Just across the walk-way from the Pig & Anchor is the American Heroes lounge. Walking in there brought tears to my eyes. Yes, really tears. There’s a big sign, “WELCOME HOME.” There’s a whole generation of heroes out there who never got that “welcome home.” So, it is to them that I dedicate the rest of today’s post.
WELCOME HOME BROTHERS
Perhaps now it is “Welcome Home Brothers & Sisters.” And I’m glad it is that way today. But there was a time when those who went off to war zones were virtually 100% men. And it is to the “Band of Brothers” to whom I’m speaking now… no mater their gender.
In particular, I’m speaking to those who never got the welcome home. You know who you are. Perhaps it was best said in Shakespeare’s historical play, Henry V:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition: And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day. William Shakespeare, Henry V, speech given by King Henry V
I’ll say it again… WELCOME HOME BROTHERS
Here at Carnival they have taken tributes to our Military Heroes seriously. They have a Military Tribiute in the main theater. It is well done and everyone should go… not just my Brothers & sisters.
The American Heroes lounge has comfortable overstuffed chairs and couches. All around the lounge are walls with memorabilia.
The American Heroes lounge is also the closest thing to a sports bar on the ship. Except it really isn’t a bar and they only show ESPN and ESPN2 on the two big-screen TVs. Except… ESPN is really not the U.S. version of ESPN. Rather, it is the international version. So, this afternoon I’m really looking forward to watching a most important cricket match between two “West Indies League” teams. Who really wants to see Baseball and the like anyway?
Hummmm… the game of Cricket. Few Americans understand the game. So let me relay to you what I learned from a friend when I lived in England a few years back:
“ The object of the game is for two guys, the batsmen, to stand out by the wickets and try to stay out there as long as they can so their mates can drink beer in the pavilion. The object for the opposing team is to get the batsmen out as soon as possible so they can go the pavilion and drink beer. The winning team is the one that drinks the most beers.”Paul Lathem-Jackon, Oxfordshire, England
Seems today I’m diverging from the cruise stuff, so I’ll get back to it.
I’ve promised to report “the good, the bad, and the ugly” while doing my “live froms.” I’ll get to those later, but today I’m adding a category… “The Weird”.
The first weird is the way the floors are laid out on this ship. I’m sure this is to amaze, confuse, and bamboozle everyone. You see, the lowest passenger accessible deck is deck 3. And that is the deck you use to get on/off the ship when going ashore in port. This is the equivalent to deck 0 on every other carnival ship. On the Party Grass, Deck 4 is really the first passenger deck and has cabins only. The same for deck 5. Finally, you get to deck 6 which is where the promenade deck is located.
Now… if you were to apply Carnival’s conventional numbering system… starting at deck 0 for the on/off deck, the Prominade deck would be deck 5 on this ship. With the existing numbering system starting at 3, it appears there are 18 decks. I’m sure this is to amaze you. Are you amazed? However, you’re really bamboozled because there are three fewer decks than that. Actually, there are 4 fewer because they skip 13.
The next weirdness is the floors themselves… they aren’t level in a lot of places. Instead, there are little ramps between different sections of the ship. These little ramps seem to connect different sections of the ship. The ramps go up or down maybe six or 8 inches in some places, and as much as s foot or two in others. It’s almost as if the engineers who designed the sections of the ship didn’t talk to each other until the pieces were brought together. Then it was, OH S^&*T!!!. So they welded the pieces together as best they could and then built the little ramps to make up for it. I suspect there were some jobs lost over this.
Ordinarily, the little ramps aren’t a big deal. Except after a few frozen concoctions to help you hang on, these little ramps surprise you. As you stumble up/down the ramp, you grab the closest thing to get your balance back. My apologies to the buxom woman with the low-cut top. I’m sure none of those pics will appear on any of the social media places.
The last weirdness for now is all the doors to the outside of the ship and especially doors to the bathrooms. In stead of overhead “people sensors” to open the doors to the outside areas of the ship, they have installed no-touch sensors (about 3 inches in diameter). You wave your hand in front of to get the door to open. Alternately, there are smaller ¾ inch diameter buttons you do touch on the sliding door. In the early days of the cruise, the hoards going in/out were backed up down the isles trying to figure out how to open the doors.
The no-touch sensors present another couple of problems when it comes to the public bathrooms. When you wave your hand over the sensor the door opens… and stays open for about three hours. Ok… it only seems like 3 hours. If you’ve really got to go, several of the doors open to expose the urinals where the men are standing. I’ve seen men dancing with tears in their eyes waiting for the door to close… or exposing everything because they can’t wait to get to the urinal. I sure am glad I don’t drink beer.
The other problem with the no-touch bathroom sensors is that passing closely by them will accidentally open the door. Again, the open door exposes everything in the bathroom. I’ve heard the shriek of more than one woman when someone accidentally opened the door. EEEEEK! And I’ve heard numerous choruses of “Ocupado.”
That’s all for today. Next up, as promised… the good, the bad, and the ugly.
P.S. As usual, this post with high resolution pics is posted on www.kokomoman.com