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Westerdam 13-20 February 2005 part 4

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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings...

Wandering bar servers pool-side – unobtrusive, efficient.

The assistant Food & Beverage Manager, Marcella, has been especially helpful. She said she went to the same school as Mark Dirk Zeller (now the F&B manager on Zuiderdam and rumored to be headed for Hotel Manager position shortly – well deserved!).

Fellow passengers – wide variety of ages (average around 40-50), all well behaved. About 25-30 kids, mostly pre-school, no problems. And a couple of the toddlers were absolutely adorable and had every wrapped around their fingers – this from a guy who is not kid-friendly! Lots and lots of VERY large people. There are two bigger groups on board – a group of Medical Emergency people and a Christian Fellowship group (who are thankfully not proselytizing). There a few younger (15-25) people who look like they’d be more comfortable in heavy leather and spikes, but they’re playing nice and even dressed up for formal night. There are also a few of Hal’s traditional nearly-deads. Meow.

The Officers haven’t been out-n-about very much. I met the Captain at his reception but haven’t seen him other than the first night show intro. The Assistant Cruise Directors (and there seem to be several) are around, but many seem like they’re apprentices or new, and shy?

There is a 3-piece group playing in the Crow’s Nest (and occasionally lunch-time at the Lido pool) that is VERY good, named Rain, from the UK. Two guys and a girl, all with great voices – one guitar player and the others are singers, and their electronic band.

The Piano Bar has a guy named Steve Lowenthal. I’ll leave it at that. Mama always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, keep quiet.”

The show last night was the ship’s cast doing big show numbers – very showy, good singers but poor choreography. The dancers tried and did well, considering, but it was all poorly planned – not the dancers fault. Tonight is Nestor Torres, a “world renowned” flautist/drummer – hmmm.... I don’t think I’ll be going. Is everyone now “World renowned?” And on what world? We had a “world renowned” juggler on Monday. And I think there’s a “world renowned” magician tomorrow night. I can’t wait for the “world renowned” comedian Friday. (insert “roll-eyes” emoticon here) HAL seems to definitely be gearing the entertainment for their old demographic of seniors. IMHO they should tweak it a few years – Ed Sullivan and Lawrence Welk are dead.

But there’s also the Indonesian Crew Show tonight – I always give them a standing ovation – they SHOULD be world renowned. Allow me to stray for a moment – the crew – I have so much admiration for these energetic, hard-working, warm friendly people, and utter and total disdain for the passengers who don’t treat them with the respect they deserve. And not just the server/waiters/stewards we see – the behind-the-scenes folks, too. The laundry, Bo ‘suns, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, cooks, dishwashers, window-washers, varnishers, deck-swabbers... people need to stop and think every once in a while just how many people it takes to make our vacations memorable.

Substitute DJ Kerry did a fine job and the Karaoke and Westerdam Star (think American Idol) programs were popular.

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As long as PBS is broadcasting Lawrence Welk will never die. ;)


Thanks for the info on the piano player; never know when he'll be playing on a ship when I board.

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