29
Oct 2013

Chance Encounters on Holland America Line Cruises

Submitted by: HAB Editorial Team
Kees van der Kooy spotted himself on Eurodam in a 1961 photo.
Kees van der Kooy spotted himself on Eurodam in a 1961 photo.

Miraculous things can happen at any time. Some call it fate, others destiny. Sometimes it’s just being in the right place at the right time. With Holland America Line’s history spanning more than 140 years, it’s inevitable that many of our guests experience these encounters onboard.

These wonderful stories below tell the tales of four different guests. One was taken back to his youth, another was reunited with a long-lost family member and two came home again to their Holland America Line family.

Enjoy these heartwarming stories, and tell us … Did you have a chance encounter on your Holland America Line cruise? Did fate step in and play an important part of your vacation? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Eurodam’s Hotel Director Stan Kuppens sent in this remarkable story about a guest who needed to do a double-take in a corridor onboard.

Kees van der Kooy recently sailed on ms Eurodam and to his surprise, while walking in the corridor on Deck 4 he all of a sudden looked himself in the eyes … 52 years later.

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On ms Eurodam we have black and white photos hanging in the guest corridors for decor. Guests love these black and white photos and often walk around the ship looking at them. We have pictures of ships, crew, ship building and also of guests.

Kees van der Kooy was on the ss Rotterdam 52 years ago on the “Tulip Sailing” from New York to Rotterdam. His parents (also in the photos) were heading permanently back home to Holland after staying and working in Curacao for 10 years. On this sailing several pictures were taken and obviously later used by VFD (our Interior Designer) to be placed onboard the ms Eurodam as corridor art.

You can imagine the surprise when Kees saw himself in the 1961 photos of him and his family. The event taking place in the pictures was “Create Your Own Hat” in which the guests had to dress themselves up. Kees was wearing a fur hat and he made a Tulip Hat (very appropriate for the Tulip Sailing they were on) for his father. The captain thought this hat was so creative that he awarded Kees and his father with a price … a Delft Blue House that Kees still has on display above the fireplace at his home. — Eurodam Hotel Director Stan Kuppens

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Here’s an incredible tale about a chance encounter with a family member while sailing on Prinsendam.

Edna and J. Richard Airey, with Joanne and Gary Graf in the Pinnacle Grill for our final evening together.

Edna and J. Richard Airey with Joanne and Gary Graf in the Pinnacle Grill.

Sailing last year around the Iberian Peninsula on the Prinsendam, I received a call from the front office, saying a lady wanted to speak to me. She had found my room key, which I had lost the previous day, and recognized my name. When I answered her call, she asked if I was Auntie Edna, as she had found my card with my full name on it and figured there could not be two people with that name. Of course I realized she was my Canadian niece whom I had not seen for years, and made a date to meet in the bar that evening.

What fun when she and her husband met my husband and me in the bar! Somehow we recognized each other even though I had seen her only once since she was a child. What a coincidence that she would be on the same cruise and then find my key! We had a great time getting reacquainted over the next two weeks, and we are now in constant touch. This chance meeting was the icing on the cake on a really great cruise. — Edna Airey

Sometimes it’s nice to go home again to a place that was a big part of your life, like these two former crew members.

Volendam had two special guests on a recent cruise that used to be dining room stewards on Holland America Line in 1969. Adolf Eitzenberger and Bernard Oost both worked on ms Statendam and shared “then” and “now” photos.

Dining room stewards Bernard Oost, right, and Adolf Eitzenberger on Statendam in 1969.

Dining room stewards Bernard Oost, right, and Adolf Eitzenberger on Statendam in 1969.

From left: Assistant Dining Room Manager Raymond van Hoorn, Bernard Oost, Adolf Eitzenberger (back), Assistant Dining Room Manager Aris Nurdianto and Dining Room Greeter Putu Andara on their recent cruise.

From left: Assistant Dining Room Manager Raymond van Hoorn, Bernard Oost, Adolf Eitzenberger (back), Assistant Dining Room Manager Aris Nurdianto and Dining Room Greeter Putu Andara on their recent cruise.

1 Comment

  1. I am looking for Kees Bax, purser on the New Amsterdam in 1957. He was also on the Statendam and Groote Beer. He was born in Leiderdorp. I hope he is still alive. He would be in
    His early 80s. I never forgot him and love him still. Thank you!!!

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