We were up at our usual time this morning and had breakfast. We talked to some other guests who were going to or coming from a cruise, but none were going on the same cruise as ourselves. We checked the outside temperature and agreed that the forecast of 6 C was about right. Everyone here is complaining about the cold which, it seems, is unusual.
We returned to our room and put the last minute things together then sat and read and watched others gather for the various shuttles to the dock and the airport. We could see a number of pieces of luggage with the same ship's name on them that we are on.
We had a later shuttle and when a previous one left, I went down to collect a luggage cart to ease the movement of our cases. We loaded it u and went downstairs and checked out. We were among the first for our shuttle so were rewarded with a seat in the sun. While cool, it was quite pleasant sitting waiting chatting to others who had been in the area we are going to.
The shuttle came and we loaded our luggage onto the trailer and climbed on board. The drive to the dock was short and we identified our luggage. Christine - rightly as it turned out - was concerned that our two pieces were not together, but the porter assured her that they would be OK. We went inside and had our papers checked then went through security which seemed quite cursory. From there we went to the check-in. Our suite enabled us to bypass the longer lines and we were issued with our cabin keys right there. We walked right onto the ship and were directed to elevators which took us to our deck and we found our cabin.
We unpacked our hand luggage and my case arrived so I unpacked it. Christine's case was nowhere in sight. We went a short distance to a lounge designated for our suites and had a light lunch. We discussed with the concierge our dining options and discovered there was restaurant for our suites with no designated times or tables, so I think we will use that.
We returned to our suite and still no sign of Christine's case. We went to explore some of the ship, checking on the luggage situation as we did. Eventually we returned to the cabin and discovered it had been delivered, quite some time after mine. Christine started to unpack but was interrupted by the lifeboat drill. This was different from our past experiences and we watched a video in our room then went to a muster station which was not outside by the lifeboats, but inside.
We returned to the room and Christine continued to unpack while I watched the ship leave harbour. We are on the opposite side of the ship from the last time we sailed from here, but there was again a coast guard boat complete with manned machine gun in the bow. This is the only port where we have seen such an obvious military-style presence.
By then it was time for dinner, so we changed and went down to the Orange Club and were seated at a table with a mother from Lloydminster and her daughter from Edmonton. They too were hiding form the cold! We chatted to them then they left and we did soon after.
There was a lecture on the history of Holland America, but se decided to return to our room to rest and read.
Tomorrow is the first of two sea days, so we will be relaxing.