Sunday, August 4, 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013 – Embarkation Day – Sunny – mid 80s

Our Cruise Itinerary

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Not very restful sleep – very warm room.  At least it was quiet…

Standard breakfast fare – the desk clerk had called us a cab (not a very friendly desk clerk –unlike the friendly girl who check us in). 

The cab came right on time at 10 AM and we were at the terminal in less than 10 minutes – 10 Euros no tip and a friendly driver.

Check in by the Pier Coordinator was quick and lunch in the Ocean View Cafe was good – salad, tuna salad, iced tea.  Our rooms were ready sooner than in the past and our bags were there.

The cruise director on this voyage is John Grantham (last worked with him on the Century during the holiday Panama Canal Cruise).  Activities Manager, Mark Western, I was told, is new to the job.  The Destination Speaker is Dr. Harry Murphy (will talk about Berlin,  Hans Christian Andersen, and Rasputin and the Romanovs.

We are again in Cabin 3004 – Starboard Forward.  A nice quiet location with a very nice layout and pretty roomy.  The bathroom has storage and is pretty “roomy” compared to other vessels.  The water pressure in the shower is good and the water is hot.

20130719_Remodeled Cabin 3004 (Small)

Cabin 3004 – Return Stay

I have the day off – will be filming a promo with John in the Library at 9:00 PM.

After initially indicating that the Dining Rooms were all booked, the Maître D’ assigned us to table 150. 

The Solarium on Deck 10 Forward has been totally revamped (the whole ship has been “Solsticized” – out of dry dock last May). The new Solarium pool is a very warm salt water pool with bubblers,  We really loved this type of pool on one of the other Solstice Class ships.

Michael’s Club has been remodeled (Perry Grant and his piano are gone).  It seems to be brighter with some new wall designs.  Overall, the ship seems to have more windows.  The cabins have new mattresses and new flat screen TVs.  Overall, the ship looks very nice.

We watched the sail away from the Solarium.

20130719_View from Constellation (Small) 20130719_Sail Away (Small) 20130719_Sail Away Amsterdam (Small) 20130719_Sail Away Marina Houseboats (Small) 20130719_Houseboat Two story (Small) 20130719_Sail Away Museum (Small) 20130719_Felini Exhibit Anita Ekberg (Small)

Supersized “Anita Ekberg” advertises Fellini Festival

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All above: Sail Away Amsterdam

We gave table 150 a try for dinner.  The table is right in the traffic pattern for the service are and pretty noisy but it is a table for two.  Our waiter and assistant are pretty good. The food was OK (Ellen had the always available salmon and I had the pasta dish).  There are veggie soups available and the appetizers were tasty.

The Welcome Aboard Show was lightly attended but it looks like this troupe of Singers and Dancers are really good – six singers – three boys and three girls.  The stage is packed with dancers. No A Cappella group on board – an aerialist duo doing some scary stuff is present.  It was a good show.  There will be three production shows along the way.

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Welcome Aboard Showtime

At 9:00 PM, John and I filmed our promo in the library.  I get really anxious about the interview but, this time, I felt it came off more relaxed.

20130719_Videotaping with John G (Small) 

Video promo with John Grantham

In a few hours, we were in the North Sea.

20130719_View off the back deck (Small) 20130719_141951 (Small)

20130719_North Sea E and Moon (Small)

Ellen, Goddess of the Moon

Seas are smooth…our room is eerily quiet (no earplugs needed).

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