Archive for May 2nd, 2011

Norwegian Spirit

May 2nd, 2011 6 comments

This is the oldest of the Norwegian Cruise Line Ships. Trying to maintain her proud heritage with scrupulous cleanliness and crews with shining smiles, there is still no covering up her age. Perhaps it is the fact that there are carpets that smell of cigarette smoke when it is damp? Ot that much of the decorations seem dated? I have been on older ships – Artemis and Voyager come to mind, but they seems aged, not worn out or fatigued.

In any case, it also might relate to the people who take this particular cruise. Unlike many ships which have a long or slightly varied route (one direction one week, reversal the next or two routes which alternate – this ship does the same route from New Orleans along the Yucatan coast and back. Week after week after week. Most of the crew seems to be on their first contract,

The guests, most of whom seem to be on a cruise for the first time, seem to be mostly interested in the “all you can eat” buffets. I still was not prepared for both the level of obesity that I knew existed in the US. Intellectually knowing about it is one thing and being confronted at every turn by individuals of half my age incapable of climbing stairs due to their weight is quite another.

I look at my plate in the morning – fresh fruit, bagel and cream cheese. I look at theirs heaped so high that I am afraid the grease is going to drive it over the edge before they manage to get to a table. It is why you will see I have made every possible effort to avoid having people in these photos.

This is also a low end cruise, which also might explain the number of people just thrilled with Bingo and the lack of quizzes and competitions related to any intellectual pursuits. And, if you are about to write me off as a snob – your choice. I don’t care what someone does for a living – what I do care about is people who can’t seem to take care of themselves, dress themselves in clothing that doesn’t leave large expanses of skin exposed to the elements (and my vision) and ride a scooter due to weight (not disability).

And it is not just me – the US Coast Guard has just changed their “average weight standards” to decrease the number of people allowed on boats, ferries and other water born transportation in order to accommodate the increasing size of the US population. I worry about having to use life boats. There might be the right number of seats for the number of passengers, but no way is everyone going to fit. That does make it my concern.

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