Florida Guide > Other Activities
Cruising on Carnival Glory – Part 2
We have embarked on our cruise ship, Carnival Glory, and the ship is a hive of activity. People are arriving on the ship, finding their way round, exploring every inch, excitement showing on their faces. We are delighted with our stateroom, which has a lovely balcony, and we are pleased to find that our suitcases are ready and waiting for us when we reach it.
We decide to quickly unpack before we are called to Boat Stations for the compulsory boat drill which must take place before the ship sails. Job done we pick up our lifejackets – you must never put them on until advised to do so – and make our way up to our muster station, which is in the atrium.
The alarm bells ring, and the drill begins. It is an odd drill as we simply stand around, with nobody taking charge or ensuring that lifejackets are correctly put on. It does not seem to be taken very seriously, and yet an emergency on the high seas could be very dangerous. Each ship we have been on seems to handle such drills differently. On British ships it is taken very seriously and crew members ensure that passengers are aware of what to do. The drill ends and people drift away.
Our sense of excitement increases as we realise that we will be sailing in a few minutes, so we dash down to the cabin to deposit our lifejackets, grab our cameras and step out onto our balcony. No need for us to stand on the crowded deck, we have a front seat view. As we lean over the side we see the powerful side thrusters start up, and almost imperceptibly our ship moves out from the dock, sideways at first, and then forward. The huge engines kick in and we are on our way. The sun is shining on the gleaming water, and the ship moves silently away from the port, gliding gracefully down the waterway, with small boats chasing us, passing close to the ship. People onboard wave cheerfully at us and we return the favour.
Ahead of us is a beach, and people stop what they are doing and stand and watch as Glory passes them. The pilot boat speeds up to the ship’s side, keeping pace with her as we steam out into the ocean. The pilot’s job is nearly over and soon he will hop from the ship to his boat. With great skill the pilot boat maintains its position alongside, a stream of water churning out in its wake, then suddenly it comes right up alongside the huge sides of our liner. It takes great skill to prevent this small boat from being crushed against the sides. The transfer takes a split second and the pilot is back on board the boat, with a wave he goes below, and the pilot boat instantly turns wide of the ship, accompanying us until we are out into open water. Glory picks up speed and leaves this tiny boat way behind. We are on our own. Behind us is the port, and ahead is the Caribbean Sea.
As the sky turns a stunning pink, we reluctantly leave our viewpoint and return to the cabin. Our cruise has truly begun, and it is nearly time for dinner. One final look at the water and we shut the door. There will be plenty of time to sit and watch the sea, as we sail towards our first port of call, Grand Turk, in the Turks and Caicos islands.
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Page added on: 20 October 2009
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