We are having an overcast and dull day today and things are very quiet. Only some contractors are working and the painters and some clean-up crews. The rest is at home or in church as it is a Sunday. The crew continues to be busy with carrying things on board and bringing items to the cabins. Thus we had the Life Jackets coming on board and I received today my ice bucket, tissue holder and fruit bowl. Hot water started to work as well and the safe was unlocked, the TV is working and all the movie channels are available. The selection is the same as I saw 3 weeks ago on the Koningsdam and that means that we should have some new movies coming in shortly and some older ones going out. The catering is gearing up as well and although the full menu is not yet available, the cooks are doing their best and a lot is prepared a-la-carte as there is limited storage space but plenty of cooks. Near the end of the week, the Lido will open to deal with the large number of Officers and staff that will be joining. As explained we will get on average 150 crew each day in the coming days until we have a full complement (plus a lot of extra specialized staff) and for those numbers the Crew Kitchen is too small.
More and more art is popping up and this time it is the background in the Lido. The walls behind the food stations. In a blog from some time ago I showed the bare walls but the Lido Restaurant has now been delivered to the owner and thus there is no more work done which could damage the wall paneling. The art is similar as on the Koningsdam, market scenes, but I think the photos are different as I do not remember gondolas and real Italian people in these blown up photos. Still an Italian market scene from Venice is most appropriate as the location of the Lido has the name Market in the title.
When an area is finished it has to be cleaned and the shipyard employs a whole army of Ladies in green jackets who make each area dust free and remove glue and paint spots from paneling doors and decks. This does not make it spotless and up to Holland America standards and that can also not be expected. Work is still going on and with every door banging dust is blowing out of all nooks and crannies. So Housekeeping will have to do several deep cleans to get the ship really dust free. First with the front of the house and then behind every door, panel and out of sight space as well.
Apart from the Guest Gym, which is not yet completed as they are still working on the flooring we also have a crew gym. Again a whole history with the company as in the old days fitness was not an item high on the list, the focus was more on keeping up the Heineken shares steady (at least with the Europeans) but with jogging and working out going more and more mainstream (and worldwide) Holland America started to install Crew Gyms on the ship. In the beginning it was very basic but now our gyms have the same State of the Art equipment as can be found upstairs for the Guests. Except the machines do not have TV’s as most of us are not very interested in CNN, FOX or Bloomberg. The crew Gym is located on A deck amidships as close as possible to the officers and crew quarters which are mostly on A, B and C deck.
Today I also spotted this vase standing inside the Sel de Mer Restaurant. This restaurant is also finished and thus the doors are locked and it is safe to put something inside. On my Koningsdam photos from 2016 there is no vase present in the same location so I assume that somebody spotted an empty shelf and found a solution.
Tomorrow is Monday and then the ship should be buzzing again with a larger contingent of dock workers. Today they were painting the outside decks under the lifeboats as those areas have to be finished off as the training with the lifeboats will start shortly.