We boarded the Amsterdam mid-afternoon and settled into our new home for the next 115 days. Our luggage arrived safely and we found ample room for all of our belongings. We participated in the mandatory fire and evacuation drill before heading out for the sale-away party poolside. Unfortunately with all of the luggage and supplies that needed to be loaded onto the ship we were ninety minutes late to sail and the sun had already set. We set out to explore the ship and understand how to navigate the ship. The ship is beautiful with an old world traditional décor throughout. Rich wood paneling, upholstered furniture, traditional paintings and art and fresh flowers throughout the public spaces. We discover where to find the dining rooms, casino, movie-theater, culinary arts center, library, gym, bars, pools and other public spaces.
Our travel agent sent two lovely bottles of champagne to our room for our bon voyage celebration. I hope to keep Mark from bathing in it.
We were somewhat apprehensive about our dinner table mates….and rightly so. As we approached our table (119) we saw two of our four tablemates (a six-top table in all) reading their menus. They hardly looked up to say “Good Evening!” But we did get a grunt from them. I said to Mark, “It’s looking pretty good!” That was just kidding.
The other two joined us shortly. This was a couple from Canada. One was a recently retired pharmacist (Claire, the woman) and the man, Gord, was a retired chemistry teacher. Claire began talking about socialized medicine in Canada, which triggered something in the gentleman of the first couple. He proceeded to harang about socialized medicine in the USA, how terrible the government was and how we all were going to Hell in a Hand Basket. I asked him where he was during the election. It seems that in October he and his wife drove their 5th wheeler from north of Akron, Ohio, where they normally live, to the middle of Florida, parked it and voted there, where they live during the winter months. I asked if he was a cook and he told me about all the wild pig huntin’ and killin’ he did last month. With so little in common, needless to say we did not talk further about politics (I was afraid he might have brought his gun with him). We did have a nice conversation about food and he did offer us his menu as ours hadn’t been delivered yet. Perhaps there is hope for better future dinner conversations, unless they change tables before tonight’s dinner.