Day 2 – Enroute to Costa Rica off the coast of Cuba
We didn’t get to sleep until close to 3am as we were determined to get everything put away before we slept. Mission accomplished and we finally got to get some sleep.
Morning would come quickly and we put in our room service breakfast order for 9AM…The breakfast menu is posted here on the blog under Daily Activities. This menu is twice the size of the menus we had on the Oosterdam last summer. Not sure if this is now standard on all HAL ships or whether this is a perk of the Vista suites. The menu is impressive. Waffles for room service! Wow! I almost feel I have to check every box just to try it all and with 114 days to go, we will probably get the chance.
The Cruise Critic Meet and Greet was at 10:30 in the Crow’s nest. The ship did a fantastic job setting up coffee and pastries. We printed 195 nametags for everyone on the roll call and had plenty of volunteers that came early to help with final nametag assembly. There was plenty of great conversation as people met old friends and new. Lots of energy in the room. A great start to the cruise.
After the smoke cleared, there were 45 name tags left, so we had about 150 people show up for the meet and greet – a very nice turnout.
After the Meet and Greet, I met with the Casino manager to help set up the slot pull. Very helpful and they will send out invitations to everyone who RSVP’d for the slot pull scheduled for January 8th.
Time for lunch in the Lido. A very nice selection – we had the pork and catfish.
There were two lectures today – the morning lecture was on the Bermuda Triangle and the afternoon was about Christopher Columbus. We caught the afternoon lecture on Columbus before we ran off for the daily crafts events.
During the Crafts Class we made a lanyard we could customize with beads. The class was well organized and the Instructor, Judi was great and ran a wonderful class.
We learned that the Trivia game had over 25 teams! Wow! I ran into a passenger who explained that one team won with a perfect score. Here is a picture of him displaying his “winnings” Dam Dollars – not sure what they will ultimately be worth.
We spent most of the afternoon in the cabin relaxing and catching up on the blog. The weather was pleasant as we sailed off the coast of Cuba and Judy spent some time on the deck outside our cabin.
The internet was working again, but was intermittent and frustrating when trying to upload files. Still working on my upload methods to minimize connection time.
At 6pm we saw the movie – “Best of Enemies” in the Wajang Theatre. We enjoyed the movie and the theater is very nice.
Time for dinner at 8pm and we were joined by 3 more people for a total of 7 at our 8 top. Conversation continued to be lively and engaging and everyone seemed to be good fit.
Dinner was fantastic and the service superb. We have about 100 days on HAL ships and this dinner was probably the best service we ever had. Really, really good. A MDR menu is also posted.
The show was at 10pm was “The Talk of the Town” – a wonderful medley of songs by Neil Diamond, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones and others performed by the HAL singers and dancers. The show was wonderful, and performed at a pleasant volume (at least for us in the upper deck.)
Before the show started, Cruise Director Gene Young introduced the Location Guide, the IT person, Culinary Arts Manager and his assistants. It was easy to see why Gene is such a popular Cruise Director.
Back in our cabin, we received our first gift of the cruise a “Boat Bag of Swag”. Very nice and it will come in handy.
We are quickly learning that the Grand Voyage is definitely a cut above the typically outstanding Holland America Cruise. All the staff is exceptional, an all-star team. The selection of daily events is overwhelming – so many activities to choose from. This Grand World Voyage is off to a great start but we will probably need a vacation from our vacation when we get back to San Diego.