ericaamber

Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Family Time

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, family, fun on December 18, 2012 at 11:27 am

I was SO SO happy to have my parents here for a week. I got to show them all my favorite places and where exactly I’m sitting when I skype them!! We went out for the day in Cozumel and took a few photos around Puerta Maya!! I had so much fun!!

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Three Amigos restaurant has the best photo ops EVER!!

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Papa Parsons and I in front of the Liberty!!

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Three Amigos again!

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My team

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line on November 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm

My team is just the best ever. We all got together for a birthday last week and had such a lovely time. Just wanted to share a photo from that.

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Photo Op!

In Uncategorized on November 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm

So, around the ship there are all these fun places to have your photo taken randomly. Sometimes we get bored while walking around the promenade deck and need to take some photos. As you can see, my roommate and I have a great time….

 

 

 

 

Two Ships Passing….

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line on November 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Last week we were in port with our sister ship, the Carnival Conquest and I took this shot of the Conquest sailing away into the sunset.

I thought you might like it….

Kon Tiki: St. Thomas

In adventure, beach, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Uncategorized on November 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I went on an adventure in St. Thomas last week!! It’s kind of a funny story because I got delayed in the ship and was supposed to meet my co-workers outside on the pier to go on a Kon Tiki Tour! So I was rushing and running around and made it outside finally (2 minutes before the Kon Tiki boat was supposed to leave)!! I found the Shore Excursion manager and he ushered me off with the tour operator, and I made it on the boat. Once I got on the boat, the captain introduced himself to me, and I met all the crew and I began to look for my friends. The Kon Tiki boats have two levels so I assumed they must be up on the top deck enjoying some sun. So up I went. No friends. Back downstairs I went. Still no friends. The ship left……and I was by myself with a boat full of strangers. I allowed myself a sulky moment and then decided to make friends with the tour operators, and random strangers. All of the tour guides were wonderful and I got to hear all of their life stories. St. Thomas is a US Virgin Island so it’s governed by all the same laws as the US, therefore, the tour operators were all American. It’s a very interesting dynamic over there, because it’s a Caribbean island, you expect things to move slowly, and be more relaxed, like a typical Caribbean island. Which they do; however there’s still the twist of it being an American island. It’s a very dynamic mix. The first mate was also the bartender, and limbo champion. He had a really interesting story, he’s an American who grew up on a sailboat with his family and they ended up settling in Tortuga, a British island. He was allowed to stay there as a dependant on his parent’s work visas and then when he was 18, he and his dad went on another sailing trip around the Caribbean. When they got back, because he was too old to be under their visas anymore, he couldn’t stay. He tried to get another visa, but as we all know, visas are a tricky business, and he ended up sailing over to St. Thomas, and living there. He even lives on his sailboat!! I love hearing other people’s stories, everyone has at least one and the more you travel, the more interesting ones you hear! Kon Tiki was great, they sail around with you in this little boat, with a Caribbean steel drum band playing the whole time. First you stop at a coral reef where they lower these neat glass bottomed viewing areas so you can see right into the ocean. They tell you all about the fish and coral that you can see, and then you head off to Honeymoon Bay and have an hour or so on the beach. One of the tour guides is dating the girl who works at the beach shack where you can get food and drinks and they have the sweetest dog that he brought out to play with us. They rescued her from Puerto Rico and she was so well trained and just gorgeous! After your hour at the beach, you head back to your ship and they do a big group dance and a limbo contest!! It was a lot of fun, and I made some new friends! Maybe next week I’ll go say hello again!!

The view of downtown St. Thomas from the Kon Tiki boat!

And of course, there’s my home!!

Breathtaking

The lovely beach we hung out at

My new best friends!

The Con Tiki boat!!

Tulum

In adventure, beach, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line on November 19, 2012 at 12:42 pm

A while back, I got the chance to go on a lovely excursion with my dear friend Valeria. We had such a wonderful time, we went to the Mayan ruins at Tulum!! It’s so amazing to have the chance to get off the ship and see these amazing sights!! Take a look at the photos!!

 

 

As you can see we had an amazing time!!!

Formal Night

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, friends on October 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm

This week we had a goodbye party for several of my lovely friends who are leaving in the next few weeks. We kind of had two parties actually. For one, we got dressed up in our blue uniforms (we refer to them as our ‘blues’), and went to the nightclub and the Alchemy bar. Since these places are in guest areas, we had to have our blues on. Since I don’t have my blues, the girls were kind enough to lend me theirs. Everyone gets two sets of blues so there’s always someone to borrow from. I’m still waiting for mine to arrive, one day they will get here!! The second party was in the crew bar, we had food and drinks and invited everyone! Both were lovely, and I wanted to share some photos from the nights because we all looked so lovely dressed up in our blues!! I can’t wait until I get mine!!

