Sunday, 10 February 2013

Life on board a caribbean cruise


FRIDAY INTO SATURDAY
We are in a warmer place right now.
You could not invent this location. The Majesty of the Seas owed by Royal Caribbean. About 2000 guests and 850 crew members, this is blue collar America up close and noisy. People actually enjoy doing this.

My conference group, which with colleagues from the US, has swelled to 70 people. We boarded yesterday, Friday morning and we were processed given a room key which is also the means to buy things: £20 for 60 minutes of internet, £4 for a bottle of beer. Its a standard weekend cruise and we shall arrive back in Miami on Monday at too-early o'clock.

Holiday time for most of the people on board, most of whom appear to sag at the waist or chest and with wrinkled tans walk around with plastic glasses full of cocktail mixes.

We eventually got our conference off to a start and once in its stride, then every passenger had to attend the 'Guest Muster Drill' on Deck 7 (there are 12 decks in total). All of us were treated to the safety demonstration and lecture. Muster Station 10 is my appointed place in the case of emergency. Our safety officer was a fey Hispanic called Desmond whose demonstration was hectoring and quite camp.

Back to conference worked through to 19:30 and then to 21:00 dinner setting in the Moonlight Restaurant. The food was very good considering the scale of catering here and Merlot $6 a glass. Everything costs. Delegate-colleagues partied on until the morning.

The guests have come flooding back up to the pool deck which is now awash with the aroma of cigarette smoke, and slippery with dripping ice cream cones.


SATURDAY
This morning the sun rose above Coco Cay Island, which from a distance looks like a hummock of sand on which somebody has plonked some palm trees. The Majesty of the Seas drops anchor. A visit to the island is today's highlight. A visit to this island, which is owned by the cruise line, affords my fellow passengers a place to visit, swim, drink (more) and eat (more).

The conference set of again (remarkably by 8:30) this morning and we release them to confines for Coco Cay Island called out by today on-board newsletter as
'The secluded island of Coco Cay awaits. Where beach goers can blissfully base on the white-sand shores reserved exclusively for Royal Caribbean guest'

It was overcast by midday hence this afternoon, as I write, the guests have come flooding back up to the pool deck which is now awash with the aroma of cigarette smoke, and slippery with dripping ice cream cones and people arguing in Spanish.