Trip Disaster

Hey Wanderers

So my trip back to Florida has been eventful and stressful couple of days. 

On May 20th I was up at 3am to have breakfast and coffee, finish packing and say goodbye to my grandfather. My dad and I drove out to the airport where I checked in for my 3 flights which would take me to Orlando, FL.

Everything was pretty smooth that morning, dad and I had coffee at the airport and then I headed on through security to pick up bottle of water and find my gate. My dad headed off to work. My first flight of the day was Auckland to Sydney 7:35am NZ time landing at 9:30am AUS time. 

We landed in Sydney and I got through transit customs in record time. I checked the flight boards and saw that my Sydney to Dallas was scheduled for a 1:00pm. I ended up at McDonalds as it was really the only thing worth eating at 10am and there was strong free Wi-Fi. I stayed there until 12:15 when I picked up a bottle of water and some jols and headed to my gate. I had been there no more than 15 minutes when an announcement came across that there was a problem with the plane and there was currently a 2 hour delay to our service. The staff were very nice and issued everyone a $20 food voucher for the delay. 

2 hours later however they announced that the challenge was still being fixed and we were now “hoping” that the flight would be ready by 4pm. no compensation was offered at this time.  

Around 3:30pm the captain announced that the flight would “hopefully” be on time for a 6pm departure and boarding should commence at 5:30pm. By this time I was getting super ancy and annoyed. This was only flight 2 of my trip and I had now missed my connection due to the delay. I talked to the attendant at the counter who advised that at this point we may have to overnight in Sydney if they can’t fix it by 6pm. 

So I email DCL and let them know what’s happening just in case. But fortunately we boarded the plane in record time at 5:30pm and were in the air by 7pm. the flight was smooth and the crew were amazing. I enjoy flying Qantas long haul as they feed you a lot you get 2 meals as well as alcohol and ice creams. 

We landed in Dallas at 6:30pm USA time, as I exited I was handed a new connection ticket for an 8:15pm flight. I headed straight to the passport control desk and was in line for 1.5 hours as they had only 4 people on and 2 huge international flights had landed at the same time. Eventually they started to move us to different lines to try and get us through faster. 

After passport control I ran to customs picked up my bags cleared them and re checked them (read as: threw them to the luggage guys shouted Orlando and took off running to security). After security I had to catch a tram from terminal D to terminal A. I made it to the gate as they were calling for boarding. I had no time to grab any food or any water and internal American flights you have to buy everything if you want it. In frantically updating Facebook and texting my parents to say I made it to Dallas and heading straight to Orlando. We land in Orlando right on midnight. So three flights and a 6 hour delay and its only just changing days. Yay time zones!!!

Once in Orlando I head to pick up my luggage which surprise surprise isn’t there. So I head over to the counter and log a lost luggage form. They say it’s on the first flight from Dallas in the morning and I’ll get the next afternoon at the hotel. 

I then call for a pick up from the hotel but get lost trying to find the pickup point and end up asking my friend to pick me up some food and then me and take me to the hotel. 

The Next Day

The next day I wake up super sick. I am violently ill for the entire day. I drag my ass out of bed and my friend takes me out to Walgreens and me down some Pepto-Bismol on the way to Walmart. That’s where I hit rock bottom. I throw up in Walmart. After which we checked out and headed back to the hotel where I contacted DCL medical and was given an extra 3 days at the hotel to recover before joining the dream on Monday. 

All in all one of the worst travel stories I’ve had yet. 

 

Bye for now

Xx

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My 1st Contract in Review

Hey wanderers

I know it’s been forever since I last posted. This is due to several things the least of them being my contract with DCL.

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My contract started on October 27th 2014 and ended on March 30th 2015. It was originally supposed to be March 27th but I pushed out my contract by 3 days in order to have a vacation in Orlando before flying home.

What can I say about my contract? It was a steep and severe learning curve for me and also a complete and utter culture shock. The college program did almost nothing to prepare you for what life on board is like.

My first month on board was the hardest time of my life. I felt completely useless and unwanted most of the time. I messed up everything there were living challenges as well as working challenges. Managers who won’t back you no matter what and being so exhausted you don’t know which way is up. You are thrust into a completely new environment and in the guest services position you have to know everything about the ship, the itineraries and also what’s on offer in each port. This of course gets easier with time and one of the ways I learnt about the ship was my trainer used to tour me around the ship after work. We would go for walks and find all the places. She would fill me in on handy hints and common questions and answers.

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At the end of my first month I was ready to quit. I was so tired I had no friends, internet on board was a crazy $20 for less than 500mbs. Because of this I felt like I couldn’t talk to my friends and family. I cried while texting my mum and dad but ultimately decided not to quit as this was a dream I had been working towards for so long.

