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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Swiss-tastic!

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2014 at 7:52 am

Well, the time has come that I am on vacation! Hooray!! My contract on the Carnival Imagination was fabulous and amazing but I am definitely happy to be on a little break. For vacation, I and some friends have been planning an epic adventure since January. Emma and Saffie are two of my very favorite people ever and we are so excited to be spending some time together in Europe!! They are both residing in England so that was our meeting point. Having spent so much time in Europe on the Legend, I had an idea of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to see again. So we it our heads together and came up with a fabulous vacation. The first leg of our journey, Emma and I went to Switzerland. My very dear friend Deb who used to be my roommate is currently living just outside of Zurich so we stayed with her. First of all it was fabulous to have a chance to catch up and re-connect with Deb. I had seen her last year, she came to Amsterdam to meet me when the ship was in, but that was definitely not enough time.

Switzerland is an amazing country. I really loved it. It’s so clean and peaceful and the people are friendly. The Alps are absolutely breathtaking. During our visit, we went up Pilatus, which is a mountain just outside of Luzern. There is a train that sits on an almost 90 degree angle that takes you up the mountain. We had planned to hike up it, however that takes 5 hours and we had ended up sleeping in that morning. So up the train we went. There’s a lovely little restaurant up at the top and a short jaunt to the peak from there. The mountain was stunning. They remind me a little bit of the Rockies. I would love to go back for longer and hike up more mountains!!

After descending Pilatus, we visited the city of Luzern, which is exactly what I expected a Swiss city to look like. From the cobblestone streets to the architecture, to the famous old wooden bridge, to the majestic alps in the background, Luzerne is perfection.

In the evenings, we sat around eating fresh Swiss cheeses, fruits, and meats, drinking wine and enjoying each others company. Emma and I enjoyed learning some Swiss-German, and playing with Deb’s new kittens.

In the mornings, I went for runs up the closest mountain to the house, an epic stair run with gorgeous views from the top. Switzerland is lovely. I would love to get a job in a hotel there and live there for a bit, since I speak French, that would hopefully make it easier to find such a job. As far as places to live on land go, Switzerland just made the short list!!

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This is How You Remind Me

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2014 at 4:58 am

I think that everyone who lives away from their families has certain things that remind them of home. It’s always interesting to see what is most important to each individual person. For me, the winter has a lot of things that remind me of home. For one, Ukrainian Christmas, which we’ve talked about. Two other events this year really made me miss home:

Number 1:
Winter Olympics. As a horseback rider and gymnast, Summer Olympics are generally the one that I can’t get enough of, however my sister is a figure skater and has been since we were kids. Every Winter Olympics, as far back as I can remember, my whole family would gather on the couch with hot chocolate and blankets and we would watch the figure skating (also other parts, but skating is most vivid in my mind) and my sister would analyze the performances and tell us all about each move. We would also often be at the skating rink to see my sister in action. This year, watching the skating on the TVs on the ship, I really missed my family. Winter Olympics also of course, mean hockey, and that also makes me miss the sense of community and togetherness that hockey brings to any Canadian city, especially during a Canada vs US Olympic game!!

Number 2:
Oscars!! Oscar time is exciting for everyone and I always enjoy them no matter where I might be. But for some reason this year I could hear my mom and grandma’s voices in my head all day. Oscar time in my house was always followed by days or weeks of magazine page tearing out, dress examining, and decisive statements like: ‘we HAVE to go see this movie, it was up for an Oscar’. I think we only actually went to the movies a handful of times, but we were always really excited about the prospect of going. Even during the rest of the year, mom would come home with rental movies (and now that rental places are extinct, movies on Netflix, or Tivoed) for us to watch solely because they had generated Oscar buzz.

I’m not entirely certain why I am extra nostalgic this year, possibly because I haven’t really been home for a long period of time in two or three years. Possibly because even though we make our own families out here on the seven seas, nothing is quite the same as home. I do know that as much as I love what I do and where I am, I also love that I can still surprise myself with the things that send me home for a little mental family time.

This contract is flying by, 33 days until I am home sweet home! I can’t wait to criticize Oscar fashion choices and cozy up on the couch with my family!! What reminds you of home??

