Boarding the Ship, Zaandam Home for 34 Days

Thursday, September 28, 2017
San Diego, California, United States
We were only awaken three times during the night - we forgot to change our clock/watches to Pacific Daylight time - Ugh.  Well when it was time to really get up we were ready!  We had a light breakfast at the hotel, and then walked around Little Italy (which is the area of San Diego that we were staying in) for awhile before going over to the ship
We got over to the ship early, in fact, they had just started the boarding processing.  We processed through without a hitch and waited for about an hour before we were allowed on board.  While we were waiting security came through and the drug sniffing dog hit on Russ' backpack - OKAY - they made him open it and examined everything but could find nothing.  We think the dog hit on the backpack because we had had some sandwiches in the day before for our plane trips.  A good start to our trip - guess the dog was hungry!
Once we boarded we were allowed to go straight to our rooms, which on the previous cruises we have been on, no mater which cruise line, Holland America included, we have never been allowed to go to our rooms until sometime in the afternoon. 
This time we were allowed to go straight to our rooms - NICE!  Our room was quite nice, it even had a bathtub, lots of closets and drawer space - we brought extra hangers and they were needed, even though our closets had a bunch of them already.  
The ship is smaller than we've been on before - 1200 passengers, plus crew.  We spent some time wandering around and getting acquainted with the ship itself.  We then wandered upstairs to the Lido deck and had a nice light lunch and then back to the room - departure is about 6 p.m.  
We got back to our rooms to find that a bon voyage package had been delivered from our son and daughter in law - balloons above the door number outside the room and a gift card for two dinners at the Pinnacle Grill - yummy.  A little later we received the Bon Voyage Package of Flowers and Champagne, and later on in the cruise we received a bottle of Jim Beam - wow - our kids know how to send us off on a journey - don't they.
Our dinner mates are from England - Wendy and Graham (he is actually from Wales and kept us on our toes as to this fact!)  They are a very nice couple.
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