Trip Planning Birthday Celebrations Island's Histories ms Volendam Ship Map of the Cruise Daily Photos

Trip Planning

Virginia called me to talk about my trips to Portugal in February to celebrate my 76th birthday and my trip to Cuba in June of 2016. She said that she saw a special deal with the Holland American Cruise Line. She said it might be a good time to go there to celebrate my birthday on a cruise around the islands of Indonesia!

We went to Ireland for a two weeks land tour in 2014 and on an eight day cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel for my 75th birthday in 2015. We had a great time so figured we could take another trip together to Singapore and from there, a cruise to some of the islands of Indonesia!

    Chuck & Virginia in Ireland - 2014          Chuck & Virginia in Jamaica - 2015      Chuck & Virginia in Indonesia - 2017

Ireland in 2014     Jamaica in 2015.     Indonesia in 2017

Here we are on our first trip together, a two week bus tour of Ireland in 2014.
Here we are on our second trip together celebrating my 75th birthday, cruising to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel in 2015.
And this is our third trip together celebrating my 77th birthday, cruising the islands of Indonesia in 2017.

Birthdays Around the World!

Chucks Birthdays Around the World

History of Singapore and the Islands of Java, Komodo, Lombok and Bali.

History of Java History of Komodo History of Lombok History of Bali

ms Volendam Cruise Ship

ms Volendam Cruise around the Indonesian Island of Indonesia

Volendam is an R-Class cruise ship operated by Holland America Line as a subsidiary company of Carnival Cruise Lines. She has three sister ships in the fleet, Zaandam, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. She was the second of these ships to be launched, the s Volendam Cruise - 2017  Rotterdam being the lead ship of the class. Volendam is 238 m (781 ft), a 32.3 m (106 ft) beam, and a 8.1 m (27 ft) draft. She has ten decks, and contains cabins for passengers (called staterooms) on decks one through three (Dolphin, Main and Lower Promenade decks), and decks six, seven and eight (Verandah, Navigation, and Lido decks).

The ship's theme is flowers, and she features floral designs throughout. The atrium contains a sculpture spanning three decks which was created by Luciano Vistosi. Volendam was christened by former professional tennis player Chris Evert on 12 November 1999, who became the ship's godmother.

As part of the Holland America Line's fleet upgrade to include a program of Microsoft digital workshops on board, Volendam launched its program on 27 May 2009. She also contains other standard elements onboard Holland America Line vessels, such as the Explorations Café, a show lounge, a spa, and children's clubs. There is a total of eight bars, two pools and two hot tubs. Dining options include the Rotterdam Dining Lounge, and the Pinnacle Grill, which is the ship's signature restaurant and features evenings recreating New York's Le Cirque restaurant.

The Lido Deck (Deck 8) features two pools, two hot tubs, a grill, a recreation area (poolside; includes ping-pong table, chess board and more), and the Lido Restaurant. The Lido Restaurant serves food from around 07:00 am – 12:30am, the Lido Restaurant closes to prepare for lunch after breakfast, and dinner after lunch. The Lido has different sections for different cultural cuisine, such as Filipino, Indonesian, Moroccan, Italian, Swiss, and more. Each and every night, the Lido Restaurant offers different kinds of cultural foods, each specified in a menu before entering. The Lido Restaurant also features the Canaletto Italian Cuisine for those who wish to have their own sectioned off area to eat.

After being refurbished in 2006, she entered drydock in Singapore during 2011 for a refit.

Map of Indonesia

Ports of Call on the Cruise around the Islands of Indonesia

Indonesia is composed of at least 17,508 islands! Our ship took us to the Capital, Jakarta, and on to other cities on the Island of Indonesia, going to the island of Komodo, land of the dragons and ending up at the island of Bali and one more stop on the island of Indonesia! Then back to Singapore.

Indonesia Cruise Map

Indonesian Money

We got our Indonesia Dollars (Rupiah) and were told they were worth about 13,500 or so per U.S. Dollars! We decided to say they were around 15,000 per U.S. Dollars so we could just take on the average, Seven U.S. Dollars to an Indonesian Dollar of 100,000. Virginia loved the exchange, 70 U.S. Dollars is about a Million Indonesian Dollars!

Indonesia Dollar

January 29th, 2017

    Flying from San Francisco to Singapore - 10:20 P.M. Flight - Land at 7:45 A.M. and Trasfer to Ship on January 31st.

Leave San Francisco on United Airlines

Landing in Singapore before boarding the Cruise Ship on January 31st at 4:00 P.M.

San Francisco View

Sunrise over San Francisco from my apartment!

January 31st

    First Days of Cruising to the Islands of Indonesia - Depart at 4:00 P.M.

Sailing to the Islands of Indonesia - Java, Komodo, Lomboc and Bali

  • Get to know the layout of the ship and features
  • Mandatory Passenger Emergency Muster Drill
  • Art Auction

Jakarta    Jakarta Jakarta

Cabin Steward


A Different Animal Every Night!

Jakarta    Jakarta Jakarta

Orangatan - Our Favorite!



