ericaamber

Posts Tagged ‘crew life’

I Pet A Monkey

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

DSCN7885

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!

 

 

DSCN7890 DSCN7896 DSCN7912 DSCN7913 DSCN7924 DSCN7948

Scary Movies and Cruise Ships

In Cruise on March 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Let me preface this post by saying that I am a horror movie fanatic. Old ones, new ones, all kinds of horror movies, I love em all.  My last roommate on the Liberty was a special kind of scary movie fan that I have only ever encountered on ships. She can’t watch scary movies at home, but on the ships she can. This interesting phenomenon spawned today’s post:

Reasons That Horror Movies are Less Scary on Cruise Ships than in Real Life

1)   You can’t sneakily break into a cruise ship cabin. If you are trying to break into a cabin and murder someone, it’s gonna be tough. There is just one (typically creaky) door, that will spill hideous fluorescent light into the cabin awakening the at least two crew members who are probably getting the only two hours of sleep they’ve had all week and WILL rip your face off if you disturb them. Good luck with that, movie villains.

2)   Once a movie villain kills someone, a speedy getaway is key. On a cruise ship, even if you do manage to get away with murder, where do you think you’re going?? We’re going to find you, we have a brig on board, and it’s international waters….need I say more??

3)   There is virtually no way anyone can sneak a giant machete or gun on board. There are so many metal detectors and x-ray scanners to get on board it’s like a floating airport.

4)   Cabin stewards know EVERYTHING……seriously. Guest Services might be the brain of the ship, but the cabin stewards know what/who/where everyone is doing at all times. If you think you can end a life without a cabin steward somewhere knowing exactly what’s happening, and coming to the rescue, think again. Consider your murderous plot ruined!

5)   You just feel safe living in a box with another person. Most scary movies are built upon the premise that someone in a murderous rage is able to sneak into your life undetected from the outside world. Even real world news can’t sneak into our lives on the ships, let alone a psychopathic murderer……those usually have criminal records and are unable to get passports or travel.

6)   Scary movie villains are angry people.  Vacationers are happy people. You do the math.

All of these factors contribute to make scary movies less scary on cruise ships. In the real world there’s so many places in your home or apartment complex that scary movie villains could hide and get you, cruise ships are happy bubbles where villains can’t get you!

Ziplining

In adventure, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, friends, fun on March 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm

The one and only time I went on an excursion in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I went ziplining in the rain forest and it was brilliant!! I had so much fun!! The guides were so much fun, and the views were breathtaking! Of course I felt the need to zipline upside down like a crazy person, prompting the guides to exclaim that they’d never seen a guest do that, only they usually do it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The course had multiple rope bridges just like this one!! Very fun!!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m all ready to zip!!!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the many towers we climbed to start zipping!!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Beautiful views like this!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Danger!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m upside down!! 🙂

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!

IMG_0129 IMG_0130IMG_0012 IMG_0015IMG_0050

Thoughts on Things

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2013 at 7:25 am

Night shift has left me in a very pensive mood these days. I’m very much enjoying the large chunks of time off. As we all know, I function on much less sleep than the average human, so night shift hasn’t really affected my sleep patterns too much (other than the times I sleep, I nap at odd times of day now). However the big difference is that when I’m awake, I don’t need to be in the office, so my time is mine. Normally you always feel tied to the desk, like if you aren’t there something might explode and maybe it’s your fault it exploded because you weren’t there. On nights if I sleep for 3 hours and then wake up at 11am, I have the whole day to do whatever I want!! I’ve been on excursions, haunted my favorite restaurants, watched my favorite movies, and stayed in bed just because I could. There is something deliciously decadent about not getting out of bed in the middle of the day just because you don’t have to. I’m enjoying it. I’ve read 3 books in the last two days and enjoyed them all thoroughly. Being at work when no one else is here also gives me lots of reflecting time. Isn’t that always the way?? Left to ourselves, we tend to turn inward and analyze our lives. I have 10 weeks left here on the Carnival Liberty. Sometimes that sounds like eons, but most of the time it sounds so so short. On ships you tend to tell time via ports. For example, I have 10 Miamis left, or 5 Cozumels. It’s a very different way of telling time and counting down, but when I say I only have 5 Cozumels left it really makes me feel like I’m almost done. I must just say that I’m not counting down because I want to leave, I do very much enjoy this ship and the crew. Mostly I’m counting down because being done means I get to see some very important people. Also, my GSM is finished two weeks before me, except he is retiring so you’d better believe he is REALLY counting down. So every time he gives me his countdown, I can’t help but add two and countdown also. I already know exactly what I’m going to do the first few days that I’m home. I do very much miss home, my family, and my friends, I can’t wait to see them all. It will be a quick visit, however, as I think I’ll be off traveling not long after I get home. That’s the gypsy life! Always on the move.

