Daily Archives: 2015-02-14

Boarding the Statendam

I woke up to the swoosh of 747’s over my head and remembered where I was. I got excited and scrambled over to the balcony to look up. I have to say, it never gets old. As I gazed over the bay, I saw that our ship had come in. There just 10 blocks away sat the Holland America Statendam, waiting for us to board. She is a smaller, older ship but I know better. Gone are the days when I wanted on the biggest and newest ships on the sea. They are cold and sterile to me now. After taking the sister ship of the Love Boat a few years on a trip to India, I was hooked. There is a a romantic charm and nostalgia that comes with the first generation of cruise ships. It cannot be recreated when you have thousands of passengers onboard and everything is automated.

Michael made us a coffee and we set about repacking what I had strewn around the room. I had been neglecting my nails for months and still had remnants of chipped polish from 3 months ago clinging on. I decided now was a good time for a mani-pedi. Michael joined me as we made our way to the local nail shop. All went well except for the massive cut the young lady made in my finger when filing absentmindedly. I guess you get what you pay for with the cheap nail places. Lena’s only charges $12 for a manicure, but next time I will shell out the extra $3 and go somewhere more professional.

We got our bags and took a cab down to the pier where we checked in and boarded the Statendam. We looked at each other and didn’t have to say a word, when we realized that we were at least 30 years younger than the typical cruiser on this voyage. We knew that would happen but it’s always a bit of a shock when you are actually in it. The ship was well maintained and looked like I had imagined. We dropped our backpacks in our cabin, then wandered up to the lunch buffet. We tasted fish, chicken, and pork ribs as well as some creamy spinach and cheesy cauliflower. Michael was famished having skipped breakfast, so he devoured his plate, then some of mine.

As we were finishing up, I got a call from Flywheel who apologized profusely for the despicable treatment we had from the taxi drivers they sent us. Ben assured me they had already removed the one shady driver who tried to scam us from their database. I was impressed to hear back from them and doubly impressed that they not only took action but in such a timely manner. Ben thanked me for my detailed and honest letter of what had happened and gave us some Flywheel credits to use in the future. It’s nice when companies have customer service agents who understand accountability.

We explored the ship and then were called to the mandatory Muster drill. Luckily our station was outside on the deck, which made it much more enjoyable in the warm rays of the sun. After the drill, we had a slight hiccup with our room and had to sort that out with the front desk. It seems that there were many hiccups and the supervisor was overwhelmed. She decided to disconnect and shut down, so speaking with her was quite a task. There was no one to escalate to and nothing was getting solved. She had become curt and ornery and I was already out of patience for it. It was clear nothing was going anywhere, so we decided to leave it until another time.

It took until halfway through dinner that I recovered from her verbal abuse. With a little gentle coaxing from Michael, finally I was able to finish my meal, and smile. I helped that the servers were especially sweet and attentive, even if they did bring Michael the wrong entree. He stayed positive and saw it as a plus, two entrees, yay! Most of all, he loved the coffee. In fact, even as I sit here and type this he is going on about how great the coffee is in the dining room, compared to the buffet area.

After dinner, we showered and tucked into bed where we finished watching the Imitation Game, which was a great show BTW. I was a long day and I had no problem falling asleep to the rocking of the ship.

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