Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Death March of Machu Picchu (or, One Does Not Simply Walk Out of Machu Picchu)

The last time I would smile that day.

Even though I've been focusing my posts on my adventures on the ship, I want this blog to also include adventures I've taken on my own or with friends/family since I think many of them are just as interesting. Case in point was a trip to Peru that I took with my brother David and his friends from the ship (Rob, Mark, Desiree, Ali and Adam). I'll be posting about the various segments of the trip in separate posts since there are too many to include in one. This post is about what we fondly refer to as the Death March of Machu Piccchu.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Motion of the Ocean

Dibs on the ginger ale and the toilet, not necessarily in that order.

One day a guest approached me and though she was a much older woman, she looked exceptionally frail for her age. The reason for this was made apparent the moment she paused midway into the casino and pressed a hand to her stomach. I thought she was going to hurl right there on the Lucky 7s.

"How do you handle it?" she gasped at me. She was so pale I could have hung her in a window and seen light through her. "I've taken Sea-Calm and I still feel like I'm about to fall over."

I told her you get used to the motion of the ship after a while. Unfortunately, by 'a while' I meant in 'a month or so', and her twelve-day cruise wouldn't be enough to do anything but convince her not to cruise again. I felt bad for her because the worst part about seasickness is that there's no way to escape it. There's no solid place of calm on a ship. Everything is always moving to the point that jumping overboard seems like a viable option for relief.

But I’ve learned that seasickness isn't the only thing to contend with on a ship at sea. There are several pros and cons about traveling over the waves in a big, beautiful bucket.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Life on the Ship: Crew Bar

We're all sober. Honestly. Okay mostly.
A player on my table recently asked me about the social life on board the ship. He seemed bewildered by the prospect. He didn't know how we managed to be social when the majority of the crew is prohibited from entering the public ship areas. I think he thought we live in a warren with doors that only lead in or out. I told him that living here is like living in a dorm at college. People leave their doors open so you can wander along the corridors and find people to pop in on and say hi to, play video games with, or watch a movie with. There are also top areas like 7 Forward and 6 Aft that I'll get into later. But the highlight for most of us is the crew bar, open from 10pm to 2am, which you will now receive a tour of, courtesy of moi.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Floatplane Trip to Taku Lodge

I should have cropped this to make it look like I was the pilot.

As crew we can sometimes obtain discounted rates for some of the activities/excursions that are available to the guests. One such activity that the casino staff took advantage of was the Taku Glacier Lodge Flight & Feast.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Birdwatching Broke Me

That there is a volcano.

I wrote in an earlier post that one of the perks of being a crew member is the opportunity to escort tours and essentially do them for free. I've signed up for my preferred tours in every port for these first two cruises and not gotten a single one. While I understand that I have to pay my dues, I finally had to say no to tour sign-ups, at least for the duration of this cruise. Why? It wasn't the city tour of Victoria that I was given against my will. Nor the city tour of Vancouver that I also didn't request.

It was birdwatching.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Keeping Clean at Sea

The sea shower is a common practice on military and some private ships and my roommate Melanie says they were encouraged to do it in Australia when they had a severe drought. The sea shower goes against everything I love about showers. I'm pretty sure I'm responsible for the low water line at the Hoover Dam.

Sea showers are promoted on my ship among the crew for conservation reasons, but for me, it's more a matter of convenience.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Escorting My First Tour

Docked in Skagway, Alaska along with other cruise liners.

During most ports, the guests are given the option of purchasing land excursions. These are tours that can range from simple city highlights tours via a bus to more elaborate trips inland involving flights and overnight accommodations. On our cruise line in particular, the guests demand some fantastic tours, such as private tours of the Sistine Chapel, flights from Mumbai to the Taj Mahal, visits with tigers and cheetahs, and Lamborghini rentals in Monte Carlo. Understandably, all of these tours are extremely expensive.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Adventure Begins!

I'm on a ship!

The road getting here was less than smooth, involving cancelled flights and a check-in at the wrong hotel but eventually I made it to the ship for my first day of work.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Adventures Ahead!

Welcome to my blog! Here I will post about the new places I visit, the people I meet, and the adventures I encounter along the way. Besides having a great time and making new friends, I want to expand my awareness of worldwide cultures and practices. I believe that the more you know, the more you grow, and also the less you fear. I hope this blog will encourage you to add adventure to your own life and consider taking trips to countries outside your comfort zone. The world is a fascinating, beautiful place full of people who have something to teach us. Don't limit yourself to one corner of it. Each new experience enriches your life and makes you a more interesting and empathetic person.

At the Jama Masjid, the "World Reflecting Mosque", in Old Delhi, India.