According to the captain the MS Ryndam just a short while ago entered the infamous Bermuda Tria
Category Archives: Humor
My good friends know that I’m a bridge fanatic. I could play bridge morning, noon, and night. So it was with immense pleasure when I found that we had been invited by the captain for a bridge session.
Boy, was I in for a disappointment. Turns out the captain didn’t have a partner so we were without the required foursome. There wasn’t even a bridge table and chairs anywhere in sight. Indeed, it turned out that this was a bridge session rather than a session of bridge. No wonder I was confused. So much for being a guest at the captain’s table (yet another disappointing tale).
The first thing that struck me (right after I realized we wouldn’t be playing bridge) was the humongous size of the ship’s navigation bridge. Certainly made our cabin look even smaller afterward, and that’s hard to do considering we were living in something the size of our master closet back home.
On either side were the “Flying Bridges,” which are used when the ship is either docking or pulling away from port. The flying bridges protrude from either side of the main navigational bridge, hanging over the sides of the ship. In the flying bridge areas are the consoles that the captain uses to maneuver the ship while in port.
I learned one neat little trick at the radar station. In air traffic control we identified most aircraft through the use of onboard transponders that encoded information from the aircraft and transmitted that information to us through our radar. It seems ships are not much different in that respect. From the Norwegian Star’s radar the crew could “interrogate” the transponders of nearby ships to determine their names, type (cruise, freighter, military, etc.), destination, and other information. It was all very impressive.
One other neat little feature: As you look out of the bridge windows and gaze upon the two hot tubs at the bow of the ship you realize just how much more advanced the ships of NCL are over those of Carnivale subsidiary Costa Cruises. On these ships passengers can relax in water in one of several pools or hot water spas, whereas on the Costa Concordia the passengers had to wait for the ship to run aground so that they could take a leisurely swim to shore.
Now that’s convenience.
Here are some more images from the bridge:
If you’re into the current stainless kitchen appliances craze, you’d certainly tire of it quickly aboard a cruise ship. Unless, of course, you’re on a Carnival cruise ship, in which case you’d be ecstatic just seeing the inside of a place that once held unspoiled food as you’re being towed back into port in the aftermath of the de rigueur engine or laundry room fire. A few days without edible food makes even an MRE sound like a gourmet meal. But, once again, I digress.
It’s truly incredible to think how much food is prepared for upwards of 3,500 passengers and crew. That’s a lot of chow. Speaking of chow, my inside industry sources tell me that there’s absolutely no truth to the rumor that Carnival ships are going to start placing emergency supplies of Purina in cabins next to the life-jackets. Oh, wait, this article is about NCL. Sorry. Got sidetracked.
Amazingly, there are even charts posted about the kitchens displaying the different Main Dining Room fare depending on the day of the cruise.
Everywhere you look you’ll find culinary crew creating cuisine for crazed cruise customers craving everything from cold cuts to cantaloupes to cold-water crustaceans for their carnivorous contemplations.
By the way, did I mention stainless? Take another look and this steel-clad kitchen:
But there’s more to a kitchen than just the kitchen. A kitchen wouldn’t be a kitchen with a bakery. This particular bakery makes everything from chocolate chip cookies (which our tour group sampled) to French baguettes and everything in between.
And then there are the various food storage areas. This part of the tour was positively chilling, as we walked into storage areas from everything from dairy products to frozen foods.
While we’re on the subject of food storage, I understand that Carnival Cruises is issuing all passengers long sticks and stocking copious quantities of hotdogs and marshmallows. That way, when there’s an engine or laundry room fire, the passengers can roast their own food as they camp out on the decks. No word yet on how Carnival intends for their passengers to trench out a latrine area, but there have been reports that some of their ship pools have been emptied of water and filled with dirt.