The fresh start – cruise # 29

Independence of the Seas Voyage # 214
6 Night Caribbean Voyage – Jamaica, Grand Caymans, Haiti.

So my wonderful, sunny vacation has been cut short by 2 weeks. Apparently someone resigned and so they needed me to join earlier in order to cover his position. Luckily I had been getting super organized, having all my uniform ready to go, including shoes polished! Impressive right? Still, because I had to wait for the head office to make these last minute travel arrangements (the 6 hour time difference didn’t help matters) I actually only received confirmation that I would be leaving the morning of departure! My flights were such that I had to leave home at 2pm, so it was a bit of a rush to get ready.

My first flight was short and sad. Leaving Port Elizabeth, I was sad to be leaving Mum and SA behind once again and when I landed in Johannesburg I was sad to be missing out on the trip I had planned to spend time with friends in Joburg. The second flight saw me feeling better. I had quite a good nights rest, withe a seat open next to me and was starting to feel excited about this new adventure, new ports, new people and hopefully some old faces too. Bring on the third flight! By now the nerves and trepidation had set in. Even though I know what to expect from the job and how much I’m going to enjoy seeing new places and meeting new people, I was still incredibly nervous.


I arrived in Miami and made my way to my hotel in Hollywood – in Florida, not California. Jet lag and millions of jumbled thoughts in my head meant that I couldn’t get much sleep. So when the Police started bashing down a door just down the corridor I was wide awake. It was like being in a movie. They wore their bullet proof vests, had guns with lasers and were shouting “Hollywood police, open up!” The reply came from a woman screaming “Don’t shoot me in the head, he won’t let me open the door because you’ll shoot us!” All very dramatic. Classy establishment my company sent me to! Turns out it was just a domestic dispute turned noisy due to intoxication and drug use and no real harm was done.

Getting to Independence of the Seas was another story entirely. Firstly the shuttle left almost an hour late and when I arrived it turned out the wont flu driver had taken my luggage out during our drop off at Allure of the Seas and had left it there! Luckily we found it and my luggage and I were safely deposited outside the correct terminal about 2 hours later than I should have arrived.

The HR manager came to welcome me to the Independence. This involved taking me to Medical to get my papers cleared, taking my passport and contract off me and giving my an envelope with my room and emergency card, before promptly dismissing me. “Ummm… How do I get to my room?” I asked, “Oh!” He replied, “Down the i95 on the left” Well it turns out my room is actually on the right, but who’s splitting hairs… Luckily the ship layout is pretty similar to Explorer so despite being left to fend for myself, I am finding my way around okay.

So all in all I had a pretty tough first week and am finding it hard to adjust. I can’t help but wonder why I am doing this to myself again. I know that to grow you need to expand your horizons (so to speak) and often this involves putting yourself into situations out of your comfort zone. I also know that once I settle in things are going to be great, but this first week was not good for my stress levels!

Hoping for a better next week. Will stop the self pity right now and try get to know the team better.



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