Entry 17, March 22nd, 2011, 11:58pm (ship time)
My Spanish is improving; I know several ways to inform the passengers that I have no idea what they're saying. "No comprendo," (I do not understand) is a good one, or "No tiendo," along with "Lo siento senor/senora/senorita, no hablo espanol," (I'm sorry sir/maam/miss, I don't speak Spanish). The newest addition to my arsenal is "Yo soy un americano," (I am American) which usually works as everyone else naturally assumes that as a citizen of the USA I only speak English (or that I only speak Amurhican, depending on which side of the Mason-Dixon line I was born on).
Next I plan on adding "Yo solo hablo ingles," except I'm not sure where solo is supposed to go in that sentence yet. For those of you who actually speak Spanish, feel free to point out any of my mistakes. In fact, please point them out, as I would rather know about it sooner instead of later.
I was able to tell a pair of kids on deck 11 whether or not the boat was moving, as well as greet several people without incident (all during my nightly jog around the track) so that's a sign of improvement. While I'm thinking of it, a friend asked me about the fitness facilities on board, so let me give a little explanation. I'll do a more detailed post on this when I start my "Where Does David Live?" series of posts on various areas of the ship (you heard it here first!) but I can fill people in on the basics now.
There are three main ways to stay fit on the ship for cast members and musicians. First of all, there's the crew fitness center. This is a room located on deck 0 (below the waterline) almost all the way forward, squeezed in between the photo laboratory and the bow thruster room. It has a pretty good set of equipment -- lots of free weights, two benches, a few weight machines that I am no expert in, three bikes, two ellipticals (a device I have never gotten the hang of), and a treadmill. The weight bench is one of the more interesting parts, as the bar is actually mounted to a track that is anchored to the floor and ceiling to keep someone from being crushed as the ship hits a large wave. This is where I usually work out, even though there is usually at least one totally ripped Latino guy in there vibing me out most nights.
As musicians, we are allowed to use the passenger gym. This is significantly nicer and is located astern on deck 9 with a view of the ocean. Equipment is about the same, but higher quality and more numerous. I don't usually work out here (as then I would have to deal with passengers) but I may start soon.
The third option is the track on deck 10. Crew and staff can use the track after a certain time, and I usually try to do this when I'm working cardio as it is much better than pumping a bike down in the crew gym. It can get windy though -- a few nights ago I was worried I was going to get blown off the ship! Tonight wasn't nearly as bad -- we're hove-to in the lee of Jamaica, bow into the wind and just enough power on to keep the ship from drifting. With the large wind-shields set up around the deck, it was fairly pleasant.