January 7, 2016 Rotterdam, The Netherlands

After breakfast at the hotel we got a taxi and departed for Holland America’s Rotterdam for a 91-night cruise to the Far East. The Rotterdam was built in 1997, is 780 feet long, 106 feet wide, and 10 stories tall, has a crew of 593 and can accommodate 1,316 guests.

We settled into our new home by unpacking, having lunch on the lido deck poolside and attending the sail away party and the LGBT cocktail hour in the crow’s nest bar. We met about 8 LGBT fellow travelers. Dinner was enjoyed in the main dining room with a group of British guests who were completing an 18-day holiday cruise to the Canary Islands.

The weather was some of the worst we have seen thus far. It rained most of the day and the seas were a bit rough as we headed into the open sea. The Rotterdam port is so large that it takes us about two hours to reach the open sea.