The HAL transfer from Valparaiso to Santiago went smoothly, the bus trip taking about 2 and a half hours. We were transported to a day room at the Sheraton. After dropping all of my carry-on’s, I purchased a 3 hour wifi card from the Sheraton for 3,000 pesos, about $6 US. Early in the afternoon, Keith arrived at the hotel. We decided to have lunch on the patio overlooking the pool. The weather was gorgeous. A lovely lunch consisting of splitting a sandwich and fries, 1 coke, and 1 coffee came to $30 US plus tip. Outrageous… but worth it for a lovely afternoon.
We were transferred to the airport at Santiago. A nice touch… our luggage was placed on carts for us before we arrived. After checking in, I went through security…. and had forgotten scissors in my carryon. They were taken from me. This might sound like nothing… but the scissors had been my mother-in-law’s and had been mine since the ’70’s. I almost cried.
I flew from Santiago to Miami, 9:35 pm to 4:25 am. Thru customs, claiming luggage, and rechecking took some time. Then on to Jacksonville. I was outside the Jacksonville airport waiting for my sister to pick me up at 9:35 am on Tuesday, November 5.
Home with a cold. And finally feeling the sleep deprivation.
The total distance of the voyage was 4,646, with Captain P. J. van Maurik, Hotel Director Rene Tuinman, and Cruse Director Kelsey Adami. I can’t say that I enjoyed the voyage nearly as much as I usually do. The Zaandam is not up to HAL standards as far as service and ambience.
However, I am now planning the 2014 Grand World Voyage segment on the Amsterdam from Hong Kong to Ft. Lauderdale. The ship will be filled with friends which I have learned is a big component of the enjoyment of the cruise.