We not only got an extra hour of sleep last night, but we slept in and got even more rest, it’s a tough life. There were very high seas last night so there was a lot of rocking and rolling, but it had the nice effect of really lulling us to sleep. We had our usual breakfast in the Neptune Lounge and then hung around the cabin for a while until it was time for the Mariner’s Reception and Lunch. The Mariners are Holland America’s loyalty program where rewards and perks are based on actual sea days and points earned by sea days, money spent on board and bonus points for suites.
The reception was held in the showroom and was hosted by the Captain, the Hotel Manager and the Cruise Director. Awards were handed out in the form of medals for sea days earned and today there were a lot of them, which might be expected on a long cruise like this. After the reception, we made our way to the main dining room where a special lunch was served. Val and I usually don’t attend these, but decided to this time. We sat next to a couple who also live in California and found that one of them was raised near Driggs, Idaho, one of our favorite places. The reason it’s surprising is that Driggs is very small and when we mention it to people, no one has ever heard of it so to meet someone raised there was a real surprise.
After lunch it was nearly time for Val to go to trivia so we went back to the room where she changed clothes and went on her way. I used the time to catch up on the blog and then left to go back to the showroom to save some seats for a lecture on the Lore of the Sea. Val joined me after trivia for the lecture, which was not his best, but still interesting. After the lecture, it was back to the room to relax. It is very nice to have a day where you have nothing to do.
After doing our usual round of pub trivia in the MIX Lounge it was time for dinner. Today was TJ’s (our dining steward) birthday and Glen and Richard had arranged for a surprise for him. The stewards work long days and don’t have days off so they work very hard for little recognition, but tonight was different. After dinner Glen and Richard grabbed TJ and sat him down at their table and then the other stewards came and serenaded him just as they do for the guests. It was a complete surprise for him and although I think he was a little embarrassed, I think he really enjoyed it. We all enjoyed it and were glad to be able to share his birthday with him, he's a very nice guy.
After dinner we ended our evening with our usual trip to the casino. I was anxious to return to the casino tonight and hoped to continue my success of last night, but that fantasy ended quickly as I lost my evenings money and spent the rest of the time watching Val. We will gain another hour tonight so for two nights in a row we are gaining an extra hour’s sleep. Tomorrow we will be cruising Prince Christian Sund for the second time, this time entering from the other end.