Day 1 – Wed., Jan. 5, 2011 Ft. Lauderdale

     We had a great flight yesterday, all luggage accounted for.  After checking in at the Comfort Inn, we walked over to the shopping center to pick up supplies we couldn’t ship.  We had lunch at the Moonlight Diner.  At the hotel, we signed up with KSA to pick us up on April 26 at the dock to take us to the airport for $8. each.

     Today, the transfer from the hotel to the ship was very easy.  Check-in was a breeze and we had just a short wait to board the ship.  HAL provides you with a number and you can sit and wait until your number is called to board.  The terminal was decorated with balloons and a huge Bon Voyage sign.  As we boarded the Amsterdam, there was a large Welcome Home sign on the side of the ship.

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     I am calling this Day 1, even though the itinerary calls it Day 0.  Our daily news call Wednesday Day 1, so I am going to follow that so I don’t get confused.  If you do forget what day it is, you can always look in the elevator and check out the floor mat.  They have one for each day of the week.   We headed for the La Fontaine Dining Room for the Mariner Luncheon.  The shrimp cocktail was delicious, with a Cognac and cream sauce.  We both had the buttermilk crispy chicken.  While we were dining, the announcement was made that our cabin was ready.  We are in cabin 3311, a few doors down from 3301 which we had on the AAP cruise in 2007.  Our stewards are Ketut and Nyoman.  We started to unpack.  We had 4 large bags shipped and brought 3 with us.  We unpacked our 2 small bags and then one of the large ones arrived.  We took a little tour, picked up a couple of library books, and went up for the sail-away. 

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     We picked a spot to meet in the Lido and went to check on luggage.  Two more bags were unpacked before dinner and two more after.  We put the empties in the shower before they were taken for storage.  I had brought a double rod with us, but unfortunately it was too wide for the closet.  So much for a good idea.  I left some of my shirts folded.  We found room for everything!

     We are seated at table 29 for dinner at a table for 6.  One couple did not show up.  The other couple, Christine and Willy, are from Germany and speak limited English.  For dinner we both had the filet mignon which was delicious.  Each woman received a lovely long stemmed red rose.  The ship sailed about 1 hour 20 minutes late because it took so long for luggage and supplies to be loaded.  After dinner we unpacked the last 2 bags and went to the show.  One of our bags was damaged and has a hole in the front.  I knew I should have packed some duct tape!

     Tonight’s show was just an information talk and meeting some of the crew.  There will be 2 gals doing water color and 1 doing crafts.  There didn’t seem to be too many on the staff for activities.  We then went to the casino to make a donation.  The floral arrangements around the ship are gorgeous!  Will have to carry my camera tomorrow!

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