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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
As any experienced cruiser will tell you, it is the crew that will make or break a sailing, and their labors often mean more than how many flat-screen TVs are hoisted up in the newest sports bar on board the ship.
There’s a meandering walkway for the crew known as I-95 that runs the length of deck 4 on the Norwegian Getaway. Passengers don’t get to see it, members of the press on a tour of the ship weren’t allowed to take photos, and it is the lifeblood of the 3,969-passenger ship, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest.
The 1,640 crew members traverse the corridor 24 hours per day, to and from work assignments, and then on their way back to living quarters. On the morning of January 28, I-95 had a quiet, business-like vibe to it as crew members in a variety of uniforms walked along its blue floors, carrying trays and ladders, and passing by a wall of fame for outstanding crew, religious notices for Christian crew members, and one worker from their ranks touching up a handrail with a coat of fresh, white paint.
Although travel agents and members of the media on this January 27-29 preview cruise were being urged to “cruise like a Norwegian,” meaning relax and go freestyle in their decisions on what to see and do, the crew members rumbling along I-95 obviously had to go about their labors with a bit more programming to make this ship operate efficiently.
A vacation sailing for 3,969 passengers or so means work and wages for a crew charged with making things go behind the scenes.
Whether it is the laundry and its washers, dryers, and folding and pressing machines, the connecting galleys where cooks are capable of handling 3,000 dozen eggs and 10,000 pounds of chicken on a typical sailing, or the bridge where the crew monitors the ocean’s obstructions and welcomes port personnel to help them enter or exit each port, there are numerous areas of the ship that get short shrift from oblivious passengers, who hardly ever get a glimpse of these out-of-bounds areas.
However, you can take a look at the gallery above to see some of the things that go on out of view.