I slept late, at least for me. By the time I got to breakfast, I was rewarded with warm, fresh croissants. I guess that is a good reason to sleep in! After breakfast, I took one last walk around the city – this time to the Nine Streets area. This is an area with small boutiques, cafes and interesting architecture. Being that it was Monday, I was very surprised at how quiet it was in the streets. I found out that it was a holiday – just like in Canada (Victoria Day). It was very peaceful as I wandered around the streets and over canals. Back at the hotel, it was time for me to check-out and head for the next part of my adventure. When I arrived, there was a nice man who helped me bring my suitcase down the very narrow stairs. I was lucky that he was waiting for me to do this again! It would have been a real challenge for me – not because the case was heavy, but because the stairs are so narrow. I was warned about the narrow stairs but some things \you are never really prepared for!
I talked a bit more to the hotel staff before heading out for my tram adventure. Research – and double-checking with locals – informed me that I could take a tram to Centraal Station and another one to the Passenger Station. Of course, on the way to the station, it started to rain – but I had my new umbrella handy! The transfer was easy and I made my way to check-in for my Celebrity cruise.
Check-in was very long. Okay in comparison to Barcelona or Athens, it was long but in comparison to Brazil at least they had a place to check the luggage. Once on board, the rooms were not ready and finding a place to sit was at a premium. But really not a big deal as the buffet was open and people were already eating as if they had not seen a meal in days. For once, I did not partake, but found a quiet corner to wait until the room was ready. Once in the room, I started to explore the ship.
Of course, this meant heading to the Spa and fitness centre. You gotta love the enclosed pool area that has a full-figured larger than life Goddess watching over the pool!
The spa was typical of Celebrity – now to decide how to indulge! Next stop was to see how much internet services were going to cost. My travel agent, June, is amazing and always gets me a ship-board credit and I usually use some of it to get an Internet package. My timing was good – there were only a couple people there (latter, there was quite a line of people waiting to talk to the techies). Wi-fi is available all over the ship, however sometimes it is really slow because we have to connect via a satellite.
I thought I would check to see if my luggage had arrived at my room – and it had. So, I spent some time unpacking and getting settled in my new home. I’m on the 7th deck on the starboard side, closer to the front than I normally am (I am usually more in the middle). This means that I will be doing a fair bit of walking. Good news is that the Spa and pool are 2 flights up. Bad news is the dining room is at the opposite end – but there are several bars between here and there!
It started raining really hard about the time we were set to leave the harbour, so the Sail Away really did not happen. But I have a balcony, which of course means lots of pictures of harbour sights. I did miss going through the locks to get from the protected waters of Amsterdam to the North Sea – I think I was in the Martini Bar.
Usual cruise stuff ensued: an opening show, music throughout the ship then dinner. Waiting in line for the dining room to open, I met a couple from Denver. My table has an interesting mix of people – with three couples and another single woman. The couples were from Ohio, Sidney Australia and New Zealand and the single woman was from somewhere in the US, but I do not know where. Our waiter is a woman from South Africa and our asst. waiter is a guy from Serbia. We had a lot of fun the first night, so I think it will be a good cruise – at least from a dining perspective. Tonight’s dinner:
- Shrimp Louis
- Wild Mushroom soup
- Spaghetti with a meat sauce
- Crème Catalana
- Red Wine from Argentina
Now, I am in my room with the door open and a nice breeze and the sound of the foghorn.