The Art of ms WesterdamWe had hardly set foot onboard the ms Westerdam before we made up our minds that we were going to have to take some pictures of the art on the ship. There were statues and paintings and other delights for the eye sprinkled throughout the ship. I covered much of what was seen in the stairs and elevator complexes but there is still more to see.
The statue of Venus was captivating and we passed it over and over again. Not only that, but there were two of them. They were on each side of the ship facing the scenic elevators, on Deck 5, and one of them was located right next to the passageway that led forward to our stateroom from the center stairs and elevator complex.
In the first picture I have put both of the statues of Venus together in a merged picture. In the second one, Venus is shown in her natural lighting (no flash). The ship decorators took a lot of time, not only collecting nice pieces of art, but also in creating the right setting for the art.
The next piece is a statue of a servant girl that was located on Deck 2, once again at the scenic elevator stop, and center stairs and elevator complex. The brass plaque beside it said that it was a copy of garden statue of the Neoclassic Style from Europe in the 19th Century. A copy of the statue was by the scenic elevators and by the main elevators as well. The pillow was to make carrying a load easier upon the head, and the statue was placed in such a way as to look like it was bearing the load of the pillar coming down to meet it.
Statue three was on the Lido Deck and there were two versions of it. The first version showed a woman dancing while holding a tambourine. The second version was identical to the first except that it was not holding a tambourine. Whether this difference was by design or through tampering was impossible to say. I inspected the hands of the statues and they were the same. The tambourine was a separate piece that might have been inserted or removed without damaging the statute, although it would have taken some work to do so.
I believe this bust was located in the Spa area of the ship, and represented a woman decorated with various types of fruit.
Once again a decorative piece was located in the stairs and elevator complex. This jar looks like something they would have found in the ruins of Pompeii; perfectly preserved of course.
On the aft end of the Aft Pool on the Lido Deck, inside the containment area of the pool (walled in for when we had heavy seas) this colorful statue brightened up the area.
Even the barstools at the Lido Bar were works of art, cut into the shape of a fish whose rear fins created the seats for patrons to use. We didn't find these seats to be terribly comfortable, but they were extremely interesting and something that we all talked about with each other, even though we didn't all see them at the same time. These were novel to say the least!
Dolphins are very popular animals. They are intelligent, friendly, and for some reason many of them appear to actually like man. (Yes, they still are intelligent, just not perfect. ☺) This art piece depicts three of them frolicking as dolphins often do. Ships will often see dolphins running beside the ship acting very much like this. The Lido pool was distinct for two major features. One was the retractable roof, and the other was this very fine statue.
This second view of the dolphins was actually taken through the roof! It was a sunny day and the roof was open, while I was up on Deck 10 above with my camera. Those dolphins look like they have been "paused" and all they need to continue swimming is for someone to hit the "play" button.
I collect mermaids (...statues and pictures anyway. I haven't managed to find any live ones for my collection just yet. ☺) and so I naturally had to pull my camera out and snap a picture of this statue one morning at breakfast. I don't think that I have ever seen anyone do that with a watermelon before either, and even the cantaloupe was pretty cute.
Dotti borrowed my camera and took this shot of the lion during the dessert extravaganza night. They did some artistic things with and around the food that night.
I couldn't help but snap a picture of this interesting piece. From the spear wielding soldier on the top to the elephants on the bottom, held up with a jewel encrusted base, this portrait egg is an eye grabber. It was one of those things about the cruise that I found happily surprising; the ship had far more than was required to make it really nice. There was always something extra, beyond what was required. We would have had to take several cruises to see everything, and do everything that just ship had to offer.
I discuss this hallway, that was a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, in other areas of this cruise report, but I wanted to include this picture in this area as well. It was an interactive hallway in that the pictures lit up as you came up to them and then went out after you passed by.
This painting was marking the place where the golf simulator was on the ship. It was of two of the greats of the game, once that I had watched play, during the few times that I actually watched golf. Here are the "Golden Bear" Jack Nicklaus, and the "Great White Shark" Greg Norman, together for the ages in one painting.
Just to remind us that we were at sea, we also had models and replicas of ships of various types around to bump into it. Every time I look at a sailing craft, or a model of a sailing craft I am struck with the bravery that the men of that era had in order face the waves in those tiny craft! Today we have huge metal ships to cross the seas, but back then they did it in cracker box sized boats that would bounce around like corks, and be helpless in the face of a serious storm. Still the men kept going out, and even sailed around the world. Amazing.
This one shows us what the ship looked like with its sails up and ready to do business. Even more businesslike were the 22 cannons that were pointed out all along the side of the ship. Another sign of tremendous courage is the way they would slide their ships side by side and pour cannon balls into each other's ships. The horrible injuries incurred in such exchanges are hard to fathom. Even the wood of the ship would become projectiles when hit by a cannonball. Death on the high seas was all too common.
Of course we have visited with the ship chandelier in other places, but I had to include it here, because it was a bit of art that we saw repeatedly and always enjoyed, no matter how many times we saw it.
And the setting where the ship "sailed" was a work of art as well.
The walls in the Atrium area of the ship were an artistic backdrop for the torch-like lamps that burned perpetually.
Each mirror panel created its own image, and the images blended together to form a whole that was something more interesting still.
I felt that even the benches out on the decks were works of art in their own fashion. The beautiful wood grains easily climbed through the glossy transparent finish on the surface, and it reminded me of the many benches and bridges that we have seen on our hikes into the woods of the Pacific Northwest. Westerdam, the name of the ship, rests proudly across the back of the bench.
Up forward on Deck 11, the Sports Deck, right under the antenna forest, and a couple of feet off the deck, there were two coins mounted into the bulkhead, and their faces were pointed right at the bow of the ship. These coins, both are Dutch 2004 Five-Euro coins, were installed in what is called a "Coin Under the Mast" ceremony, which occurred in April, 2004 for ms Westerdam. During this ceremony, which dates back to ancient times, the gods are placated (or bad luck staved off) by putting a coin under the mast. European ship builders have done this for many centuries. (The ceremony took place in Venice, Italy incidentally, right next to Lido, Italy which Deck 9 was named for.)
On the left is the obverse side of the coin that shows the face of Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard van Oranje-Nassau, the Queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since April 30, 1980. It also has the letters BEATRIX stamped upon it. On the right side of the picture is another 5 Euro coin showing the reverse side. This particular coin was minted to commemorate the 150th birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, the famous Dutch painter. The coin is very interesting because the face of Van Gogh that is stamped there was created from a self portrait from 1889, and the image is created by using the letters "VAN GOGH" over and over again, spiraling outward. Also, the name VINCENT is stamped upon this side of the coin. The year it was minted is also stamped here, but water has worked its way into the chamber and this side of the coin is very hard to see.