A day at Sea

We have quite a few days at sea on this voyage and someone has asked me to tell you about them and a bit about the ship.  The ship, the Rotterdam, is one of Holland America’s two flagships.  She has 10 decks and holds 1316 passengers if every cabin has two passengers. There are 593 crew.  On this cruise there are 328 Canadians aboard, or one- quarter of the ship.  There are also about 60 British and quite a few Dutch, German and Australian passengers.  They provide a daily newspaper for each country represented.  It runs to 4 pages, but they also provide a New York Times news sheet of about 8 pages. The daily program at sea is very extensive.  A team called the Explorations Team made up of four people and the DJ, under the supervision of the Cruise Director, provides most of the program. A travel guide tells about ports and consults with people to assist them in planning their days ashore if they are not taking ship excursions.  The most popular person is the “Techspert” who provides free non-stop classes in all things digital focussing on Microsoft products as Microsoft sponsors the classes.  Today’s classes are PC security, Windows 7, making movies, camera basics and introductory photo editing. He has time where he will provide on-on-one help and I have known “techsperts” to help passengers set up new cameras or computers.  You have to line up at least an hour before to get into his classes. The next person is the party planner.  Her classes today run to a crafts class, a flower tour of the ship with the on-board Florist, a class on mixing cocktails and a food trivia challenge. Some days they have cooking demonstrations.  Most of her classes are free but an on-hands cooking class or a wine tasting session will cost.  Lastly there is the Lifestylist who provides  free“Wellbeing” classes.  Today he is offering two Tai Chi classes, aqua aerobics, some deck sports (basketball and shuffleboard) and the Art of Ayurveda. He is supplemented by the fitness person who holds some free stretch classes and offers cycling (spinning), yoga, pilates and personal training for a fee.  The gym is free to use and it is very well equipped. Today, the ship’s dancers are offering a free class on the waltz.  The various vendors on board have classes to induce you to spend money.  Two such today are on Tahitian Pearls and How to increase your Metabolism.  There are some experts on board who offer lectures on geography, history, geology etc.  Today’s offering is on sea level changes, climate change, overfishing and pollution.  There will be at least two trivia sessions, a variety of music that is available in the bars and showrooms, and movies shown in the theatre and on a large screen on the back deck.  Holland America provides free freshly popped popcorn during the movies.  I notice that the librarian is running the second meeting of the book club.  The library is quite good.  I always find new releases that I have not yet read.  If nothing above would interest you, you can always sit by the pool and read, visit the spa for a massage or contribute to the ship’s profits in the casino! A shorter version of these programs is available on the days we are in port.  Lastly, you can eat.  The food is very good and is available 24 hours a day. We have a few kids on the ship and they can take advantage of HAL’s kid’s program.  We cross the International Dateline later today and as the ship’s program says “ As a result of this, Wednesday, March 14 does not exist on this cruise.”   My next post will be Fanning Island on the 16th.

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One Response to A day at Sea

  1. Very interesting, Leslie. A lot reminds me of the Holland America Ryndam, which we took Van- Alaska (highly recommended).

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