Family Fun on the Volendam

13 Aug

There is something for everyone on Holland America Lines’ cruises. The beauty of the Alaskan cruises is not just the incredible glaciers, nor the majestic fjords, nor the expansive national park and wilderness areas, nor the abundance and diversity of wildlife. Often overlooked is the joy the families experience just being with each other on these magnificent cruises.

One particular family came to my attention during the clip_image010scenic cruising of beautiful Glacier Bay. While magnificent views abounded, it was a typical coastal Alaskan summer day; cold, blustery and wet, and few of the 1400 plus guests onboard the MS Volendam stayed outside on deck for the glacier viewing. However, I spotted Kathryn and Christina, nestled in the beams of the open deck and sheltered from the wind as well as the views, happily playing with each other, oblivious to whatever else was going on. These 8 year old cousins, born just a month apart, are known affectionately as the "Chocolate and Vanilla Twins.”

I found out  that three generations were represented on this cruise. Here, joined by more family members, are, pictured Left to Right, James Pierno, Kathryn Grillo, Christina Pierno, Wendy Pierno, and James’ mother, Patricia Pierno. And still other family members also cruising were not pictured.


At one point Christina took over her dad’s considerably hefty camera and began photographing her probable favorite subject – her cousin Kathryn, as her brother, Harrison, who later joined, looked on:


And here is her result:


This is very impressive photography for an 8 year-old. And the victory sign Kathryn is displaying could be construed as multi-dimensional. A few days after this event, James found out that his house had flooded. With the help of Holland America’s staff, he was able to make contact with his father-in-law who took care of things, enabling the vacationing Piernos to continue to enjoy their holiday. A victory for the Pierno and Grillo families, and for Holland America.



This photo courtesy of James Pierno.


Techspert / MS Volendam


One Response to “Family Fun on the Volendam”

  1. Ron and Mildred Babcock August 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    My wife and I just love Holland America, especially on our last 28 day cruise on the Ryndam from Vancouver BC to Tampa Florida. The Crew was very friendly, helpful and really accomodating no matter what. So when I read of what they did for this family here I say that’s what you can expect from HAL. The are the supreme professionals. God Bless each one of them

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