One morning, early for a musician, my cabin phone rang a few years ago and it was my buddy DJ JT. He’s been cruising for several years now and has “been there done that” just about everywhere on the globe. When you’re on a ship and JT calls with an idea to do something, you get up and just go. No questions asked.
Our trip up the Northwestern coast of Norway was just one of those situations. JT had been there and knew of some of the best things to see and do along the way. In a cruise ship environment, often times it’s the crew around you that make or break an entire contract, not just one day.
When JT called, I could still hear the engines and thrusters going and I really didn’t know why I needed to race up to the open deck. But I put on a warm sweater, my name tags and trainers and ran up to deck 17 to see what all the fuss was about.
The ship was sailing down a somewhat narrow channel between two very large cliffs. There was a fine mist and a light fog all about us. On the shore you could see a tiny bright yellow cottage standing all alone against the cliffs and the shores. Breathtaking. JT grabbed my by the shoulders and said, I’m not showing you that little house. Look over there, and he spun me around just as the ship was nearing these gushing roaring waterfalls. It was the Seven Sisters… called such because there are seven tightly woven paths that each of these waterfalls followed down the cliffs to meet the fjord below. As the ship got closer, I could feel their icy mist hitting me in the face, coating my sunglasses in a dense thick mist.
We walked miles circlingf deck 17 many times taking in the natural beauty of the falls and fjords. (In general walking around a Princess cruises ship 1.5-2.5 times, it’s a mile.)
Norway really is a nature lovers paradase. The entire country is interlinked with hiking and biking trails, different rail lines that take you out into the far reaches of their country.
A friend sent me a message the other day about cruising in Alaska and asked for some advice. I thought maybe this would be helpful to some of my other friends who are considering coming on a ship in the future to experience all of the splendour of Alaska.
As many of you know, I’ve been performing on board Princess Cruises ships for the past two years and have been to Alaska several times.
There are a few things that you need to decide when considering your time spent in Alaska. For starters, how much time can you spend and where do you want to spend it. Obviously, you’ll need to consider your budget as well. But I’m not here to help pay your bills 🙂
Depending on if you plan to spend any time in Denali National Park or not, that makes a difference in the Princess ships you’d take. If you leave from Vancouver, on a 7 day cruise, Denali would be at the end or vice versa. Look at ships like tge Coral, Diamond & Sapphire. (We have worked on the first two and will be spending the next three months performing on the Sapphire.)
If Denali isn’t your priority & you’re more into cruising and checking out the Inside Passage, I’d get a ship that starts in Seattle like the Golden Princess. (We worked on that ship in 2012 and 2011.)
If you’re looking to come to Alaska in 2013, I hope you’ll consider joining us on the Sapphire Princess for the cruise that starts around the 20th of May.
You can check out the specifics on www.princess.com.
It’s been forever since I’ve posted a story. This contract has had us much busier learning a lot of new songs and I’ve had less time to spend working on the blog. We have learned about 120 minutes of Latin songs, including several that I am singing in Spanish. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had to sing in a foreign language, it took me quite a bit of time to get the words down. The nice thing is my friends from Argentina helped me with the pronunciation… Made it much easier than doing it alone.
We finally made it to the Hawaiian Islands. We have completely fallen in love with it here. So far we have gone to Hilo and had a nice meal overlooking a pond full of tropical fish, visited Waikiki Beach in Honalulu, swam in the ocean at Nawililwili Bay on Kauai and today we are hanging at Betty’s Beach Cafe on Maui.
I know why people come here on vacations and never leave. The temperature is perfect, the sun is always shining, the trees are green with flowers everywhere. People are super friendly and very helpful.
Yesterday we met a lady from Walled Lake Michigan who came here on a vacation 35 years ago and never left. She said she really didn’t have a reason to go back home and just couldn’t bear the thought of leaving. I told the guys in e band that they might have to drag me back on the ship for our last four sea days at the end of our contract. I love the beach so much and that pretty much all there is here. Awesome.
Next cruise, we are planning to do some snorkeling, surfing, and maybe rent a car to go to some of the more secluded beaches away from the cruise ship and people.
I took a ton of pics, so we will start sharing them shortly…
We have almost made it through our first 10 day cruise in our 3 month assignment on board the Coral Princess. It’s been a bit of a challenge to get on the internet every day due to some of the training and scheduling required to work on board the ship. However, since we are now almost back to our turn around port in Ft. Lauderdale, I feel as if we are getting into the swing of things. We perform between 3 and 6 shows a day depending on if we are at sea or if we are in port. We’ve met so many wonderful people from far away lands and close to home too. It’s amazing how nice all the other crew members are on board. I guess though if you think about it, we’re all in this ship together and if everyone is polite and pleasant it does make for a better journey.
Getting to know our way around the ships corridors for the first few days were a bit challenging. It seemed like just when I thought I knew which way was up I would get turned around. But after a bit, I started to figure out the little tricks to know which stairwells lead to what areas. I still have some paths to work out, but over all, I really think I’ve gotten the critical routes down.
Yesterday, while I went for a walk on the promenade – also known as deck 7 – I saw an amazing school of dolphins playing in the waves at the bow. I have never seen so many dolphins not even on tv. It was exciting to watch them jump, flip and play with each other. It was very exhilarating to see them. It made me want to jump in and join them. (Obviously I did not!) I wish I had my camera, but I think that I will have plenty of opportunities to see them along the way.
I’ll be posting more frequently from our journeys now that I have figured out how the scheduling works, how to get online on the ship and what ports have good internet access in cafe’s.
Hope everyone is doing well out there.
We love and miss you.
Melissa & Jake