The whole gang!! Having a blast!

The ladies!! These girls are so fabulous!!

My SGSS on the left, myself in the middle and my GSM on the right!

San Juan

In adventure, beach, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line on October 23, 2012 at 1:59 am

Last week I got a chance to go out in San Juan, Puerto Rico! It was so much fun!! One of my lovely co-workers and I took bicycles out from the crew center and took ourselves on a wee tour of San Juan! It was so lovely. We went to a park, and to a beach, and it was very freeing. San Juan is quite beautiful, but there are quite a few run down areas as well. It’s nice to get away from the cruise ship areas and see the rest of the city. There’s a weird shiny bubble of consumerism that surrounds most of the ports, which I love, and cruise ships are so good for the economies of the ports, however once you get further away from the port, you get more of an idea of what the city itself feels like. We found a really fabulous little café to have some coffee at and some traditional Puerto Rican fare. I would love to have more time in San Juan to see even more!!

I’m not really sure what this is, but I loved it. I kind of think maybe it’s a Chupacabra….but at this point that is total speculation

Downtown San Juan, where we ended our bike trip. I love a lot of the architecture and how small the streets are!

 

Just another day in paradise!!

Goofing off in the park with Vesna!

Just stunning!!

Of Rays and Coral

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, travel, traveling, work on October 6, 2012 at 1:36 am

I went on my very first excursion in Grand Caymans the other day. It was absolutely amazing. First of all, it really felt like I was on vacation for a bit there because we not only got off the ship, but drove until we couldn’t see it anymore. You kind of always see the ship, it’s massive. So to not see it for a few hours feels weird. In a good way. The Carnival excursions are wonderful for a few reasons:

#1: You know you’re going to get back on the ship in time, because everyone on the tour is from the ship, so there’s no danger of you missing it.

#2: If something happens on the tour and you are delayed getting back to the ship, the ship will wait for you whereas if you just wander off and don’t come back in time, you’re out of luck.

#3: The tour companies are all Carnival tested and approved, which means you needn’t be concerned about getting ripped off or robbed or kidnapped.

 

I went on the Coral Garden and Stingray City tour. We took a bus to a boat, which took up out into the ocean to adventure. First we stopped to snorkel at the coral garden, which was beautiful and full of really pretty fish. Then we continued on to STINGRAY CITY!!! It was so amazing. There’s dozens of stingrays and they come right up to you and let you hold them and stroke them!! Apparently what happened is that fishermen used to gut their fish in that area after a long day of fishing. Eventually, the rays caught on that every day there was a free meal raining down from the sky. So they started coming around every day, and more of them came. Eventually, the rays got used to being around people and being fed every day. So now that there’s no fishermen feeding them, they live off the tour groups that come through. The guides knew all of them by name!! They were surprisingly cuddly!! It was such an amazing experience and the water was so warm and blue, I absolutely loved it!! I can’t wait to go on more excursions to new amazing places!!

I’m snorkeling!!

So many beautiful fish!!

Feeding the fish!!

My new best friend the sting ray and I!! (and the tour guide on the right)

 

Amazing ocean!!

 

