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Posts Tagged ‘Carnival’

Snapshot from Mallorca

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm

There are so many amazing things going on right now and not enough time to share it all with you!! Here’s a quick glimpse of the beautiful Palma de Mallorca. It was an amazing day!!!

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Quick update from the Azores

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2013 at 11:41 am

After four long sea days, we made it to Porto Delgada, Azores, Portugal! It’s stunning!! I just want to show you a few quick photos before I run out of free wifi!! Longer post to come!! And also a Bermuda update!!

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I Pet A Monkey

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, Uncategorized on April 9, 2013 at 10:03 am

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I’ve been to Isla Roatan, Honduras, many many times as the Liberty went there every second week, but I never managed to go on an excursion there for some reason. Last week when we made our last stop there on the Legend, Valeria and I went on an excursion in Roatan!! It was so much fun, we did ziplining and then went to a resort beach and a park with monkeys!! It was such a fun time! It was really interesting to see more of the island. I’ve only really seen the Mahogany Bay part, which is actually made by Carnival so it’s very picturesque. The ziplining place was a 45 minute drive from the pier. In that time you could very clearly see the change in socioeconomic landscape. The areas immediately surrounding Mahogany Bay contain homes that are very run down, ramshackle, and close together. They appear pieced together with random materials, many people loiter in the streets which are very dirty. After about 15 minutes of driving, the houses get further apart as well as larger and larger until you are surrounded by massive sprawling mansions with guest cottages and well kept grounds. After that comes the resort areas, encompassed by a sprinkling of rural housing that gets smaller again but these homes are much tidier. The resorts are absolutely stunning. The entire island is covered in lush green rainforest-type foliage that is absolutely stunning. Ziplining through the trees was absolutely breathtaking. At one point a little monkey came leaping through the overhead branches and landed on the ziplining platform! He was the cutest little guy and he held my hand!! Once we were at the end of our zipline adventure, we stiopped for a brief visit in the monkey park. Valeria had a monkey with her baby on her back jump onto her shoulder and lay down on her head. It was possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! After the monkey park it was time to head to Tabyana Beach, which was beautiful too! We wandered down the beach a bit and had lunch at the Infinity Bay resort, which was simply stunning!!! It’s nice to feel like we’re on vacation for a little bit!!  So Roatan was a great success all around. It was the perfect day to say goodbye to the Western Caribbean!

 

 

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The Vacation Story

In adventure, friends, fun, Uncategorized on March 30, 2013 at 7:56 am

Well, I’ve been promising a more detailed vacation blog post for almost a month now. And I figured now is the time to do it, as I head back to work!!  I love writing while traveling! Currently I am in gypsy heaven, the two seats next to me on the plane are empty, and being a human of the long-legged variety, I am taking very great pleasure in stretching out over ALL the seats.

Vacation has been amazing. For the first two weeks I actually went to cruise with a friend on another Carnival ship, the Carnival Inspiration, for two weeks. I had the best time being a guest. It’s a very different experience than being a crew member. I really learned a lot about what it’s like to cruise from the guest perspective. I went to all the shows, ate on lido deck, and lounged! I also got to see what it’s like to board the ship as a guest, which is something we never experience as crew. The Carnival Inspiration does 3 and 4 day cruises to Ensenada, Mexico and Santa Catalina out of Long Beach, California. So since I spent two weeks on board, I got to do a lot of embarking and debarking. As technically I was a guest, even though I was crew traveling, I still had to debark the ship with the guests and embark again a few hours later with the next group of guests. It’s in my nature to make friends with strangers and every time I got off the ship, there were usually the same staff working, so by the time I debarked after my last voyage I got hugs and high fives from the security, the shoreside crew, and even some CPB officers. I think that having the experience of cruising from the guest’s perspective will really help me be a better Guest Services Associate. The ports were fun too! Santa Catalina is gorgeous!! A tiny little marina town with beautiful yachts, colorful Spanish style villas and palm trees! There were seals and dolphins leaping around the small tender boats used to take us ashore and some cheeky seals even hopped up on the marina buoys as if they were circus performers!

