Tomorrow (7 Oct, Sunday) will be the big day; first contact with land after a seven day voyage from Alaska. We are all looking forward to the day when we see land once again. With the mostly overcast, some rain, choppy seas, and until very recently not even seeing other ships we’re ready for a change of pace.
One “problem” however is that we left Alaska with 50-degree weather and heavy coats. The prediction for Tokyo tomorrow is 86-degrees F with 50% humidity. And, many of you know how feel about hot and humid. But, that report is for another day.
Today 14 of us got the Ultimate Ship Tour we signed up for. It was a 3.5 hour run through the guts of the ship from the bridge down to the laundry and most everything in between. Sorry but no photos were allowed. I’m going to try to see if I can get a few bridge photos to go with those I got on the Pacific Princess but can’t guarantee anything. We did have the ship’s photographer take three group photos with the Captain on the bridge, with dancers on the Princess Theater stage, and with the Engineer down in the engine control room. I’ll see if I can add one or more of those if I get digital versions. Right now I only have print versions.
In addition to the bridge, we got to see the control booth and backstage at the theater which is as capable as any large theater with 674 seats and set for stage perfornmances. Two of the performance dancers were on hand for our group photo there.
We then made our way down to deck four and the M1. The M1 is a single large corridor that runs from one end of the ship to the other. It has many branches and is largely how ship’s crew can quickly get from one part of the ship to another while we have to fight other passengers and make our way by merchandise on sale and the like as we make the same trip on deck seven. It’s called the M1 as it mimics the M1 in England; a road that basically runs from one end of the country to the other.
We toured an immense galley that is on deck five and services both the deck five and deck six dining rooms as well as the buffet. It’s an amazing setup with whole lines just set up for beef, fish, vegetables, etc. so that the various food types don’t mix in their raw state. All the stores are kept either frozen or at near freezing temperatures so they last for a longer time.
The laundry is on deck three which is below water level. They work 24 hours/day with the night shift being three people. The washers hold between 45 and 70 pound loads and the wet clothes are taken to massive dryers using automated mechanical systems. With the number of “elite” Captain’s Circle members on the ship passenger laundry turnaround is around three to four days. To that end I’m controlling what I give them by doing the shorts and socks by hand each night in the wash basin and sending the shirts and pants to the laundry. That seems to be working and gives me good control over the number of shorts and socks I keep on hand for use.
We went to the engineering control center but not the engineering room itself for safety reasons. Basically, the ship runs on electricity generated by up to three generators. That powers the engines that drive the propellers and the thrusters of which there are six; three forward and three aft.
The printing shop was small for the output they produce. We are constantly getting various papers by our doors many of which are read and then discarded to be burned in the ship’s incinerator.
Finally, we went down to the photo department where the photographer had the photos he took done and we got our copies along with a nice frame. At the end of the tour we sat a bit with champagne (the good stuff, not what’s served at parties) and we finished just in time for the progressive trivia game.
Later in the day some other little gifts appeared in the room: a bathrobe (a nice one that actually fits), an apron, and a pad of papers with our name at the top of each page for personalized notes.
Now on to Yokohama, the gateway to Tokyo where I have a full-day excursion.