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Monday, 22 November 2010

Inside the Ryndam: Part 1

Welcome back! Today, as promised, I’ll be giving you a glimpse inside the Ryndam including a look at my cabin. The post today is largely comprised of photos rather than text – I hope you enjoy it!

We’ll start in the Ocean Bar, the place where my trio - the ‘Neptunes’ - perform every evening between 6.30pm and 11.30pm. It’s located near the front of the ship on deck 8 and is a cosy area to hang out or dance to our music!

Ocean Bar
Above: The Ocean Bar

In the photo below, the ‘Neptunes’ are (from left to right) – myself on piano, Tom Crail (from Texas) on upright electric bass, and Marino Dolcetti (from Italy) on drum kit.

Neptune Trio
Above: The ‘Neptunes’

The Ocean Bar is one of several areas which surround the main atrium and fountain in an open-plan design. This photo of the fountain and atrium was taken from deck 8 near to the ocean bar.

Above: The Atrium fountain

The fountain spans three floors and the following picture was taken from deck 6 which is the ‘walkaround’ deck (where you can walk right the way around the outside of the ship) and the place where all the lifeboats and rafts are located.

Above: The Atrium

The final guest areas I’ll be showing you today are the Casino (fairly self-explanatory) and the ‘Mix’ – a bar featuring the solo guitarist and pianist each night. Both can be seen in the photo below which was taken on deck 8, again from the atrium area.

Above: The Casino and the Mix

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: a look inside my cabin! It’s fairly small but I’m very fortunate to have it all to myself (my two band mates are sharing a cabin which is even smaller next door). The photo below was taken from the main door and the light that you see hitting the back wall above my bed is from the en suite to the right of this photo.

Above: My Cabin!

I hope you enjoyed this photo tour of some of the ship’s areas. I’ll be covering other rooms in later posts and will also be showing you around the outside of the ship soon. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Key West, Florida

Welcome back! In this blog post I’ll take a brief look at our first port of call on every cruise, Key West, Florida.

The m/s Ryndam arrives in Key West every Monday after we depart from Tampa on Sunday evening. As the southernmost city in the continental United States, Key West is strategically located in the Florida Straits and for centuries, treasure ships and merchant vessels alike fell victim to treacherous reefs and hurricanes. Even more deadly were the pirates who stalked their prey with abandon until the arrival of the U.S. Navy in 1823.

Mallory Square
Above: Mallory Square (Key West’s undeclared ‘town centre’ viewed from the ship).

The island was once the largest city in Florida, the wealthiest city per capita in the U.S., and the largest producer of cigars and natural sponges in the country. In 1912, Henry Flagler created a railroad which linked Key West to the mainland, and changed the island city forever, allowing tourism to become one of the leading industries.

Above: The m/s Ryndam viewed from Mallory Square

Today, tourism is the only large industry remaining, with attractions ranging from the southernmost point in the USA to Harry Truman’s Little White House, and the houses of famous author Ernest Hemingway and ornithologist John James Audubon as well as a whole host of water sport activities. All of these make the port a popular one with the crew who visit every week.

Shipwreck Museum
Above: Shipwreck Treasurer’s Museum

I hope you enjoyed this brief introduction to Key West. I’ll be returning to this port in a later post with more photos to share, but my next blog post will explore life inside the ship.