September 24, 2018

A Calm Day At Sea

The seas remain flat, our speed constant at about 15 knots. There are a few clouds that provide a break in the sunshine with temperatures in the mid 80's. Being on deck 8 this week, there is no engine noise. The same can not be said for some of the 400 kids on the ship, some of which are still running all over the ship screaming and yelling at midnight.

As we pass the western tip of Cuba a flock of seagulls fly along side the ship for hours. They don't attempt to land but just fly alongside at exactly the same speed as the ship. Maybe our presence gives them confidence for their flight, wherever it is taking them.

This class of ships is one of the few that actually has a dedicated movie theater.  With limited seating, and not easily adaptable to other uses, its only function is showing movies several times a day. A few days ago one of the movies was "Overboard". Today I enjoyed "Adrift". Both very appropriate showings for cruise ship passengers.  A few years ago Titanic was a favorite.

The lounge was barely full last night, the number of loyalty customers being much lower than last trip. I heard only 14 pinnacle guests, 8 still here from the last trip.

I don't know exactly why, but having everyone set their clocks back an hour has not gone without a few hitches. A number of times listed in the Compass would be accurate if we hadn't changed time. Most of the public ship clocks, but not all, reflect the change, and the time displayed on the navigation channel is off by an hour. I'll just blame it on a new captain, a new cruise director, and a ship that hasn't been to Grand Cayman recently. I trust my old technology wind up pocket watch.

The seas remain calm as I retire for the night at 10:30, or 9:30, depending on the clock.

Georgetown, Grand Cayman, is a tender port and we will remain in a fixed position several miles off shore for the day after our arrival at 7:00 local time.

Turnaround in Tampa

I managed to send the wrong email in the wrong order so I expect you will find an incomplete post out of order. I have no way to fix it, so it be.

Most of you are probably unaware, but posts are made by me sending an email to a special account.  Software extracts the contents and writes the posts to the blog. The date of the blog is the date received, which is not necessarily the date written about, or the date sent. I do not see the actual blog while travelling.

The lounge was very busy last night and all guests were kicked out at 8:30 for a private function for some officers, possibly a farewell for the captain and others leaving today.

There is a rumor that today will be health inspection, if so boarding may be delayed.  I will know better later in the day. Incidently we were never given any feedback on the inspection last Monday. Often we are told, maybe only when the inspection report is good?

Yesterday was a little cooler and there were some late afternoon showers. Seas have been good for the entire 5 days.

It is a bright sunny day in Tampa. We are being refueled. Some ships can carry enough fuel to cruise for about 30 days, but no one will say how much fuel is on board at a particular time. I would expect substantially less than their maximum, especially when doing 4 and 5 day cruises.

Disembarkation started late, but progresses rapidly. Departing crew members, contract workers and back to back guests were off the ship by 10, and I was back on by 10:30.

There is one crew of about 20 workers  that boarded in Europe to work on the internet system. It must be a complete redo as they are installing new cable in many areas throughout the ship and don't expect to finish for another month. For the techies, all Cisco equipment.

There is another crew changing out ceiling light fixtures. I think from halogen to CFL. Why not LED I don't know.

This ship is showing its age more than most. Numerous elevator buttons are non functional. One elevator goes into "overloaded" alarm when the car is about half full, the passengers quickly adapted to this autonomous behavior.

The glass door to the concierge lounge slams shut instead of closing slowly. Last night when also caught by a strong breeze from the open outside door the door header ripped loose and crashed to the floor. Fortunately no one was in harms way.

Hopefully repairs will continue while the ship is in service as another drydock isn't scheduled for over 4 years.

The dock is stacked with dozens of pallets of provisions. Trucks arrive in a steady stream unloading everything from apples to zucchini. I see more pallets of eggs than anything else.

Cabins on different decks will be ready at different times. Last week deck 3 wasn't ready until 2:00, this week I am on deck 8 and rooms are to be ready by 1:00. If I were staying in the same cabin, it would be done first before all the others.

My cabin this week on deck 8 is in much better condition than my cabin of last week, possibly totally refreshed during the April refurbishment.

Usually at the muster drill the crew has a list of passengers so they can just check off attendance. Not this week, they just wrote down every cabin number. Impossible to see who is missing.

I decide to go to the show tonight. Another plan that doesn't pan out.  The entertainer never made it on board. Hopefully he will catch the ship in the next port.

The seas remain calm as we head to Grand Cayman. Tomorrow is a sea day. Since we will  be spending two days in the next time zone, we set our clocks back an hour, I retire even earlier.