"" Writer's Wanderings: Sea Daze

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sea Daze

It takes six or seven days to cross the Atlantic on a cruise ship. Sometimes I wonder if it might be less if the revenue garnered aboard ship was not so good. People have more time to think about buying extras and on the new Koningsdam ship, the opportunities to spend money were readily available.

Yes, the usual was there--the extra beverages, the casino, the shops, the spa, the specialty restaurants.And let's not forget bingo! But now there were other opportunities. Several of the specialty restaurants offered extra menu items that had an added cost to them over and above the extra cost to eat there. In the Pinnacle restaurant you could order a lobster tail for $20 extra. Of course if you waited, you could get one in the dining room on one of the gala evenings for no extra cost. I'm guessing those in the dining room were not as large.

Another restaurant, a new one, the Sel de Mer which is a seafood/grill venue is all ala carte. You don't pay extra to eat there but you pick your ala carte dishes and pay accordingly. The Dutch Cafe was a new venue as well and while the food was not an extra charge (they had a wonderful pea soup!) the coffee and drinks were.

The Culinary Arts venue while not new in concept on HAL is a new adventure in dining as well. For a fee you can eat in the arts center and watch your meal being prepared by the chef.

Add water. Finger towel!
Our transatlantic journey was the first for the Koningsdam. It had already spent time in the Mediterranean and was now on its way to its first season in the Caribbean. In some respects it was a maiden voyage, the symbolism of which was not lost on Titanic enthusiasts. It didn't bother me until one night while we were still in the Mediterranean the captain explained that we were late to port because of some unscheduled maintenance on one of the pods (they control thrust). Not without a sense of humor, the captain in a later announcement also called the aft of the ship the blunt end as opposed to the other end which was the pointy one.

The weather cooperated for the week of the crossing. We had a little rain now and then but we managed to avoid a couple of lows to the north of us and skirted the systems. After the first day, everything seems to settle into a routine. Two lectures a day, time in the gym for Bob, my two miles a day around the promenade deck, breakfast, lunch, dinner followed by the evening entertainment. Intersperse all that with a couple of movies, some reading, some writing and a little people watching (I'm so easily entertained).

In seven days we had to turn back the clocks five times to catch up with the time zone changes and then the Daylight Savings Time change. It's certainly easier to go east to west but it still plays with your sleep patterns. And it beats jet lag where you get all that time change in one big lump.

No it's not upside down. Sometimes there would be
flowers in the stems of the amaryllis. 
One of the things I enjoyed most about the ship was the artistry of the on board florist. The arrangements were unique and always beautiful as well as refreshed. Quite a job to keep up with all of it as there were large fresh arrangements almost everywhere you went in the public areas of the ship.

By the time we reached Fort Lauderdale, I was ready to go home. Thanksgiving and Christmas lay ahead and we would be with family for that and Bob had already booked our next cruise. It's a rule, you know. The wife doesn't get off the ship unless she knows the next cruise is planned. Life has to have some rules.

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