May I share with you a special day from my latest cruise?  May I give you a glimpse into the world of Holland America?  I shall take a few moments to let you know why it’s my happy home away from home.

This was a particularly delightful day, beginning with a trip to the Lido deck aft, special solar eclipse viewing glasses in hand, picking up a cup of coffee on the way, finding a lounge chair, then watching the sun and moon perform their spectacle in the sky for the next half hour.  We had just left Australia the day before, and this was a wonderful way to say farewell to that beautiful place as we made our way toward New Zealand.


(The ms Amsterdam out my helicopter window in New Zealand!)


Time for breakfast, where my eggs over-medium are prepared for me each day by a smiling chef who calls me by name.  Other members of the crew offer to carry my plate for me, but I insist upon getting my own fruit.  So, instead, they rush ahead of me to make my coffee with cream, just the way I like it, and find us a table overlooking the deep blue sea.


My favorite chefs! (No.. not my breakfast clothes!)


The morning progresses with some reading and internet.  G has another Clive Cussler, and I have a biography of Mark Twain, compliments of the ship’s library.  It’s all quite relaxing, but we keep a close eye on the time.  We must go back for more food – frozen yogurt, assorted cheese, fresh fruit, salads – and get ourselves to dance lessons.  We can’t be late to class, as we can’t afford to lag behind with the fancy footwork of the Viennese Waltz!


(Always fabulous fruit!)


Dance class over, and we scramble down four flights of stairs to get to the movie theater in time for the opening scenes of “First Knight”.  Every day on the ship we have a movie to go along with our location, the date in history, or the theme of the day.  Tonight’s another formal night, with a grand medieval theme.  Sir Lancelot set the mood perfectly!


(Richard Gere can’t hold a candle to my knight!)


More with the hectic pace.  We dash to our stateroom to don the tuxedo and beautiful satin blouse purchased a few days ago in Singapore, fresh curls in the hair, a new splash of make-up, and we make our way to the dining room where our servers are dressed as knights in shining armor.  We enjoy chilled cherry soup, dine on steak and lobster, say yes to the cheesecake, and sip good coffee.


(Just like kids.. snapping our own photo in an antique mirror!)


Every evening we have an hour between our meal and the entertainment.   We stroll through the musical corridors.  The first grand piano with cello and violins… the classical musicians who also serenade us at the beginning of dinner each night.  We make our way to the next grand piano… a woman singing any song you can name, everyone smiling and singing along.  We meander on to the third grand piano, and the men giving us fabulous dance music.  We fox trot to Nat King Cole and rumba to Sinatra… sharing the wooden dance floor with graceful couples from another generation.


(Internet spot by day, music hall by night.)


Tonight we leave the area earlier than normal because the fourth grand piano will have a special person playing the keys, and we want a good seat for sure.  Melissa Manchester is our entertainer for the evening!  And there I sit on a little love seat in my long black velvet skirt, listening to “Through the Eyes of Love” and “Midnight Blue” with the love of my life.  It’s a magical ending to a Camelot day.


(More gifts from Holland America)


Cruising is my escape from reality.  For some, this means white sand beaches, flower print shirts, tiny paper umbrellas and conga lines.  For me, it means stepping into a floating world of elegance, calm courtesy at every turn, pretty chocolates and freshly squeezed orange juice.  Holland America… thank you ever so much!  You give us the sweetest memories, and we can’t wait to return.



9 Responses to “Camelot”

  1. Pam Stevens says:

    For a few minutes there, I felt like I was on that ship too! Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with us!

  2. Marcea Clive says:

    Thanks, Sandy. I, like Pam, felt like I was right there with you two.

  3. Clara thomas says:

    Wow I love your Dress, and thanks for the trip.

  4. Betty Williamson says:

    I’m serious. You should be getting a promotional discount from this line!

  5. Sandy says:

    Hee hee ha ha ho ho! My public thanks to Holland America is a small return for the incredible days and nights they give us!

    Meanwhile, I think they may share a post or two of mine on their blog… so that’s fun for me!

  6. Kim Mann says:

    You should get a job with them — great marketing!!! I can’t wait to go again some day!

  7. Robin Green says:

    You two do look like kids in the mirror picture. It’s so fun to see your pictures and imagine the wonderful time you’re having. You do work very hard all year – practically night and day – so no wonder you enjoy truly getting away for a bit.

  8. Sandy says:

    Thanks everyone!

  9. Nico says:

    I love Holland America! What a special way to view an eclipse!

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