Out in the Field – First Trip to Amsterdam

June 2, 2017

I’m Katie and after joining the team in January it was a matter of course that I embark on the great North Sea cruise to Amsterdam from our North Shields port.

Excited, I brought my partner along for the hotel break, with 2 nights onboard and 1 night in the Ibis Stopera.

We were lucky enough to travel Commodore on our outbound journey on PRINCESS SEAWAYS. After checking in we took the lift up to Commodore where we were greeted by two friendly faced women, one of whom kindly took our suitcases and led us to our room.

Elated with the luxury of the Commodore room, we scoped out the mini fridge which is complimentary. Sparkling wine and cans of Heineken had us smiling before we’d even left the port.

As we disembarked we ventured down to Blue Riband for our evening meal. I’m vegan and, though there was a vegan option in Little Italy, we wanted to dine à la carte so I thought I’d try my luck with the chef there.

It was a really lovely meal. I had a salad to start followed by mushroom risotto.

With my partner’s mother’s birthday coming up, we visited the onboard shop to find something suitable. Our eye caught the large bottle of Metaxa which we decided was perfect and well-priced.

Afterwards we had another look around the ship before returning to our room to enjoy the sparkling wine and Heineken in the comfort of our own space.

The next morning we had breakfast in the Blue Riband and absolutely filled our boots on the buffet, making sure we were full for the day ahead.

We hopped on the coach to the capital before a day of exploring.

We made sure to take in most of the big sights on the first day. Dam Square, Oude Kerk and the Royal Palace were just a few of our stops. We also took repose in the afternoon in the warmth of a brown café and enjoyed a short of whisky before hitting up the shops in Nine Streets.

By the evening we were thoroughly worn out from hours of exploring the exciting city. I booked us a table at Door 74, an incredibly secretive speakeasy selling the coolest cocktails, with daily specials. An unmarked black door just off one of the main canals, it already oozed cool before we’d stepped foot inside. A man appeared after I knocked and ticked off our name on a clipboard, it felt so exclusive. The barman took our coats and we sat back in a booth with our drinks.

On our second day we woke up early for a guided tour through Micropia. Finding out all about the microbes that make us up was fascinating, and the state-of-the-art museum itself is so modern. There’s a talking lift, a microbe body scanner and a window for you to spy on all the scientists conducting experiments in their laboratory. Looking through microscopes we caught a glimpse of these near invisible creatures working away.

You can collect stamps of the microbes, hidden all over Micropia. Be careful, if you’re at all competitive the stamp card will have you frantic. My partner and I were racing all over trying to find them first. We both managed to find all 30, however. A proud moment. There was even a Kiss-O-Meter to see how many microbes you and your beau swap when you kiss.

From there we took a wander through Jordaan, taking in the beautiful, quiet streets, before heading to the Cat Museum. Amsterdam is famous for its countless museums of every kind. The Cat Museum is an exhibition of cat art from through the centuries. As a notorious crazy cat lady, myself, I was in love. There was even a real life cat slumbering on the radiator. This furry feline did manage to steal my attention for some time before my partner finally pulled me away.

Our last stop before getting picked up was a leisurely walk through Rijksmuseum and Vondelpark. The sun was shining as we walked amongst the rich Dutch greenery. It was the perfect way to end our stay in Amsterdam.

We were picked up by the coach from our hotel and driven back to the ship. We dined in Blue Riband again but, as we were on KING SEAWAYS, it was a completely new experience as the décor and atmosphere is totally different.

After eating we had a stroll to the ORCA Wildlife Centre where we watched a documentary I believe to have been narrated by Stephen Fry. We had a look around all the interesting displays, too.

We retired back to our cosy cabin for another restful night’s sleep and woke up for the breakfast in 7 Seas on the final morning of our trip. Once again we ate like kings before heading back to the car full of amazing memories of Amsterdam.

 

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