Well that happened a lot faster than expected.
Way back last year sometime I applied to work on cruise ships as either guest services or retail sales. In May I was "hired". But then I waited. And waited. And waited. I was told I had to wait for a position to open up on a ship. In May their best guesstimate was I would probably get a contract for September or October 2013 or possibly January 2014.
Umm yeah. On Wednesday July 10th I received and email that said,
I have just received an emergency Starboard opening. I am not sure the ship, but I believe it is Carnival. It leaves from Miami on July 13. Let me know what you think (as soon as possible please!)
See those dates? I received the email Wednesday July 10th. The ship was leaving Miami Saturday July 13th. That was three days!!!!!!!!!!
There was a bit of a panic. Firstly, could I even say yes. I had a job, if I said yes to the cruise ship job it meant leaving the B&B immediately. Not even a days notice. I needed to start packing up and cleaning my room in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast. I spent most of that afternoon and evening in a panic. There was paperwork to deal with, flights to book, stuff to pack - what was going with me, what was going to storage and what was going to the thrift store.
I took a break Wednesday night to go kayaking to Pasley Island with my regular Wednesday Evening Paddle Group. I'm glad I went. I got to say goodbye to a few people - Naomi, Pat, Ian, Bill, Cam, Shannon and Jennifer. I missed Rose, Lauri, Judith, Sonja and Virginia and the rest of the group. Then there was the matter of my kayak, where was I going to store that?
Thursday morning I ran errands in Sechelt before getting the ferry to Vancouver. It was about lunch time on Thursday that I realized no way I was going to be ready to fly to Miami on Friday and meet the ship the next day.
I just couldn't make those dates work. Luckily for me they were able to change the start date. Instead of flying to Miami to join the ship on day 1 of a 7 night cruise I flew to Belize and signed on there on day 3.
I spent the extra few days in Vancouver with my friends Paul and Erin. They kept me sane while I dealt with packing, finding storage for my car, adding my gear from Sechelt to my storage locker, renewing my locker, insurance, getting vaccinations, shopping for black or navy shoes and a navy skirt etc etc etc
By the time Paul drove me to the airport on Sunday evening for my red eye flight from Vancouver to Belize City I was exhausted and ready to cry.
The flight was uneventful, although I was on the mail route - Vancouver to Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Belize City. All the flights were on time, my luggage made it to Belize on the same flight as me etc etc.
I spent Monday night in a dodgy hotel in a dodgy area of Belize City, not a hotel I would use again or recommend to anyone else. Finally on Tuesday morning I got a taxi to the port in Belize City and then the tender out to the ship, and I have been here ever since.
I am on the Carnival Liberty
I am a sales associate in the retail shops
I'm here for 6 months - July '13 to Jan '14
The ship departs from Miami every Saturday afternoon and docks back in Miami the following Saturday morning.
We cruise for 7 nights each time.
Either the Eastern Caribbean - Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, St Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk.
Or the Western Caribbean - Cozumel, Belize City, Isla Roatan and Grand Cayman.