About This Blog (revised December, 2017)
These are the voyages of Rick & Mary Bader. Our continuing mission: to boldly go where we have never gone before!
Welcome to Bader Journal, the travel blog of Rick & Mary Bader (that’s us, pictured at the top, taken at Ephesus in 2014). This blog was created primarily for our family & friends, but anyone who is interested is welcome to view it. We will set sail on January 4, 2018 on our second trip around the world, from Ft Lauderdale to Ft Lauderdale. We will be sailing on the M/S Amsterdam, flagship of the Holland America Line. It is (thankfully) a fairly small ship by current cruise line standards, with a capacity of about 1,350 passengers. Here is a map of our itinerary:
Our posts typically contain a lot of pictures & text so they take some time to create. This can only be done on sea days, when we are on the ship & have leisure time. In addition, internet access on a cruise ship is very spotty, very slow & very expensive. Therefore, on our last few trips the blog postings were not completed until well after we returned home.
On our 2016 cruise Rick ended up spending far (far!) too much of his time sitting in the library waiting for blog posts to upload to the internet. And since the ship charges for internet time by the minute, this wasted time also cost quite a bit of money. So this year we are going to do it differently. We will compose the blog posts as we go along (at a time when we can still remember clearly what we did & what is in the pictures). But we won’t post them until/unless we reach a port that has very fast internet in the cruise terminal. In 2016 one port – Singapore – qualified for this, but we may be docking at a different spot in Singapore this year. Bottom line is that you probably won’t start seeing our posts for this cruise until we return to the USA at the end of April, though it is possible a few will appear sooner. We may try to do some posts by email, but they will be shorter & have few if any pictures, so they will be no substitute for the full episodes that will be posted later. We have never tried this before, so we will see how it goes. If you want to be notified when new posts appear, read Part B below.
Many people enjoy following along on cruises in real time by reading blogs, but you won’t be able to do that this year on this blog. It is our understanding that several other passengers are planning to blog this cruise as it goes along. Captain Jonathan Mercer of the Amsterdam does a very interesting blog, complete with sea charts, called “Captain, who’s driving?” Here is his internet address, along with those of several other passengers we know about who are planning to blog this cruise (there may be others you can find with google):
One general caveat: please don’t take what is written here about the places we visit as authoritative. We do our best to be accurate, but really we are mostly repeating things we have read or been told. You may sometimes note a skeptical tone when we tell you something we have heard but don’t necessarily believe, though even things we do believe might turn out to be inaccurate. So, caveat emptor!
What follows is an outline of instructions for using the tools built into the blog. Use anything that is helpful to you & just ignore the rest. But don’t skip reading item D.
A. Menu Buttons At The Top of the Page:
1. The “About This Blog” button will always bring up this post, in case you want to review the itinerary or the instructions for using the blog.
2. The “Home” button will always bring you back to the default view, with the latest post at the top, if you have been looking at something else.
3. The “M/S Amsterdam’s Current Position” button will take you to a webpage that always displays just where our ship is at the moment (or at least where it is scheduled to be). It will also tell you how the weather is there.
B. Subscribing To Email Notifications Of New Postings:
If you scroll to the very bottom of your computer screen you will find several “widgets” in 4 columns. In the second column from the left (next to the calendar and above the orange RSS buttons) is a button to subscribe to email notifications of new postings. If you sign up you will receive an email right after a posting is published, with a link to the new blog page, so you won’t have to waste time on the internet looking for one that isn’t yet there.
C. Navigating the Blog:
1. Google: The easiest way to find a particular post is to use Google. If you google "Bader Journal" & the place in which you are interested, the posting on this blog should be one of the first results listed (e.g. "bader journal rome" will bring up our posts about visiting Rome)
2. Blog tools: At the bottom of your computer screen you will find several widgets (probably overkill) that may be useful in navigating the blog:
a. In the left position is a calendar on which the posting dates of blog entries are blue. Click a blue date with your mouse and that day’s post(s) should pop up to the top of the blog.
b. Next to that is a section with three items. The first is the email subscription described above. The middle one has two orange buttons for subscribing to RSS feeds of the posts and/or the comments (We have no idea how well – if at all — that works). The bottom one is a search function that should allow you to find a previous posting by searching for a particular word or phrase in the text (e.g. “camel” or “Peru” or "Alhambra").
c. In the right hand position is a list of the 5 most recent posts; click on one to bring it to the top.
d. Second from the right is an “Archives.” After the name of each month is the number of postings during that month. Click on a month to bring up that month’s blog postings. This is probably the easiest way to access all of one of our previous voyages on this blog, which I will list here as a sort of table of contents (note that the dates indicated are when the posts went up on the blog, not when we were sailing on the cruise):
— Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage can be found at December 2011 through March 2012:
— Grand Mediterranean Voyage can be found at March through October 2013:
— Southern Caribbean can be found at April through May 2014:
— Voyage Of The Vikings can be found at July through September, 2014:
**Remember that if you use any of these menu buttons or widgets to bring up old posts, you can always go right back to the default view with the newest entry on top by using the “Home” button on the menu.**