Well, friends. It’s happening. After months of appointments, paperwork and freaking out, I finally got my start date for Carnival. (If you haven’t read my post about accepting a job with Carnival Cruise Lines, click here!) I’ll be cruising on the Carnival Elation starting October 22. Mind you, I received this news yesterday, meaning that as of today, I have ten days to get my ish together and get ready to set sail. Yesterday, I went shoe shopping with my friend, Rachael, to find ones I needed to comply with my uniform dress code. I also did some late night shopping at Wal-Mart to get some other essentials – a mesh laundry basket, a rolling duffle bag, new headphones, etc. Even with those few things crossed off, I still have so much left to do.
I still can’t believe that this opportunity has fallen into my lap. It all seems so surreal. I accepted this job months ago, and not even delays in paperwork, financial struggles or a hurricane could get in the way of me getting on this boat. I’ll be porting out of Jacksonville, Florida, and I have several friends that have told me that it’s a fun town, so I’m excited to be able to explore it on my pockets of time off during port days. Beyond that, I have many, many other things I’m looking forward to.
Seriously. One of my favorite things about going on cruises is having access to food 24/7. I don’t know how different the schedule will be for the crew, but I know the food is going to be delicious and FREE! Free food is the best food, and considering I’ve been living off of eggs, Ramen, ham sandwiches and pizza rolls lately, I can’t wait to get on a balanced diet, be on a normal eating schedule and eat food that doesn’t remind me of my college days.
Being an ESFJ, I’m always looking to meet new people, hear their stories and have fun. I’m super pumped to be working on a ship with hundreds of other people. From what I’ve gathered from past cruise ship workers, the department you work in becomes somewhat of a family because you see them everyday for the duration of your contract. It’s going to be fun working in a fast-paced environment with people who want to travel, have fun and enjoy new experiences. I’ll be celebrating my 27th birthday on the ship, so hopefully I’ll have some new friends to celebrate with. Also, I’ll have a roommate for the duration of my stay. I know many people that would be wary about moving in with a total stranger, but I was one of the few that had an amazing college roommate situation when I moved in with someone I hadn’t known prior, and that turned out pretty awesome. I’m optimistic.
The best and worst thing about starting my cruise next weekend is that I’ll be on the ship for the majority of the major holidays – Christmas, Thanksgiving, NYE, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras. (Luckily, I celebrated these holidays with my friends in August!) Obviously, it sucks because I won’t be able to celebrate with my family and friends, but I hear holidays on the ship are kind of amazing. I’ve already been told to bring a Halloween costume, an ugly Christmas sweater and an outfit for NYE, all things I can totally get down with.
I love any excuse to send and receive letters in the mail, so I’ve started collecting addresses in anticipation of sending snail mail love to all of my friends. One of my favorite things about working at camp was getting letters from friends and family at home. Even though I expect to be at port in Florida at least once a week, meaning I’ll be able to regularly call and text, my schedule on port days will still be unpredictable, and I won’t be able to talk to everyone every port day, and some port days I may not even be able to talk to anyone at all. Because of this, I’m taking full advantage of boat mail. If you would like to receive some love from me while I’m on the boat, click here or fill out the form below!
EXPOSURE TO DIFFERENT CULTURES
If you’ve ever been on a cruise, I’m sure you’ve noticed the diversity of the crew. I imagine everyday at work being an opportunity to meet people and learn more about their home countries. I would also love to learn many different languages, namely Tagalog, Spanish and Italian, and it will be handy to have people I can practice with in real life while learning the language on my own. I’m also fascinated by this vast world, and being able to spend time and interact with people around the globe will give me an opportunity to gain insight into their ways of living.
Overall, I’m just really excited in general about having this opportunity. I don’t think it will actually hit me until I’m on my way to Florida. I’ve been waiting months for this day to come, and I can’t believe my new adventure starts in just ten days. Woof.