This is our first day without guests and the ship has moved to a regular work day from 08.00 – 17.00 hrs. for those who now do not need to work shifts. Similar as with a dry dock, the Hotel department grabs the chance to turn all the cabins and the whole ship upside down. Compare it to the Spring Clean ashore. Also because it is now expected that we will be out of service for a considerable amount of time (see the publications to the outside world) the cabins are stripped from all linens and the mattresses put in an upright position as that is better for them when they are not used. This whole operation will keep everybody occupied for quite a few days, maybe even a few weeks. The Bar service is doing the same thing, turning all the bars upside down and having a complete inventory count. That is already normal practice but it is hard to get it completely right when service continues to the guests at the same time.
Deck and Engine is focused along similar lines. Maintenance and projects can now take place; and can take place more continuous as there are no guests who could be affected by the noise or hindered when sitting on the outside decks. And thus a large number of things that would take place while working around the guests needs, can now roll on in a continuous sequence. I estimate that what would we would normally do in 3 to 4 months, can now be done in a month or so as we do not constantly have to take gear away and build it up again. And thus we can only say, Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining.
For the rest nothing changes for the on board set up. This is not a dry dock where a number of people from outside tear the whole place apart (with the intention to build it up again in a better way) and do so while making quite a mess. Then we tape off the whole ship and we all walk around in coveralls and various variations of dirty clothing. Now we are in uniform and we will stay in uniform so that the focus remains on a clean, fully operational ship, which is only lacking its most important item: Guests to Serve. And for that we can only wait and see.
There are still no issues here in the local area and thus the crew can go off in groups as the Team Leaders have made adjustments to the working schedules. But everybody has to be back at 1800 hrs. today in case the Captain gets his sailing orders. Yesterday we did the same, everybody back by 24.00 hrs. in case we had to sail late at night. If we stay a few days more, it will be interesting to see how quickly the crew will get tired of Puerto Vallarta. At the moment Walmart is doing a roaring trade as everybody seems to stack up for a prolonged period at sea. We have everything on board, but not necessarily every favorite variation of chips, Crisps and nibbles. And last night I overheard a conversation between the Bar Ladies about whether xx or yy shampoo was better because Walmart only had zz and aa stuff available on board was absolutely not good for long black hair. (I did not know that there was a difference between shampoo for short hair and long hair, while I have been indoctrinated by my wife in about nearly everything that has to do with hairdressing for the last 30 years)
Today is a national holiday day here in Mexico: Benito Juárez’s Birthday. This man was President of Mexico from 1858 to 1871 during the period that the French tried to take over Mexico and put an emperor on the throne. Although he seemed to have been a controversial figure (which politician is not ???) he is credited with restoring the independence of Mexico in 1867. And his birthday is celebrated ever since. Thus it made sense to me to see the pirate ship going out this morning, not full of lobster colored tourists, but with a contingent of Mexican families on a day’s outing. If we are still here tonight, it will also be interesting to see if they also go on the evening booze cruise, which can be quite a romantic affair as long as the people around you think more cruise than booze.
Thus we are all waiting for what the next step in our adventure will be. More Puerto Vallarta or are we heading towards new horizons. Whatever the solution is, the weather is promising to be nice again tomorrow.