12-13 March, 2019 – At Sea to Vietnam Ports

No comment on the internet which clearly is overloaded. The first day at sea was spent in our usual manner – gym, lectures, reading, food in between and bed. And of course, attempting to load pictures of Bali to the blog.

Today, March 13, we had the delight of a tour of the ship. No pictures allowed :-(. It was a “must do” tour if you ever get the chance. Here’s a list of where we visited on the ship

  • The Royal Court Theatre and behind the scenes on the stage with the production manager and two cute little dancers
  • The bow mooring area – anchor and ropes used when we dock, and a description of how they are maintained, how long they are, how they are deployed and rat prevention (very important)
  • The medical area which was open because we have re-routed for yet another medical evacuation, this time on Borneo (see map below)
  • Fire room – where the safety officer described how they deal with fire on the ship and how they use all the equipment in the room; note: a steel ship is like an oven so a fire inside so it could cause a body to overheat to boiling so all fire equipment is customized for this type of environment.
  • Ship’s Engineer Control Center – a technical marvel. Amazing to us how much has been re-outfitted to control the engines, the water supply, the power, the sewage system, and basically all infrastructure to keep this floating city of 3,000 people surviving. They gave us a technical handout which is too much to report here. Just know 1,000 tons of fuel is used daily; 1 gallon per every 58 feet of cruising. They are VERY environmental correct to be part of not abusing planet Earth. The ship can come to a complete stop in 1800 meters or 6 minutes. Here’s a fact – the Engineers on the ship wear gold stripes with purple to commemorate the engineers of the Titanic who all stayed at their post and went down with their ship.
  • The Print Shop – run by one person – Neville. Two of the largest copier/printing machines and Neville operates them and repairs them himself – maybe even sleeps with them. So much stuff is still printed on this ship – daily menus, daily programmers, port guides, sale inserts, invitations, its endless – thank goodness they recycle.
  • Next stop was Environmental – aka recycling. Although they are also responsible for all environment compliance in all jurisdictions across the world – including California which had a special mention. For example, where does poop go? Where does sludge go? Where does the water go that gets desalinated – I could go on. Look at the picture below that shows a creative recycling display this department created to compete amongst all Carnival affiliate ships.
  • The consumable ordering and storage stop next. We talked in a previous blog post about the how there are shipping containers sent from the UK around the world to stock the ship with things like toilet paper and liquor. This person handles all of that – amazing he can figure out what we need by Hong Kong! He had to order by last November for what we might need on this segment.
  • The Bakery was next and the equipment they have to make bread and rolls every day is quite efficient and controlled – temperature, length of rising, cooking, etc. They work 10 hour shifts – the longest we encountered yet other than possibly the print person who must sleep with his machines.
  • The tour took us into the galley for the Brittania 2nd floor dining. There were water, juices and pastries. Tasty. The chef explained how the Executive Chef approves the food everyday at 11:30 am and then they spend their time plating and preparing for the evening meal. The Buffet, The Verandah, The Queens Grill all have their own chefs – whoa! There were rows of plates being prepared and placed into refrigerators, etc. The cooking of the main courses is made based on the orders that come in. Must be absolutely crazy during dinner.
  • A trip through the Verandah (and we were the only people of the 19 on the tour who had eaten there!) to see the beautiful dining room.
  • Finally we went to the Commodore Club for some snacks and any other questions we might have.

Now this tour was to include a tour of the bridge; however, due to the medical evacuation operation underway we did not get to see the bridge. We are schedule tomorrow to complete the tour of the bridge. Hopefully no one gets sick overnight. We are feeling quite healthy.

The ship is at the Equator and it is a gala night. During our dinner, we see a unflagged Naval Ship tracking us on the Starboard side while we are waiting for a pilot boat to pick up the medical emergency person. Weird lights around us as the medical evacuee is boarded and then we turn to head out to sea – slowly with the Naval ship behind us.

Yes, this is the South China Sea situation and we are there! Maybe Forest Gump is too?

Since we will see the Captain tomorrow on the Bridge, we will continue with the rest of the story………