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Posts Tagged ‘Friends’

Hello Santa!!

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm

One of the funniest things about my office is that we share with the print shop technician, and shore excursions! We all have so much fun together, it’s nice to have a chance to bond with other departments as well as our own. It really makes the family feeling stronger!

It also gives us many opportunities for practical jokes!!

The other day, full of mischief and Christmas spirit, a few of us covered the shore excursions office in pieces of paper with HI SANTA printed in massive letters on them. In a stroke of pure genius, I made a teeny tiny ‘Santa’ sticker and stealthily put it on the shore ex manager’s name on his name tag that was attached to his sweater that had been left in the office.

Of course immediately the ‘hi Santa’ signs were thrown out and laughed over. I left the office, off to do something fabulous, and totally forgot about the name tag until later the shore ex manager informed me that he unknowingly wore it all day until a guest cheekily asked him if he had started making his list yet. Of course we all had a good laugh. And actually, I’m still laughing, and occasionally greeting the shore ex manager as Santa!!!

Friends like this make it so much easier to be away from my family on the holidays. My family is very close and it’s really difficult for me to be away from them so long, but my Imagination family is making it much easier!!

Happy holidays everyone, wherever you are, whatever you’re celebrating, celebrate well, take care of your friends and family, and be safe!!

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Seasons Greetings!!

In Uncategorized on December 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm

I’d like to introduce everyone to a very important member of my new Carnival Imagination family!!!

My roommate……..SAFFIE!!!!! She’s fabulous and amazing and I’m already super attached to her. I’m looking forward to an amazing contract with her by my side!!

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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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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!!

My favorite

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2013 at 3:56 am

I know I keep promising a fabulous update. And it is coming. I’ve really been enjoying my vacation, doing things I love, and being with people I love. That brings me to my glorious amazing sister. I adore her and am so lucky to have her!! Last weekend she and I attended the Vancouver Fashion Week shows. Since she is a fashion blogger, she got invited and I was lucky enough to tag along. We had an amazing weekend spending quality time together and watching fashion shows! Check us out, aren’t we cute?!

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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!

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.

 

Footprints

In Uncategorized on January 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I went on a fabulous excursion with my friend Davorka yesterday. Back to the Kon Tiki tour actually!! We had the best time. We took a cool picture of our feet!! Check it out!

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Silver Dining Room

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise on December 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm

One of the funnest things  I got to do with my parents was eat in the main guest dining room all week. It’s amazing to see what the guests see. It’s a whole other side of the ship!! Every evening, the dining room staff do a dance or sing a song of some kind and it almost always involves everyone flinging their napkins around wildly….so of course I joined in!! Today is my birthday!! Steakhouse tonight!! YAY!

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