Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 28 Summer Vacation 2009

We awoke and left our hotel in Federal Way Washington shortly after breakfast and drove the last few miles into Seattle WA. Our destination is Pier 91 where we will board Holland America’s cruise ship THE WESTERDAM.

Driving into Seattle WA from the south you get a good view of the skyline and the Space Needle.

4156 Skyline Seattle WA 4158 Skyline Seattle WA4164 Skyline Seattle WA

We caught our first glimpse of our cruise ship as we approached the pier area. That is the Star Princess on the left and our ship the Westerdam on the right.

4166 Star Princess & Westerdam at Pier 91 Seattle WA

Finding the parking lot was not the easiest or most intuitive experience, there is very little signage and it is very confusing, but after backing up a few times and turning around, we finally figured out where to park the car. We got our luggage loaded into the shuttle bus and from there on, the check in process was quick and easy.

We were onboard by 11:30 am and although none of the rooms were ready yet, we were directed to the Lido Restaurant for lunch and to relax till the rooms were ready. About 1:30 pm they announced that all rooms were ready so we went to find ours.

Our room aboard is very nice and larger than we had expected. There is lots of closet space for everything and room under the bed to store the empty suitcases.

4167 Stateroom 4103 Westerdam4169 Stateroom 4103 Westerdam4170 Stateroom 4103 Westerdam

After we got settled in our room, we went for a walk about the ship to try and a sense of where everything. The decor is very luxurious and of course everything is of a nautical theme and colours.

4219 Decor aboard HAL Westerdam4174 Decor aboard HAL Westerdam4177 Decor aboard HAL Westerdam

4186 HAL Westerdam4187 Karen aboard HAL Westerdam4197 HAL Westerdam

At 3:15 pm there was a mandatory lifeboat drill, so we got into our life vests and headed for our assigned life boat.

4200 Karen Lifeboat Drill HAL Westerdam4201 Bill Lifeboat Drill HAL Westerdam

At 3:30 pm they raised the gangway, untied the ship, we backed away from the pier, turned the bow towards the North and we are on our way to Alaska.

4214 Star Princess at Pier 91 Seattle WA4218 HAL Westerdam leaving Seattle WA

At 5 pm we went to one of the computer classes that are offered onboard. This one was titled “Put Your Best Face Forward”, and we learnt how to edit photos. Most of this we already know, but you can always learn something new at any seminar.

After class finished, we went for dinner in the Vista Dining Lounge. We have what is called “Open Seating” which allows us to dine anytime between 5:15 pm and 9:00 pm. The other option is “Fixed Seating” which assigns you the same table every night at the same time. We prefer the flexibility of the open seating option. Dinner was delicious, I had a steak and Karen had chicken.

After dinner we wandered around the ship some more so that we could try to learn where everything is located and then we went out on deck again to watch the sun set. It is cool and very windy. The ship is cruising at 20 knots and the wind is strong. I took a photo of the moon rising on one side of the ship and the sun setting on the other side.

4222 Moonrise leaving Seattle WA4223 Sunset leaving Seattle WA

There was a stage show at 9 pm in the Vista Lounge but we arrived a bit too late and were unable to get seats, so we watched the show for a bit and then went to the Piano Bar for a drink and to listen to the piano player.

Tonight we will sail through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and be in the open Pacific Ocean by day break heading for Glacier Bay Alaska.

To see all of our photos from today, you can check them out on my FLICKR site.

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