A dream trip became reality recently for Happy Frazier as she explored the awesome in her life. In this third installment, she offers a series on her journey, with description, photographs and personal reflection. Join her on this wonderful voyage and see that a dream can come true.
Cooking Class and Rumba
DAY 3 ABOARD THE MS. NOORDAM -- Today, my third day at sea, was a very busy day. You’d think boredom would have set in by now being at sea for that long, but it’s certainly not the case aboard the Ms. Noordam.
There’s certainly plenty of time to get your tan on by the time you get to your first island and in addition, today was chock full of deliciously, educational fun and included two of my favorite subjects -- cooking and people.
One of the neat things about being onboard the Holland America ship is that each morning the cruise director announces over the intercom an itinerary for the day’s events. One of the things listed for this morning was a Rumba class and I decided I’d choose that for my morning workout. I loved it!
The spa and fitness possibilities on ship are endless and make it a piece-of-cake to get in shape. The ship hosts saunas, massage rooms, hydrotherapy pools, and even a steam and aromatic room, in addition to the walking/jogging track and the fitness center.
One of the many cool things about getting to do what I do is learning about the people who make the travel industry tick. Onboard a ship like the Noordam, which can hold up to 1,924 passengers and 824 crew members, there are a lot of very special people working to make the experience extra special for the passengers.
Mark Sardelis, manager of onboard marketing, and I ventured around this grand floating hotel today to enjoy some of the ship’s top-notch entertainment. He also took a few minutes to visit with Kris Vegas and me on KTCS today about the exciting shore excursions available in St. Maarten tomorrow. Mark was full of information about the thrilling things to do on our first island stop.
Midmorning, I participated in an Italian culinary class taught be German Chef Ralf Kappel. He taught us how to make homemade tortellini with a pesto marinara sauce and Gnocchi alla Giordano. We learned how to cut the tortellini, wrap them and cook them, too. It was fun and oh so delicioso!
Shane Michaels, the Noordam’s cruise director, and I sat down together after lunch and Shane shared with me the inner and outer workings of making this grande dam a joy to sail on. I’ll share more about my interview with the ever-entertaining Mr. Michaels later.
I had dinner in the evening with Herman Lentman, manager of culinary operations. Herman was born and raised in Holland and now, when he’s not on board, he calls his home Germany, where he has a lovely wife and two small children.
I found out that Herman and I have something in common as he also has a Chocolate lab -- named Moya. At that point, I whipped out my phone to show him the pictures of my own "kids" (aka dogs), Simba, Thunder and Rocky. Poor guy, that took up about an hour of dinner conversation.
It so happens Herman met his wife onboard the cruise ship eight years ago. That’s pretty romantic. So, all of you single ladies looking for love may indeed find it on a real love boat. This is also Herman’s 20th anniversary with Holland America.
One of the things Herman oversees is ordering all of the food they serve on ship and supervising the 120 people who work in the galley preparing the delicious dishes we all get to enjoy.
Herman speaks Dutch, German, English, French and Spanish. I enjoyed our visit and our dinner immensely. Herman also gave me a sneak peek of the busy galley and, boy, what a kitchen!
After dinner, I met with Mark Sardelis again and we swung by the Vista Lounge where comedienne Julie Barr was hilariously entertaining.
It was time to turn in for me though. Tomorrow I have a busy day in St. Maarten, the first island stop on this terrific cruise. For tonight, I’ve got to get my R&R as I’m looking forward to a dip in the ocean and some great shore excursions, tomorrow.