Friday, September 28, 2012

Part 5 - Carnival Magic Trans (boy is it a big ocean) Atlantic Voyage Review

Mobility Scooters Crossing the Ocean

Full Speed Ahead and Steady as she Goes! --

The following 6 days would slowly take us across the wide expanse of the Atlantic. I am not a experienced nautical person so I hesitate to comment on something I really know nothing about. To me an Atlantic crossing is about 5 hours in my Boeing 767 from Gander to Ireland, and making sure my navigation is exact on the North Atlantic Track System.  On a ship I am sure it is a bit different. I did notice we were making an constant 20 knots on our crossing. I suspect this was to make our arrival in Freeport which is about 300 miles further down track than Grand Turk.

Since we had changed our course directly to Freeport rather than Grand Turk our Track was about 180 miles further north. We would encounter 'weather' for much of the trip. We never really entered any Storms..but did transverse rain showers, some wind, and at times big swells. I suspect this is all part of Ocean Travel. The ship would constantly roll back and forth. If you look at the photo below you can see how the Horizon is 'tilted' as the ship rolled to the Left.

I never did see anyone sea sick, although there were probably a few folks affected with Mal d Mer. Instead there was another Illness sweeping the ship. Almost everyone had a cough, sore throat, congestion, and generally feeling bad. I would indeed call it a Epidemic. Smart people stayed away from the Clinic..because they were quarantining people. For most part everyone just suffered until it passed in a few days. Some folks discovered that ample amounts of jello shots did wonders!

As a result of the 'inclimate' (well maybe not for the Atlantic Ocean) weather very few people were outside taking advantage of the many out door activities available. As a result there was a shortage of seating on the inside along the promenade, at the Ocean Plaza and various seating areas. Also there were a lot of 'senior citizens (at age 63 I guess I qualify) aboard who preferred to be inside. There was a shortage of seating. However once the weather improved I did notice more folks outside and not such a seat shortage. Also, on a regular Caribbean Run where the Magic will sail, I suspect most guests will be outside soaking up the Rays and competing in the Drunken Hairy Chest 

The famous Mobility Scooter Post

One thing I noticed, and was somewhat surprised by, large number of Mobility Scooters on board. I am aware that some people are indeed disabled and these great devices open up the world to them.

It seemed to me that as time passed there were more and more Mobility Scooters zipping past. Then I noticed many were rented; available for rental on board. That is when I realized that quite a few folks zooming by running over toes, feet, and limbs were simply obese and looked to me just too lazy to walk! I doubt if very many of them were sober either. I watched one rather large lady park her scooter, get up and dash into the lady's room. I guess she really had to go..because she sure could move fast for a cripple!

The Magic is a brand new ship that has only been in service since this summer. Every elevator had damage on the back wall where Mobility Scooters had Collided at rather high speed with the wall causing dents, cracks, and damage.

In fact there were replacing the decorative back walls with more “scooter resistant” linings. I would suggest that they use the anti-scooter device I have designed. Also I would suggest some well.. speed limits and perhaps a Scooter Drunk Driving Program as
Speed Kills

I will say this. I looked to me like it was a lot easier to drive a scooter around than to walk on the rocking and rolling ship's deck

Speed Zone Ahead!

It seems that my Post on Mobility Scooters and Obesity stirred up some posts on "that other site" . It seems I am not the only person questioning the validity of many 'scooter drivers'. I really am not being insensitive...I must ask the question. Just how sensitive are the many scooter drivers ramming into, over and through us innocent pedestrians? I think I will paste this sticker on them on my next cruise.

I posted this thread in my daily blog and asked some of my readers to comment. Here are some of the comments I received regarding these Scooters (and Many of their Drivers):

jillniccum*wrote on Nov 29
you call a spade a spade! And if the scooter riders take offense they should be inspired to change.

