Je bekijkt de reis...
7 april 2015
It’s been a while, so brace yourselves for a long, long story!!!
On the 19th of March I went to a place called Hardinxveld, here in the Netherlands. This is near Rotterdam, there’s a shipyard where the ship was docked, because it wasn’t quite finished yet.
It took about 2 hours to get there by train, so it wasn’t that bad. It isn’t a very big place and they don’t have too many taxi’s! There was a taxi stand for one car and the car that was parked there belonged to an old man, definitely not the cab driver!! So I asked at the restaurant at the station if they could call me a cab. I had some tea there while waiting.
The shipyard was easy to find, but the ship turned out to be all the way in the back, I was glad I didn’t have to walk all that way with my 2 suitcases!
On this first day only the Heads of Department and the sailors were on the ship. It was a mess!!! Still protection on the floor in the lobby, lounge and on the stairs. We moved some boxes of linen to the laundry, some duvets to various rooms and so on. We also made a crew cabin plan, which was somewhat hard to do, because we counted more crew then cabins!
We were supposed to have another Dutch crewmember, which made me happy, but in the end he didn’t come, so now me, the Hotelmanager (he’s from Germany) and the Chef (from the UK) are the minorities on this ship. We have lots of Hungarians this time, last year the ship was crowded with Romanians!
Anyway, as I already knew before I came on board, there was to be no cabin for myself again….at least this time I have someone who will stay onboard, so I will not have to move around again! I’m sharing a room with the Housekeeper, who of course didn’t want to share a room with her staff. Unfortunately I also have to top bunk…she’s always the first to leave and the last to go to bed, so this works out better, but the first night on the top bunk…I was having trouble breathing! It’s like a tomb up there! Hardly any space to sit up…o well, that’s life as they say!
So on the 20th of March the rest of the crew arrived, we have about 34 crewmembers total (excluding Nautic and cruisedorectors).
We started to unload boxes full of pillows, duvets, toppers, basically all the big stuff for the guest cabins.
The next day we got a lot of stuff on board. On a new ship, everything is new!! From the cabin stuff to the restaurant and kitchen stuff, it is amazing how much there is on board! How many things needed a place to be stored!
We also got our stuff for the Front Office and the Onboard shop. There’s a little cupboard in the lobby where we managed to put all our textiles! I was soo happy, because now I don’t have to crawl into a space like we did last year. The space was too small for me, but Jayson could always go in!
The first couple of days was all about counting, making sure we have everything, that everything has a place and practicing our safety exercises. We didn’t like those, because it was very cold outside, but at least we would get some fresh air once a day!
Also for this year they changed things in the menu’s. I did a lot of it at home already, just to get a head start, but of course we weren’t done with all the changes and we got some new ones when we were here the first week!
We had to change the font, sizes of the letters, we had to add numbers for allergen codes, then they needed a footer saying they could find out about the codes in the back of the menu….anyway, they’ll change something again somewhere along the season I’m sure!
Then on the 27th of March our first guests arrived. Only 15 people from Canada, mostly sales people who had a lot of meetings. They were to arrive in the early afternoon, but ended up coming around dinnertime. There was a poweroutage (sp?) in the whole of Amsterdam, so all the trains had problems and at the airport planes were redirected to other airports or people had to wait a long time to get their luggage. So it was kind of a mess tostart a first cruise. Good thing there weren’t that many people!
We also had some IT questions and the guy who could answer those always came to the ship when everyone was sleeping, or he would work on our computers from a distance…which annoyed the hell out of me, because I wanted him to explain things to me. Finally he came on the 27th, when we were to have our first guests…he was there, but he wasn’t there. He was always on the phone, walking around the ship…when we finally sat down to discuss how the new powerpoint works, he got phonecalls, still walked around the ship and left thinking he had told us everything we needed to know!!!
