With this cruise being a holiday cruise, the staff, crew, and fellow passengers made the formal nights truly special. The orchestra played wonderful “Big Band” style music in the ship’s main lounge. In this older smaller ship, this main lounge was really the only social gathering place before and after meals and it made it really easy to meet people and make friends.
Most everyone really got into the spirit of the formal evenings, with formal wear, though be it 1970/1980’s fashions. You’ll see lots of young people in the pictures, which in 1980 on Holland America was very rare. However this was a Christmas/Holiday cruise, and so lots of young people accompanied their extended families on the cruise. What impresses me most as I look back on this cruise is how the young people embraced the formal evening. I remember how we all felt very grown up in our formal clothes and felt that I had to act grown up as well. The young men in the group pictures were all very polite and charming and got a kick out of doing their best “GQ” poses in their formal wear as they took pictures with each of the young ladies. These formal nights still stand out in my mind as some of the best evening on board a cruise ship.