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Life as an Entertainer Aboard Veendam: Part 1

Mara Jill Herman is a cast member aboard Veendam and sent in this wonderful post. Enjoy!

My newest adventure as a performing artist is being employed by Holland America Line on the cruise ship Veendam. I am a featured singer in the ship’s resident entertainers. My itinerary is Bermuda for June through mid October (and South America and Antarctica late October through December.) Each weekly Bermuda cruise embarks and disembarks in NYC, so lucky for me, I go home each Sunday to catch up with mail, watch favorite TV programs I missed while at sea, or meet friends for a quick bite.

In April, I flew to Los Angeles for 4 weeks of rehearsals at the hiring company’s studios. Eight of us lived in a two bedroom, two bath apartment with one fridge! It confirmed the idea that part of the talent in hiring is matching personalities because we all survived the experience quite well!

After Los Angeles, we flew to the Bahamas for “dry dock,” which is when the crew works out last-minute kinks and overall wear and tear type of renovations that would happen at any hotel over time. The ship remained in the shipyard for a week. Since it was on land, any time we disembarked, we had to climb a staircase which was approximately 60 feet tall. Once I got past the initial fright, I had a pretty smooth tech week as far as the theatrical elements were concerned.

Mara at Church Bay in Bermuda.

Now I am nearing the end of my second month in Bermuda and some of my observations include:
· It rains or pours for about 10-15 minutes several times a day — and then the sun bursts out for hours in between.
· Bermuda is a British overseas territory and the accent is fairly inconsistent from person to person.
· People drive on the left side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right. It’s mirror-image confusing for this American lady!
· Mopeds are abundant in addition to cars. Only one private four-wheeled vehicle per person/family/ household is allowed. Friends and I have rented mopeds and we’re really enjoying exploring the island this way.
· Every house has a white roof built especially for catching rain. There is no fresh water source on the island; therefore by law each house must collect 80 percent of its rain.
· Bermuda is more than one beautiful island; in fact it is made up of over 120 small islands!

Tobacco Bay.

Check back for Part 2 of Mara’s blog.

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