Crown Tour Educating Passengers

ON BOARD THE CROWN PRINCESS — Ten things we learned yesterday during the Ultimate Ship Tour ($150) of the Crown Princess, somewhere on the sun-stroked waters of the Gulf of Mexico:

1. This era of more sensible eating hasn't really impacted the ratio of the 20 to 25 tons of food consumed each day, but it has resulted in soy milk moving from the list of "dietary items" to the main menu. Veggies and meats are still ordered and prepared in the same proportion, although the passenger demographics affects salt content. The salt consumed by a ship full of Americans is double that of the salt consumed by Europeans.

2. Performers recruited for shows in the Princess Theater have to be multi-talented — How many people do you know who can sing and dance to hip-hop, jazz, tap, disco and ballet? — and spend four to six weeks rehearsing at the cruise line's studio adjacent to headquarters in Santa Clarita. Princess claims it has more space devoted to entertainment per ship than any other line.

3. X-rays taken in the medical center are transmitted to a radiologist in Texas for interpretation, and returned to ship doctors within 24 hours.

4. Bakers make between 20,000 and 24,000 rolls every day.

5. Almost everything you don't see happening on a ship — food preparation to laundry to photo processing to cleaning — is going 24/7.

6. The ship's anchor is not what keeps it in place when it parks to tender passengers ashore, as it will this week in Belize, so much as the chains that drop the anchor to a depth of about 180 feet…and, while this doesn't apply to cruise ships, the anchor well (right) on cargo ships is a popular place for stowaways to hide.

7. Helicopter evacuation for critically ill patients is far from automatic. The ship has to be inside 350 miles of helicopter service, the weather has to be good enough for 'copters to fly and the patient has to be capable of surviving a helicopter transfer.

8. The Crown Princess burns about 1,000 tons of fuel on a typical seven-day cruise like this one to the Western Caribbean, at a cost of approximately $100,000 per day, and requires about 220 liters of clean water for each passenger every day.

9. Costumes for the 17 theater performers — and there 1,600 of them (costumes, that is) are made to be long-lasting and flexible. That's flexible, as in size. Two seamstresses can change costume sizes to go up or down by several sizes. Going up might be a service Princess can offer customers who eat too much.

10. The reason the funnels are the dirtiest part of the ship is that for safety reasons it's off limits to crew except when all the engines are shut down, and that can only happen in three North American ports — Alaska, Vancouver and San Francisco — where electrical systems can be kept running by plugging into outlets on the shore. And the closest any passenger can get to the funnels is just above Deck 16, some 190 feet above the water, and the only way you'll get that close on the Crown Princess is on the Ultimate Ship Tour.

 


Carnival Pride
7 nights
April 21, 2013
Baltimore (return): Port Canaveral, Nassau, Freeport
Inside: $469
Cost per day: $67
www.carnival.com

 

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