Morning Coffee Talk with Hamish
Eddy, the florist, put on a special demonstration this morning in the Explorer’s lounge. This was followed by an interview with Cruise Director Hamish at 9:30 AM. We learned that Eddy is not an employee of Holland America but from a company called Dianthus International that supplies florists to many cruise ships throughout the world. His partner, Calista, was unable to attend today’s demonstration.
Eddy attended six years of formal training in the Netherlands to become a florist. I didn’t realize that becoming a florist might entail six years of formal training. After his training he came to the United States and opened a flower shop in Baltimore. In 2005 he returned to the Netherlands and started working on cruise ships. He is so highly regarded that during his normal off time in the summer, he will often be used to train other florists as well as design new arrangements for various ships. He was instrumental in designing the large “WoW” arrangements seen on the Koningsdam. Due to the smaller size of the Amsterdam, there is only one large WoW arrangement and that is in the Explorer’s lounge. There are 11 large pedestal arrangements and over 50 table arrangements elsewhere throughout the ship.
Eddy and Calista are hard workers and they spend 8 to 9 hours a day on their feet tending to all the flower arrangements around the ship. The flower budget on the grand world voyage is about $5000 a week.
At some point during the cruise Eddy will offer a flower arranging workshop to passengers for $29. Everyone who was interested was asked to sign up and he would notify us later when this would take place.
My knitting training continued at 10 AM in the Crow’s nest. I managed to do three rows today, semi-independently and I’m slowly getting the feel of it. Judy’s other students, Dawn and Margaret, are racing ahead and I will have to get faster if I want to stay on pace.
I didn’t play Texas Hold’em this morning as I decided to go to a wine tasting in the dining room at 11 o’clock. We were served four glasses of wine, each one was a full serving as opposed to the normal smaller serving sizes used at more typical wine tastings. We got a chuckle out of watching one person pour both classes of their red wine into a single go cup for drinking later during the day. The Cellar Master was the Master of Ceremonies and he combined the expected explanation of the various wines along with a series of amusing anecdotes. Along with the wine we are served plate of various cheeses with small pieces of bread.
Lunch and Polynesian Dancing
Judy and I had lunch near the pool were the Polynesian location team was dancing and playing a variety of Polynesian music. Judy had a Dive Inn hot dog while I took advantage of the taco bar.
I didn’t win my Texas hold ’em game today. I managed to knock out Rick on the first hand. He very aggressively went all in and the rest of the table folded but I decided to keep him honest with my suited king and queen. He flipped over and Ace Jack and I was lucky to see a King on the turn which held up for the win.
The drawing class continues to be well attended. Judy is learning how to draw gesture and movement.
Judy was up at crafts at 2:30 PM and when I went to meet her after my card game I learned that even though she arrived 15 minutes early over 100 people were already there and they only had 100 projects. If you want to participate in Crafts you need to get there early. Judy and Margaret put the time to good use and continued to work on their knitting with Judy teaching Margaret how to cast on.
Tahiti Drum Dance Class
In the Queens lounge this afternoon the Polynesian location team held a class teaching the group the native drum dance of Tahiti. We didn’t participate, but it was fun to watch everyone else give it a good try.
We had a Dutch themed dinner in the dining room tonight. All the staff were wearing bright orange and the men were given black caps while the women were given a white cap that made them all look like flying nuns. The menu included Dutch Green Pea Soup, Spaghetti with old Amsterdam Cheese, Rijstafel and Indonesian Style Stir-Fried Noodles.
Susan was absent as she went to the first of many Captains Dinners offered to full world cruisers. She came back to our table for coffee and desert and shared the details of her wonderful evening. She was at a table with an officer from the Culinary Arts Center and had a great time.
Helen Wilding, a female vocalist, was the featured entertainer in the Queens Lounge. She put on a spectacular show singing a wide range of music from Opera to a beautiful rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” We are looking forward to an encore performance later in the week.
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