The Cruise

World cruise on the Dawn Princess starting in Sydney on May 21, 2010 and sailing west around the world for 104 days.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dawn Princess World Cruise 2010 - Friday August 6, 2010

Day 77 Sailing up the Mexican Coast
Today, we had a tour of the parts of the ship that are generally not available to passengers. To do this you have to enter a ballot and if you are one of the twelve successful ones then you pay $75 for the privilege. Bill and I were among the twelve on today’s tour and it is really worth doing. They said we could not take pictures so I did not take my camera. When we got to the bridge we were told we could take photos there, so luckily Bill had his I phone on him and was able to take some photos. Our first stop on the tour was right on the bridge where we stayed for half an hour. We were given a detailed talk on what happens on the bridge and had some photos taken with the Captain who turned out to be very nice indeed when dealing with a small group of people. We then went to the kitchens, where the head chef gave a talk and served us French champagne and small delicately made sweets, such as strawberries dipped in chocolate. The food is only cooked after it is ordered by the client so that they minimize wastage. There are three different kitchens on each of levels 5, 6 and 14 with one for hot food, one for cold food and one for the staff. 164 people work in the kitchens. We then went down one floor to where the butchers work. All the meat is cut here and then sent up to the kitchens where it just has to be cooked. All the refrigerators are on this level. The meat refrigerator was -25 degrees Celsius. We went into the enormous vegetable refrigerator, which was -3 degrees. The bakery turns out thousands of bread rolls and a great variety of cakes each day. We went to the engine rooms where the chief engineer explained how our water is distilled by them from the sea water, and how they get rid of waste. I was amazed that the cost of the diesel oil to run the ship for the world tour is about $5 million. The tour included the print room, the laundry and the photo room. We were given presents of a beautiful, thick Princess dressing gown each, note paper with our name printed on it, and a chef’s jacket. Tonight we had drinks and dinner with Lynn, Wayne and Brian. It was a good night and we will do it again soon. (Barbara) The Dawn Princess is a diesel-electric ship. It is essentially a power station producing about 14 MW which is enough to run a town of about 11,000 homes. There are four 16 cylinder diesel engines which burn heavy fuel oil while at sea but have to use a cleaner lighter fuel while in port for environmental reasons. The biggest demand on the electric power comes from the drive shafts on the ship and the second biggest from the air conditioning. Late at night when power demands are less, the ship often travels faster as more power is allocated to propulsion. Of course, as well as being a power station, the ship is a desalination plant for water production (distillation not reverse osmosis) and a sewerage plant. The final water from the sewage treatment is pure enough to drink but is not used in this way. It is discharged into the ocean. There is a huge amount of water on board the ship at any one time and this has to be shuffled around into various holding tanks to maintain ship stability. One of the most amazing things on the Bridge was the tiny toggle switch that is used to control the direction of the Dawn Princess. There is no big wheel with a helmsman standing behind it. Everything is electronic, including the charts which overlay the radar screens, with the exception of the daily log book which must be filled in by hand each day and signed by the Captain. This is the ship’s legal document. A black box keeps a continuous recording of everything that is said on the Bridge so the language used there is always proper, we were told. (Bill)

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