the blog

Latest news.

I’ve Been Adopted

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 18, 2011 (Skagway)

The day starts at 06:20 with shadowing through the restaurant areas. Marek and I start in the Market Garden Café and he tells me all about the challenges of his job. He is responsible for all 11 restaurants onboard and the staff that work in them. Again, I’m amazed at the how hard everyone works on the ship.

Back in the office, Laarni and I work on the damn Matrix again. We aren’t making any progress but the document sure looks good. The layout is great but the formulas suck. The PivotTables aren’t getting us the results we want and the numbers just seem to be an inaccurate reflection of what we are trying to depict. We have to go back to Filippo and I’m embarrassed because I don’t know how to solve this problem.

I’ve been adopted by the young Black men onboard. They are mostly from Nicaragua, Colombia and St. Lucia. The call me “Mom” and check in regularly to see how I’m doing and to ask for me help with a variety of things. I may have left my sons behind but I’ve now got about ten sons on the ship. There is a mother and son duo onboard. They are so cute together. He’s all macho and stuff around his friends but is totally momma’s baby when he is around his mother. It is so cute to watch them interact.

There is something up with the Black women on ship. They are unfriendly beyond the norm. I’m used to Black women being friendly and approachable especially when they are from the Caribbean. I can honestly say that none of them speak to me unless I speak to them first and even then it seems all they can do to be polite when they respond. I am curious if it is because I am an officer. The only other Black female officer and I are cool. We chat easily and freely when we see each other. Funny, the black men don’t seem to see my rank as a barrier to speaking with me.

The ship seems divided around country lines. The Filipinos stick together, the Nepalese, the South Africans and even the Caribbean countries seem that way too. The Canadians not so much. There are a few of us on board at the same rank but there is no real camaraderie between us until someone else asks a question about Canada and we all ring in with our patriotism though the Toronto-Vancouver-Montreal loyalties are clear. I actually feel more aligned with the Jamaicans than I do with the Canadians even though I’ve been gone from Jamaica for so long and don’t really know it as home.

Tonight is Dinner with the Officer where guests get the opportunity to dine with the some of the officers. Laarni and I are both invited to participate. I am paired with the Staff Captain who is second in charge on the ship. The folks at our table are a couple from the US mid-west, a Japanese couple from North Vancouver and two men from Thailand who are part of a group of almost 3,000 Amway sale reps from Thailand who will be on our ship for almost a month. The conversations are rapid and varied. We even get lessons in Japanese and Thai speaking. Of course, I don’t retain any of what I am taught. We dine on scallops, lobster tails with asparagus and rice and for dessert a wonderful fruit parfait with the freshest cream and oh, a chocolate ribbon tops the whole thing off. Yummy!

The voyage continues…


I make learning fun...and sticky!