. I agree with your observations of the scooters. Some people really need them and others use them as either bumper cars or personal armored assault vehicles to clear folks out of their way. Those folks also did tend to look as if they weighed 300 lbs and never missed a chance to eat.

jaxonboy*wrote on Nov 29
I think your picture of the fleet of scooters parked in the buffet is priceless. Keep your powder dry.

phoenixmarsh*wrote on Nov 29
Too funny! Yes sir, I think a lot of people are just too fat and lazy to propel themselves forward on their own two feet.

The drunk scooter driving course is an excellent idea!

mickeyfez*wrote on Nov 29
those scooters are getting popular on the streets here amongst the able bodied lazy brigade

gpen*wrote on Nov 29
Good work Chuck! My husband and I were amazed by the number of unnecessary scooters we encountered on the Magic. We thought it was ridiculous and the damage to the elevators so sad. I encountered a lady at the terminal who was struggling with her luggage and commented to me that after sitting in a scooter for two weeks she really didn't have the muscle power to walk let alone pull her bags to the bus.....UH, ya think? Gpen

kittywren*wrote on Nov 29
I can hardly walk Chuck, but I don't have a mobility scooter. I try to walk as much as possible, as soon as you give in to these scooters, then you'll never bother to walk again - not a thing I'm prepared to do. As for on board a boat?? Surely there are loads of chairs, seats etc to be able to stop and sit down if you need to do so. I can understand needing them if you can't walk at all, or if you go off the boat to see various ports. Still you do have many people behind you and your blogs.

angelmonger*wrote on Nov 29
I have to agree with you on the scooter issue. I would think that having something on board that causes such a danger to public health as these things do that Carnival might actually consider demanding a physician note to honor the request. There were many nights that my husband and I walked the halls and saw MANY scooters just parked outside a cabin- talk about a fire hazard! they block over half the hall passage. BUT- what do I know.
 Note: the above poster is an Orthopedic Surgeon!
The scooters, I agree, get a doctor's note. Designated padded elevators too, no reason to be ruining things for everyone.

salboz*wrote on Nov 29
My biggest problem with the scooters is that they made sure they were first in line when an elevator arrived, regardless of how long others had been waiting and proceeded to stay right in the middle allowing for very few standing people to use the elevator.

jillys*wrote on Nov 30
I wouldn't find your bit about mobility scooters offensive but maybe change the word "cripple" for something else? People can get funny about that word!*

My dad has a mobility scooter and he is a very careful driver. Like you I do appreciate that some people need them and they are a god send for those folk. BUT...........why do some of the "drivers" think they have more rights than everyone else? Hogging the pavement (sidewalk), blocking the aisles, queue jumping, blatantly running over feet and speeding.

You know my kitchen window overlooks the street to the front and a few weeks back I was standing there at my sink and to the far right my eye was caught by an old guy on a scooter............................ I cannot tell you how fast he passed from right to left and was gone out of sight. It was unbelievable, I was so shocked. I spent the rest of the day wondering "did I really see that"?
As you can see many people chimed in on the issue of “Cripples” driving Mobility Scooters.
Banned from Cruise Critic for Life
Save the CC12

One would think that with 6 days at sea one would get bored. Most people I talked with really enjoyed the long stretch of days at sea.

Even with the in climate (I hate to use the word bad, because it really wasn't that bad) weather people found lots of different ways to amuse themselves. Our group would meet every afternoon for a game of chance. This was our little way of thumbing noses at the Casino. We had a great time rolling the dice in Left-Right-Center and cheering. Lets face it, it is fun seeing a big pile of money and dice rolling!

Everyone was rolling those 'Bones' in hope of gathering up a big pile of cash!
I was surprised that “Guido” did not show up insisting he be cut in for a piece of the action!

I noticed that today on John H's blog that some idiot was bashing people who brought their stuffed animals with them on the Cruise. WTF! I mean what in the hell is it one way or another. This Jerk is a great example of the Simpletons out and about every where. Our cruise mate, and fellow Guttersnipe Linda, brings Bill T with her everywhere she goes. Linda is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She enjoys Mr Bill T...Good for her! I think he looks almost obscene, which makes it ever better yet!

