April in Glenwood: I like big boats and I cannot lie
This week my fiancé and I are on a big boat, honeymooning before our wedding back in port in New Orleans.
The boat is actually a very large ship, Carnival cruise line’s Dream. Not only a magical name for a marine vessel, but also perfect to describe the copious amounts of seafood and desserts we’ve consumed on the buffets and formal dinner menus.
Hopefully I can fit into my wedding dress in two days.
I’ve been waiting several years to return to the cruising lifestyle, a vacation option some love and others hate. The haters consider the environmental impact these colossal cruise ships have on the earth as destructive. The Carbondalian in me definitely understands, because I hate waste and am known for my miserly ways. I avoid wasting food and pitching items that could be recycled or composted into a landfill’s final resting place. I do my best to recycle, even though the Indiana town where I live doesn’t exactly consider recycling a priority. And I don’t know many people who do the compost thing. Driving the half an hour it takes to discard recyclables in a public receptacle probably defeats the purpose.
Maybe it’s time for a rural recycling movement.
I do know our ship, which leaves international ports regularly with thousands of people every week, makes a point of trying to recycle the plethora of plastic and aluminum items consumed every day. I’ve paid attention to the location of recycle bins and followed suit. I’m hoping this happens on all the ships that sail around the world every minute of every second.
Hey the world needs dreamers, too.
For an idea of scale, our cruise ship has 128,250 gross tonnage and is 1,004 feet long. It has 15 decks, and travels at about a speed of 22.5 knots (25.9 miles per hour). It holds 3,652 passengers and a crew of 1,369. The Dream is the lead ship of Carnival’s Dream-class of cruise ships and was built by Fincantieri in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, northern Italy.
Wikipedia also says at 128,000 gross tons, the Dream was the largest ship yet built for Carnival when it was originally constructed. She has two sister ships, the Magic, which entered service in May 2011, followed by the Breeze in June 2012.
Of course when a lot of people think of boats, the historical Titanic — which sank in April 1912, approximately 60 years before my arrival on earth — was considered the most state-of-the-art luxury liner of her time. She ranked as an Olympic-class ocean liner, British for fancy, weighing in at a tonnage of 46,328 GRT, and measuring 882 feet, 9 inches long and 175 feet high.
The Titanic cruised at 21 knots (24 miles per hour) and was at capacity at 2,435 passengers and 892 crew, for a grand total of 3,327 total on board. Keep in mind the Titanic housed only 20 lifeboats, sufficient for 1,178 people, and the math just wasn’t right there. Because they considered it an “unsinkable” ship.
We’re definitely cool on life boats here.
When the Titanic hit the iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City and split in half, consequentially sinking, the world was devastated by the loss of passengers and crew. More than 1,500 died in the sinking of the ship. It’s well-documented and devastatingly accurate that regulatory and operational failures led to the Titanic’s demise. In knowing that information while still aboard a gigantic cruise ship, I can only take a moment of silence for the fallen and thank the universe for technology.
Wikipedia also says that after the Titanic tragedy, public inquiries in Britain and the U.S. led to major improvements in maritime safety, with the establishment in 1914 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, still used today. Additionally, “several new wireless regulations were passed around the world in an effort to learn from the many missteps in wireless communications, which could have saved many more passengers.” For that I’m relieved and feel secure in that our ship’s journey has been a safe one, especially during the threat of Hurricane Matthew that re-routed several ships our way. And that come Sunday, we’ll return to friends and family on dry land for a wedding.
April E. Clark thinks she found Jimmy Buffet’s lost shaker of salt. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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