Day 110–Mon., Apr. 25, 2011–At Sea

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     Well, here it is, the final sea day of this fantastic voyage around the world on the ms Amsterdam.  Lots to do today.  We had to finish packing, attend the disembarkation presentation and farewell from the crew, meet with onboard sports friends, crafts friend and others to say farewell.  Ray wrote his final thoughts on the cruise, but they must have been packed, I can’t find them.

     Our Cruise Director, Bruce Scudder, wrote this final piece for the Daily Explorer news.  He says it all!

     “On January 5, 2011, nearly 2,000 excited guests and dedicated crew embarked on a journey that promised to be like no other.  True to its title, “Gems of the World”, the 2011 Grand World Voyage laid out in spectacular array the gold of Incan Peru; the turquoise-blue of the South Pacific islands; the emerald hillsides of New Zealand; the opalesque colors of the Great Barrier Reef; the pearls of the Orient;, the rubies of the rajahs in India; the ancient treasures of the Valley of the Kings; and the sapphire blue waters of the Mediterranean.  The ms Amsterdam, our elegant home-away-from-home, is designed to navigate the 7 Seas in a truly grand style featuring gracious and attentive service, exquisite art and antiques, fragrant flowers, beautiful music, sparkling entertainment, and delicious food.  Our menus, offering everything from the exotic to the traditional, ensure that every palate is satisfied – each plate a work of culinary art.  The hand-selected crew go to work with just one goal in mind – to make each day a new, sparkling gem of a day for you.  Truth be told, the most precious gems of this 110-day adventure, are the people.  Old friendships rekindled; new ones made.  Extended families re-united; lives enriched and changed.  How can we ever forget the faces of the people all over this world in which we are privileged to travel?  Happy, smiling people who proudly welcome us to their country; the wide smiles of the world’s children, eager to be seen with you; and the grateful smiles of those men, women and children who are beneficiaries of your generosity through your donations to the Red Cross, the Hospicio de San Jose in Manila, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  When we are home, long after the bags are unpacked and the photos and videos sorted; long after the souvenirs and gifts have been delivered, one truly lasting memory will remain.  YOU, our dear guests and cherished friends, are the real gems of this 2011 “Gems of the World” Grand World Voyage.  On behalf of Captain Olav van der Waard, Hotel Manager Henk Mensink and the entire ship’s complement, thank you for a treasure trove of indelible, colorful, and meaningful memories.  Until we meet again … Bruce Allen Scudder”

     After dinner the dining room staff sang a farewell song to us.  The entertainment featured Max Dolcelli and Kimika.  We finished packing and put our bags outside the door to be carried off ship in the morning.  The bags shipped FedEx will next be seen at home.  We don’t have to claim them in the terminal.

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“Ships that pass in the night are quickly forgotten, but nights on the ship are remembered forever. – Mike Goodard –

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