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Alaskan Cruise: Holland America’s ms Oosterdam, Sea Day

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Alaskan CruiseA day at sea is always a 50/50 toss up, some folks love them, and some don’t. Sailings out of Seattle are gonna have one, so best know that going in. I don’t mind a day at sea but I will be honest, I am kinda jonesin’ for internet by the end of the day.

I started the morning with heading the gym, located on deck nine, forward – the only problem — at 8am, everyone else had the same thought. While there are plenty of machines (at least 15 treadmills), there wasn’t enough to go around so I made my way back down and got ready for the day.

At 11:15a we took a private galley tour of the main dining room galley, room service area and Pinnacle Grill area. This is also offered as a public tour with their Explore program.

If you’ve followed my sailings before you know that I’m a big fan of the Explore program. They offer four different “tracks” of activities: Explore Our World (learning and lectures), Explore Food & Entertaining, Explore Technology (free computer classes), and Explore Wellbeing (spa). Typically they run throughout the day and offer different events like speakers on Alaskan history and culture to classes on how to touch up photos. They even have cooking demonstrations in their Culinary Arts Center presented by Food and Wine Magazine. Some of the tastings and wellness classes come with a fee buy most everything else is offered free of charge.

For lunch we checked out the Terrace Grill. They had options like burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken sandwiches and veggie sandwiches, all served with fries. To go along with my chicken sandwich I ordered an Alaskan Amber brew, they had a tap set up in the middle of the pool deck along with five different types of bottled Alaskan beers. The main pool on Lido deck was covered because of the weather (solarium style), the fog set in late morning and by late afternoon it didn’t get much better.

Alaskan Cruise

There are five dining areas around the ship – Vista Dining Room (main), Pinnacle Grill (steakhouse, $25 fee), Canaletto (Italian, $10 fee), Terrace Grill (pool side) and Lido Restaurant – and I’ll eventually eat my way through all of them. I still have Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto to tackle. For the first 48 hours of the sailing the Lido Restaurant crew still serve you, this is protocol on Holland America’s ships (see photo).

The downtime today was really chill where I just did a few interviews, explored the ship (ate more), and did some writing. With formal night tonight we have to get pumped up to put the tie on. This cruise line is very traditional when it comes to formal dining, which I can appreciate and respect – having a successful track record for almost 140 years says a lot. The company was founded in 1873, I learned that today.

Formal night was very nice. They served jumbo shrimp cocktail and crab cakes with king crab legs, probably THE best crab cakes I’ve ever eaten, hands down!

The Captains celebration was nice, typical song and dance with flowing champagne; the show was okay, same song and dance. Our time goes back an hour tonight so, which means we gain an extra hour of sleep. The observation deck opens up at 3pm tomorrow to check out the glaciers and ice fields – I’ll be like a kid in a candy store.

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