hope it will be something small as we have endured enough
automobile expense already this month to last years.
Although our flight was scheduled for 4:05pm, we checked in at 1:45pm.
They told us that the flight was running a little late and should depart
15 minutes late.
After a while, we checked the status board only to find out that the
flight was not going to leave until 5:30pm.
This, of course, meant that we would miss the connection in Dallas-Ft.
American Airlines supervisor re-arranged our flights resulting in an overnight
stay in Dallas and continuing early the next morning on Frontier Airlines
connecting through Denver.
Once again, commercial air travel proved to be a challenge to our
A family with three young kids set the stage of continuous pandemonium in
the seats behind us.
Do you think Judy enjoyed the vibrating seat as one kid kept kicking
incessantly at her seat back?
One of the other kids spilled a drink on the mother and she proceeded to
take off her wrap-around skirt to dry.
What a zoo!
After arriving in Dallas, we were issued vouchers for the Ramada Inn and
meal tickets from American with instructions to report to Frontier Airlines two
hours prior to the 6:50 am scheduled departure.
A shuttle bus dropped us at the hotel and we walked across the road to
Denney’s for a quick meal.
When we opened our bag to get the toiletries kit, Judy found that her
shampoo bottle had cracked open and leaked all over the inside pouch of the
a mess! It
was only a little luck that kept the gooey mess out of the other compartments.
It took us just under an hour to clean up the persistent mess.
TX to VANCOUVER, BC
At 4:15am, the raspy sounds of the alarm clock blasted reality into our
dream world. Thirty
minutes later, we were in the shuttle to Terminal E for the Frontier Airlines
check-in agent showed our reservation but insisted that we would need paper
tickets from American Airlines.
Those of you that have been to DFW airport know how immense it is with so
many distant terminals.
While Judy watched the bags, I scurried aboard the inter-terminal shuttle
for Terminal C. The
first line was huge and the service agent recommended that I hustle down to
another area of ticket counters.
Now, already pooped out, I waited in a shorter line before being issued
the required documentation.
I buzzed out to the shuttle and slipped the driver a few bucks to run me
directly over to Terminal E.
I called Judy on the cell phone and she got in the line again to check in
to Frontier. Just
as the agent was tagging our bags, the handlers cut-off any more luggage checks.
With boarding passes in hand, we joined the line for security.
Slowly, ever so slowly, the TSA processed each passenger.
Since we were just recently ticketed, we were selected for additional
This took us another 15 minutes to accomplish.
Half running, half speed walking, we rushed to the far away gate.
At our gate, they had already boarded most of the passengers.
The good news is that we had made it and we could take our assigned seats
about a squeaker, it took a little while to catch our breaths after all the
At Denver, we had a couple of hours to enjoy a nice breakfast at the Mesa
Verde Café. Judy
had French Toast made with Indian-style Flatbread.
It was an interesting concept and quite tasty.
Upon our arrival at the Vancouver airport, we joined the enormous line
awaiting Immigrations and Customs clearances.
We were amazed at the number of international carriers from all over the
world that were converging on this western Canadian metropolis.
Moments after retrieving our luggage at Customs, we were greeted by
representatives of the Holland America Cruise Lines.
For a fee of $17 each, they would provide baggage service direct to our
room and bus transportation directly to the ship.
By 2:30pm, we were in the short line for express check-in.
Having accomplished the main body of paperwork online, it only required a
few signatures and a check of our ID’s to receive our boarding cards.
Our large room and comfortable surroundings immediately impressed us.
A cursory orientation of the ship’s layout and a lift to the Lido Deck
#8 found us at the luncheon buffet.
Someway, somehow, Judy popped a small blood vessel near her right eye.
Perhaps with her reading glasses or possibly from rubbing her eyes, it
left her with a black eye shiner.
Fortunately, it did not impair her vision and it was painless.
The only downside was a bit of embarrassment. Oh well, as far as I’m
concerned, she is still very beautiful and I love to look at her.
The Canada Place Pier is located right downtown in Vancouver.
