Reykjavik for ever

5 Jun

“This is your captain speakin. Unfortunately, do to bade whether, we can not land at the port of Kiikwha.” After a few failed attempts of imagining English pronunciation the captain of the ABC RypMeOff hands the microphone over to its barely more capable cruise director, who explains to us that the port of Kirkwall will not be available for this cruise, despite being promised and booked.

Apparently there is a tsunami, or hurricane, or some other weather concoction that is blocking us from landing in Orkney, or any alternative harbour between Iceland and Hamburg. Thus, ABC Cruises is striking the final port of this cruise from the list, and instead adds yet another day in Reykjavik.

Reyjavik - port and city

Reyjavik is pretty enough, but not really more than a city with a rocky beach.

Now, for the paying passenger that is just as well, seeing that most of them will probably claim a refund for the missed port. Some might even get to trade their Orkney Adventure against a trip around the geysers, those iconic geological trademarks that the crew aboard this ship is not allowed to visit.

The greater tragedy is that we already spent the past 38 hours in Reykjavik, and another day won’t make Iceland’s biggest city any more interesting. I doubt that its churches and office buildings hold up to the careful scrutiny of our passengers, who are already bored out of their wits. Today they still have trips booked, and tours planned, but tomorrow is quite a different story. I just hope they don’t hang around the photo booth all night, complaining to us, just because we speak better English than the receptionists.

Meanwhile, photographers are kept from boredom with yet another training session, and a great bonus shooting in the restaurants. Our manager has reinvented a brilliant plan for coaxing greater picture counts out of an unsatisfied crowd: the Officer. Two members of our photo team trade their white shirt and dark-blue jacket against a white shirt with officer-like shoulder pieces, two others run alongside them through the restaurants at dinner time, attempting to make pictures with the passengers and our official dress-up dolls.

My schedule actually says “shoot officer”, and reminiscing their complicity in this humiliating endeavour I would much rather do that instead. The dreadful faces of our photo victims speak of confusion and hatred, and we are once more reminded of how much the passengers despise our photo department. Somehow I doubt that they will be any more approachable during tomorrow’s gala dinner.

The port of Reykjavik at night

Now THAT is a pretty sight. Unfortunately we don’t shoot this, but rather the interior of the ship. Every day.

Why do our managers steadily invent new ways of pestering the passengers, yet refuse to agree to any form of reimbursement for their broken promises? These people booked a classy tour around the North Sea. Of course they disapprove of these attempts at making it a floating carnival! If I was a paying guest aboard this vessel, and I got disrespected the way they do, I would probably sit at the bar all night, drink free whiskey, and sing sea shanties until the manager offers me his cabin.

Alas, I am no passenger, and at my current pay rate I won’t ever be able to afford such an upgrade. So I continue my career as a sophisticated beggar, and roam the bowels of the swimming mall until my schedule demands that I return to my tiny cubby. And all that in beautiful grey Reykjavik!


Despite all tragedy I updated my photo gallery of Reykjavik with some really beautiful pictures. Have a look:

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