ericaamber

Archive for the ‘Florida’ Category

The Final Countdown

In bus, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, Florida, fun, Miami, traveling, work on September 6, 2012 at 8:55 am

I am currently sitting in the lobby of my hotel, waiting for my shuttle to come to take me to Port Canaveral, where I board the Carnival Ecstasy for training. By shuttle, I mean giant bus. More and more people are slowly joining me, the bus should be here any minute. I’m having a last minute panic attack because when I crossed the boarder, the customs officers didn’t stamp my LOE (letter of employment), and I kind of feel like they needed to. But maybe they didn’t. I probably shouldn’t question them, it is their job. I’m not even sure why I think I need some kind of stamp, but I just do. I think I just get worried when something is out of my control because I’m hyper organized and if there’s something I can’t organize, I worry that it’s wrong. I guess we’ll see in a few hours!! Fingers crossed for me that I get on my ship! I don’t know what my Internet situation will be like when I get on board, but I’m assuming spotty at best. I’ll keep writing and post when I can!! Bon voyage everyone!!
E

Miami

In adventure, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, Florida, traveling on September 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Yesterday I boarded a train in downtown Kissimmee and rolled on into Miami. The Amtrak was lovely, it took 5 hours to get here, there was also a 7 hour train that made more stops, but I figured 5 hours was a better amount of time to spend on a train! The train ride itself was uneventful. I dozed and stared out the window, then dozed some more. When I arrived at the lovely airport DoubleTree by Hilton, the front desk agent didn’t have me in her system, nor was my name on the list of Carnival crew members departing today. So naturally I was concerned. The front desk agent was so helpful, she checked me in anyway and gave me a number to call Carnival to see if they had anything to say about it. The night staff at Carnival didn’t really know much. They told me to call back in the morning to talk to the main office, but that I was definitely not assigned for today. Sasha (my new best friend at the front desk) said not to worry, she would be back on the desk at 7am and I could come back down and we would call again! I emailed my friend Andrea who is on the ship right now and she said the Ecstasy (my training ship) is only in port on Thursdays and Saturdays, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to be starting today. So that made me feel better!! This morning I scampered on down to the front desk and called Carnival again and the very helpful lady said that I board tomorrow!! Crisis averted!! So now I have a whole extra day of giant hotel bed and shower and freedom,. Tomorrow I move to the land of tiny beds and showers and living on a ship!!!!! Now that I have a whole day in Miami, I might take the hotel shuttle into downtown, or to South Beach, or somewhere. But for now, I’m going to relax a little bit more, I want to be at my best for tomorrow!!

E

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Train ticket!!

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Back in Florida!

In adventure, Carnival, Disney, Florida, friends, fun, traveling, walt disney world on September 3, 2012 at 7:05 am

Well as you know, I’m back in Florida! It’s been a wonderful week and I’m so happy to be back in my American home! I started off the week with some lovely friends of mine, we went all over the place! We even went to the town hall at Magic Kingdom and got ‘I’m celebrating’ badges and wrote ‘Erica’ on them and told everyone it was Erica Day. It was lovely!!

We also went to the Disney Art of Animation hotel. I posted about DAAR the last time I was in Florida, I saw it when only a few sections of the resort had opened. Now even more have opened! There’s the Lion King section, and the Cars section and they are both SO cool! It’s like you’re actually in the movie! Before they opened the Cars section they actually had Pixar animators come through to make sure that everything looked right. Those imagineers really know what they’re doing.

I’ve spent the week spending time with some very lovely friends of mine and have had such a lovely time. I’ve had amazing reunions with some people I worked with on my Disney College Program that I haven’t seen in a long time. I’ve been relaxing, lounging by the pool, going to the gym, then back to the pool, eating amazing food, and roaming the Disney parks. It’s really the perfect way to transition to my amazing new job. On Tuesday I take the train up to Miami and then Wednesday morning I’m off to my new job! I don’t really know what to expect, all I’ve been told is that I get on a bus or a shuttle of some kind and it takes me to the port where I get on my ship! My lovely friend Andrea has told me kind of what to expect but I still don’t really know. I’m excited! And a little apprehensive. I’m about to go live on a boat! Oooooo as soon as I typed it I stopped being apprehensive and started being excited again.

