It was me! …
and everyone else on the ship, including the guy who delivered 5 more gallons of distilled water to our cabin. First there was no distilled water for medical devices now I have more than I can store in our stateroom.
Storage in our stateroom is an issue. While our room on Zuiderdam is roughly the same size as our staterooms on Amsterdam in interior space it has about 42 fewer cubic feet of storage space, and NO drawers, largely because the layout of the room has to allow for more passage space so we can get to our balcony (something we did not have on Amsterdam, a welcome addition.) Zuiderdam was not designed for long cruises, but Holland America sold the ships on which used to take long cruises. So, we are on Zuiderdam, which has its advantages. I will go into those later.
We knew this going in and Suzi figured out a way to create more space using shelving units that we could assemble and tuck into corners of the room. We also knew that the overhead was steel so magnets could secure stuff to the metal plates. Zuiderdam has magnetic hanging racks that they loan out for long cruises.
The magnetic racks worked fine. We hung our life preservers from them freeing a shelf in the closet, and Suzi brought some drawers to hang on the magnetic bar. She can hang her knitting pack from the rack.
The other shelving units were a problem because some of the materials and tools Suzi needed to erect them were in the bag that Alaska Airlines lost. She tried to erect them anyway and just before the Holland America “get acquainted” block party, (a great idea, where everyone goes out onto the hall, masked of course, and the stewards come along and pour wine, which means we all take off our masks, and we get to know each other) the five shelf unit came crashing down scattering all of our 128 day supply of medicines and supplements, suntan lotion, my CPAP supplies and five gallons of distilled water (the jugs held). We kept our door closed for the block party.
Everyone on the ship is vaccinated and had tested negative for COVID within 24 hours of getting on. But Holland is requiring masking, indoors, except when eating and drinking, for 3 days. Tomorrow we will all test and Holland will consider lifting the mask mandate. I can see why they want us to mask because this is a reunion of friends, many who escaped Perth, Australia together three years ago, and there is a lot of hugging going on. It also provides a good cover for me, who has never been good at names and faces. “Hi Melody.”
“I’m sorry but with the mask…”
I’m taking a Creative Writing class on sea days and the instructor said, “Come on, let’s have your ideas, we are all still strangers, we don’t know each other yet.” To which several of us said “oh yes we do.”
We are also happy to see many of the same staff on board. It is surprising that some of them remember us by name. Holland America as the best staff.
Zuiderdam was the next ship built after Amsterdam, and while much is familiar, they designed more sanely. It recalls the layout of older ocean liners. The Main Stage is on deck 1, which has less motion and is safer for performers. The room spans three decks allowing for more raked seating than on Amsterdam. The dining room is on decks 2 and 3 rather than on 4 and 5, again allowing for less ocean motion while eating, fewer flying saucers. The public rooms are also on 2 and 3 and guest services on deck 1. This means that there are fewer cabins on lower decks without balconies and more on upper decks with balconies. (OK, old ocean liners did not have balconies.) Decks 4 and 5 are cabin decks and not public rooms. We liked deck 3 on Amsterdam. It had no balconies, but we could go right outside and walk the promenade around the ship. The promenade is still on deck 3 but with no cabins we moved to deck 4, only one deck above the promenade and with a balcony.
Zuiderdam has something called the music walk. The other night we started with Lincoln Center State in the main theater with a piano quintet, then went to Billboard on Board, a piano bar doing hits from the likes of James Taylor and Carley Simon, tonight we went to the Rolling Stone Lounge with rock and Motown, up to the Ocean Bar with a 4 piece dance combo with a lot of improvisation doing Ellington, Basie and plus a good deal of of Bosa Nova and finally the Explorers’ lounge with a piano and violin doing a mix of classical, Celtic and show tunes. The music walk is a great addition to the cruise.
Today we were in Falmouth, Jamaica, but that is another story for tomorrow’s post.
January 4 and 5, 2023