When I was on a press tour of Oasis they showed us the bridge - the place where the captain steers the ship. One thing I found a little disappointing is that you cannot see then entire span of the bridge from one end to the next, because it curves.
Anyway - here are the pictures:
This helicopter was taking pictures of us from outside, so we took pictures of him.
This is the actual center control console(the piece in the middle that kind of looks like it has two telephones) in fact, the ship is steered with the one tiny joystick in the middle. How? I do not know, I could never steer anything that big with a teeny joystick.
The screens in the foreground are from another console where the navigational people sit with their charts.
This is a side view of the same picture up above. You see the two captain's chairs. Just like on jets, the captain sits on the left, and the "co-pilot" sits on the right. You can also see the lookout with the binoculars. They are there by law.
This pic (above) is the same view, but from farther back. You can see the navigational area is bigger than you can see above. You see charts on the desk - you can also see the lookout (w/binoculars) for orientation.
Directly behind the bridge is the "security room". It is made so you can seal it off from the bridge (this is the first ship where I have seen them do that). From here you can monitor every smoke alarm, the over 2000 security video cameras, the firedoors, etc. The red screen shows key-card activity (it is all recorded).
This is the view to the left of the one above - directly behind the captain's chair but facing towards the stern. You see some screens, not sure what they are. One is a stateroom deck, the one on the right is an engine room flowchart. I am not sure what the middle one is.
This is the view to the left of the last one. In the corner are views from 12 different video cameras. These can be selected from over 2000 available anytime, but they are usually trained on the sides of the ship - looking for things that could fall over.
In the corner of every bridge are "bridge wings" where a captain can stand at the side of the ship and look down when he is docking, for example. It has all the same controls as the middle area, and there is one on each side. You can see that on Oasis you cannot see the opposite bridge wing. I am not sure why, but I am sure they did it on purpose. All the poeple you see standing in the background are in the center of the bridge - that is how big Oasis actually is!
IN the lower right screen you see the directions of the sea current and of the wind. That tells you how much you need to compensate one of the engines to make the ship go straight.
This is the view of the side of the ship from the bridge wing. You will not see a view like this anywhere else on most ships, except Oasis actually has a public viewing area on top of the bridge (very cool of Oasis to have that). You see the cantilevered hot tubs.
A close-up of those hot tubs from the bridge.
The captain talking to members of the press (Fran Golden in green).
Donna... I don't think they offer them on a regular basis. Perhaps some diamond members get invited every cruise. When we went we were told not to tell people where we were going, and not to mention it until after the cruise. They get a ton of requests.
I once tried to get a bridge tour for a CruiseMates group but was turned down.
Funny thing is, I have seen many bridges nyself and am not that impressed anymore.
Many more ships do now offer a "behind the scenes" tour during the cruise which I believe is pretty in-depth. I hear they always sell out and are wait-listed, too.
Funny, it took the cruise lines 20 years to catch on to what people really want to see on a ship. When I worked on ships I could have sold tours of my cabin ;-)
--- someone who has seen all parts of cruise ships (me).
Last January when we were on the Millie we were given a bridge tour. I had a group of 10 and they invited 8 of us. I had to go looking for an invite for the other couple. I don't know why they only invited 8 of 10.
We all quite enjoyed it though. We were also told not to discuss it.
With RCL you have to be D+. Even so, another one of those things you must be "special" D+ or perhaps RC to get the invite. I know we haven't.
I really don't understand why they don't allow tours of the crew areas. I firmly believe that if you saw them you would be surprised how nice they are. They are like small, inside passenger cabins. But they have the same furniture, TVs and bathrooms as passenger cabins. Yes, they can be pretty small, but not always. Any extra space is usually given over to storage because you need more with you when you live on a ship.
I am going to look through my old pictures for crew cabin photos. You would be very surprised how nice some of my cabins were.