2016 Panama Canal Cruise
March 28 - At Sea
Another sea day. Our challange on sea days is to find enough things to do to keep our minds active. Breakfast at the buffet on the Lido deck was not one of these things, but we wanted a meal where we didn't have to force a conversation.
We wanted some tips about the next three ports - Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. So we went to a presentation about them by our location guide, Kainoa. Kainoa is a large man from Hawaii. He says that Hawaiians are larger than Samoans, a fact that I was unaware of. He has a lot of knowledge of the ports and things to do in them. His presentation is low-key and thorough. Because of this, we decided to skip future excursions and do our explorations by ourselves.
We went to a special Mariner Society lunch in the main dining room. The Mariner's Society is the frequent flyer club for Holland America Lines. When you build up enough points, you get free laundry service on your cruises. Of course, there are some other benefits, too. Today was one of those benefits. We were served a special lunch with other special Mariners. At our table were two couples who live in Florida after moving there from New York. We had a good meal which included several glasses of champaign. Mario, our cruise director, greeted us and introduced Captain Vincent Smit who also greeted us and told us how important we were to Holland America. We left with our commemorative tiles and happy but cynical feelings.
In the afternoon, I went to a presentation by Captain Smit. He sent us on a digital journey of the nautical operations onboard the Westerdam. He also took questions from the audience. I learned a little about how the ship is run. I learned a lot about the captain's good sense of humor.
After that I met with the consultant about future cruises. We found information about our cruise next March with the Bensons and Matutes. I wanted to make sure that our staterooms were close and that they would be in an area of the ship that we feel comfortable in now that we are experts. The consultant found our reservations but couldn't make any changes because we made arrangements through Vacations To Go.
We went to happy hour and then had dinner with Sandy and Bob. The entettainment tonight was Natalie Toro who sang Broadway show songs. She was a good singer but the sound system was turned up too high.
This is where we sailed today: