Rod Baker

ROD BAKER’s tale of great service anytime … any place

A while back, She Who Must Be Obeyed, (aka Heather) and I were looking for a holiday in Spain and decided to take a cruise around the country – and then out to the Canaries, Las Palmas, and a holiday to Tenerife. So we duly maxed out our credit cards and flew off to the UK, via Amsterdam.

After a week or so with our elder son, his wife and our one-year-old grandson, we motored down to Southampton to board The Independence of The Seas. She’s massive, but I digress…

Once we had boarded we explored the ship, got lost, found our way, got lost again, and eventually made it back to our stateroom (it’s great – they even have a balcony). And as I had imbibed somewhat over lunch, I retired to the bathroom, wherein I did my best to emulate the pose of Rodin’s The Thinker.

While I sat posing, there was a knock on the door –  right next to the bathroom. Heather answered and was greeted with a very cheery: “Allo, Meeses Heather, my name is Enrique, and I em your stateroom attendant. May I come in? Just to explen ’ow the TV remote works and answer any questions.”

“Er, ah, certainly… Come in…”

He did – and I was quiet as a church mouse facing Garfield as I heard the two of them walk past me and into the sitting area.

“So, where is Meester Rod-reek?”

“Oh, he’s in the bathroom.”

I thought his pronunciation rather apt, but stayed silent. Enrique didn’t. He upped the volume.

“ALLO MEESTER ROD-REEK. ’OW ARE YOU. WELCOME TO INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS.”

I almost fell off my perch.

“Ah! Fine thanks.”

“THA’S GOOD. I JUST TELL MEES HEATHER ABOUT THE REMOTE.’

He then proceeded to tell SWMBO all about the remote – channel changing, excursion bookings, accounts checking, but interspersed it at somewhat distressingly regular intervals with:

“ALLO MEESTER ROD-REEK, YOU HEARING ALL THIS. YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?” to which my answers every time were: “No, I’m fine, thanks.”

After just a couple of minutes he had explained all and made ready to leave –  and I made ready to breathe again. As he passed the door, he paused…

“ALLO, MEESTER ROD-REEK, SEE YOU SOON,” whereupon I replied cheerily: “Great, many thanks,” and then for some unaccountable reason, wiggled my toes through the 30mm gap at the foot of the door that allows aircon air in and the bathroom extractor fan to do its job.

“AH, MEESTER ROD-REEK, I SEE YOUR TOES.”

And with that he was on his way.

Forget the somewhat weird conversation, the service Enrique gave us during the entire voyage was second to none – not even allowing a bathroom door to prevent a healthy conversation.

However SWMBO is under strict instructions that next time, she makes some excuse and keeps the door shut!