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Ensenada, Mexico is also a cool place. We found lots of delicious little restaurants and one day there was even a really fun street fair celebrating something fantastically Mexican. It’s a very different Mexican experience than Cozumel. Cozumel is quite commercialized, with a very well developed cruise center. Ensenada is beautiful, with the LARGEST flag I have ever seen, Mexican or otherwise, but less developed than Cozumel. There are many families on the streets trying to sell you beaded bracelets and scorpions shaped out of wire. It’s very interesting to see the differences after being in Cozumel every two weeks for the last 6 months.

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Once I came back from cruising, I went to visit a friend who lives on Gabriola Island, one of the gorgeous Gulf Islands! We went for forest runs, beach walks and even kayaking in the ocean. I actually had a small incident where I fell in the ocean and it was almost a catastrophe, but it all ended up just fine. There was a pair of sea lions playing about 10 feet away from me and I was on the fence as to whether they might eat me or assist me back into my kayak, neither of which happened. Gabriola is beautiful and quiet and I really enjoyed the time to relax.

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After a few more days back in Victoria, my sister and I went to Vancouver for the weekend, as she was invited to attend Vancouver fashion week, and I was her plus one!! It was so much fun. My sister is my very best friend in the whole world and getting to spend a whole weekend with her was just the best ever. Plus we got to see some really awesome new fashion, and hang out in downtown Vancouver!

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In the time I got to spend at home in Victoria, I visited some wonderful friends, my amazing family, and even some of my favorite animal friends! Ship work, although it is wonderful, it is certainly tiring and after a contract, it’s really necessary to take downtime to find yourself again. I’m so happy and refreshed and ready to go back to work!! I have so many thoughts to share about my new ship, but we’ll save those for tomorrow!!

Goals

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line on February 23, 2013 at 12:44 am

Those of you who know me well are aware that I am a very goal oriented person. I make goals for me, myself, my horses, my finances, my life….you get the picture. Now, in my day planner I keep notes on what I want to blog about or  research, etc. In there I’ve had a note that say blog: ‘goals – legend/sunshine’ because I’ve been meaning to write about my goals for quite some time now. Since I got on board there was a stigma about the new ships sailing to Europe, and how much everyone wants to be part of the opening teams. The Carnival Destiny is being refurbished in a MASSIVE project and after the dry dock will sail the Mediterranean.

As well, the Legend will be repositioning from Florida to Europe and sailing the Baltic/Mediterranean. As a North American, the opportunity to sail in Europe would be unparalleled and from the beginning is something I’ve been very interested in. I’ve asked my management to put my name in for both teams and as they were being solidified I realized that I wasn’t going to be a part of either. However, I focused on work and learning all my side duties, and then one day last week I got called into the office by my manager. Last week was a particularly emotional week for the entire office and so going into the office made me a touch nervous. My GSM told me to sit down as head office was calling. Head office proceeded to ask me if I would be interested in being the French assistance team member for the European crossing of the Carnival Legend.

I took a massive deep breath and said OF COURSE I WOULD LOVE TO, THAT’S MY DREAM
JOB!!! So this was just a few days ago and since then it’s been a whirlwind. I am going on early vacation, as I need to sign back onto the Legend on March 31st so I can be there for the transatlantic crossing!! I am so very amazingly excited for this new adventure. I will join the ship the week before the crossing to get comfortable with the ship and the team and then off to Europe I go!! I’m so excited for all the things I’m going to learn and all the amazing places I’m going to go.  So I now sign off this week, I’m scrambling to get everything done in time and get prepared to leave. I’m so full of mixed emotions. I’m so excited for vacation (plans to be revealed soon, they involve cruising as a guest and travels to South Africa) and I am BEYOND thrilled about my next contract. At the same time, I’m so so sad to leave the Liberty and the team. I absolutely adore everyone and will have such a tough time leaving them. However I know that I will be seeing my favorite people again sooner than later, so that makes me happy. EEEEEEEEEEEK. As I write I’m just in my bed, all packed and ready to go, just using up all my internet card (can’t waste a minute), way too excited to sleep. My sister and family will be picking me up at the airport in less than 24 hours!!

So the moral of the story is that having goals and striving to achieve them is crucial, even if striving just includes believing you can do it and writing it all over things.

