Although I walked over 10 miles yesterday, according to my Fitbit, I did not sleep well last night. I have to attribute it to overindulgence in food and drink. Today was our first sea day of two in a row as we make our way from Key West to San Juan. Normally I would think of this as a slow day. It was anything but. I was up at 6:45 and went to the Lido for a light breakfast. Everyone else was going to the Rotterdam at 8:15 but I had a salon appointment at 8:30 for a haircut. After breakfast I walked 1.5 miles before my appointment. My hair stylist, Valerie was from Naples, Italy. It was quite interesting talking with her. She became employed with Holland America through an agency in England. She was looking for a position where she could improve her English. She had to take written as well as practical exams to see if she was qualified. After she was accepted she had to complete 2 weeks of HA orientation. She was three months into her first tour and originally only expected to do one contract. She is enjoying is so much she now expects to continue with Holland America for a while.

After my haircut, I joined Kay for another mile around the decks after which we attended a seminar on ports of call and then another on excursions. After these it was time for lunch. We met back up with the rest of the gang for lunch in the Rotterdam. I had a wonderful banana-nutmeg soup followed by fish and chips and coconut cream pie.

We then attended a meeting about future cruises offered by Holland America. It is a no-brainer to sign up for a future cruise even if you don’t know what you want at this time. For a $200 deposit you have 4 years to schedule a cruise. Your payment is credited to your cruise and you receive an additional ship credit up to $400. If you decide not to cruise again your deposit is refunded as it is at the end of 4 years if a cruise is not booked.

It was now almost 3:00 PM and we headed to the Thermal Hydrospa room for a little relaxation.

Heated ceramic lounge chairs in the HydroSpa.

After an hours rotation thru the steam room, mineral bath and finally the thermal chairs you are totally relaxed. The only problem is now it is time to get dressed for dinner and tonight is the first formal night.

For most of the day we have been able to see Cuba off the starboard side. We are of course about 10 miles away but land is still quite visible. I really didn’t realize just how large Cuba is.

Cuban coastline

Carl relaxing before dinner

The meal was great. Our group split evenly between lobster and rack of lamb. I had the lamb with vegetables and potatoes. This was preceded by steamed mussels and fish soup and followed with an interesting dessert of lavender and almond flan.

We are all dressed up for dinner…

Preceding the show tonight the captain introduced the ship’s head staff with a champagne toast. Entertainment was Den West from Nashville. He played five different string instruments during the show and did an excellent job with them all.

It’s to bed early for me tonight…

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