Friday, August 4, 2017

See the World, You ARE Able, Part 3

Reality Sinks In!(or maybe "sinks" isn't a good choice of word)

On our tenth wedding anniversary, we took the Celtic Colours bus trip through Nova Scotia and had a great time listening to wonderful music and visiting some very interesting locales. I particularly remember a harrowing bus ride up and down a mountain in Cape Breton on a very foggy day and wondering how on earth the bus driver could see her way on the narrow, winding road.  Most of the passengers were women who were of the age that really felt the heat and thus the bus driver kept the air conditioning at full blast.  This proved to be a problem for me as I am sensitive to the cold.  I was extremely happy to have my alpaca cape with me to use as a blanket.  I really wanted to go down into the mines in Sydney but alas I couldn't manage the terrain.  I became increasingly aware of my inability to get on and off the buses and the strain on my energy level having to unpack bags in each stopover. It clearly was time to reconsider our future mode of transportation as I was not yet ready to toss away my "bucket list" of places I'd like to see. 

As we had enjoyed the East Coast so much, we decided to take a cruise to see more of it and happened upon the Holland America Cruise Lines itinerary for 7 Day Canada and New England aboard the Maasdam.

Its capacity is 1,258 people.. Named for the Maas River in the Netherlands, ms Maasdam is the fifth ship in Holland America Line's 140-year history to bear the name. Featuring an interior motif that pays homage to the historical Dutch East and West India companies of the 17th through 19th centuries, the centerpiece of this elegant ship features Luciano Vistosi's "Totem," a monumental sculpture using nearly 2,000 glimmering pieces of glass, prominently displayed in a soaring three-story atrium.
There are many onboard activities that allow you to pursue new interests or just relax and rejuvenate. I was so excited to learn how to "show and tell" my vacation memories thanks to the saintly patience of the Digital Workshop "techspert".   I spent a lot of time there trying to figure out how to get my pictures out of my camera and onto my computer. .  I was delighted to discover that there were onboard cooking shows and hands-on workshops although I did feel a bit guilty participating as I am a professional chef.  I loved being able to tour the kitchen and see the food preparation in progress.  I was amazed at the fruit carving and cake decorating skills of the staff.
Although I knew about the Greenhouse Spa & Salon offering spa treatments, a thermal pool and lounge and a variety of salon services and the fully equipped Fitness Center including state-of-the-art cardio and weight machines, as well as classes in Yoga, Pilates, indoor cycling and more, I was too busy going on shore excursions to participate in them.  I did, however, manage to find time to enjoy the two outdoor pools and to walk along the decks with the help of railings along the sides of the deck. 
Needless to say, there were many elevators so I didn't have to walk up and down stairs.  I commented that if you didn't have a walker, a cane or a scooter, you didn't look like everyone else.  The other great thing about the ship was that it had a medical centre where you could go if you had any issues.  I do remember one day when we were on our way to Bar Harbour, Maine, when the Atlantic Ocean waves necessitated some seasickness help for me.  My ginger tea just didn't do it!  Another thing that I noticed after a few days was the lack of children except at mealtime.  I was amazed to know about the existence of Club HAL®  which provided a wide variety of youth and teen-friendly activities for kids ages 3 to 17 that was supervised by qualified, full-time staff
We spent most of our days going on shore excursions in the various ports, in fact, we booked so many that my schedule reminded me of being at summer camp.  That being said, we were novice cruisers and eager to see everything that we could.  In the evening there were so many things to do but we were often too tired to do anything except go to the first-run movies that were shown in the Wajang Theatre.  Had we had more energy, there was The Showroom at Sea that had Las Vegas-style shows, a Casino and several bars offering various types of entertainment.  My husband thoroughly enjoyed the Trivia Games in the Piano bar and I dearly wished that I could stay up later than 11:00 p.m. so that I could go dancing. But, enough about the ship...the next installment will be more about the destinations.  Bon voyage!


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