Wednesday, November 13, 2013

All aboard !! - part one.

I spent 2 days and a night on a cruise ship recently. It was the Star Cruises Superstar Libra, 2 days 1 night cruise to open waters and back. My expectation was, 1 night..? I don't think that is going to be enough. Should I risk on not sleeping the night and push my brain and body to the limit, risking severe lethargy and sleep debt for a good few days at the next week? Boy, was I wrong. Not 12 hours into, already I couldn't wait for the ship to berth the next day.

We boarded the Libra at 12pm at Penang Port on Friday. There's a dedicated car parking area near the Queen Victoria Clock Tower at rm10 overnight. We had lunch on board and waited around an hour plus for our rooms...I wondered if the ship sailed on a daily needed to be cleaned prior. So lunch, was either  fried koey teow or fried rice, but everything was a little bit too salty.."coz we're on board a ship bound for the open sea..geddit? geddit??" ......

The salty dishes did not raise any worries in me. I thought well, they should employ many cooks with different specialties, like in a hotel I suppose, probably this cook sipped the coffee a little too hot this morning and burned his tongue, well...nevermind, off to the next fun thing.. 

Unfortunately, not 5 minutes of forgetting the salty sea lunch dishes, I had another concern to worry about, where to get a drinking water? The glass of red-wine-sized of plain water was definitely not sufficient to handle the salty sea lunch albeit neither one of us finished our meals. We weren't allowed to bring any foods or drinks aboard, shouldn't there be a convenient store anywhere in the ship that stocks some personal necessities like, bottled water....or sanitary pads..? Or at least a vending machine or water coolers..? 

Wait..there should be two bottles of complimentary mineral or drinking water in the room later, right...phew ok, crisis averted. 

So we took a few pictures here and there before we were handed with our room key cards. Finding fun spots for pictures, I hate to admit this cause I don't like the movie, I couldn't help myself comparing the experience to Titanic. Oh, look the stairs with the golden painted rails and red carpeted staircases, oh the chandelier, even the picture frames and the wooden walls and the wooden floors and the decos so was so far an interesting experience for those who notice and appreciate the little things in the decorations. And the long corridor lined with doors to hundreds of rooms, yes, I did imagine both Jack and Rose labourously wading through the icy cold water along a corridor such as this trying to get to the upper deck. Deck. How often do you get to use the word, deck, and berthed and make port and mockingly shouting, "All aboaaarrdddd!" and being literally in the correct situation, on a sea ship, tell me? It was exciting, thanks to the easily amused me-self coz otherwise I'll be too tough on myself and develop an early heart attack from the stress of going through this uneventful life.

Our rooms were way way way towards the end of the hundreds of rooms of corridor. It was a long walk of hauling our baggage towards our rooms but we had our imaginations spoken out loud to thank for. My imagination went backwards a few frames of the film though, to the point where Rose was rescuing Jack, chained to an iron beam, with an axe. That upper class dignified petite small framed lady, I should very much assume had never hold an axe in her entire life, had actually managed to successfully, may I remind you, wield that heavy axe with a couple of blows to break off the chains..with her freaking eyes closed, damnit! It's like watching an elaborated tamil or hindi action drama.

OK, so she probably had been riding horses all her life to strengthen those legs firm to the floor in that icy cold water up her waist while she was wielding that axe, cause, there is a high possibility that without training, she would have fallen forward yielding a part of Jack's face instead of, well, Jack.. 

By the way, have you ever walked in a swimming pool with  the water above your waist? Try to recall steadying your feet to the floor and imagine holding a, definitely heavy, wooden handle, iron head axe in your hand, and then, wield it. With or without shoes..whatever..They should have just made her use a key or hair pins. 

So, we arrived at our rooms. We quickly gathered in a room together to plan for our next rendezvous..the deck or the pool or the activity rooms or....? While talking, we were checking on the room, it was rather small, typical to a cabin of course, so pretty cozy especially when accompanied with one square sea viewing see-through glass, the typical cabin-like design of the frame and the glass kept us in the mood, u know...I imagined looking at the sea later oh so pirates of the Caribbean pffttt  :D 

Then I noticed, there was none of that complimentary bottles of mineral/drinking water. Whadda...instead, they gave us these two nicely packed tins of coffee and tea sachets from Genting Hong Kong..without a kettle for hot water, so this is just for you to take back home or drink at other drinking/eating designated places. Those picture takings, long walks, talking and laughing had definitely gotten me really thirsty then. 
Not only that, there was no token toiletries to be taken home either. Oh, fine!  Not to ruin the moment, we'll just find the convenient store later.

The picture takings and already sharing the pictures via whatsapp and fb have basically drained some of our devices. Our chargers off the bags and in are hands, we looked for plugs or charging ports. Guess what, the room had only ports for, if I am not mistaken, EU standard mains voltage of 220V port and, the other one is set to 110V..used by Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guam, Haiti, what, whatt, whatttt,... wtf??? 

Yes. I am serious. We looked through the rooms. Don't ever think we did not even try to fit our plugs in. Not because we were so dumbed, but rather because we 

There is only so much a human can handle. I had done my best at telling myself not to go dehydrated. Now this? My two friends as witnesses, I went into a hissy fit. Translation by UrbanDictionaryA sudden outburst of temper, often used to describe female anger at something trivial. 

Well, I surely would like to know how a male throws a fit at the situation described above. There are cameras and laptops and tabs and kindle and mp3 players and external chargers to be charged, yo, how's that for something trivial! 

How is it possible that this ship is not equipped with Malaysian plugs is really, really beyond me. I can't comprehend this shortcoming in such a big ship that offers cruise packages to Malaysian locals. Don't tell me because it is not made in Malaysia, because that would just make you sound rather stupid than funny. 

On of all trips where I decided to leave a book, or any flipable reading materials at all, behind just to enjoy the limited time I have, I was starting to regret. My phone battery, despite the external charger, would be running out of juice very very soon. If I'd known that there won't be a chance to plug in my rechargeable devices at all, I wouldn't have shared the pics to my beloved whatsapp contacts. I would have borrowed my dad's camera. In my effort to limit the electricity dependencies, I have misjudged. But, seriously, who would have thunk! God!! 

Please tell me that I'm wrong because maybe, just maybe, there is a possibility for me to board this ship again in the future. How can an accommodation under an inbound vacation not fit with local charging ports. Isn't it just baffling. Google : "An explainable occurrence that baffle everyone." Yes, our sentiment, exactly !

At the moment, I can't really think of what kind of lesson to be learned from this particular situation. Much ado about the techno hype of the convenience of a phone-camera turning into a camera-phone.. be continued.

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