There is something to do 24/7 aboard a luxury liner. Food is delicious and abundant. Because cruising is an international experience, the fare on the ship is an international experience. On the food bars and menus, cuisine from many countries is offered and prepared by some of the best chefs in the world. Whatever you have a taste for is probably available. You can dine casually in a relaxed atmosphere, eat hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza at poolside while listening to “hoedown” music, order in your stateroom, or dress up formal and be treated to fine dining in a stylish setting with a brass band to entertain while you enjoy a variety of delicately prepared dishes.
Cruising, among other things, is a musical experience. The ship resounds with music. Like the food, there is music to one’s liking somewhere on the ship. Music and dancing to one’s preference is on the decks, in the eateries, and in the private lounges. Music and dancing on deck under a full moon on the blue Caribbean will whisk one away into a fascinating flight of the imagination. My dad was a music teacher and a lover of music. Even though I never became a musician, music was a vital part of my growing up.
The rocking you feel may not be coming from the sea; it may be the music. You can frolic till you drop; crash in your stateroom for some zzz’s and then start all over again.
Games such as shuffleboard, tennis, basketball, and volleyball are popular and there is a fitness center. In addition, swimming and lolling in one of several pools or spas is a favorite recreation for all. There are video games and playrooms for the youngsters. If one is feeling lucky, he/she might check into the casino. There is TV for you to stay abreast of goings on in the world or watch your favorite program. Big TV maps are provided for passengers to watch the cruise progress, how far you have traveled and precisely where you are located at any given time.
The Westerdam was built in the Netherlands; it has a passenger capacity of approximately 2000 with 817 crewmembers. Gross Tonnage: 82,348. Length: 936 feet. Beam: 105.8 feet (the Titanic beam width was 94 feet). Maximum speed: 24 knots. Available for your comfort are four major types of staterooms: Interior, ocean view, verandah, and suite--whatever is your pleasure.
A 2000-seat lavish theater with a magnificent stage provides music and entertainment by professional musicians and actors every night. There are early shows, late shows, and special shows throughout the cruise.
Some people have a fear of being seasick. However, in a ship the size of the Westerdam, unless the sea is unusually rough, movement over the sea is barely noticeable. B. J. and I like our stateroom to be as nearly mid-ship as possible. Movement is less obvious there.
B. J. likes to shop aboard ship. Again, since cruising is a worldwide encounter, people from all over the world are your fellow passengers. The shops offer quality merchandise from around the world. There is jewelry (they will fashion jewelry to your liking), clothes, luggage, books (the ship has a full-service library and a reading room with an ocean view), souvenirs, art, ad infinitum.
The promenade deck circles the liner from stem to stern. Four times around the deck is a mile. People walk, jog, saunter, chat and get acquainted, and just plain loaf on the promenade deck. The comfortable and inviting deck lounging chairs invite passengers to sleep, read or just kick back, and enjoy the view.
A favorite time on the promenade deck is at night under a full moon. It is generally believed by many that a Caribbean cruise under a full moon is the most romantic affair in the world. Add to the magic night, easy listening music and the “Caribbean Rapture” sets in. Lovers stroll arm in arm. The golden moonbeams shimmering on the sapphire sea like millions of tiny dancing fairies, entices you into the fantasyland of your dreams.
B. J. and I love the shore excursions. We book one for every port of call. Mostly we take an island tour, check out the intriguing shops, take oodles of pictures and, even though our meals on the ship are paid for, we like to sample the native cooking. Sometimes native bands welcome cruisers to the islands with exciting indigenous music.
Cruising is fun. Everything is minutely and elegantly compounded for your interest and enjoyment. Great cruises are designed to remove life from the ordinary and place it in the extraordinary. B. J. and I recommend it. In November, we will do our tenth cruise and it probably will not be the last.