Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"This is NOT a drill!"

There are times when I read someone else's post and it gives me and idea of something I can post about. This is one of those times.

We like to take our vacations aboard cruise ships. I always feel like the cruise officially begins when the lifeboat drill and the unpacking is finished. The drills are very informative and are important for your survival should an emergency arrive. In case of a real emergency, you are instructed to dress in warm clothing, put on your life jacket, then head to your muster station. The crew members do several types of drills throughout a cruise and from time to time the Captain's voice can be heard over the intercom saying, "Crew, this is a drill. This is a drill."

On one of our vacations (our first Panama canal cruise to be exact) we had spent the day in Aruba and were on our way to Jamaica. We had retired for the night and were snug in our bed, when around 1:30 a.m. someone pounded on our door (very unusual). My hubs got up and peeked through the peephole and saw that it was a crew member. He opened the door and was standing face-to-face with the silhouette of a man standing in the hallway that was full . . . of smoke! The man was an officer and urged us to leave our stateroom asap because there was a fire!

Note: Fire is known as a ship's worse enemy!

Hubs got me up and told me to get dressed; to grab what I thought was important out of the safe, and be quick about it. Usually, I'm an up-and-at'm girl, but for some reason, I could not get it together. (I think my mind was in shock and couldn't fully process what I was hearing.)

The officer knocked on our door two or three times and in a very strained voice, asked us to leave our room . . . please! We finally got dressed and left the room and were instructed to go to the staircase and wait for further instructions! While we were sitting on the steps, the Captain's voice came over the intercom giving instructions to the crew, but, his last words were chilling:


There are no words to express what was racing through my mind at that moment! It was so surreal! I'm pretty sure that at some point, the Titanic crossed my mind :)

We were then instructed to go to our muster (lifeboat) station. We made our way to the appointed meeting place and waited to meet up with our friends. Soon they arrived dressed warmly with their life jackets on.

Hubs and I started laughing . . . at ourselves.

We were dressed in SHORTS, NO LIFE JACKETS (they were still in the closet of our stateroom). I can remember trying to decide what to get from the safe and finally decided on my wedding rings and a few choice pieces of jewelry . . . . that wouldn't weight me down . . . . while I was treading water ! ? ? ?! No passports, no money, no credit cards, no warm clothes, no life jackets ! ! ! I never even once thought about the lifeboats!!??? I guess I was just going to jump overboard at the "appropriate" time! What was I thinking? Obviously, I wasn't thinking! I was still asleep!

My hubs, also dressed for HOT WEATHER, had grabbed what was important to him . . . . his comb!

At least we were dressed. Some were in their pj's. Needless to say, we felt pretty stupid when sitting there with our well equipped and well dressed friends!

As it turned out, it was an electrical fire . . . three doors down from our stateroom. We were out of our room for the rest of the night. We sat and talked one-on-one with the Captain for a while. They provided all kinds of food, blankets and pillows. They also gave us credit on our account for not be able to use our room that night :)

The door to our stateroom was sealed so well that the room did not smell of smoke in the least. I just knew all of our clothing would stink like burnt electrical wires.

This past vacation (another Panama Canal cruise) we were awakened around 2:30 a.m. with our smoke alarm blaring . . LOUDLY! (Boy, there just seems to something about the Caribbean side of that cruise that creates incidents!)

I just want you to know that this time I was ready! I already had our "wardrobes" planned, complete with life jackets, my tote bag ready to EMPTY the entire contents of the safe and I fully expected to ride in a lifeboat instead of treading water! :)

This time there was no fire. A turbine (there are more than one and they generate electricity) went down for about 15 minutes. That caused an orderless fume to set off the very, very sensitive smoke alarms - LOUD smoke alarms. We had to take the battery out to stop the deafening noise. We could here other alarms going off in rooms up and down the hall.

We were thankful that there was no emergency this time, but you'd better believe that this gal was READY! I may have failed the first test, but I was ready to ace this one.

However, there is a more important test I plan on acing. I am making sure I am clothed in the proper attire for this one, too. This time, the reward is not just gaining life here on earth, but instead, eternal life with the Prince of Peace and the Lord of Lords! When the trumpet sounds, it won't be sounding off for a drill, it will be the real and final thing! It will NOT be a drill! Are you ready?



Mindy said...

What a great illustration!
I love cruises -- although I'm afraid that if I had to actually leave my room -- I might not do another one.....

Lois Lane II said...

Oh my goodness!! That would make me never want to take a cruise again!

On our honeymoon night, Hubby and I stayed in a hotel near our airport, and a fire alarm went off at 3 a.m.!! We were so tired from the wedding and everything, but we managed to quickly dress and grab a few of our belongings and rush out. Turns out it was a DRILL and that there were a few (not really too many) signs posted at the hotel. But who has a drill at 3 A.M.??!!! Lol!

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

I love your application on this! I also have to say that I love that your husband only brought his comb. That's so Fonzie..lol

TCKK said...

Wow! Very good illustration. Thanks for the reminder.

annie's eyes said...

How scary! I felt like I was with you, but I am thinking if this happened twice now to you, maybe I don't want to take any cruises with you. JK I bet you were ready--no trial runs or second chances, and the same with Life-- I want to be found ready also. Great story to show a greater Truth. Love, Annette

valerie said...

Sometimes I think about what I'm wearing to bed even at home....and think "what if...?" I'm sure that was a scary experience, but so thankful your room didn't smell of smoke & that y'all were taken care of. That cracked me up about your husband grabbing his comb!

I wanted to tell you I sent you an e-mail about dinner tomorrow night.

Talk to ya later,