It’s still hot and humid outside, so today we’ll stay mostly indoors today.
Every evening, a kind of newsletter is delivered to your stateroom mailbox (a little brass openwork box on the wall beside your door) called “On Location”. It gives basic information about the following day –the Forecast (partly cloudy), Wind speed (NE at 6 knots), the temperature (26 C/ 78F), sunrise and sunset (6:50 and 6:40 – we’re almost at 12 hours each), and the dress for dinner (tonight is Smart Casual – last night was Formal) and a reminder that the clocks go forward an hour, because we’re moving into a new time zone.
Besides that, the paper lists all the things to do for the day, and various interesting facts about the ship, the company, the Panama Canal (apparently the Panama Canal transports 4% of the world’s trade and 16% of US borne trade. Who knew?) and whatever else the editor decides to include.
So what is there to do? The question is more what isn’t there to do? Activities start at 7 am and go on through the day until 11 pm. Exercise groups, Catholic Mass, Creative crafts – today is Origami and flower arranging, the “chat” which is where the Cruise Director finds people to talk to and you get to ask them questions. Today the Captain and the Chief Engineer are there if anybody wants to ask questions about the ship and how it’s run.
There are acupuncture seminars, how to edit your photos, gambling events (yeah, there’s a casino on board); a knitting club (seriously – they meet in the Ocean Bar on the Promenade deck. If I’d brought knitting that didn’t need serious concentration, I’d join them!), Trivia challenges, cooking classes, a book club (they’re reading Bridge of Sighs), a line dance class, a Dancing with the Stars ongoing competition (winner gets a free cruise); information classes – today is the History of Cabo San Lucas at 10 am and the History of Baja at 2, a movie (in a tiny movie theatre – today’s film is Heaven is for Real), the Sip & Savor – a wine & food pairing you pay for by the glass; Ballroom dancing lessons, AA meetings, LBGT meetings, live entertainment in the Vista lounge (tonight is Elvy Rose), and live music in several of the bars – and not just popular stuff, top ten type music: there’s blues, classical, rock, jazz, unamplified guitar and nostalgia. There are (not every day) beverage events – like our wine tastings, there are beer tastings, and somebody said something about a bar hop on board at some point in the cruise (yes, there are enough watering holes to do that – there are 9 bars on board).
There’s art on board, with art auctions. In fact, the entire ship is loaded with art – from a life size diorama of Comedia del Arte characters to reproductions (I think they’re reproductions, but given some of the age and value of other art pieces on board, I may be wrong) of Fabrege eggs, to an actual, no fooling, original art gallery. The centre piece is a Waterford crystal seahorse suspended in the atrium of the ship.
From the Holland America website: “Other notable pieces include a painting of Queen Beatrix by pop culture artist and icon, Andy Warhol, medallions by Frank Lloyd Wright, cast aluminium elevator doors inspired by the art deco work of the New York Chrysler Building, and a massive floral painting by Charles Ben. You will also discover a large collection of antiques and centuries-old paintings throughout the ship.” Many of which line the halls of the stateroom decks, usually (but not always) with a nautical theme – many of which are antique photos of Holland America ships. Think Titanic without the iceberg – it’s that elegant and luxurious looking.
The place is spotless. I saw one crew member using a black light to highlight dirt and marks on some of the more difficult to reach places near the atrium, believe it or not. This was in a location that you’d have to contort to even see, because it was behind a statue, and it was in deep shadow – chances of a guest seeing any dirt there? None – but he was cleaning it anyway. The brass is polished at least twice a day, and the decks are sluiced every morning.
Photos aren’t ours – I didn’t think to take any of the ship’s interior, so these are from the internet.
Tomorrow we’ll look at bit more at the layout of the ship, and after that – Cabo San Lucas!