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Embarking in Valparaiso

Today we were off to Valparaiso to board our ship. After a tasty buffet breakfast at our hotel, we met our driver Hector around noon and headed out. His daughter joined us on the drive, and was able to give us some information on the area as we traveled. The drive was gorgeous, passing through some valleys and past many vineyards. Once we got to Valparaiso we were dropped of at the embarkation terminal. After a short wait, we had a quick COVID test, provided some health information, and got checked in for our voyage. From there a very short bus ride took us down to the boat.

Once aboard, we explored the ship to get our bearings and check out some of the amenities. We stopped by the science center, which hosted various lectures throughout the trip as well as a library of books, and check information on available excursions. Some of the excursions had already been sold out pre-departure, but we were able to sign up for several excursions to participate in. I highly recommend booking these excursions before your trip, as some of them do sell out. Some of the excursions are weather dependent, and some operate on a lottery system as there is limited availability (mostly for Antarctica excursions where how many times an excursion can be operated depends on the weather and ice conditions).

Later, we attended our first dinner on the ship. For the first night, we had assigned dining times and dinner was served buffet style. After the first night, we were able to pick our preferred dining time, based on availability, via the onboard app. The food throughout the whole trip was very good and varied. We only ate at the restaurant where meals are included in your cabin price, but there are options for a higher end dining experience as well as an a la carte restaurant. The food was even better than we had expected, and it was a treat to be able to eat three tasty meals every day throughout the course of the trip.

After dinner, there was a brief introductory speech from the captain and crew with complimentary champagne. Afterwards had a safety drill where we gathered at our muster stations and were briefed on emergency procedures.

Finally, we retired to our cabin. We had booked a premium balcony cabin and it was very nice. It was plenty roomy for the two of us, had a bathroom with plenty of room to get ready in the mornings, and a sizable balcony to relax and watch the scenery from. We decided to watch a movie from the selection of available options on our cabin's TV. We started to watch the new Space Jam movie, but it is a truly awful movie, so we ditched it at went to bed in preparation for our first full day at sea.

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