Saturday, 12 January 2008
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Since seeing Top Gun and The Final Countdown, I always wanted to get on board a US Navy Aircraft Carrier. While I haven't managed to do that yet, I have done something equally cool, if not cooler.

I had a guided tour on one of the world's most prestigious cruise ships - the Queen Mary 2! 160.000 tons of ocean-going luxury!

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Consider this set of circumstances:

I am now working in Curacao, not exactly around the corner from most places.

I have a good friend who is the F&B Manager on the Queen Mary 2.

The Queen Mary comes to Curacao on Boxing Day 2007.

We manage to meet up on board!

And this is how it went: After some emailing back and forth with my friend Oliver and getting some security issues out of the way, at about 8am on Boxing Day 2007 2 friends and myself board one of the most famous cruise ships around for a tour of the ship, some breakfast and some drinks.

What can I say? Amazing! Extraordinary! Outstanding! Fantastic! If you ever get a chance to do this, by all means do it. You will not regret it.

The ship is built for Atlantic Crossings and the rough weather that might come with that, but inside you would never know it.

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The place has got about everything. Restaurants, Bars, Night Clubs, Ballrooms, a theatre, a cinema, a Planetarium, a Casino, a world-class spa, tons of shops, an art gallery, a library, pools, basketball courts and god knows what else.

Ah yes, about 1500 cabins for up to 3056 passengers and about 1256 crew. And all the stuff that goes with it to move such a massive piece of equipment around(i.e. engines producing 157.000 horsepower) and at the same time support a life of luxury for the people who can afford to go on such a cruise. That means massive kitchens producing around 12.000 meals a day, gigantic laundries, a desalination plant, giant storerooms to store about 160 pallets full of food and drink, an incinerator and much much more.

Under the competent guidance of my friend we had a look at most of these areas, then went for the best breakfast I can remember in a long time to keep us going for some more exploring.

On that day the ship was the highest and largest building in Curacao and offered some of the best views.

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As pictures probably say more than words, I'll let you see some more.

Let's start with some restaurants and bars...

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Or how about some spotless, shiny kitchens?

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The store rooms were especially impressive to me. Beer anyone? Meat? Some wine maybe? Fish?

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But it's too cold in here. Let's go outside!

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Well, enough for now. You get the idea. You really need to go and experience it yourself. If you don't have the cash to book a cruise (www.cunard.com), you can always go and work on a cruise ship. It's just 6 months or so at a time with 14 hour days without a day off. Easy.

Oliver obviously manages it well. In case you're wondering, he is doing fine, looking well, and will be moving to Australia (of all places) in a couple of weeks.

He also seems to like standing on the left in pictures.

 

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Oli, thanks a million for making this happen! I know we cost you a great deal of time. Please also pass our thanks onto the Provision Master whose name I managed to forget already (Bofatt?).

It was great to see you and I hope we can repeat this at some point in the future. Maybe around the pool in the sun somewhere with an Erdinger in front of us discussing the successes of Bayern München.

Safe travels at all times.

Saturday, 12 January 2008 23:28:25 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |