December 15, 2018

Labadee, Haiti

The weather remains perfect, temperatures in the mid 70's, sunny skies, and a light breeze.  The ship arrives in Labadee, one of Royal's private islands, right on time at 10:00 AM.  After breakfast in Central Park, my first task of the day is a bridge tour at 10:30.

A young officer is our guide. He has been on the Harmony since she was being built 18 months ago, and shares a few interesting details. Despite her height and size, she can move sideways in a controlled mannner against 50 MPH winds.

Her bow thrusters have more power than the combined capability of all the tugboats in Port Everglades.  The only times she has used her stabilizers has been during sea trials and during aqua show performances.  Interestingly during the aqua shows the ship will often alter course and always deploy the stabilizers to provide the safest enviornment for the divers. It was confirmed that the delay in the show yesterday was so the ship could get far enough from the harbor so she could alter course for the divers.

I have heard this before, but not in a long time. There is a complete redundant bridge in another location of the ship. 

Starting salaries for graduating licensed officers is about $70,000 per year. Not in the cruise line industry, but in the commercial maritime fleet. Cruise line salaries are about 50% less, but the working conditions much better.

At full speed, fuel consumption is about 125 gallons per mile. But if you consider that the ship is carrying 8000 passengers and crew, each passsenger is getting about 65 miles on each gallon of fuel. Or for a 1300 mile cruise, about 20 gallons per passenger.

For several years the cruise ships haven't carried paper charts. Celestial navigation is no longer even possible. Though they have many redundant systems, the ship is 100% reliant on electronic navigation. Maybe not the best idea if something knocked out all the GPS.

The Harmony has six main deisel generators, two are all that are usually required, but when navigating near a port three are always on line.  There are two emergency generators on the upper decks to provide power in case of a major engine room failure. In addition the bridge and some other systems have battery backup power as a last resort.

I head ashore after the bridge tour to join nearly every passenger from the ship. The BBQ is good and I head back to the ship shortly after lunch.

Our cruise director, Michele unexpectedly leaves the ship in Labadee. A family emergency is taking him back home to Italy.

The sewer gas odor still exists in my cabin.  It is time for approach two. I talk to Mohamed. Getting things done is his whole job. Maintenance comes, what they do if anything is a guess, but they leave a card saying the work is done. The work may be done, but the odor lingers.

Chicken Cordon Blu in the Windjammer for dinner, just have time to make it to the Attic for the comedy show.  Two comedians play to a packed room. A good show.

Tonight some members of the ordhestra are joining in the Jazz club. Very loud, I call it a night.

Tomorrow is a sea day as we head back to Ft lauderdale.