Out of the 34 days, 19 were sea days.
When I first got on the ship, I ate a late supper. Supper usually lasted about two hours, because I always had decaffinated coffee with the dessert. But I met so many interesting people, that one night we stayed there until 10 p.m.
I would change about 5 o'clock, and go down to Deck 2. There were two young women playing in the Explorer lounge - one played the violin and the other, piano - very nice music. At about 6:30, I would go next door to the dining room.
But I had to quit eating so late. I like to play Texas Hold'em, and there was only one table. By the time I caught there, I could never get a seat. So then I started to eat at 5:15, with the same 3 people, and we always got the same table.
The one couple wanted to see the show at 7 o'clock, so we always left the dining room at about 6:40 and went to the Vista lounge. I would go to the show for about half a hour, then get a seat at the poker table. The Casino was right next to the Vista lounge, so no problem.
The poker table was electronic. The blinds were only $2 and $1, so if you stayed out of the big hands, you could play all night and be up/down only about $50. I like to drink a glass of water, but be sure to tip the waiter - I gave $1. Also, the pit boss often bought us a drink at night. If you have to buy a drink, 15% tip is added to your bill But if the pit boss buys, then tip them a dollar or two, because you are not paying the tip. Plus, you don't have to tip the dealer.
I was talking to the pit boss about having two tables - she told me that this table was very expensive, and that Holland America was leasing it. There were lots of players. We had two Women Only tournaments during the last sea days at 10 o'clock in the morning - at the first tournament, the pit boss gave us champagne. The tournament costs $30, and first and second place are paid. We had one empty seat at the second tournament, but otherwise full. And this was without the men, even though they were always hanging around the table during these two tournaments.
At about 11 o'clock, you could always go upstairs to the Lido for pizza. And if you like coke, buy a soft drink card, and you can have a coke with your pizza.
Pictures by Holland America and Pokerpro.