Saturday, April 16, 2016

Welcome to the Westerdam

Well, we've been at sea since . . . oh, Monday, I think. The days are starting to run together and weeks seem kind of fluid when you cross the international dateline, lose a day and then regain it, ending up with TWO Fridays. The crew is kind enough to remind us what day it is by changing the carpet in the elevators, but which Friday we were on was anyone's guess!

Anyway, I thought I'd give you a tour of our floating resort, the Holland America Westerdam. I love the ship. It always seems as much a destination as any of the ports of call. Like a small town on the waves, it has everything you might want. For example, there's a library in case you've left your e-reader behind. There's even an on board book club.

For people who like to gamble, there's a casino. I usually avoid it when I can because it's the one place on the ship where smoking is allowed. Since I'm on supplemental O2, cigarette smoke is not recommended. But, if you enjoy slots or blackjack, you can lose money any time we're not in port.

I adore art, so the gallery is a favorite haunt of mine. There are several auctions scheduled for various times during the cruise. So far, I've resisted raising my bidding number, but the cruise isn't over yet. There's another one scheduled for this afternoon, so we'll see if I can keep from adding to my collection. I'm afraid to pick a bright hues for my walls or furniture, but my artwork serves as wild splashes of color in my home. The signed print shown here is a Chagall--far more expensive than anything I'd try for, but it's fun to see a fine work like this up close and personal. Just imagine! If only I were willing to sell a kidney, it could be mine!

The chefs on board are gracious enough to do culinary demonstrations almost every day. And they share their recipes too! In case you missed it, I posted a Sweet & Spicy Pork recipe earlier, and plan to share a great one for Shrimp Kabobs on my newsletter once I get home again. (Hint! This is your cue to sign up for my newsletter in the form to the right!)

Those of you who know me, know that I am the Anti-Shopper, but the ship makes picking up nice things for family and friends easy. There's a clothing shop, and a very spendy jewelry shop that we have to walk through each time we make our way to the Vista Dining Room. They change out the stock as often as most folks change their socks, so if you see something you want, you need to nab it.

Of course, the ship has a big pool and hot tubs on the Lido Deck. But the DH and I have made the spa and Thermal Suite our home away from home. This is a private section of the ship with a large whirlpool and heated stone lounges. We nap on them almost every day.

Then there are the card clubs, trivia games, lectures and classes available. Speaking of which...our native guide Kainoa is about to give a talk on Papeete, Tahiti and it pays to arrive in the theater early if you want a good seat.

More to pics from around the ship...

Kainoa, our island guide

One of the many towel animals that greet us each evening

The ladies at the spa--our happy place!

The DH on the deck

His Viking heritage insures that he never suffers from mal de mer. I however, am a member of the Scopalamine Patch Club!

The crew is wonderful--always cheerful and so very helpful.

We are HERE.

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