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Months 2 thru 5 were a lot easier, to start with our management team changed and I found a lot of support I didn’t realise I was missing. Our team got stronger and stronger and soon we were bringing in results that 3 and 4 day cruises had never seen. Due to this my team earned first a half day off and then at the end of contract a whole day off!!!! This in itself was amazing. I also came 3rd top Guest Services Hostess twice which is an amazing confidence booster.

Some Notable Moments:

  • Swam with Dolphins and stingrays
  • Living in America mean free shipping on online shopping which then equals mail!!
  • Making new friends from all over the world
  • Breaking Disney records for friendliness and problem resolution
  • Captains recognition parties, my favourites being the dessert gala and St Patrick’s Day in the guest nightclub area.

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Earlier I mentioned I had extended m contract by three days, this was due to not being able to exit the ship on my B1/2 visa at the end of my contract unless I finished work in a Bahamian port. So this took a long time and a lot of frustration before it was finally resolved and sorted. Basically in the end my manager approved the 3 day extension and the crew office approved a flight delay. This ensured that I could spend a week in Orlando before flying home.

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By the end of my contract I had decided that I would be returning. My end of contract review was outstanding and I am hoping to explore a couple different roles once I get back on board.

If you guys have any questions in regards to life on board or of my experience on board leave a comment below.

Bye for now

xx

Bahamas baby

So several months ago one of my routes suggested a cruise to the Bahamas so we all booked and paid for a 4 day cruise on royal carribean to the Bahamas. We booked the first week in December, and for months we all played the waiting game of whether or not our days off would get approved. But we did get our days approved or managed to get our shifts swapped in time. We then got all our paperwork signed by the vArious people so we could leave the country and come back in again.
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So day 1 of the cruise:

We awoke around 9am finished packing and showered and basically we’re far too excited for one small apartment. There are 8 of us heading to the cruise so we had booked a taxi to pick us up at 11:30am. Waiting for that time took forever !!!!! We eventually hoped into the van with 8 various bags all packed to the brim with swimsuits and sunscreen.

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We spent about an hour in the car on the way to the port it was lovely cost us $20 each way per person. Once we arrived at the port we argued about whether or not to take our own luggage on. We decided to cos none of us had enough to tip Anyone to carry it for us.
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We then had fill in some information and go through customs/ immigration. Mean while we are stuffing our faces with Pringles that I had packed for the ride. Because of course we haven’t eaten yet, no food in the house and far too much excitement.

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As we board the ship they announce that the staterooms are ready for boarding also. So we head down to our room, and then meet up with Courtney and Evie to explore and find some food.

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We wound up in the windjammer buffet there was SO MUCH food it was insane we didn’t know where to start. Soup, salad, pasta, burgers, stews, rice, desserts, fruit, the list goes on and on. The windjammer buffet was at the back of the ship it had windows as walls, gorgeous 180 views of the ocean as you ate.
After lunch we decided to explore the ship, we found the casino, several bars and an adults only solarium complete with a bar, hot tubs and a bakery. So we decided to go for a swim. On our way down stairs i discovered a Starbucks on board!!! So i went halves with Kat in the drink deal $20 perday unlimited coffee, soda and non alcoholic drinks.

After a quick change and 2 Starbucks in hand we headed up to the solarium. We found an empty spa and evie, Kathmandu and myself started to feel like gods. One of the crew stopped by and asked us if we needed medication from the bar. We declined but love the tongue in cheek of the waiter.
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The evening drifted by slowly, the ship left port and things got decidedly rocky out on the ocean. We all felt decidedly drunk all night even though no alcohol did we consume. Kat and i discovered a vertical bungy jump which we both tried out. It was a surreal feeling bei.ng on the tail end of a large moving ship and jumping into the air. I found it very hard to go straight up and down and ended up mostly jumping backwards and forwards instead. While small children laughed at me.
I found it hard to sleep that night. We had requested 2 beds but they gave us a king instead, also the boat rocked in such an odd way i couldn’t sleep well at all.

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Day Two

Day two dawned early and brightly. The captain woke us, at the god awful hour of 7/8am to inform us that we had arrived just off the coast of their private island Cococay. The previous day kat and i had booked in snorkelling for 22 each. So we got up and sort out coffee and breakfast. Once again we ended up in the windjammer cafe. The breakfast spread was amazing, an omelettes station, eggs, breaks, fruit, meats, pancakes, waffles, desserts, fresh orange juice. Along with alcoholic beverages and everything else you could eat in life. Over breakfast ( once again minus courtney who was still sleeping) we made out plans for the day. Which basically consisted of go to the island, do some snorkelling, eat, explore, buy some useless items :).
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After breakfast we headed back to our rooms to getready/wake and feed courtney. We then went to deck 2 and discovered a massive line. We joined the line it took us about half hour to get on a Boat from the boat so we get to Cococay. Once on solid ground we headed straight for snorkelling. Evie and courtney decided to join us. We got taken through our safety instructions by a south African. We then chose some deck chairs claimed them as our own And left all our crap all over them. We ventured into the water……… HOLY DAM IT WAS COLD!! months of living in Florida when the non heated pools at vista way felt like bathes had ruined us. It honestly took us like 2 minutes to ease our way into the water. But once we were in it was gorgeous. We snorkelled around pointing out fish and what not. Surprisingly enough it was the Australians who had never been snorkelling before. We swam out to a sunken plane where we met up with the other 4 we were travelling with. We had a great time taking underwater pictures and just lazying the day away.

