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Off to Hawaii and the South Pacific Aboard the Statendam

| November 10, 2008

Many of us have gone on cruises, but few are fortunate enough to enjoy a true sea voyage. A photographic summary of the pure indulgance of a 35 day sailing onboard Holland America's m.s. Statendam.

Nothing is more exciting than embarkation day. Walking onto a ship you've never sailed. The anticipation of the good times ahead. That fluttery feeling you get in your stomach as you first step aboard. All of these feelings and more bombarded my senses as I boarded the m.s. Statendam for my long-awaited voyage to Hawaii and the islands of the South Pacific.

Nothing like that first sailaway. The unpacking has been completed. The cabin settled into. Lifeboat drill is out of the way. Now all there remains to do is relax and have fun. Despite the wind and the chill, everyone is on deck as the Statendam heaves her anchor and heads out to sea from Vancouver.

click on pictures below for larger images:

 
A Windy Sailaway from the Aft Deck   A Particularly Beautiful Sunset Leaving Vancouver

First up: Victoria, British Columbia. The ferry will get you there from Vancouver in a couple of hours, but it takes the Statendam a bit longer because of the route cruise ships have to take. But early the next morning we found ourselves docked in Victoria. What would a trip to Victoria be without a visit to Butchart Gardens?

click on pictures below for larger images:

   
Entrance to Butchart Gardens   Flowers in Every Imaginable Color Abound   These Purple Blooms are Among my Favorites

After a full day at the Gardens, it was time to kick back and relax. A day at sea was up next, followed by a stop in San Francisco where we picked up more passengers, and sadly saw others disembark. Close friends Trish and Virgil boarded here and it was a sweet reunion.

Another day at sea, followed by a stop in San Diego to pick up still more passengers, and let others off who were only doing the coastal portion of the voyage.

Then it was a glorious four full days at sea, heading to the wonderful islands of Aloha! Our evenings were filled with events, such as the Captain's Welcome Aboard Ceremony and elaborate production shows in the Queens Lounge. The days were spent kicking back and relaxing.

A CruiseCritic/CriseMates Meet and Greet was held in the Crow's Nest where old friendships were renewed, while new ones were made.

Continue Article >> Meet and Greet (Part 2)

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