Monday, May 11, 2009

This ship's captain demands your attention

This diminutive ship’s captain stands sentinel on the corner sidewalk outside Joffrey’s Coffee near the main cruise terminal for the Port of Tampa. He’s at a very busy spot when 2-3,000 passengers are boarding a cruise ship or two. He’s the silent, non-complaining street-hawker for Yacht StarShip, billed as America’s first 3-diamond rated dining yacht by AAA. The ship sails daily out of the Channel District. The food really is delicious, the staff and crew are first-rate and it features live entertainment. It is a fun sailing experience. It’s obvious, though, who has the toughest job on their crew and it’s our little friend, silently manning his post, in crisp white naval uniform, hat just so. And not letting his sign tip or sag. It’s not hazardous sea-duty but the dust and noise, not to mention the sweet kids who knock into him all day, make his a job one would not envy…it’s amazing he hasn’t been swiped and made his way to Cancun or a Caribbean island by now as a cute souvenir. At 131 feet in length, the Yacht StarShip offers 150 passengers a unique dining experience as they set sail and leisurely cruise the beautiful waters of the port and bay – lunch or dinner. Gorgeous sunsets are the rule. They host corporate gatherings, even weddings. The yacht shares the water with some mighty big ships. The Port of Tampa is the largest in Florida and 11th largest cargo port in the United States and 16th in total trade volume; those are not low rankings. Over 40 million tons of cargo goes out of Tampa each year and almost 800,000 cruise passengers come and go through the terminals on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Holland America lines. It is a big deal, especially when you’re standing next to the ships at dock as passengers board. And, it’s a great sight to see the huge ships blow their horn, leave the docks and make their way out and through the Skyway Bridge. Quite a stirring sight every time. Too bad the mighty little captain must maintain his vigil and miss out on the cuisine, music, dancing and crazy nightlife. It’s a sailor’s life for sure. (Go, make a break for it captain. No one’s looking. Run, captain, run.)

5 comments:

Lois said...

Maybe he will retire after a few years and get to go on one of those cruises. He would certainly deserve it. They sound wonderful!

Jacob said...

Why don't you take the poor guy by the hand, run him on board ship and go on a little cruise?

Don and Krise said...

What a faithful employee. Smiling all day long. Nice write up. Sounds wonderful.

Hilda said...

He's welcome to run (and swim!) straight into our house! He's a cutie.

The cruises sound absolutely delightful. Have you been on one?

Frank said...

I have taken a sunset cruise and it was a beautiful night. The sun was going down as we came back into port. There are two bars and several serving areas with a wide variety of food. The music is on the top deck and of course the best view of the water, harbor, other ships and the waterfront neighborhoods that the boat crusies by.