Sea Day #1, “Inside Access Tour”, Tuesday, 11/13/18

Early breakfast in Blu! Relaxing atmosphere with great food! We moved into a different time zone overnight, so the clock moved up another hour.  We were 7 hours ahead of Central time.  Now we’re 8 hours ahead.  There will be several more time zone changes during  the cruise, and more still when we head to India and Thailand.

I headed up to the table tennis area to meet someone I played yesterday.  He didn’t make it as scheduled (time change got him).  I killed time wandering around the ship, and went back to the table tennis area for a little tournament.  There were 16 players, from several nationalities.  I got beat in the 2ndround by the eventual winner.  He was Chinese, but living in Canada.  Games were played to 11 points, but winner must win by two.  I lost 17 to 15.  Thought I had him a couple of times, but couldn’t finish it.

I purposely scheduled our “Inside Access Tour” later in the cruise for a sea day in the middle of several others, figuring we’d need a break today.  For whatever reason, the ship decided the later days wouldn’t work, and moved up the tour to today.  We were badly in need of a rest day to recover from all the travel and yesterday’s excursion, but didn’t want to miss this tour.

A security guard traveled with us the entire tour.  After a security check (wands, etc.) our first stop was the Bridge and Navigation area. A Bridge officer met us and discussed the operation of the bridge and how it was manned, training, etc.

Engineering was next, where all the operations, engines, water production/treatment, electricity, etc. are monitored and controlled.  Very interesting!  So many details to be taken care of.  Lots of monitor screens to keep track of.  An annoying buzzer kept sounding every 3 to 4 minutes.  The engineer would reach over and turn it off.  When someone asked, he said it was there to make sure he wasn’t dozing off.  If it wasn’t turned off, the bridge knew he was not on task.  His shift was four hours on and eight hours off, for the entire cruise.

Lots of monitors in E

Next stop was the environmental area.  Translation – trash!  We observed how they crushed, baled, burned, and recycled everything possible (water included).

Bottles waiting for crushing

Bottles after crushing (this is the “green group”

Loading bottles into the bottle crusher

Fluorescent bulb recycling (worried about mercury)

Cans crushed and bales

Plastic bottles crushed and baled

The laundry was next with all the washing, folding, and pressing for thousands of sheets, towels, table clothes, napkins, etc.

Pressing machine for cloth napkins all the way up to sheets

Towel folding machine

And the finished towels

We walked down “I-95”, the main walkway in the interior of the ship for crew to move about, out of sight of the guests.  We saw the crew mess (cafeteria), and finished our tour in the galley (kitchen).  So many food prep areas and staff organizing and setting up various food items.  It was almost 4:30pm, so the cooking hadn’t cranked up yet.  We really enjoyed the chance to check out so many of the ship’s operations.

After the tour, we relaxed a little, had dinner, and relaxed around the ship before turning in for the night.

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