Nude Cruise Report: Nude SCUBA diving and other fun
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
View of Maasdam (foreground) and Royal Caribbean
Adventure of The Seas (background) at port in Curacao,
taken from the towering St. Anna's Bridge.
Tomorrow, the historic nude cruise continues forward. I say historic because the cruise represents the nudist community moving forward. It is yet another piece in the short human history of clothes-free cruises and bodes well for the future of nudist travel.
For those just joining us, be sure to read the previous day's nude cruise reports: February 4, 5, and 6.
Read on as Mike tells us more about Curacao and reflects upon what he and fellow nudists did yesterday while on the island of Bonaire.
Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, Aboard The M/S Holland America Maasdam (February 7, 2007) -- Who let all these funny-looking clothed people onto our ship?
For the second day in a row, Maasdam is in port from early morning until midnight, obliging all 1,200-plus of us nudist vacationers to remain clothed on our ship, even when in her interior spaces or on the high open decks out of the sight of anyone on any ship around, much less anyone shoreside. Although we are all just as friendly and the faces are all as familiar as when textiles are not mandatory, there is certainly less of a feeling of freedom and relaxation since we all have to bother with dressing, changing clothes for various functions, and of course those nasty tan lines!
Yesterday we were in Bonaire for the day, and many of us took advantage of the excellent SCUBA diving available there. Others strolled the small downtown area, shopped, ate and drank at the small bars and restaurants, or otherwise did what there was to do on that small, arid island. A good many Maasdam passengers signed up for the day trip by bus over to Sorobon, the small naturist beach resort on the eastern side of Bonaire.
Photo of Dive Inn SCUBA shop sign in Bonaire
Those of us who did not were lucky to be able to get nude during one of the shore excursions arranged by BNT&T or by our fellow passengers. I was one of them, joining in with 11 other SCUBA divers who chartered a small dive boat for the afternoon, for an excellent one-tank nude (or 'buff') dive. From where Maasdam was tied up, we could nearly fall off the ship and land at the Dive Inn Bonaire, directly across the road from the south town pier where Maasdam was alongside. Harry, the owner, was very friendly and accommodating, offering to rent us his divemaster, his boat captain, his dive boat and all our tanks, weights, and other gear for a nude one-tank boat dive trip on a splendidly warm afternoon.
Being a Dutch possession and with mostly Dutch or Dutch-educated natives, naturism is not unknown among most Bonaire residents, especially with Sorobon bringing many hundreds of tourists to the island every year. Our divemaster, Babs, was totally cool and took extra steps to bring us to a dive site on the far side of Klein Bonaire for our dive, well away from other dive boats and other snorkel/sail excursions as well.
The water temperature and visibility was excellent for our dive, and the 12 of us spent most of an hour below the surface taking in the magnificent coral and sea life that brings divers to Bonaire from all over the world. Five of our party elected to buff dive, myself included, and we were glad for the luxury of it, especially after climbing back onto the boat and not having the chill of a soggy bathing costume bothering us in the brilliant afternoon sun.
From Bonaire on Tuesday, Maasdam made the short run to Curacao overnight, arriving well before dawn after the 60-nm voyage. Again here in Curacao, many of our fellow passengers are ashore all day taking in the local sights, food and drink, but alas there were no clothing-optional tours made available through the charterer.
Tonight the Maasdam is featuring a poolside luau dinner around the main pool, as well as the usual live show in the main theater, the current movie "The Queen" playing in the cinema, and live music at various lounges around the ship. The casino onboard must remain closed while we are in port, and of course we all must remain clothed, so tonight will pass more slowly for many of us than the glorious nights underway at sea when the whole ship is ours to enjoy nude if we wish.
So far, we have not found a single shipmate who has anything but praise for the Maasdam, her crew, or the splendid weather we have had so far. Tomorrow (Thursday) has us at sea again for the whole day and so we can again enjoy the freedom and comfort which we have all paid for on this special cruise, as well as a fabulous costume contest tomorrow night with a theme of "Under The Sea."
Blessedly, today is our last day spent in port with textiles mandatory from morning until night. Friday we visit Dominica from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM, then St. Thomas during the day on Saturday, then to Holland America's 'private island' of Half Moon Cay for the day on Monday. We are hopeful that we will be the only Carnival-branded ship visiting Half Moon Cay that day, giving us the possibility of enjoying the whole island nude...we shall see.
Thanks for the report! What a unique travel experience.