Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cruise Control: Day 6

Roller skates, anyone?

This time we asked for a cabin in the middle. 

Meaning mid-ship, instead of all the way forward in the misty recesses of the longest corridor I have ever seen in my life. Ever.

On our cruise before this one, I almost started stashing my clothes in a restroom near the Atrium so that I wouldn't have to walk that corridor again.  Of course, my stuff would have disappeared almost instantly, due to the uber-efficiency of the housekeeping staff on board, just like every other department we had contact with on these ships. But I did think about it.

We'd open that passageway door leading to our cabin, look helplessly at each other, and begin the long trek. The other end wasn't even visible, as outrageous as that sounds.We walked and puffed and stopped to rest, and then we walked some more.

These ships are immense. I'm thinking that they build them that way in order to board literally thousands of people who pay a tiny fraction of the value they are going to experience while cruising. This way, the cruise lines maximize the concept of quantity, without sacrificing quality at all. It's a thing of beauty. Just about any other industry could learn a great deal from these companies.

The ship we were on for this cruise shakes out like this:

Year Built 2008
Refurbished 2011
Tonnage 113,000 tons
Length 950 feet
Beam 118 feet
Passenger Capacity 3,080

 3000 plus folks contained in a floating city. And that 950 feet is a long way from stem to stern, especially when you're sunburned and hungry, believe me. (I still think they need a buffet on each end of the ship, because no matter where I was starting from, that sucker was on the opposite end. I never did figure that one out.)

One day I walked the entire length of the ship--twice--trying to find the adult swimming pool. I didn't realize that there were TWO of them on board, and I was calling the one I wanted by the wrong name. I never found either one on that particular trek: the one I didn't know existed in the first place or the one I had been looking for when I set out from my cabin. (I think part of it was that "no window in my cabin" thing that I found so disorienting this time; I never knew which way the front--or back--of the ship was when I left my cabin, because I couldn't see which way the the ocean was flowing by. Very confusing.) I finally fell into a deck chair at one of the family pools out of sheer exhaustion. 

Of course, this won't stop me from cruising again, and we did do better with our cabin location this time. We also decided maybe it's in our best interests in the future to focus on smaller ships with fewer people. 

And only one adult pool.


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