The adventures of Carol Brown, representing Norwegian Cruise Line on a 6-month mission on the open sea to train the crew, explore new ports, seek new friends and experiences, and to boldly go where she has not gone before.
Carol’s log: Cruise Date: May 31, 2011 (Juneau)
I sat up bolt straight in bed around 5:30 a.m. with the distinct feeling that something was amiss. It took me a moment to focus on remembering where I was. I scanned the darkened room and touched reality. I’m on a cruise ship on its way to Juneau, Alaska. Right? I don’t know what is wrong but my gut isn’t often wrong. I slip my feet into my slippers and taking 3 quick steps across the thin red carpet to the light switch. Luckily the room isn’t very big and it only takes a few seconds to search the entire room with my eyes. I spot it and cringe. The lock on my cupboard is locked…and the key is in my pants pocket on the other side of the locked door.
I pull on the lock. Nothing. I use the knife trying to break it. Nothing. I use my spy training, gained from watching James Bond and other spies in action, and makeshift tools to pick the lock. Nothing. I’ve wasted half an hour and I’m no closer to opening the cupboard. I start to sweat. Everything I need is in the cupboard. I can’t even get dressed with the cupboard locked. What do I do now? Almost instinctively, I reach for the phone and dial.
“Hello? I’m so sorry to call so early but could I speak with Floyd?” I say in a whisper, as if I haven’t already awakened him and probably his roommates too.
“Floyd here” he says in a sleepy voice.
“It’s me, Carol. I need your help.” I’m still whispering.
“Anything for you babes” he brightens.
“I locked my keys in my cupboard and I can’t open it.” Still with the whisper.
“Give me 10 minutes and I’ll be right over.”
“Okay, thanks!” a relieved whisper.
True to his word, Floyd shows up in 10 minutes and is armed with a screw driver. He sticks the screw driver between the prongs and magically the lock opens. It is broken but the cupboard is opened. I hug him in gratitude and he holds me almost too tight. I pull away and again express my gratitude.
“Anything for you babes. So that’s what it takes to get a hug from you, eh?”
“Well, the damsel often hugs the knight after he rescues her so I thought it appropriate.” I say nervously realizing that I’m still in my pajamas under my robe.
“If you are okay now, I’ll go, but call me when you are dressed so I can say good morning properly.” He says, his hand on the door handle
“Will do.” I say with a small salute.
So that’s the start of the day. It ends with a crew party at the Spa/fitness centre. There are a lot of familiar faces there including the Captain and a few other officers. The music sucks. It is techno all night even when they play reggae, it is techno reggae. I didn’t even know that existed. Most of the Black guys there are bored because we all want to dance but not to techno. Around 1:00 a.m. folks start to leave. The party only started at 11:00 so you know it was bad that folks were leaving already.
Floyd is discrete the entire time. He acknowledges me but keeps moving around the room. He stops by to ask if I’m okay and if I need a drink or anything. I’m cool and tell him I don’t drink and that I’m bored so I’m leaving. He is understanding and says he’ll call me in the morning. We part. On my way out, a lot of the young men I’ve come to know attempt to convince me to stay. They promise to dance with me or otherwise keep me company so I’m less bored. They are very sweet but I say good-bye and head back to my cabin.
What happens in the middle of the day is that I deliver my first solo training session and it is a success based on the evaluation results. I also write my Basic Safety exam and get 90% which means I don’t have to have a private meeting with the Staff Captain to review the questions I got wrong. Woo hoo!
The voyage continues…