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Sundance Cruises-Seattle


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Hi,

 

First of all, a little background.

 

Before the ship was converted to a luxury vessel it sailed between Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland.

 

My father had the overall responsibility for rebuilding the ship in 1984. It was done in Oskarshamn, Sweden, and during the trip to Vancouver and perhaps even after that.

 

He got to know the man who worked as the interior designer, Mr Val Thornton. My father asked him if it was possible for me to stay with him and his family in Bellevue, Seattle, USA. And he said yes!

 

Therefore, my father gave me a job on the ship. I should be a helper to the Swedish worker who was rebuilding the ship.

 

I think that It took about 1 mounth or more from Oskarshamn to Vancouver in Canada. There, Val Thornton picked me up by car and we drove to his home in Bellevue. I went home to Sweden in september 1984.

 

I remember a few things from the journey with Sundancer. Me and some Swedish workers took a walk in Miami. It was raining, so I wanted to buy an umbrella. We went in to a shop and I asked for a PARACHUTE. I don´t know why I said that. But the employee in the shop thought it was fun!

 

Again, me and some Swedish workers together with some of the female crewmembers from the USA went out to have some fun in, Miami, If I remember correctly. We went to a dance-hall.

 

Another time, some of us spent a few hours in San Francisco.

 

Do you remember where the crewmembers from the USA came to Sundancer? Which town was it?

 

I met one of the crewmembers, a 25 years old girl from the USA on Sundancer. I was 20 years old. I don´t recall her name. Maybe Kathlyn or something like that. She had the task of making the stay aboard as pleasant as possible for the passengers. I know that once she danced with a few passengers. Another time she sat in a room with books and games, I think.

 

It would be nice to be able to contact her.

 

 

 

Me and Val Thornton went to see Sundancer after the accident. We also met some of the crewmembers. It was a big room with many tables... I talked with “Kathlyns” best friend onboard. She said that she knew that I would come to visit them... “Kathlyn” wasn´t in the room.

 

I can attach some photos the next time if you wish.

 

 

 

Peter Olausson

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  • 2 years later...

To everyone that has left comments on this old thread.

I only recently picked it up by chance after Google-ing a search for pictures of MV Sundancer !

My curiosity stems from the fact that I too was a waiter on both Sundancer AND Stardancer, having joined both from day 1 in Oskarshamn in, Sweden and Hamburg Germany respectively.

People thought I was bonkers joining another ship of the same company after the infamous Campbell River 'incident' involving the Sundancer in June 84 !....

After having eventually abandoned ship....I actually stepped from the deck outside the Dining Room by the swimming pool directly onto the bow of a tug that had pulled up alongside the ship, which by that point was listing at a very precarious angle. I was however encouraged to hear and calmed somewhat  by the Swedish crew who very calmly informed informed me that there was no imminent danger of the ship going over, as it had now settled on the seabed...HURRAH !!!....so much so that they gave me a beer and cigarette whilst we patiently waited until the tug could take us off !

Unfortunately I have no photos ( well I wouldn't, as everything I owned was by this time underwater!!) and could only find a few that were taken presumably by local press.

After an overnight reprieve in what I think was a Canadian Air Force base, or some similar establishment, I remember that along with the rest of the crew, we were transferred by ferry....(yes, we had to get on another ship after that ordeal ! )to Vancouver, where we were put up in a very pleasant Hotel for a week, until arrangements could be made to fly us all to our respective home countries

I did join the  MV Stardancer the following year in Oskarshamn, and did yet another passenger free transatlantic trip to Miami before making the long trip via Panama and the US West coast eventually ending up back in Vancouver for 'the season'

To be honest, shortly afterwards it dawned on me that I'd had enough of Alaska, beautiful as it is, and the novelty of the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau and 'too much like home'weather in Ketchikan was beginning to bore me, and I didn't relish the thought of a return to the Miami - Caribbean mass transit, floating rat race !
So for better or worse that's when I decided to quit ship life and travel home for a change of career direction, although not SO different, as I ended up in the travel business, only as a landlubber !!

Having worked aboard various ships of RCCL, NCL and lastly Sundance Cruises,  I will finish up by categorically saying that from all aspects, work, social and travel, I had a wonderful few years at sea, gaining a lot of experience and meeting some truly remarkable people....fellow crew members, locals and even the odd passenger or two !

I even served ex US President Jimmy Carter on the Song of Norway (RCCL) !

But in my opinion there's only a certain number of capsizing Cruise Ships a man can go through, and one was enough for me thanks !

If by any chance any ex-crew or passengers of either Sun and / or Stardancer has any shipboard photos they're prepared to share, I'd love to see them ...and maybe a chat to reminisce!

The photo below was taken aboard RCCL's Song of Norway in Cayman sometime over Christmas 1983 !.....(.it's actually just struck me as how long ago it all was !!!)

Kind regards to you all, and when we get out of this current mess, I wish you all  HAPPY AND SAFE TRAVELS

Gary

Should anyone wish to contact me, I'm at

gazzah18@yahoo.co.uk 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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