Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Cruise Pictures: Exploring the Ship

So here we are, pulling out of Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, on board Holland America's Westerdam.  This is the smaller of the two pools on board.  This is the ninth deck--the topmost deck that covered the whole ship.  Papa Rooster is taking the picture from the 10th deck, which only covered a portion of the ship.

PR had never attempted this kind of self-portrait with his heavy Nikon D700 before!  We are waiting on a mandatory safety briefing to begin, when they show you how to put on a life vest and which life boat you are assigned to--sobering stuff like that.  (No, that's not a yarmulke on his head, just his hat turned around backward as its brim was interfering with his picture-taking.)

We had a balcony room, which we loved for watching the changing seas, clouds, and ports.

The view straight down.  All pictures are SOOC (straight out of the camera).  In other words--untouched by Photoshop, so the colors are true to life!  Caribbean blues are incredibly vivid.

Our first evening and the following day were sea days.  There were activities scheduled every day, and we participated in just a few.  We learned to waltz, with two dancers from the nightly entertainment troupe as instructors.  I attended a Tai Chi class, and we watched an ice carving demonstration.  We toured the gleaming galley, or kitchen, and saw chefs creating all kinds of dishes and specialty decorations like these bread dough animals.

We ate in the main dining room as often as possible.  There was also an excellent buffet open nearly 24/7, but the main dining room had the best food and wonderful service.  Every meal was 4 courses--appetizer, soup and/or salad, main course, and dessert--which you selected from 4-5 options for each course.  There were a few tables for two, but usually we were seated at tables for 6 or 8, where we met folks from all over the world.  Especially Canadians--they must be even more desperate than we Midwesterners are to get out of the snow and ice!--including French-speaking Canadians who struggled a little to recall English vocabulary words.  It made me appreciate the amazing feats of language so many other cultures master!

On our first morning, Papa Rooster got up early and took shots around the ship.  This one was before sunrise, after the crew had sprayed off the tenth deck:

This was the larger pool, mid-ship, that they covered over at night and opened up during the day:

And this is the main staircase, midship, starting at the third deck and descending down past the second deck to the first deck.

Here's the sun coming up, as seen from the Crow's Nest, the highest observation area/lounge.

Every night we enjoyed excellent entertainment in this auditorium.  There was a ventriloquist (Patrick Murray) with a Jamaican woman dummy/comedienne named Matilda, a comedian/singer/juggler ("The Barnaby Experience"), The Westerdam Singers and Dancers, who performed Broadway-style numbers on several different nights, and a Motown group called Horizon, who were great entertainers as well as singers.

And nearly every night we went for a walk on the decks.

It felt good to walk off all that wonderful food...feel the warm night air and ocean breezes...listen to the lapping waves...and just be alone together. 

After all, that's what we came for!


Jessica said...

This looks like so much fun!

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

Sigh. Looks/sounds like absolute bliss. I am so happy you two treated yourselves to this time away. So, so happy!