Selwyn’s 29th Birthday and our 33rd anniversary of going out!
Had a lie in as we had to put out our luggage for collection at 9:00 and go down to be collected ourselves at 9:40. Texted Selwyn, Tara, Kiron, M&B and managed to get our luggage out early, so went down to breakfast; D had an omelette and coffee, J had porridge which came with fruit and yogurt, each bit a breakfast in itself. Met up at 9:40 and gave Brian his tip – bit more than the £3 per person per day suggested as he had been invaluable at Heathrow. It would have been much worse if he hadn’t taken control as Air Canada were useless.
Taken to the cruise terminal where Brian departed after giving us final instructions for the trip home after the cruise. When through normal check-in, passport control and immigration as we will be entering America. Very friendly immigration control officer, had a long chat with Denis about chess as Denis was wearing his Isle of Lewis chessmen T-shirt. Waited in a queue in a vast terminal building until we were boarded at 11:30.
Our stateroom is on Deck 3, Lower Promenade Deck and is lovely, comfy bed and a huge number of drawers and cupboards given the size. Brian had advised that you find the cabin, dump your stuff, collect the cruise info and head up for lunch before everyone else arrive. The ship takes 1440 people which is a mid-size cruise ship. So we followed instructions and did just that having lunch at the Lido on Deck 8, a buffet style restaurant. Amazing choice, we had to go round twice before deciding what to have – D chose pasta and J had salmon with corn-bread apple stuffing (a bit like bread sauce). Had a glass of prosecco with lunch, so were sold tickets to a wine tasting for the next day and told about the ‘beverages packages’ e.g. for $45 per person per day, you can drink as much as you like! Decided this was for alcoholics and there is no way we would spend that much per day!
Life on board is very hectic, there is an endless list of activities, so we went on the 1:00 tour of the ship to get our bearings. Then muster stations as 3:15, attendance is mandatory and failure to attend means removal from the ship. We are Lifeboat 8 and all 125 were present and correct and we were dismissed. Then we watched the boat sail at 4:00 and stayed on deck for a while in the sun. Wandered around the art gallery – there is an art auction on Thursday, with free glass of champagne, so will go along and see what an auction is like.
Lido Deck on MS Voledam
Had to find the launderette as the clothes were fairly crumpled and we had some washing from the week in Canada. Everyone one else had the same idea, so the self-service was busy each time we went; in the end J decided to sit there, with her Kindle and wait her turn. The washer took 27 minutes and cost $2, the dryer 45 minutes and $1 and J got the ironing done!
Booked the Canaletto Restaurant for supper at 8. Luckily the laundry had finished by 7:30. The restaurant does tasting platters, so shared aubergine caponata, veal polpettina, rigatoni and sea bass. Rather too much but we got through it & shared a chocolate dessert. Bottle of Montepulciano which we didn’t finish but bought back to our cabin. Self Service tea & coffee is available 24 hrs a day, so we brought mugs of camomile tea back to the cabin.