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Reisverslag With love from Rudesheim
29 september 2015
With love from Rudesheim
The first week with Hans has almost come to an end and we’re all tired!! He’s a real chatterbox, he talks the ears off of your head and sucks energy like you wouldn’t believe! But we’ve also had a lot of laughs, so that’s good!
This cruise started a bit strange for one of our guests! He asked me if there were going to be any department stores in Amsterdam and I told him about the Bijenkorf, as that was one they would pass by with their walking tour.
But the Bijenkorf is one of our more expensive department stores, so I asked him what it was he was looking for exactly…turned out that he had forgotten to pack his underwear!!! Haha
So I told him that he would be better of trying the C&A department store, which is also along that street going back to the train station, where the ship is docked.
In the end they did go to both stores and ended up buying the underwear at C&A, which was a lot cheaper!! Haha
This morning I went on another excursion with our guests!! This morning we went to the Black Forest, which is a 1 ½ hour busride, with a stop at a cuckoo clock makers store. These woodcarvers always give a demonstration on the ship on Thursday evening and then Friday morning they drive home again, before the buses come to their store. It’s father and son, 6th and 7th generation, which is really great!
The ride through the Black Forest is really nice. We go through small villages, see farms along the way with sleepy cows (but excellent climbers, the mountains here are not flat!). The Black Forest was given this name by the Romans, because in their days it was thicker with trees and underbrush then it is now. They really didn’t dare go through it, which made it a great place to hide for thieves and so on.
Then later when monks made their way to the forest, settlements began and people began to see the wealth in all this wood. So they started cutting down all the trees. Which means that now a good part of all that wood is gone and that’s why we see all of these farms.
Of course on the highest part it is impossible to grow anything, so that’s where the forest is still at it’s thickest. It was great to see the fog hanging on the trees the higher we went.
We arrived at the woodcarvers store around 10 am where the father and son were awaiting us already. In front of the store was one of 3 largest cuckoo clocks, made by father Herr. It is as big as a house and it has several parts that move on the hour, a dancing couple, water running, a woman cahsing her husband with a rolling pin and so on.
I went on this tour, because our Nighty is leaving in a week, to start his own furniture making business. So I thought it would be nice to find something that was carved of wood for him. But there wasn’t much to find to be honest. They had a lot of cuckoo clocks, which were very expensive and all the cheap stuff they sold, was what they had bought somewhere else as well. So I haven’t really found anything for him, but I got some nice Christmas ornaments for barely nothing at all, because as a crew member I got a nice discount!
Then around 11 am we drove the 1 ½ hour back to the ship in Breisach. It was nice to see and do this excursion, gives me more information to tell the guests when they ask me about it. I don’t really have to tell them all that much though, the cruise directors are pretty good at doing that themselves, because they get a commission with everything that is sold there! Barbara was very good at it!
Now I would like to go back to Heidelberg and Colmar one more time, to see the places without a guided tour. Maybe the next couple of cruises.
Sunday September 20th 2015
Yesterday we said goodbye again in the morning. This time things went pretty well, although…we had one regular taxi come to pick up a group of 6, which was never ever going to fit in there. Fortunately there was a minivan for a couple, so we thought about switching them. But then a couple of minutes later another minivan showed up, which was also there to pick up the group of 6...again this doesn’t show any of that Swiss precision they are known for, or maybe it is only shown in watches and clocks!
Hans came back around 5pm and for some reason there was total chaos, still can’t understand why! One couple didn’t show up, because they had to go to the hospital in Lucerne and while we were checking everyone in, another guest turned out not to be coming, which no one knew about. And we had a lady on board that had a terrible pain in her stomach. Someone said it must have been something she ate, but we didn’t want to take any changes. We called a taxi and send this couple to the hospital in Basel. We were going to be sailing from Basel to Strasbourg, in the middle of nowhere, not a good place to have to go looking for a doctor!!
So eventually we left Basel at around a quarter to 6, then we had our safety exercise and Hans had his Welcome Briefing. He was definitely stressed out, because it didn’t go quite as smoothly as it did last week! But anyway, it all worked out, everyone was on board and we were on our way!
