11 September 2018

Today I won’t bore you with cancer fatigue…. I am quite bored of it myself 😉

9/11 – I was onboard Caronia (the picture was taken in Spitzbergen, but my digital photos only started in 2002) heading towards New York…. we were to debark all our guests there before starting on a Golden Fall cruise up the East Coast. I will never forget the day, sitting on my concierge desk, when Franz passed by, casually saying – I plane just flew into the World Trade Center. Chief Purser Hans had a tiny weeny TV in his office and we all assembled around it, debating that it was probably just a sports plane, when a second plane hit. We were docked in the Bahamas, no telephone connections, as all broke down…. the atmosphere was horrible…. there were people crying, because they had relatives, who worked in the twin towers, while others complained about the food on their tour excursion….. it is a day I will never forget and the days afterwards either… I was in constant contact with our Miami office and once it was clear that we would be detoured to Boston, we worked day and night to rebook flights, organise busses to NYC and pile any guest, who wanted it onboard the QE2, which was also detoured to Boston…. Helen Panagos was my key contact in Miami office 24/7…. she was amazing and only after this was over she told me that she was due any day!!!

We arrived in Boston and I had a gun in my face, as I was not allowed off the ship…. well, I was in charge of debarkation, so I was finally allowed, but my radio had to be switched off…. I was not allowed to go even near the QE2, where my then boyfriend worked, but we managed in the end to quickly see each other for 5 minutes, when a police dog freaked, as there was a trace of explosives in one of the suitcases…. it was a hunting jacket, but we were careful and scared. Boston airport had just been opened and the planes would land over our heads…. we rugged every time…. I could go on and on, but my point is, that we all got closer together, looked after each other and got out of it unlike a lot of others!

Live your life, enjoy every moment and be kind to each other! I will spend the afternoon with my kids and Simone and her kids in our garden – summer is back!

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