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Tommy Stark's Pages

Page 3
Back on the Kungsholm in 2010

Tommy Stark was a crew member on the Kungsholm from June 28, 1971 until May 1973.


Tommy Stark and Captain Dimitris Daoutis

See photos from the cruise

A final journey on the beautiful Kungsholm………..in June 2010

As a former crew member, and a regular viewer on the web site salship.se, I realized a couple of months ago during spring 2010, that this is the final season for her in cruise service. At the end of August there will be no more cruises.

So, I took the decision to do a “nostalgic” trip as a passenger – and I have now returned from this wonderful week on the Kungsholm ….( It says “Mona Lisa” on the bow, but that is another story….).

I embarked the ship in Kiel , Germany , and first port of call was Copenhagen , Denmark , and then Oslo , Stavanger , the Geiranger Fjord and Bergen , all Norway , before we returned and disembarked in Bremerhaven , Germany after one week.

My cabin was U15 (on the Mona Lisa Aloha 15), same deck as the Purser´s office.

The passengers were all Germans, except for three recently graduated students from Columbia University in New York . One of them was writing an article about Kungsholm for a British Ship Magazine, and then me being a Swede and a former crew member on the ship.

The crew represented about eighteen different nations. In the dining room, in the bars & lounges and cabins there were a majority of Ucrainians, several of the officers were from Greece , so also the captain.

The daily procedures were breakfast with two location options, Dining Room or Snack Bar, same during lunch. Dinner in the Dining Room with two seatings. During the afternoon, coffee and cakes were served at the Snack Bar. There was also an A la Carte Restaurant “Da Vinci” located in the enclosed promenade, aft port side, Promenade Deck. During one of the evenings I accompanied a nice German couple, and there we got an upgraded dinner, and paid an extra charge for this.

During the evenings the bars were open, and almost every evening there were performances, live music and dance performers - very professional.

During the cruise I talked to several of the crew, also the Captain Dimitris Daoutis, and they all really enjoyed working on this beautiful ship. I also showed them a binder including pictures and prospects from the Kungsholm. At the “welcome-on-board-party” the captain had a speech about the history of the ship, and then he also invited me to a discussion around one or two smoke stacks…… of course I was in favor of the two, as the Kungsholm had.

During the cruise, I had the opportunity to talk a lot with the Food & Beverage manger, Carlos Tavares, a very nice person and also very professional.

He showed me around in the crew quarters, and I also got to see my old cabins on C - & B deck. It was amazing, since it was 37 years since I left the ship, how you easily could find the way around in the crew quarters.

I also had the privilege to talk to the Crew Manager Elena Dimcheva, an important position for the crew. Onboard they now have a good balance between men & women, also among the officers .

The major interior changes onboard, was on the Veranda Deck (now Riviera ) where the Aft Bar and Lounges are replaced by cabins. Occantionally, during the week I was heading for the Aft Bar, and then realized that it was gone. On the deck above - aft, Promenade Deck, they have made the Coral Bar & Lounge, located where the old Sport´s Room used to be.

In the Crew quarters, the Crew Bar was moved from the old location (now a recreation room) to an integrated part of the Crew Canteen. Now they do not sell only beer and soft drinks…..

One day at sea, I had the opportunity to be guided by the Chief Engineer down to the Engine Room. Rather noisy, but very interesting to see. There were also some Swedish signs down at the engine room.

And finally, I was very honored to receive an invitation to the Captains Table and the Farwell dinner. If someone, 37 years ago when I was on the ship, would have told me, that I would return to the ship on a cruise and also be invited to the Captains Table, I would never have believed that. The guests at his table were very nice and we had an enjoyable evening together. After the Dinner, and before the show, we were also invited to the Bridge.

Now, I am very pleased to have been onboard on one of her final cruises, experiencing the atmosphere, the sounds and the vibrations at sea, the special smell on C-deck and the beauty of this ship, all the wood details etc.

The crew onboard acted very professional, and were always alert. I hope all these people will get a continuous good career, even if they will probably not find another ship like the Kungsholm.

Hopefully, Mr Lars G Hallgren, who is the one taking over the Kungsholm in September, will manage to get all the decisions from the local authorities in Göteborg, in order to make her a floating hotel and probably also a museum. Best of Luck !

Best Regards,

Tommy

tommy.stark@swipnet.se

See photos from the cruise

 

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