One of our readers suggested we post a description of what it’s like to spend 125 days on a ship sailing around the world. So far we’ve been aboard the Amsterdam for just under one month and here are our impressions of shipboard life so far.
First of all, as one would imagine, the demographic profile of passengers who have the time and resources to take this kind of trip, tends to be on the elderly side. An unscientific survey puts Tanya and Jay in the youngest 1%. At times, the main dining room reminds one of an assisted living center, complete with walkers and other mobility enhancement devices. This is not a bad thing, however. Let’s hope we live long enough to join their ranks someday. With 1,100 passengers, naturally there are some people who don’t play well with others. But we’ve found the majority of folks to be intellectually curious and interesting to visit with. There is a Road Scholars group of 63 on board and they tend to be some of the more fascinating people we’ve met.
Another thing we’ve noticed is that there are not nearly as many morbidly obese passengers as one usually finds on cruises. These folks usually eat in the buffet style Lido (Large Individuals’ Dining Option) restaurant and tend to be younger than the average passenger profile. Our theory is that, unfortunately, these folks probably don’t live as long as the more fit older crowd onboard.
An interesting observation is how people react to their “Mariner Star Status”. The cruise line has various levels in their loyalty program ranging from “1 Star” for taking one cruise to “2 Star” for 30 days, etc. The highest level is 5 Star which means the passenger has cruised for over 500 days. The chief purser told me the other night that the majority of people on this trip are 5 Stars, which means no one is really very special. But that doesn’t stop people from boasting about their status, the cocktails they had with the captain, etc. We are piddly little 2 Stars so essentially we have no status at all…..which is just fine with us. There is a super secret level beyond 5 Stars, the President’s Club, of which there are 30 members on board. Needless to say, they are really the cat’s meow.
One pleasantly surprising aspect of this trip are the interesting guest lecturers who continually cycle through. Recent topics have been on the San Andreas Fault, space tourism, the details of transatlantic flight from a pilot’s perspective and on and on. That probably doesn’t sound too zooty but when you’re at sea for days at a time you take what you can get.
More later as we continue Jay and Tanya’s insanity tour 2017.