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Holland America ms Zuiderdam: Day at Sea + Navigational Bridge Tour

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Port side controls on the navigational bridge of ms Zuiderdam.

This morning started out at 9am with interviewing some key staff members aboard the ship like Hotel Manager, Captain, Cellar Master and others. All the interviews went really well and it’s always cool to hear the background on the crew members. We always just walk by them and not think twice about what everyone does on board and back home. After listening to the interviews it was very clear that crew members on Holland America are very loyal to the brand.

After we taped the show the Captain took us on the bridge of the ship and let the officers show us around. I’ve probably been on a couple dozens of ship navigational bridges (my dad was a harbor pilot) but every time I go on a bridge it just wows me. The bridge of the ship was your standard operation with three control panels and a great view. A lot of the officers I was talking to came out of the merchant marine academy. I asked him a lot of questions of how the stabilizers worked and he pretty much schooled me, I had no clue how they operated. 

There were two Panama Canal talks today with Travel Guide Susan, the first talk covered the history of the canal with a slide show presentation and the other talk was an FYI type- talk telling you about the process, where to best view the locks, and how the excursions will work when we get in Lake Gatun tomorrow. 

On this cruise they are doing one night at Le Cirque (specialty restraint $39 or $59 with wine pairing held in the Pinnacle Grill) so I went to go check what it’s all about. Le Cirque is a restaurant in NYC that was the first privately owned restaurant located in the city’s Mayflower Hotel. The menu looked very tempting with Lobster salad, butternut squash and huckleberry soup, rack of lamb, and crème Brule. I already knew what I was going to eat before we sat down. 

Holland America has learning-tracks on their ships that are broke down in four sections: Our World, Food and Entertaining, Technology, and Well-being. Today I checked out the Technology section and couldn’t believe the classes they offered and they were free. The class I sat in today was making movies with Microsoft Movie Maker. I’ll have to say, I make a lot of videos and I learned things from her about movie maker that I didn’t know, plus she was cute so easy on the eyes. Other classes today were introduction to the cloud, Windows 7, Sharing Photos, and a one-on-one session with the Techspert Mollie. That’s what they call the computer expert. 

Looking forward outside of the navigational bridge of ms Zuiderdam.

The gym was pretty packed today as it has been any other sea day of the cruise. I ran five miles and it almost killed me but I made it — I had to, I’ve been eating too much! See video below….

Tonight was formal night and we checked out Canaletto, the specialty venue that’s in a portioned off section of the Lido deck dining. The restaurant serves American Italian fare. There isn’t a cost to dine here but reservations are requested in advance. When I booked they only had one spot left. The anti-pasta, veal, lasagna, and deserts were all great. 

Craig went to the casino after dinner to try his luck at the blackjack table and easily doubled his money but they switched dealers and he lost his winning streak, so he walked. The disco had 50’s and 60’s night but I wasn’t really feeling it so I rented a movie from Ship Flicks. Basically Holland America has a library of 1,000 movies and you can rent them at any time of the day. All you have to do is dial the front desk and give them the movie number and in 10-minutes it will be brought to your room. I felt lazy doing that so I would always go to deck one, give them the movie number, and sign for it there. They have some pretty recent movies too from 2010 and earlier. 

Tomorrow is the Panama Canal. So excited! Our excursion is going to take us to ground zero of Panama Canal and then kayaking in Lake Gatun.

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