“What do they do with the ice sculptures when they melt?”
— question from a new cruise passenger
One of the most fascinating questions about cruising is “How Do They Do It?”
What are the mechanisms and practices in place that keep everyone cool or warm (as needed), well-fed, entertained, and safe?
When you consider that a ship is a mini-ecology and village in a capsule, it is staggering to enumerate all the considerations someone (more likely many people over many years) had to think about. Coming up with viable and reliable solutions to all the issues that come from having many people in a confined but self-sufficient space is like launching a miniature space shot.
Technology has been a great help in making things work. Fresh water can be made on the ship and dirty water can be contained, filtered, and released to the ocean. Power for cooling, cooking, and everything else is generated from the ship’s efficient engines. The ship machinery can run like clockwork but the consumable part of the cruise presents other problems.
Getting a ship unloaded requires emptying it of the latest collection of passengers with all their stuff and garbage. At almost the same time the ship needs to be loaded with new consumables (future garbage) and a new batch of passengers. In between these exits and entrances the entire ship is cleaned, all the beds and cabins made fresh, flowers and food arranged to welcome the newcomers. These turn-around days are the most challenging for staff, if only because there is so much to do. The new passengers don’t know their way around yet, and there are many questions to be answered, perhaps a few issues to resolve too.
I wrote a post about a successful cruise ship hotel manager last year. Then this week I saw another article about all that happens behind the scenes to equip one of the largest cruise ships for a new voyage. To avoid copyright issues I encourage you to read that post here in its original form. You will be impressed.
I find it very enjoyable just to enjoy all that a cruise presents for my pleasure. But if I step back and consider all that went into the creation of this “Village at Sea” illusion, I am blown away!
Boundaries divide. Travel unites.
3 March 2016