Angry Sounds like the Dutch are pissed off.

 I couldn’t figure out why, for our first stop the morning after we got on this ship (Royal Princess), we didn’t arrive into Rotterdam until noon.  Southampton to The Netherlands is a rollicking 293 nautical miles… cross the English Channel, hang a left, boom! You’re there.

 But…we’re on a boat full of 2,500 jet lagged Americans.  At the here’s-how-you-put-a-velcro’ed-life-jacket-on demo, they asked people to cheer for their home country.  Oh, hell, yes, buncha Yanks. And all of them dragging their tail feathers from the red eye to get here. 

So finally, the noon arrival made sense.  Why make our Colonial Cousins cranky by getting into port early and depriving them of primo jet lag shuteye time?  

Let’s wander around the North Sea for the morning, entice them into snoozing in (“after all, honey, there’s no reason to get up early…”) and they’ll wake up happy and ready to take the overpriced tours and spend them greenbacks!

Enter the Dutch, and the rest o’ the Europeans, actually.  As I recall, there’s a certain politician who hasn’t been particularly neighborly to anyone lately, including our friends across the Atlantic.  Tariffs, insults, general unpleasantness.  

The Scandinavians are nothing if not unfailingly polite.  They’re Canadians in Viking hats. Just…do not piss them off. 

I think…but this is supposition, mind…they’re a little annoyed. 

For the first time (ever), for clearance into the Schengen Area (the 26 Euro states with reciprocal travel agreements), cruise ship passengers gotta have their passports peered at.  Normally they figure we’re so low risk for skipping into their countries, they don’t bother, but now…now you have to see an immigration officer in person. Soooo…starting at 7am, everyone outta bed, let’s have a lookit theese pahspohrts, shall wee?

Wilkohmen au The Netherlands!

As we pulled into the shipping lanes (Rotterdam is one of the biggest ports in the world) we saw Dutch windmills!

445AE30A-D76D-4FEB-8541-6C04344559FFWait.  Aren’t they supposed to be wood and cute?  These are kinda ugly and look like the ones near Tehachapi.  And Tracy.

Looking over our balcony we have a glorious view of…lifeboats.  With rather rude bottom indicators.  Seriously, who came up with those?


So the other nice thing is the Rotterdam port authority arranged for free busses to run almost the entire time the ship was in port from the ship to the city center, to the marketplace then back to the ship.  Yaaay we didn’t pay for a tour at this port…we got to see what we wanted for a €2 tip each way.  Life is good.  We had lunch at a little bistro with free WiFi – all in all, one modest cost day, aside from Sheri’s Donutella shake.  


Mini donuts blendered into ice cream and Nutella.  It was too much for me. 

Tomorrow’s a sea day, so sleeping in and bingo and no stress. 


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