Behold! The Carnival Valor…

We’ve heard it said that a cruise ship is like a gigantic floating resort,  or a moving city. But nothing said prepares you for this feat of engineering that is a world of its own. 

This is my home for the next 7 months.

The peopleOn biard my ship alone,we have crew members from 60+ nations. You’re introduced to all sorts of languages, slangs, cultures, and styles which all combine to form one universal ship lingo. In the same sentence you’ll hear Mexican, Philipina and English. And nobody on board will even bat an eyelid, it’ll be understood. 

Impressions

With my unique background, I enjoy the confusion I raise among my new friends. The Mexican / Latina / Spanish nationals on board will say “Hola! Como estas?” as they pass by. The Indians look at me in wonder, afraid to look silly asking the question “Are you by any chance partly Indian?” (Most will just stare and never ask because they see my name tag says “Thailand”). The best is when I meet the Thais on board though, they don’t expect me to be Thai so they wouldn’t even look at my name tag or me. Until other people who know me introduce me to the Thais which is usually followed by them tugging at my name tag for confirmation, quizzical eyes that wander back and forth between my face and my tag, and then some laughter. 

Then comes the question of how I’ve got an American accent if I’ve got an indian background and lived all my life in Thailand. And I sheepishly answer, “Well, this is gonna sound strange, but I went to a British school back home but somehow picked up an American accent” which leads to more surprise and yet more laughter. 

I’ve really gotta thank my family ancestry and my parents’ decisions about school and my expat-magnet hometown island of Phuket for the multicultural blend of a person that I am. It’s always worked as a great conversation starter and allows me to make friends so much easier because I can relate to people from so many different backgrounds. 

The job

Some real serious responsibilities that would ruin not just holidays and waste money, but waste tonnes of petrol for travel and yet not allow us to dock at or leave from home or foreign ports if I fail to submit the righ paperwork. And of course it’s kind of cool to be the only H.A.C on the ship. Empowering, yet frightening. I’m still in training though, for about 2 more weeks. 

The timings can be odd sometimes, like tomorrow I’ve gotta be up at 4.30am to clear customs for our vessel. Other days I’ll start at the usual 7 or 8am. On sea days I may even have the flexibilty of creating my own schedule, as long as I get my job done. So it’s a well-balanced lifestyle overall. 

The Life

I can totally get used to this! Being away fron home, at boarding school, or going to universiry in a foreign country, and moving out to live and work in a different city, all combined together have prepared me for life on the ship. Neither the small cabins, nor the shared rooms, or the noisy environments can possibly dominate the beautiful sea view, cool breeze, nightly star gazing, friends that I easily see becoming family, crew activities, diving or swimming with dolphin opportunities, and the magical destinations. 

For instance, yesterday I was relaxing on the deck with some friends at night time, and looking up at the sky I saw the most phenomenal night sky I have ever seen. There were a million twinkling stars. Even being from an island like Phuket, I have never managed to see such a vast expanse of a starry night sky.  

Friends are as close as one bunk apart, 2 doors down or as far as a few decks up or down. Open air movie nights by the pool on a giant projector, discounted prices on shopping, tours and food and drinks, live musical or theatrical performances, and arcade games and casinos are entertainment options on board the ship, to name a few. “All for fun, Fun for all” is Carnival’s motto and over the period of my first 4 day cruise, I have experienced nothing short of it. 

The Food

Food for staff and crew is served 24 hours a day, be it fruits, yogurt and cereal, ice creams or cakes, and a variety of selections at the buffet meals. To cater to the 60+ nationalities of tastebuds, we have food inpsired by countries around the world. We will never go hungry.

Health and Fitness

We have several options to help us maintain a healthy lifestyle even when we’re so many miles from land. Staff and guest gyms are fitted with some very advanced gym equipment. Once in a while personal trainers run fitness classes like HIIT training and Spin classes (where applicable). Jogging tracks are available on the top most deck on the ship. And if you simply enjoy walking, we’re bound to find more than one place for it on this 953 feet long ship we call home. Going up and down the stairs is another option, although I wouldn’t personally like that option. 

I have to say I still miss my Guavapass classes that I had back home, especially Thai boxing.

Oh,  leaving so I’m gonna just post this now. More next week. 😀

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