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Irie Man !

The adventures of Carol Brown, representing Norwegian Cruise Line on a 6-month mission on the open sea to train the crew, explore new ports, seek new friends and experiences, and to boldly go where she has not gone before.

Carol’s log: Cruise Date: May 11, 2011 (Juneau, Alaska)

Ship people are crazy! It is two degrees outside and we are doing aboat drill. Most of the people are not dressed to be outside for an hour in Juneau, Alaska while we run through the fire and abandon ship drills. I’m smart. Well, not really but I’m dressed for outside as much as I can be considering I thought I was going to the Mexican Riviera when I packed my bags. But I digress. I’m dressed appropriately because my office is an indoor igloo. So while most of the crew stands in short sleeves shivering, I’m only slightly colder than if I was still sitting in my office. I’m told we do these drills weekly but now they will be in Skagway, Alaska instead of Juneau.It will be nine degrees instead of two.

There is a small Jamaican contingent aboard the Star. There are about 15 of us (yes, I include myself, though the “Canada” on my name tag throws everyone until I give them a little patois), mostly men with about half of them being officers. I am the only female Jamaican-born officer on board. They are thrilled that I’m onboard and welcome me like long-lost family. I’ve been invited to play dominoes in the crew bar but I haven’t gone only because the smoke in there is suffocating. The crew bar is one of the few places on the ship where crew are allowed to smoke, drink and just relax. Unfortunately for those of us who don’t smoke or drink, the crew bar is not a place to relax. So I’m missing out on playing dominoes with my people because I like breathing clean air.

During my shadowing today I get to meet most of the Jamaicans and share some jokes. It seems that most of the Jamaicans work in the Food and Beverage area. Some are Chefs, Waiters, and Maître d’s. One works in Housekeeping but he is an officer. Everyone asks me where my family is from and I say my father’s family is from Lucky Hill, St. Mary but I can’t seem to remember where my mother’s family is from. Any family member reading this who can provide an answer please do. They make me realize just how little I know about Jamaica and make me anxious to visit to rediscover my roots. Jamaica at Christmas anyone?

The Nicaraguans and Colombians onboard sound just like Jamaicans. I’m told that some are encouraged to speak like Jamaicans in schools and I have to read nametags to determine that someone is from Nicaragua or Colombia and not Jamaica.

I know most of my girlfriends are waiting to hear about the men on board so here it is. There are lots of men though most of them are either under 30 or over 50 and are from over 60 nationalities. There is definitely a drought of men between 30 and 50 and the majority of them are married, though some seem to forget that when on ship. The only interesting man I’ve met so far is married and I don’t play that game, anymore. He’s Jamaican, of course, handsome and is a wonderful flirt. I can see how he pulls women in with his “sweet mouth” and the way he looks at you with his bedroom eyes. He touches me in a way that would seem casual to an onlooker but that says so much more about his intention. I’m not falling for it especially when I see the small gold band on the third finger of his left hand. My heart still pines for a lost love.

More shadowing today. I get to see the work of the room stewards (the folks that clean the guests’ staterooms each day), room service and guest services. I’m amazed at how hard everyone on board works to make the guests’ experiences wonderful ones. It also makes me happy that I don’t work directly with the guests!

I also get to do rounds with Filippo. When you think of doctors doing rounds you get the impression of visiting all the patients and checking their records to see what is what. That is exactly what Filippo does with each of the restaurants. He checks in with staff and guests to see how things are going. And he does this very quickly. I was run off my feet keeping up with him.

Only got lost once today.

The voyage continues…


I make learning fun...and sticky!

Sharon on June 10, 2011 AT 02 pm

Enquiring minds want to know the story of the lost love….