HOLLAND AMERICA LINE – CRUISE REVIEW

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE CRUISES REVIEWS – LOOKING AT A GREAT MARITIME TRADITION – HAL HAS A GREAT PLACE IN SOCIAL TRAVEL HISTORY

(LEFT – FAMOUS STAR GARY GRANT WAS A BIG FAN OF HOLLAND AMERICA LINE) Holland America Line has enjoyed a distinguished record of traditional cruises, world exploration, and transatlantic crossings since 1873all facets of its history that are reflected in the fleet’s multimillion dollar shipboard art and antiques collections. Even the ships’ names follow a pattern set long ago: all end in the suffix “dam” and are either derived from the names of various dams that cross Holland’s rivers, important Dutch landmarks, or points of the compass. The names are even recycled when vessels are retired, and some are in their fifth and sixth generation of use.

Noted for focusing on passenger comfort, Holland America Line cruises are classic in design and style; however, with an infusion of younger adults and families on board, they remain refined without being stuffy or stodgy. Following a basic design theme, returning passengers feel as at home on the newest Holland America vessels as they do on older ones.

Entertainment tends to be more Broadway-stylish than Las Vegas-brash. Colorful revues are presented in main show lounges by the ships’ companies of singers and dancers. Other performances might include a range of cabaret acts: comedians, magicians, jugglers, and acrobats. Live bands play a wide range of musical styles for dancing and listening in smaller lounges and piano bars. Movies are shown daily in cinemas that double as the Culinary Arts Centers.

Holland America Line may never be considered cutting edge, but the Signature of Excellence concept introduced in 2003 sets them apart from other premium cruise lines. An interactive Culinary Arts Center offers cooking demonstrations and wine-tasting sessions; Explorations Caf (powered by the New York Times) is a coffeehouse-style library and Internet center; and the Explorations Guest Speakers Series is supported by in-cabin televised programming on flat-screen TVs in all cabins; the traditional Crow’s Nest observation lounge has a new nightclub-disco layout, video wall, and sound-and-light systems; and facilities for children and teens have been greatly expanded. Signature of Excellence upgrades were completed on the entire Holland America fleet in 2006.

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE – 300 Elliott Avenue W, Seattle, WA, 98119. 206/281-3535 or 800/577-1728. The Holland America Line style is Premium Deluxe.

The following are wonderful paintings of the SS NIEUW AMSTERDAM by Captain Stephen J. Card. Please visit the link to his terrific website by clicking here.

The SS NIEUW AMSTERDAM (1) – Summer evening in New York – 1920s.

The SS NIEUW AMSTERDAM (2) – Arriving in Southampton – 1950s.

The SS NIEUW AMSTERDAM (3) – during the 1980s.

The SS NIEUW AMSTERDAM (4) – arriving 2010.

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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