So this morning Hans told us that the couple that had to go to the hospital in Lucerne, was probably going to come to the ship on Tuesday. So they weren’t really a no show. And the couple we send to the hospital in Basel came back to the ship in Strasbourg this morning. Turned out that she had a kidney stone, not something you want to have during your vacation, let alone have to wait all night for someone to help you out with this. So it was a good thing we sent her to a hospital. She came back with a whole bag full of medication, so she’s going to be fine.
This morning was a little chilly in Strasbourg, but the afternoon was a lot better. I got to go to the park to read and write in the sunshine!!
Monday September 21st 2015
This morning we docked in Speyer again!! We hadn’t been able to for a couple of weeks, because of the low water level. But this morning we made it and I was very happy! I soo like Speyer better then Mannheim!!
The morning here in Speyer was also a little chilly, but when I went for a walk this afternoon it was nice, sunny and warm! I’ve read somewhere that Moonstone was a birthstone for Cancer and it helps people sleep…so I figured that would suit me very well!!! There’s a little shop in Speyer that sells these and many other stones and I’ve found a very nice bracelet there.
I hope it works, I will find out tonight! After my walk I sat on the deck in the sun, I think part of my face is burned, but that will help me fall asleep as well I think, I feel rosy and sleepy already!
Wednesday September 23rd 2015
Yesterday in Rudesheim, it rained so hard, we couldn’t even see the other side of the river!! Of course this happened while the guests were on their way outside to a mini train which was going to take them to the city. As soon as they were gone the weather cleared up again. Which was good for me, because it was stopped raining completely by the time I went outside to go and get some groceries.
There’s a Lidl supermarket in a small industrial area where they also have a Takko, fashion store next door. I just went there to have a look at what they have, I do that sometimes, without any intention of getting anything. This time I came out if that store with 2 shirts, a sweater and a bodywarmer!! All of colours that can be matched, so that worked out even better!
That evening we had a Galley party for the crew, the second party for the crew this season…It was Chef’s idea, he had food all over the kitchen and people could choose if they wanted meat or fish and then the sous chef put it on the grill for them. Something to drink and a little music to go with it and it was pretty good! I think most crew members came to get something to eat, when there’s food involved they’ll come to a party. I got some salmon, fries and salad, it was pretty good!
Next day I had to get up early, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. During the night I got cold air in my face from the airconditioning. I thought Terez had turned it down, because she told me that the night before she couldn’t sleep because it was too hot. I didn’t touch the thing either, she just had a temperature or something. Anyway, today was a very cold and wet day. We were sailing through the Rhine Gorge from Rudesheim to Koblenz with all the castles on the hills, but it was too cold and wet for people to go to the deck to see it all. Of course they all kept walking in and out the doors, which made it even colder for me, sitting at the desk in my shirt…I put on my jacket, it was just too cold up there!
Christian had asked me to check the cashbook for him, see if all of the receipts were in there with the correct number and everything. It was fun to do and I’ve found some things that weren’t ok, so he had to change those and he was happy I found them! He asked me what I was doing there, I should be working in Basel at the administration office!! Haha Who knows, maybe I should talk to Angela or Dennis and ask them if they can use my help!!
And he asked me to fill out the All Cost File. Every time we get our loading, all the amounts of what has been ordered has to be put in this file. So the total amount for food and beverages and so on, was fun to do!
This afternoon I went into Koblenz, the weather was ok by that time. There’s a shopping mall where they have a Starbucks, ok they have those pretty much everywhere now. But I only went there to be able to use their wifi! As I walked in there was a line at the register, but I just wanted to see if they had a nice place for me to sit down…as I passed someone, my backpack got caught on a cup, which of course fell to the floor!!!!
I was sooo embarrassed!! They wouldn’t let me pay for it, so I felt I had to get something! I got some tea and carrot cake and I did find a nice place on the bench in a corner!
As a Senior I have to evaluate my team, which I really hate to do! I brought the forms with me to fill them out. The things you get to choose from are so general it is hard to give them the right number. Plus I want to be honest, but fair and try not to hurt their feelings. I don’t want to praise them more than they deserve, because eventually they will get another evaluation next year.
