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Three Quick Cruise Stories

August 23, 2017

What day is it anyway?

Cruise ships are big. I mean really big. the Oosterdam, the ship we were on had eleven floors. That’s 100 feet more or less. Our cabin was on deck 8. Most of the food was on the Lido deck which was deck 9. Except the dining room was on deck 2. You either walked up and down a lot of stairs or you took the elevators. If it seems weird to take an elevator on a ship, you probably, like me, are used to boats.

I noticed two interesting things about the elevators. Most of them were glass walled and being on the outside of the ship, gave a great view of the ocean as you rode up and down to the food. There weren’t that many elevators, but I thought it was interesting that the ship named the elevators. The first one we rode on was named Monday. It was Wednesday before I figured out that they just changed the carpet in them each day. Seriously? We need to be told what day it is?

Yup. By Friday and Saturday I was starting to get confused.

What is our port of call tomorrow?

I don’t remember. What day is it?

Just a second, let me check the elevator.

I have a bad knee, so I appreciated the elevators. Except for the time I had to take it down to deck 1. As we watched the numbers count down from deck 8, we eventually descended to decks that did not offer a view of the ocean. I just want to say that wall papering the elevator shaft with underwater scenes was probably not the best idea.

No Cash, But There Was A Casino

The onboard casino wasn’t all that big. I don’t gamble because I studied statistics. Cash was banned onboard. Everything was tied to a smart card that each passenger had. My brother and my step father were willing to donate their money to the cruise line. Gambling is all about statistics. Gamblers are superstitious people, but it’s really about probability and numbers. “Luck” has very little to do with it. Still. . . I watched my brother and step father play the slots multiple times. My brother consistently lost. My step father consistently won. The example that made me doubt my stats model was when they were sitting side by side. My step father winning, my brother losing. Finally, my brother gave up and my stepfather took over the slot machine that had just eaten $10 of my brother’s money. . .and he won $20. Some people are just luckier than others.

Interestingly the casinos on the ship have windows. . .but they still don’t have clocks.

Too Literary

I love Clive Cussler books. He wrote Raise The Titanic, Sahara, and about 100 books, mostly about the sea. There are even a couple set aboard cruise ships. And they are adventure novels, so I spent a lot of time imagining the terrorists from one of his books were going to attack. The hallways were very long. During rough seas, it was funny to watch people stagger down the hallway like, well, a drunken sailor. I’m not sure if there was a reason for it, but none of the carpet had strait lines on it. They were all wavy or curved.

I’ve wanted to be a writer for a long time. I remember taking a cruise early in our marriage. I tried to think of how I could take advantage of the cruise to help my writing. Twenty-five years later, I realized that anything can be an inspiration for writing. It’s not about taking a cruise and using it as an topic to write about. It’s more being a writer and simply writing what you see.

Writers write.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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  1. Big: oh my yes. The cruise ships upon which we’ve held the last three Writing Excuses retreats are Independence of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and Fantasia. I tried looking up a size comparison between them and Oostergard, but couldn’t find that listed as a name for a cruise ship. I did find Oosterdam, though, a Holland America vessel that sounds like it’s the size of the ship you were on.

    All three WXR cruise ships have been *huge*, and Oasis of the Seas was the largest cruise ship in the world at the time it was built (its sister ships are both longer, but not by very much.)

    And yes, the best part was the day-of-the-week in the elevators. Fantasia did not have that feature, and we suffered greatly for it.


    • Fixed it. Yes, Oosterdam. My step father even made the joke “I’ve been on a bunch of those ‘dam’ ships.”

      The cruise we took years ago with a small 500 person Royal Caribbean ship.

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