Monday, September 26th, 2011 - The day we have been waiting for! We boarded the Holland America cruise ship, the Amsterdam, on our new adventure starting with the first port, Petropavlosvk, Russia and ending in Sydney, Australia.
As soon as we got onboard we settled in our room and then went to the main deck for the sail-away party. We were very surprised that the full bar was complimentary all afternoon so we each enjoyed a pina colada. We were even more surprised to find Jan Beckmann, a woman we met on our cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Singapore in 2009 sitting at a table by herself. Jan was a research scientist (something to do with cells) but she is retired now and volunteers at the aquarium in Seattle. We always found it fascinating to talk to her and listen to her stories when we cruised with her before. How wonderful it was for the three of us to get re-acquainted!
As we were leaving the party to go back to our cabin an announcement was made; the open ocean was extremely rough and other cruise ships were getting very badly beaten up so we would take an inside passage overnight before heading for open ocean. We had 6 sea days to get to Russia so we would have no trouble making up the time we would loose during the night.
We had dinner in the formal dining room and met our dinner table mates – Ed and Georgia from California and Jeff and David who were moving to New Zealand. They would be getting off the ship in Sydney and flying to Wellington, New Zealand where their furniture had been shipped from the United States. They are expecting their furniture and personal things to get to Wellington about the same time they do. Jeff is an IT guy and David is a physicist so they should be able to get great jobs. They will have dual citizenship with US and New Zealand – really awesome guys!
It was a nice surprise to find a towel animal, chocolates, and two nice Holland America tote bags decorating the foot of our bed when we went to our cabin after dinner.