Nin hao! and welcome to the ships laundry.
Thank you for wanting to spend the day with me to see what my job here on board is all about. My name is Hu.
Ok, first we need to go down to the Laundry which like on most ships is located on Deck 1, often at the bow of the ship. While this means we are out of the guest's sight, close to the engine control room and engine room, it also means that when the seas get rough, we are the first ones to feel it so I hope you are prepared.
As you can imagine we do all the laundry on board the ship. This means everything from the table cloths and napkins from the restaurants to the bed linen, pillow cases and all the towels from the passengers and crew cabins. In addition to this we also have to clean all the crews uniforms and for a charge their private clothes too. Plus not forgetting that the guests also need their clothes washing.
I know your probably needing a coffee since it is only 4 am, but this is the time that we normally start so come on, lets get going. The good think about starting so early is that in the afternoon most of us are finished for the day. We have 2 shifts, in order to get everything done in time. We firstly need to start with washing the table cloths and napkins from last night's dinner. They need to be ready for when the waiters start for breakfast – so they can prepare for the lunch service. We are lucky here to have 2.5 sets of the Restaurant linen. Another good thing is that we have 10 huge professional washing machines, which can get a lot done in a very short time.
To your right, you'll find the huge automated ironer. As you can see, the napkins are being starched, and put in the "mangler", as we call this ironing monster, without being dried before. This way they get really wrinkle free and crisp, for the waiters to do all the nice folded art work for the restaurant.
I can see, the humidity down here is getting to you, you might want to take off your jacket. This is why we work in Bermuda shorts and T-Shirts. Over there we have the
Dry-cleaning machines for all the delicate garments. This is where one really needs to know the laundry business, so the guest's clothes are treated the correct way and we do not damage anything.
And here we have our labeling machine. As you can imagine, we need to wash according to the items material and not per person. Each crew member has a Crew ID number, which they need to put on their laundry bag, when they bring us their uniforms and private clothes. We print out the labels and since they are self-adhesive we put them on each piece. Once the laundry is done, the crew member can just peel off the label, and we have ensured that the laundry goes back to the correct person.
I see you are wondering what these display dummy looking things are. Well they are consisting only of the top half and that is where we iron the dress shirts. You basically dress the dummy and then with steamer, the shirts are ironed perfectly.
Oh, I almost forgot, we also have 5 huge turbo dryer mchines for all the different kinds of towels including the beach towels. Thats' how we can get them so nice and fluffy.
Now I have told you almost all the secrets here and I hope it has made it easier to understand how we get all this laundry done in such a short time.
Ok, I'll go back upstairs with you, since the crew deck can be really confusing to find your way out. See you around.
Hu Chang, China