Although I’m not going to lie, I could get used to living this life of leisure.

E

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CARS!!

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The tower in Hollywood studios!

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Hyena from the DAAR Lion King section

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It might only be august, but the Halloween decorations are up in the Magic Kingdom!!

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SCAR!!! My favorite!! I do love the villians!!

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More Cars, this is one of the hotel entrances I believe

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Lion King section of DAAR

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Myself and Lauren, we both worked concierge at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and now we’re reunited again!!

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Pumbah and Timon

On the road again

In customs, Florida, flying, travel, traveling on August 28, 2012 at 6:56 am

Well here I am, in the Sea-Tac airport, gate B. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent at least 20 hours in this particular terminal, it always seems to be the one I fly out of. I’m so very excited to be off on a new adventure, I can’t even explain it. It was definitely hard to say goodbye to all my friends in Victoria but I’ll be home soon enough and I’m just so beyond thrilled to be embarking on this journey. Now, if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that almost every time I travel, I have a super amazing time in the airport/customs, and feel the need to go on and on about it. Well this is another one of those times, so if you don’t want to hear how much fun I just had in customs, maybe go ahead and skip to the bottom. You were warned!
I got on the Clipper in Victoria, which is pretty much my favorite way to get into the US, I love the boat and the smell of the ocean and also seem to find really cheap flights from Seattle to Orlando. So the boat was a little bit late docking (9:50 instead of 9:30) and my flight was leaving at 11:30. Customs was a breeze, I showed them my letter of employment from Carnival and he wished me good luck and off I went So I skipped the light rail, which is usually one of my favorite parts of Seattle, and caught a cab once I got through customs. I told my cab driver that I was scared I was going to miss my plane, and he totally rose to the occasion, he made the 30 minute drive to Sea-Tac in 15 minutes. No joke!! So I arrived and rushed to the United desk, checked myself in, and prepared to pay for my overweight luggage (whoops!!). The United attendant came over to take my money, looks at me, and says “That’s a lot of money ($25 for the bag, $100 for the overweight fee), why don’t you just put some things in your carry-on.” So I began to pull random things out of one suitcase and stuff them in my carry-on. I must have looked pretty tragic because after about 40 seconds of watching me struggle with my luggage (I was rushing, worried about missing my flight), he finally just said, “Don’t worry about it, just give me that bag.” So I thanked him profusely and gave him my bag. But I didn’t get a luggage tag because I was supposed to be paying for the luggage so he calls his supervisor over to get my a bag tag and tells me quietly “Don’t tell her it’s over weight, just tell her you messed up checking in.” Which of course I did. So one bag tag later, I saved $100 thanks to my new friend and I scampered off to security. At security I learned something new, apparently not only can you not have liquids/gels over 3 ounces, but you can’t have more than a quart of them. Which I did. (whoops!) So I had to get bag checked and pull out all my random eye creams and whatnot. I chatted with the fellow checking my bags and after moving around my things a bit, he let me keep most of them, I threw out some random samples of moisturizer or something and with his well wishes, off I went again. Upon arrival at B5, I discovered my flight was delayed and so full that they were asking for people to check some carry-on luggage! So not only did I make my flight, I have time to blog AND I get to check my carry-on for free!!! BEST FLIGHT EVER!!!! And that brings us to right now! I’m sitting in the B5 terminal next to a power outlet waiting for my plane to arrive, soaking up all the free wi-fi that Sea-Tac has to offer, happy as a clam. I just love flying, I always have so much fun. I think partly it’s because I’m such a happy traveler that it’s hard to not get caught up in how excited I am to be going places, and then it makes people want to help me out. Getting ready to board my plane! I’m so very excited to be in Orlando in the morning!!! More updates soon!!

E

Countdown!

