Before retiring last night all our luggage, excepting carry-ons, was placed in the hall outside our cabin. It will be in the cruise terminal when we arrive in Rotterdam and avoids our having to deal with carrying all our “stuff” off the ship in the morning.
Our arrival was scheduled at 7A, but we were close to docking when we made it outside. Rotterdam is the original home of Holland America Line and, obviously, our ship is it’s namesake. It is also the home of Captain Carsjens, who must feel somewhat like those adventurous Portugese explorers finally returning home. Our average speed neccessary to cover the 236 miles from Le Havre to Rotterdam overnight was 8.9. When normal speed is somewhere between 16 and 19, it must have seemed like slow motion for Captain Carsjens to cover those last few miles.
The trepidation we had reserved for arrival and debarkation in Rotterdam turned out to be unfounded. There was ample time for breakfast, no wait once our color group was called, minimal effort retrieving our luggage on shore, and no wait boarding our HAL transportation to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
Meanwhile, the cruise log was delivered last night, and it allowed us to calculate our total distance traveled since leaving Fort Lauderdale a month ago. We have completed a cruise of 7,787 nautical miles, 3,341 of which were needed to cross the Atlantic to our first port of Funchal, Madeira. One nautical mile is equivalent to 1.15 land miles, so our land mile total is 8,955 miles. We visited 15 very different ports in 6 very different countries. Once on board there had been no driving, no searching for hotels or restaurants, no luggage hauling, and plenty of world-class experiences. I think it was Mark Twain who said “Cruising is a most civilized way to travel”. We can only add ……….. AMEN!