Greetings from occupy the Eurodam. No not Europe, damn. I’m here with over 500 conservatives on the National Review cruise on Holland America’s Eurodam. So far the natives (the other 1500 or so passengers) seem mostly oblivious to our cause. Of course our cause is pretty similar to theirs – have a great time and relax while cruising the Eastern Caribbean.
Well maybe the Nation Review group does have a political cause too, but I’ll leave that to others to discuss. I’m reporting on the cruise part.
Non-cruisers know they won’t like a cruise because:
- There’s not a lot to do, I’ll get bored
- There’s too much to do, I won’t be able to relax.
- I’ll be claustrophobic.
- Those ships are so large I’ll feel lost.
- If the weather’s bad, well I don’t know what will happen but it wont be good.
Bah, I say! Balderdash! This morning my husband Ed (you know him, he’s the editor of Lifestyle Blog) slept in because he stayed up till 1am solving the world’s problems with James Lileks, Johan Goldberg, Michael Walsh, and Kathryn-Jean Lopez, while I went to meet some folks from a cruising website.
Today is a sea day – no port stops. So there were probably 50 things going on, NOT including the National Review sessions. You could learn Tai Chi, attend an art lecture, take a tour of the ship’s kitchen, play games, work out at the gym. O you could sit around in any of hundreds of nooks and crannies and read a book, or do what we’re doing now, hang out on the Lido Deck around the pool.
Did I mention it’s cloudy and might rain. No problem. This pool deck has a retractable roof like the new Cowboys stadium.
Ed and I rented a “Lido Deck Cabana” this trip, as we did on the last one. It gives us a little bit more privacy and luxury. In addition to our own table and chairs, and lounge island thing, we have Renan and Ian to cater to our needs, so unlike the 99% on the cruise, we don’t have to walk 50 steps to the Lido Deck Grill, we have our burgers delivered.
Yesterday we asked for a power cord so could plug in our laptops, kindles, tablet – and this morning, there it was. We have a never ending basket of fruit, water bottles in ice, iced tea delivered in a pitcher not by the glass, and chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne delivered in the afternoon.
But just sitting by the pool without the cabana isn’t too shabby either. Instead of Renen and Ian they have 20 or so other pool servers, happy to bring them drinks; and of courses they have the entire Lido Buffet to choose from a mere 50 or so steps away.
The point is not merely that there’s luxury to be had, but that cruising is about choices. Some people pay the base price and not a drop more, and have a terrific vacation with what’s included at a cheap price. Some people are here for the shore excursions, and wake up each morning (except on sea days) with a new port delivered to them. They spend their money on zip line adventures through the rain forest, snorkeling, ATV rides, sightseeing tours and the like.
Last night was the “Welcome Reception” where the whole NR crowd could meet & greet, mix and mingle. Dinner is always with the NR gang, and each speaker has a table over which they preside each night. Us peasants are assigned tables, and 2,3 or 4 nights we sit at a speaker table. Our dinner companions last night were intelligent and interesting and we sat and talked until the waiters taking away the flowers and peppermill lead us to the conclusion they were trying to close down. But it was 10:15 so I guess that’s fair.
And then Ed went up to the bar to schmooze and I want to the cabin, finished some work and watched the original Producers, laughing myself to sleep.