Monday, February 13, 2012

Our Quotidian Life on the Dam Ship

The twin Dam ships docked side by side in Grand Turk. Ours was on on the left

If we were not at port, I would don my running clothes first thing in the morning, hydrate with
 fresh squeezed orange juice (excellent) and caffeinate with coffee (not so good but sometimes
 the cappuccino at dinner was OK). This ship was excellent for running having a third of a mile
 teak track that was mostly covered (larger than a standard high school track). I hate treadmills
 especially now that I have no balance on top of the waves. I spent no time at all in the fitness 
center though my friend did. It was always toasty and humid even in the morning. I am used to
 running outside in the 30s with just a T-shirt so the heat took a toll on me. I needed to take
 several water breaks but I was able to run my quota or close to it on this trip (I am obsessive).
 We would take walks around and around this in the evening when we were feeling especially
 indulgent and guilty. After my shower, I'd grab a buffet breakfast (omelet, Belgian waffles, 
and Eggs Benedict stations..usually just finished the first) and find my friend basking around 
the pool, which had hot tubs surrounding it.

We had different opinions on where it would be best to eat. I favored the fancy sit down
 dinners (we had an open seating arrangement that required us to reserve each day instead
 of having a fixed time with the same people); my friend favored buffets. She thought the 
dinners led to overeating; I thought the buffets were more likely to. So we compromised
 with dinners most of the time in the sit down places and lunches being the buffet salad line.

Sample lunch menu: must click on it to read.
Sometimes they had BBQ dinners by the pool. At one, I had an especially yummy sirloin steak whereas my friend enjoyed the grilled mahi-mahi. One night they had a fancy dessert buffet with some photos below

 but I had my heart then set on the crepes suzette.
The usual fancy drinks that were constantly peddled were $8(after automatic tip) but at certain times and at certain bars, we could get them for $4.50 a piece. We were suckers for fancy drinks and spent much time agonizing over our choices.. We agreed to be in some bizarre exercise called Pool Games in return for a rum punch at the end. What is a little public humiliation in front of people we would never see again. One of the drills involved us running around the deck with a pool noodle between our legs passing it without hands to our teammates; another back paddling on a swimming ring 2 laps in the pool and another passing a t-shirt from person to person with our arms locked. We also attended cooking classes, how to make fancy drink classes, how to make towel animals along with listening to a string quartet and one fancy show in their big lounge. We watched The Help one night. We attended two teas though one was offered every day ( I love English teas). These were dangerous things for the overeater. One was an Indonesian tea with their special goodies (most of the ships crew was from Indonesia). Most of the time we just lounged around sometimes in a hot tub (less fun on a hot day) reading. We watched almost every sunset outside. The ship gave out too much light for star gazing. We would have a glass of wine before and after dinner. One night, our dinner companions for two of the dinners, a very pleasant gay couple, shared their champagne with us. We usually ate with interesting people. One was a couple who lived far north of Jasper, Alberta who hunted all their food from their front porch: moose, bear, elk. Lots of stories.
The bars were interestingly decorated. One was entered by going through a narrow hallway with Andy Warhol pictures of Marilyn Monroe lighting up as you passed. We went to the library a few times trying to look up wildlife that we saw. I would go there by myself when the sun was becoming too much for me.
Below is some of the decor:

Our rooms were made up twice a day. At night we'd find chocolates on our pillow and a fancy towel animal (will post these once I get my friend's pix). They had fancy toiletries in the bathroom but the shampoo dried out my hair too much and the strong mint in the shower gel burned some places of mine so I used my own. After our final glass of wine, I'd fall asleep while my friend watched movies or details about the ports we were visiting. Or we'd watch the map showing where the ship was. It was totally quiet at night as we were on a dead end far from the elevators and public rooms.

We also had fun at the stores although this ship did not have as many as other ships I have been on did.We'd try a different perfume every night. This is how I discovered that the good deal at the Art Fair on J'adore was probably a fake. The liquor tasting was especially fun and led to us buying a bottle each of Marula fruit liquor from South Africa. Damned if the TSA agents at some point on the trip back didn't pry this box open and all my careful wrappings. I did declare it though and at least it came back unbroken.

Two formal nights..I do have fancy clothes but they take up a lot of space and my fancy shoes are all painful to walk in especially the distance the cruise ship required. Still I was underdressed lacking all the bling and sequins others had. I am not a bling person.


Teri Bernstein said...

Was it the OOSTERDAM? Were you on a Holland America ship??? So your pool games...did you play any bingo?

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Yes we were on the HAL line..all their ships are "Dam" ships. They even sell T-shirts "Dam fine ship" or the one listing all their 'dam' ships (up to 15 now) We were on the Westerdam. No bingo and no trivia contests. Also no casino (very smoky in there). But we had fun.


Blog Archive