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Published: April 8th 2018
The light from outside wakes me up around 8am. The ship is very still. No noise. Peering out the window, I see that we're anchored in the bay off Cabo San Lucas. Our arrival was scheduled for 7:30, right on time but we have a limited day here as our all aboard time is 1:15pm. If you're the first off and last back on the ship you may have 5 hours to spend ashore. But tours booked through the ship get off first, then the tender ticket numbers determine the order of disembarking after that. We aren't leaving the ship today. I had a deal with a local hotel located on the beach where we could hang out all day, using their facilities and enjoying the poolside buffet all for $27pp. However, it's a short day for us and Karen prefers to enjoy the relative peace offered aboard today while most of the passengers are in town. So that's our plan.
We sit up in the Lido, enjoying breakfast while watching the tenders as they ferry passengers from the ship to the port, returning empty for another load. Their calling tender ticket numbers in the 50s right now. "Passengers with
tender tickets 54, 55, 56 and 57 please proceed to the gangway on Deck A located midship to board the tender. Tickets 54, 55, 56 and 57. You are clear to board." These announcements continue throughout the morning until they reach 88. That's it. Now anyone may take a tender.
I must admit I like the internet service provided by Holland America on this ship. It's similar to what was offered on the Royal Caribbean last year. It's a new system that works on days, not minutes. For a flat fee based on available days left on a particular cruise, one can purchase continuous access to WiFi at a decent speed. It's a better system than the old .50/min plan used before. In addition, they have a free program whereby your phone can pick up local information on the ship for showtimes, daily menus, even your statement. Not bad.
Karen decides to try a crepe with berries while I stick with the standards, Cherrios and a couple of eggs with coffee. That's it. I take a few photos of the tenders and the beach from outside on Deck 9. It's 11 and we return to our room to
gather some things and run a few errands. First it's to the Guest Services desk. I plead my case about the wine package, hoping to get a bottle we purchased at Sel de Mer a few nights ago included in the package and the $50 taken off our bill. That would leave only one bottle left to drink in our 4 bottle package. They'll get back to me. Karen gets one more luggage tag for our checked luggage and drops off her commentary on ship services on the Westerdam during our cruise.
I retreat to the Crow's Nest or start writing and enjoying the view from atop the ship. Karen stopped to pick up a salad in the Lido, had one of the attendants in the spa glue on a broken nail for her and meets me upstairs. She purchases a Coke and a latte and we sit back to relax. After a bit, we return to the room to find our attendant, Gan, at our door.
He appears anxious and upset. He explains that he's sure he introduced himself to us when we boarded two weeks ago. Karen had made reference to our attendants as "ghosts" because,
while they do an excellent job with our room, they're never seen. Neither Gan or Joe ever greeted us so we could identify them and Karen mentioned that in the questionnaire to Holland America that she turned in a few hours earlier. He says he was told that he must report immediately to his supervisor and that the report has been sent to the main office in Seattle for review. It seems his job is on the line. I don't know what Karen wrote in the Westerdam evaluation but it's caused a lot of problems. We try to comfort him, telling him he's always done a great job. It was just that we never knew him by his face. I tell him I will talk to the front desk.
A few minutes later, a ship's officer knocks on our door with Gan in tow. He talks to Karen about this issue, personally apologizing for this misunderstanding. Karen reiterates the fact that both stewards have done an excellent job. "Here. Just look inside. Our room is impeccable, see?", she says, swinging the door open wide to prove her statement to the officer providing a full view of our cabin. Standing
directly behind the officer, Gan mouths silently to Karen, "Thank you". I hope this issue goes away as quickly as it arose. Karen couldn't wait to submit that evaluation but sometimes things are taken the wrong way. What could be a good learning experience for all stewards turned into a crusafiction of one poor guy.
I just remembered. It's Happy Hour in the Ocean Bar. Karen joins me for Tequila Sunrises and snacks at the "buy one and get another for $2 sale." We meet the two teachers from dinner several nights ago. At 5pm we head back to the room, change clothes and visit the dining room for dinner at a table for six. Karen has Mushroom and Wild Rice Chowder, Cod Puttanesca and SF Blackberry Sundae while I had the same soup, Slow-Roasted Strip Loin and Mango Blueberry Crisp. We also ordered a bottle of wine from our package, a Merlot.
After dinner, we returned to our room. Mom packed more stuff since she loves to pack and I worked on my photos. We did all this while watching nature shows. Amazing. Tomorrow is our last day, a sea day as we cruise up the coast
of Baja California toward San Diego, our final destination.
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