I am loving being on vacation!
We've had a few bumps in the road (so to speak) - it rained while we were boarding the ship. Not so annoying for actually getting on the ship, but getting our luggage to the porter through the security checkpoint in the rain was in fact pretty annoying.
The weather cleared for sail away, but as we got out of the harbor, the winds and swell picked up. For the first 36 hours of the cruise, we had gale force 9 winds, (about 65 MPH) and 12 – 18 foot waves. This is NOT conducive to passenger comfort. Lots of folks suffered from sea sickness, but the staff was as helpful as they could be. Thanks goodness I was fine, but The Mr didn't feel to well the first night, and my sister and mom were both a bit under the weather.
Sleep on the first night was non-existent - rocking and rolling at that rate does not put you to sleep. The good news is - we are on vacation and afternoon naps are encouraged! Though the weather continued through the first day – the Captain closed the pools and hot tubs (the splashing water was a safety hazard) which wasn’t fun - we napped by the empty pool for a couple of hours anyway (the nice warm Lido pool, nicely protected from the wind and chilly (53 F) weather. The decks outside were also closed off - high winds also seem to be a safety hazard.
Even with the weather, we are very much enjoying our trip. We've had a massage (heavenly), I've finished one of my photography books already, watched a great demonstration in the Culinary Arts Center by the Master Chef about flambe and enjoyed chatting with a number of the ship's senior staff at a meeting I set up with some Cruise Critic members.
This morning, the second morning of our cruise, the seas have calmed somewhat (still 7 - 12 foot swells, but that is really qiute nice in comparison to yesterday), the Captain has opened the outside decks ans we'll be taking a stroll on the Promenade Deck shortly.
We have some fun things planned today. We are taking a cooking class taught by the Head Chef of the speciality restaurant on board (called the Pinnacle Grill). This is a "hands on" class, and should be lots of fun. The Mr, my sister and my parents will all be there too. We are planning to attend a lecture on the history of Hawaii by Kainoa Dela Cruz, our travel guide and renowned lecturer. We met him yesterday - he's very charming and has a wealth of information! The lecture should be a real treat! We are planning to attend an Indonesian Tea this afternoon. Most of the wait staff on Holland America come from Indonesia - they put on a fantastic tea ceremony and I am really looking forward to it. And tonight is our first formal night (break out the tuxes and fancy dresses!) as well as a party with the Captain!
The rocky seas have really curtailed my ability to take pictures (well, pictures that aren't blurry anyway), and I am having some difficulty getting them uploaded. I'll attempt to give you a glimpse later.
Now I am off to write a couple of quick thank you notes and then we are off to enjoy our day!