Our recent cruise was about family time and just pure adventure. We wanted it to be special, and we were craving time away from our jobs. Honestly, I can never have time away from my job because I am a travel writer and no matter where I go I write! Truly an addiction and a good one, but sometimes, I live too much behind the camera! Today I will show you the journey of cruising.
Not sure what to expect from the new ship that we chose, I believe I was pleasantly surprised by embarkation and room preparedness. Cruise travel is one of my favorite ways to see the world, and this time we were stopping at 6 different countries and it was 10 days. We have taken up to 8 days of cruises, so we were ready to relax and unwind. Our cruise was a 10 day, 6 port adventure.
Simple pleasures go a long way and I can savor my journey while indulging in them! Lavishly live travel out loud and learn where you can savor the journey while you cruise and truly gain rest and relaxation.
Where You Can Savor The Journey While You Cruise
Where better to savor the journey than on Holland America Cruise Lines. This journey for my family and myself was eventful and fun while in the countries and islands we visited, yet, relaxing and easy going aboard!
When I saw the ship, I knew immediately we would no be getting lost as we walked about. It is very straightforward and easy to navigate while aboard. So I do love adventure, but I really needed to just relax on this trip, so not having to figure where the dining room was equaled a big plus for us!
A Rough Start To Our Journey.
As our misfortune would have it, Pittsburgh was about to get slammed with bad weather. Really though this just adds to our journey or the tale of our journey. We surprised the kids when they got home from school and said shower up we are ‘out of here’. Packing up so fast it was like a hurricane blew through our home, but we got the last flights and last hotel room as fate would have it!
Thus, by the time we got to the ship, I just wanted to relax and that is exactly what we did! It’s time to savor the journey aboard the Miss Nieuw Amsterdam with Holland America.
Cheers To Cruising
We arrived at the port of call on time. We thought we might have to wait a bit to get onboard. The boarding procedure with Holland America is flawless, In my Opinion. Even as tenured cruisers with one brand, we still did not have the fast access that we experienced with Holland America so Woot Woot to a great beginning.
When we initially got there, we sat at the port in our chairs and enjoyed champagne beverages (well lemonade) and cookies. The kids were thrilled as it was approaching lunch time so snacks were perfect.
Checking The Ship Out
Since we were not in a hurry to go to our rooms, our adventurer sides kicked in. We decided to explore the ship, before going to our rooms! I went right to the top where the reserved cabanas were and as quickly as I snapped the images, I was asked to remove myself and I did. But it was totally worth sneaking the picture. What a great cabana.
The top picture is the adult only pool area and the NY Pizza place that you see a busy day long. I can attest to really good eats and will share more shortly. Our deck of choice on the whole cruise was right here. We spent night time outside and enjoying this deck, sometimes a DJ and other adults!
Here is a look inside my verandah suite inside on the ship. It is best to see it through video so I can cover all the details of the room. There were plenty of lights and I did not need an extension cube here.
Yes, the bed was very comfortable. We have had beds that were not as nice, this one was perfect. Plush and clean and everything you need to savor the journey and catch some sleep at night. The elegance of the room was right there and I am sure you can see it.
It truly was not long from the time we arrived to the time we boarded, we went right to our room! Yes, no waiting on the lido deck with luggage, just straight to our rooms. Did I mention our luggage was there and waiting?
There is plenty of storage under the bed and in the closets, so never worry about this, as the rooms are well appointed and functional, all at the same time.
Dining – Buffet to Savor
I have to say that the food on Holland America was truly divine. As a culinary traveling gal, I seek out the good eats and the more upscale travel destinations. What we found were buffets that offered everything you could possibly want.
Buffet dining offered vegetarian eats, English food, salad bar, sandwiches, freshly made chips, desserts, pasta etc. Truly extensive food stations that all just allowed you to eat until you could eat no more. Lol!
We had charcuterie nightly with wine service to start our meal. Savoring the journey is about enjoying the lovely food options as well. A big part of cruising is a culinary pleasure. The chefs are incredibly talented and spend hours creating delicious food.
To thank them and show them how much we love them, we eat and indulge in foods we normally won’t as our lifestyle and dietary does not allow. Again, vacation calories don’t count and we are savoring the journey! Guilty pleasures are on the table, dig in!
We prefer dining in the dining room when we are on the ship. In fact, we schedule a time and stick to it. For us, it helps us keep a schedule which is beneficial in many ways. First sugar regulation and second it assists our stomachs in not overeating. You all know overeating is something that we call ‘vacation calories’ but I brought dresses and clothes that I need to fit into and that is the way it stayed.
