Saturday, March 9, 2019

Monday, August 6, 2018 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Mostly Sunny – 87F

The first of our back to back voyages has come to an end. Celebrity Eclipse got to Amsterdam very early in the morning.  Once the ship is turned around and new passengers board, we are off on a cruise to the British Isles.  Looking very much forward to that. 

IMG_20180806_British Isles itinerary

But before that happens, we are treated to an absolutely perfect day in Amsterdam.  The oppressive heat we experienced when we were in the city two weeks ago has gone and the temperature and humidity are right in the comfort range.

(There are no mileage stats for Cruise 1 because we did not get any disembarkation sheet this morning.)

Chris Sweets has left and Giuseppe is the Cruise Director for the upcoming cruise. 

We eventually got our instructions for the turnaround. We met at 8:45 AM in the Quasar Disco and and then scanned out at the gangway and surrendered our current sea pass cards. We then went to the terminal and through immigration and then waited for our new sea pass cards. The process took longer than expected – almost an hour and half.

We had an early lunch in the Oceanview Café – the food did look familiar.

We were told that we needed to carry our passports if we left the ship – another first.  But that didn’t deter us from seeing more of Amsterdam on such a nice day.

The ship is not docked at a port but next to the terminal building so you walk right off and into an area with some shops, restaurants, office buildings and what look to be condos.

We crossed the street at the Cruise Terminal and noticed a sign that said “City Center 10 minutes” and arrows pointing out the direction.  This would be our route into the city.  But before heading out, we had to take the obligatory picture of the City Sign.

IMG_20180806_City Sign Amsterdam

We followed the signs directing us to the City Center, which disappeared a little while later. I guess the whole timing depends on the definition of City Center.

As we started our journey, I was able to get a nice picture of the Eclipse docked at the cruise port.

IMG_20180806_Eclipse docked

Celebrity Eclipse Docked

We walked under railroads, over a number of bridges, through a neat place called “Dijks Park”, through a place called “Marine Terrain” (which look like a college campus of sorts), through a series of walkways over water populated with young kids catching sun or swimming, and finally over a bridge and into what looked like a part of the City proper.

We did not find any spas along the way (one of our goals) but the walk was very interesting. On the way back, we sat down at the swimming facility and had an interesting conversation with a couple of young women. They spoke perfect English and gave us some idea of where we were and what it was like living in that area of Amsterdam.

IMG_20180806_Sandless beach AmsterdamIMG_20180807_Amsterdam swimming hole

Swim Park

After the chat, we retraced our steps to get back. We chatted with a person at Dijks Park and asked him about the urinals installed on the outside wall of one of the buildings. He told us they did that to keep people from peeing on the walls – now they pee in the urinals and the pee is collected and used to fertilize the plants in the park.

IMG_20180806_The Dutch and wall peeing



We stopped at Delirium Café – along one of the canals - for a Dutch Beer and Coke Lite. 

IMG_20180806_Dutch beer and a canal

Ellen tried out the swing provided.

IMG_20180806_Girl On a Swing

From the Café, you could get some nice views of the Nemo Aquarium and one of the canals. 

IMG_20180806_Nemo Aquarium and Canal

IMG_20180806_Nemo Aquarium

Nemo Aquarium

IMG_20180806_the shooter shooting

Shooting the Shooter

We then walked the rest of the way back to the ship. Total trip: 11,000 steps.

We had dinner in the Dining Room – we were able to get Table 401 which gave us a nice view of the sail away. Ellen had the seared salmon and mushroom soup; I had the mushroom soup and both veggie pastas – the raviolis were better than the orecchiette with pesto.

During the sail away, we saw the Amsterdam Sea Lock, most of which was still under construction.  We also saw some wind turbines and some cute statues of “kissing Dutch Kids”.

IMG_20180806_Amsterdam Sea Lock

Sea Lock

IMG_20180806_Sail away wind turbine

IMG_20180806_kissing dutch

We passed on “Queens of Rhythm” and instead went to the room for some quiet. I am almost finished with “The Defector”.

Clocks moved backwards tonight.

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