Not surprisingly, I woke up early the first morning on the ship. I didn’t want to eat a lot since we had the deck race fairly early, so I had one of the Luna bars I’d brought along with a diet Coke, then wandered around the ship for a little while.
Large chess set. Clearly right next to the smoking area, so even if I remembered how to play, I wouldn’t have bothered. (Speaking of, Holland America is now the only cruise line – at least major cruise line – that still allows smoking on the balconies. I lucked out with this as I only had one neighbor who smoked, and his cabin was just aft of mine, so I only smelled it if we happened to be on the balconies at the same time while the ship was in port. In other words, beyond the first day, it NEVER happened.)
The Lido pool has now transformed into an indoor pool thanks to a retractable roof. The roof would open to varying degrees throughout the trip.
Then it was back to my cabin to get ready for the run then head to the Queens Lounge for our pre-race briefing (there were bagels and stuff for those who wanted them). We turned in our time sheets and then after some jokes and remarks be John, Coach Jenny gave us our instructions for the race. We would pair up for timing reasons, and then the first wave would set off on nine laps around the deck. This race would have its winners determined by the male and the female who came closest to their estimated finish time. We were not allowed to wear timing devices – BUT if we had a GymBoss or similar non-watch-based timer, we could use that for run/walk intervals. We then headed up to the Promenade Deck to get set.
Here PorklesBacon ScarePig met Dude – a turtle who has come on all the cruises with his humans. 🙂
We also had possibly the classiest water station ever
I figured it would be a challenge to keep up with the number of laps, so I came up with the idea of putting 8 hair bands around one wrist and transferring one to the other wrist each time I crossed the start so that when I transferred my last one I’d be starting my final lap. It worked great – I used it for my partner as well to know which lap she was on.
Here we are cheering people through. There were some just general cruise people walking or jogging around, and we cheered them as well. Their first time through our group they were all “What??” but they got into it – especially one little girl walking with her grandpa. It was fun doing the run too because when we passed the start/finish area, it was really like 9 finish lines, and on the other side we would encourage each other (that’s what we were doing on the other side, John – not dragging only to perk up when we got to the crowd! LOL!). There was one older lady on one of the deck chairs, and she’d occasionally ask if it was my last lap – I’d shake my head and count hair bands before reporting to her how many more I had to go. I finished in 37:53 – not too far off of my predicted 37:12 (I literally just picked random numbers for the seconds), but not close enough to win. Still, it was a ton of fun!! (Oh, and that is the only time you’ll see me state what my prediction was because honestly I didn’t write it down anywhere and I don’t remember. Not sure how I remember what my 5K prediction was, but there you are.)
Right after I reported my time, Jenny handed her camera to John and said “I need a picture with Beth now.” John said “Now? Why?” And Jenny said “Because she’s all sweaty and stuff.” Haha! So we posed at the sign and John attempted to take the picture a few times. The bill of his cap kept pushing the flash down. Pretty much all the women in range said “Your hat is blocking the flash!” and John said “Ok, ok! I’ve got two ex wives and one current one! That’s enough!” HAHAHAHAHA!!! But he adjusted his hat and picture was taken.
Smaller because it’s my FB profile pic. 🙂
Then it was time to head up to the sports deck (though we ended up on the observation deck) for Jenny to lead us through a stretching workout.
PorklesBacon and Dude got into the act too!
All was going well and we were all stretching like good little runners when
DING DING DING Good morning ladies and gentlemen! This is Captain John Smith. Off to the starboard, we have whales sighted. Looks like a mother and her calf. Starboard, about 1 o’clock.
NONE of us hesitated at all. We jumped up, grabbed cameras if we had them, and dashed to the starboard rail.
That white puffy “line” in the middle of the picture? That’s whale breath! That was all we saw of them that time, but still, super cool!!
When no puffs had appeared for about a minute and it looked like they were out of range, we all headed back to our towels. John gave us all kudos for our utter lack of hesitation. Well, except one guy who had an injury and couldn’t get up as quickly as we all did.
Once stretching was over, the rest of the day was ours. I’d signed up the day before for the Alaskan beer tasting. And we had to laugh because probably at least half the running group was there.
First up was Summer
Or “Orca” as I called it. (Thankfully Alaskan Brewing Co. provides those who have it on tap with taps that are what’s on the label more or less. Haha!) I liked this one a lot.
Then was White
Or “Polar Bear”. This was hands-down my favorite, and I miss it terribly as no one on the East Coast distributes it. 😦
I remembered this one’s name, but its tap is a life buoy on a pole. It’s really good as well.
Finally was their Freeride APA
VERY hoppy, and I didn’t like it at all. In fact, the foam barely touched my lips when I offered it up to anyone at my table who wanted it.
The tasting was a lot of fun.
We had early dinner, and that was our first formal night. I was at Jenny’s table that night, and we had a lot of fun. One of the desserts was chocolate soufflé, so you know I had to have it. Well…
It was chocolate, and it was warm, but… Again, Disney Cruise Line – and specifically Palo – has spoiled me forever for chocolate soufflé with this
Still, mine on night 2 was good. 🙂
Returned to my cabin and got my first towel animal
Yeah…I wasn’t sure what it was either. Andrea declared it “Walrus. I mean, it’s the skinniest walrus I’ve ever seen, but…” so I shall defer to her superior ship-stuff knowledge and go with Walrus.
Then, though it was still kinda light outside, it was time for bed. Another fantastic day of a wonderful trip with wonderful people!