Nights!

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2013 at 8:35 am

My first night shift began in a weird place of knowing that I should be sleeping after my short 2 hour morning shift because I knew that I would have to work overnight but yet was not sleepy. I managed to get some sleep and the first shift passed uneventfully. I did a few silly things because it was my first time running those specific reports, but nothing I couldn’t fix. The biggest thing at night that is different than the day (which will sound silly), is that there is no one else there. If you have a problem or a question, there are usually many people around to help you out. At night you are the only person responsible for everything. Which is why new crew members aren’t typically assigned to nights until they’ve been around for several months, it takes a while to be comfortable enough with everything. I had a delightful time my first night shift. It was calm (probably because it was the night before New Years, everyone was resting up). At 3am I called the bridge to see how the boys up there were doing, then the night housekeeping manager came to the GS desk to eat some room service with me at about 4 am. Tonight should prove to be a little more interesting at it is indeed New Years Eve!!! Happy 2012 everybody!!!

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.

Night Shift

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Something interesting is about to happen to my work schedule. I’m going on NIGHT SHIFT!!! Guest Services is open 24 hours, so obviously someone has to be working late at night. On Carnival ships, we GSAs rotate the night shift. So every two weeks, we switch, and someone new is on night shift for two weeks. This coming Saturday, it’s my turn! I’m super excited about it. There’s a few things that change drastically when you are on night shift. For one, you don’t have any side duties other than the night shift reports. Currently during each cruise, I am responsible for Guest Access (we have a list of people that have special needs, things like needing wheelchair assistance, food allergies, learning disabilities, cancer, guide dogs, and guests who need to bring oxygen onboard. As you can imagine, it’s very important to know these things before a guest boards the ship.), international assistance (daily FunTimes newsletter translation, and special embarkation letters to French guests), and lost and found reports (lost and found is serious business, if each item that’s found or returned isn’t properly logged and tagged, people can lose their jobs). Each of these side duties can take anywhere from 1-4 hours in a day depending on the cruise. So even if I’m only scheduled 4-6 hours of desk time a day, I could have another 4 hours of side duties to complete, as well as follow up from anything that occurred while I was working the desk or phones (which is often a lot). While on night shift, I will work from Midnight-7am and do night shift reports, but not have to come into the office at all during the day with the exception of a few meetings during the week. ALSO you are excused from port manning while on night shift so you can go out in the ports every day if you wish. I am planning on doing some of the tours that I’ve never been able to do because they are too long to fit into a regular work day. I am excited for night shift. I’m ready to be a vampire for a while. Maybe I’ll change my mind after I’ve started it, but for now, I’m excited about it!!

Merry Xmas!!

In Uncategorized on December 25, 2012 at 11:08 pm

dsc_4366_01Well it’s Christmas in the Caribbean!! I’m sad to not be with my family, but I’m happy to spend it with wonderful people like the Carnival Liberty guest services team! I’m sure you’re just dying to see our Christmas card photo that we sent to all the other ships. Check it out!! What a great team!!

Entertainment!

In Uncategorized on December 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm

So here at Carnival, they try very hard to keep us crew members entertained. Every month there is a different department assigned to come up with crew activities for us to do. Example of such activities include movie nights in the theatre, parties in the cabinet bar (one of the many bars on board) with DJs and usually a theme of some kind, sports challenges, etc.  This month the entertainment department is responsible for activities. I have to say, the Ents team is really taking it to the next level. They have really put so much effort into their activities. Last night they hosted a fashion show and a crew auction where they auctioned off a date with 6 different crew members and all the proceeds are going to an orphanage in Roatan. Our lovely GSM was nominated to be auctioned off and so of course we pooled our money to bid on him. It was a wildly successful evening and they opened the whole thing by having the dancers perform the first 5 minutes of one of their production shows. It may not sound like much but for many of the crew, it was the only chance to see a part of the show that they will ever get. As an officer I’m very lucky to be able to see the shows whenever I want, however a majority of the crew do not have guest area privileges, and therefore do not get to attend the guest shows. Our shows are FABULOUS and it was a real treat for the crew to get to see parts of one. The fashion show itself was AMAZING!! Graham, one of the entertainment hosts, designed and made by hand all of the costumes. It was phenomenal. Photos to come!!