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Smile! You’re on Camera!

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: Sea date: May 4, 2011

Our new manager training presentations are amazing! Even though we are all nervous at performing in front of each other and the camera that is recording us, we do a wonderful job of presenting our materials. We cheer for each other and the feedback forms we complete for each other offer positive feedback of what we did well and what needs improvement. Nellie is super
supportive and we give each other rounds of applause. It is a feel good morning.

At lunch I eat chicken, more veggies, rice, and a salad. Don’t get excited. I’m not loving the veggies but I’m trying. This is the pretty much the same thing I’ve had all week. I’m getting bored of the food on the lunch menu. We chat about our presentations and about our evening outing to Dave and Buster’s.

During the afternoon training session I duck out to get the blood work done as the final part of my medical form.  This is blood work I did in Toronto but the results were not ready when I left. I had called the clinic to get them to fax the result to me at the hotel but at the point that I was leaving to repeat the test, I hadn’t received the results. I called three times and each time I left a
message for a different person hoping that someone would call me back before I got into the taxi to the Port of Miami. No luck. I spent $35 getting to the Port and as the needle was jutting out of my arm drawing my blood, my cellphone rang.

It was Mount Sinai Hospital calling to tell me that they had faxed the results earlier that morning. I told them I didn’t get the fax and asked them to refax to the NCL office. I spent $70 for a taxi ride, missed my afternoon of training and gave up a vial of blood. I’m frustrated at what seems a waste of time and money but then I remember that this is the last step in being able to fully  participate in this wonderful dream come true. I do a bit of the breathing Nellie taught me and soon I’m back in a great mood.

When I returned from my joy ride, I had a debrief with Nellie about my presentation and a chat with Gaby. Nellie had me almost in tears! We watched my video together and she provided feedback. I had never received feedback that was so useful and positive. I’ll be a better trainer as a result. My session with Gaby offered advice about ship board dynamics. I feel better
prepared to face this challenge. It is clear that they truly want me to be successful.

After the debrief of our presentations, we hop on the hotel’s shuttle bus to the Dolphin Mall where we are going to Dave and Buster’s for dinner and games. Dave and Buster’s is equivalent to Chuck E. Cheese but for grown-ups. The Dolphin Mall is probably the largest mall I have ever seen. It has every outlet store imaginable and some stores I’ve never heard about.

At dinner, I sit with Lorne, Laarni, Vivi and Natasha.We chat about Natasha’s upcoming wedding, shoes and training. I order the BBQ Ribs and Chicken which is fall off the bones, finger-licking good. After dinner Natasha, Laarni and I go shopping. I’m in search of warm clothing for Alaska and a camera. I found a great 12.1 mega pixel Sony Cybershot camera in a wonderful orange colour for only $49. With the 2 GB SD card and taxes, I spent $66.32. So now I can take and post pictures.

Vito was kind enough to give each of us a $10 game card so after shopping Laarni and I head back to Dave and Buster’s to play the games and hopefully win something. I earn almost 1300 points mostly from playing a spin and win game and this neat game where a fish pops out of an ice hole and a polar uses a bat to swat the fish across the ice. The further the fish travels,
the more tickets I earn. I don’t do too badly at this game. I go into the store but couldn’t find a thing to spend my tickets on because everything I want is 5000 or more points. I leave the store empty-handed and plan to give the card with its points to Natasha. At 10:00 p.m. we load onto the shuttle bus back to the hotel, some of us with multiple bags and packages.

The last event of the evening is meeting Dallas.  Dallas is the fabulous Training Specialist I will
be replacing on the Norwegian Star. He flew in tonight and everyone is thrilled to see him. Back at the hotel in the lobby, I get caught up in the festivities and hug him as if we are long lost friends. This is how close this group has become in the blink of an eye. I’ll miss them all when we all board our planes and head in different directions to meet our ships on Saturday. I take comfort in knowing that we will at least talk once a week during our teleconferences.

The voyage continues…


I make learning fun...and sticky!