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About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Ocean liners, world history, musical theatre, books, and writing.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Cunard Line, Holland-America Line, and any line with 50+ years of history.
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    The ship itself.

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  1. Many thanks to both of you! That postcard find is excellent - saving that picture and the stats to include in my great-grandmother's file. It's been fun doing the research.- some other ships that other family members came on were the SS Neckar in 1913 and the Kaiserin Auguste Victoria in 1910. These photographs make it all more the real!
  2. Found out my great-grandma traveled on the Noordam a year after the Titanic disaster (the Noordam is known for being one of the ships that warned her about ice in the area). Research did not yield the stats - length, width, number of decks, and which classes of passengers it carried. All I have to go on is the gross tonnage and pictures. Anyone know more about the Noordam?
  3. I think it started with piracy first (which I had an interest in since "Peter Pan" and somehow piracy transformed into ocean liners... (So even if one was to ask my 6-8 years old self, I would still be able to show off my tiny Playmobil sextant and know what it was used for, thanks to my illustrated book on piracy!)
  4. Still no announcement of what the new ship will be named? (I for one am hoping for a return to the -ia naming scheme... Mauretania or Aquitania, anyone?)
  5. Following up as I recently received a response from HAL: "Thank you for reaching out. We’re happy to report that the ordering feature is one that we are currently working on and hope to have implemented in the near future. In regards to the request to chat with Guest Services, currently we have a “contact us” section that allows you to send a message to Guest Services, but it does not allow them to respond to you via the app yet. We have discussed this within the company and are still working on how this would operationally work. So although we haven’t started working on it yet, we are planning on working on it at some point." So looks like they are taking steps to remedy those two parts. At some point I'll be able to order tea and cookies without using the telephone!
  6. Shot off an email, asking for the best strategy for a Deaf person to place room service calls if this is not possible by texting. See what they come up with! (Rather than complain which got me nowhere but kind friends in Ocean Bar, but it wasn't fun when I was sick and just wanted an order of chicken soup and tea).
  7. Thank you all for your input. Shame about it being passenger-to-passenger only... hmm *returns to the drawing board*
  8. Good choices! Although both of them are old enough to be my parents - ha! I'd go with Anne Hathaway (closer in age, and we can pass for siblings/cousins). Specifically the Princess Diaries era.
  9. Thought of another one. On a ship with a sizable number of Deaf folks. I'm on Deck 4 of the atrium, looking down at the bar area at the foot of the glass elevators. A Deaf person on Deck 1 looks up, and signs "Hey! Love you!" Confused, I thought they were talking to me. I signed back, "Uh... love you too?" Nonplussed, the person waved the air as if to erase what they said, "no, no, not you - I'm talking to my wife! She's two decks above you!" He pointed to a spot above me. I craned my neck and looked up. Sure enough, the wife was signing down to her husband. Rolling my eyes, we all got a chuckle out of it, and coordinated instructions to meet up at a restaurant to meet in person. Benefit of ASL? Being about to communicate cross-deck from vantage points without needing to shout. Later, I told the "husband" "I love you too, but not the way you think...." Ha!
  10. It's an art form! Have tons of those stories about Deaf/hearing interactions (including on ship too). My favorite ones are when the crew/staff try to kick us out ( er, make that "shuffle us along") of a venue because they needed to close down for the night - but the "Deaf Goodbye" is LONG, and can last for an hour or more. Ie a group of us in a closed-off venue (reserved for happy hour for us - so I guess it is dining related? We had snacks?) and they were trying to shoo us out without being too rude/obvious. Problem? Every time they'd tell one knot to "please exit venue', another 10 would move back in, so it became. a one step forward, two steps backwards situation. Remembering a similar situation at Starbucks on land (the Deaf Coffee Chats), I flagged an interpreter and whispered to a staff, "My suggestion, if you want us out, is to turn the lights off. Don't be wishy washy - just do it." They didn't believe me at first and continued to "herd cats" until one threw the towel in, headed over the light panel, and shut all the lights off. Guess what happens when lights are extinguished? Conversation stops. Like magic, the knots of Deaf passengers moved out into the interior promenade area to continue chatting and the relieved staff literally closed the doors on our back. The following night, word spread and they learned if they wanted us out a venue, "kill the lights" works wonder 🙂 But yes, we can not only talk across tables, but across atriums (even from different floors - I had a conversation from Deck 2 with someone on Deck 8 because we were too lazy to use the stairs to meet up), and through glass window partitions among other benefits.
  11. I'm thrilled to see that the Navigator app has been redone with the option to chat via shipboard texting (something that was missing and sorely needed on my 2017 crossing on the Nieuw Amsterdam). Hopefully that means no more schlepping myself to the Ocean Bar (one deck down from my cabin) to place room service orders? (The in-cabin TTY as part of the ADA kit didn't work, because nobody at Guest Services answered - my guess, nobody turned on the TTY there either, if there was one available). Hence the schlepping around. My question - does the texting app only apply for passenger-to-passenger, or would I be able to "call" (in my case, text) Guest Services or room service? Or will I still need to put shoes on and go downstairs to make my messages known? (For everyone else who haven't met me - I am Deaf, and can't use the in-room phone to place such calls). Even so, the passenger-to-passenger texting will eliminate the need to walk over to the ASL interpreter's cabin, knock and hope they are in to give my daily interpreting schedule needs, or if not, write out a message on a whiteboard we both had on our doors (and hope that nobody walking by would erase them, as was the case several times). So even partial benefit is still a great asset!
