The Caribbean “underground”

Two months in the ship’s hospital “underground” on a cruise liner with a capacity for almost 4830 people went by like a flash, especially since on a ship there is basically a 7-day week and regularly more than 8 hours of work per day. Ship routines determine everyday life, I know this from my other working stays on ships: You just lose track of time. You notice that another week is over when you finally have to do a weekly exercise routine again. You can even identify the day of the week by the weekly emergency drill. Even the port you dock at indicates a certain day, because the 14-day route always determines the same procedures. The medical team which consists of 14 has even been increased with now 4 doctors, up from 3. The COVID-19 infections were over 2 % at times. All these are not serious diseases, but the restrictions, documentation and administration for isolation, quarantine and transfer are very time-consuming.

The Cunard Line ship Queen Victoria, which is temporarily in laid-up status in Bridgetown, was made available by Carnival UK specifically for quarantine purposes because not all cruise ships are already in full operation due to the pandemic and the authorities in Barbados do not allow COVID-19 infected persons to be taken from ships to shore facilities unless they are medical emergencies. Since the medical team was not allowed to come into contact with guests except in the ship’s hospital, and even otherwise the crew was only allowed to be in defined areas within their own cohort except at their place of work in order to reduce the possibility of infection, there was hardly anything left except their place of work in the hospital, 15 minutes to meals in the canteen and their own cabin. The two shore excursions for crews of 2-3 hours per week (not always allowed by the island authorities) didn’t bring too much variety either, especially since the Caribbean islands are all very similar in the areas for tourists, which are not my taste anyway. Nevertheless, it was an interesting experience that I wouldn’t want to have missed.

My insta journey so far...

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