Monday, October 16, 2017

Report # 23 Day at Sea October 15, 2017 Sunday Partly cloudy & 70 degrees

Not too sure who creates these weather predictions, but someone needs to look out the window.  A better description would be completely cloudy, and nowhere near 70 degrees.  We did notice that the promenade deck lounges were laid out with pads and towels, and there were a couple of guests sitting outside.  A handful of people were doing laps, like us, but disappeared once a lecture and a movie began.  Don't blame them, since it was much warmer inside the ship.


Breakfast seemed back to normal, with less guests dining there. Without asking, the head waiters all know we prefer a table for two, especially with a window view.  Despite coming in to the room halfway through the meal time, we never felt rushed by our waiters.  It seems that we always know some waiters, who stop by to take care of us.  Good way to begin the day.


We took the time to fill out a couple of Share Your Thoughts cards.  Over the years, we have learned that mentioning crew and staff members that have been good to us is very much appreciated.  We are not certain, but crew members that we have complimented can earn an extra day off while in port.  While on a world cruise, the ship will overnight in some major ports and special buses will be reserved for a crew excursion.  We think this is when the crew members use their "points" to be able to take an all day tour.  So for that reason, we always write specific names to thank each one of them. 


The only slightly negative comment we had concerned our inability to have a quick chat with the Onboard Booking Consultant.  Her hours have been limited, and the line of folks waiting to book trips with her unlimited, it seems.  We had intended to pay a visit to the Guest Relations Managers, but Joanne, the consultant, waved one of us over to her desk, 10 minutes before she was opened to begin the line of waiting guests.  Quite obviously, she had gotten the message, and came to us with answers to questions she knew we had.  Every time you make an onboard booking, the details are emailed to you, and there is a follow up confirmation with an old-fashioned paper confirmation left in your mail slot.  Our dilemma was that October is a special sale month with every onboard booking getting some nice extra shipboard credit.  However, it was not that simple, as all of this info has to go through the HAL offices in Seattle.  Unknown to us, that is the info she has been waiting on.  She promised an updated email before we leave the ship on Tuesday, assuring us that all of the proper credit would be attached to the invoices.  We wonder if she has help behind the scenes?  Some of the consultants are couples, who share the job.  Now we know why.


While waiting to speak with Joanne, the consultant, we could hear the Park West Lightning Art Auction taking place in the Ocean Bar on deck three.  Some of the bids would curl your hair, so to speak.  We have to admit, we have never understood this obsession with purchasing art in this way.  But of course, this is a trapped audience, and the company capitalizes on this.  We have heard rumors that much more is involved with the art buying, such as hidden fees and taxes, as well as shipping charges.  The only good news is that they advertise that you can return any work purchased for up to 40 days.  Of course, that is if the art arrives to your home before then.  Buyer beware, we've been told from those who know.


Lunch was in the dining room at 12:30pm.  By then, the room was beginning to empty, and it was easy to get a nice table at the window.  Small salads, a pasta dish, and a mini-burger was just enough to hold us until dinner at 8pm.  A long walk around the deck followed lunch.


Many ads advertised last minute shopping sprees in all of the shops onboard.  The main shop contains all of the items such as clothing, perfumes, jewelry, and watches, among other various sundries.  Until they draw the folks in with a 75% off most things, the shop remained fairly quiet from what we saw.  Bet we see those clearance tables tomorrow, our final day at sea.


We did receive a delivery of two more photos, a gift from the last Mariner's medal ceremony a few days ago.  Having a houseful of ship photos over the years, we never purchase them anymore.  Actually, when the photographers offer to take those "gala" photos, we always decline.  So we have to laugh at the gift of four of the 8 x 10 photos, but we only get one tote bag, probably worth 50 cents, between the two of us at the beginning of the cruise.  Surely these pictures are worth far more than the tote bags.


The day dissolved as they all seem to do. We thought about packing, but as far as we got was filling out the luggage tags and Canadian customs form. Before we knew it, dinnertime had arrived.  We decided to spend the last chance we had to dine in the Tamarind Restaurant.  We did not realize that not all of the ships have this venue.  Only the Nieuw Amsterdam, Koningsdam, and the Eurodam.  The next one to have one will be the Nieuw Statendam. 


Not sure if we mentioned it, but last night at dinner, we got a card From the Captain and Hotel Director that gifted us with a bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner.  As we do not drink wine, we said thanks, but perhaps we would have a cocktail instead.  But maybe tomorrow.  So this evening, the Cellar Master located us in the Tamarind, and offered us that drink with dinner.  Wow, they certainly are taking good care of us.  We said thanks, but tomorrow for sure, we shall have that cocktail. 


Our meal was excellent as we expected it would be.  The staff all gathered as we left the room, and wished us a good evening.  Another wow moment.  Perhaps they had gotten the message we turned in at the front desk letting them know how much we appreciated this venue……especially the staff.


At 9:30pm, there was a Chocolate Surprise - chocolate treats served throughout deck two.  We might have checked it out, but we were filled to the gills from our special dinner.  The last time we saw this, there was chocolate everywhere.  Could be due to the fact we were in a very hot and humid area of the world, and the chocolate had melted.


The entertainment this evening was performed by the singers and dancers of the Eurodam.  The title of their act was 1000 Steps. We did see this show on the Alaska cruise, so we thought it wise to head back to our room and call it a night.


The bad news is that the clocks went forward one hour, putting us on Pacific Standard Time.  Tomorrow we will deal with packing, which should be OK since we did buy another rolled piece of luggage, which was sold on the ship.  The last time we did this, the bag we bought had metal wheels.  They were already tweaked by the time we arrived to the airport.  This bag has inline wheels, so we will see how well they hold up.


Bill & Mary Ann



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