Lately, my friends and acquaintances keep asking me questions, which I find hilarious. Where in the world are you now? You’re living the dream, aren’t you? How long are you going to be on vacation for? Do you actually work?
Truth is, I’ve been onboard a cruise ship for 3 months. (OMG 3 months already?!)
Yes, I keep going from cool places to even cooler ones, but let’s not forget the main point. This is a job.
So… yes, I live on a ship, I work on a ship, and, to be honest, I really have no clue of where on Earth I am right now. Probably “in the middle of the ocean” will be the most accurate answer.
Why did I decide to take on this new adventure? Well, to answer this I have to go back in time and start from the beginning.
Since I was a little child, I only can remember being surrounded by the sea all the time. My dad had a little sailing boat, so my sister and I used to sail with him when we were really young (maybe at the age of 4 or 5 years old) during summer seasons at La Pineda beach in Tarragona.
When my sister and I were old enough we got the Diving Certificate, so we spent the summer’s Sundays diving with my dad, as well.
I really cannot recall a summer apart from the sea.
When I was around 18, my dad bought a nice sailboat. And I decided to get the Pattern of Recreational Craft Certificate, so I could sail the boat as well.
So, going back to the main point. On one hand, there’s my “attachment” with the Sea; my obsession with the Ocean. On the other hand, my previous profession related to tourism and the kids. I just knew I wanted to work on a ship for tourism. Wait a minute…
Holly sh*t! I want to work on a cruise ship!
To be honest, the journey here wasn’t easy. But truth is, you’ll never make it if you don’t try! So, do not be lazy, just apply!
So, I did.
They contacted me a while after that offering me a Skype interview, which was great. Day after that they told me I was selected to go to the London auditions.
Did I say London?! It took me a couple of days to realize what was going on. I just bought the flight tickets and after 2 weeks, I was sitting in a super fancy 5 Star Hotel’s conference room with 20 more people. How did I get here?
The audition was quite interesting. First, they explained a bit more about the company and the job, and after that, they were calling us one by one for our private interview.
About that, I have to say that I felt very lucky. Even before I sat down, I knew everything was already decided. That woman who sat in front of me asking me questions made me feel so comfortable… It felt like having a chat with a friend.
About a week after I got the good news: I passed the audition!!
So now the not so good news: Paperwork time.
That was the longest process and the one I liked the least. Visas, Certificates, Doctor’s check-ins, training… Well, literally a lot of paperwork.
Almost 4 months after the first interview, I finally had all my paperwork done. Not to forget my precious Visa for the States. I was ready for my adventure!
When they finally assigned me a ship, I had only 2 weeks before signing in. Those 2 weeks passed in the blink of an eye and at the same time seemed like the longest 2 weeks ever. I do not know if that makes sense, all I know is that even without realizing it, I was suddenly landing in Miami, Florida.
OMG! My very first time in the United States!
I was terrified, nervous and excited about my new job. Happy for the new beginning in America. A nice cocktail of feelings.
I spent my first night in a hotel that the company provided to me. The room was huge and spectacular. And… free! (I only do hostels when I travel, so I get easily excited. But that was a super dope room.) The company provided the hotel and the meals, so that’s what I call a very good start. Free things are my favourite…
A very interesting fact that I didn’t know is that in Miami everyone speaks Spanish. From the people at the airport, the bus driver, people in the streets, everywhere, everyone.
The big day had arrived. The transfer picked me and drove me to the port. Through the window, I could see what was about to become my new home for the next 7 months and a half, the Carnival Sensation. The ship is one of the smallest of the fleet, but it seemed huge the first time I saw it.
After dropping luggage, and passing through security, I finally made it. I was aboard!
As soon as got on the ship I met my supervisor, who made me feel very welcomed and “home”. We had lunch and after she showed me and my roommate our cabin. She also was signed on that day.
The first day we received a lot of information about the ship. We also had a guided tour around the vessel to know where everything was. I thought, “Sir, I just got on the ship an hour ago, I don’t even know where is the front or the back of the ship, can you tell me more about it tomorrow? I’m overwhelmed already.” But the officer didn’t stop talking and walking and pointing and explaining, one more floor (deck), this, that, one more floor, here, there… How many floors are on this ship?!
Lucky it’s one of the smallest…
Finally, the tours with the officer ended. My head was about to explode. My roommate and I went back to our cabin and relaxed a bit, but after a few minutes, our supervisor knocked on our door. “Are you ready girls? Let’s go to work!”
We met the rest of the team and officially started to work. We had easy tasks, our supervisor made sure of that, so our heads didn’t explode the first day.
I was indeed overwhelmed, but I could finally take a moment to realize where I was. My first day ended with me lying in bed (cuz you can’t actually sit properly on a bunkbed lol…) with a big smile full of pride and satisfaction. I made it!
Since then I have received more training and courses (ship, kids, policies, safety, tests, drills…) than in my whole scholarship years. I don’t have space enough in my cabin to hang all the certificates I received. I think if I put them all together I can even make a book out of it. Maybe at the end of my contract even a trilogy, who knows.
For the ones that want to know, my job consists of taking care of the kids on board while parents do not want to. Well, maybe said like this it sounds a bit rough. (or not?)
Our kid´s club is called Camp Ocean, we take care of kids from 2 to 11 years old, which are separated into age groups. We do lots of activities, play with them… Maybe like this sounds a bit better?
Truth is I love this job. It is very similar to what I have been doing for the last years, just this time it´s onboard a cruise ship. Which is way cooler.
These are some of the destinations of the ship: Cozumel (Mexico), George Town (Grand Cayman), Nassau and Half Moon Cay (Bahamas), Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos), Ocho Rios (Jamaica), Key West (Florida).
Soon I’ll be posting my experiences in each of these ports. What to do, where to go… So, if you’ve been in any of these places or would like to, please feel free to leave a comment below. Suggestions and tips are welcome.
Here is the end of this first post in this new section, which I don’t really have a name for, so I’ll just call it “Logbook” for now.
If you’ve reached this point, huge thank you for reading this post. I really appreciate it.
You can leave a comment below or even share this post if you wish.
SEA you soon! 😉
Mundo Mahalo’s creator.
Outgoing with a passion for travel and share it with the rest of the World.
Turtle, language and insanity lover.