Here is a photo of the Rotterdam that I found on the Internet. Our room was on the second deck from the top midships. In this photo, that deck looks black but that is just the reflections off the windows. The Rotterdam is one of about 6 identical ships operated by Holland America Lines.
The Rotterdam - Built in Italy in 1997.
This is the 6th ship to carry the name Rotterdam.
One thing that is not so good about cruises is the amount of
resources that go into supporting the passengers. On our ship, there
were about 1200 passengers and over 600 crew. The amount of food wasted
is tremendous. At a presentation by the crew, someone asked what was
done with the uneaten food. They said it was ground up and they fed the
fishes, dumping it into the sea.
We talked with some of lower level crewmembers. On this ship, the bridge crew was almost all Dutch, the bar crew was almost all Filipino and the porters/cabin attendents/galley crew was almost all Indonesian. The bridge crew worked 4 months on/2 months off. The rest of the crew worked 10 months on/ 2 months off. They work every day, usually 12 hours a day.
Here is more: http://www.cruisejunkie.com/ot.html
It was interesting in that before the cruise, I really didn't have a concept of what it was like to be onboard a cruise. So now, at least, I can picture what goes on and the day-to-day life. Its no Love Boat for the crew.
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