The view from the ship’s upper deck is quite impressive.
The inner harbor was a bustle of activity with the constant buzzing of
arriving and departing seaplanes.
International maritime regulations require that all passengers
participate in an evacuation and lifeboat drill prior to sailing.
Everyone dons their life jacket and proceeds to their assigned muster
training will be vital in case of an emergency at sea.
At the 5pm departure, the docking terminal shows quite impressively
against the backdrop of the Vancouver skyline.
And the party begins with music and cocktails on the aft section of the
Lido Deck. Bon
We join the Inside Passage that will carry us north along the British
Columbia coast leading to the 49th State of Alaska.
With a bit of time before our late-seating dinner reservations, we
enjoyed some wonderful music by Gerard and Friends in the Oceans Bar Lounge.
The setting sun provided an inspiring view of the beauty of this
Seated at Table 132 of the Rotterdam Dining Room, we shared the evening
repast with fellow guests aboard ship.
Mel and Millie, from Silver City, New Mexico on one side of the table and
Molly and Penny Osborne, a mother and daughter from Vancouver, BC on the other
side, we each introduced ourselves soon to become friends.
After enjoying some of the best French Onion Soup that we’ve ever had
and a savory Caesar salad, Judy selected the Salmon Almandine.
I ordered an entrée of Ling Cod baked in a crust of sour cream and panko
After desert, we entered the Showroom theatre in the forward of the ship
for tonight’s entertainment.
A show featured comedienne Diana Jordan.
The VOLENDAM dancer/singer team from the ship belted out some rousing
numbers that brought huge applause from the guests.
With the night still young, we stopped by the Oceans Bar Lounge to enjoy
some more of Gerard and Friends.
This Filipino band has a great sound and their repertoire is much to my
It has been a very tiring day that started very early in Dallas.
Although we would have loved to stay longer, our aging eyelids were
NORTHWEST INSIDE PASSAGE
At 8:30am, we joined Pat and John Boyle, from Randolph, Massachusetts,
for breakfast in the dining room.
As many of you know, I enjoy cooking and learning about the culinary
Volendam has devoted an area as the Culinary Arts Theatre and it is co-sponsored
by Food and Wine Magazine.
This wonderful facility is fully equipped and even has special cameras
that focus on the inside of the dishes being prepared.
Today, Chef Sheldon demonstrated the preparation of Black Cod in a Cream
His second creation consisted of Quenelles of Buffalo Mozzarella on
garlic crusty croutons, topped with roasted beets.
Yes, of course, we had the opportunity to taste a bit of each.
Our luncheon in the main Dining Room consisted of my selection of Wiener
Schnitzel and Judy’s choice of a Steak Sandwich.
The views of the water, woods, and mountains were absolutely spectacular.
Tonight, we dressed for the first Formal Dinner event.
It is always such an honor for me to be able to accompany this wonderful
and beautiful woman.
I am so very fortunate to be sharing my life with her.
After delicious appetizers and a creamy, chilled leek soup, who could
resist the selection of Beef Wellington?
Would it be too much to ask for a few Alaskan King Crab legs to go along
with the tender beef?
Molly and her daughter, Penny, are such a joy to be with.
They are interesting, intelligent, and wonderful conversationalists.
They both lead active and interesting lives that are so much fun to hear
has traveled to more that 60 countries and Penny is a practicing
anesthesiologist doctor in Vancouver.
Suko, an architect from Phoenix, Arizona, was traveling solo on this
frequently takes cruise trips to enable him a quiet location to do his work.
He finds it more productive because he is not interrupted or distracted.
For him, the ship is like his condo.
His meals are well prepared and he doesn’t have to clean up like he
would in a condo.
We never saw him anywhere outside of the dinner room.
Tonight’s entertainment show, entitled “Gold”, featured the
fantastic singers and dancers of the Volendam troupe.
Every moment was thoroughly enjoyable.
Lest you think the fun ends here, wrong!
At the upper deck lounge, the dance floor buzzed with the sounds of a
50’s and 60’s Sock Hop Party.
