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Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Things a Cruise Ship Worker Looks Forward to On Their Vacation

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, Uncategorized on September 20, 2016 at 11:27 pm

Into the life of every cruise ship worker, a little (or a lot) of structure and even some sacrifice, must fall. As much as I LOVE what I do, just like everyone else around the world, I look forward to vacation. Something that makes my vacation different than the rest of the world is that I have not only worked every day since the beginning of time (as it feels sometimes), but I’m away from home roaming the globe on a giant, floating, self-contained resort. Needless to say I look forward to different things than the average vacationer.

Of course cruise ship workers look forward to spending quality time with friends and family, just like everyone else, however there’s some things you just can’t do on a ship that you miss while away. Here’s my list, in no particular order!

– doing laundry whenever you want without fear that someone will either hijack your dryer or go through your undies. (not that this actually happens, just that its something I worry about…well the dryer hijackings definitely happen)

– grocery shopping with abandon. On ships we don’t have a lot of storage space, refrigeration, or the ability to cook. Enough said.

– COOKING!!! I just want to cook dinner!! Preferably with a glass of red wine in one hand.

– Pets. I am notorious for making friends with random stray dogs/cats/goats/horses while on in ports. In fact I once tried to tame a wild pony in Jamaica. It wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had. One of the greatest things in the world is having a pet around.

– Not worrying about back on board time. After an extended period of time paying close attention to when the ship leaves and when you have to work or be back onboard, being on land as the sun goes down is a decadent feeling.

– Not knowing people. As hard as it is to say ‘see you later’ to your ship family, sometimes it’s refreshing to walk down the hallway/street without knowing everyone. Anonymity can be absolutely delightful, in the same way that silence is golden.

– No name tags!! Imagine your morning, you walk out of the house and you check for your wallet and keys. Cruise ship workers check for our cabin keys and our name tags. It takes me several days if not a full week of checking the left side of my chest for my name tag before I subconsciously realize I’m on vacation. I can always tell that I’m ready for a vacation when I look at people in movies or on tv and wonder where their name tags are.

– drinking tap water. I know. This is a wierd one, but stay with me. As anyone who has cruised knows, you don’t drink the tap water. It won’t kill you or anything, it’s just not delicious and not filtered. There are some filtered taps around the ship that you can drink from, but most of our consumable water come from purchasing bottled water. Which is delicious (particularly in the South Pacific where we get Fiji water quite often), however drinking water straight out of the tap in the kitchen sink is something I REALLY miss!

– Fire! Fire is the most dangerous hazard at sea so we aren’t allowed to have anything onboard with a flame (other than lighters), no candles!! As soon as I get home I light candles and build fires in the fireplace, regardless of the season.

– Fast unrestricted internet!! We do have internet onboard but it’s not the fastest nor the most economical. We spend days in port hunting for WiFi. Getting back to land and having high speed internet 24 hours a day is a luxury, and gives you a chance to catch up on all the cat videos you missed while at sea.

These are really just the things that I REALLY look forward to when I’m at sea. What do you look forward to when your vacation time rolls around?!

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Beyond the Mouse

In adventure, Disney, fitness, friends, fun, holiday, orlando on February 13, 2015 at 4:03 am

In my personal experience, the more you visit a place, the more new things you tend to discover. At least if you possess an adventurous soul you do. Of course there are lots of people who go places and do the same thing every time, and that’s just fine, but it’s not my style. I like to explore. As I am currently on vacation and spending time with some friends in Orlando, we have been making the usual theme park rounds, but we’ve also been on a few random adventures. Today we drove to Winter Garden and rented bicycles, determined to discover places we’d never been.

First of all, Winter Garden itself is delightful and I want to live there. Its a beautiful sleepy town with ambiance music and fountains and benches!! Something about it feels charming and welcoming. If a town could embrace you, Winter Garden is like a warm hug from an old friend. i did not want to leave.

Winter Garden is a haven for triathletes, cyclists, and athletes of all kinds and the bike shop we went to was staffed by some very lovely people who made us feel right at home. Our bicycle adventure took us around the West Orange Trail which runs partially alongside Lake Apopka and reminded me of the Galloping Goose Trail at home in Victoria B.C. I got to see the lake, gazebos, country fields, trees, and random animals. As much as I adore all of Florida’s many theme parks and attractions, I am very excited to have explored a whole different slice of what the sunshine state has to offer. The moral of today’s story is: STAY ADVENTUROUS my friends!!

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Panama Canal Adventures

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2014 at 5:43 am

I remember being on the Legend and looking at the locks on the way into Amsterdam and thinking that after seeing those, I desperately wanted to see the Panama Canal locks.

BAM

Here I am! Panama Canal! Just like I dreamt. What an amazing experience!! The locks are even cooler than I imagined! They are all massive, and the canal itself is beautiful, lush forests on either side. We have a lecturer on board who made announcements all day long as we sailed through teaching us all kinds of exciting things about the Canal and South America. Just as it is with any very exciting event on board a ship, the crew all gathered at our open deck and joyously shared this fantastic event with each other. This trip is something that only the smaller ships can do as the large ships do not fit through the canal. We had members of our photography staff up in a helicopter taking long distance photos and video for our voyage video. I’m so thrilled to check this off my bucket list.

We had such an amazing time and I’m so happy I got to experience this adventure first hand and I’m so happy I can share it with all of you!!

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Jamaican Me Crazy!

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2014 at 11:22 am

I’ve been so excited and busy settling into my new role and preparing for the repositioning cruise that I forgot to tell you all about it!! We have left Miami for the final time, and embarked on a fantastic 16 day voyage after which we shall remain in LA!

We have been working hard to make sure we have enough activities to keep our guests all occupied for 8 sea days, plus Panama Canal transit day, which is kind of special, we are at sea technically but it’s such a cool experience that most of the guests spend half the day outside watching the locks. Writing new trivias, brainstorming new activities, orienting lecturers, comedians and fly-on magicians to our ship; all part of a days work for the entertainment team.

Now that we’ve set sail on the much awaited crossing cruise, everything is running pretty smoothly (knock on wood!!)! Our first port was Grand Cayman, and then we got to Montego Bay, Jamaica!! We had a chance to get out in Jamaica with most of the fabulous entertainment team and we had an amazing day on the beach. We’ve been working so hard and we all really needed a relaxing beach day. It was a wonderful team building day, we had so much fun and we all got a bit of a tan!

Coming up on the cruise we have Cartagena, Colombia; transit through the Panama Canal; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! Those ports plus a whole whack of sea days make up our fabulous repositioning cruise. Stay tuned!!

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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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Ponta Delgada, Azores, Pourtugal

In adventure, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, friends, fun on June 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm

I’m still trekking along in my quest to update all the blog posts I’ve been missing since the crossing, so this one come right from that particular cruise!! When we got to Ponta Delgada we were all very excited to see land again after four long sea days. Debbie and I were particularly excited because Debbie is Portugese and had never been able to visit Portugal before. For her it was almost a religious experience and her enthusiasm rubbed off on me as well. We had an amazing day. We considered going on an excursion but our schedules didn’t really allow for it and so we bartered with a taxi driver who gave us a very reasonable rate for a few hours of touring wherever we wanted to go. He ended up being a fabulous tour guide as well as an excellent photographer. It was an amazingly beautiful place, one I hope to visit again. We had an amazing tour and afterwards we had a magnificent lunch of freshly caught fish and local wine.

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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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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.

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

 

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I’m all ready to zip!!!!

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

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Beautiful views like this!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Danger!!

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I’m upside down!! 🙂

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.

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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