Today we ran out of fresh milk and had to move to UHT. It’s a reminder of the joys of long cruises. However, this is one of the most entertaining sea days imaginable.

Radiance of the Seas, Day 11: at sea

Today we ran out of fresh milk and had to move to UHT. It’s a reminder of the joys of long cruises. However, this is one of the most entertaining sea days imaginable.

Captain Claus Andersen has bravely, if foolhardily, agreed to host a Captain’s Corner in the Aurora Theatre at lunchtime. He’s very personable and is only in his early 40s and he gives a great presentation on the ship and some of the features that make it special. We learn that the two engines produce 27,500 horsepower each and use 6.6 tons of fuel per hour when run flat out.

He also details the changes to Radiance of the Seas that will take place later this month when she goes into dry dock in Vancouver for nine days and then wetdock for 11 days. As well as the crew who stay on board, there will be 800 workers on board to get it all done in the time allocated.

Like other important talks on board it’s signed for the deaf. From memory, I don’t think the comedians are signed and that’s probably a good thing, particularly for the late-night shows.

Considering the measured tone of his talk, the captain probably expected sensible questions. The first is from a passenger who has been on the ship before and wants to know why trays have been taken out of the Windjammer Café. The captain is rather taken aback but patiently explains that, by doing so, Royal Caribbean International greatly reduced waste from people taking too much food to fill big plates on a tray.

Under questioning he reveals how tight the Panama Canal is for this ship and how expensive that extra size is, because the ship requires a special clause to be allowed through at all. Of course there’s a question asked on security and, while specifically avoiding providing any details, he does tell us that Royal Caribbean International’s security team includes one staff member who was recently Number 3 in the FBI and another who served as Number 2 in the FBI. Now that adds an element of security.

I’m just thinking that perhaps people should have to lodge their questions in advance, when the captain is asked why this is a 15-night voyage but there are only two big production shows in the theatre. Although this is probably outside the responsibilities of a ship’s master, he has to explain about logistics, rehearsals and how this is a special trip that ends up with the ship out of commission for several weeks so getting a whole troupe together for one cruise would not be sensible. I don’t think the interrogator was satisfied but the rest of us silently applauded.

Words: David McGonigal.

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