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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

Cruise Ship Kudos

Sunday November 28th, 2010 - Miami, FL

   The efficiency of how everything on a cruise ship operates is absolutely incredible. I’ve been witness to it first hand on multiple ships now and I continue to be amazed each time I see it. These people know what they’re doing, and they get it done week after week with precise accuracy. If I had to run an operation like that, I’d have NO idea where to begin.

   The amount of food alone is staggering. Every breakfast has fresh fruit, and I wouldn’t be able to even make an educated guess as to how many cantaloupes for example to have on board at any given time. And how would they know when to buy them so as they’d be fresh and usable the entire cruise? That alone would wipe me out, but there’s a lot more.

   What about fuel? Where does the company buy it, store it, and have enough on hand for the 23 ships they have in their fleet? They’re in numerous ports, so that’s got to be part of the deal. What about crew members? Keeping track of everyone has to be a major source of aggravation, if only that there are so many people speaking many different languages.

   Couple all that with the fact that every week they have to deal with immigration laws of numerous countries, customs, and passports for passengers and work visas for workers. If I had to deal with half of that on one ship, I’d flip out in about two hours. These guys can make it happen week in and week out, and for that I give them their props. They earned it.

   Probably the most impressive process of all is how they switch passengers at the end of each week. It’s like a giant NASCAR pit stop. Passengers get off the ship in an organized fashion, and the crew is lightning fast and focused at cleaning all the rooms and getting it spiffed up for a group of new passengers a few hours later. They do that week after week.

   Thankfully, the fuss has died down about the ship that was dead in the water a couple of weeks ago, but even that is a very rare occurrence. Every ship I’ve ever been on is always running some kind of safety drill or making announcements as to how to avoid accidents.

   For whatever things I don’t like about life aboard ship, fear for my personal safety isn’t one of them. I feel as safe on a cruise ship as I do in any hotel in America. They stress the importance of cleanliness too, and are always telling everyone to wash their hands often.
  
   Whatever happens with my own future in the cruise ship genre, I’ve learned a lot in the few months I’ve been exposed to this world. It’s been going on fine for years without me and I know it will survive after I’m gone, whenever that will be. For now, I’m learning all I can about everything I can and the more I learn the more I’m blown away by each facet.

   Tonight started the process all over again. There’s a whole new load of passengers on a gorgeous ship that’s going to the exact same places it did last week. There was a different pair of comedians on board, and they had to do the ‘Welcome Aboard’ teaser show in the exact same way we did tonight. Next week there will be two new comedians entertaining an entire ship full of new people still. The process never ends, and I‘m in major awe of it.

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