Oct 13, 2022 – Day 4 at sea aboard Koningsdam
I have a look at the Main Dining Room for breakfast around 9AM, but the line up puts me off, so I have a Cappuccino, blueberry muffin an a fruit/yogurt parfait in the Royal Dutch Cafe, which is not busy. I have a chicken burger, fries and a Dos Equis XX beer for lunch, eating at the Lido Bar, since there is no other nearby seating.
I booked this cruise partly to try out Holland America’s Pinnacle class ships, which Koningsdam is the first built, with capacity for 2,600 passengers. I’m finding this ship is significantly more crowded, with line-ups or no seats left at most popular venues. Even though Holland America’s smaller ships have fewer venues, I never encountered these problems on past voyages. Perhaps some of the crowding is due to inexperienced staff still learning how to be efficient when serving passengers, but I think they were generally doing a great job under the circumstances.
Guide to Hawaiian Reefs – Naturalist John gives another comprehensive talk, this time about reefs to be found in Hawai’i
- Coral polyps are the living part of coral
- 7,000 species in NW Hawaiian reefs
- Fringe Reef
- Lanidai, Oahu – pristine
- Barrier Reef
- Kanaohe Bay, Oahu – manmade harm
- Kure Atoll, NW Hawaiian Island
- Hard Corals
- Soft Corals – look like plants, no stoney skeletons
- Species (Hawaiian names)
- Trigger fish
- Long-nosed Butterfly fish
- Urchins (wana)
- Surgeon fishes
- Yellow tang
- Convict tang
- Wrasse – 600 species
- Morris Idol – looks like an angelfish
- Trumpet fish
- Lionfish – Dragonfly fish
- Squirrel fish
- Octopus (He’e)
- Sharks (mano)
- Manta Ray (hahalua)
- Jellyfish (olea)
- Green Sea Turtle (Honu)
- Monk seal
Today is my 70th birthday, the reason I’m on this cruise. I have a reservation at the Tamarind Asian Fusion restaurant for dinner, so I get dressed up before heading up to the Tamarind bar for a Tanqueray 10 Martini to start things off. Once seated, I have a glass of Proscecco sparkling Italian wine with my starter: Chinese Five Spice Baby Back Ribs with masago, pineapple, red chili, scallions. My main course: Mongolian Barbeque Lamb Chops with baby bok choy, toasted sesame seeds, mirin plum sauce with Oyster Sauce, Dungeness Crab Fried Rice. As usual, the staff are right on top of things, bringing me a chocolate happy birthday cake with some lychee sorbet.
When I return to my stateroom to freshen up, my room steward brings me a chocolate cupcake with birthday wishes from the captain. I end the evening in the Crow’s Nest lounge, where I meet some friends for drinks. What a wonderful birthday, celebrated on my terms aboard this beautiful ship!