Thursday, 9 July 2009


Trying to catch up and not much time on computer so lease excuse if these notes are out of order or too many on same day.

We boarded yesterday afternoon after a very long wait to go through security and American customs. We thought we had timed things well by being at the wharf before 1 pm but those who arrived by 11am got a much better deal.

We arrived at the wharf to queue up in a long zig-zag to go through security. That took forever it seemed. Then we were directed to seating for non USA & Canadian residents where we waited and waited. They were calling us through about 25-30 at a time. About 3.30 pm we were finally called to queue again for finger printing and photograph identification then through the ship's boarding system aand at last on board as they called the emergency drill practice. We rushed to our cabin, found our life jackets and were directed to our emergency station for all the safety drill instructions. I went from there to my first meeting which was brief then we went to the buffet for food. By this time it was after 5 pm. We'd had a good breakfast in the hotel about 10am but nothing more except a few blueberries, my fresh peas in the shell and water. I had my next meeting at 8.15pm which finished about 10.30. We went to the all night buffet for a bedtime snack and drink. There are only teas, some herbal, and brewed coffee or water. Chocolate, cappuccinos and soft drinks or sodas which you pay for. We are being careful as those extras mount up quickly, especially as there is a standard 15% gratuity charge added to everything. One cappuccino a day would add up to nearly $50 over the fortnight .... There are many small charges like that if you are not watching out.

Today has been cloudy, cold to cold on the outside decks and the sea a little rough with a 3-5 metre swell. The ship has gone up and down as well as rolled. Nothing big but made many of us feel unwell. I was alright in our cabin when I had my eyes closed, otherwise I had to go to a deck closer to sea level. Fortunately there are plenty of lounges, bars, etc at that level. We are on the 12th deck, there are only 2 decks above us. We walk up the stairs, one level to the swimming pools and buffet dining, the next deck up has the health and beauty stuff. Tonight we are getting the hang of finding our stateroom .... fancy name for a cabin. We are still somewhat challenged about which direction we are walking in. Our cabin, inside rather than having a balcony or ocean-view is quite pleasant. It's a box with huge mirrors. Virtually a mirror wall above the bed-head and the same again above the dresser. I guess the mirrors are to help make it feel more spacious but I find them somewhat scary, especially as the bathroom also has one wall covered by mirror. I don't really need to see that much of myself. We have emptied our cases and done half our laundry which is drying on hangers in the wardrobe space.

Today I had a meeting right after breakfast ... In fact I had to set a wake-up call for 7 am so I could get to the meeting time 8.15am. That was finished just after 10.30am. The rest of the day has been quite leisurely. I fell asleep in our cabin, TWJ fell asleep in the lounge.

It was formal night .... Captain's welcome and dress-up dinner but we didn't feel like changing so ate again at the buffet. There is plenty of choice including beautifully cooked roast meat, mashed potatoes, stir-fried veges, Asian dishes, pastas, salads, selection of cold meats, various breads, seafoods, desserts and fresh fruit, cheese and crackers. The only thing I find in short supply is nicely cooked vegetables. We will go to one of the dining rooms one night.

My last meeting today was from 8.15 – 10 pm followed by supper. Tonight we joined a couple from New Jersey who live near the border with Pennsylvania. We had seen them on other cruises, they have been on all 5 Catch The Wave Cruises. It was nice to sit and chat except it is now really late ... 11.30pm and I have a wake-up call in for 5 am.Sunrise is just after 5 am and we have a gathering on shore at 7.15 am. From there I will be on shore until 1.30 pm so I need to have breakfast early too. John has an hour's grace before joining our shore tour in the morning.
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