the Fake Life – Cruise # 23

Explorer of the Seas Voyage # 637
Bayonne – Eastern Caribbean 10 night cruise

Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean this in a bad way… But I have come to the conclusion that life spent working and living on a cruise ship is a fake life. It’s enjoyable and fun and I’m seeing and learning so much, but it’s not REAL life. I don’t have to worry about “adult” things such as rent, shopping or even what to cook for dinner – it’s great!

On the other end of this “fakeness” is the ability to completely reinvent yourself. I am completely free to be who I want to be, who I am. I experienced this same “freedom” when I was Au Pairing in the USA. After spending the majority of my school and university years trying to be what other people wanted me to be, I was in a different country, surrounded by complete strangers and for the first time I was free from any preconceived expectations of who I am. As cheesy as it sounds, I really FOUND myself in San Francisco. Unfortunately, as hard as I tried, once back in South Africa, I felt myself slipping back into old habits. I thought that I was losing myself, but guess what? I DIDN’T! I’m here, I’m happy and I’m free. What more could I want?

Keeping with the “fake” theme, I thought I would share some more “Work” pictures. So without further delay, enjoy the ridiculousness of the FAKE dolphin, parrot, pirate, hippy and sailor.

When we’re in Labadee, there is often another Royal Caribbean ship there and this cruise it was Liberty of the Seas. It’s fun for us when this happens as we team up with the other ship’s photographers. Ideally, this is meant to ensure that we only photograph the guests from our respective ships and that we don’t miss anyone. Although I’m sure practically this is a good idea, it’s really nice for us to meet the other teams and we always eat lunch together; Labadee = outside beach barbecue with hamburgers, fruit and cookies!

Often at least one of our team knows someone from their team, but since I haven’t been working on the ships that long, I didn’t hold out much hope to see anyone I know. Then I spotted the lovely Natasha strolling towards me. She is a Spa girl that I met on Vision. It was so nice to see her and hear her news. After 3 months of dating her Jamaican Musician, she’s engaged! This is another consequence of this “fake life” we are living. Because we are all able to be ourselves, it’s easier to know when you have met the right person.

At first I thought this was still a huge step to be taking so quickly, but I’ve come to realise that time itself has become pretty meaningless to me.  I can’t tell you the last time I looked at a calendar and I never know what day of the week it, unless of course I’ve had a chance to glance inside the guest elevators – there’s a “Day of the Week” mat inside each one that is changed daily! We live in such a completely different world and our days are so long that the normal standards imposed on us by society actually shouldn’t and don’t apply to us.

Funny Jamaican fact: In Jamaica Centipedes are called Forty legs and when you say this in a Jamaican accent it sounds like “farty” legs.

Funny Famous Story: Last cruise I was minding my own business in the Photo Gallery when my Ioana told me she needed me and, grabbing my arm, pushed me in front of a seemingly giant video camera. With about 30 seconds prep time, I was interviewed by the Ship’s Shopping Guide. This segment is now playing on repeat and I have people recognizing me. A little girl came into the gallery with her mother and upon seeing me, tugged on her mother’s arm and in a loud awe-inspired whispered: “Look Mommy, that’s the lady from the TV! I’m famous!

Highlight of the cruise: I was given a rose this cruise… Or rather, a rose was rather sneakily left in my studio while I was busy posing a group! Ooh-la-la lucky me. I have a fan! Said fan keeps delivering me poems. I’m feeling like a lucky girl! Yiling feels lucky too as she’s using my poems as daily English lessons! Haha!



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