One of the best things on board when Holland America Line’s msAmsterdam sails from Seattle on September 27 for a “50-day Tales of the South Pacific” cruise will be our own Tom Mullen, one of Cruise Specialists most experienced cruise hosts.
We recently asked Tom, who has spent much of the past 35 years at sea, a few questions about this spectacular cruise.
Tom, what makes this cruise special?
First of all, it’s a fantastic itinerary. It starts with Hawaii, which is a great place to begin because the islands sort of combine American and South Pacific culture. Then we’ll sail on to Tahiti, which is like a piece of France in the South Pacific.
We’ll visit lots of islands and you’ll be amazed that they are all in the same ocean, because they are so wonderfully different. There’s really a unique culture on each island. And in between the islands, the ocean is just beautiful.
Who should take this cruise?
Honeymooners love this cruise, whether it’s their first honeymoon, their second or some number beyond that. It’s also wonderful for people who are not familiar with the South Pacific because they get to visit a lot of islands – they often pick one or two that they want to come back to at a later date.
For someone who’s already been to a South Pacific islands, the cruise is a way to see many more. It’s simply great for anyone who loves warm, sunny weather; beautiful islands; and the open sea.
Why should people sail with Cruise Specialists?
It’s a great value because you get quite a few extras from Cruise Specialists. That’s why we have lots of repeat guests. First, you’ll have a group of other Cruise Specialist guests and me, your host, waiting to welcome you aboard.
Second, I’m there to make sure things go smoothly for our guests, and to help with any unexpected or special needs.
Third, we provide extras, like a special “meet and greet” on board; an exclusive, cultural shore excursion in Fiji; group dinners; and a gift for each of our guests. It’s a bit like having the comfort and security of a tour group, but of course you can be as independent as you like.
What’s your advice for someone who isn’t sure they would enjoy an extended cruise like this one?
I would say that the 50 days will actually go by faster than you think. When people compare cruise itineraries, some want lots of active days in port; some want lots of relaxing days at sea. This 50-day itinerary has a good balance of both. Experienced cruise guests know that on a longer cruise, you really need days at sea to rest between all the ports and shore activities.
And, there’s always something going on aboard the ship:
- lectures and classes
- games and quizzes
- visits to the spa and fitness center
- cooking demonstrations
- wine tastings
- plus formal nights and theme nights to prepare for
- Or you can do nothing at all, of course, which can be the most enjoyable thing.
It’s very rare that boredom is a problem.
What do you recommend that guests do on shore?
That depends on where the ship is calling, of course. But, on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu and on Bora Bora, I highly recommend taking a driving tour all around the island. The beauty is just unbelievable.
Tom is full of tips, but to get them you’ll have to be on board! He likes to keep his special spots just for our guests!