Easy Windshield Tour of Copenhagen is Just My Speed

Day 108, Grand World Voyage

Friday, April 21, 2023; Copenhagen, Denmark.

If you are mobility challenged as I am after my fall early this month, the Easy Copenhagen tour is a good choice. For two hours the Holland America excursion took us all around this beautiful city. It was just enough to entice me to come back some day to the capital of Denmark.

Our only stop was at the statue of the Little Mermaid. From what I hear, cruise ships used to dock nearby. But the city has built a new cruise port, surrounded by nothing much and too far for exploring by foot. For our grand cruise the ship offered a shuttle bus to the Little Mermaid area.

The statue was backlit by the sun in the early morning, making photographs less than ideal. I didn’t try to navigate the stone steps, deeming pictures from the sidewalk just fine for me. I found the nearby cherry trees in full blossom just as impressive.

From there we took a “windshield” tour. I was fortunate to get a seat in the front row of the bus, giving me a better view out the front. However, the driver frequently lowered the sun screen. While it is great to have a sunny day, it also creates extreme reflections in the windows of buses, so I gave up on taking lots of photos and just sat back to enjoy the ride. The Danes sure enjoy their statues.

They also have a lot of parks and green areas. Everyone was out enjoying the spring weather.

Eloise and Elaine took the hop-on, hop-off (HOHO) bus and jumped off to have lunch along one of the canals.

Other friends took off to favorite restaurants from previous visits. Later as we sailed away, Sweden was just to our starboard. I didn’t realize it was so close, but we don’t go there on this voyage.

Report from the President

Yesterday afternoon we had a session with Holland America’s president Gus Antorcha for more than two hours. After announcing the 2025 Grand cruise options, he briefly spoke about the cruise line’s return from the pandemic shutdown and its plans for the future. Then he opened the floor for questions, and stayed past the allotted time to answer every one of them.

As a retired public relations professional who has managed more than my fair share of such executive sessions, I thought Antorcha did a great job overall. He was truly interested in hearing feedback and turned frequently to his fellow officers to ask them to check into solutions.

The one thing everyone agreed on is the outstanding quality of Holland America’s crew. The company has reopened its crew schools in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand and is still trying to get staffing levels up. One challenge remains getting the necessary visas for crew members.

Antorcha admitted that the company hasn’t always gotten communications right on this Grand World Voyage. Passengers commented about the lack of theme nights and robust stage entertainment that usually highlight a grand voyage, giving it a more festive atmosphere.

Some comments got into minutia that could probably have been better addressed to members of the ship’s staff — the lack of boxes of All Bran at breakfast and the slow toasters comes to mind. (But a few days later I saw new small toasters in the Lido Market in place of the large commercial versions, so someone was listening.)  Antorcha took those comments right in step.

One passenger thanked him, saying the meeting was somewhat cathartic. I would have to agree. By this time in a long cruise, I think some people are growing weary and, dare I say, bitchy. But there also are a lot of people who really don’t care about the pillow gifts or changes from world cruises of the past. We are glad to be back at sea, enjoying a remarkable trip around the world.

Tonight’s sunset in the North Sea.