Cruise ship staffers capture your happiness
Cruise ships offer many opportunities for passengers to have their pictures taken. (Ellen Creager, Detroit Free Press, MCT / May 14, 2012)
The staff will be happy to snap your picture for you - again, and again, and again.
Your picture can be taken in front of backdrops showing ships, ship wheels, flowers, the moon, the sun, or plain white, black or blue. You can be in formal dress, casual clothes, standing, sitting, striking a pose or even holding pretend rifles and bags of loot.
On Carnival Valor, it is possible to have 408 photos of yourself taken in eight days.
"Every day on the gangway, they take our picture. Then at night, we get maybe two or three taken," says Marile Rodriguez, 24, of Miami, who is traveling with her family. At the rate she's going, she'll pose for more photos than a supermodel in Paris.
Still, she hasn't bought any of the photos yet. They sell for $10 to $22 each.
Jason Wiggins of Atlanta, 34, has posed for at least seven photo shoots. He plans to wait until the cruise ends to choose which to buy, "but probably I'll buy the original first-day ones or the ones we had taken tonight," he says.
Every evening along the Promenade deck next to the casino, passengers can choose one or all of eight photo stations to visit. Sittings are free.
So here's the photo math: "Every day we have eight backgrounds, and we take six pictures per couple. So that's 48 pictures," says Ivan Mirazic , a Carnival Valor photographer. Theoretically, if a passenger had his picture taken at all eight stations every night for eight nights, that would be 384 pictures. Add to that four possible gangway shots per port, with four ports - 16. Add to that two photos of yourself during each of the four dinners at which photographers roam - eight . The total - 408 pictures. Of course, nobody has quite that many photos snapped. It just seems like it.
Every single picture is printed in the ship's giant photo processing facility on the zero deck. Every photo is displayed in rotating galleries on the fourth deck, so passengers can see the results before they buy - provided they can find their faces amid the sea of images.
Swept up in the excitement of cruising, most passengers likely buy photos they don't need.
On the other hand, the price is right. And, you know what? Even the most un-photogenic person in the world has a little glow when they're taking a cruise.
Ellen Creager: firstname.lastname@example.org