Entry 52, April 28th, 2011, 4:35pm (ship time GMT -4)
Dockside, Bridgetown, Barbados
I can already tell that our British guests are going to be lovely bundles of joy.
We got our first real batch of Brits today, on a pair of 747s from across the pond. I am gathering the distinct impression that if a Brit is not distinctly miserable at least once a day while on holiday, they will consider it an abject failure. Some of them are getting an earlier start than others . . . I heard one man in particular complaining bitterly to Rico (the cruise director, my boss's boss) that he had been told there was a problem with his ID card when there wasn't one and had been forced, forced! to walk all the way back to the gangway from his cabin two decks above for no reason. Personally, I think that we'd be doing this particular fellow a favor if we had him up and down the stairs a few more times . . .
I have officially said goodbye to North America. If all goes according to plan, I won't set foot on American soil again until October. October! And I'm about to add another continent to my travels, bringing the total to 4 (well, five, if you count our landing in Tenerife as Africa, but I don't think that really counts).
The Atlantic swell is strong. The waves look like they are carved out of granite, almost as if the Atlantic water is heavier somehow. We've been bow onto the swell ever since leaving the lee side of Barbados, so the Lady G isn't rolling much, but we're pitching quite noticeably (even amidships you can feel it). There was one wave that I heard hit the bow particularly hard – it sounded like we smashed through a cinder block wall.
Here's an interesting story: another ship in the Grandeur's class was modified a couple years back by RCCL. They cut the ship in half and added a hundred-odd feet of hull, expanding it from six fire zones to seven. I was talking a few nights ago with an officer about whether or not they would ever do that to this ship, and he said that apparently the Grandeur was supposed to be the first to get this modification, but right as they were about to start cutting another ship had a major breakdown and RCCL needed the drydock space. That's why it has been so long since we've been in drydock.
Barbados was nice, although it looks like times are tough. There were some classic signs – broken fountains, unrepaired fire damage . . . but the beach was amazing. Coral beaches are the best, the sand feels like velvet under your feet. Or nougat. Or something.