The Ship’s Crew

For me this day at sea aboard the MS Amsterdam began with a big smile from Doreen or Doreen with the red lips as she introduced herself. As she made my smoked salmon omelette, she asked my name and I am betting that she will remember it at breakfast, if not tomorrow, then certainly by the end of this trip. I intend to remember her and her beautiful smile.

As I sat down with my food, another big smile greeted me. This time it was Ghilbert who wanted to know my name as he served coffee. Like Doreen and many of the crew, Ghilbert is from the Philippines and has signed a nine or ten month contract with Holland America. Ghilbert’s fifth contract is as a waiter. His first four were to wash dishes. He says he likes working as a waiter better than washing dishes. That smile would be wasted on dirty dishes.

Throughout the day, I observed the crew. They smiled, were kind, and always offered a greeting or some service. Wan and Mabe, our cabin stewards, are equally kind and helpful. I hope never to take any of them for granted and to let them know how much I appreciate them. Tomorrow we reach our first port of call, Santa Marta, Colombia.

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