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Holland America Zuiderdam: Day at Sea + First Timer Lunch

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View from the gym aboard ms Zuiderdam.

My first thought when I woke up this morning is that the gym was going to be packed. I was wrong. I got there around 8am and there was plenty of machines available. Our time went ahead one hour last night so we’re now in the Atlantic time zone.

Craig went to the excursion talk at 10am to learn about some of the excursions and then listened to a few minutes of the port lecturer. The over-the-top shopping lectures crack me up. We know they are hustling for commission and they do a hell of a job selling the shops.

At 11:30 we had a champagne lunch with the officers and Cruise Director. We had a table of eight and spanning all over from Canada, New York, Washington DC, and Raleigh, NC. The Cruise Director gave a brief talk and then we got to eat a great lunch with beef, fish, or salad, all delish! After lunch we made our reservations for Canaletto, the surcharge-free dining option on the ship. It’s actually a part of the Lido buffet area that’s transformed at night and made available to guests who want to enjoy a great Italian meal.

This afternoon I experienced my first Park West Gallery art auction. I won’t lie, I saw free champagne and I thought “what the hell, I’ll go.” I wound up walking through the gallery, talking to the PW employees and asking them about different pieces of work. Afterwards I stayed and watched the auction. If you’ve never been to an art auction or even if you hate art, I suggest you sit in at least one on your next cruise. People drop some major money on these art pieces. To be honest, I had no clue that cruises had so much disposable income. Many people spent well into the $1,000’s on a piece of work today. It’s kind of exciting to even watch the process.

Tonight was formal night in the Main Dining Room but we wound up eating in Canaletto instead. They had a lot to choose from in Canaletto: anti-pasta, soups, veal, pasta, lasagna, and a ton of Italian desserts like tiramisu, gelato, and cakes. They also serve cotton candy on a dish just before dessert. Kind of random but good!

The captain did the gala ceremony at 9:45p. There was complementary champagne and the captain introduced the key staff members and the two employees of the month. I thought that was a nice touch.

It was 50’s-60’s night in the disco but there wasn’t a lot of people in there.

We arrive in Aruba tomorrow at 1pm.

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