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Cruise Diary: A Day at Sea Aboard Zaandam

Guest Sharon Johnson and her husband are cruising again with HAL, this time on Zaandam’s 21-Day Collectors’ Voyage to Mexico and Hawaii. Sharon will chronicle their cruising experience for us on the blog. Enjoy!

Feb. 17, 2013:
This morning, we had breakfast delivered to the room because we wanted to get to the Lido Pool area early so that Al and I would have an opportunity to make flowered leis as instructed by our “On Location” Hawaii team. There were tables set up with piles of vanda orchids, string and lei making needles for ten people at each table. About a 100 people, both men and women, had an opportunity to make leis with the beautiful orchids. Paki (one of the Hawaiian “On Location” team members) gave some information about leis and also about the meaning of wearing flowers behind each ear, on top of your head and behind your head. We were told that an experienced lei maker puts together 60 leis per hour. It took Al and I almost that amount of time to make one lei.

The vanda orchid has a stem on the back, Paki instructed us to tie the string on the stem to anchor our leis. Then we took the lei needle and poked it through the middle of each flower placing one vanda orchid on top of each other till the string was almost full. We left enough string to tie the two ends of the lei together. Everyone, including Al and I, really enjoyed the opportunity to make a flowered lei with real flowers. We wore them all day long and received compliments and comments from fellow passengers who wished they had attended the class. – Sharon and Al Johnson

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Shannon, Culinary Arts Hostess Shannon and and Paki, On Location Team Member Paki Lei Making.

Shannon, Culinary Arts Hostess Shannon and and Paki, On Location Team Member Paki Lei Making.

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Me and On Location Team Member Melia.

Me and On Location Team Member Melia.

We also went to the Culinary Arts Center in the Wajang Theatre to learn how to make a Blue Hawaii cocktail and Pork Loin with Pineapple Salsa. Chef Mani used red onion, Jalapeño chile, honey, pineapple chunks and cilantro in the salsa. He laid the pork loin, after it had been cooked, on top of some vegetables. The pineapple salsa went on top of the pork loin. Then some more vegetables were artistically placed around the plate.

Culinary Arts Hostess Shannon and Chef Mani.

Culinary Arts Hostess Shannon and Chef Mani.

Experiences such as the lei making class are part of Holland America Line’s new On Location program. The itinerary sets the theme for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time on board as enriching as visiting the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances.

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