Nude Cruise Report Day 3: Nudism, a brief encounter with clothing, more nudism, perfect!
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Mike, a nudist aboard the ship, was able to snap a few pictures from the cruise and tell us more about the day's events.
Mike's view of the 720 feet long and 101 feet wide Maasdam docked at the South town pier in Kralendjik on the island of Bonaire. Doesn't that green ocean water look nice?
Kralendjik, Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles, Aboard The M/S Holland America Maasdam (February 6, 2007) -- We have reached our first port call on this 10-day nude cruise. Bonaire has a population slightly smaller than the complement of passengers and crew aboard the Maasdam (1,600 or so on our ship versus the 1,200 or so on the whole 125 sq. mile island), so when a ship even as modestly-sized as ours (by today's megaship standards) pulls alongside, the island's capacity to entertain, feed and escort us on tours is at its limit.
We are tied up all day at the South town pier in Kralendjik, the only town of any size on the island. Many of our shipmates scattered off to various landside tours this morning, with many making the short walk into town for shopping, lunch and the all-important Internet cafe visit. Maasdam leaves at midnight for Curacao, with the gangway retracted and all aboard by 11:00 PM, and since we are within view of shore and other boats and ships along the harbour, we are obliged to remain clothed aboard the ship all day.
Those are about the only nudity restrictions during the nude cruises: we may be nude anywhere on the ship except in the formal dining room and the Captain's reception cocktail party, and at all times except when we are in port, within sight of other ships when at anchor, or at the Captain's orders at other times, for example if we are boarded by local officials. Essentially, that means we can be as dressed or undressed as we care to be at all times when we are underway, every night as we sail toward our next port, and for all meals taken in the casual Lido buffet restaurant, all the ship's lounges and bars, anywhere on the outer decks and pools--basically, anywhere on the ship.
There are few pleasures as rare and as exquisite as waking for the day while at sea, stepping out of a warm morning shower in your cruise ship stateroom, and knowing you are as dressed as you need to be for a day of fun and relaxation. AANR has graciously provided neat little neck lanyards with watertight plastic pouches, perfectly sized to hold our cabin door key and shipboard charge card -- so with just that around your neck, you need to wear very little else, if anything, as you enjoy the ship. Plus, Maasdam's crew has provided an endless supply of thick, large pool towels for us everywhere throughout the ship, so we are never at a loss for a towel to sit on or to dry off with.
With the warm air temperatures outside while making our way here from Florida, and the ship's engineers keeping the indoor temperatures warmer than usual for us, we are able to enjoy comfortable nudity day and night without a chill as we have had at times on other ships. Many, many, many of the passengers are taking full advantage of this luxury, remaining nude all day and evening, and so the casual indoor- outdoor (and nude-permitted) Lido restaurant on pool deck 11 is getting steady business for all four meals each day. (As with all cruises, food is available somewhere on the ship for something like 18 of the 24 hours each day.)
A special treat during our day at sea yesterday was around the main pool, which was filled not with cold seawater as is typical for cruise ship swimming pools, but with warm fresh water. Partially covered by a glass-and-steel retractable canopy to keep the winds down, it was the place to be for sunning and refreshing dips during the long daylight hours. Especially fun was in the afternoon, when Maasdam was pitching and falling slightly with the seas, making the main pool into a wave pool, with the tens of thousands of gallons of water in it sloshing back and forth on a regular interval -- delightful!
The plate inside the ship shows the date and the yard which built the ship -- in this case, the famous Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, in 1993 -- the 5,882nd new ship built by them since 1907.
Another great report from Mike. Everyone reading this is wishing they were on board right now!
Having towels available everywhere is a nice touch and must be greatly appreciated by the nudists on board. Part of the nudist way is to always sit on a towel. Another is to always shower before going into the swimming pool. When living clothes-free, towels come in handy.