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  • Day21

    Day 19 - How the ship works

    January 16, 2019, South Atlantic Ocean ⋅ 🌧 22 °C

    A nice day with mild temps, calm seas, and high, wispy clouds greeted us as we cruised north up the Argentine coast on another sea-day.

    We had arranged a tour of the inner workings of the ship. This two-hour tour took us behind-the-scenes of the food preparation, propulsion, steering, and crew areas of the ship. At each area, one of the senior staff of the area explained the workings and answered questions.

    A restaurant manager showed us the extensive kitchens where they prepare most of the food - each type (salads, appetizers,vegetables, protein, deserts) in a separate location. The stores manager showed us the food warehouses - the ship loads all the non-perishable items it needs for the entire voyage. That can total as many as 50 sea containers worth of food! As an example, for our 14-day cruise, they will use around 6,000 dozen eggs! Some of the fresh produce they get at local ports of call but much of it is loaded at the first embarkation port.

    We saw the engine control room and the engineer explained the propulsion mechanics. There are four, 16-cylinder, 2,200 horsepower generators to supply power (only two operating at a time under normal conditions). The ship produces it's own fresh water by scooping up seawater as it cruises out at sea and processing it through evaporation and reverse osmosis. It treats its waste water to drinking water standards and discharges it at sea, as long as it is more than 12 miles offshore.

    On the bridge, a Second Officer showed us how they steer and navigate. A question to the Officer produced the answer that the bad weather I described several days ago, where people were walking at an incline and plates were falling off tables, was only about a 5 on a 10-point scale of roughness.

    We got a look at the laundry that produces the clean linens and other washings we enjoy every day. Finally we saw the crew quarters and restaurants that keep the 1,200+ crew members happy. It was extremely interesting and informative.

    We attended a presentation about our upcoming port, Punto del Este, Uruguay, where we'll dock tomorrow. A light lunch and some relaxing in the room as the calm seas glided by.

    Gail picked up a cough - as had several other people we knew - from the guano dust at the penguin colony and rested while I went to the show. Tonight they brought two of the entertainers who perform around the ship during the day up on the stage to sing and play with the orchestra. Good show of rockandroll and Motown. Each of the performers we've seen has praised the house orchestra and for good reason. They are fantastic. Many of the other night's performers had arrived only hours before the show and rehearsed only briefly with the orchestra. Nonetheless, all the acts were solid with the band not missing a beat.

    Tomorrow we dock at Punto del Este, Uruguay.
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