Some of my most rewarding cruise experiences have been not about the places I’ve visited by ships but about the people I’ve met on ships. Ramelan Lidan has worked on ships for 14 years. I caught up him on Holland America Line’s Oosterdam, where he told me that his love of the sea started with a photo of his uncle at the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
“That one picture is the reason I am working on a ship today,” he says. Ramelan has since seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa. In fact, he’s seen most of Europe, and most of the world for that matter, having done two world cruises.
“I’m a bit of an explorer,” he says. “My co-workers usually jump in a taxi to the city center. Not me. I walk. And I never walk the same way twice.”
He has pictures from his travels, including one of him at Pisa. “I was happy to be there, because it reminded me of when I was a kid and saw that picture of my uncle standing at the leaning tower,” he says.
And do you know what Ramelan Lidan did? He bought a souvenir Leaning Tower of Pisa,
but not just any souvenir. His was the largest available, more than three feet tall. It sits in his home to remind him of where his journey began.