Sunday, September 13, 2015 found me leaving the UK, first aboard our spiffy bus to take us to Harwich International Terminal and then an easy boarding of Holland America ship the M/S Rotterdam.
As you can see the more typical English weather is back today – light rain and moderate dreary; perfect accompaniment whilst traversing out of the city and across the countryside for about a two-hour drive to the port of Harwich.
My what an easy boarding it was. There could not have been more than twenty of us old farts “clamoring” to get on board and at a rate only a sixty-Plus crowd can move at.
Within an hour’s time I was unpacked and had transformed my stateroom into my apartment at sea and was ready to explore and discover this new vessel. Many of the previously boarded passengers were off for a day’s trip into London or to explore on foot the nearby and charming town of Harwich.
I was eager to get fully adjusted so I decided to sample the Drink of the Day the – Nordic Cooler – that was a gentle mix of Absolut Vodka, Crème de Cassis, and Sprite. With my drink in hand I headed off to the Lido Restaurant to grab a sushi snack from the buffet line.
The mandatory lifeboat drill was held for newly arrived passengers promptly at 1500 hours on Deck 3 and we were bathed in a chilling breeze as the ship rested at the Harwich dock.
Next on my agenda was to discover the closest bar for a proper pre-dinner drink. And as luck would have it I stumbled into the Ocean Bar in time for Happy Hour and to chat with a couple of sisters from Dallas who kept insisted they were from Chicago. Much like myself however when asked where I am from, “Well I live in St. Louis but I am FROM California”.
Dinner for me is at 5:45 and on this trip I am assigned Table 43, thankfully taken care of by my two friends, Ken and Joan that were very much a part of that wonderful Table 411 from my 2013 cruise. If was so great to see and be with them again for the next 27 days.
Table 43 for now also has two couple from Eastern Canada and one couple from St. Croix. It looks like we have another great group of people to dine with each evening.
Finished the evening off with a nice hot shower and curled up in bed watching the Monuments Men and drifted off to sleep hearing about the beautiful country of Norway….