Wednesday 13th January – sea day
Had a lie in, in view of my somewhat late and disturbed night. Met the parents for lunch. Subodh found me (head waiter who promised to take care of me). He offered me a choice: GF pasta or a GF burger. I chose the burger. He brought it to my table, complete with fries and ketchup. It was YUMMY. And just so nice not to have to fight and argue for the right to eat it.
After lunch, I went to see The Martian on the big screen in the theatre. Loved it. Just brilliant. And a surprising amount of laugh out loud humour, which I was not expecting.
Then went to Reception to complete my accident report. Got a muppet. Took me ages to get the right form and then, when I completed it, the Head of Security, Martin, came out to discuss it. Apparently, he has so little else to do, he investigates all accidents on board. I asked him why the suitcases had to be in the cabins under the beds, because they are creating a trip hazard where there doesn’t need to be one. Then I went back to my cabin for a rest.
Then Martin turned up with Umesh, my steward, to take a photo under my bed (I kid you not). Not sure why the steward needed to be there. The fact that he had not done my room today (because of my lie-in) was probably a point against him, but it’s hardly his fault that they won’t store the suitcases properly.
Not long after, Martin rang me to say they wouldn’t apologise or compensate me because they don’t consider it their fault or problem. Nice.
So now I have to continue the next few weeks of my trip with a limp. No yoga, no walking a mile with dad every day, no taking the stairs, not even sure I can swim. Lovely.
Went to dinner. Well, got ready for dinner. Was planning a shower, now that things are calmer, but went into the bathroom to find what we will gloss over for now and refer to purely as brown water sloshing around the floor under the toilet. Rang Reception and asked for a plumber. Went to dinner.
Had a lovely meal. I do like our tablemates. Shame we will lose all but one in Valparaiso.
But on return to my cabin, after avocado, lamb and veg, and jelly and a gluten-free roll and butter (and the obligatory two diet cokes, don’t forget!), I found that my toilet issue had not been fixed. Queue more ringing Reception and an incremental increase in yelling. Apparently the phrase RAW SEWAGE is not enough of a stimulus to get anyone to actually give a damn. Reception denied all knowledge of my ever having called, and sent the Deck Supervisor. He apologised profusely, denied all knowledge of my ever having called and said he would ring the plumber direct, himself. I said if there wasn’t a plumber in my presence within fifteen minutes, I would scoop up the liquid and go and find the captain’s cabin, pour it on his floor and see how he liked it. Queue embarrassed smiles. And, less than ten minutes later? A plumber. Who had, in fact, been working around the corner and my steward went and got him. Who had not been informed of an issue that I reported over two and a half hours earlier. Typing this while he crashes and bangs, and then the steward has promised to sanitise the entire bathroom for me when the plumber is done. Which is very sweet of him. He shouldn’t have to clean everything twice just because no one else can be arsed to do their jobs properly (or, indeed, at all).
Went to Reception, while he was working, to make a formal complaint about the two and a half hours of raw sewage and what they thought they were doing when they ignored the issue for that long. Had to get the Reception Manager out from his dinner break. Like I care. I have a bathroom floor I daren’t walk on in bare feet. Makes washing kind of tricky. Ever.
- Men have arrived to clean the bathroom. And I mean clean. Hands and knees with the strong stuff they use for norovirus cleanup. Kills all known germs and also ones you haven’t heard of. Kills everything. Allegedly. We’ll see, won’t we!
On the plus side, the air temperature outside seems to be rising nicely – mid teens now we are halfway down Portugal, so maybe I will go for a walk and leave them all to it. Clear my head and breathe some uncontaminated air for a while. I am heartily sick of being in this cabin, and, in fact, of this whole cruise. I have been in tears every day so far, and I really don’t know how much more of this I can take.
Still, Robocop the Remake is keeping me entertained while they scrub.
- In the end, I went out. I went up to the buffet and got some fruit and then wandered through the various pubs and bars trying to find a band with a singer who could hold a tune. Ended up bumping into Hugh from our dinner table, and we had a drink and a chat together. He’s a fun person to hang out with, and funny, too. Came back to a wet and slightly wet-dog smelly carpet and brand new pair of slippers. Still not sure I’m happy to walk around the bathroom in bare feet, but we’ll see how it goes.