- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

24 November 2018; Nieuw Statendam Building, 6 Days to go.

Today was not a good day for the shipyard as it rained considerably. Everything gets wet and also the work slows down as all the yard workers are walking around with an umbrella in their hands and with one hand it is hard to carry something, so you need two people for the same box that goes on board. Plus there is a bigger chance of getting dirt in the ship while we are just trying too hard to get the ship clean. The yard workers are ordered to put slip-ons over their shoes once they are inside but such solutions never work a 100%.

This is what normally the guests would do, going from their muster location to the lifeboat. Now we use the crew to exercise the crocodile line.

But work goes on and also for the crew side of things. Today we had our full safety drill for the Lloyds Surveyors so they could issue their necessary certificates. And everything went very well, as a matter of fact extremely well. I am not writing this because of the blog but because it was really the case. With these drills I walk around as the ears and the eyes of the Captain on the Bridge as he cannot leave the bridge and I ask my nasty questions to all the crew I come across to see if they are proficient. And I was a very happy camper. Everybody had studied hard and could recite the right answers and were even capable in coming up with solutions that were not in the study material but which you can sort of expostulate if you really understand it all.

All sb. side boats going into the water. We lower in alternating sequence so the boats can sail away unhindered. So 1,5,9,13 etc. and when they are clear and out of the way, 3,7,11 go down and can sail away. Then all lifeboats will sail in a circle until recalled. The Tender/lifeboat (2 engines) sits in the middle to ensure nobody goes the wrong way.

So we did the fire drill, followed by the muster drill of assembling everybody and then we lowered the boats into the water. As mentioned before, our full routine normally takes 45 minutes but in this case it was 90 minutes as the Surveyors took their time to look everywhere and grill here and there a few crew members about their knowledge. So with this out of the way, we can safely sail on our first cruises.

The process of testing all the eating outlets continues as well. And the pattern is quite simple, open up for a few people and then put the pressure on by increasing the numbers. Yesterday we had the Lido open for lunch for all the crew, and as they nearly all come in at the same time, it was a very good test to see if they system is capable of handling it all.  Today the Lido was closed as the yard were carrying out remedial work on what we found not working properly and thus the pressure shifted to the Dining room. And so it will continue until the Hotel Director and his team are  happy that we can provide the service the guests are expecting. One of those services is Room Service and tonight is the first night that the system will be tested. I am not somebody who enjoys room service very much but no doubt there will be a large number of people, currently parked in staterooms, who will go for it.

The Atrium Light show in full swing, It runs through a range of colors varying from white green, reddish to dark blue. With the new Deck 1 center square sculpture rising up from below.

Today they finished the Atrium completely and they had the light show going. For those of you who sailed on the Koningsdam, you will have noticed that it is not always on. That is unfortunately not possible as it would drive the guests and staff at the EXC tour office on Deck one and the Front Desk on Deck 3 absolutely nuts. The Atrium has also a different sculpture on Deck 1. While the Koningsdam has something that looks like a jet turbine from above, here we have stainless flames (?), or leaves (?) or shards (?) going up with lit up rims. Together with the light show around the higher up deck edges and the ceiling it gives a very nice effect.

Deck 2 which has the music walk is now completed. All the protective papers/ cartons and plastic have been removed and all the lounges now look the way they are supposed to look. We are still waiting for the furniture for the Ocean Bar sitting area but that will be moved in soon as the area is ready as it was until now in use as the headquarters for the Bar Lounge and Deck and their provisioning activities for all the mini bars in the cabins.

Three lady portraits on a staircase landing.

If you look closely it is all made up from black and white feathers.









Another piece of art to savor. This is a composition of three collages in the staircase. It looks like photos, but it is all made from feathers and you can only see it from very nearby. Very Very clever.

Weather for tomorrow; 40% chance of rain with the sun peeking through later. The yard should be quiet as it is Sunday but ship’s side things will continue to roll on to get closer and closer to a perfect operation.

1 Comment

  1. “Three lady portraits on a staircase landing” Perhaps it’s Mick Jagger 😉

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