Eventually hunger called us back to the beach where we discovered a bbq going in full force. We tracked down Kate’s and joined a line. Ribs, chicken, corn, hot dogs. Salads and desserts everything you wanted/needed after a day at the beach. It was glorious (all we did was eat on this cruise) we then checked out the markets. It was your typical things, everything said Bahamas and it was tshirts, dresses and weird Nik nacks. I didn’t buy anything, i didn’t see anything liked enough unfortunately.

Kat and i headed back to the ship after a bit, just to get out of the sun it wasn’t hot and sunny out. Once back in the cabin i discovered i come back either some odd tan lines. Before heading in t the water i had asked for some screen to be sprayed on my back. I now had one line across the middle of my back and a splotch with some drip marks down one shoulder. I thought this was a hilarious souvenir. Forgetting back to the ship kat and i participated in some harry potter trivia where we KICKED ASS! And won a pen each. We then heard a rumour of free champagne and so attended an art auction, which was very entertaining, even though we did big occasionally we did not ( thankfully) win anything.

We booked a table for 4 in the my fair lady dining room for 8.30. As there was several shows we wanted to see, in the ships theater. It turned out to be a fancy dress evening. We got our photos taken with the captain.
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And free champagne just before going into dinner. The my fair lady dining room was amazing. The menu was extensive and there was a different one each night. You got an appetizer, a main and a dessert. I had the shrimp cocktail, can’t remember my main and then lemon meriengue pie and a chocolate dessert i also had a coffee. We rolled our selves up to the theater after dinner, so muchfood in our bellies. We watched the stand up comic. We wandered around the ship for ages and just relaxed.
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Day Three

After finally getting some sleep we slept in till 10am on day three. We had docked at the Bahamas. At the island of nassau. After a breakfast in the windjammer. We headed off the boat, passports and spending money in tow. Once on the docks we grabbed some maps and decided not to take a taxi and walk to the shopping area. After walking for an hour we decided it was still far away and we hadn’t gotten as far as we had hopped. So we hailed a taxi and got him to take us to the shopping district just over the bridge. We got out at a strip of shops, after looking at bathing suits and walking around d we discovered a shopping courtyArd. With shops like pandora, etc,. I found a Ben and jerrys and gitva mango smoothie. Kat found a star bucks it was another stunningly hot day and we were all thirsty.
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However as we were exploring the giant hotel at the end of the courtyard, my body suddenly decided that horizontal was more appealing send from one step too the next i was suddenly on the ground in a lot of pain. I had sprained my ankle :(. This gave everyone a hell of a fright and evie took off to get ice. After about 10 mins on the ground with ice i eventually felt better enough to get back to the road to get a taxi back to the ship. Granted it took me a long time to get there. Back on board the couldn’t do anything for me. So i spent lot of time with my foot up drinking coffee and eating. So at the end of day 3 i still hadn’t bought any souvenirs. We did however par take in happy hour. I had a couple of delicious concoctions which left me feeling rather happy. Kat went to have a nap and i found a library, where i read for several hours.

We ate at my fair lady again for dinner. I had a garlic soup as an appetizer, roast duck as a main and then a chocolate mousse for dessert and a glass of wine. We also had a delicious shot with dinner as well. Good times all around. After dinner there was a love and marriage game show which we attended and i purchased an alcoholic beverage because it had a flashy glass that kat wanted. The waiter told me to take a drink and he would add some love to it for me. By the end it was very strong and made for a wonderful night.

Day Four

This was our last day on the cruise ship. It was our day at sea. We slept late, and wandered around the ship all day. We participated in many raffles but didn’t win anything. We ate constantly and had a glorious time. We attended a napkin folding seminar. Some more trivia, and lazed by the pool for the rest of the day. That night at dinner all of the kitchen cast members and waiters sang .us a song and all kinetic up for us on the giant staircase so we could applaud them and thank them for the amazing job that day.
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For dinner we feasted on fresh bread as we had every night so far and tried all of the delicious things they brought us. Things like escargoe, lobster bisque, etc etc.

This cruise was absolutely amazing and a complete eye opener. I really want to go on another cruise because i feel like i know now what to expect and what to do. I feel that we missed out on lot because we didn’t know what was going to happen or what to expect.

Sorry it took me so , ongoing to update i just kept forgetting.
Love nutmeggle