The San Diego weather was astoundingly beautiful the morning we boarded Holland America's Zaandam for this trip, long planned but many times postponed.
San Diego may be the most transportation-convenient cruise port in the world. The airport terminal, the Amtrak Station and more than adequate long-term parking are all located within a mile and a quarter of the cruise terminal. If one lives within driving distance of San Diego, there's the added plus of not having to deal with airline hassles. It took about an hour and half to travel from our home in Huntington Beach to the "Park and Go" lot, then another few minutes on the free shuttle to the cruise terminal. We had pre-checked in through the Holland America web site so all we had to do was pick up our ship's ID card and have our security pictures taken. There was no waiting anywhere through this entire process. On board we found our stateroom was ready, and in a very short time our luggage was delivered.
At 63,000 Gross Tons, The Zaandam is tiny compared to the 200,000+ Gross Tonnage of the "big" ships now being introduced. At two persons per cabin she carries just 1344 passengers and cruises nicely at 20 knots per hour.
Our Captain for this fifteen day cruise is Darin Bowland. Firmin Van Walle is the Hotel Manager and Anthony Choice is the Cruise Director.