Monday, February 10, 2014

Cruising on the Ryndam Part 1

DSC_0005 On 1/26/14 we took a 14 day cruise on the Holland America Ryndam. I kept a journal about each day and learned something new every day. I will share my notes over 3 parts so I don’t bore you too much with the details. At the end of each post, I will list some of the things that I have learned for that part. If you are interested in seeing all the pictures, here are the links to them.

1/26/14 Sunday
Shuttle from Hampton Inn on Waters St. to port took an hour because the driver stopped at the airport first. The embarkation was fast and easy. All security were friendly and happy. We went to the Lido deck and ate lunch. While we were eating, they announced our cabins were ready.

Our cabin safe doesn’t work; I called the front desk and she asked me to call back in about 30 min. We stopped an hour later and the girl from the front desk came to our room to check it and said the battery was probably dead. She said that they were having an issue with door locks so it might take a while so she suggested we get a safety deposit box at the front desk.

When we went to unpack, we found out that our TV remote didn’t work. Eventually Don found the cabin steward and asked for a new remote.

We walked through the spa and the staff there were rude. It was open house and I was taking pictures of the empty rooms when one girl said that she didn’t think we were allowed to take pictures. She didn’t say she knew and was quite mean about it.

The life boat drill went well. Joma, a wine steward, was at our lifeboat station. Later he was our bar waiter on the lido deck while we waited for the ship to leave. We got a bucket of 5 beers for $21 plus tax and tips.
Dinner was tortuously slow! We sat at a table for 2 and the dining room was really cold. It seemed that the wait staff was understaffed. We only were given water to drink and I didn’t notice anyone with iced tea. After dinner we went to the show which was packed. They gave a sample of all the music entertainment around the ship.

1/27/14 Monday – Key West
I slept well even though the outside lights on the walking deck was right outside our porthole. I was up at 4:30am and went to the internet cafĂ© where I used the internet. I bought a package deal of 1000 minutes for $250 and was given an additional 100 minutes. After 45 minutes of that, I went to the gym to walk on the treadmill. I still thought the staff there were rude. One couple opened the shades in front of their treadmills and a girl rushed over to tell them they had to close them. It was pitch black outside and you couldn’t see anything so I don’t know why it mattered. At 7am, she walked around and opened all the shades herself.
After that I went to the Lido deck to wait for Don to wake up. He came up for breakfast around 8am. We stopped by the front desk to ask for someone to fix our safe which still didn’t work. Then we went to a free computer class at 9:30 about Windows 8.1. That was a wonderful class.

At 10:30, we went back to the room to find out that our safe still had not been fixed. So we went to the front desk to complain and get money out of our safety deposit box for our trip off the ship.

At 11am, we went to the Lido deck to have an early lunch and then we got off the ship around 11:45. We had a lovely day walking around Key West. The weather was absolutely beautiful! We stopped at one bar near the water and had 2 draft beers for $2.75 each which came out in small plastic cups. Then we found a CVS where I bought a 12 pack of diet Pepsi and some chocolate which we took back to the ship. Then we went back out to walk around and found another bar – Two Friends Bar which wasn’t too far from the ship and got a beer for $2 which was served in an ice cold glass.

When we got back to the ship we stopped at the grill and got a sandwich, fries, and some dessert. Then we watched the ship prepare to leave the port. At about 4:45pm, we watch them load an elderly man from our ship into an ambulance. Some crew members took the family’s luggage to a van which was going to take the family to the hospital.

When we prepared for dinner, I found out that I didn’t know how to work the shower! The knobs were not hot and cold! I had to get the cabin steward to show me that the temperature is controlled by the right knob and the on/off was the left knob. We did find out that the drain plug didn’t work and he had to report it to the plumber. After my shower, I found out that the outlet for the hair dryer didn’t work. I had to hold the dryer plug in by stacking some things up to hold it in the outlet.

We found out that we were moved to a table for 8 at dinner. There are 4 people from the UK (Kymberly, her husband Chas, her mom and dad – Maureen and Mike), and 2 people from FL (David and Linda). They are a fun group! Chaz asked us trivia questions from the trivia game he went to and we tried to come up with the right answers.

1/28/14 Tuesday – At Sea
At breakfast I met Ann and Wade Stevenson from Manchester, TN. They had a leak in their cabin from the kitchen above them. AT 5am, they had to move to another cabin until the leak could be fixed. In the evening when we went to dinner, it still hadn’t been fixed and someone told them that their cabin door was standing wide open!

We went to 2 computer classes on photo editing which was wonderful! I will have to upgrade to Windows 8.1 and get the newest version of Photo Gallery when I get home.

Formal night was tonight and dinner options included beef wellington and lobster tails.

We went to the show Droom which was great! I thought the costumes, singing, and dancing was excellent.
After dinner, we went to the 10pm movie Enough Said with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini. I didn’t think it was very good.

1/29/14 Wednesday – At Sea
We went to 2 more computer classes and we are truly enjoying them!

Went to the movie theater and saw Before Midnight with Ethan Hawke and it stunk! 2 couples got in an argument about the seats because one couple who got there early wouldn’t move over a seat (because it was broken!)

Got a lot of exercise on the treadmill in the morning and walking around the exercise deck with Don later in the day.

1/30/14 Thursday –San Juan
We had a lovely day in Puerto Rico yesterday. Our friends (Yolanda and Mike) picked us up and took us out to lunch at their favorite restaurant. Don had some kind of bbq pot roast and I had a stuffed Cornish hen with black rice and plantains. We had a wonderful visit with them! Before they came though, we were invited by the Captain to take a photo with the crew and others under the 12th man flag to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. They hoped to show the photo in the super bowl and in the Seattle Times. After they dropped us off, we walked around town.

Things I Learned:
1. It is better to be the first group to be taken to the port because if the shuttle gets backed up, you won’t leave until later than you planned.
2. Check the safe and outlets as soon as you arrive at your cabin to make sure everything works.
3. Make sure you know how to work the shower.
4. You can always learn something new in a class, even if you think you know the information.
5. Plantains are sweet when they are ripe and cooked. The green plantains that are fried are not as sweet but tasty too.

Original photo by Pat Hensley

1 comment:

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