How difficult is it to get a tour of the Bridge with all the security due to 9/11. We went on our first cruise in March and did not ask about it. My husband spent 6 years on a naval ship and would have loved to see the bridge. Would it be stupid of us to ask when we cruise next March if he could see the bridge?
I know its is difficult because of security to get a bridge tour, but we were able to do one over New Years on Golden Princess. It never hurts to ask, may-be you will be lucky and be able to see it, very interesting, love doing them.
Using 9/11 to curtail bridge tours is a handy excuse. They have always been viewed as a necessary pain. While 90% of the group are paying rapt attention to the tour guide, 10% are poking around moving levers and twisting dials.
Gaining the confidence of the Staff Captain can get you there. Standing above the bridge wing and engaging the bridge team in conversation while they were trying to get underway worked for me.
I asked on our last RCI cruise and were told since 9/11 they were not allowed. I mentioned this to our favorite bartender and he told us the crew members were not even allowed in the bridge anymore. He also told me it use to be commonplace for crew members to visit the bridge. As well as the (now extinct) obligatory sea day tours.
BTW, he also told us there is really no need for the Captain to be on the bridge anymore as the ship leaves one port and docks in the next port solely by computer. He said the Captain, Staff Captain, Chief Engineer, Hotel Director, Services Manager, and Social Director can all be off the ship and it will still sail. The only person required to be on the ship for it to sail is the Doctor.
Since 9/11 crew is only allowed to go into the areas that thay work or eat. Each crew member has a pass to the areas he needs to go.All other areas he has to ask to go to .If you want to see the bridge write a letter to the Captain and state your reasons that you would like to see it .It is only a chance that you will see it ,but that is your best chance.Have the purser deliver it to the Captain ASAP.
On Voyager of the Seas there is an area above and behind the bridge called the peek-a-boo bridge where you can go and sit or stand and watch the goings-on below you on the bridge. I found it fascinationg and spent a lot of time there. You can see the computer screens and it's really interesting.
A bridge viewing area makes a lot of sense, especially since it allows you to see evolutions where they understandibly wouldn't want to fool with visitors.
A lot of the drama has gone since the inception of integrated GPS navigation/automatic pilot systems. The bridge team is replaced with a computer. The fact that it is cheaper, far more reliable and always awake is irrelevant.
In the good old days the Captain relied on the navigation team to keep him informed about the location of the ship. His skeptism was founded in the fact he was once a navigator. Now GPS pinpoints your position on an electronic chart. Where's the sport in that?
During maneuvering, the Captain would call orders to the helmsman and lee helmsman (engine room telegraph operator). Very dramatic and shippy. Can be exciting when several first languages exist on the bridge. I was fortunate in that everyone in my situation spoke English, except when the OOD was from Maine and the helmsman hailed from Mississippi. Entering and leaving port you had to give orders to the tugs through the Pilot who would relay them in his own language using a hand held radio. You were never sure what he was really telling them.
Now the Captain, Staff Captain and Pilot have a console on the bridge wing which controls bow and stern thrusters, engines, and maneuvering system, be it rudders or pods. They can get underway without a break in their heated conversation about the day's game. The largest button is usually the ship's horn. I can remember calling for four short blasts and waiting to see what actually blew on the damn thing. Now he does it himself. Not the stuff for movies.
I usually gain access by telling them how it was done in the old days. It helps being old. They can't resist showing me their new toys. I sigh and shake my head. I tell them we were the true mariners. What I don't tell them is the trouble I could have avoided if I had all this technology available at the time.
Don! I loved reading this...you were indeed a true mariner.....Being a girl never helped me much with my love of adventure.....These days, girls are allowed to do all those exciting things but when I was very young, my favorite dream was to be a sailor....we had a broken down wagon in the backyard and I used to pretend it was the CSS Retribution! and I was it's new captain-ess!!!! ...yeah, right, mom said!
Anyway, I just wanted to say that if they won't allow anyone on the Bridge, do they still allow a tour of the Radio Room??? I've always found that interesting too....