Friday 31st March 2017
I feel that I ought to write this as a kind of rebuttal to the other day’s admission that I lie frequently and unashamedly. Especially to the guests. When I wrote it, it was meant as just another amusing anecdote of my voyage around the oceans, but it rather took off, with over 300 people having read it already.
I hope that everybody took it in the jestful way that it was intended, but I feel that no one will believe a darn word that I say now. Which might actually be a good thing for them and me. But before you all condemn me as an awful person (well actually I am, so it’s OK if you do), I thought that I’d try and justify my frequent fibbing, with this little post.
I actually wanted to do it as a comedy sketch in the crew talent show for the guests, but thankfully somebody saw fit to persuade me not to, as I think that it may have been another case of me committing career suicide. So I’ll post it here instead then, on the privacy of the World Wide Web…
Of course you won’t believe me now, but guests really do say the stupidest things. It’s appears that when going on holiday, they decide to give their brain a vacation and leave it at home. From the minute they come onboard, they can’t help but say the most ridiculous things. They say that there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but these lot definitely put that theory to the test.
The sort of things that I get asked on a daily basis include “Which way is the ship going?” Now this might seem like a fair thing to ask, if we were not stood right by a window looking out at the sea rushing past. Well if the water is going that way <<< then I think that it’s fair to assume that we’re moving this way >>>…
The next question is then usually “Which is the front of the ship?” From the casino I point in the direction of the bow and say that just there at the theatre is the front end. When this question gets followed up by “Which way is the back then?” It always leaves me completely bemused. Well if that’s the front >>> and we’re stood next to a window overlooking that water, then I think it’s safe to assume that the back, or stern, is in the opposite direction, that way <<<, but I do often point to the side of the vessel on the right ^^^ and say over there, which always leaves them looking a little perplexed. I certainly shall not be backing this lot in the nightly quiz.
We have a wonderful saxophonist onboard, who delights the crowds with his playing 3 or 4 times every night. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people though, who admire his undeniable talent, but suggest that it would be better if he sung as well. At the same time… Now he’s very, very good, but I don’t think any musician can sing and play the saxophone simultaneously. I’m not quite sure if they understand how a saxophone works, or if they’ve just imbibed a bit too much of the all inclusive.
One of my favourite casino related inquiries is “How much is this worth?” when examining one of our casino chips, or “tokens” as some guests refer to them. Now I understand that not many of our patrons are regular casino players, and we do have up to 5 different coloured chips each with different numbers on them denoting each denomination, but let’s see if you guys can figure it out by looking at the picture below…
Oh course my sarcastic answer is usually £3.75. I mean you just gave me a crisp £20 note, and I gave you four shiny red “counters” with the number “5” on them in large lettering. It’s hardly simultaneous equations now is it? I know it’s easy for me because I work in the casino everyday, but sometimes the customer’s innocent inexperience leaves me more baffled then them.
One of the hilarious comments that came up whilst crossing the Atlantic was a complaint about how absolutely unfair it was the the guest in question had booked a suite with a balcony, but that it was positively disgraceful that there was never any sun on his balcony, and that it was always on the other side of the ship. Every single day! The guy was incredulous. In his opinion it was UNACCEPTABLE!
I don’t really know what he expected me to do. Phone the Captain and ask him to reverse all the way to the Caribbean, so that “Mr. Smith*” (*not real name) could get a tan? Maybe I could set up a complex series of mirrors to reflect the light onto him lying on his sunbed? Maybe he really expected me to move heaven and earth for him?
“Sir, I work in the casino. I think this is definitely a question for guest services. I’m sure that they’ll be able to help you… (Not).” Well it was either that or suggest that he stay onboard until we sail back across the ocean in April when he’ll have sun all the way. As long as it’s not raining that is!
I think my all time favourite absurd question by far has to be “Do you sleep on the ship?” The first time I got asked this I was like “What??” Thinking I must have misheard the inquisitor. But no, they were actually asking if we, crew members, slept on the ship. I was unsure how to answer this. We’re they joking? We’re they implying that we seem to work 24/7 so didn’t actually sleep at all? Or were they seriously along if we physically slept on the ship.
“No.” I replied deadpan, “There’s a tug boat behind that we all sleep on.” What did think, that we stayed in hotels on the islands and got dropped off by helicopter each day? Or that an aeroplane flew us from port to port to meet the ship?
It was a bit like the cruise before the Atlantic crossing when the guests were curiously asking us how we were going to get there. “Are you flying there?”, “How does the ship get there?”, “But there won’t be people onboard will there?”. It’s a ship people, and the ocean is water, so believe it or not we’re actually going to sail there. All of us. Crew, guests and chickens!
I also had a guest say once, when she was asking me about life onboard, that she thought that we shared beds. “Er, no. We share cabins, but definitely not beds!” “No, but doesn’t one of you get the bed for half the day and the other one get it for the rest of the day, when you’re working opposite shifts?” Jesus Christ!! Don’t repeat that again, you’ll give them ideas! Sharing cabins in bad enough…
But I’ll leave you with the classic question beloved by all crew members, and answered with a hearty laugh; “What do you do on your day off?”
So now hopefully you understand my penchant for mischievousness responses when subjected to these kind of queries 7 days a week, for up to 9 months at a time. Have a good day folks!