More fun at Sea!

Today's topic will be "how to amuse oneself on 6 days at sea or Psst..would you like a good time Sailor!"

It just dawned on me that my very first Atlantic Crossing occurred in 1968 when as a young pilot I flew Lockheed Constellations from Madrid to Miami via the Azores.

As our trusty ship slowly steamed westbound 3,800 people had to decide just how they would entertain themselves for 6 days at sea. There are of course many venues to pursue while atsea. There are the obvious Casino play, and Spa, both very popular destinations. The Spa makes everyone feel better and as my friend English Tim says, “especially the Masseuse when she delivers the bill”.

It seems that the 'generosity of Casino International, Carnival's
Casino operator, has really changed since our last Voyage. Pat who has been known to gamble lots of $ on Carnival's ships was ignored. When asked about her past player perks the Casino Manger (who was a real prick) curtly informed her she was not on the list. When asked again he claimed that he called and they 'never returned his call'. This is an out and out lie Needless to say they have a switch that turns the slot payout on and off. It was Off for the whole voyage. With all of those sea days and a trapped audience, I suspect the Casino gypped valued gamblers out of thousands of dollars. This attitude alone is enough to send me to Brand X on our next cruise. I will say with all of the sea days, the Casino was jammed. Since I did not see any shouting with joy, I guess most folk (like my wife Pat) left their Money in the Casino.

One thing the rainy weather did do was offer an opportunity to explore shipboard activities. The ever popular Ocean Breeze was jam packed day in and day out with people playing ever popular games such as Senility Poker, Dominoes for Dummies, and Advance Paper Doll Cutting.

Full Speed Ahead and Damn the Torpedoes (Some Famous guy said that)

Anyone who owns Amazon Stock would feel very good at seeing the many Kindle Welding, iPod listening Oldsters! Well, I was reading my Kindle App and listening to tunes on my iPad. Does that count?

Of course there is the ever popular activity of dining for pounds and calories. When the clock would strike prime time for Lunch one had better move away as a thundering herd of Mobility Scooters would be rushing toward the nearest dining venue.

Art Auctions were held and I was amazed at the popularity of these events. Fortunately my house is so small there is no where to hang an Original Picasso. However a good many of my fellow floaters turned out to be art collectors. I suspect this was due to the free Champagne that lured them to the Auctions in the first place and then chemically convinced them they were indeed Collectors! Many a work of art headed found a new home in this manner.
(Blank Picture Frame with the Picasso that I did not purchase)

My group of fellow Gutternsipes manged to keep ourselves entertained with various combinations of the above mentioned activities. Especially Casino play, Spa play, and Bar play. A group of us would often congregate as passersby stopped and joined in.
It has been mentioned in other reviews that there were very few places to sit. I think this was largely due to the weather and 3,800 people were all inside AT THE SAME TIME.

Happy hours would usually find many of us a the Red Frog Pub. This became one of my favorite watering holes. Not only was the staff very friendly and the service good, it also sported a live singer.

One my favorite snacks at the Red Frog was the Conch *Ceveche, which was excellent. For some reason they did not serve any chips with this delicacy. We solved that problem by bringing Tortilla Chips Purloined from the Lido Burrito Bar.
*Ceveche is raw fish (or conch) marinated in lime juice.

Another fun gathering place for the smokers was outside in the smoking area. They have nice an comfortable seating accommodations for those who were intent on polluting the clean North Atlantic Air.

One may worried about getting 'bored' on a long sea voyage.  It just does not happen.

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  1. Shame on those money hungry casinos..been to 1 casino in my life, took $20 and when it was gone it was gone...gave me a couple of hours of fun though :)

  2. I'm sure having a fun group of people to hang with made a huge difference. Thanks for sharing the great photos and the good times! On to the next day...