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129 late night

129 Late Night
This week was a good week to join the crew, it seems that – fleet wide- this is crew appreciation week.  Celebrity Cruises, starring you!  I’m missing a big party in the Navigator lounge right now, where I could go and stand by myself, look awkward and drink my warm Heineken (so do they put the soap in that beer on purpose?) while I take the opportunity to shout over the music to people who barely speak English.  Score!

I did just see my first big show.  The singer/dancers put it on for us, the crew, ‘cause- you know- we rock.  They did a good job of blending talent (because, they are actually very talented) and a good crisp corporate message that they were doing this show for us because of how much they appreciate the crew, “Because here at Celebrity, YOU! are the star.”*  To which many cheered and a few yelled out, “Ya, Celebrity!”  It seems that when you are 1000 miles from land in the Atlantic, working with people from over 40 different countries, those who are somewhat jingoism predisposed anyway… switch from a country or sports team to a brand, “Ya, Celebrity, fuck ya!”  I guess if you can’t be with the tribe you love, love the tribe you’re with.

* stars who, when push comes to shove or rather when water covers the smokestack, are relegated to the life rafts, and not the life boats.  There is a big difference, life boats have motors and covers and 3L of water rations/person, the rafts have neither motors nor covers and only half the water rations, oh ya, and they only work if they inflate properly and if the ship sinks rather quickly, two mechanical things have to work.  A dohicky that cuts the uninflated raft away from the boat when it gets wet and then the painter line has to drag down 50m and successfully pull the inflation mechanism.  This all happens when the raft container is 12-20 meters under water, so in a worst case scenario, you are going to have a whole lot of wet crew members waiting for an inflated life rats to emerge fully formed from under the raging sea.

Luckily this doesn’t happen

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October 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

130

130 night time

So I have just come back from dinner, pasta again.  Everyone who I have talked to who has been on a cruise assumes that crew eats the same food as the guests.  That is true sometimes.  Being an acupuncturist gives you certain freedoms that other crew do not have.  One of those is eating in the officer’s mess and unlike some crew we can eat in guest areas if it isn’t too crowded.  I think the food in there is a little better than the other messes, which are all down on deck 3.

Deck 3 is where most of the work on the ship happens.  It is where all the admin offices are, most of the crew living quarters, massive kitchens and on the Mercury it is home to the I-95.  This is a massive corridor down the port side of the ship and the traffic is always heavy.  Your trip down to the crew bar will have you in traffic behind pallets of produce (not just on embark day, they still have to feed 1,800 passengers and 900 staff and crew a day, so they move a lot of that food on pallet lifts), guys with enormous waist high grey plastic tubs full of stuff and lines of people going everywhere.

Some of the crew quarters and working facilities extend to deck 4 forward.  All the new hires got a tour of the ship today (don’t say boat and don’t say cabin- ship and stateroom respectively) The crew laundry is in 4 forward and you get any uniform related items washed for free and any casual clothing for $1.00/ load, which might have anyone who doesn’t like doing laundry pretty excited.  But when you realize that when you open the door to the 4 forward section that says “No admittance, crew only”  you are overcome with the stench of 1000 bowel movements… literally.  It seems that they, this is what I was told, “do something every cruise and, ya, it smells like that for a day or two.”  4 forward is where I had my first brush with being sea sick.

For most of the morning we had 35 mile/hour winds coming in just over the starboard side.  This had the seas at about 15 feet, or as they call it moderate.  It wasn’t that bad, but during my tour of the ship the line of 20 of us was stretched out and weaving down the corridor, almost moving like a snake.

It wasn’t too bad until we got into the poorly ventilated, hot and smelly 4 forward and that is when I started to think that I was no longer invulnerable to the illness of the seas.  Good news is that acupuncture works miracles on this one.  One needle in P6 retained for 15 minutes and I was good as new.

I’m going to see if there is anything on TV, OK here is something odd:  I was watching MSNBC (don’t judge) and they don’t run commercials on the boat, they just do the same annoying station promos over and over every place there is supposed to be a commercial break.  I think I would rather have commercial that to hear for the 8th time that Rachel Maddow is telling you something that no one else is.

October 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment