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Posts Tagged ‘Vacation’

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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Oh Hello There!

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Well! I must apologize for my long absence. When last we spoke, I was vacationing in Orlando, and headed to the Carnival Sunshine as an entertainment host. So in the last 6 months that you didn’t hear from me, some things have changed. Here’s a rough overview before we get into the details! 
– I changed positions at work 

– My sister made a tiny human, making me a very proud auntie. 

– I focused a lot of time on my extra curricular activities while on-board, scuba diving in particular. 

– I met some ridiculously amazing people (that’s not really a change, it’s just nice)

And now I’m back on vacation, getting ready to head back to the incredible Carnival Sunshine for another fantastic contract. 

Now, details. New job!! Without being too long winded or confusing, I transferred to the role of the on-board Media Manager. It’s a newer role for Carnival Cruise Line and we haven’t been rolled out on every ship yet, so if you haven’t come across one yet, never fear, we’re coming to a CCL ship near you soon! MMs are in charge of the daily documents that are sent to the guest cabins (called the Funtimes), the lido deck movie experience, as well as scheduling in-cabin movies for both guests and crew. We are also in charge of the TV screens you may have seen around the ship with pictures of the crew on them. It’s a very interesting position and I am really enjoying it. There is a lot more to it, that’s really just a brief overview, but you get the idea. The biggest difference for me is that I am now mostly working behind the scenes, I have very little guest interaction unless I decide to leave the office and be in a guest area. It’s been a strange adjustment, but I think I was ready for a change and a new challenge. More details about how I manage all the media will come in a later post, I’m sure. 

I won’t talk too much about my sister, as her life is hers to blog about, however I will just say that although in the past I’ve not been a fan of babies (they scare me quite a bit). This one is adorable and lovely and somehow he seems to already know who I am even though he can barely hold his own head up. Totally obsessed with the little guy and I’m in the middle of crocheting a baby blanket for him right this moment. 

Scuba diving is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve done a few beginners dives and whatnot but never actually had the time to get certified. So at the end of my contract on the Pride, I began the certification process and finished it when I got to the Sunshine. Since then I’ve been diving every chance I get. Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Belize, Cozumel, Grand Turk…the list goes on. If I can find a place to dive, I will do it!! I have so many pictures and stories to share, I could post forever. 

And it always comes back to my Carnival family, doesn’t it?? The Sunshine team is so incredibly caring, hard working, and fun. So much so that I asked to go back and I sign back on beginning September 6th. I even spent some time with my Carnival family while on vacation. A dear Sunshine friend, Jaime, invited me to join her in Texas, which I did and then we went to Vegas together for the weekend. Lots of fun was had and I’m sure I’ll make a post out of it somewhere down the line. 

Currently I’m on another mini trip with my parents. We’re headed back to my hometown, and in fact, the town they first met in. Masset, BC. Yes, I imagine you’ve never heard of it. Even many West Coast Canadians have never heard of it. The Queen Charlotte Islands, or Haida Gwaii, is north of Vancouver Island. Have a look on the map below. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been home and I’m very excited about going. It’s a small town so I should have plenty of quiet time to write over the next few days.

  
Again, apologies for being absent. I’m back again! All the huzzahs!

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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Inspiration

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2015 at 1:38 pm

You may have noticed my lack of writing lately. That can be attributed to several factors:
– my mom and grandma came to cruise for a week
– we went through a massive dry dock that tested my sanity
– we rolled out 5 new shows and all of our 2.0 branded spaces
– tequila
– the holidays!
– I’m coming to the end of my contract and am growing weary
– lack of inspiration
Of all of those reason, lack of inspiration is by far the most deadly. I look for inspiration in all kinds of places, friends, family, work, my surroundings and random thoughts that meander through my head. But sometimes I struggle to write for no apparent reason. I recently began reading a book that my mom brought me when she visited and I think it may have re-inspired me. Karen Connelly’s ‘One Room in a Castle’, has been my latest source of inspiration. It’s a collection of her letters, postcards, and journal entries from when she lived in Spain, France and Greece. Something about the way she writes makes me want to scribe my experiences. The way she forms sentences and describes the world around her renews my own creative spirit. I’ve been so many places and seen so many things, I feel as though I haven’t accurately transcribed those adventures. With vacation upcoming, I feel like I’m ready to re-visit my creative side. Sometimes all you need to renew your own creative spirit is to experience someone else’s!!

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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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My Contract By the Numbers

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2013 at 12:13 am

Well I can’t believe it, but this contract is over….34 countries, 55 cities, 7 months, 30 weeks, 209 days, 5,016 hours, 300,960, 18,057,600 seconds, countless memories, new friends, and new experiences. I really haven’t had time to organize all my pictures, let alone process all the things I’ve seen and done. When I look through my pictures it really starts to hit me. So much has happened in the last 7 months that each picture brings to the foreground some kind of memory or story and I re-live it all over again. I really am so grateful and happy and totally in love with the world. I can’t wait to come back to some of the places I’ve been and to see the ones I haven’t yet. But I am ready to go home, I miss my family, I miss so many things about home. One thing I love about traveling is that it really makes you appreciate the people that make you feel at home.

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!!

Winding Down

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Well I’m currently on vacation!! It’s amazing, and I have so much to say about it, but right this second I’m very relaxed from a nice forest run and a delicious lunch. So as I craft a more detailed blog post, enjoy this photo from my beach walk last night. I truly live in an amazing place!

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