  12. On a Carnival sailing where we had a group of 30 or so Deaf passengers and six ASL interpreters, a few of us went to the evening show. Knowing how the crowd would snag seats early, the interpreters went even earlier to reserve a group of seats near the front, on one side so we could have good sight-lines of the interpreters when the show started. One woman ignored the "reserved for Deaf" paper signs on the seats and parked herself in the middle of the front row of reserved seats. Deaf folks showed up, and many people will attest to the fact that we are HIGHY visible due to our flying fingers and animated conversations. Two folks (obviously a couple) were late to the seating and not having any option, sat on either side of this woman and continued to chat over her. No idea what the woman was complaining about, but one of the interpreters standing in front of us approached her and kindly suggested that she might be more comfortable in a seat elsewhere in the theater as this area was reserved for Deaf so they could see the interpreter. Normal people would have taken the hint and moved elsewhere but not her. She refused to move, saying she was there first (technically the interpreters were there first, but I digress). Okay now what? The show begins, the interpreters stand directly in front of her and block her view of the stage (remember? She was sitting in the middle of the roped off area) and tried to stretch their arms to interpret around her profile as we Deaf folks were craning our heads trying to see around her. (Not easy as the woman was a seat wiggler - turning around and bending over and throwing head and whatsover, which necessitated constant movement on our part to maintain a unbroken sightline to see the interpreter. I know the lady continued to complain as I could see her mouth moving, and the hearing CODAs getting annoyed with her (they were sitting with family members who were Deaf). Finally the lady had enough and summoned a staff and yelled at them to "move the finger lady somewhere else!" The staff, bless them, shook their head and explained that she was sitting in the Deaf section for access and made the same suggestion to relocate elsewhere. Lady stood up and threw a scene (something about having the right to sit wherever she wanted to and that "those deaf and dumb people" should move, not her. Why should 10 people and 6 interpreters move for one person? I was impressed at how the interpreter continued to work and maintain their cool even though they were ready to strangle the lady. A hearing person seated nearby (not Deaf, not part of the Deaf community, just a regular passenger) leaned over and told the lady "You have 500 other seats to choose from. They have 10. Do the math." That shut her up, and she huffed and packed up her stuff while sending us Deaf the death glare and made a racket moving up the aisle in search of better seats. (The other passengers were wonderful - they'd walk up, see the signs, nod, and move on elsewhere.)
  13. This was several years ago on a Carnival ship, with a group of 30 Deaf and signers (ie ASL interpreters off-duty, family members, CODAs, etc). We were seated in the dining room, split amongst several tables. 12 of us sat at one window-side table, another 8 across two four-person tables across the main aisle, and another 12 at the table next to the first. Anyone familiar with the Deaf community will understand how conversations are not kept to individual tables, but rather, cross over (as we as signers have the benefit of not needing to shout to be heard across the room). Not being familiar with the protocols of interrupting the conversation waves, the wait staff were at a lost of what to do - how to politely interrupt us when it was time to place orders ("Sir? Ready to order? Sir?" followed by silence as the waiter spoke to the back of the person's head *facepalm*), how to navigate the aisle without blocking someone's sight-lines, and how to not panic among the flying fingers. One waiter stood off to the side, looked around, surveyed his options, and limboed through the conversation WHILE carrying a loaded tray, thinking if he walked down low, we could see across his belly. It was a VERY good limbo, going through 6-8 feet before returning to upright pose and walked on as if it was a normal thing to do. It had the opposite effect that he had hoped - the conversations stopped, fingers froze in midair and all 30 heads swiveled to the waiter in shock. Laughter soon followed. They did eventually figure it out (through observation, change of position when speaking to us, using gestures and mimes and pointing to menus, etc) and actually asking us "Okay, how do we do this? Hold up the menu? Wave to get your attention? Okay. Taps to shoulders okay? Yes? What's the sign for *point to object*?, etc) For the record - the most polite thing is just WALK through. Don't stop, don't apologize, don't make a big show out of it, don't walk in and pause and apologize. Just walk through normally. Yes we'd miss a sign or two but we are good at figuring it out and asking for clarification when needed. But that limboing waiter.... that was a priceless scene. (We did ask for a reenactment to see if he could do it again without falling to the floor - he bent down SO LOW doing it).
  14. Found this old post, but cannot respond to that as it has been archived, so this is my next option! Trying to order the photos in the right order, but alas the photos are not showing up. I'm trying to remember the order of the paintings as shown on (the front?) the stairwell of the Nieuw Amsterdam. Hopefully someone can match the right photo to the missing ones in the link: Nieuw Amsterdam paintings by Captain Card. I do have two snapshots I took, but unfortunately the others didn't turn out well. (I'm updating my journal and wanted accuracy in the details, hence the request, as I'm writing a fiction book based on it).
  15. I saw recently on the book of the faces, that HAL updated its Navigator app, and that it now includes shipboard texting! So excited about that (and glad they listened to feedback from me and probably others for the need of one). My question is: Can one text Guest Services or the room service department? (ie can I text someone "Please bring me tea and cookies to stateroom XXXX?" Or is that still somewhere in the future? What have your experiences been with the texting part on the app?
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