Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reader Question: Greek Officers

Hello, Readers, and thank you for tuning in to trumptettravels - the true accounts of my 11 year career on cruise ships as a crew member aboard Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises, Premier Cruises and the Holland America Line.

A Reader asks if I could elaborate on Greek Officers.  Sorry, Anonymous, I think I said enough in my disparagement below (DEC 14th WHAT ARE THE OFFICERS LIKE?).  Although I do actually have a few more choice stories about Greek and Italian officers you'll have to wait until the time is right.

I don't want to lose my new readers with excessive negativity (wasn't I negative enough below!??!) haha -

thanks for your comments.

Some reminiscing from the cruise career...

Hello, Readers, and thank you for tuning in to trumptettravels - the true accounts of my 11 year career on cruise ships as a crew member aboard Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises, Premier Cruises and the Holland America Line.

Thanks everyone for the great responses and comments.  Personally I find the information of what day-to-day life was like on the ship more interesting than my little casino information, but I had such a flood of visitors checking that out and emailing friends - my first post that a deluge of email pings came in!

I started this blog as an experiment to learn how to blog so I could teach my wife.  She wants to blog about her confusion in being an American Mom (she's from another country).  Well, I must say the support and comments I've received have convinced me I should keep going.  I think we'll have to fight over the computer when she starts her blog!

I want to share with you something you don't think about when you take a cruise.  You all have jobs and work 40-50 weeks a year so once every 5 years you can do a cruise or something special.  You all have social and family networks at home.

I did, too, and my first time I joined a ship I did it for six months.  I have a big family and we are very close.  It was so hard to be away from everyone for such an extended period of time.  BUT, I met so many amazing people, passengers and crew, and was exposed to new travel and new friends.

I had a girlfriend on my first ship after not being too much of a ladies man in college.  Halfway through my contract it was time for her to leave.  Of course we meant to stay together, but we went to different ships and there other distractions on the ship for both of us.  I was so confused why she was so amazing and why it couldn't work.  It didn't seem to gel with my notion of romantic love when I was told I was looking for that 'one' special connection.

Later, I came out of my heart-broken stupor and realized not only was I lucky it didn't work out, I was REALLY confused why we were together at all!  It is funny how circumstances can change so much.

I met so many amazing people after that and pursued some more romantic relationships.  The friendships that seemed so important now have faded as everyone who works out there on a ship goes for the experience, the travel, and the money only.  Logistically it would be impossible for you to keep in touch with the literally thousands of amazing people you meet.

I came to a conclusion, or maybe a realization.  When you are on land, you have the same friends, the same job, the same bar, the same ole same ole.  Nothing changes much and you could miss a year and everything will be the same.  When I was twenty years old I thought that was a curse.

When you are on a ship you get to meet thousands of people and make friends and travel.  Everything changes.  You avoid the boredom and stagnation of land, but it comes at a price.  Your friends fade, you lose touch, you move far away from everyone eventually.  Amazing people you once couldn't imagine yourself without are now in South Africa, the Phillipines, the UK and other countries all over the world.  You have facebook and other networking and try to stay in touch, but now in a 9 to 5 job on land and with a family here's the scary realization -

Just as I thought it would be depressing to have the same ole same ole of a land job when I first started cruise ships, now when I get in touch with my cruise ship friends I see they have the Same Ole, too!  The same ports, restaurants, bars, etc...  The life there is exciting but no more rewarding than somewhere else.  The one thing I'd recommend to anyone wanting to go work on a cruise ship - make a plan.  Get in and get out.  If you spend your whole life on a ship and then go to retire - who will you know?  Where will you go?

Well, that is my reminisce about my years at sea.  I used to give a little talk to the newbies who were depressed about losing friends to travel plans on the ship.  I would tell them, "You are priviledged to meet so many amazing people because of these ships and your job.  You have to enjoy every moment with all of your friends becasue they'll leave and you'll leave and the memories are all you're going to have at the end.  Saying goodbye to all of them is the price you pay for not having a boring job with boring friends."  In retrospect with the times I had, the benefit far outweighed the price.

Looking back now that I'm "out" - is it better to lead a less exciting life but have life-long friends who've watched you grow and mature? Or is it better to meet scores of the most interesting people in the world with the realization you'll not stay in touch after your time together?

Readers, tonight it isn't for me to decide.  I'll just pose the question and hope it makes you think about your life.  What new people do you meet?  Are you 'stuck' in the same crowd and bars or restaurants at home?  How could you bring the excitement and loss of inhabition of a vacation into your everyday life?  If you could do that, you could have the best of both worlds.

Thanks, readers, for staying in touch.  Why don't you check out my other entries?  There is no rhyme or reason yet to any of them.  I thought this would be a chronilogical story when I started but as I've received encouragement and comments from readers I have altered course a little bit.  Comments are always welcome and although it is becoming more difficult, I do my best to answer all questions.  Rememer clicking an ad here is free for you and encourages me to keep going, much to the chagrin of my wife.