Stowaway on the ms Ryndam!

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Orange County, Calif
22,010 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Loved this story, thanks so much for posting it.
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Holland America-46-cruises
Royal Caribbean-2-cruises
Greater Vancouver
4,935 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Cute story. Don't blame him for coming back to ship from Portugal - that language is too difficult to learn. He was smart to wait until Spain. Had one hang out on my balcony in Toronto for 3 days. Fed him budgie bird seed and water. He finally took off after pooping all over the place. I'd go out a couple of times a day & pick him up and toss him off but he came right back. Cleaning up after him was no picnic.
Also when I was eating breakfast in my cabin at Canada Place on April 18 a sea gull came for a visit and ate all I put out for him that I didn't want. They are great scavengers.
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Southern CA
3,061 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by Cruzer Two
Stowaway on the ms Ryndam

As we rounded the southern tip of Florida on our Tampa to Barcelona cruise in March we picked up a hitchhiker. A carrier pigeon from Cuba decided that he would take up temporary residence on the Rydam, where passengers were eager to provide a free meal.

We know our friend was from Cuba because of a leg-band worn on the right leg. The captain did a little research and discovered that Carrier Pigeons are still used in Cuba to transmit election results from outlying areas. Election results - hmmmm! Our friend must have gotten tired of carrying the mail and decided to defect from his/her native land of Cuba.

The pigeon was so happy with the new accommodations he/she stayed on for the entire transatlantic crossing. During our port call in the Azores the pigeon went ashore for the entire day, so we thought we had seen the end of this bird. However, shortly before time to sail our friend came back on-board and continued the cruise with us to Spain. I guess he/she didn’t care too much for Ponta Delgada. We thought it was quite nice!

Our first port of call in Spain was Cadiz. Evidently, the pigeon liked this city as much as I did because he left the ship never to return. I suppose he/she has found a Spanish mate and is leading the good life.

When we return to Cadiz next March on the Noordam I expect to see lots of baby pigeons strutting around Plaza de San Juan de Dios smoking Cuban cigars.

Wow completely fantastic.
2,965 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
This is a wonderful story. I am happy that so many people enjoyed his/her company. The "rats with wings" characterization is just awful.

Did he have to attend lifeboat drill?
Carolina Coast
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Thanks for the grins !!
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America's Hometown
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Great stories! Thanks so much for sharing...
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Originally posted by OCruisers
Loved your pigeon story! Thanks!

Wonder if someone will notice his leg band and think he flew all the way there from Cuba.

Arewethereyet .... What's the story on your stowaway?

He came aboard in Key West. I tried to get him to clean up his poop, but he just laughed and walked away.

You've never been put down until a pigeon laughs at you.
Homosassa, Fl and Colunbia, MD
2,301 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
My niece found a sparrow in the scupper on a Caribbean cruise on NCL. The poor thing was bedraggled, shivering and was too weak to move. She went and reported the bird to the purser's desk.

The lady at the desk told my niece not to worry, they found stowaway birds all the time and were prepared to deal with it. My niece would not leave the bird alone and went back up on desk to stay with the bird.

A NCL deckhand showed up with a small cage equipped with a water bottle and feeder. He carefully placed the bird inside and said the bird would be kept until the next port and then let go.
2,125 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
That's too funny lol LOVE IT!

We had visitors in Glacier Bay last September. That's the Grand Pacific Glacier in the background. This seagull kept swooping in, starting at the front of the ship and flying within feet of the balcony railing, all the way to the stern. He would fly by close enough to touch. I'm guessing he's used to the cruise ships and knows if he flys by enough times, someone will hold out a snack lol

363 hungry sea gull by Rescue-Diver, on Flickr
South Carolina
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Joined Dec 2001
Originally posted by arewethereyet
He came aboard in Key West. I tried to get him to clean up his poop, but he just laughed and walked away.

You've never been put down until a pigeon laughs at you.
Thanks for "the rest of the story".

Yours was actually sort of pretty ... except for the POOP!

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Happy Sailing! OCruisers (LuLu & Roundman)
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New Hampshire
877 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
I too was on this sailing and Cruizer Two did a good job explaining our Pigeon. The only thing I would like to add is that the Captain said that they actually had picked up the Pigeon two sailings back. They were doing 7 day Caribbean cruises out of Tampa. So they had had the Pigeon on board for two weeks before we even got there. Obviously the Pigeon was wanting to go abroad.

The Captain felt that the Pigeon would do very well in Spain since he was sure he would be picking up a copy of Rosetta Stone.

Cathy in New Hampshire
Fla Treasure Coast
778 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Great stories from everyone!!!
Thanks for sharing
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Mike and Carol
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Henderson NV
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Joined Apr 2005
Did anyone write down the letters and numbers on the leg band? If so we might be able to find out where he was from.

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Randy Hees

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When we did our transatlantic on the Noordam in 2010, we had numerous stowaways, most of them little birds, but also some sort of Falcon. On one of his daily talks, the captain (John Scott) pointed out that during the 7 days Atlantic transit, the Falcon was catching the little birds one by one, so not all stowaway stories have a happy ending I am afraid.
Central Wisconsin
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Joined Mar 2006
While I do enjoy the stories, there can be a very unfortunate down side to stowaways. The introduction of non native animals can have disastrous effect on the environment. The Norway rat and Brown Tree snakes are probably the best known examples.
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Great story..
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Originally posted by Randy H
Did anyone write down the letters and numbers on the leg band? If so we might be able to find out where he was from.

The Captain on the Ryndam said they had looked at the legband and that it was from a pigeon club in Cuba,they had gotten in contact with a pigeon club (can´t remember wich one)9 In the USA ,but they said they were not allowed to contact the club where the pigeon came from because it came from Cuba !!
Silly !!
Hope it is doing OK in Cadiz and someone has a look at the legband and notifies the Cuban club
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There is a review in the reviews section of this cruise. The writer did not like the pigeon hitching a ride and was quite angry that nobody would deal with the bird and get rid of it.
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