ericaamber

Archive for the ‘fun’ Category

Of Immigration and Shooting Stars

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, friends, fun, travel, traveling, work on September 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I am seriously getting very used to having my lovely cabin steward friend. I leave my dirty uniforms on my rumpled bed, come back after work, my bed is made, garbages are gone and my clothes have been taken, the next day they return, cleaned and pressed! He’s so lovely. We see him daily and he makes sure we’re happy and we chat. I met a Canadian today! First one I’ve seen since I left home!! I know there’s a few on board, but I haven’t run into any until today. It’s very multicultural here. A few places that are represented are Russia, Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, Germany, England, Scotland, Mexico, India, Wales, US, Indonesia, Croatia, Chile, Australia, Romania, Bulgaria, South Africa, Phillipines, Haiti, Italy, and Greece, and those are just the ones I happened to talk to today. It’s so interesting, while we were waiting to do our medical texts the other day, 10 of us all said good morning in a different language and tried to learn all the other ways. I’ve encountered an entirely new experience here that’s never happened before, but has happened several times since I got on board. Someone (always European, usually Russian or Ukrainian) asks where I’m from and I say Canada and then they reply, “No, where are you REALLY from?” and then they’ve all asked if I’m Ukrainian. I never realized it was that obvious.

Yesterday was a very long day! In order to work on the ships, we all (except US citizens) need I-95 work visas. These only last for 90 days before they must be re-stamped by a boarder protection agent. So every 90 days, a group of agents get of board and check ALL crew visas. It starts at 5:15am so as to get all 920 crew members through in a timely manner before the guests begin to disembark. Guest Services typically helps with this process. As the new GSA’s, guess who got delegated to help?? That’s right!! Myself and my new best friends. So we were issued our I-95’s and then we stayed to help sort out all the passports after (on the ship we don’t keep our own passports, they are held in security), and then went to class at 8:30am! But they did get us coffee, so that helped. Then after that we had more classwork, learning some systems that we will use on the desk, then I had two hours of desk observation and one hour of phone work. Phone work entails sitting in the GS office and answering all the calls so that the people on the desk can focus on the guests up front. For the most part we are still just watching and learning as much as possible. I did get to answer a few phone calls though and it was delightful. I didn’t get any tough questions, thank goodness!! By the time we were all finished, two of the GSAs were finishing up and cashing out for the day so they showed me how to cash out and we all went for a nightcap at the crew lounge. The crew lounge has an outdoor smoking/lounging area that is almost right below the bridge, at the very front of the ship. It’s literally at the front, and is such an amazing deck that guests up top on their decks often call down asking how they can get out onto it. We sat out on the deck, counted stars, saw some shooting ones, and I learned some Russian words. It was so incredibly beautiful, tranquil, and peaceful. No land as far as the eyes could see, warm night breeze, and all the stars. It made me so happy. I love it out here. I’m on a break right now and curled up in my cabin. My cabin is the closest one to the hull of the ship so I can hear the waves on the side of the ship. I feel like it’s what clothes in a washing machine on the gentle cycle must feel like. I’ve never slept better!!

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

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

20120903-030243.jpg

CARS!!

20120903-030255.jpg

The tower in Hollywood studios!

20120903-030308.jpg

Hyena from the DAAR Lion King section

20120903-030321.jpg

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

20120903-030339.jpg

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

20120903-030405.jpg

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

20120903-030435.jpg

20120903-030447.jpg

Lion King section of DAAR

20120903-030503.jpg

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

20120903-030516.jpg

Pumbah and Timon

The Goodbye Girl

In adventure, friends, fun on July 27, 2012 at 10:23 am

I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, and I’ve called myself many things. The Goodbye Girl seems to be the most accurate of them all. Very few things are constant in my life, but I constantly seem to be saying goodbye. You might think that goodbyes are negative, that you have to omit something from your life, but in fact, goodbyes are merely an outlet for someone you love to go on to something new, and to new experiences, not without you, but with old experiences feeding into new experiences. When we say goodbye, we aren’t dismissing people from our lives, we are merely acknowledging that we may not see them for a while. The people that come into our lives will impact us forever, whether we realize it at the time or not.  I am currently facing another goodbye, and this one feels like my heart may break. However, as much as I’m in love with my current life, I am SO excited for my new life. I feel like I’m being split in half, and I know I will never forget the amazing things and people in my current life, but I know that I have to keep on my current path and explore my new life, because it holds so many new adventures that I can’t even fathom. I’m so very excited, and so heartbroken at the same time, and I can’t think of any other way I’d rather live my life.

Happy Father’s Day!

In family, friends, fun, holiday on June 19, 2012 at 2:48 am

I know I’m a day late with this post, but I was so busy having such a fun day with my family yesterday that I didn’t have a chance to post! My family is probably the most important thing in the world to me, and I’m always thrilled when I get to spend time with them. On father’s day, my dad’s favorite thing to do is go on a family hike. So bright and early, my sister, dad and I (mom was in Vancouver) went for a hike in East Sooke Park. It was oh so magical. I really enjoy these times I have with my family because soon I will be off on a cruise ship and I won’t be able to enjoy their company. Being out in a park, smelling the ocean breeze, and chatting with my favorite people is really the happiest I could possibly be on a sunday morning and I am so so grateful to have such a close bond with my family. So happy belated father’s day to all the lovely dads out there, I hope you all had as wonderful a day with your dads as I did with mine!!

Very Special Mail

In family, friends, fun on May 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I received a piece of very special mail this week. Many years ago, I spent a month in Martinique with an amazing family, their daughter Telly-Ange, who is my age, became my ‘Martiniquais Sister’. We have stayed in touch throughout the years and recently she sent me an invitation to her wedding in Martinique!! Now I won’t be able to go because I’ll be in Florida that week (more on that later), however just receiving the invitation was amazing. They met at school in California, and the invite looks like a boarding pass! Photos below, it’s so clever and I just love it. Getting this amazing invitation really made me stop and think about all the wonderful memories I have of traveling in Martinique and of course that started a tangent of memories from all over. I have met so many amazing people and done so many amazing things. I really feel confident that I’m on the right path with my life. There is nothing I’d rather be doing than traveling the world, meeting new people and helping them have the most magical day possible. Whether that’s through my personal travel, or through whatever job I might be doing, I am SO happy to be doing it. I realized the other day that almost every story I tell starts with “When I was working _____” or “When I traveled to ____”, or “When I was living in _____”, and I love that. I can’t wait to see where this wondrous path takes me next!

20120528-133423.jpg

20120528-133430.jpg

True Story

In clocks, Disney College Program, fun, random on May 30, 2011 at 12:07 am
You know you work for Disney when you put a wall clock in a corner on a time out to think about what it’s done, and no one thinks that’s wierd. I legitimately scolded a clock for falling off the wall onto my head today. Never a dull moment!!The bad clock!