Big boat – Day 6

Today was back to vacation mode, lie in and breakfast with Jess while the kids watch tv. Below is our location, heading and speed at 11:30am.

Next up some shuffle board on the back desk.

After lunch we took in the All Access boat tour.

First up was one of the ships 16 galleys. I figured all the food was centrally cooked, which is some what correct. The main galley preps, prepares and distributes soups, salads and pastries to all restaurants. It also cooks everything on menu of the Silk Restaurant. It’s big, nosy and spotless. It runs around the clock and every surface gets wiped down once per day….that includes all walls and the ceiling.

In the pastry area the head chief will mock up what a desert should look like and then the assistants will made a few thousand!

In the salad area an order for Tomato and Mozzarella salad was under way. For the 1st serving of tonight’s dinner they will make 1,400 salads. If they need more for late eaters or folks that order two or three, they will start making more….in real time. With 5,000 guests and over 2,000 staff that’s a lot of people to feed.

Next was engineer. Imaging Star Trek with more button, switches, knobs and screens. Two people at all times work four hour shifts.

Not only can they monitor everything on the ship, but they actually have cameras inside the Azipods. Thats the propulsion system which move the ship. No more direct driveshaft to propeller, the Azipods are electric motors mounted to the underside of the ship. The 6 main diesel motors are essentially producing electricity. If you want more specs on the ship go here. The below is a photo of the Azipods the last time it was in dry dock. As a matter of interest the three propeller (gold part) cost over 12 million US dollars. Hate to see the price tag on the whole ship.

The architect in me had to take a photo of a table top that had technical drawings of the ship as part of the top. The first one is looking the length of the table and the second is a close up of Decks 5, 6 and 7.

After that it was off to the Wheelhouse. It’s a massive space with very little in it bar the main console and two small ones on either end. Unfortunately, with all the natural light it was hard to get a good photo. The following is only a small portion of the main console.

By the way there’s no wheel, well…it’s got a small one which is hardly ever used. The ship is fly by wire with a joy stick and three buttons. According to our guide the most important item is the cup holder which is for all the coffee they consume. The below is JMan and our guide as he was explaining one of the side consoles used during docking. There’s a mirrored copy on the side of the ship.

Our guide explained that the ship is mostly under auto pilot when under way, but docking and leaving port is always manual. Once the ship gets to a certain point a local pilot will come onboard and explain how to navigate safely to the dock. The rule is simply, they can talk all they want but not touch anything.

Next was the laundry. The laundry master gave us some numbers and I can’t really remember, but you can guess that 7,000 people will go through a fair very sheets, towels and assorted linens in a day. All the work is done by 26 people! 10 to 12 hour days are normal with 8 to 10 for days when the ship is in port as many people will leave the ship.

First image is a washing machine that can handle 150lbs. It’s not the biggest. The second image is a fully automated multi station machine thats used to wash bed linens and towels. At the start the items are loaded off a conveyor belt, the machine does its thing and at the other end out comes clear items. They get loaded into hoppers that sent up to the next level in an automated elevator to the drying machines. The drying machine are fed by hand. 2 people pull from the hoppers and 2 more feed the machine. The sheets are dried, folded and sorted by size. Another person at the end stack everything on rolling racks and off they go.

Here’s an interesting fact. All hand rails in the guest spaces are disinfected every 30 minutes and every 15 to 20 minutes in the crew only areas. They also have more Purell dispenser than most hospitals I visited and they have there own Wash your hand song. A simple cold bug can ground the whole works and if an infection gets bad enough you will be confined to your suite or worse yet part of the ship or some times the entire ship is quarantined. The good news is the Allure of the Sea has 50 bars…..its a Mick’s dream.

Now back to the tour; the laundry is hot work and I simply cannot imagine 10 to 12 hours per day of it, so I’m thankful for what I/we have.

After lunch at Johnny Rockets which is just like sitting at the one in the Burlington Mall Jess and I headed to the zip line. It’s not that long, but long enough to get your heart rate up!

First 2 shoes are Jess getting suited up and in motion and the second 2 are your truly. The lad helping us was from Sheffield England and mentioned that he loves Galway, however he was never in Sean’s Bar in my home town. He said he’ll visit next time he’s in the Green Sod.

Tonight was another formal night but we were all beat and still full from lunch, so a light snack in the Wind Gammer and back to our suite. Tonight we were greeted by a hanging monkey.

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