By late December -- Lulu found a tour which we will both enjoy.....it was an Adriatic cruise. Our destination was Italy, Croatia and Greece. It was a 14-day cruise aboard MS Noordam of the Holland America Lines. Lulu got a deluxe verandah Ocean-view stateroom with a balcony -- what a great idea!!!.. Another friend, Estelita was going to join us in our trip. I tried to get more information about the ship and found out that it was a MID SIZE ship which had a capacity of 1,924 guests. According to the brochure that was sent to me -- we had to bring 4 formal wear.... there are daily movies on board the ship, a Digital workshop room, daily masses said at the Hudson Room, A spa complete with a beauty salon and barber shop, 4 other dining areas ( which you have to reserve in advance and pay a fee )-- Terrence Grill ( the steakhouse ), Le Cirque ( fine dining ), Canaletto ( Italian cuisine ) and 2 bars, the Ocean View and the Pinnacle. They had 2 swimming pools ( an indoor and outdoor ), 2 jacuzzi pools on each pool, a huge theater for their shows, culinary courses which you can join and wine tasting on certain days. This ship is so huge !!!! There is never a dull moment on board the Noordam!!!
At the Vista Dining room -- the dress code is smart casual except for formal evenings. There are 2 seatings ( 5:45pm and 8:00pm). Lulu and I opted for early dining ( 5:45pm ) for the "reserved seating " at the Vista Dining Room. We were ushered to our table on our first day. This will be our permanent table for the entire journey. We were seated with 2 couples and 3 other ladies who were all Canadians. For those who have not experienced what it feels like when you go on a cruise -- it is good to know that soda and wines are not included on the menu -- if you order these -- you will have to give your card to the wine steward and he will charge it to your account.
The menu was given to each of us -- after deciding what to order --- here was what I had:
Italian prosciutto with melon
Baby Spinach and mushrooms with blue cheese dressing
Penne fresca with roasted garlic and sweet Roma tomato and fresh basil
Apple-cider brined porkchop with cherry-raisin chutney.
As we entered our stateroom, this little creature ( they call it towel art folding ) sat on our bed. Every evening we get a different animal with chocolates on our bed. Isn't that wonderful???