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Posts Tagged ‘Carnival’

Amazing Moments: Strait of Gibraltar

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm

The next amazing moment I want to share with you as one of the highlights of the last 7 months is sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar. The first time we did it, it was in the wee hours of the morning and we could only see the headlights of cars and bridge lights. The second time we sailed through it was daylight. It was so amazing to see Europe on one side and Africa on the other. In the daylight we were even able to see the rock of Gibraltar. Magnificent!! This photo makes me remember how far we came and it also reminds me of all the times we gathered together on the open deck to watch for something life-changing.

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Change is Good

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Ok I’ve been dying to talk about this for a little while now but I didn’t want to say anything until it was official! However, it’s done and dusted and now I can put it on the Internet. I am transferring departments to be an Entertainment Host! I will still be with Carnival, but I’ll be in a very different role. Calling trivias, bingos, running games and deck parties! Of course it’s not all just fun and games, there are lots of other duties involved which I won’t bore you with right now. I’m very excited for this new opportunity. It’s not that I have any problems with Guest Services, I love GS. However, I love the entertainment department. I love being on stage and I think I have a personality very well suited to this position. I really appreciate being in a company that allows me the latitude to try out another department. It’s a fairly long process but I’ve made it through and now I am pleased to announce that I will be joining the Carnival Imagination on November 29th as a host!! I’ve had so much amazing support from my team on the Legend and I’m thrilled to start this new adventure! Another amazing thing I’ll get to do with the Imagination is a repositioning cruise through the Panama Canal which I’m very excited about!! So if you’d like to cruise with me in my brand new position, check out http://www.carnival.com and search cruises on the Carnival Imagination!! I can’t wait to see you all there!!

Amazing Moments: Trevi Fountain

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm

As I enjoy my delightful vacation, I’ve been going through all my pictures and remembering all my magnificent adventures. I have been so many amazing places and as I sift through my memories, certain pictures and stories keep coming back again and again as highlights. So I wanted to share some. Today’s photo is from my last day in Rome. The whole day was an amazing experience and the following picture of me tossing a coin into the Trevi fountain just reminds me of it. I can’t not look at this picture without it making me super happy. From the ring I’m wearing that was a gift from my two favorite guests on a Venice sailing to Barcelona, to the smile on my face, to the fountain itself, to the story it reminds me of, everything about this picture will always make my day!

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Liverpool, England

In Uncategorized on October 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm

The deviation of this past cruise, while maybe not ideal for some, was very exciting for me. Partly because I’ve fallen madly in love with England and was so excited to see another part of it, and party because of the Beatles. The Beatles were a favorite band of my parents, particularly my fathers, and therefore I grew up listening to their music. For me, the Beatles make me think of home and love and family and warmth and just plain old good music. Of course, on a grander scale, the Beatles are a massive part of pop culture and the landscape of music, which means all their favorite places and influences in their hometown of Liverpool are very much commercialized. Random sidebar, when I was last in Amsterdam, we saw the hotel where John and Yoko famously hid out in for a crazy amount of time. During this cruise, my darling friend Andrea from Hungary whom I worked with on the Liberty has joined the team and so off we went to see as much as we could possibly see in Liverpool. Starting off on the HoHo we toured the city and planned where we wanted to stop and spend more time. Next we took the 2 hour ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ in an amazing bus to all of the important Beatles places. We saw their childhood homes, their schools, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, and so on. I really enjoyed hearing all the tour guide’s stories about the musicians and their childhood. The bus played Beatles tunes the whole way and we sang along of course!! After the Beatles tour we got some lunch at Tesco (a store I will really miss when we get back to North America, by the way) and made our way down to the Cavern Club, where the Beatles played a total of 292 times (and many, many other musical geniuses as well). Inside we enjoyed the acoustic music of several fabulous musicians (of course some Beatles songs!!) and gazed at the music memorabilia all over. Being a very big fan of live music, I could have stayed forever, but alas, not possible and we got back on the HoHo to stop at the other places we had wanted to see. Specifically, the Anglican Church, the largest in England, and a beautiful building with very loud bells!! A short souvenir stop ended our Liverpool day and we hurried back to the ship, trying to beat the sudden display of cold treacherous English weather. I could have stayed a lifetime, England I love you and your people (and their accents)!!
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Prince Christian Sound

