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The Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, part 54

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The Grand Asia & Australia Voyage - Holland America Amsterdam, September 19-November 23, 2008

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Fifty-four

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November 22 (Saturday, Day 68, At sea) -

We got up and ate our last lunch (delicious hamburgers and fries from the grill) and then returned to our room to pack. At 4:00 we went to the “unofficial” party in the Neptune Lounge. Everyone brought leftover liquor and soft drinks and Carlo brought four pizzas from the grill. It was a great break from packing and energized us.

The spread at the Neptune Lounge party

Photos All Around

More after the jump . . . We did an excellent job on this voyage of drinking all the sodas, water, wine and beer that we either shipped to the Amsterdam or bought at the ports. Filbert killed the last bit of rum today from the four bottles of liquor that came with our suite. He also drank the single beer that was purchased in Samoa. We have three bottles of water left and six cans of soda and those will probably be consumed before we get off the ship tomorrow. Although we estimated the right amount of beverages to ship, we definitely over-packed clothing given that we had free laundry (and we even knew we were going to have the ship do our laundry for us before we got on the ship). We will NOT bring as much clothing on our January 15-day cruise.

We returned to our room and got our five pieces of luggage for FedEx packed and in the hall by 6:00 PM which is a record for us. We have three other bags we’re taking with us to Cancun (one is dedicated to our snorkeling equipment).

The last evening's supper


The luggage

November 23 (Sunday, Day 69, San Diego, California) -

We had our last breakfast and left the ship around 9:30 for our night at the Hyatt in San Diego. Here’s the story as to why we didn’t fly straight home. South Dakota State University (SDSU) men’s and women’s basketball teams are in tournaments over Thanksgiving in Cancun, Mexico. We decided eight months ago to fly to Cancun after our cruise so that’s what we’re doing.

A pedicab was waiting at the dock and so we took it to the Hyatt. It was only about 1 mile away and a taxi would have been cheaper, but it was a lot of fun. Our luggage was securely stowed behind us and our driver wasn’t concerned about the weight. After he took us, though, he decided not to return to the ship since he didn’t know it was a 65-day cruise. He was wondering why people had so much luggage and wanted to know why we had so little. We explained about our free shipping and that we really did have a lot more luggage.

In the pedicab

We checked in to the Hyatt and got a nice room on the 30th floor with an excellent view of the bay. The Regency Club was good, too. Filbert had to refill two prescriptions so we found the closest Walgreen’s and planned our day. It was four miles away and we decided to take the light rail to the closest station and then walk the rest of the way. The Walgreen’s seemed to be between two stations so we got off at the first one. That station was in the middle of nowhere (well, there was one 24-hour adult bookstore amidst all of the warehouses) and we had to walk about 1.5 miles to the Walgreen’s, but we made it and got his prescriptions. We walked to the other station which happened to be in “Old Town” so we wandered around there for a couple of hours and ate a late lunch at a Mexican restaurant.

We got back to the Hyatt, relaxed and enjoyed the wonderful American TV stations. (When the satellites were in the proper position, we had CNN International and ESPN International on the ship along with the ship’s four movie channels and shipboard channel.) Filbert stationed himself at the huge window and watched the ms Amsterdam sail away at 6 PM. Then we went to the sports bar in the Hyatt for a light dinner and watched the San Diego Chargers lose their home football game in the last 24 seconds (for the 4th time this season).

Sunset from the San Diago Hyatt

Amsterdam, departing