Freeport, Bahamas – Hot hot hot! And not in a good way. The a/c has gone on vacation and we now live in a sweltering oven, that is over 31.6°C (89°F) in the shade (I’m not even joking). Dogs die in cars less hot than that, and we don’t even have any windows or an ounce of a breeze circulating through our room. Trying to sleep in the cabin yesterday afternoon, (noise not withstanding) before another long nightwatch shift, was seriously stressful, and even a cool shower didn’t work, as the coldest temperature that came out of the shower head was still far too warm, despite the taps being turned as low as they would go. I’m hoping that a) the a/c comes back on pronto, or b) we acclimatise to the hot humid interior very soon…
I'M MELTING!!! Getting hot and sweaty on a Saturday night has a while new meaning here.
Oh and the bow cam seems to have gone offline, meaning that our TV, that constantly shows the feed and therfore doubles as a window and gives us some insight into life outside, has now effectively been boarded up and we’re stuck in what is beginning to feel increasingly like a claustrophobic four berth coffin. At least the Internet is still chugging away slowly though and don’t forget, for more pictures and updates you can also follow me on twitter @akweaversailing.
If we think that we have it bad though, in our thick red fire watching boiler suits, I feel really sorry for the cooks and restaurant staff. They still have to remain in their usual roles, making and serving up masses of meals 3 times a day, along with 3 snack sessions for both the crew and contractors, that I believe in total now number over 4’000. With no air conditioning, the galleys and mess rooms are like saunas, complete with red hot condensation running down the walls and stream fogging up the windows. The poor guys and girls are soaked to the skin not 5 minutes into a shift.
The Grand Atrium on deck 7 now a grand rubbish pile.
Over 90% of the crew have stayed onboard for dry dock, with only the singers and dancers, plus a few of the gift shop and spa concessionnaires having gone for vacation or been transferred. We all still work 7 days a week, but some people have been redistributed to new departments, if their existing positon is not required during dry dock. The casino staff have been split into three groups, with one third detailed to the hotel group, who are sanding, lifting, carrying, cleaning up and removing rubbish, and taping plastic to every available surface, whilst the middle third have remained in the casino to oversee and assist with work there, whilst the remainder, like me, are fire watching.
The casino looking like a graveyard for slot machines.
It’s really strange walking around the ship, with seemingly no location now recognisable as it’s former being and all the staff mixed in with the contractors, unidentifiable now that they are no longer wearing their usual uniforms, but instead robed in blue, white or red boiler suits, depending on their new temporary employment status.
More garbage filling up deck 12 the former pool deck.
My 9 hour fire watching detail this morning included standing watch on the open deck, guarding a section of railing that had been cut away, leaving nothing between the deck and potentially falling off the side of the ship. My role was to divert people round the scene and avert them plunging to their death. At 4:30am there wasn’t that much foot traffic in the area, so to entertain myself, I watched the welders working on the Royal Caribbean ship in the distance, imagining that the impressive looking sparks flying off in all directions were silent fireworks instead.
At that hour of the morning, alone in the dark, it can easily send your brain to many strange places, and as I looked over in the other direction I began imagining that I was in Dubai, the warm, humid evening, bright lights, and multiple cranes topped with blinking aircraft warning lights, really reminding me of the city that not only never sleeps, but never stops rapidly growing either. Now if I can just trick my brain into believing that instead of lying in a hot hot bunk bed, that I’m lying in a hammock under a sultry palm tree, all will be good!
Dubai or Freeport? You decide.