?`s and ANNEswers

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Keeping Passengers Happy

We will have been at sea for seven days before we stop at our first port.  Given the change in itinerary, the crew is working hard to keep the passengers entertained and happy.  Happy means fewer complaints.

But what does ‘Happy’ look like? If you look at the list of activities that’s posted daily, I think it’s the equivalent of keeping busy.  For instance, for today there were Sudoku teasers in the library, beginning Tai Chi in one of the venues, the classic movie (which happened to be “Forrest Gump”) on deck 16; Bible study in the Wedding Chapel, morning Zumba fitness in the Piazza, a trivia contest in the Vista Lounge, a foosball competition in the gaming lounge, a line dancing class, various board games competitions, a bridge players get-together, and a demonstration on the making of sushi.

And this was all before 10 AM!

Later in the day there was carpet bowling (bowling on carpet that is harder than it sounds), skeet shooting, more movies, an art auction, charades, lectures on the Ford Motor Company and Improving Posture (not given by the same lecturer), and a free consultation with a physician about your wrinkles.

That got us to 2 PM. There were other activities that filled the time to the dinner hour and still others that went on until midnight.  Tomorrow it will start all over.

Many of these activities are silly, but they are taken seriously by the participants.  The hula hoop contest, for example, is an intense rivalry.  It’s not your hips that win it for you; it’s whether you can roll the hoop and have it fall over so that an empty beer bottle is inside it.  It’s part of the ship-board Olympics, but I doubt any of the events actually will be sanctioned anytime soon by the IOC.

What does this say about the passengers?  Perhaps since they’re on vacation anything goes.  Or maybe it’s fear of boredom.  Or lack of meaningful work to do. Or a lurking frustration about the weather that has kept us all inside.  It’s rather like a giant elementary school where the children can’t go out and must play in the gym instead.

Tomorrow: Food onboard . . . it’s unending!

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