" then went over to the reception desk in the atrium to meet Liu, a extremely nice and polished host for the behind the scenes tour. It is an extra at $55 per person but was well worth it, not sure of the charge though I really wanted to do it. However it was an amazing experience and quickly became one of the highlights of my cruise , I am interested in working onboard a ship in the future and have always had a passion for cruise ships and cruising. Love learning about behind the scenes.
We met with the Hotel Director who gave an overview of what it means to run a cruise ship in the 21st century and about Norwegian Jade. We then headed into the crew areas, neat to see the lavish colours and fabrics of the passenger areas into the simple white and steel of the crew areas. We headed into the Laundry where we met both the Executive Housekeeper & Laundry Master. Both very nice men who explained the housekeeping and laundry runnings of the ship. Saw many machines including the machine they fold linens and sheets with, the giant washers and dryers holding over 200 pounds of laundry each cycle! The laundry attendants giving us demonstrations throughout the area. We then headed up into the Stardust main theatre for a tour with the Artistic Director in charge of the shows and entertainment onboard. Got a look at the soundboards, behind the scenes and headed into the backstage seeing the costumes, dressing rooms, set pieces, lighting and more! I absolutely loved this as a big theatre fan. Standing on the stage was a thrill. I got to know him and would say Hi throughout the cruise and at the shows, gave him a nice comment card where the crew member is rewarded at the end, for him and one of the great agents at the reception desk from Germany. We took a lunch break and were served orange juice, Mimosa cocktails (my favourite) and sandwiches in the Asian restaurant.
We then moved into the galleys (kitchens) onboard with a tour of the Main Galley serving the main dining rooms with the Executive Chef from my country of Canada near to where I live. He has a staff of 400 who work in the galleys and preperation areas and 265 waiters and servers throughout the ship, a huge department! We saw racks that hold 800 deserts enjoyed nightly in the dining rooms, the many special kitchen areas including the diet area for special requirements and more. Then met the Provisions Master deeper below in the ship and the Provisions Team who carry the 7000 items needed onboard and the masses of food including 6000 eggs and many 8 kg containers of ice cream to name a few things. We walked into fridges, freezers and storage areas to see where all is stored with the products from around the world. Everyone very friendly to us. We then met the Environmental Officer who ensures the ship is following all environmental procedures onboard and for waste management. We saw the waste management systems and met some of the Environmental Operators, as the shipboard garbage men are called. Operating on three 8 hour shifts they receive and process all waste and garbage appropriately from all areas of the ship.
Then the crowning highlight we met the Staff Captain after passing the many high security doors to the bridge!! Such an experience I will always remember, standing where they drive and monitor all the giant ship's operations, systems, safety equipment, doors, fire prevention systems and more. We saw the helm of the ship, met the watchmen and the First Officer along with the Staff Captain and the Captain himself can drive the ship. Saw the bridge wings where they pull into port and the many systems, what a wonder and a exceptional tour before we returned back to our side of the ship! Had a rasberry martini, my first cruise drink I ordered! Delicious. Then the Artistic Director came across me and invited me to attend the rehearsal for that night's show , the cast warming up and doing their sound checks with the orchestra, a good experience.
I took this tour on the Carnival Imagination, and for me, it was a highlight of the trip. It was called "Behind the Fun".
I think the charge was $39, for a three hour tour that includes the galley, the laundry, the engine control room, the ship's stores, environmental control, crews quarters, and of course, a visit to the bridge to meet the Captain and his officers, and to pose with individual pictures with them.
Also got a hat with Behind the Fun on it, and honourary crew member embroidered on it.
If your the sort of person who likes the Discovery channel, you will love these tours.
"life is uncertain....eat dessert first...."