Arts and Crafts

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2014 at 7:48 pm

This post has been long in the making, sorry for the delay!! During the crossing we did a multitude of different activities from what we would usually do. One of those was arts and crafts. I know not everyone loves this kind of thing but I’ve always been a crafty type of person, it runs in my family. My mom is an artist, my dad builds everything, my sister is a do-it-yourself guru and I’m not really good at anything like that but I’ve been trying my whole life….(don’t worry, I do have skills, I’m the sporty one). So when the word came down from on high that we could do arts and crafts, I jumped at the chance to orchestrate it. Myself and a colleague of mine became the queens of arts and crafts and although at times it was stressful (imagine being mobbed by 200 ladies looking for a cross-stitch pattern) we really had a blast. Every day we did something new including cross stitching, balloon flip flop making, satin flowers, scrap booking and a couple other fun things. We really got to know the guests and made some fun things. One day we decorated straw hats and then had a parade down the promenade deck. Some of our lovely guests volunteered to have their photos taken for this blog so I can show you exactly how much fun we had!! My job is so awesome!!

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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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It’s a Celebration

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Well it’s my second holiday season on board a cruise ship and this year was exceptionally fun. The holidays can be tricky when you’re surrounded by so many cultures, both the crew and the guests. People can be so touchy about their religions and the way they celebrate, and when you spend all day with guests, you have to be careful not to offend anyone. Obviously we do the traditional December 25th celebrating, and we do fun things like a Christmas show with the dancers and other crew members. We also make it snow in the lobby, so much fun!! When I’m at home with my family, we celebrate both the standard December 25th holiday and Ukrainian Christmas, on January 7th. For me, the Ukrainian holiday is actually more meaningful. My grandpa was very connected to our Ukrainian heritage and always wanted us to learn more about it. To this day one of my only regrets in my life is that I never learned Ukrainian from him while he was still with us. The traditional Christmas is always so stressful, traveling to see family, battling traffic, etc, plus it’s so commercialized that sometimes it feels like it’s only about presents. On Ukrainian Christmas, my family gets together and has an amazing dinner with traditional Ukrainian food and there are so many fun traditions that we do. For instance, we don’t eat dinner until the second child has seen the first star in the sky. We’ve always celebrated this way and I actually consider my Christmas to be January 7th. The funny thing is that I didn’t even realize that my Christmas is in fact Orthodox Christmas until I came to ships and found other people that celebrate it as well. It’s not that I’m actually religious in any way, for me it’s about tradition and family. Since I’ve come on board I’ve found many other people who also celebrate when I do which makes it a little easier to be away from my family. This year there is a whole group of us are celebrating Christmas together on January 7th which I’m super excited about!! This is the hardest day for me to be away from my family and I’m missing them terribly, but I know that I’m with them in spirit and they know that I’m always thinking of them. It still makes me sad to not be home doing all the traditional Christmas things with them, but my ship family makes it a little bit easier! Happy Holidays everybody!!!!

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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Amazing Moments: Best Friends

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Today’s amazing moment is brought to you by my dear friend Alexey aka RP, aka Blexey, aka my Bestie. I have met some amazing people on the ships and in my travels. Some of which I won’t ever see again, but will always remember and some I know I will be connected to forever and will see again. The fabulous people I have encountered will always stay with me because I’ve learnt something new from each of them. Some, however, make me wonder how I ever lived without them, and I know I’ll never be able to live without their presence in my life. Alex is one of those, we were attached at the hip for most of our contract, through all the ups and downs of ship life, and exploring Europe. Through office dance parties, heartaches, adventures and misadventures. Alex is one of the only people who can keep up with me; getting up at 5am, running in the pouring rain to catch a train out of Venice to Verona is a chance we both jumped at when everyone else told us we were crazy and stayed in bed. This picture is one of my favorites, the Russian sunset in the background and us laughing hysterically at who knows what. Every time in look at this picture, a million stories and memories flood my brain and I can’t help but laugh. We look so happy and I love it.

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Amazing Moments: Strait of Gibraltar

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm

The next amazing moment I want to share with you as one of the highlights of the last 7 months is sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar. The first time we did it, it was in the wee hours of the morning and we could only see the headlights of cars and bridge lights. The second time we sailed through it was daylight. It was so amazing to see Europe on one side and Africa on the other. In the daylight we were even able to see the rock of Gibraltar. Magnificent!! This photo makes me remember how far we came and it also reminds me of all the times we gathered together on the open deck to watch for something life-changing.

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Amazing Moments: Trevi Fountain

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm

As I enjoy my delightful vacation, I’ve been going through all my pictures and remembering all my magnificent adventures. I have been so many amazing places and as I sift through my memories, certain pictures and stories keep coming back again and again as highlights. So I wanted to share some. Today’s photo is from my last day in Rome. The whole day was an amazing experience and the following picture of me tossing a coin into the Trevi fountain just reminds me of it. I can’t not look at this picture without it making me super happy. From the ring I’m wearing that was a gift from my two favorite guests on a Venice sailing to Barcelona, to the smile on my face, to the fountain itself, to the story it reminds me of, everything about this picture will always make my day!

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