But I think I got it done, I’ll check with Christian, see what he thinks. And I’ll have to ask him to print these forms for me again, to fill it out so people can read it!
Christian also asked me to make an evaluation about myself and I thought he meant for me to write a story about what I think about myself for this year. Turned out he just wanted me to fill out a form like the ones we have for the crew…O well, I’ll make one anyway and if he wants to read it, I’ll give that to him too!
Sunday September 27th 2015
We’ve made, we are back in Amsterdam again!
On Friday I went to my favourite hangout in the library again. I wanted to work on my evaluation and I wanted peace and quiet to work on an application letter! Yes, Christian had gotten an email the day before from Rivercatering, the company that employs us all, that they were looking for an HR Travel Coordinator and he thought that would be just the thing for me! The person we are in touch with from HR at the moment is a total …..(you fill in the blanks!) and she’s really terrible, so I guess they are looking for someone to replace her.
I did have to think about it, living in Cyprus and it would be a complete change from what I’m doing now, but hey I can at least try and I definitely wouldn’t mind to live in a place that has 300 days of sunshine each year!
The library is open until 10pm, so after work I went back there to have a pizza, but the atmosphere is not very cozy after dark. The lights are really bright, it’s like sitting at a football stadium. So I didn’t stay there for too long.
Yesterday we said goodbye to our guests and to Hans, what a relief! The two weeks with him are over and we are all very happy about that! My goodness, the man is a pain in the ass!! He had the weirdest ideas! Ok, so he was funny too, we did have a lot of laughs, but still, it was very tiring to have him around. He went home and now we have Stefano Baretta as cruise director, so far he’s nice and quiet!
Yesterday our Nighty Janos went home to start his own business. We gave him an Avalon t-shirt and a card with all of our names on it. He was a bit nervous to leave, but I’m sure he will be good at what he’s going to do!
This week’s cruise we have a totally full house, 128 guests!!
And of course we needed a hospital again! This time I didn’t have to call an ambulance, but we called a taxi to take the couple to the emergency room. The gentleman had had an accident before they came on board, the wounds had healed, but during the flight to Europe, the wound on his leg had burst open. And his wife said it didn’t look good, so we send them to the hospital to have them take a look at it. Fortunately they didn’t have to stay there all night, they were back around 11:30pm. So that went well.
Today we did the evaluation talk with Csilla and that went very well. I explained to her what numbers I gave her and then I told her why. I think she’s a very hard worker, she does things without being told. The things I would like her to work on is having some more patience with guests and crew and try to create a “thicker skin”, she tends to take things personally which are not meant for her at all.
She would like to work as a Senior, but due to her way of reacting to things made me think that she wasn’t ready for it yet. But some things you can only learn while you are doing it. Christian made the suggestion to start on smaller ships which have two weeks cruises, that means there’s less changes and easier to manage. I think she agreed with it and she asked us to help her with the improvements.
When we were done with our conversation, I ran off to the money exchange office at the train station, then I ran back to get changed.
And I ran back to the train station to meet my mom. She came to Amsterdam to have lunch and find some shoes, both of which we succeeded in doing! We went to the Laplace at the Muntplein. We had turkey sate with fries, but for some reason, again it looked really good, but the taste sucked…too bad really, prices are pretty good.
And we’ve found a good pair of Ecco shoes for her, nice brown suede. She can wear these for a while! She took the train back to Almere aroudn3:15pm and I went back to work.
That’s all for now!
29 september 2015 21:57 | Door: Michelle
Good luck with the job application! How exciting!!!
30 september 2015 09:14 | Door: Ca
I read your stories,
Funny , as usual, with out the hospital part, of course, haha.
I am happy for you, if you will decide to accept HR position, and I wish you all the best.
I know that you will do a great jobs. At least you can take with you , your dear friend, the little rabbit.
And you can stay in one place, in Cyprus ( I like their music - greek).
Glad that you are ok, big hug from my part ?:xx
30 september 2015 15:12 | Door: Paula
We are studying Ancient Greece right now. That would be awesome to visit you there.
Love reading your letters! Miss you