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Adventures With Robin

Your Go-To Travel Source

Welcome! This space serves as a platform for travel agent Robin Norell to share her trips, experiences and expertise with you. Exceeding your customer service expectations is Robin’s primary goal. Having worked for Disney for 2.5 years, she knows how to make your vacation magic. 

Robin has visited 25 countries (Caribbean, Europe, Asia) and 31 states, and has been on 26 river and ocean cruises (so far), visited Disney World, Disneyland and Disneyland Paris multiple times, and she is happy to share her travel experiences and knowledge with you to make your vacation the best it can be.

Robin has been awarded the distinguished certifications of CLIA’s (Cruise Lines International Association) ACC (Accredited Cruise Counselor) Certification, as well as earning her CTA (Certified Travel Associate) certification, has completed the College of Disney Knowledge, and continues to learn more about the travel industry every day.

Excelling in administration and customer service, she takes care of all the details, leaving you free to relax and enjoy!

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March 20. Rotterdam

Wednesday March 20

Rotterdam 



Our ship stayed in Rotterdam last night, and this morning we had a walking tour of Rotterdam. We took buses into town. And of course, on the bus ride, our guide Jim (same guide as yesterday morning) shared more info. 



  • Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe (the second largest is Antwerp, where we will be tomorrow.  

  • There are no locks, it is an open connection to the North Sea. That made it strategically important in World War 2 – most of Rotterdam was destroyed in the war. 



  • There are 1.3 million people in Rotterdam, 750K in the city center. 

  • Indonesia was a territory of the Netherlands, Dutch India. The Dutch pillaged everything of value, especially spices, and sold them throughout the world, thus gaining their wealth. 


  • Because this was such a busy port, the largest “guild” (like a union) was bag carriers. 

  • The nearby windmill was used for making bread (that’s what most of them were for). 

  • The city center is 10’ below sea level, and most of the city is 20’ below sea level. 

  • The government is renting this ship (white boat in photo) to house Ukrainian refugees. They also waived the process to allow them to work, and over half now have jobs. 


  • In 1900, they had the largest Chinese community in Europe, and still have a Chinatown. 

  • City Hall survived WW2. The city was bombed over 100 times. 

  • The national sport is soccer. 

  • Some interesting architecture –  

    • A leaning tower, designed to lean at the same angle as the tower of Pisa, with a “toothpick” holding it up.  

    • A lightship that is now a restaurant. 

    • The Deloitte building – outside color of the building goes from dark to light (with the lighter color at the top symbolizing heaven).


  • The ladies in the red light districts – this is an official job in the Netherlands. They have a union, pay social security and taxes, and have checks by doctors every 2 weeks. 

 

We went first to Delftshafen, a small part of the city, where the old port was built in 1639. Then we made a photo stop at the statue “The Destroyed City,” a war memorial. The artist made it for Dresden but they didn't want to buy it, so the Bee Hive department store bought it for the city.  



We made another stop at the old Holland America headquarters, which is now the Hotel NY. It’s a nice hotel with a restaurant, located right at the pier where the ocean cruise ships dock. They are also expanding as they are popular with the cruisers. 




We then went to the Market Hall. They have a Farmer’s market outside, but only on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The inside ceiling has art the size of two football fields. 

Our guide took us inside, and we were given Stroopwafels and Gouda cheese. He then walked us back to another shop where they gave us bitterballen (a fried ball with thick meat mixture inside). You could then either follow him outside to see some of the unique architecture in the area, or stay and shop. Trish and I stayed inside. 



I ordered steamed dumplings from a Chinese shop, but since they had only just opened for the day it would take a few minutes, so we walked around and I got dried mango, and then we went down a level and into the grocery store, where I found fruit flavored black tea. We went back up and waited, and then took the dumplings when they were ready. I brought them back with me for lunch on the ship. 


We had to be back onboard by 12:45pm, and then we left the dock and sailed to Willemstad, arriving around 3:30pm.





In Willemstad They offered a bike tour (4pm to 6pm), or you could just wander on your own. So Trish, Quent and I walked the parks that are now on top of what were the city walls, and it was nice to not be in a city.



We walked into town a bit, and then we all went our own ways. I continued to walk in the town and then around the other side of the town on the wall. Overall very nice little town – wish we were visiting more of these! 




Back onboard, dinner, and then work and bed. 

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Robin is an Independent Travel Planner who has been awarded CLIA's (Cruise Line Industry Association's) Accredited Cruise Counselor Certification and The Travel Institute's Certified Travel Associate designation. Her excellent service is yours at no cost - she's paid by the suppliers (hotel, cruise line, etc.), nor does she charge a fee for services. She may even save you money over booking it yourself, as she follows all the specials and will get you a better price after you book with her. When you are planning a family vacation or celebrating a special occasion through travel, you want the best experience possible, and Robin is ready to help you! She provides excellent customer service, and your happiness and satisfaction is her top priority. With the knowledge gained by her extensive travel experience (25 countries, 31 states, and 26 cruises so far) and customer service experience (2.5 years employed at Walt Disney World Resort), she's excited and ready to help you plan new adventures!

Location: Alexandria - VA
Email: Robin.Norell.Travel@gmail.com
Phone: (567) 307-3476
Toll-Free: (866) 779-4830

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