June 7 – 10, 2018

Netherlands-Norway Trip Part 1

Amsterdam, Rotterdam, First Day at Sea

  • 4689 miles flown
  • 585 miles sailed
  • 2 geocaches found

Signal the Frog, Deban and I traveled to Norway aboard the MS Rotterdam, a Holland America ship. This was an eight day cruise beginning and ending in Rotterdam, Netherlands. 

We left Tri-Cities airport two days before the cruise began, flying to Amsterdam via Atlanta and Detroit. Our flights were all very uneventful, arriving on time and safely at each stop. As usual, the last flight from Detroit to Amsterdam was overnight, and we arrived at the Schiphol airport at 8:30 am. 

We took the shuttle bus to our hotel, and stored our luggage because it was too early to check in. We then had some breakfast and settled in to the lobby to wait for our room to be ready. We expected to wait until 2:00 pm, but decided to inquire about our room around noon and they were able to give us a room that had just been cleaned. Once in the room we slept for several hours, and then had supper in the hotel at a 1950’s American-style diner. 

In the hotel lobby, Deban and I took turns posing for photos wearing giant Dutch shoes. I went a step further and donned a dress and cap, dressing as a proper Dutch lady. 

As I looked through my Facebook Messenger and Slack messages that evening, I discovered that my New Cache Order family back home had made arrangements for me to not miss the geocaching event they had attended the night before. The feeds in both messaging applications were filled with photos of my friends posing with a “flat antbedy” cutout. I love this group!

The next morning, we took a shuttle back to the airport and then were taken by bus to Rotterdam to meet our ship. Before we boarded, we took a short walk around the port area so that I could log a couple of geocaches. Deban is such a good sport to indulge my geocaching habit. She even found the first one for me. It was hidden at a life-size sculpture called the Lost Luggage Depot. 

The second cache was bit of a twist on the classic film canister hide. Inside the film canister was a film roll, with the log sheet protruding from it as the film would. I would like to duplicate this hide at home, if I can ever find an old film roll. 

We boarded our ship, and made our way to our cabin which would become our home for the next seven nights. One of the reasons we enjoy cruising is that once you are on board you can unpack and settle in for the whole week, letting the ship take you to new and exciting places without having to deal with luggage along the way. 

It was a busy afternoon with the mandatory life boat drill, a sail away party, and dinner in the formal dining room. We then went to the 8:30 pm show featuring comedienne Michele Balan. One of the perks of traveling with Olivia Travel is the exceptional entertainment they provide throughout the week. 

Sunday was our first full day on the ship, and we were at sea all day. Traditionally, this first day is “hometown pride” day and passengers are encouraged to wear clothing that shows where you are from. We wore our Tennessee t-shirts. We saw more Tennessee orange throughout the day, and met several women from the Knoxville area. 

There were activities on board all day, and we spent time exploring the ship, meeting people, and greeting friends we have made on past trips. Deban also spent some time in the casino. After another great show that evening featuring singer/songwriter Ruthie Foster, I watched Wonder Woman in the theater. 

We finally went to bed around midnight with dreams of what adventures we would experience the rest of the week. 

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