Once again I am facing the challenge of deciding on which side of the stairs to ascend and descend. It seems like something all together simple but as it turns out, there are challenges.
On the Radiance going around Australia it was easy – a huge proportion of the cruising population was Australian. Didn’t matter where the staff was from or the few of us North Americans or Europeans on board – it was English right of way rules and we all learned to cope or get repeated run down on the stairs.
Since then, I have been on the Legend (Royal) and the Infinity (Celebrity). In both cases, the overwhelming numbers on the ship were of the right side of the road/left hand drive persuasion. In fact, there were instructions on the Infinity about keeping to the right on stairways in order to avoid confusion.
And now I am on the Independence. She is headed to the UK where she will be based until fall of this year. What is more important, well over half the passengers are British. Kind of like the Solstice last fall filling up with Aussies in Hawaii where they spent 19 days recovering from their Honolulu shopping experience it seems like a lot of the English headed to the US for cruising, shopping and Disney followed by the recovery cruise home. One on which they don’t have to be conceded about either the weight or the cube of their luggage. Yes, there is a seasoning of Irish and Scottish but the overwhelming feel is English.
It is enough so that the menus have already reverted to British format which means both language and the inclusion of menu items. I have absolutely no interest in Ham & Onion Pie as a “classic choice” on the evening menu or Bangers & Mash or mushy peas but I am more than pleased to see a good variety of Indian choices back in the dining room. If I was going to the dining room which I am not, but I could get them there if I chose rather than being restricted to the Windjammer.
Where was I? Oh yes, getting trampled on the stairs. I think it has to do with 1079 North Americans vs 2368 UK. The 179 Germans and the random French, Spanish and Portuguese pretty much stay out of the fight. And there are children on this ship. They don’t care – they just charge up and down the middle knocking adults out of the way in a version of human bowling pins.
Me? I am just glad the little monsters are getting their exercise rather than filling up the lifts. But then, there would be less issues about “right” vs “left” if the rest of the able bodied left the stairs to me.