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

So, every so often there comes a chance to do something amazing. Today was one of those days. We have had an ice pilot (Captain Fritz) on board with us for a while to assist in navigating our way to Greenland. He has extensive experience navigating ships through the Greenland and Iceland areas, and He presented us with the opportunity to navigate through the Prince Christian Sound. Of course our captain had to agree and whatnot before it could be done, but in the end, he went for it. This stunning fjord separates the mainland of Greenland with the Christian IV Island and other islands near the southernmost tip of Greenland. It connects the Labrador Sea with Irminger Sea and is around 100 km (60 miles) long. It is also narrow, sometimes only 500 m (1500 ft) wide. There is only one settlement along this sound, Augpilagtoq. At this area, our cruise director, John, disembarked via one of our tender boats and took a bag of postcards from our guests and crew to have them mailed from what has been described as the Northernmost Post Office in the world (heads up mom and dad, you’re getting a really cold postcard)! The sound offers beautiful scenery with steep mountains often more than 1200 m high, and with glaciers going straight into the water, creating icebergs. It is unbelievably beautiful and also a little bit daunting at first as it doesn’t really appear that the ship can make it through the narrow channel. It really was an amazing experience. The crew all gathered on the open deck to take pictures and watch as we entered the narrow passage. From above us we could see all the guests gathered on the upper open decks and we waved merrily back and forth to eachother. The excitement was palpable, everyone was awestruck. I really can’t even begin describe how majestic the scenery was. We spent most of the day running back and forth from the office to the open deck to the office again. It’s so cold out that we brought a hair dryer into the back office to warm ourselves up after long periods of time outside. I’m so fascinated by the people who live in these remote areas. I can’t help but wonder who the 115-200 people are who live in Augpilagtoq are and what their day to day lives are like. Incidentally, I learned something new today, in Greenland, people who live off the land are called Unuit, and people who live off the sea are called Eskimos. I love learning new things!

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Deviation

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Although the Baltic seas have thus far been kind to us, the winds of change are upon us. The Norway cruise got rougher close to the end and as we reached the final day, we learned that there was a very good chance we would need to change our itinerary because of it. We waited on the edge of our seats as the powers that be decided our next course of action and when the email hit our inbox we opened it with mixed feelings. Generally, a deviation of itinerary mostly just means more work and upset guests. Understandably so, people book cruises with the ports in mind, often if we miss one we add a day at sea, we don’t get a replacement port, resulting in sadness and long lines at Guest Services.

Deviations can occur for all kinds of reasons, but mostly it comes down to weather. At the end of the day, we are but sailors, we can not control the wind or the waves, we can only do our best with what comes our way (methinks there’s a metaphor for life somewhere in there, you decide). In this case, the decision makers were able to reconfigure our cruise so that despite missing one port (Belfast) we gain a replacement port (Liverpool) and the other ones move around a bit. As soon as we got the official word, all departments sprang into action. We in the Guest Services department scrambled to set up a help desk with outside lines and internet access available for guests who had booked shore excursions with outside (non-Carnival) companies to try to change them. We emailed/faxed/called multiple countries in multiple languages for multiple hours. Damage control at it’s finest. Our cruise director and cruise staff immediately put together port presentations and discussions to inform the guests as soon as they got on board of exactly what was happening. Shore excursions put together new excursion booklets with tours for the new port and refunded the tours that had to be cancelled due to missing Belfast. By the time the dust settled, we still had some upset guests, but mostly we had ones that were impressed and grateful. We worked so hard that I barely had time to consider that we were about to go somewhere unexpected. LIVERPOOL!!!!! For me, super exciting…maybe not for everyone, but I was really excited to see another British port. At any rate, more thoughts on the upcoming deviation in the near future. I’m off to see what I can see outside, it’s time for an adventure!!

Firth of Forth and the Forth Bridge

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm

First of all, yes, that’s quite the mouthful, it took me approximately 4 tries to say ‘Firth of Forth’ in a sentence without sounding completely foolish (I’m still not certain I’ve mastered it). We sailed into the Firth of Forth this morning and it was a very beautiful sight. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry, I didn’t either. The Firth of Forth is a fijord that was formed by the Forth Glacier in the last glacial period. Specifically, it is the estuary (‘firth’) of Scotland’s River Forth, where said river flows into the North Sea. It flows between Fife (north) and West Lothian, Edinburgh, and East Lothian (south). The firth is very important for the conservation of nature. The Isle of May hosts a bird observatory, and the Firth of Forth Islands SPA (Special Protection Area) is a home for over 90,000 breeding seabirds each year!! This is one of the reasons that in 2008, the Firth Ports refused a bid by SPT Marine Services to allow oil transfer between ships. It’s really beautiful here!! Houses and beaches line the shores and the Forth Bridge stands tall and majestic in front of you as you sail in. The bridge itself, of course, has a history all on its own. It is a cantilever railway bridge just to the east of the Forth Road Bridge, about 14 km west from the city of Edinburgh. It was opened in March of 1890 and is 2,528.7 metres long. It connects Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh with Fife, and took 7 years to complete. It used 10 times as much metal as the Eiffel Tower and 98 men lost their lives during its construction. The bridge was designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker. 4 years prior to the beginning of the bridge’s construction, (on Dec 28th 1879) in a violent storm, the first Tay Rail Bridge collapsed as a train passed over it, killing all passengers. It was an unmitigated disaster and because of it, the Forth Bridge was specifically designed to look strong. And strong it does look. What an amazing sight to sail into today, I will never forget it!
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Bergen and Bryggen, Norway