 

Breeze-y Days

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2013 at 11:24 am

One of the really cool things that ends up happening once you’ve spent some time on cruise ships is that inevitably the people you started your contract out with go on vacation and then come back to different ships. At the very least this means that you get lots of fun emails in your work inbox to keep you entertained. For me it’s meant that I also get to go aboard other ships and visit! Last week I had the pleasure of visiting my dear friends on the lovely Carnival Breeze! It was such a nice visit. The Breeze is a Dream class ship and it is the newest ship in the Carnival fleet. It’s BEAUTIFUL!!!! It has so many different food outlets and whatnot. We ate lunch at the Cucina del Capitano, which is an Italian restaurant and they had GLUTEN FREE PASTA!!!! It made my day!! I’ve also had the good fortune to visit the Carnival Magic several times and it’s really interesting to see the differences between each ship. If I could take a day trip to every ship I would for sure!!

I really love the cabin doors on the Breeze, check them out!!

 

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My darling friend Valeria and I in the Breeze back office

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The lobby….with cool dangly balloon thingies!!

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Yes, this is on the ship!!!

 

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Cabin doors!!!! How fun is that?!

Grand Turk Revisited

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2013 at 11:06 am

For whatever reason, I always seem to have time off in Grand Turk, therefore I went on yet another super awesome fun excursion in Grand Turk. This time we went horseback riding! As an avid horse back rider, I’m always very concerned about the health and welfare of excursion horses. These ones were so happy and well fed. Once we were done riding they got to gallop around with the rest of their herd and weren’t even fenced in. Once I was happy that the horses were well cared for I had a fabulous time! The guides were very attentive and knowledgeable. They really made an effort to ensure that each guest was properly matched to a horse and that the equipment was properly adjusted. They also made sure to stop and take everyone’s cameras and take photos for us which was fabulous! I really enjoyed my time and would go back for sure!

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Coast to Coast

In adventure, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line on February 19, 2013 at 10:53 am

My lovely co-worker Susanne and I went on a few excursions recently!! The first of them being the Coast to Coast tour of Grand Turk! Grand Turk is a very small island, but it was really cool to get to see it all. We drove around in an open-air bus while the driver told us all about the island. We got to stop and go for a swim (of course I jumped right off the dock…I was actually the only one who went swimming, but I’m a sucker for an ocean swim, just can’t resist it!!) and explore the Grand Turk lighthouse, which was also beautiful!

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Dune Buggies!

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2013 at 10:27 am

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos is 7 miles long and 1 mile wide. Last week my colleague and I took a dune buggy tour all over the island. It was so much fun!!! We were very lucky because usually the dune buggy excursions sell out very quickly, but luckily this week there were two spots left for us!! I got to drive which was so much fun!! That’s something I miss about home quite a bit, driving. We had such a fun day out in the sun, tearing around in dune buggies, I quite enjoyed myself!! I’m almost done night shift! I’m a little bit scared to go back to the daytime, there’s so many people everywhere, it will certainly be an adjustment!

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Just like driving at night

In Cruise, travelling on December 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I was just up on the bridge to drop something off for the captain, and it was the first time that I’ve been on the bridge at night time. It’s SO AMAZING up there at night. I know I’ve said that the bridge is amazing plenty of times, but there’s a completely different feeling up there at  night. First of all, the lights are all off. Which at first took me by surprise, but then the 1st officer made a very valid point….’when you drive a car at night do you turn on the interior lights?’….of course I don’t, because that would be crazy. Apparently the same rule goes when you’re steering a ship. So it’s quiet and dark and the ocean just stretches out forever. As it does in the daytime, but at night it’s darker and more mysterious. On the right side of the bridge they have set up a little Christmas tree with presents under it and some tinsel as well, so the tree lights create a comforting Christmassy glow in that little corner. Miles and miles away you are able to see other cruise ships, some large, some small, all lit up. With the navigational equipment, the bridge officers are able to tell you what ship you are passing and other information about each ship. Tonight we saw a Royal Caribbean ship and the officers informed me that in a few short hours we would pass our sister ship, the Carnival Freedom. One of my very good friends from GSA College is on the Freedom, and somehow I feel comforted just knowing that our ships are passing in the night. After leaving the office I think I will go out on deck 4 forward and watch the freedom pass us.