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Posts Tagged ‘CCL’

My Contract By the Numbers

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2013 at 12:13 am

Well I can’t believe it, but this contract is over….34 countries, 55 cities, 7 months, 30 weeks, 209 days, 5,016 hours, 300,960, 18,057,600 seconds, countless memories, new friends, and new experiences. I really haven’t had time to organize all my pictures, let alone process all the things I’ve seen and done. When I look through my pictures it really starts to hit me. So much has happened in the last 7 months that each picture brings to the foreground some kind of memory or story and I re-live it all over again. I really am so grateful and happy and totally in love with the world. I can’t wait to come back to some of the places I’ve been and to see the ones I haven’t yet. But I am ready to go home, I miss my family, I miss so many things about home. One thing I love about traveling is that it really makes you appreciate the people that make you feel at home.

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New York State of Mind

In Uncategorized on October 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Our amazingly fantastic transatlantic voyage ended with a call into the Big Apple!! NEW YORK!! I worked in the morning and had time to take a quick jaunt out into the city. I was not at all prepared for the culture shock. I’ve been to New York before, but this time, after a 15 day voyage, 8 serene sea days, and ports of call who’s populations were doubled while we were in port, it was just a little bit terrifying. Times Square is flashy, so much neon. I’ve never been as overwhelmed by a city as I was when I walked off the ship in Manhatten. In Quaqortoq, our ship carried more passengers than live in the town, in New York, that many people live in one skyscraper! I walked up to Times Square and all of my sense were assaulted, it literally took me a solid half an hour to adjust. That’s never happened to me before, it was a very strange experience!

It was quite a big day for us in general. Partially because the ship has been out of the US for almost 7 months, our first US port was a big deal. For one thing, 150 crew members signed off so we had to say goodbye to our friends and colleagues and get ready to welcome a batch of new people to our Legend family. Also, since the ship has been out of the US for so long, EVERYONE and their dog wanted to come aboard and make sure everything was up to their standards. USPH, US Coastguard, CPB, you get the picture. All the crew members also had to go through full immigration to get our permits for working aboard (I-95’s, a very important, very tiny piece of paper that is also very expensive if you happen to lose it). Not to mention that we had to get the 2,200 guests and all their luggage from a 15 day voyage off the ship and a whole new set on the ship. PHEW!! After a long and intense day, I looked at my pictures from the the early morning, sailing into New York with all the buildings outlined in lights and Lady Liberty standing tall and serene and realized for the hundredth time that I’ve been on an extraordinary journey.
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Northern Lights

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

It’s been a very hectic few days, icebergs and Northern Lights and cold cabins. We have all been on Northern Lights watch and when we left Reykjavik (which means ‘Smokey Bay’ in case you were wondering) it was much too foggy to see anything. The next night, I finished work at 12:30am, and called the bridge to ask if it was foggy and if they thought we might be able to see the lights. The bridge guys laughed at me and said no, it was too foggy. Dejected, I returned to my busy work, and 45 minutes later, when the phone rang it was the bridge, urging me to hurry to the open deck IMMEDIATELY as the lights were visible. I ran outside and there they were, all glowing and amazing! Once everyone heard the next day that we had seen the lights, I got in trouble from many others for not contacting them immediately. So the next night when I got the call for the lights (much earlier this time, around 9pm), I activated the phone tree and called EVERYONE! We all ran outside and the lights were absolutely stunning. MY images are having some uploading difficulties at the moment (ship internet, not always the fastest!) so i will share pictures later. However it’s just as amazing as I had imagined it to be. Check that one off the bucket list!!

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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Cruise Along the Lysefijord

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm

This post is a teeny bit delayed because I’ve been trying really hard to keep up with the UK isles stuff, and I somehow missed getting this one in! Norway is utterly sublime, and while we were in Stavanger we had the chance to go on a cruise down the lysefijord. We boarded our lovely boat and off we went. The fijords are amazing. It actually reminds me a bit of BC, it made me homesick! We went to an amazing waterfall right next to Pulpit Rock, and drank the waterfall water! They took us all around the fijords and then up to a little campsite/restaurant type place where they served freshly made waffles and homemade strawberry jam. Of course I couldn’t eat the waffles but I drank coffee and watched everyone else enjoy their waffles, all the while marveling at the beauty of the fijord and the mountain ranges surrounding it. As we passed Pulpit Rock we could see people up on the top of it, and later some guests even showed me some pictures they had taken from way up there. The next time I return to Norway I will most certainly be headed up to that brilliant vista.

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First Impressions of Ireland

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Today we arrived in Dublin, Ireland. I had planned to get up early and head into the city, catch a HoHo and tour around. However I accidentally ate some wheat the other day and have been sick for almost 5 days now. So I slept in until I felt human then ventured ashore. From the pier it’s 4km to the city center, but there is a lovely little tram that takes you there for a few euros. So I tried to purchase a ticket. Now if you could see my change purse, you would be most confused. I have pounds, euros, kroner (both Danish and Finnish) and even a few American coins in there. Such a mishmash!! So I scrambled for some euros, and found myself 20 cents short. A fellow behind me (seeming irritated) pushed me aside and put the last 20p in for me, instructing me to put my next 20p coin in the first charity box I came across, and then we would both have done a good deed for the day. Thanking him profusely, I took a seat on the tram. The generous fellow took a seat across from me and struck up a conversation. He turned out to be an eccentric history professor who was quite happy to tell me all kinds of things about Dublin, the upcoming election, and his life, all while quoting Karl Marx and Oscar Wilde. A most entertaining start to my day!! Every Irish person I have encountered today has been friendly and kind. Plus I just love their accents!!! Ireland, I like you.

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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Anne Frank Haus

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm

For our last call into Amsterdam, I really had one thing I very much wanted to experience; the house that Anne Frank and her family hid in during the war, and the place she was when she wrote her famous diary. What an amazing experience. The house has been preserved as a museum and is very well done. As you move through the house you see authentic material from the house as it was in the 1940’s. I went to the house with a tour, which took us through the city and out to a beautiful windmill first. We even went to the area of Amsterdam that Anne and her family lived before going into hiding. Something I absolutely love is that nowadays it is used for writers! Writers that are not allowed the freedom to write their type of literature in their countries are invited to stay in the house for a year to do their writing and then a new writer comes in. How amazing is that?
The house itself is haunting. As you move through the house you see things like the original bookcase that hid the entrance. In the bedrooms and living spaces, the windows are still covered and you can imagine what it was like to be hiding there in the dark. We were fortunate to hear the church bells ring, the same church bells that Anne talks about in her diary, it sent chills right down my spine. The actual diary is on display as well. There are inscriptions of quotes from Anne’s diary on the walls throughout the house. In Anne’s bedroom you can see where she glued pictures from magazines on the wall. It is truly an amazing experience, I’m so thrilled I managed to get there. I think that especially after experiencing Sachsenhausen recently, the house really hit me. There are little movies playing with interviews with people such as Anne’s best friend, one of the women who helped them stay in hiding, and even Otto Frank himself. An amazing man, after surviving Auchwitz he dedicated his life to publishing Anne’s book and fighting against racism. The museum is such an amazing reminder of the history that we should never forget.

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