Still trying to get used to the time change. Woke up several times last night but finally got up at 5:45. Went down for breakfast at 6:00 and I guess people had early flights as it was already busy. Usual continental fare for a Choice Property but they did offer sausage links, potatoes, and sausage gravy for biscuits if you wanted it. I didn’t.
I pre-booked our transfer to the pier with Seattle Express for $30 per person round trip and as I mentioned in an earlier post, that cost was about half of what Holland America, Lyft, Uber, and taxis wanted. I had envisioned a shuttle but instead it was a large bus that pulled up promptly at 10:45. There were 2 other couples at our hotel that caught the bus along with us. We stopped at several other airport hotels and the bus filled up. The majority of passengers getting on were going to the Holland America Zaandam. There were a few passengers going to the Oceana Regatta. I hear the Oceana line is a more upscale cruise line. Doubt we will ever sail one of those ships.
The Holland America passengers were taken to the Zaandam first. The porter was there for the luggage. We breezed through security with only our backpacks. The line to get the keycards was long but it was moving rapidly. We were in our rooms by noon. One of the smoothest embarkations I have experienced.
The room is an inside category L room at the front of the ship. It is made for 4 so it has a large couch and I can see the berth in the ceiling that would be lowered if needed. I am glad we don’t need it. It is a very nice room for 2 people.
We went to Deck 4 dining room for lunch. We usually prefer the dining room on embarkation day over the lines in the Lido. The service was slower than normal but that happens on embarkation days sometimes as they have a minimum serving staff. Most people are handling luggage today.
Had our first Mojito of the trip. We have the Signature Beverage Package as a perk for this trip. It has changed since we had it the last time. They give you the drinks for free (if the drinks are $9 and under) but you have to pay the 15% gratuity per drink. In the past, the gratuity was also included as a perk. Still a good deal. You can have 15 drinks a day and everything counts toward the 15 limit – lattes, bottled water, cokes, alcoholic drinks.
The lunch was very good – I had the goat cheese, fig, and apple salad, a half of a steak sandwich, and carrot cake. Chuck got buffalo chicken wings and a collard greens wrap and a carrot cake.
At 2:30, we went to the Crow’s Nest for the Mariner’s Reception which was held for 3, 4, and 5 star returning guests. I don’t like the champagne they serve so we just walked around a little and then went to the Lido bar. The weather was so nice some people were already in the pool and hot tubs. I thought it was too cool.
The muster drill was 3:15. Holland still makes you go out by the lifeboats; however, I did hear them tell people that if they couldn’t stand, they could go to the Atrium for the information. Luckily, the entire drill did not last long.
All our luggage had been delivered by the time we got back from the drill. We went up to the Lido for sailaway. I saw a couple of seals pop their heads up just briefly.