Discover the most intimate secrets of life aboard a cruise ship. Take part in the daily activities of the officers and crew. Meet the passengers who, for better or worse, become part of the ship’s lore. Experience life at sea…!
"A cruise ship is a miniature world, a microcosm of every art and science known to humankind. We might easily assume she epitomizes our conquest over the laws of nature. Surely such an impressive being must be capable of imposing herself upon the whims of creation. We are awed by her vastness. We consider ourselves her privileged companions. We rejoice in her intimacy.
Then, one day, we go out on deck and see our noble lady humbly plowing her way across a rolling sea, fluttering like a toy boat in a pond. It is then we realize that we are but an insignificant speck at the mercy of a vast ocean." (p. 84)
"Passenger ships rarely get caught in heavy weather. Thanks to radar we can maneuver around local storms, and thanks to weather services we can keep away from the major ones—something cities cannot do. The only bad experience I’ve had was during a transatlantic crossing on a voyage from dry dock in Bremerhaven, Germany. We were headed for the Caribbean with an empty ship—an eerie experience in itself. Steaming out of the English Channel into the North Atlantic, we were met by a gale of sixty-mile-per-hour winds. Twenty to thirty foot seas washed over the decks and sprayed onto the bridge. They battered the Olympia as if buffeting her for pleasure. She rolled, pitched, yawed, heaved, surged and swayed for three days and three nights until we reached the Azores. Captain Strom logged more than eighty hours on the bridge without sleep. I don’t think anyone slept much. I spent those three nights listening to the wind howling outside my porthole, the salt spray hitting with such force it sounded like metal pellets. I promised myself never again to set foot aboard ship. On the third morning we sighted the Azores silhouetted against the gray horizon. I recalled the words of the Roman writer Titus Plautus, 'There is no greater joy than that of a sailor sighting from the deep the distant land.' I agreed." (p. 106)
"The promenade deck is my favorite part of the ship. It is the only public area that doesn’t resemble a luxury hotel. I enjoy looking at the lifeboats, the varnished wood railing, the freshly greased davits, the orange life rings with the ship’s name painted in bold white letters..." (p. 108)
About the Author: Walter has served aboard cruise ships in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Pacific and North Atlantic. In addition to ships and the sea, his interests include literature, mountaineering, physical fitness, cycling, and a lifelong passion for the fine art of tea.