Behind the scenes on Oriana

//Behind the scenes on Oriana

Passengers heading for home after leaving a cruise or arriving at a ship to start their holiday might wonder what’s involved in turning round a giant liner in the space of a few hours, but never get a chance to look behind the scenes.
Anyone wanting an insight into the hectic activities that occur between a ship entering port at dawn and setting out again before dusk should read the fascinating blog entry by Nigel Travis, currently standing in as Cruise Director on P&O’s Oriana.
The ship arrived in Southampton on Wednesday after a Transatlantic crossing from the Caribbean, and then set out on a 25-night voyage to the Mediterranean.
Soon after breakfast, 1,746 passengers disembarked; by mid-afternoon, 1,749 passengers had boarded the ship – and to complete the picture, there were six passengers who remained on board from one cruise to the next. Lucky them !
About 3,800 suitcases had to be off-loaded for the departing passengers, and the new arrivals brought 4,200 cases with them – all of which were delivered to their cabins by teatime.
Then there were stores which had to be loaded: 22 tonnes of dairy products, 59 tonnes of dry goods, 66 tonnes of frozen food, 78 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables, and 68 tonnes of bonded products – drinks and cigarettes. Another 12 tonnes of fruit and vegetables will be loaded in Piraeus, Greece, on November 3.
The ship’s fuel tanks had to be re-filled as well, with 1,350 tonnes of heavy fuel oil.
In addition to the passengers, there were 148 members of the ship’s company disembarking to go on leave, and 155 joining – not to mention 36 entertainment staff leaving and 41 joining.
Nigel had a busy day himself, with a series of meetings with shore-based managers – the UK headquarters of P&O and its parent company, Carnival Cruises, are in Southampton.
He was meeting and greeting passengers as they came aboard, and by 4.00 pm they were taking part in lifeboat drill. Within an hour the band of the Royal Corps of Signals’ Blandford Garrison was playing on the quayside as the ship cast off and sailed down Southampton Water.
“Once we have sailed, I and my entire team will get around all the public rooms in the evening, and needless to say a full entertainment schedule is in place for our passengers. I will hope to get to my cabin no later than 12.15am, and I can assure you once my head hits that pillow I will be out like a light!” he writes.
I hope he got a good night’s sleep – he deserved it, and there’s a hectic three weeks ahead.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:36+00:00 23 October 2009|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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