Tuesday, April 5, 2016

My Life as a Regency Lady on the High Seas...

When I used to write Regency set romances as Mia Marlowe, I was amazed at how often ladies of that era changed their clothes during a normal day.

They’d rise and take their breakfast en dishabille, an outfit suitable for only family or receiving very close friends. Then if they wished to take some exercise, a lady would don her riding habit and head for the stables. After that, it was time for a morning dress, though it might well be afternoon before she slipped into it. This was the ensemble for paying calls or remaining at home to receive callers. Later, a dressing gong would sound, reminding the regency lady that she had only an hour to change into her evening finery for dinner.

I’m sort of feeling like that now on our cruise.

I start out by changing from my jammies to my colorful mumu so I don’t embarrass the server who delivers our in-cabin breakfast. Some days we go down to the dining room for more choices and to visit with our fellow travelers, but having breakfast in the room is very relaxing and takes less time. 

After the meal, I’m ready for some exercise, so it’s time to switch into my jogging pants and tunic and head for the gym. There is a long bank of elipticals and weight machines, but I try to snag a treadmill that looks out over the bow of the ship. The rolling blue deeps stretch on forever as I pound out my daily mile.

And I do mean deep. The ocean bottoms out at over 14000 ft right now!   

After a shower, I put on one of my “resort casual” outfits—capris, a comfy top, sandals and sun visor. This blue & gray number is appropriate for lunching in the main dining room, going to an art auction, or learning to dance the hula!

Yes, that's right. I'm learning a few steps of the hula and let me tell you, it is much more difficult than it looks. My hands go one way while my feet go another and all the while my hips have to look like they have someplace to go too. 

Sometime in the afternoon,  I’ll don my swim suit and cover up so the DH and I can go to the Thermal Suite. There’s a huge hot tub filled with mineral water and submerged lounges. Then after we prune up in there for a while, we move to the heated stone beds for a nap.

I know it sounds really weird to think about sleeping on stone, but trust me, it’s heaven!

Then finally, like the Regency lady who obeys the dressing gong, we get all spiffed up for supper too. Not every night is a formal night on board. In fact, Holland America calls them “Gala Nights” now so no one feels obligated to rent a tux. I’ll be wearing this long purple gown with a diaphanous throw over it. The necklace is handmade of Hawaiian kukui nuts. The DH is sporting a lavender shirt (coordinated with my outfit so it looks like I’ve marked my territory!) and suit pants with matching vest. No jacket. He’s on vacation!

So that’s a peek into my fashion day on board the Westerdam. I’ve never changed clothes so often in my life, but with the diverse activities available, it sort of makes sense. Now I just have to hope I’ve packed enough different outfits (mixing & matching, of course!) to get me through the next 27 days!  

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