In adventure on September 21, 2013 at 7:28 am

Stop number 2 on the Norway cruise was Bergen. It’s another beautiful town with a lovely fish market and a cool tram-type thing called a Funicular that goes up Mt. Floyen (similar to the skyride in St. Thomas). I didn’t have much time outside so I wandered around taking pictures of the beautiful scenery and architecture. One thing that’s very interesting about Bergen is the Bryggen UNESCO World Heritage site. Feel free to check it out here at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/59
Bryggen is Bergen’s old wharf area and is a reminder of the town’s importance as part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire from the 14th to the mid-16th century. There are currently 62 buildings left from that era, as it has had parts of it destroyed by multiple fires over the years. King Olav the Peaceful (Olav Kyrre) founded the port of Bergen somewhere around 1070 and it was initially a possession of the old Norwegian aristocracy that had acquired a monopoly on fish trading. Today much of it remains protected and a lovely well inside a courtyard advises that any Norwegian coins that are dropped into it will be used to continue to preserve the site.
The fish market itself is lovely and had so many different things to peruse and explore. I wandered up a small hill for a better view of the city. The buildings are beautiful and are built fitting inside the nooks and crannies of each other like so many puzzle pieces. Beautiful gardens abound and sharp turns lead to small alleys with steep stairs. I very much enjoyed Bergen and one day hope to come back again!
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How Alesund Says Goodbye

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

Well Norway is brilliant! I can’t get enough!! I will do a photo post soon with photos from Alesund, as I have so many to share, but this one just has to be shared right now! I have learned over the last few weeks that it is crucial to just always have a camera on hand because amazing things are everywhere all the time and I am often sent scurrying into my safe to get my camera to capture a magical moment of some kind. Particularly now as many of the ports we are visiting in the few weeks to come we will not come back to, nor has Carnival As we set sail out of Alseund yesterday, this darling boat appeared out of nowhere with streaming jets of water coming out of it and world flags decorating it’s sides to say goodbye to us!! I managed to snap a few quick pictures out of the office window. I love a good old fashioned water show send off!

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Castles Of Old Zealand

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2013 at 8:52 am

When last I was in Denmark, I decided that I really needed to see some serious castles. What better place to do that than Denmark!! I was fortunate enough to be able to get on a guest tour called ‘Castles of Old Zealand’. This tour was SO much fun!!! It was also nice that our pro DJ from the ship (DJ Bad Beats, or Artie to us) was also on the tour so we went adventuring together!

Some summarizing bullet points for those of you who might not want to read all the way to the end (one of my shore excursion managers says my tour reviews are too long to read, so I always give him bullet points)
– Tour guide pretty much invented Denmark, she knew EVERYTHING about everyone that ever took a breath in or around or near to the country
– I love castles…
– We wandered away from the tour group and found the crazy dungeons under the Macbeth castle…very cool.
– Danish castles are better than Russian palaces because you get to touch things
– Lunch had lots of options!
Our tour guide (Pia) was an absolute gem, she told so many interesting stories that I stayed awake for most of them! Our first stop was at a lovely castle that was next to a darling marina. It was in fact the castle that Shakespeare set Macbeth in, which is super cool. We strayed from the group and went for a wander down in the dungeons and tunnels that used to house soldiers. Tip: If a sign tells you to grab a flashlight (aka a torch) before entering a dark tunnel, you might want to listen….we managed with our cell phones and camera flashes like a sketchy horror movie.
After that we stopped at the Danish Queen’s summer palace, not really very castle-y, but beautiful nonetheless. We didn’t get to go in or anything, but we could see the stables and the palace and we heard all about the Danish royal family. I like the Danish royals, they sound more down to earth than some of the other monarchs you hear about. Our tour guide was telling us that when they are in Denmark, they ride their horses through the fields and the towns and whatnot. Just as I imagine Kings and Queens doing. Just like a fairy tale.
Lunch was at an inn about 10 minutes away from the summer palace. They had a lovely buffet set out for us with a complementary beverage, as well as teas and coffees. The food was good, some of it was difficult to distinguish exactly what it was, but I was brave and tried everything (except the things covered in gluteny death). Next to the inn was a lovely cemetery that we took pictures in before returning to the bus.
After lunch we went to Fredrickbourg castle which was AMAZING!!!! So many rooms full of so many shiny things!! I loved that the castle wasn’t very crowded, unlike some of the Russian palaces, so it felt like we could really move at our own pace and explore the castle. Also unlike the Russian palaces, there weren’t big plexiglass coverings over all the walls. Russian palaces don’t let you touch ANYTHING…so paranoid. So I touched some artifacts, mostly just because I could. Our tour wasn’t scheduled to go out into the gardens, so Artie and I hustled out of the castle (got a little lost but made it in the end) and took ourselves out to the gardens before meeting the tour back at the bus. The gardens were brilliant, I’m so happy we checked them out.
On our way home we slowed down in front of a few other castles, I was kind of bus napping to be honest so I’m not sure which ones, but I know one has the crown jewels in it. What a wonderful day!!
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