Zaandam – October 6 – Day 3

So I mentioned that I almost never do breakfast because I sleep in too late. I wanted to make up for my lack of a birthday breakfast so I put the room service card out before bed. You have to get up when someone’s at the door with a heavy tray that YOU requested… right? So out goes the card, requesting a couple ham and cheese omelets, a side of sausage and bacon, some yogurt, coffee and orange juice. (And when you figure that’s two people making up for a couple breakfasts, it’s not THAT much food…). And as a bonus, I picked 9-9:30 and they actually showed up about 8:50. And my plan worked. We HAD to get up because the room service guys don’t come with snooze alarms!

Now I was amazed how hot the food was when it came. Not because it usually isn’t, in fact my room service orders have always been VERY hot. I was surprised because I was on deck 6 all the way forward. The galley is all the way aft a couple decks down. No matter how you look at it, that’s a good distance! Long story short, breakfast was awesome, and a great way to start a bright and sunny and VERY clear day at sea. We took our time waking up, showered and started wandering the ship. Everything was in full swing so we wandered through the shops which were in the middle of transitioning from Alaska to Hawaii related items and a lot of their merchandise was coming into San Diego, so there wasn’t a HUGE selection but a lot of what they did have was discounted pretty good in order to make room for their restock coming in a couple days. After a run through of the shops we continued to wander and got some coffee at the Explorations Cafe. (And a little tip I picked up from Cruise Critic… there’s a coffee card with a couple punches left tucked inbetween pages of the bible in the room. Enjoy!)

Our travels took us through to the Lido Deck where our friend joined us not that much later and actually went back to her room to get a bottle of champagne and some orange juice. You gotta love mimosas in the lido bar with the dome open, the sun shining down and surrounded by good company! Nothing beats it! It was around 12:30 and there was a taco salad with our names on it so we got some snacks from th Terrace Grill and came back to eat. Even got a little bit of dessert afterward.

At 1:30 we saw Frank the techspert again at the Digital Workshop. Good thing we got there a few minutes early! It was packed and for a few latecomers, standing room only. Frank was running a combination demo and Q&A of Windows 7, Microsoft’s new operating system, and from what he was able to show us it looks great. A welcome upgrade to my home desktop with XP, and a much desired replacement for my laptop with Vista. The questions asked were varied and intelligent and Frank was able to provide some great information!

We came back to the room afterward and watched a demo that took place earlier in the day with the Party Planner and Pinnacle Grill chef. He was making a shrimp bruschetta and the ship’s famous Chocolate Volcano Cake. After that, we looked to see if any movies were on and caught The Proposal. Definitely some good laughs… great cast! It was also an opportunity to take some friends of a colleague around the ship for a tour. I have a bit of a reputation as a walking/talking interactive deck plan book so I was rambling on during this tour for a good long while!

It was formal night, so time to run a few items through the launderette onboard and spruce up for dinner, which tonight consisted of:
Appetizer: Fruit and berries with a splash of whiskey – Everything was very ripe and refreshing
Soup: Fisherman’s Chowder, served in a sourdough bread bowl – rich and warming with layers of flavor
Entree: Surf and Turf – Filet a nice medium rare and lobster, hot and favorful… ate it so fast that when our dining steward came by to take it out of the shell a moment later it was gone.
Dessert: I wasn’t sure what I wanted to get for dessert, but before I knew it, here comes several stewards and a dining room manager to sing Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary again to myself and colleague’s parents respectively. As we had a different table this night, I don’t believe they got the information that this happened yesterday. The cake this evening was a thin layer of chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate mousse and a rich chocolate frosting on top. ALl I needed was a cappuccino and this was perfect!

Entertainment was the Zaandam Singers and Dancers performing “H2 Oh!” To summarize, it’s an hour long music and dancing number that incorporates near every song you can image that has the word water, rain, etc… The sets and costumes were more numerous than I was used to and was overall a really good show. And don’t worry, if you sit up front you won’t get wet… but you will get confetti!

The early morning took its toll and we were exhausted, so we called it a night around 11:30.
One more day to go!

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