When we awoke, we found ourselves safely docked in Ketchikan.
During the night, we had also switched to Alaskan Time by turning the
clocks back another hour.
It is now 4 hours earlier than Eastern Daylight time.
The weather was a typical, low overcast with a damp, 60-degree
city is well known for its high annual rainfall.
I guess that would explain why everything is so green.
The Volendam is a comparatively small, but very attractive, ship in the
Holland America fleet.
After breakfast on the Lido Deck #8, we strolled leisurely around the
historic town. Of
course, the multitude of shops caters to the crowds of cruising tourists that
swell the population each and every summer day.
It is not unusual for 4 or 5 ships to frequent this destination every
day, each vessel carrying thousands of eager customers in the spending mode.
Imagine the possibilities.
A particularly interesting section is Creek Street.
In the early days around the turn of the century and prior to statehood,
this area boasted both bars and brothels that were sought out by, not only the
miners, loggers, and trappers, but also by the local inhabitants.
The roadway was even nicknamed “Married Man Way” which boldly hinds
of some of their best clientele.
It has been said that… “Creek Street is where both salmon and men
come to spawn.”
The small boat harbor is cram packed with both fishing vessels and
This enterprising fellow uses the tidal range to work on his boat bottom.
While the tide is out, he patches and paints quickly in hopes of beating
the twice-daily tide cycle that will re-float his little sailboat.
Note that he has to wear boots to splash around in the water between the
While in town, we visited the National Parks Service Interpretive Center.
They have arranged a comprehensive exhibit to educate about the history
and features of this wonderful wilderness area.
We also enjoyed watching hundreds and hundreds of Salmon swimming and
loitering against the swift current of the Creek waiting their time to proceed
further upstream and spawn
As VOLENDAM headed northbound, the ship’s naturalist attempted to educate interested passengers eager to learn more about the
wildlife and fauna of the region.
Unfortunately, we found that either his method of explanation or his level of
expertise did not satisfy our depth of interest.
The vessel below is the M/V MALPENSA, a ferry engaged by the Alaska State
Marine Highway. Numerous
vessels of this class and size move passengers, cars, trucks, and cargo
throughout the various islands and areas of coastal Alaska.
The Showtime entertainment featured a magnificent banjo player.
Morry was billed as the “World’s Fastest Banjo Player”.
During his show, he fascinated and mesmerized the audience with a
repertoire of well-known tunes strummed skillfully and rapidly.
The crowd loved him and he received a rousing round of applause and a
Once again, Judy looked lovely for the dining experience in the Rotterdam
Tonight, the program was entitled “Master Chef’s Dinner”.
The guests were asked to don these chef hats to enhance the overall
effect of the theme.
Mel and Millie had a fun time and looked so spiffy in their tall, white
folks back home in Silver City, New Mexico will never believe this.
Everywhere you look in this great state, you see the beauty of nature
The Master Chef’s special dinner included performances by the wait
staff that included parades and juggling acts.
Synchronized dancing, Indonesian style?
Well, it’s close.
The dinner specialties included oxtail soup, lobster bisque, and
tenderloin of beef.
Of course, there were enough other choices to fit almost everyone’s
The Master Chef, Rudi Sodermin, designed this signature desert of a
mousse filled, white chocolate molding of a chef’s hat garnished with red
The comedienne, Diana Jordan, entertained in the theatre with her version
of Late Night Comedy for adults only at 11:15pm.
She had some funny lines, however, much of her material was a bit dated
and not very original, as we had previously heard a lot of it from other
Due to the large number of pictures taken during this cruise trip, I have
divided each week into two update sections.
The cruise aboard Holland America Lines VOLENDAM will continue in UPDATE
Comments made in this update and website are merely personal opinions and
observations about our personal experiences.
Comments made in this update and website are merely personal opinions and observations about our personal experiences.
ATTENTION: SPECIAL NOTE:
"AMARSE". is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY".
is: www.amarse.net .
Lot of Love,
Fred Reed and Judy
Fred H. Reed
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