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Cruise Ship    
  They’re the ocean-bound retreats that promise to take their guests to paradise. There’s something about being cut off form land and being cut in this totally different environment. Women become a little bit more glamorous. Men become a little bit more charming. You’re out there in the middle of the ocean. The stars are there. The wind is blowing. I mean, it’s just, it’s breathtaking. It’s a play world; it’s a dream world. It’s not the real world. From the sparkling new mega liners—Grand Princess is now secure for sea and ready to sail—to the scaled-down “fun ships”, it’s high tide for the cruising industry—a six billion dollar business that just keeps getting bigger.

  A thousand-person crew is needed around the clock to keep the giant vessel running smoothly. The trickiest coordination of employees takes place in the galley, where exacting precision is needed to simultaneously keep more than two thousand stomachs full and thousands of dirty dishes clean! For maximum efficiency, each employee is assigned a specific task. Cooks clean and chop vegetables. Others prepare the main course. In assembly-line fashion, the meals are arranged and delivered to the dining room and before passengers even finish their entrees, an army of workers is busy dealing with dessert. These hard-working crewmembers don’t exactly live the high life on a cruise line often live gin tiny quarters for months on end. The crew cabins are much smaller of course than the passenger cabins. The space that gives you revenue is the space that is occupied by the passengers. So the more space you can give to the passengers, the more revenue.

  Cruise directors keep passengers busy with carefully contrived activities and poolside games. Everything from trivia contests to jigsaw puzzle contests to scavenger hunts, karaoke, bingo, horse racing, country line dancing, ballroom dancing, napkin folding, um, everything. This constant social interaction can sometimes cause guests to feel a little too comfortable with cruise directors.

  Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. This is from the bridge. The captain speaking. Back on the bridge, captain Romano charts his routes on navigational maps. Radar, sonar, and precise computer-generated graphics help keep the vessel on course. Now the ships are becoming more and more like airplane cockpits. Everything is sort of put together. So from one position you can actually control the whole ship without moving all around. It’s much more efficient. With one fluid turn of the thrusters, hundred-plus ton vessels can be steered effortlessly across the ocean.

  But as majestic as they may appear on the surface, cruise lines can leave some ugly scars in their wake. It’s very, very important that we keep the areas that we cruise to and the waters that we cruise on safe and clean and attractive for all of our guests and employees. Boatloads of tourists can overwhelm these small exotic ports. Overcrowding is, is, in my opinion, uh, one of the situations which needs to be addressed. There’s a race to see which island can grow as quickly as possible because the cruise ships have a tremendous positive effect on the economics of the particular destination. But economic gain may not be enough to compensate for ecological damage. Illegal trash dumping is one of the industry’s most common infractions, despite the fact all ships are equipped to manage the garbage they generate. We have two incinerators that, uh, burn all the combustibles. Cans, we compact so they’re easy to handle and we store and we off load them at our turnaround port. We have so much glass, all the wine and what have you that’s consumed on board, and we actually crush that. Roughly, about a ton of glass a week and about two tons each of, uh, aluminium and steel.

  Cruise lines have recently been host to a couple of serious health problems as well. Fortunately, in the last decade, only four passengers have been killed while travelling on a cruise line, all of them on the Achille Lauro, which sank off the coast of Somalia in 1995. Compare those statistics to major airline safety records and cruise experts say you’ll see how their commitment to safety pays off. From the engines to the lifeboats to the kitchen, these standards, “Safety of Life At Sea,” cover it all. On today’s cruise ships, you have to have a lifeboat drill within twenty-four hours of embarkation. Check that there is nothing in the water below you, look straight ahead and step off. Do not jump. 24 hours after boarding, mandatory emergency drills are held in what are called muster stations. I got some people hiding in the corner over here, are all you people in life raft number 4? Today’s cruise ships are amazingly safe. The new technologies that are built into today’s cruise ships are just outstanding.


世纪游轮

  这是海上的乐园,是游客们的海上天堂。这种感觉很奇妙,远离陆地,呆在这个截然不同的环境里。女士们显得光彩照人,男士们也平添了很多魅力。远离陆地,身处海上,星光闪耀,微风拂面。这种感觉真的是,真的是动人心弦。这是游乐天堂,这是梦幻世界,一切都很不真实。从引人注目的新巨型游轮,到缩小型的游乐船,航游这项耗资六十亿美元,并且不断扩大的产业,正发展到高潮。

  上千名的船员昼夜轮班,以保证游轮一切工作正常。最有趣的合作是在厨房里,这里需要严格的精确,以确保两千人随时有东西吃,数以千计的盘子保持干净。为了尽可能的高效工作,每个人都有具体的分工。炊事员洗菜切菜,其他人准备主菜。这是流水线式的工作,饭菜被一一准备好,送到餐厅。游客们还没吃完小菜,一大帮人就已经在准备甜点了。这些辛勤的船员生活条件并不好,经常几个月都住在狭小的宿舍里。船员的住处当然比乘客的小得多。能带来收入的是乘客使用的区域,给乘客使用的地方越大,收入就会越多。

  管理人员为游客们精心设计了各式各样的活动和游泳池游戏。从难题答问比赛,到拼图比赛,到拾荒游戏,卡拉OK,宾戈游戏,赛马,乡村舞蹈,交谊舞,叠餐巾,各种各样的活动。这种频繁的社交活动有时让乘客们觉得管理人员想得实在是太周到了。

  晚上好,女士们先生们。这里是驾驶台。我是船长。在驾驶台上,船长在海图上画出航线。雷达,声纳和精确的电脑制图有助于确保游轮在正确的航线上航行。现在轮船越来越像飞机了,所有的仪器都被集成到一起,在一个地方就可以控制整条船。这样效率高多了。轻轻地转一下推进器,就可以轻松地驾驶一百多吨的轮船了。

  尽管游轮外表壮丽,他们却在经过的地方留下了一些脏东西。这一点非常重要,保持我们经过的水域和目的地安全并且清洁,能吸引游客和船员。整船整船的游客常常会挤满旅游点。我认为人太多是一个亟待解决的问题。有人好像在比赛,看那个岛上人增长得最多,因为游轮能带来巨大的经济效益。但是经济效益也许不足以补偿生态环境所受到的损害。游轮非法倾倒垃圾是这个产业的一大问,尽管每艘船上都配备有处理垃圾的设备。我们有两个焚化炉,焚化所有的可燃物。我们把易拉罐压缩,这样便于处理,我们把这些存放起来,到周转港卸下来。我们有很多玻璃,酒瓶,还有船上消耗的各种东西。我们把这些都粉碎。每周大约有一吨玻璃,铝铁各两吨。

  游轮上也有过健康方面的问题。但幸运的是,在过去十年里,只有四名游客在游轮上死亡,他们都是Achille Lauro号的乘客,Achille Lauro号于1995年在索马里海岸沉没。比起各大航空公司的安全纪录,专家认为游轮兑现了安全的承诺。从引擎到救生艇,再到厨房,一切都是遵照海上安全标准设计的。在现在的游轮上,你上船二十四小时以内就会接受救生艇训练。看看前面水里是不是没有东西,向前看,走下去,不要跳下去。登船二十四小时后,游客必须在集合点接受紧急事故训练。这边还有几个人,你们都是四号救生筏里的吗?现在的游轮非常安全,现在的游轮采用了非常先进的技术。





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