Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Pirate Drill Day

Ever see a sunrise off the coast of Saudi Arabia? Yep, you have.

Today was the day I’d heard about. From passenger accounts I’d read about on the Internet, I thought it was happening because of the Suez Canal. But as I know from first-hand experience, it isn’t the Suez Canal transit requiring ships to hold anti-piracy drills. It’s the dangerous waters sailed after the Suez Canal (for those heading southbound) or before the Suez Canal (for those heading northbound.) The waters off the Horn of Africa between the countries of Somalia and Yemen. And the waters off the coast of Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the Strait of Hormuz.

We weren’t given a lot of information ahead of time about what to expect. We received a notice in our cabin a couple days ago letting us know about the upcoming drill. That the drill was mandatory, and part of the drill would require us returning to our cabins. Then yesterday the Captain told us we’d have a drill coming today, and to look in the Patter for more information. Well, the Patter didn’t tell us much but the time of the drill.

While I don’t feel comfortable sharing all the details of the drill right now, once we are out and away from the waters of concern, I’ll add the details right here. I will tell you it was a lengthy multi-step process for both crew and passengers. I will also say, with having a disabled husband, I’ve never been so glad to have a cabin on deck 8 near the stairway.

Something else to be oh-so-happy about? I didn’t throw our load of laundry in the wash before the drill. Have you ever had one of those laundry days when you have absolutely no clean clothes left so you wear your swimsuit since you’re going to the pool anyway? We were there today. Like I’ve said before, we travel light. We share one suitcase and one backpack between the two of us, no matter how long of a trip we have. The suitcase on this 27 day cruise weighed in at the airport check in counter at 37.5 pounds. Yes, the two of us share in the under 38 pound luggage. With so few clothes we can’t wait for the 72 hour free laundry turnaround so we have to do our own. This morning we were down to nothing clean. Nothing. We almost put the wash in before the drill (meaning swimsuit time) but changed our minds. Based on what I had read on the Internet about pirate drills, it should have been okay either way. I was under the impression pirate drills only required passengers to stay in their cabin or right outside their door. As you’ll find out next week after I post the details, you’ll find out why I’m glad I wasn’t wearing my swimsuit during the pirate drill time.

We did get laundry done after the drill and I spent time at the pool for more swimming and more sun. We don’t do Christmas presents but I’ve decided I’m giving myself a present this year. A tan created on a cruise in the Middle East. Who gets a Christmas present like that?

Time changes tonight with us moving an hour forward. This is our second hour forward so far of this cruise, with six (6!) more time changes to go – all moving clocks forward - before we get to Singapore. Yikes. I don’t know how long we can keep up our 6 AM breakfast time with so many hours lost.

Tomorrow we have another sea day. I’ve got some cabin pictures to show you so hopefully the Internet holds out. See you then.