What is a bridge of a ship? Do we have a different kind of bridge in here?….. I asked with no guilt in my voice because I seriously had no clue. I know, I should have known it because it had been three big days on a ship as grand as Majestic Princess but….
Okay! I admit, I was on my first cruise and I was too enamored by the glamour, entertainment and hospitality side of it that I made no efforts to learn about its architecture. Thank God, the media group had an invitation of the bridge tour and the moment I learned that we would get to meet the Captain Craig Street, I was happier all the more. Till then, we had only had the privilege to hear his voice when he updated us about the speed, weather, location, sunset and sunrise time at 12 noon everyday.
BRIDGE – The controlling & commanding station of the ship!
On the fourth day, finally we made our way to the room that is an indispensable part the ship. The bridge is a big, vulnerable and selectively placed room that is full of installed electrical and electronic equipment like levers, compass, controlling buttons and much more. It is the Captain’s station where he looks into the navigation, sea conditions, positioning, speed, direction, alarms, security and handles all kinds of communication with the control room, external and internal parties. This is the place where I became aware of terms like rough weathers, change of routes, changing waters, collisions, etc.
I had thought I would get to see big wooden steering wheels, navigating tools and old age compass but to my surprise, everything looked absolutely new age and state-of-the-art about the bridge. Accuracy and efficiency have been taken to a new level altogether. They are consoles to look into the controls or switch between displays. There is an equipment called ‘Auto-pilot’ which helps to control the ship’s steering system from a remote location and Electronic Chart Display Information System displays accurate locations. These advanced navigational equipment definitely made everything look hassle-free and under-control however, a constant monitoring is a must. The bridge is always under the supervision of ‘Officer on Watch’, Able Seaman, Commanding officer, Captain and more people on job.
Come, join me for a virtual tour of the bridge of Majestic Princess and let us learn about the features that are kept in mind while designing the layout of the bridge.
A few things that I learned after the bridge tour!!
- A lot of regulations have to be met in the designing of the bridge.
- There is a specific material is to be used and bridge windows must be tilted to an angle.
- The windows (as seen in the pictures) are tilted to prevent the sun reflections.
- The maximum speed that cruise ships usually prefer to go are 23 or 24 knots.
- This is a good speed which helps fuel consumption.
- A wheelhouse is a part of a boat or ship serving as a shelter for the person at the wheel. A wheelhouse poster contains information that describes the maneuvering characteristics of the ship
- A Pilot Card is the first look of the ship. It charts all the information about the length, breadth, weight, LOA (Length Over All), beam, dead weight, tonnage, draft forward and aft, RPM & speed of the ship.
Discovering the bow or the front of the ship was like unearthing the secret of the ship. This area shown in the picture below is only accessible to the Captain.
This was quite a learning experience on board the Majestic Princess. I loved meeting the Captain and the bridge tour will always be memorable just like the first cruise. Thank you ‘Cruise Professionals’ for designing a perfect cruise trip for me.