Safety precautions taken on ships are some of the highest, ever.
There are fire teams, lifeboats, life rafts and life jackets because at the end of the day, it’s a ship and there is always the one in a million chance that it could sink.
One of these safety features on board is called Water Tight Doors. The ship is separated into compartments, so let’s say the ship starts to flood, they will shut the watertight doors to keep the water in one compartment. Safety checks are done on everything regularly to ensure that all the safety equipment works in case of an emergency.
Of course, it takes time to get used to the ship, as they are so huge.
As most of your time is spent at work, the first thing you learn is how to get from your cabin to work, and like anything, you find a way and generally stick with it. So when the day of the watertight door testing comes, you see all the newbies running like headless chickens, because having the watertight doors closed, blocks their usual path to work. Because they’re in a rush to get to work, instead of thinking logically about it, they start shouting at everyone they see, “What’s happening? Where am I going?”
This happened to me in my first week on board. I had met a waitress the night before who said she would lend me a charging lead. In the morning I had breakfast with her and then she walked with me to her cabin and gave me the lead. I left her inside her cabin and started my walk to the spa. I turned left, then left again expecting to come to a set of stairs, but instead, I came to a closed watertight door that had been shut whilst I was getting the lead. I retraced my steps to go back to my friend’s cabin but I couldn’t remember the door number. I turned right thinking “well if I can’t get out that way I must be able to over here.” But no, just another long ass corridor. I felt like Rose in the film Titanic when she is looking for Jack because the boat is sinking. The hallways even looked like that, not filled with water obviously, but just like a long white maze. I ran around frantically, running into dead ends every way I went. Finally, a Philippino man walked out of his cabin. I followed him hoping he would lead me to freedom, but he just led me down the hall to another person cabin.
As it was now 7.31 and I was late for work, I found a phone and shamefully had to tell them I was lost. However no one answered the phone, so I then also had the stress of being told off when I got to work. I was still no closer to finding my way there.
I carried on walking until I came back to the stairs. I ran up them so fast as if I was in Hogwarts and they would move any second.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I got back to deck 1 but that was short lived as, when I turned to the right, yeah, another closed watertight door!! That was the only way I knew to get to work so I ran in the other direction. I was then stopped by a man who shouted at me for running, as it’s not allowed. He could tell I was distressed. I put my hands on his shoulders and gasped “You have to help me” as if there was someone chasing after me. I relayed the tale and told him how I couldn’t get to work because of the door testing. He escorted me to the lifts and even pressed the floor number, then he gave me a sympathetic look as if too say “ you idiot” and left.
On the ride up I caught my breath thinking “ok, its ok, nearly there”
The doors opened, I stepped out of the lift and turned left thinking I would walk straight into the spa. Nope, I ended up at the buffet area where all the passengers have their breakfast. After catching a disapproving look from the Restaurant Manager I spun around and headed swiftly to the other end of the ship.
I finally came to the spa just as the morning meeting finished. All that drama before 8 am.
Moral of the story… Always know 2 routes to work.