Today was our first of three sea days (total for the cruise) as we continued sailing toward Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island Canada.
Judy was off to her first knitting class with the Craft Cruise instructor Ann Budd who would be teaching “Shadow Knitting”. The classes are held in the Hudson Room on Deck 3 forward.
The Cruise Critic Meet & Greet from the Roll Call was at 10 am in the Crow’s Nest. About 40 people showed up of the 80 passengers who RSVP’d. My experience with Meet & Greet attendance is that you will get between 50% and 75% of those who RSVP. Future roll call planners should probably reduce the expected attendance accordingly to save the ship from bringing up too much food.
Annette, the event manager, was on hand to ensure our group got off to a good start and that all of our arrangements were in order. The ship did a wonderful job of setting aside space in the Crow’s Nest and providing Coffee, Tea, Water and pastries. A big “thank you” to Don, aka “Capt and Teach” and Cathy and Rick aka “Herkimer18” for setting everything up and doing the name tags.
There were two Texas Hold’em tournaments scheduled today, the first at 10:30 and the second at 1PM. Both were $60 buy ins. As I mentioned earlier, they use the “Poker Pro” automatic poker table. I have never used one before so I was a little apprehensive about how it would affect the game.
Once you log onto the system, the game recognizes your name and lists the amount of chips available for betting next to your name, along with the stakes of everyone else in the game. One benefit I noticed right away was it very easy to track how much money each player had left, along with their names. Remembering your fellow players names was much easier, although you still had to remember if someone listed as Robert, actually went by Bob etc.
The games starts by dealing one card to each player to select the initial DEALER position and then the first hand is dealt. Since there isn’t a live dealer, the game action is much faster and there aren’t any misdeals or mistakes. Another benefit is that they don’t raise the blinds as quickly or as much as they do with the live game. The blinds in the live game will reach $3200 after about 45 minutes. In the live game, the casino wants to wrap up the game in less than an hour so they can maintain their dealer rotation, which may be good for the casino employees, but does detract from the game. With the computer game, the casino could care less as to how long the game lasts, which does make for a better game as they are no longer pressurized to wrap up the game in less than an hour. All in all, the Poker Pro table is fine once you get used to it.
My first game went very well and I ending up tying for first place after the other finalist and I keep going back and forth for 10 minutes.
After the Texas Hold’em tournament I couldn’t resist playing in the Blackjack Tournament. Today was a qualifying round and I managed to finish in third place and have a decent chance to make it into the finals on Oct 17th. Stay tuned.
Judy had an acupuncture appointment after lunch and in the afternoon, ahe attended another knitting class on “Intarsia in the Round” which lasted until 4:30 pm.
Tonight was our first Gala Night with most of the men wearing sport jackets and ties, and a few people wearing the bare minimum – colored shirt and long pants. I was one of probably 5 people wearing a tuxedos at early dinner seating. They are so rare that you stand out in a nice way and everyone is very impressed by men in tuxedos. I was on the QM2 a few weeks back and their informal dress code is more formal than HALs. Nevertheless, everyone on the Zuiderdam did dress up from their normal attire and the night was still fun. I am happy to know that Cunard is probably the final cruise line that still offers a traditional formal night and taking a Crossing on the QM2 is something every cruiser should experience at least once.
After dinner we found a photo spot across from the Front Desk to have our picture taken. We were surprised to find people lining up to have their photo taken with the Captain, Jeroen van Donselaar, and the Hotel Director, Michael Hiereth. We joined the line and apparently we were the last people who were interested in getting a photo which gave us some time to chat with the Captain and Michael. We were pleasantly surprised when they invited us to the Pinnacle Bar for a cocktail and some more conversation. The next 15 minutes was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about their interesting backgrounds, Holland America and life at sea. After we finished our drinks they headed off to other duties and we were left with a nice photo and some wonderful memories and insight.
The Pinnacle Bar is right across from the Pinnacle Grill which is being managed by Rick who the assistant Dining Room Manager on the Amsterdam toward the end of the World Cruise when he took over for Presti in preparation for the Panama Canal Cruise and subsequent Alaska Season. We were able to catch up for a bit with Rick and had another opportunity for a picture.
We still prefer the late show and that gave us time to stop by the Craft Cruise open knitting session held in the Lido.
On our way to the show, we ran into Willy, who was the Beverage Manager on the 2016 world cruise. It is always nice to see familiar faces and Willy did a wonderful job on the Amsterdam.
The Holland America Singers were on the main stage tonight performing a wide variety of Broadway hits. They were very good and we enjoyed the show a lot as we are big fans of Broadway musicals. They sang some tunes from West Side Story, Hairspray and Cats. We would have worked in some songs from Phantom and Les Miserables but the show was outstanding regardless and the entire cast sang beautifully.
We are scheduled to be in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, tomorrow around 8 AM. The forecast is cold temperatures, high winds and rain. Maybe the forecast will be wrong.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized