The last six months were honestly the best six months of my life. When I first started the job, I never thought I would feel this way at the end. When I first signed on, I was TERRIFIED. It was my first time away from home, my first time on a ship and my first time doing anything like that. The first month and a half was probably the most difficult for me. My feelings were like a roller coaster, one day I wanted to stay and one day I wanted to go home. During my interview, they did say that the first two months were the most difficult so naturally, I stuck it out, which I am SO GLAD I did.
My ship's home port was Jacksonville, FL which was probably not the best port for crew members but the area was really nice. We sailed to Key West, Nassau, Freeport, Little Stirrup Cay and Half Moon Cay. KW, LSC and HMC were some of the most beautiful places ever. White soft sand and crystal clear water. Made all the bad days worth it. Nassau started to feel like home, which towards the end was a little weird because the guests were amazed by Nassau and it was like if you felt like lunch you would just walk off the ship and grab Subway in downtown. The more we went out, the more we found our own little places to go and we became friends with the people who worked there.
The weather was absolutely AMAZING! I came home and it was cold to me and now everyone is laughing because I feel that way. We had some rough days at sea, which I thought by the end of it, I would have been used to, but unfortunately I was wrong, it is so peaceful and calming being out in the open ocean. OH - the sunsets!! You could not compare them to sunsets at home!
The lifestyle on board was completely different. Everything I heard before I started was not a lie. You would work long days and even though you had to work the next morning, you were still out in the crew bar til god knows when. You wouldn't even have to think about it, it was just automatic. You are on the go every single day for 6 months. When guests would ask what we were planning on doing on our days off and we told them we don't really get a whole day off, their reactions were priceless. I thought working every day for 6 months would be more difficult, but it's actually not as bad as it sounds.
I have done things I didn't think I ever would get the chance to and I have met the most amazing people from all over the world. The worst part about ship life is having to say farewell to people you have become so close with. It was one of the hardest things, especially when it was my turn to leave. Life at sea is not comparable to life at home. It's a completely different lifestyle, fast paced and you become a completely different person. I have learned so much about life and myself and I will forever be grateful. At the end, I really did not want to leave, actually did not want to leave.
I've been at home for a week now and I am definitely going through withdrawals and having a hard time getting adjusted and sleeping. You're so used to be on the go for 6 months and then boom - you're home and don't have to set an alarm or go anywhere for the entire day. I'm also used to being rocked to sleep by the boat so it's weird trying to fall asleep.
I am doing a second contract and I cannot wait!! It's aboard a bigger ship and the ports are amazing. I fly out August 22nd and come home February 20th. However, if I am still enjoying it at the end, may think about extending to avoid coming home in the winter! Would you blame me??? I will be going to Belize, Roatan, Curacao, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Aruba, Cozumel, San Juan, Costa Maya, Grand Turk, Nassau, Freeport, Half Moon Cay. Places I would never get to on my own. There is so much to do on my next ship with different restaurants for dining options - It's going to be great!!
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas - Pictures do not do the island any justice!
Paradise Island! Wish I could live there.
Key West, FL
I am missing seeing this view every night! Take me back!!
View from a tender boat.
My last LSC
I took this photo - BEAUTIFUL!! Belongs on a postcard
This was the Captain Morgan's Pirate Ship Bar in HMC
Hazards of the job include (but are not limited to): Giants lizards, sharks and sting rays!
My last HMC
Those are just a few of the many photos I took during my six months. Can you see why I loved it and never wanted to come home?? I know I am forgetting somethings that happened, there has just been SO much! I experienced birthdays and holidays and I don't even know where to begin.
Even though I am going through major withdrawals right now, I cannot wait to start my second contract. 51 Days!!!
Hope you guys enjoyed!