What a day we have had! It’s so nice when things go the way that you hoped they would. We left packing until this morning so I was a little nervous that we would not have time to re-pack everything and move the luggage to Russell’s Mom’s house in time. But we got up early and set to work right away and before you knew it we ended up having enough time to go to Starbucks with Phyllis and enjoy decaf, soy milk lattes together.
Captain Charlie arrived at the appointed time in the big SUV just as we had requested. The driver seemed awfully young though and perhaps even a little hung-over but he nevertheless got us to the ship on time. The car didn’t break down. We didn’t get pulled over for speeding. No construction. No traffic. Everything went smoothly.
Now it was time to check in. The line went quickly and before you know it we were on board in our room. Our beautiful, very large room. Some of you may remember that we had originally booked an inside cabin for this trip but I decided to surprise Russell with an upgrade to our room as a Christmas present. Russell, unbelievably, had the same idea as me and before you know it with our double upgrade we landed in a very nice room so we are pinching ourselves and feeling both foolish and fortunate at the same time.
So, now for the big question: were we able to fit the contents of our eight pieces of luggage and four duffle bags in the room? And the answer is, shockingly, yes!
The ship itself is in good condition. I was a little worried about that since this is not one of the newer ships in the Holland America fleet and we saw plenty of evidence of deferred maintenance on both the Zuiderdam and the Eurodam this summer. However, I am happy to report that the carpet on board this boat looks new, our sofa is comfortable and the tiles in our bathroom are clean and well-caulked (it’s the little things that make more of an impact than management would like to believe).
Dinner was the early seating (5:30 pm) and we have a table for four by the window. It was only the two of us though. We like to get a table for four so that if we want to we can invite another couple to dine with us occasionally but we are not locked into any long-term arrangement. We explained to our waiter that we were vegans and dinner was very good: Gazpacho, Salade Nicoise (no tuna) and pasta with tomato sauce.
It’s eleven pm as I write to you and we’ve just left our dock and are underway now. First stop, Costa Rica. But first we have two days at sea. Russell’s made our selections for what we will be doing tomorrow. There is a knitting and needlework get-together at ten am, party bridge at one thirty and an LGBT (lesbian, gay, etc.) meeting at seven in the evening. And no, we are not in our seventies -- thank you very much. This is just how we roll.
PS – So far the other passengers seem very nice but in the height of irony Russell was ready to “shush” the table next to us at dinner tonight because they were being too loud for him! Hah.