Our morning started with room service breakfast, followed by our first “Meet and Greet” for this cruise. One of the perks of joining the “Cruise Critic Roll Call” is the opportunity to connect with others who will be on your cruise before you even board. There is usually someone who organizes a get together via this website, often the first full day at sea, that provides the time to meet up and get acquainted. It’s fun to finally put faces with the names and find out more about what you have in common.
Though my dear Hubby wasn’t entirely happy being singled out, he did seem to appreciate it when the group sang Happy Birthday to him at my prompt. And, we enjoyed conversations with quite a few attendees . . . two of whom we have shore excursions booked with. Following a light lunch, we found the area that had board games and played a lively game of cribbage.
We’ve enjoyed Alan Wright’s programs on two previous cruises, and were delighted to learn he’s presenting again on this one. Not only is he a retired astronomer from Australia, he’s an amazingly polished speaker who imparts very complex information using analogies and visuals that make sense. So, at two p.m. we attended his first lecture. Appropriate music, such as “Fly Me to the Moon, ” played as we waited for him to begin. Since we’ll be sailing to the Southern Hemisphere, we look forward to a reminder on the constellations we’ll see, how best to find them, and a refresher on understanding our incredible universe.
At four p.m, we went to Happy Hour in the Crow’s Nest. Although we’d been there in the morning we hadn’t really looked around it yet. We were very happy to see it hadn’t been changed as some have on other Holland American Line (HAL) ships. It’s always been one of our favorite places to meet new friends, enjoy the view, and get to know staff members. The last two HAL ships we were on had remodeled the area and removed the seating that invited people to generate conversations, while enjoying the expansive view. One of the bartender’s, Pete, recognized Hubby from our last Alaskan cruise! It was a delight to reconnect and catch up with him. We were thoroughly surprised he remembered us!
Tonight was a gala evening. Since it was Hubby’s birthday, I’d made a reservation in the Pinnacle Grille for his special occasion. The service and food was impeccable, as always. Though we were disappointed that king crab legs weren’t on the menu. We both enjoyed the Sesame Crusted Tuna Tataki appetizer, the Birthday Boy savored the Seared Jumbo Scallops and my Baked Alaskan Halibut was delicious. The staff presented Hubby with a decadent chocolate cake and sang to him. Since he’d ordered the Chocolate Soufflé, they wrapped the cake for him to enjoy later.
Our leisurely dinner wasn’t complete in time for us to make it to the seven-thirty show, so we relaxed in the comfort of our cabin, very happy that we’d gain an hour and have a luscious sleep in.