It turned out to be a short cab ride to the Sheraton Hotel where we spent the night before boarding the cruise ship. Had a lovely breakfast buffet and plenty of time to catch the shuttle that Holland America provided.
Getting through security was no problem, although it took almost as much time as airport security. When we finally got on board, we found that the ship was just as lavishly decorated as the website had shown.
Learning our way around the ship is quite a challenge, however. With eleven decks, three banks of elevators, and our tendency to head forward instead of aft or the reverse, it has taken a while. I believe if we ever take another cruise, we would like to find a smaller ship: This one at a very rough count, has at least 900 staterooms and probably at least two people in most of them. (My estimate may be off--the porter who helped us when we got off the ship at the end of the cruise suggested close to 3,000 passengers!) There are six or eight different dining areas ranging from very informal buffet areas to some that are billed as “fine cuisine.” We tend to stick mostly to the middle range which has been quite good.
And the ship got underway in the late afternoon. Alaska, here we come!