The ship was built in 2006, sails under French flag, and is named La Traviata. It is 334 meters in length, beam is 43 meters, gross tonnage is 91,410 tons , holds 8,440 containers, if it is dangerous cargo, they are told what is inside, if not they don’t know.
My cabin is large. It has 3 windows, piles of cupboards, and a large desk. My room is a on a corner with a balcony.
I have a steward by the name of Tony. He is of course from the Philippines and his contract is for 8 months. This is how he supports his family by sending salary and tips back home. The French crew consists of 30 members led by the Captain as we call him, his crew call him Master.
When we left South Hampton, it took 3 hours to leave the port with the Pilot on board to consult with Captain (I stayed on the bridge the whole time). We have to be very quiet and not interfere at all (which means no questions, and is hard for me). We arrived overnight into Antwerp Belgium. The Pilot who guides the Captain was on board for 6 hours (I was asleep). The port is very large. I feel like I am in a Star Wars or Star Trek movie, not sure which, boats, ships, containers, we are not allowed to walk in port, too dangerous!! The next Port was Rotterdam. It was just huge!! I stayed on the bridge for over 2 hours to watch docking (just spectacular). There are over 100 ships going and coming to this port every day. It is one of the biggest in Europe. The port has over 200 Pilots. Robots load and unload the ships. The control booth for all of this is 20 Kilometers away (too surreal for me). Tiny tugs lead you in and it is done by radio and radar. I was going to go into the city, but it was just too far and I was there before. The pilot was telling me they are paid more than Captains and get to sleep in their own bed at night. Captain’s contracts are usually 2 months on ship. Our crew will change on the weekend. Passenger number 4 is a lady from Germany that has been travelling for 8 months around the world. There is a couple from Belgium and this was their dream trip when they retired. Lots of rules on ship, where you can go etc, if you want to walk around ship, you can do this on bottom deck only when we are at sail and wearing a hard hat (nearly a mile around). We have a gym and a small pool which they fill with salt sea water, so it’s very cold. I should also say these Ports operate 24/7, cranes loading and unloading all night above you.
Trying to send as much info as I can, any questions, please ask!!
Adventure of a lifetime!