Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Making the Most of Amsterdam
Making the Most of Amsterdam
The Disney Magic docks at Passenger Terminal Amsterdam on the River IJ ("eye"), near the heart of the city. Tourist info, food, shops, and Wi-Fi are found inside the modern terminal. From there it's a half-mile walk to the central bus/tram station, and 1.3 miles to Dam Square at the city's center. Walking and street trams are the most practical ways around the central city, with many trams stopping near the cruise pier at Central Station. A one-day public transit ticket (€7.50/€2.50 ages 4-11) delivers unlimited local tram, bus, and metro rides; buy it at station kiosks, or from drivers and conductors. More info http://en.gvb.nl Biking is huge in Amsterdam, but sightseeing tourists are not well-tolerated by local bikers bent on reaching their destinations. Mac Bike is the city's biggest rental and bike tour operator, with an office at Central Station. http://www.macbike.nl Taxis are generally not practical in the central city. You must either call for a cab (try TCA: 020 7777777), or find one at a taxi stand. Hop-on/hop-off canal boat tours are also practical for getting around. Canal Company's Canal Bus makes eight stops around the city's core, including Central Station. €21/€10.50 ages 4-12. Online discounts at https://www.canal.nl/en/canal-bus. The Magic made her maiden call on May 25, 2017, on the Eastbound Transatlantic Repo. All Ashore is 9:00 am, All Aboard, 6:00 pm. Her second visit is June 27, 2017; All Ashore 9:45 am, All Aboard 5:45 pm.
Disney Cruise Line has not yet posted excursions for Amsterdam. Besides city tours that may include visits to the major museums (sometimes combined with canal cruises), there may be out-of-town visits to Delft, Edam, windmills, or The Hague. If you're thinking of touring on your own, buy the admission you need in advance, over the web, to avoid ticket lines. You might use the hop-on/hop-off canal boat tour (described above) for an overview of the city, and plan to spend extended time at one or two of the stops. I amsterdam City Card (24 hours €55) includes a public transit day pass, canal cruise, and free entry to many museums, but the cost doesn't add up for a brief cruise ship visit. http://www.iamsterdam.com/en. The Old Town is best explored on foot and by tram. Canal cruises only skirt the district, so if you're intent on seeing Dam Square, New Market Square, Oude Kerk, and the Red Light District, set off on foot from Central Station. The Bloemenmarkt (flower market) is just south of Old Town, on the Singel Canal. Museumplein (Museum Square), even farther south, is a one-stop shop for art lovers. It's home to the Rijksmuseum (Dutch Masters), Van Gogh Museum, Diamond Museum, and Stedelijk Museum (modern art). Beer lovers may head three blocks east of Museumplein to Heineken Experience. Nearby is Albert Cuyp Market, a blocks-long, pedestrian-only, outdoor food and shopping experience. Anne Frank House, at the western edge of Old Town, requires pre-arranged admission: €9/€$4.50 ages 10-17 at http://www.annefrank.org.
Amsterdam, though reasonably safe for a city, requires more warnings than usual. Be alert for bicycle/pedestrian collisions. Red Light District: Do NOT take photos of the ladies in the windows, and beware of pickpockets. Drugs: Marijuana, in small amounts, for personal use, is legal. Selling it is not, though sale is usually tolerated in coffee shops (avoid street dealers and other drugs). Don't bring it back on board!
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