Dining as a family aboard a ship is quintessential of the elegance. One thing that was a bit different on Holland America than our other cruises was the fact that we did not have a dedicated table until the last three days, and we had a hard time getting a dedicated meal time because the earlier seating before 6:30 was taken. We did manage to work around it and were flexible in where they sat us.
That said, we like getting to know our staff, this time we barely got to know anyone, even though the cruise was longer. We dined by the windows 3 nights, another night we were in the middle of the dining room and then another night we were on the second floor. It was kind of cool to be exposed to all different sections. In the end, our preference, window-side seating and the same server.
Desserts Because Stressed is Not A Thing On A Cruise
At the end of every good meal, let the gluttony continue. After all, vacations are but once a year, for most. Go Big, or Go Home. Here are a few to salivate over. If you still need more reasons to savor the journey, take a look at this cheesecake.
Drinks By Moonlight and Poolside
There is nothing like a cruise and roaming the ship at night. A drink by the deck and a delicious tall margarita. Of course, I had to have at least one margarita on the cruise and this was perfectly blended and tall!
While the pool was there, often tables were set around it and we would just sit there and enjoy the moonlight and the soft breeze that was around us. Truly a perfect moment to savor the journey to our destinations.
One thing I never take for granted is any moment. When you have the chance to walk between 2 cruise ships, it is surreal. The ships are mammoth and we are so small! Look at my capture. In fact, one of my favorite memories of cruising is when the ships are parked together in port.
Finally, there are those moments after you leave port, and walk the ship to the back. One of my favorite ways to see the water is from the back of the ship. It’s awesome and so solemn. Just imagining what is beneath the great deep sea!
Enjoying The Moments
So there are times to really cut loose and our room attendant gave us a few new towel characters, which led to a bit of laughter and giddiness. Relaxing is how laughter just seems to come out of nowhere isn’t it?
Now I kicked back in a robe in my suite. I also spent a lot of time on our balcony, watching the moon, the stars and the water, it is entrancing. However, back to the pizza. I got it boxed to go from the lido deck and just slummed for a while. Savoring the moment is about the small things and a box of pizza on the high seas is totally terrific.
Laugh & Be Entertained
Vacation and savoring the moment is about doing things we are often in too much of a rush to enjoy. For instance, I love Broadway shows and comedy acts and every night on the ship there were different shows.
Trust me, I drive my husband nuts, but he is sweet and appeases me. We go to ALL the shows. During the show we enjoy cocktails and after the show, we hit the slots and casino area. Afterward we have a few more drinks, it’s Where You Can Savor The Journey While You Cruise Y’all!
Walk The Interior
With each cruise ship adventure, we find different areas and rooms we love. There are always things that take our breath away and of course tidbits of info we find out and wished we knew ahead. For me, my goal is to be a floor 7 guest with Holland America. Why?
Floor 7 is reserved for those guests who have sailed multiple times before. There’s a special room with special food and beverages to enjoy, in other words, a reward for being a loyal guest. To date, we have been very loyal to Carnival, so it is time to spread our wings! These perks are something you need to know about!
Here was more or less the center of our ship. On the lowest level were the concierge desk, future travel planning and a scale for weighing that luggage! (guilty of using it!) I wanted to travel to the bottom of the ship and yes we did, just so you could see the sitting areas. We never once sat here. Instead, we spent time in the casinos, bars and shopping level, as well as the outside.
Walking lets you get a great feel for the ship, but don’t just walk at night, walk while you are at sea. The coolest thing is walking the ‘track’ on the ship and seeing all different viewpoints while walking. I refer to this as a serene haven for walkers.
The photo below shows you the pool, the hallways we walked in and one of my favorite features our wet towel lady. Seriously she is the best ever. Get heated up and dirty from an adventure and cool down with a cloth before you ever get back on the ship.
We would get on an off the ship even after our port of call time. We got off while still in port to take photos because this is an important mention. Therefore, this is something different than Carnival offered. Additionally, there are waters and lemonades and trust me by the time you walk the port walk, you are ready for it all!
When the Journey Ends
Hopefully, pictures are something you took tons of. I always take a lot of photos because I love looking back on the trip and savoring the journey. I’d like to thank the fabulous crew and staff of Holland America for the fantastic cruise my family of 5 enjoyed. 10 days went by like the blink of an eye, and yet I dream of it each day! Let me know how fantastic your cruise was aboard Holland America! ~ DANA XO