Sunday, May 14 & Monday, May 15
Cruise begins: Leave Seattle and a day at sea
Cruises are a lot of fun and one of my favorite vacations. We’ve cruised the Caribbean on Celebrity and Norwegian and the Panama canal on Princess. This is our first time on a Holland America Line cruise. The Oosterdam is the smallest ship we have ever been on and the size seems to make a difference. The sea is choppy with an occasional whitecap and the boat is rocking significantly.
According to the information I found on Holland America’s website, The Oosterdam was refurbished in 2016, but if it was, it sure doesn’t look like it. The wall in our stateroom at the end of the bed is dented in like someone kicked it. Then last night, when we went to dinner, I noticed a seam in the wall under our table was held together with white tape. Overall, the Oosterdam looks old, a little abused, dirty, and out of date. It’s not “flashy” pretty.
The crew has been wonderful, though, and that more than makes up for the state of the ship. Everyone has a smile on their face and is friendly. They are always looking for ways to help. I’d say this is the friendliest crew we have ever encountered.
By the end of the day, I wasn’t feeling very well and just wanted to sit and rest. I took a nap so we missed our appointed dinner time of 5:15 pm. We arrived for dinner at about 6 pm and were asked if we would like to share a table for four or eight. We chose a table for four. Shortly after, two ladies in their late 60s, early 70s sat down across from us. We tend to avoid communal tables on cruises. Yes, it is possible to meet interesting people, but it is just as likely to have to spend two hours with an obnoxious, completely inappropriate person as well. This time it worked out. The ladies were a lot of fun. One of them, Hope, is a retired rheumatologist. The other lady, Suzanne, has a very strong personality, and was Hope’s office manager. They retired at the same time. It was fun and interesting to talk with new people.