In adventure, Carnival, Cruise, customs, Florida, friends on August 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Well it’s getting closer and closer to go time for me, I’m so excited about so many things!! I just printed out my letter of employment (LOE) from Carnival that I need to use to secure my hotel room in Miami and show to the customs officers, which is making everything seem a little more real.  I’ve started packing and I officially leave in 20 days! Wow! Time sure does fly! I’ve been making lots of plans with my Orlando friends and I can’t wait to see everyone again! 20 days!!! And 18 days until my sister’s wedding!!! SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!!

Art Of Animation

In Disney, Florida, walt disney world on June 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I just came back from a wonderful, wonderful vacation in Florida and had a chance to look at Disney’s brand new resort, Art of Animation!! You may recall that I posted a video about the resort and how it was getting ready to open. Well the first phases of opening have begun, and it is glorious!! Just a short jaunt (across a lovely bridge over the Hourglass Lake) away from the Pop Century resort, Art of Animation is so lovely. The first section of the building that has opened is the Finding Nemo section and it’s really neat because it’s designed as though you are Nimo! So it’s pretty much like a giant fish tank!! The other sections of the resort are Lion King, Little Mermaid, and Cars themed. Each of them are sized around a specific character, in the Lion King you see from Simba’s point of view, in Cars you’re Lightning McQueen, and in Little Mermaid you are Sebastien!! By the next time I return to Orlando, the whole resort will be open!! I’m so happy I got to see the resort while I was there, it’s a shining example of how amazing the Imagineers are and what fantastic work they do!

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Look it’s a really big Crush!!

Goofy Shuffle

In Disney, Disney College Program, Florida, walt disney world on April 30, 2012 at 5:16 am

I can’t remember if I shared this before, but I watched this video the other day and it really took me back to Orlando and the Disney College Program and I decided to post it (possibly for the second time)! So I’m not sure if you’ve ever considered exactly what goes on at a Disney College Program graduation ceremony, but if you guessed characters in caps and gowns, you would be correct! They also dance. I took this video on our graduation day! I love having memories like this to look back on, my Disney experience is something I will remember forever!!

Art of Animation

In Disney, Disney College Program, Florida, magic kigdom, walt disney world on April 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm

So something that I love about Disney is how they are so inventive and constantly changing. There were many exciting changes happening at Walt Disney World when I left last fall and one of them is rapidly coming to completion. A NEW RESORT!!! It’s very exciting because they haven’t opened a new resort since Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge (where I worked), in the 90’s. The new resort, called “Art of Animation”, showcases varying stages of Disney art in the hallways, colorful fountains in the pool, and is coming along quite nicely, as you can see here in this video!!

 

I can’t wait to see it when I’m back visiting Orlando at the end of May!!

And she’s off

In Cruise, Florida, travel, travelling, Uncategorized, US, work on April 17, 2012 at 11:20 pm

It’s an exciting day for my friend Andrea! She’s the friend who also got a position with Carnival Cruise Lines, but she’s starting her contract this month! So, she’s flying out today to Orlando for training and then she’ll be on-board a ship soon. We plan on skyping every week so I’ll get all the details of the cruising life before I even leave home! I will most certainly be updating you all on her adventures as I hear about them!!

Decisions, Decisions

In Cruise, Florida, racing, travel, travelling on March 21, 2012 at 2:19 am

Well hello there! Hopefully everyone has been carefully re-directed from my old blog to this happy new blog without too much difficulty! Welcome to the new space, I hope you like it here as much as I do!

Switching my blog over to wordpress is just one of the bog decisions I made this week. The other major one involves my Carnival job. I recieved an email that had all my start date options and I just needed to pick one. Now I am a list writer, so when it comes down to tough decisions, I usually make a pro and con list. Or several of them, depending on the situation. I weighed all my options carefully and decided to take the september start date for Carnival. I could have started as early as may, however, after lots of soul searching I realized that I really want to be home for the summer. My sister is getting married in August and I couldn’t bear the thought of not being here to help her prepare and plan for the big day. I also have a passion for triathlon and horseback riding and would really like to get to compete this summer. So keeping all of those things in mind, I decided to stay home for the summer and I couldn’t be happier about it. Everything will still continue as planned except that I will get to do everything that I want to!! I’m very happy!!