Sunday, December 7, 2014

My First Week Working On A Cruise Ship

I survived my first week!

There is so much to say, and I don’t even know where or how to start. I’m trying to organize my thoughts here, but my sea sickness has turned my brain into mush and it’s hard to think!

As always though… I’ll do my best. And so here it is… My first week as a Norwegian!


There are too many Filipinos. Hahaha! Feels like I went back to the Philippines, I swear. I think the ship is made up of about 48% Filipinos, 8% Americans, 10% Indonesian, 5% Caribbean, and ___% everybody else. 

The ship is like a big, beautiful, and mobile hotel. Everyone talks about either going home (when their contract ends), or FOOD. The primary reason they go out during “port days” is to go out and eat food. Which to me, as a novice, is pretty weird, since they HAVE amazing free food on the ship every single day. Why the heck would anyone pay to eat anymore?
I guess I’ll find out after a few months? Right now I still think it’s pretty crazy.

The Atrium...

MY MOTION SICKNESS IS OUT OF CONTROL. The first two days were the WORST. I could not function. There’s SO MUCH to learn, and my brain wouldn’t cooperate because there’s too much bile on my throat. And apparently, the whole week we were sailing on pretty calm waters! UGH! I hope I get used to this… It’s getting REALLY ridiculous!


My ship is called Norwegian Dawn. Currently, we are on a 7 day Caribbean cruise that takes us from New Orleans to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan and Costa Maya.  I believe I’m going to be on this rotation for at least a couple months… and from what I understand, I may be transferred to the Pride of America, which is the ship that goes around the Hawaiian Islands. My schedule is sort of up in the air, but as long as I stay at this ship, Norwegian Dawn, I’m gonna be going on this Caribbean loop for a while.


First of all, let me explain what my job is.
I was hired as a Training Specialist. As a trainer, my primary job is to train the crew on various things like Orientation, Safety, Medical Familiarization, Customer Service. Etc.  This part is easy. I’ve been training people for more than 10 years, I can do this with my eyes closed.

The difficult part is familiarizing myself with the ship, the organization, the culture, and how everything works… because part of my job is to be an expert on all aspects of ship life. The crew looks up to me as a source of information… And right now? I know squat.


So apparently, my position on-board is equivalent of that of an officer. They gave me a uniform, and I have these things called “epaulets” that you attach to your shoulder, like a shoulder pad. The number of stripes you have on your epaulet signifies your rank.
OBVIOUSLY my first command as an officer was to change my name tag!!


OK this is my FAVORITE part of the position… the privileges that come with it!!! So apart from the automatic fear/respect that it commands, I get to enjoy the following:

1. Solo Cabin – Albeit a little small (Cupboard under the stairs, type), I actually really appreciate the privacy.

2. Housekeeping – My room is cleaned by the housekeeper everyday

3. Laundry – My clothes are washed and pressed for free – anytime! All I need to do is put them on a laundry bag outside my door, and I get it back on the same night.

4. FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE – We all basically work 10 hours a day, 7 days a week. But I can schedule my classes so that I can go out for a few hours during Port Days to explore some of the islands... Then just work till I hit the number of hours I need for the day/week!

5. GYM USE --- The crew has a gym, but it’s not the nicest. The Gym for the guests on the other hand is really nice… and YES I am allowed to use it!

There’s a whole bunch of other stuff that I’m sure I haven’t discovered yet… but YAY! I think I landed a pretty sweet deal!


Well, like I said, my motion sickness is getting in the way of EVERYTHING.  I’m wearing these motion sickness bands on my wrists that I got at the pharmacy. I have a whole bunch of Dramamine, AND I have these pregnancy pops that my sister in law gave me. They’re ginger candy things that helps with morning sickness.
Apparently I just have to get used to it. L

The hours are long and weekends don’t exist. I have a feeling the whole 24/7 work thing is going to start getting to me pretty soon. Right now I’m still a little overwhelmed with all the information I have to digest... but I've been blessed with a really knowledgeable and patient partner who's teaching me and holding my hand through the process, every step of the way.
The people I work with are generally pleasant and nice, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them even more.

I'm worried about the holidays because this is going to be the first time I won't be celebrating Christmas the way I'm used to celebrating it...

BUT... all in all, I think I'm going to be okay... Hopefully.

It may be a couple weeks till my next post --- unless something REALLY interesting occurs. ;)

But yeah... All is well, so far.

Let's see what happens, shall we?


My partner, Terrie, and I