Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Big Update, Part 2 - July 23, 2006

The Great Engine Tour of 2006! - May 30, 2006

When I signed on to the ship, my little adventurous and maniacal brain thought “I want to go everywhere on this ship. I want to go to the very highest point. I want to go to the very lowest point. I want to go to the farthest point front and back of the ship. I want to go everywhere that ‘normal’ people just never get to go.”

These extreme and random thoughts are actually normal for a girl who, when she was 9 and in Rome on top of a very high and ancient Roman Aqueduct. HAD to go to the VERY edge of the 110 ft lip of the roof… just to do it… much to the distress of her mother and father, who still protest at the idea of her skydiving, which she will be doing when she gets back to Orlando with her older brother…

… anyway, these random thoughts of going to extremes on the ship were quite normal for her.
(Her being me….)

At any rate, early on in the contract I made friends with Christian, a very nice French-Canadian engineer officer cadet who was roommates with m good friend Ryan for a few weeks. During that time, I managed to get him to promise Catherine, the very nice French-Canadian singer in my cast, and myself to an exclusive engine room tour.

Now the engine room is no place for tourists. In my mind’s eye, it was a place with spinning turbines, pumping engines, and whirring motors. And it turns out I wasn’t too far off!

We began our tour in the parts department, where Catherine found the world’s largest wrench...

and we encountered our first engineer, who was astounded to see girls in the smelly, dirty engine department. (Engineers are easily amused by the mere appearance of women, we quickly found out) You should have seen the scene we caused on the engineer bridge, like the captains bridge that steers the ship, except there are no windows and lots of attention-starved engineers in coveralls instead…

Christian took us throughout the length of the ship’s bowels, showing us more engines, pumps, turbines, and tanks than you could shake your fist at. (Although I’m not sure why you would want to do that in the first place…)

And, I did manage to get to the highest and lowest point on the ship. Christian actually took us from below deck 1 (and below sea level!) to the highest deck, deck 10, by way of LADDERS.

That’s right. Ladders. (Who uses those anymore anyway, right????)

(And we complain when we have to take the stairs 3 decks! Not anymore, let me tell you what! After climbing 20+ ladders, I felt like quite the trooper!)

I laid down on the lowest deck and pressed my ear to the floor to hear the ocean rush by, and then when we reached the top, actually climbed up INTO the smokestack, which bears the famous Royal Caribbean insignia! (And for the record it was smelly… but worth it.)

The most amazing and disorienting part was when we would pop out random doors and be back in our familiar crew areas. It was like finding an entire new world within a world you were already familiar with. It was like opening your closet and walking down into the core of the earth, seeing the geothermic inner workings of your planet, then opening another door and finding your linen closet. Yeah, kind of like that.

At the end of the tour, we popped out into the laundry, which we had never been in anyway, so we were still amused. We saw HUGE dryers and washers, and a few oven looking-things that had the funniest signage I’ve ever seen. For example, if you climbed into this one ominous oven-looking contraption, they had devised the perfect sign to let you know where you would end up….

All in all, the tour was amazing, and we enjoyed it immensely.

We actually found out later that we really weren’t allowed anywhere he had taken us that day… he actually could have gotten in lots of trouble for what he did… liability and all that…

So turns out I did get to go where others rarely get to go after all!


At 12:46 PM, Blogger ML said...

I thought the pictures in the middle part were really interesting, but I loved the signs!


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