Day 1 of 68 – Ft. Lauderdale

January 4, 2018 Paul Groves

It was windy and a little wet at the hotel. At breakfast, we met up with some friends from the 2017 Grand World Voyage. Some were going on our cruise and some were off on the 2018 World Voyage. It was fun to do a little catching up. At noon, about 100 people were to meet in the lobby to board busses headed to the pier, Port Everglades. Three Holland America ships were at the port headed for three different tours. Our ship, the Princendam, is the smallest.

Our bus had a delay (a minor fender-bender) so when we reached the port, there were no lines or waiting. We boarded the ship and were greeted by a line of stuffed penguins! After the mandatory muster drill, we had a chance to explore the various floors of the ship. America’s Test Kitchen sponsors the culinary theater where Ron will probably spend much of his time. We had to find the Lido Deck around the pool for the sail away celebration. Some punch (with a punch) and some yummy finger foods were a great way to start the voyage.

Luckily for us, all of our luggage showed up, so the next step was to fit it all into our stateroom. It is a nice room with a large window and a bathroom with a tub. It is all quite spacious for a cruise ship and a fine place to spend the next 68 days. After cleaning up a little, we headed off to the dining room and met our dining table of guests with whom we will be sharing the cruise. Besides ourselves, our friends from the Grand World Voyage, Ann and Pat, were assigned to the same table (by mutual request). Our new acquaintances include Jane, a retired RN; Claudia, a retired medical researcher; Mary, a stay-at-home mom and one of her daughters, Jean, who is a retired Special Ed teacher. Everyone seems very nice and friendly. It should be a great group to share with.

The dinner was excellent, as expected, but I only remembered to take a photo of the dessert, a hazelnut parist brest, which turned out to be a sort of cream puff. Very nice.
We did some more exploring after dinner and I was able to do my exercise by walking around the inside of the ship on the various decks. We tried to go outside, but the wind was still very strong, so strong that we could barely open the door, much less walk around on the outside deck.