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At sea with the Norwegian Dawn.

Written Saturday, December 26 – At Sea in the Gulf of Mexico

Our last day on the boat was pretty memorable and action-packed. I woke up bright an early at 7:30 am, thanks to the fact that my phone was an hour ahead (Mexico, where it had last synced, does not observe daylight savings time). So we ate breakfast and whiled away some time before I went to attend a 9 am dance class with the production cast. It ended up being a hurried, twenty-minute class on how to do the Thriller dance, which was actually kind of fun. Now I’ve got something to show off at the next party… just kidding.

The next event was a 10 am lecture from the cruise director about the ship. We learned all kinds of fascinating statistics about the ship and our trip. For example, the average age on board is 37.94, just shy of 40, which is kind of crazy for them. On some other trips, however, like the adjustment trip they made from Boston to New Orleans while shifting home ports, the average age was 66, and they had to do a lot of lectures during that time. They even ended up doing an iPad seminar that was absolutely packed. We learned about how much food is taken on at port (sixteen containers the size of a semi), how many gallons of gasoline are burned (a gallon per second) when traveling at top speed (25 knots per hour, which is around 28 miles per hour). We had just shy of the full capacity of 2,900 people on board. Every week, they go through 65,000 eggs and 1,100 gallons of ice cream. People’s jaws were dropping all over the place. Afterwards, they did a short Q&A with the captain and with the chief engineer and chief hotelier. They were fun to talk to – they had a real sense of humor about their work, and also helped us diffuse a bunch of myths about working on a cruise ship. Someone asked what their stress level was, between 1 and 10, which I thought was a fair question. However, they responded that this is really their daily job, and even though they’re responsible for people’s safety and welfare, they’ve been doing it for so long, and there are backups for everything and many people who work on it around the clock that their stress levels are relatively low. Continue reading At sea with the Norwegian Dawn.