Wanderung 28

A Warm Winter Break

December 2013 - January 2014


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Saturday January 4, 2014: At Sea on Ryndam

After breakfast we wandered about the ship a bit, taking pictures of the pretty bits. The Ryndam is a sister ship to the Masdam, Statendam, and Veendam, and we spent two weeks going from Chile around Cape Horn to Argentina on the Veendam on Wanderung 23, so the layout was somewhat familiar. The main deck is Deck 8, which stretches from the balcony level of the theater in the bow to the upper level of the Rotterdam Dining Room at the stern. In between are most of the shops, the casino, lounges, and The Pinnacle Grille.

The photography studio display area was on Deck 7 forward right next to the main entrances of the theater, so we detoured there to check out the photographs and ended up purchasing the gangway picture from January 2nd when we went snorkeling in Roatan, and one of the formal night pictures of both of us. We were really interested in a couple of the other formal night pics, but the price of $40 was rather steep, so we reluctantly put those in the "discard" slot. But then only 20 minutes later when we were in our stateroom they announced a special sale in the photography studio for 5 p.m. that night where you could purchase two and get one free! Why didn't the salesman say anything about that sale to us in the morning when we were clearly looking at multiple pictures?? Since by now we had already discarded the other photos, it was impossible for us to take advantage of that final sale and that was extremely frustrating! Strike Three for Holland America!

We went to the Captain's Mariner Society dinner for lunch, which was pleasant (and we received another of those Holland America ceramic tiles), but we agreed we would prefer not to travel on a HAL ship again as we kept being either embarrassed or irritated by unexpected events. To be fair, we enjoyed the ship's really superior cuisine and high standards for service, cleanliness, and so forth, but other things about the way the ship was run simply rubbed us the wrong way.

After lunch the cruise director gave a very nice presentation on life in the ocean, which focused on the dangers to sea life in general and coral reefs in particular in the oceans across the world. The talk was very informative and delivered with total passion and sincerity, as he had apparently served on HAL ships since the 1990s, long enough to have seen species decline and disappear in various areas, and the coral reefs start to bleach and die off in the Caribbean in particular. He had nice slides to illustrate his points, and some of them were really quite disturbing.

That afternoon we received a voice mail message that I could pick up my pepper spray at the Front Desk, which I did,. However, I was puzzled why the pepper spray that was so dangerous it had to be confiscated two days earlier was now safe enough to give back to me. Either it wasn't really that dangerous to begin with, or else they should have delayed giving it back to me until the very moment I departed the ship the next day. When I had pepper spray confiscated by the Canadian Customs folks, for example, they put it in an envelope and allowed me to retrieve it only when I was exiting Canada to go back into the USA. Maybe that was too much trouble for ship's security people, but it seemed inconsistent to confiscate it one day and give it back the next. In any event, I was happy to have it back as it had been a gift from Martin and Tanya, and just tossed it in the suitcase while packing away my other things.

Copyright 2014 by R. W. Holt and E. M. Holt


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Map of Homosassa, Florida Map of Western Caribbean Cruise Map of Panama Canal Cruise

December 2013
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January 2014
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