That was soo frustrating!!! They had changed the system, the one we used last year was super easy! But now we have to make a powerpoint presentation and then upload it to a website, slide by slide!!!! Then delete the one from the previous day and upload the new one! Of course these kinds of things don’t work the first time you use them! Plus he forgot to tell me that you would have to wait 5 minutes, with tv turned off and then turn it back on to see the actual powerpoint you had saved on the website….So annoying! Plus it is harder to add a new slide or change something in an existing slide because you would have to figure out which slide it is…unbelievable that such an IT guy can’t come up with something simpler then that!!
Anyway, with the group of 15 people we sailed from Amsterdam to Wiesbaden, where another 60 people came on board for the Christening Cruise. It being a new ship, it still needed the Christening.
That was also a 4 day cruise, we went from Wiesbaden to Basel. The day of the Christening, most people were off the ship and we got flowers from a Dutch company so we could decorate the ship. Really nice flowers!!!
The ship has a Canadian singer for a Godmother, no one we had ever heard of before to be honest!! We had bad weather all week, even on the morning of the Christening, but by the time they went outside to crack the bottle, it was dry and the sun came out. Not that that warmed everything up at all, but it was nice. The godmother got a huge bouquet of flowers and when she was out I put it in a vase in her room…of course the bouquet was too big for the vase, so I tried to get another one, but I couldn’t find the housekeeper anywhere. So while I was struggling to put the flowers in, the godmother came into the room!!!! That was a funny moment!!
These first few days I felt like I didn’t know what to do, like I had forgotten all the things I had been taught, it was really annoying!
But I think I’m a good actress, because the musician thought I had been a Senior for years already and the Housekeeper says I look very calm when I’m at the Front desk…if only they knew!!
On the 4th of April the group of 70 left in the morning and we finally got rid of the hectic state we were in!! These first two cruises were long, hectic days!
Our first real cruise is underway right now, we started in Basel and we are going up the Rhine to Amsterdam. We have 121 people on board and there’s a whole group of people I met last year on the Creativity!! That was soo funny, when they walked in I was like” didn’t I see you in France last year?!” I didn’t remember names, but I remembered all of their faces, it was really nice!
Our cruise director is from Germany and she’s not a very nice person!!! A real German cow as our Hotelmanager says and he should know, because he’s also from Germany!! Haha
I’ve heard stories of her getting a captain fired, our chef has had a run in with her as well, so he doesn’t talk to her at all and overall I don’t think she’s going to be our best friend! She’s here for one week so we thought we were lucky, but unfortunately she’s going to come back in for two weeks in May!!
On these trips most cruise directors stay for two weeks, they basically go back to where they’ve started. We are in Amsterdam this Saturday, we get a new Cruise director who’s going down to Basel with us and then she’s coming back to Amsterdam on the next weeks cruise.
I already have to think about when I’m going to take a vacation! I have someone to replace me, my second is very eager to take my job. Which I kind of unnerving, because she keeps going “last year we did it this way…” so the other day I told her to stop that and that we had to find our own way! I want to teach her what I know, she’s had some training last year already, but I want to get better at it myself first. But since I want to go on vacation the first 2 weeks of July we’ll have to start soon. But she’ll be alright.
The Hotelmanager thinks it’s a good idea if she knows what I’m doing, so that if something happens to me, she can take over and we can keep functioning. He also wants me to know what he’s doing, in case something happens to him. Which I agree with, it’s just that last year I was taught by Jayson who very much kept his job to himself. I wondered if he would have shown me if he didn’t think I was able to do the job when he went on vacation….
But it’s okay. That’s why I told her to find our own way, because we’ve both been taught a certain way.
With these real cruises beginning I feel more in place then I did the first few weeks, mostly because everything was out of the ordinary. And I’m surrounded by people who have been doing this for a long time already!
But now things are good, I have very good support from Basel! The guy who told us to call when we had problems, has heard my voice and read my HELP emails a couple of times already!!! Haha
Ok that’s it for now, that wasn’t soo bad was it?!
7 april 2015 23:47 | Door: Michelle
Wow, sounds like a real challenge but fun too! Love hearing about you adventures.