July 26, 2008! (Thanks, Angelica!)
The embarkation process was a breeze. We checked out of our hotel and a taxi came to pick us up and whisk us off to the port, through a city with many people on bicycles, and all looking very healthy. We paid for a trip with a credit card, again, and our luggage was taken at curbside. After photos we were given our identification cards and before we knew it, we were in 7092, aft, on the portside. The cabin was perhaps a touch smaller than on the Zuiderdam, but the ship was as fresh and clean and new as its June 2008 delivery date would indicate.
Providing a touch of intrigue, only Lin’s red suitcase arrived. There were 2 bottles of a Wente Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 awaiting us, a present from our travel agent, Leah, and we enjoyed a drink, as we looked out on the container port, and were impressed with how clean and neat everything seemed. We went up to the Lido Restaurant on the 9th deck and had a snack including a vegetarian Indian curry.
At 4:15 PM, attired in high visibility orange we made our way to our lifeboat station for a short drill, even before we left the dock. That out of the way, Lin went to our cabin and I went on deck to watch our departure from the dock. Amazing what the steering engines can do in moving the large ship, 84,000 tons of her, away from the dock and then pivoting in practically no space, to pull out of the harbor. We passed a number of wind generators in the harbor, and we could see in the distance, the Copenhagen-Malmo suspension bridge, second longest in the world, connecting Denmark to Sweden. Sea traffic was fairly heavy, with ferries and smaller vessels plying the route to Oslo. The wind picked up but with the temperature in the 80’s, this was most welcome. When I was sure that the captain could handle the task without my presence on deck, I adjourned to the cabin.
For dinner, we picked the Tamarind Restaurant on the 11th deck, and were surprised to see it largely empty. The food was wonderful. I had pho and a wonderful beef dish. The premium of $15/person was well worth it.
We were still quite tired so we retired early.