Local News

‘I’m amazed’: P.E.I. man finally experiences cruise ship magic



CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Leonard Wooden has been an enormous fan of cruise ships ever since they began coming into Charlottetown.

In actual fact, for the previous 15 years, he has had his photograph taken with virtually each one that has sailed into P.E.I.’s capital metropolis.

Nevertheless, he had at all times been on the surface wanting in – till Might 31 when he crossed the gangway from the dock at Port Charlottetown and onto a luxurious liner for the primary time.

The Zaandam cruise ship of Holland America Line helped make this want occur for the resident of Belfast, P.E.I., by placing collectively a tour for him to take a look at the cruise ship. In addition they organized a shock celebration for Wooden, who’s turning 87 on June 1.

His daughter, Robin John, and three grandchildren joined him for the tour.

“I really feel unbelievable. I’m amazed and I’m a little bit nervous, however that’s solely pure. I do know I’ll by no means see something like this once more,” Wooden informed SaltWire as he was touring the Zaandam.

“I do not know the way one thing so huge and delightful might be within the ocean.”

Leonard Wood and his daughter, Robin John, dance together in the Ocean Bar on Deck 5 of the Zaandam on May 31, 2023. - Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire
Leonard Wooden and his daughter, Robin John, dance collectively within the Ocean Bar on Deck 5 of the Zaandam on Might 31, 2023. – Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire

An emotional dance

It was Robin John who made the tour occur for her dad.

She posted in a Fb group a few month in the past, sharing her dad’s story and the way a lot he loves cruise ships. Many Islanders responded positively to the story and one among them put her in contact with Holland America Line. The corporate determined to place collectively a tour for him to see the Zaandam.

“There was a whole lot of great those that reached out and helped me make this occur, so I am very grateful,” John mentioned.

The tour began with workers members taking Wooden and the household to totally different areas on the ship, together with the Ocean Bar. As music was taking part in, John requested her father if he might rise up from his wheelchair and share a dance.

“I needed to take that chance … understanding that it could be the one alternative,” John mentioned, her voice breaking.

She has been caring for her father for years as he has been via a lot of well being points. He misplaced a watch to glaucoma, and he relied on incapacity advantages for a very long time due to work-related accidents. He additionally had a coronary heart assault six years in the past, John mentioned.

Listed below are some fast details about Zaandam:

• Variety of passengers: 1432

• Size: 781 ft

• Width: 105.8 ft.

• Zaandam’s décor is impressed by music and options musical devices together with signed guitars from Queen, Iggy Pop, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones and a Baroque-style pipe organ.

Supply: hollandamerica.com

In 2021, he fell, broke a hip and wanted to have a hip substitute. Throughout that point, the docs discovered a big aneurysm on his aorta, which was ultimately deemed inoperable.

“The specialist ended up saying that he was at too excessive of a threat to do that surgical procedure,” John mentioned.

“So, we at all times simply take each alternative we are able to to do one thing that he enjoys, and that is simply past something that I might have ever hoped for.”

After John requested, her father bought up – with some assist from the household – and danced along with her.

“It’s like … I used to be not on the ground once I was dancing along with her,” Wooden mentioned, considering again about that second.

The Zaandam's captain, Ane Smit, left, chats with Leonard Wood and his daughter, Robin John, as they tour the bridge on May 31, 2023. - Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire
The Zaandam’s captain, Ane Smit, left, chats with Leonard Wooden and his daughter, Robin John, as they tour the bridge on Might 31, 2023. – Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire

Unforgettable birthday

Wooden and his household then went as much as the bridge the place he met the captain of the ship, Ane Smit.

When Holland American Line heard concerning the P.E.I. man’s life-long love for cruise ships, the corporate, with out hesitation, determined to plan a tour of the Zaandam for him when the ship got here to Charlottetown on its strategy to Montreal.

“We make individuals comfortable. That’s what we do. That’s our enterprise,” Smit mentioned. “We’re very glad that we might try this for him.”

The tour ended with an enormous shock for Wooden when his household took him to the nice eating restaurant on the ship, referred to as the Pinnacle Grill. As he opened the door, he was met with a few dozen family and friends, who launched into an enthusiastic rendition of Comfortable Birthday.

Along with a birthday cake, he was showered with a lot of Zaandam-inspired items from the corporate. One in every of them was a blue mug emblazoned with the title of the ship.

“No person makes use of this however me,” Wooden informed everybody within the room with amusing.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button