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To the Bridge, Captain

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 12, 2011 (Ketchikan, Alaska)

Today was kind of uneventful except that I got to go up on the Bridge to meet the four top guys on the ship—the Captain, Staff Captain, Chief Engineer and Hotel Director (my boss Filippo). It was just like I imagined being up on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. These guys are down to earth and approachable even though they are responsible for so many lives on the ship. They welcomed us even though we were cutting in on their meeting and invited us to look around the bridge while they finished up their meeting. When they were done, they gave us their undivided attention and their permission for our requests, laughing, joking and teasing us all the while

The Captain is Greek, the Staff Captain and Chief Engineer are Swedish and Filippo of course is Italian. They make an interesting team and have wonderful personalities. I am looking forward to spending more time working with and getting to know them.

I also made a new friend today though I found out she is to sign off the ship on May 26. Her name is Jude and she is the Spa Manager. She is from South Africa and is just a few years younger than me. It was good to speak to someone who had a bit more life experience. She promised we would have dinner together before she leaves.

I also got to sample one of the specialty restaurants onboard with Laarni and Elmo who is one of the youth counselors onboard. Ginza is an Indian and Japanese fusion restaurant with large windows that offer wonderful views. I, of course, went for the sushi and boy was it delicious. I’ll definitely eat there again.

Part of our duties as Training Specialists is to join the officers and crew on stage on the last night of the cruise to do the “Home Away from Home Wave”. We sing this great song written especially for Norwegian along with “We are the World” and thank the guests for sailing with us. It is hard not to well up with tears during this weekly ritual.

More job shadowing today with the Linen, Spa, Internet café, and Casino managers. I’m still in awe of the amount of work that happens 24-hours a day on this ship. The internet on ship is a so slow it is painful. Crew buy internet access cards and spend it all waiting to be connected to whatever site they are trying to access. It is frustrating and part of the reason my posts are so far behind. That and that my computer was broken somewhere between leaving Miami and boarding the shop. Don’t ask. It is a sore point. So I’m hand writing all my entries and hope to be able to post them in a timely manner. I just hope I won’t have to buy a new computer.

I don’t get off the boat in Ketchikan but what I can see from the open deck on the ship resembles a quaint fishing village. I take some pictures from the deck and run back inside from the cold, though it isn’t as cold as Juneau was the day before. Others come back from excursions with tales of train rides, whale watching and helicopter rides. I’m jealous but know that I’ll get a turn to do some excursion soon.

There are a number of very young men on the ship. They have taken to me and I treat them as I would my own sons. I seem to collect children wherever I go! Every day they look for me and are quick to greet me and check if I’m okay. They ask me questions and advice and make me feel smart and needed.

Other than the faces of my children, the one thing I’m really missing is physical contact. It is strange that you can go through an entire day without touching another soul. I miss the body bumps, hugs and rough-housing I used to get from my kids. Someone shook my hand and I found it hard to let go. It felt so good.

Another late night and with the clocks forward tomorrow another early morning. Remind me to tell you about our vacuum toilets!

The voyage continues…


I make learning fun...and sticky!

Sharon on June 10, 2011 AT 03 pm

You could pretend you’re French Jamaican Canadian and greet people with the kisses on the cheek — one on each side — fast or slow if you really really like them.

Camara on June 10, 2011 AT 05 pm

I’m sending you a big hug right now, Mom!!!! I feel like my own hug quota is seriously lacking also so I feel your pain…