Tues, June 4 – Hitchhiking on a Sea Day

One thing about inside cabins – there is very little light coming in and certainly not enough to wake you up. Since this was a sea day (one of only 3 in 14 days), we did not set the alarm. I don’t know why I was surprised when I woke up at 8:00. I had slept for more than 8 hours. Chuck woke up as I was getting out of the shower.

We had not placed the breakfast request on our door handle the night before so we decided just to order by calling room service. Neither of us was in the mood to brave the Lido and the Dining Room would be closing soon. I was surprised that they were able to bring it in only 20 minutes.

By the time I was ready to leave the room it was time for the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. I chat online with a group of cruisers from the same sailing. Questions are posted. People share ideas about excursions, etc. Great way to find information about your particular cruise. Some boards are very active while others are not. I was lucky that this one was a chatty group. Sometimes, one of the members of the group will arrange for a face to face meeting of the group. Depending on what is happening on the ship, I will either attend or not. I wanted to go to this one specifically to meet the people I will be sharing some tours in Ireland. There were probably 60 people at this meeting. Many people were repeat cruisers on the Prinsendam and were on the ship to say good-bye. I was glad that I went.

Met Chuck up on the Sea View deck. I thought it was chilly though it was not raining. He found it pleasant enough to get into the hot tub. I would have been fine getting in but I would not have wanted to get out. We sat outside enjoying the sun until we felt like getting some lunch. While we were sitting there admiring the view, a pigeon suddenly landed on the deck. I leaned forward to look at him more closely and realized he had bands around his legs. Carrier pigeon? Homing pigeon? He certainly wasn’t frightened of people because he just stood still as people walked by him. Nobody bothered him.

We at lunch in the Lido area. The Prinsendam set-up of the Lido is a pretty old-fashioned cafeteria style. They have a long serving line on each side of the ship. I prefer the set-up on the newer ships that have all the different stations scattered throughout the Lido area so you are not waiting for your food so long.

After lunch, Chuck went to enter the first round of the Black Jack tournament and I went to get a seat to hear the Excursion Guide give information on the Scotland ports. I was mostly interested in what he would tell us about getting to the train station if we wanted to go to Edinburgh by ourselves and not through a HAL tour. The other 3 stops, I have tours booked so I wasn’t worried about them. I’ve got entry tickets to the Edinburgh Castle that are only good from 9:30 – 11:00. If you arrive after 11:00, too bad so sad.

So, HAL would provide a shuttle to the nearest train station. Purchase your round trip tickets, get on the right train (it comes every 20 – 30 minutes), and get off at the Edinburgh Waverly station. Make your way out of the station and up the road to the Castle. Sounded easy enough. I just had to make sure that we were off the ship as soon as we could disembark.

Got back to the room feeling pretty confident and find a letter from Guest Services informing all of us that we have to present ourselves to Scottish immigration once we dock. What? It would start at around 8:00 and we were supposed to come to the Library when our number was called with our passport and our room card. It should be over at 9:30. Our number was Group 4. Oh great. What kind of monkey wrench was this issue going to be?

I took myself back upstairs to talk to the Excursion Guide and ask if we had any chance of making it to the Castle by 11:00 given this immigration check. “You’ll be fine,” he assured me. Okay, we’ll see tomorrow.

Back in the room, I got our first bag of laundry ready to send out. I had to leave a note to ask for a 2nd bag because I couldn’t get everything in there. Now that we are 4 star HAL Mariners, we get free laundry as a perk. So very nice. They picked it up when they cleaned the room and left me another bag.

Tonight was Gala night so we got dressed up and had a drink at the Ocean’s Bar. Went to dinner and sat with a solo woman from Australia and a couple from Hawaii. That couple had been on several world cruises. Really knowledgeable. We both had shrimp cocktail and a salad. I had the yellowfin sole and he had the pork tenderloin. The only issue was that we had to wait longer than usual for someone to come take our order. I’m not sure what the problem was but at least we had a nice table conversation.

Since tomorrow is such an early day, after dinner I went back to the room to organize my backpack, paperwork, and clothes so I wouldn’t be running around in the morning. Once that chore was done, I found Chuck at the Casino and we went to watch the Prinsendam Singers and Dancers perform “Atlantic Crossing.” You never know what you are going to get when you have a cast production but this group of young singers and dancers were phenomenal. The guy who could sing Elton John and the woman who could sing Adele had uncanny voices. Thoroughly entertaining.

We called it a night after the show. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 50’s and raining. Tonight’s towel animal is a hermit crab.

The Hitchhiker

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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