Holland America Lines Cruise - Auckland to Vancouver - 2017
April 24-30 Sea Days and Canada
April 24-28 - Sea Days
Another relaxing five days at sea. There was lots of time to kill during the day. I learned to play Tile Rummy with the Matutes and Bensons. Our games were in the afternoon in one of the card rooms. Ann swam. We both read and napped while reading.
Dinner on the 27th was special. We celebrated Ann and Ellen's birthday. We let our severs know about it in advance. They provided a special treat for dessert and a serenade. They did this for John Benson of his birthday on the 23rd, but I did not record it. This was also King's Day where lots of passengers and crew wore something orange marking the birth of King Willem-Alexander.
April 29 - Victoria
It was propitious that we had not scheduled a shore excursion today because the weather turned out to be cold and rainy. Nevertheless, Ann, Ellen and I decided to walk from the terminal into Victoria so that we could get some exercise and see some of the sights.
Our trek started out along the harbor and then cut directly inland. After passing through a well-kept neighborhood, we reached Victoria's Inner Harbour. This beautiful harbor contained lots of pleasure boats as well as ferries and other commercial craft. It is bordered by restaurants, shops and significant landmarks which include the Empress Hotel and the Parliament Buildings. We joined the harbor walk as a christening of a new ferry was being celebrated under large tents. Continuing, we walked over to the Empress Hotel passing a piper who was playing for donations. Then we walked into the hotel after exclaiming over its display of flowers.
After our tour of the hotel, we made a beeline back to the ship taking a slightly different route.
We took advantage of Happy Hour tonight before dinner. We did not go to the evening's entertainment because we had to packed get our bags into the hallway for evening pick up.
April 30 - Vancouver
Our Alaska Airlines flight left around noon. To get to the airport in time, we were able to get an early disembarkment time. We decided to have our breakfast delivered to our stateroom so that we would not have to hassle the crowds on the Lido Deck. Our strategy worked out well. We left the ship, found our bags and the Bensons in the terminal, caught a taxi outside the terminal and arrived at the airport in plenty of time. The Matutes were there, too. The first leg of their flight to Seattle was the same as ours.
We had lunch at SeaTac, flew to Oakland and took Uber home. We were in our house by 7:00.