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Cruise Day 4: At Sea

Posted on Wednesday, October 27th, 2004


Gaaah! I just now looked at my blog from this crappy loaner laptop and was "thrilled" to discover that it is rendering all wrong? I hope that this is the fault of the proprietary browser software that they are using here. Anyway, today was by far the most relaxing day of my vacation so far... with no land excursion, I found nothing to do except lay on the Lido Deck all day and read a book. To make up for such inactivity, tonight's dinner was had in the uber-fancy "Florentine Restaurant" onboard. They serve a pretty mean Fettucini Alfredo, which is not surprising considering all the food on the cruise so far has been excellent.

The interesting thing about a cruise is the facts and figures you are left to ponder. For example, I estimate that 75% of the passengers onboard are senior citizens. Going further, I am estimating that 40% of the passengers are obese, 50% of the remaining overweight, and a paltry 10% being somewhere in the vicinity of their target weight. The upshot of it all: most of the people you encounter are old and fat. That, in itself, is not disturbing. It's when said persons are lounging around the pool in Speedos that you begin to see where the problem lays.

That's for the passengers... the staff, on the other hand, are all relatively young, fit, very hard-working, and foreign (I dare say that if the Romanian contingent onboard were to fancy an idea of mutiny, they could easily overtake the ship). I'm sure that most of the customers onboard don't give a second thought to those that service their every need, but I can't help it...

  • Do the staff ever get to do anything but work? I see the same guy who cleared my plate this afternoon at the buffet has changed clothes and is now clearing tables at dinner. Does he ever get to put on a bathing suit and hit the beach when we make port? Do they get any activities below-deck for the off hours?
  • Can they make a good living working here? They must be well compensated to leave their home countries and wait hand-and-foot on fat, old, Americans all hours of the day and night.
  • It would seem that many of the workers here are from poorer countries and I can't help but wonder: What do they make of the absurd abundance of wealth and excess that surounds them constantly?
  • And finally, how in the heck do they keep their smiles intact and morale high when cranky old farts are bitching at them? I have seen more acts of rudeness towards these hard-working people than I would ever want to admit... yet they carry on, day after day. Maybe that's why everybody here is so young? They retire after only a few years of putting up with other people's crap?

All my curious musings aside, I am slowing becoming accustomed to life onboard ship. Things that seemed odd to me just two days ago are suddenly perfectly normal. This leaves me with the biggest question of all: Will I be able to adjust back to "real life" once the vacation has ended?

Categories: Travel 2004Click To It: Permalink


  1. Aravis says:

    I won’t lie; I don’t have all the answers. However I have known some people who have worked on cruise ships. When I expressed a desire to try it, they quickly told me not to. As staff, you are expected to work long hours and be on call for any shift, at any time. You have very little personal time at all, and despite all of this are of course expected to be pleasant and helpful to the passengers. They say the turnover rate is high as a result. As Bush would say, it’s hard work.

    These issues would probably carry less weight with people from poor countries who are used to hard work for little pay and who hope to send money home. Perhaps this would explain why there are so many foreign nationals on staff? I don’t know. I certainly hope they are paid well and receive lots of tips. I suspect they deserve it!

    Enjoy your cruise. I hope you get to explore on land some more before the end of your voyage. Speedos are things that really ought not to be abused; they have a habit of passing along the pain to all who witness it…

  2. kazza says:

    Yah on my puta your blog jumps way over to the right and I have to scroll far right to see it. The comment pages are ok tho. But I’m using IE 5 on a pc, which of course is of the devil, right, so I wasn’t going to say anything 😉 It looks ok in firefox 1.0

  3. amy says:

    just found your site via. blog explosion. very, very well done.

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