The bed at the Delta Hotel Townplace Suites, a Marriott brand, was just what we needed. Thank goodness we could sleep in a bit! Their “Pop Up Cafe” breakfast buffet was better than most and we had a delightful conversation with our server. I had time to book our flight from Melbourne to Hobart, Tasmania for January, and we were ready to check out and head for the ship.
Our cab driver was surprised and happy with the generous trip . . . he earned it after handling our luggage! A porter whisked our four bags away on a cart and we headed into the terminal with our carry on. We proceeded through security screening and could see we weren’t the only ones waiting to go through the boarding process. We were directed to the Disneyland-type maze to go through customs. Much like going through customs at the airport, the process was as smooth as it could be when hundreds were in line. We scanned our passports at a kiosk, had our photo taken, retrieved the automatically printed receipt, and proceeded to the customs officer who took the receipt and waved us through.
We headed to the Five Star check in line and greeted by a friendly Holland America Line staff member, who checked us in, took our photos for our boarding cards, and we were on our way to the gangplank . . . after stopping for the obligatory photo by the ship’s photographer. Within minutes we were in our cabin. On of our cabin stewards arrived and introduced himself. Soon thereafter our luggage was delivered. We unpacked and had time to explore the ship and make our way to the three, four, and five star private reception in the Crow’s Nest. There were so many people, we took our champagne back to our cabin and waited for the mandatory safety drill.
The ship had just finished being refurbished yesterday and was moved from dry dock on Vancouver Island overnight. The crew was doing a great job of meeting everyone’s needs as soon as they could. Though some things were a little disorganized.
Following the captain’s announcement about getting underway, we headed to the main dining room for dinner. We were seated with a couple we chatted with while we waited to be seated (Bill and Sandy), and four women . . . a mother and daughter (Maryann and Ursula) from Germany, and two ladies from Canada, who were traveling together (Suzanne and Brenda.) It turned out that Bill had worked with our good friend Keith in Chilliwack, B.C. I love small world stories!
We enjoyed the conversation and delicious dinner. Feeling totally pampered, but tired, we headed to our cabin to relax. It’s hard to believe that my Hubby turns eighty-two tomorrow! We are so blessed to have this special time together.