Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cruising on the Ryndam Part 3

DSC_0047 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. This is part 3 of what we did on the cruise. If you are interested in seeing all the pictures, here are the links to them.
2/5/14 Wednesday – Aruba
We got off the ship and walked around town all morning. After buying some souvenirs, buying and sending some postcards, it was time to return to the ship. We only had about 5 hours in this port but next time we will try to go to a beach (Eagle Beach and Royal Beach were recommended. Mike said it was $4 to the beach pp, $2 entrance fee, and $7 to rent the chairs at Royal Beach.). It looked like if we had walked towards the right when facing town, there were a few beaches within walking distance. It was pretty hot even though the temperature wasn’t extremely high but the humidity and the strength of the sun was strong. In the afternoon we did some laundry and just relaxed. We went to the show at 6:30 which was a comedian and after dinner we went to the movie showing Gravity, which I didn’t enjoy.

2/6/14 Thursday – At Sea
We had a lazy day at sea. We spent the morning on the deck relaxing. I went to the Culinary Arts demo on making cinnamon rolls. After lunch we went to the pool and swam. Before dinner we went to the show Lazlo and Claudia, who were excellent violinists. Don isn’t a big music fan but he said he would go see them again. After dinner we went to see the movie Hunger Games: Catching Fire but we both were nodding off so we went to bed.

2/7/14 Friday – Grand Cayman
I was not looking forward to getting off the ship because this is my least favorite port. I was surprised to find that I had a good time after all. The tender got us to the port by 8:30am and we walked around the town. We bought postcards and mailed them from the post office. The people in the post office were extremely nice. After that we found a store where I bought a diet Pepsi for $1. I also bought a t-shirt for $8 and the second for half off. Then we found a stamp collector’s store and Don was in heaven. He found lots of treasures at a reasonable price. In the evening we watched the movie with Michael Caine called Last Love which was really depressing.

2/8/14 Saturday – At Sea
We had a lovely day at sea but I ate too much and I was too lazy. After breakfast, we sat by the pool and read. I also listened to podcasts while I relaxed. After lunch we packed our suitcases before going to the Indonesian Tea which is always a lovely event. All of the wait staff wore their traditional shirts and the tables had runners with Indonesian print. The pastries that were served were traditional Indonesian goodies along with the regular tea time desserts. After tea we got ready for dinner and then went to see the movie All Mine. It was a good movie but depressing about dementia. We had a fabulous dinner and a trivia contest where the winner won a badge that Chaz donated. David won but it was so much fun competing! We said farewell to our dinner mates and I will really miss them! It was amazing how well we all bonded the first night we ate together.

2/9/14 Sunday – Disembarkation
I got up around 4:30am so I could get on the internet and use the rest of the minutes that I bought. The “On Location” daily paper said that we would be able to use the internet until we got off the ship.  The wifi hadn’t worked in a couple of days so I used their computers but was still unable to get on the internet. When I went to the front desk, the girl told me that the internet was unavailable on the disembarkation day so I asked why they lied in the daily paper. She didn’t have an answer and told me that she would contact the internet manager at 7am. I continually tried to connect using my iPad and again on their computer before 7 but couldn’t do it. The girl called me to tell me that the internet manager said there was no problem with the internet so I asked for him to meet me at the computers. While I was waiting, it still didn’t work and then all of a sudden, it worked so I guess he reset them. By then, it was too late to use the computer because it was time to go eat breakfast. This means that I lost about 200 minutes left on my account. I won’t ever get that many minutes again!

Getting off the ship was fast and easy. They called people by the color and number on their tags. We got off the ship about 9am and I called the hotel when we got out of the building. I’m glad the clerk asked for my phone number. We were picked up by the hotel shuttle at 10am. The shuttle missed on us on the first circle but the driver called me and asked where we were.  In about 5 minutes he found us and we were on our way.

We had a absolutely awesome time on the ship and would do this again!

Things I have learned:
1. It is always worth getting off the ship even if you have been to the port before. Each visit is different and it is fun every time.
2. I noticed that there were a lot of empty stores on many of the islands. The downturn in the economy is hurting the islands too.
3. I learn about different cultures from the crew on the ship. They are interested in learning about my culture too.
4. Use all the internet minutes before the disembarkation day!
5. I learned so much from our nightly trivia games at dinner!

Original photo by Pat Hensley

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