Ashore in Amsterdam - 06/25/19
25 June 2019 | North Sea
Alarm was set for 6 am. We woke up and looked out our balcony. We were inside the harbor and our ship was turning around before docking at The Netherlands port of Ijmuiden. We got dressed and walked up to Deck 14, Lido, for breakfast. We shared a table with Ron & Beverly, who are in the next cabin to ours. Ron was still not feeling well with his cold. We headed back to our cabin to pack up for our day in Amsterdam. It was supposed to be in the 90's today. I took a sweater, just in case the weather predictors were incorrect. We headed to shore via Deck 5. They scanned our Sea Princess cards and we walked down the ramp. Mark managed to be in the photo with the lady that was walking ahead of him. They always take pictures when we arrive at a new port. However, we decided that we don't need any more Sea Princess photos, so we usually decline. Got right on the shuttle bus provided by our ship and enjoyed the hour plus drive into Amsterdam. We saw some sheep, horses and cattle along the way. Lots of traffic. They drive on the right side of the street. We were deposited along the waterfront downtown. There were several river cruise ships tied up at the docks. Mark had tried to buy us tickets to the Van Gogh Museum, but it wouldn't accept our credit card. Our bank had changed our phone number to an old phone number. Not sure why. We walked over to the main central train station, which was a hike. We had to be careful not to cross paths with the mega number of bicycle riders. Apparently, they don't stop for pedestrians. There were bikes parked all over. What a sight. We purchased tickets on the Hop On Hop Off canal boat. We walked the length of the terminal and thru a tunnel to the dock. We stopped along the way to find the restrooms. The public toilets cost 70 cents (.70 Euros) to use. I am shocked that all the Europe countries do not have free toilets. We boarded the canal boat and got free wifi on board. There were no available tickets to the Van Gogh Museum. Mark spent the hour ride, trying to get our credit card attached to the right phone number. We were told to just go to the museum and see if they have any tickets for today. We got off the boat and walked several blocks to the museum. They had a ticket machine with a few tickets still available which we bought. There was the main museum, Rietveld building plus Kurokawa Wing, a second building, that makes up the Van Gogh Museum. The Kurokawa Wing housed the Exhibition Section featuring his picture with the sunflowers. Mark said that was his favorite. We had to check our bag first. Then, of note, was that you cannot take photos in the museum. Security kept coming by to check each of the rooms of the four floors. However, we noticed people taking photos using their cell phones. So, I also took a few pictures. There were lots of tourists visiting the museum today. And so many paintings to check out. Enjoyed our time there. Just could have used another day as our time was too short. Visited both buildings before retrieving our bag and heading back to the boat. We selected a different dock to re-board. There were only two stops to get us back to the central station and our return shuttle bus. However, with heavy traffic on the canals, it took us an hour to get back. We were late for our bus, but it was not a problem. We grabbed a snack in the terminal, as we walked back to the waterfront. It took over an hour to get back to the ship. As this was a port area, there was no port terminal to go thru. So, not duty free or shopping in the area outside the ship. We just presented our Sea Princess cards to board the ship. Yes, they did scan our bag. We headed up to Deck 14, Lido, for a drink and snack. We found some tacos and salsa, which is all we needed. The desserts were not available, which was good as we just would have eaten one. We headed back to our cabin. Mark took a nap while I worked on putting more of my puzzle together. We dressed for dinner and headed to Deck 5 dining room for dinner. Only Ian was there. Beverly, Greg and Maxine, joined us. We talked about our day at shore. We enjoyed our dinner time together. Our ship departed the dock around 6 pm.
Then we decided to attend the early comedian show in the Princess Theater. The Movie Under the Stars is a repeat of one they showed already. The comedian was from England. He was really funny. He picked on several people in the audience, so we were glad he didn't pick on us. We laughed a lot. We noticed several ships out on the water. We are now sailing in the North Sea. There were at least two different oil rigs. Despite the sun shining, the visibility was poor. Very hazy. Also, the temperature out on the water was much colder. Head up to Deck 12 as Mark wanted to get a couple of bags of popcorn. Then back to our cabin. We have one sea day before arriving in Warnemunde, Germany. Will start researching things to do. There is a ship train ride to Berlin, but it takes 3 hours to get there. It would be nice to see some of Germany. Thanks for your emails and messages received today. Still cannot believe that our sun stays lit until after 10 pm.