Jakarta Jakarta
Sweta & Astric - Sisters & Servers Nehru - Jamaica - Jewelry Saleman

Jakarta Jakarta
Champagne at the Art Auction Art Auction

Febuary 01st

    Cruising to Java

Sailing to Java,

  • Things to do in Jakarta - Frans Hals Lounge
  • Cooking with Kent - Pinnacle Grill Favorites
  • The Dynasty History of China - Master Kim
  • Classique - Music & Dance from Mozart to Queen - Frans Hals Lounge
First day of Cruising ........
Ship Boarding Pass - 2017

Virginia & Chuck Enjoying the Cruise!

Boarding Pass to Volendam

February 2nd

    First Port of Call - Tanjing Priok - Jakarta, Island of Java

Arrive at 7:00 A.M. - Depart at 4:00 P.M.

  • Shuttle to the Jakarta Mall
  • Temple Ediquette and Customs
  • Kati - Rock Violin - Frans Hals Lounge

We didn't do too much traveling around the huge cities in Java. Jakarta has over 11 Million people and 6 Million cars and 18 or so Million motor bikes. A factory in Jakarta manufactures over 12,000 motor bikes a day! That is almost 4 Million motor bikes a year! At times, it might take an hour or so to travel a mile or so. We did notice at times driving around the island, our eyes burned from the polution. As seen in the photos, either there are high apartment buidings or along the highways, poorly constructed homes and shops. The one good thing, it is never really cold so one doesn't need much protection except when it is the rainy season. Java has half of the Indonesian population and many towns have more than a million people in each one.

Jakarta    Jakarta Jakarta

Dancers at each port of call.    Musicians at each port of call. Thousands of tall buildings over Jakarta.

Jakarta    Jakarta Jakarta

Apartments Drive to the Mall One of Thousands of Malls

Jakarta    Jakarta Jakarta

Chefs being Graduated View from the top of the Mall Baked goods - Shape of Pigs!

February 03rd

    Second Port of Call - Semarang - Island of Java

Arrive at 9:00 A.M. - Depart at 7:00 P.M.

Borobudur by Train - Nine Hour Tour - $259.95

From there you will board a motor coach for the final trip to the inspiring temple of Borobudur—one of the most incredible creations in South East Asia. The journey from Semarang to Borobudur begins among the scenic panoramas of the Candi residential district and continues through the highlands of the interior. The scenery is framed by numerous volcanoes and is dominated by the inspiring Gunung Merapi. The inspiring Borobudur is unique among Buddhist temples, and its creation, without the use of modern engineering and technology, remains a mystery even today.       More on the History of Borobudur and the Tour

...................................... Borobudur by Train ......................................

Train to Borobudur Train to Borobudur Train to Borobudur

Train to Borobudur    Train to Borobudur Train to Borobudur

Train to Borobudur    Train to Borobudur Train to Borobudur

...................................... Buddist Temple of Borobudur ......................................

Temple of Borobudur

Temple of Borobudur    Temple of Borobudur Temple of Borobudur
Temple of Borobudur    Temple of Borobudur Temple of Borobudur

February 04th

    Third Port of Call - Surabaya - Island of Java

Arrive at 11:00 A.M. - Depart at 8:00 P.M.

Today is the big day, Chuck's 77th Birthday in Surabaya on the Island of Java - Indonesia!

  • Pinnacle - Chuck's 77th Birthday Dinner - 23 Ounce Porter House Steak
Chucks 77th Birthday Pinnacle                               Chucks 77th Birthday Pinnacle Chucks 77th Birthday Pinnacle
Chucks 77th Birthday Pinnacle    Chucks 77th Birthday Pinnacle Trowulan Tour

We decided to splurg and ended up making reservations at the Pinnacle, the top restaurant on the ship. They had a special deal, $40.00 for a meal but if you added another four dollars, $44.00, one could also include a meal at the other high end restaurant on the ship, Caneletto. We figured it was a great deal so we signed up for the package meals!

February 05th

    Third Port of Call - Surabaya - Island of Java

Arrive at 11:00 A.M. - Depart at 8:00 P.M.

Today is the big day, Chuck's 77th Birthday in Surabaya on the Island of Java - Indonesia!

  • Acupuncture Seminar
  • Mix-ology Class - Grey Goose Class - Apple/Tuscan Pear/Yellow Tulip/Passion Blossom 13
  • Cooking Show - Flavors of Cirque
  • The Modern History of China - Frans Hals Theatre
  • Wild Life of Indonesia: Komomdo Dragons and Orangutans

...................................... Mix-ology - Vodka ......................................


There were supposed to be five people to have the vodka drinks tested by us at a cost of $15.00. Well only three of us showed up and the bartender was very nice, he said he would make each of us two drinks instead of four and not charge us for them, such a deal!

...................................... Gala Dinner - King Crab ......................................

King Crab Dinner King Crab Dinner

February 06

    February 5th at Sea - February 6 Fourth Port of Call - Komodo Island

Arrive at 7:00 A.M. - Depart at 8:00 P.M.

