Day 2 Aboard Holland America Rotterdam – Bimini

Aboard Holland America Line Rotterdam, Saturday, November 6th:

Day Two: Our First Full Day Aboard, Plus Our Bimini Port Visit

Saturday was our first full day aboard Rotterdam. It was also our port day in Bimini.

The Bahamian island of Bimini is close to Florida, about 50 miles from Miami. It’s population is about 1,700. There’s a 750 acre Resorts International property and Alice Town, the main town. The ship docks at a long concrete jetty stretching away from the island.

The seas were choppy. All shore excursions were cancelled, since most involved being out on a boat. The choppy seas added an interesting dimension to our trip. The concrete jetty’s wide walkway was laid out in a series of long parallel lines, concrete, metal grills, more concrete, more metal grills, etc. the dock staff said to walk on the concrete sections because from time to time, a column of seawater would shoot up through the metal grills!  It was exciting to see, less so if you were standing on the grills!

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The day started with a knock at the door. Our steward had our rolls, juice and coffee. It’s much better than getting a 7:00 AM wake up call. After showering we headed to the Lido Market on Deck 9. Did we need a second breakfast?  No, but they had a station making crepes!  We had ours with chocolate/hazelnut sauce, like they make in Germany.

We went ashore and caught the free tram that ran through the casino property. It stopped at the casino, Hilton hotel, a couple of beach clubs and the public beach. We kept riding and returned to the ship.

We could have done more. Getting around Bimini is generally done on foot or by a rented golf cart. In Bermuda you get around by moped. In Bimini it’s by golf cart. Maybe next time.

We found the ship’s library and took out a couple of books. Relaxing and reading is one of the pleasures we enjoy at sea.

This brought us to lunchtime. We intended to visit the ship’s main dining room, but they don’t serve lunch on port days. We were directed to the Lido Market on Deck 9. Lunch was excellent. I visited the Carvery for sliced lamb and roast chicken. Jane opted for a hot Asian noodle dish and sushi rolls. I discovered Philadelphia sushi rolls are made with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

The Lido Market opens onto the rear sun deck area. We stretched out in side by side loungers and napped in the sun. They were short naps because the sun is strong in the Caribbean. Afterwards we returned to our cabin and stretched out in the shade on our veranda. Our cabin steward brought us ice for the wine bucket and we sipped on some Sauvignon Blanc, one of the two bottles we brought aboard.

Things started getting active midafternoon. The trivia quiz started 4:00 PM. This was at the same time as Happy Hour when drinks in the same lounge were 50% off. We were a trivia team of two, yet got 10 of 15 questions right.

At 5:00 I went to the Catholic Mass. One of the unique traits of Holland America Line is regular religious services for various faiths. There was a good sized, masked crowd.

Back in the cabin, we stood on our veranda and watched the ship cast off its moorings and the pilot boat head back to shore. We met the young lady in the next cabin as she watched the same scene. She invited us for drinks in the Exploration Lounge which overlooks the bow on Deck 12.

At 8:00 PM we headed to Rudi’s Sel de Mer, the specialty seafood restaurant. Dinner started with a specialty cocktail made with sparkling wine and Armagnac. I started with Steak Tartare, yet the showstopper for me was the Dover Sole, filleted table side. Rudi, the celebrity chef visited tables. The meal ended with a berry soufflé which was huge and spectacular. Life doesn’t get much better than this dinner.

By now it was after 10:00 PM. We were stuffed and exhausted. Thank goodness it was the night we set the clocks back an hour for Daylight Savings Time. Maybe we will get to see the evening entertainment tomorrow.

Photos credit Bryce Sanders

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