Liberty Life

In adventure, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, fun, travel, traveling on September 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…….updates from my new ship!!!! Lets start with the first day! My bus was the last to leave out of our group because my port was closest, so I said goodbye to the others and waited for my bus! I made friends with one of the deck officers and a girl from the photography department. Just as someone helped me out my first day, I got to help her out because it’s her first contract and she didn’t really know how things worked. So we stuck together, and her cabin is even two doors down from mine. There was a lot of boring paperwork and such for the first hour or so, then I had 20 minutes to try and unpack my uniform and get in my whites in time for an orientation meeting with all the other new sign-ons and vessel transfers. From there my senior guest services supervisor (SGSS) came to get me and took me on a tour of the muster stations. Of the 26 ships in the Carnival fleet, there are several different classes of ship (the exact number of classes escapes me right now, but I’ll find out). The Ecstasy was a Fantasy Class, the Liberty is a Conquest Class. What’s the difference, you ask?? A fair bit, there are several more decks on the Conquest class ships, and therefore the layout is different. The Liberty (LI) holds 3,900 passengers and 1,110 crew members, quite a few more than the Ecstasy (EC). So I’m trying to learn the different decks and their layouts as quickly as possible. For instance, on the EC, the lobby was on deck 7, on the LI, the lobby is on deck 3. The decks use standard names, however the corresponding deck numbers can vary depending on class. Also, the LI is the first of the fleet to roll out Carnival’s new @ 2.0 fun ship changes, which include new shows in the theatre, new restaurants, and new bars. So there are a multitude of fun things happening on board that I need to know all about!! Back to my first day, after the tour, we went back to the GS (guest services) offices. Remember the safety drills on embarkation day? Well now I have my own station and safety vest and whatnot. Fortunately, my duties right now are to stay in the purser’s office and make sure that I’m there to answer the phone in case of emergency. So I stayed put for the whole safety drill, which I was ok with. Then I went right onto the desk from 4-8. All by myself!! Since our college was only half the time of the regular college (it’s usually a month), we never got to be on the desk all by ourselves with our own floats. I think my background in cash handling and hotel systems really helped me out. By the end of the two weeks, most of the GSA’s (guest services associates) were letting me work for them by myself, and I made sure that I stayed after the shift and cashed out with them so that I learned what to do, but I know some of my classmates didn’t ever do that. I’m very glad that I did because I felt very prepared to be alone on the desk. Obviously I’m not completely alone, I have other people with me if I have any questions. They sandwich me on the middle station right in between the SGSS and an experienced GSA so if I have any questions I can just ask either of them. I personally learn much better if I’m just thrown into the fire so it’s working well for me! I’m interested to hear what my fellow trainees are doing!! I haven’t had a chance to talk to them yet, but I have called the Ecstasy and talked to my trainer and have been emailing with the GSAs from there as well. The GS team on the LI is absolutely amazing. I feel like I was really well placed, I am already getting on famously with everyone, they are all so friendly and fun. It’s a very fast-paced atmosphere, everyone moves very quickly, which I love. There’s also a plethora of languages spoken. There is another Canadian (my Paisana!!) who speaks French and as soon as she found out that I speak French she got very excited. I think they had some kind of a bet going as to whether or not I spoke French. The LI’s home port is Miami, so we have a lot of Spanish speaking guests, I think that I will learn Spanish by the end of my contract, just from working on the desk. Every GSA speaks at least two languages, and several of them speak up to 5. I love being surrounded by different languages, and plan on taking full advantage of it! The Crew Training Center also has Rosetta Stone available for crew to use in several languages, Spanish being one of them and I think I will use that as well. I have to be careful to keep up my French because it’s so easy to lose parts of it with lack of use. For now I will put Spanish on hold until I’m a little more settled in, it’s only day 2! Before I left home I downloaded many French books onto my Ipad so I can read in French, I find that really helps me. Currently I’m reading Alice in Wonderland! I am so very happy here already, and I’m only on day two. I expected to miss the EC gang, and be a little sad, but I have been so busy and having so much fun already that I haven’t had time to miss anyone. Tomorrow we are in Cozumel, I will most likely be able to get off the ship and use the free wifi somewhere. The next day is Belize and I’m working all day, however after that is Grand Cayman, and one of the other girls from the desk are going to try to go on an excursion!! We are going to do one where you walk on the bottom of the ocean while wearing a pressurized helmet so your whole head is dry while you walk around in the ocean!! I’m so excited. It will depend on how full it is, guests obviously come first so we have to wait until the last minute to fid out whether we can go or not. If we can’t, we are going out for a beach day!

Day two!! Turns out I won’t be able to get off the ship tomorrow in Cozumel, I work 8-12 then 2-4 and two hours isn’t really enough time. However, I should have time in Isla Roatan. Today we had a staff meeting and I had desk work from 12=4 and 8-10. I got my new ID made in the morning so now I can get off the ship and am totally trackable by the Carnival gods. The staff meeting was marvelous. Our GSM (guest services manager) is absolutely wonderful!! He is the kind of leader that I want to be. I think I can learn a lot from him. After the meeting a few of us went for dinner and he joined us and I gleaned a few pearls of wisdom from him. I really am so very fortunate to be working with such a fabulous crew. Everyone is SO wonderful, I can’t even believe it!! Everyone is very good at their job, I don’t think there’s a weak link amongst them.

Tonight we turn our clocks back one hour, as we sail into Cozumel, and then after the Caymans we turn them forward again. I’ve checked all my clocks about a billion times to make sure that I won’t be late.

It’s crazy to think about how often our GS team changes. In the next month there’s three people going on vacation. The extra crazy thing about that is that when they come back from vacation, they go to a new ship. That goes for everyone, when you sign off of one ship, your contract has ended and when you come back, you get a new contract with a new ship. I really like this system. I think it brings us closer as a company, we get to know so many people from all over the ships, and everytime we get a new crew member, that makes our team evolve and grow, nothing is static. I think that is especially true when it comes to management, because so many times in hotels or restaurants you see management become stagnant and ineffective. Rotating staff keeps everyone on their toes, and stops us from getting bored.

Well, here I am in Mexico, and I did manage to get off the ship for an hour, so here’s my post!!! I hope it made sense, I know my train of thought often seems to have no caboose or direction!!

E

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