Short 1.5 Hour Trek on Komodo Island - 11:00 A.M. - $89.95

The island of Komodo itself is about 60 square miles in area and is volcanic in origin, with dramatic landscapes of 2,000-foot craggy mountains, deep arroyos, canyons, savannahs and monsoon rain forests. Fresh water is scarce on the island, collected during the monsoon season in a few isolated areas. Human habitation is therefore limited to only one settlement in Slawi Bay. Once ashore, you will be escorted on foot to Komodo National Park for a walking tour in search of the Komodo dragon. Accompanied by park rangers and an English-speaking guide you will walk about one mile (roughly 1˝ hours) to the fenced area near Banunggulung to look for the dragons. You’ll have a chance to take some photos here. Guests with less walking ability can walk partway or just stay at the ranger station where Komodo dragons are occasionally seen. An open bar with soft drinks and mineral water is available to you at the ranger station and reception area.

Komodo Dragon    Komodo Dragon Komodo Dragon
Komodo Dragon    Komodo Dragon Komodo Dragon

We were lucky, as we were watching the dragons, three of them were sitting about six feet apart, noses pointing to each other. One moved an inch and another one was irritated, his private space was in danger. Off he went after the other dragon and soon a third one was involved. The guides yelled at us to move it, get out of the way or else! We were the only tour members who got to see the dragons in action!

February 07th

    Fifth Port of Call - Lombok Island

Arrive at 8:00 A.M. - Depart at 11:00 P.M.

My friend Wisnu, who works at the Asian Art Museum, is from Indonesia and his brother lives on the Island of Java and his sister lives on Bali. He informed me the island of Lombok is very small and is noted for the beaches where the young people go to have fun. He said not to get a tour as there isn't much to see and one can leave the ship and do enough to satisfy one's needs.

Martini Time             Martini Time Martini Time

We found out if nothing else to do, have breakfast, lunch and dinner and a cocktail party before going to bed!

February 08th

    Sixth Port of Call - February 8th and 9th - Island of Bali

Arrive at 8:00 A.M. - Depart the next day at 6:00 P.M.

Tenganan & Water Palace - 9:00 A.M. - 8 Hour Tour - $144.95

Tenganan is a walled mountain village, which is the ancestral home of the Bali Aga people and even today retains a pre-Hindu culture. The settlement features the most unusual layout on Bali, with two identical living compounds arranged in rows and streets that run the length of the village. It is here that you will find the unique Kamben Grinsing (flaming cloth), which the villagers believe protects its wearer from evil. Learn firsthand the legend of the fabric from one of the village artisans. Nearby, Puri Agung Karangasem Palace—more commonly known as the Taman Ujung Water Palace—is an imposing reminder of the time Karangasem was a kingdom. This stunning palace was built in 1947 and is a place of beauty and solitude. The palace contains a network of pools and a swimming pool fed by a natural spring. Finally, your journey leads through Bungaya for a magnificent view of the island’s terraced rice fields.

...................................... Rice Paddi Fields ......................................

Rice Paddi Fields    Rice Paddi Fields Rice Paddi Fields

...................................... Road Side Markets ......................................

Road Side Markets    Road Side Markets Road Side Markets

...................................... Water Palace ......................................

Water Temple

Water Temple    Water Temple Water Temple

Water Temple    Water Temple Water Temple

...................................... Balinese Gamelan - Traditional Dance ......................................

Rice Paddi Fields
Rice Paddi Fields    Rice Paddi Fields Rice Paddi Fields
Rice Paddi Fields    Rice Paddi Fields Rice Paddi Fields
Rice Paddi Fields

February 10th, 11th, 12th

    Seventh Port of Call - Probolinggo - Island of Java

Arrive at 8:00 A.M. - Depart at 5:00 P.M. - Port of call CANCELLED due to high seas and thunder lightning storms.

  • Aiden and Evelyn - Champion world class Harmonica duo
  • Introduction to Buddhism - Frans Hals Theatre
  • What to see and do in Singapore
  • Life at Sea - Captain's Chat & Luncheon
  • Atlantic Crossing - From the Beatles to the Rolling Stones
  • King Neptune Ceremony
The Neptune Ceremony

February 13th

    Arrive to Singapore on February 13th at 8:00 A.M.

The day started out very dark and cloudy but soon the clouds parted and we were getting ready to go ashore and tour Singapore!

Cruise into Singapore    Cruise into Singapore Cruise into Singapore

Morning Skyline of Singapore

Morning Skyline of Harbor

Chuck Viewing the Harbor

February 14th

   End of Indonesia Cruise - February 14th tour of Singapore

February 14th - 9:00 A.M. Tour - Singapore Highlights - $95.75 - See the Home Page for Singapore for photos and an overview of the city.

February 14th - Evening Flight from Singapore to Tokyo

February 15th - Flight from Tokyo to San Francisco

Return to the World Travels of Charles Walter Buntjer

  Charles Walter Buntjer

San Francisco California
Chuck Buntjer Created on: 2016.06.29  

Updated on:  2017.03.13