A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: JazzyFizzl

Next chapter…of my blog and my life!

Careful - it’s a lil sentimental

sunny 30 °C

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Wow – sorry! I haven’t written in here for such a long time! So much has happened since the last entry but yet so little that I can actually put in words.

Life on a ship is indescribable, the way you feel, the way you work and the way you live – it is just so different from the life you live on land. Of course, I have plenty of hours off duty, however, you can rarely make use of it. Sometimes I work only six hours, but these are spread over the whole day, that means I only have 30minutes to one hour leisure time between different things I have to do that day. Sometimes I go to bed in the afternoon just to put my alarm on 20minutes later! In the evenings when my job is done I have two options. Either I go to bed early and get my required beauty sleep (lol), or I use my free time to “have a life”. If I do the latter, I usually add some alcohol and go to bed late which means that the next day is usually pretty tiring (luckily someone invented Coffeine Tablettes, a great drug that helped me recovering a lot lately! ;-). Anyhow, the point is that I rarely find the time to sit back and write emails (besides the horrendous price for the internet!). And I am so sorry about it! I have never felt so “far away” from my family and friends than I do here on the ship!!!

On the bright side – I have met so many great people and get to see so many new places. I also get more experienced in diving and get a completely new life experience! Dealing with so many different guests can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. Just today I went on a trip as a translator and tour guide and it makes me feel happy when guests come to me in the end and tell me how nice the trip was.

Out of the blue, I met someone really special whom I spent most of the last two months with. Luckily, my boss is very understanding and we were able to arrange some “free time” to enjoy the Caribbean life together, for example, going diving together one on one which was one of my best dives ever (75minutes!!)! So I must admit that I had quite some leisure time lately, but that was filled by other things than sitting at my laptop! Yet again, I am so very sorry for not staying in touch with my dear family and friends!

Being here for nearly five months makes me count every day that it takes to fly back home. Not at all because I am unhappy or because I don’t like it here! It’s just because I am longing for some consecutive days of doing nothing :-)

Most importantly, I am learning that everything you do can only turn out as good as you give it a chance to be positive! For example, I was loathing Panama and Costa Rica for the past month, but yesterday and today were brilliant days. Yesterday in Panama, the snorkeling wasn’t amazing, but it was wonderful compared to previous times we have been here! Even though it was an eight hour trip it was a lovely group of people that shared their excitement of the tour – and in the end that’s the gaol: Make them happy and enjoy myself! And the most important thing is: Personally, I feel it is much much more nicer than sitting in a dark office for eight hours watching the snow fall down staring at a computer!

Every trip people ask me what I have been doing in the past years. I am 25 years old, I will most likely not follow the ultimate career path. However, I can say that everything I did so far feels absolutely right for me! ! I am grateful for every little place I have seen, even the dirtiest and poorest bit of cities – and nobody in the world can take all these feelings, impressions and experiences from me! The ship life has also taught (or is still currently teaching) me wonderful lessons. Too many to list them all I am not sure whether I will sign another contract or not – but I am glad I did it!

So I hope, that when I come back, my family and friends are as understanding as always and will be there for me just like all the many other times when I had left and returned after a wonderful experience! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are the best! Writing about coming back: I will finally disembark the ship (knock on wood!!!) in BARBADOS on April 5th so I will be home at the 6th! ;-) Get the sunshine back to Germany until then!!

Posted by JazzyFizzl 13:41 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (0)

From Panama to Bonaire

in only 4 days

Panama

I woke up and suddenly I was in Panama! Pretty weird feeling to be at another special place every morning when you wake up!
In Panama we don’t offer any diving, but instead a snorkeling and Kayaking tour! Andre and I were the lucky ones to escort our “special guests” (AIDA guests are very particular…).First we had to take a bus and once we were in the middle of nowhere we arrived at the dive school. We will only start diving there from January on as the visibility isn’t that great at the moment. So Andre and I had a group each and we both went snorkeling. Andre, however, went by boat while I was the one to guide the kayaking! Ahhh!!! Jasmin and Kayaking lol. Halfway to the snorkeling spot I was so exhausted and I only continued paddling because my group was behind me. We did some snorkeling at the tiny winy island before we headed to drive through the Mangroves with the kayaks. After that we drove back to the dive school and had lunch. I am telling you…it was really exhausting!!!
The second part of this trip includes visiting the Panama Canal. While we were there, three container ships were lowered 26 metres to go from one side to the other. Each ship had to pay around 400.000Euro. It does save around 8 days and thousands of kilometers that it would need to drive if it hadn’t used the Panama Caynal! Pretty amazing thing to watch.

Costa Rica

That’s the only harbour where we don’t offer any diving or snorkeling tours. Instead we do things like cleaning the diving locker, get some energy back from the 12 hours work the days before or we work as a Scout (like I did in Brazil) in order to see the country. I didn’t get to step off the ship that day because we had so many extra things to do, like doing an O2 and First aid course (AGAIN- this time it was a DAN course…what a waste of time!)
Columbia
Wow…I was in Columbia. I have heard lots of Columbia as my step mom and stepsister are from there. So finally I also got to see it! However , it is such a busy day for us, that I wont be able to see lots when we are there. We have certified divers and Discover Scuba divers that day, maybe if it isn’t that many people I will get to see the old city of Cartagena, if I am lucky. ;-)
Diving was more beautiful as I expected, but yet again, I didn’t expect much. Somehow Columbia isn’t really a popular dive place, but still, it was good.

Bonaire

Finally!!! The diving highlight for all divers and snorkelers on board! We have so many different trips that day that we actually “use” people from other departments to cover our snorkeling trips. I got the exclusive snorkeling and diving safari! And yes, it was exclusive! Haha, yeah it was pretty good. The dive boat was huge, lots of space to move, and because we were so fast, we were able to drive to dive spots further outside. The visibility was like 20metres plus and I didn’t even try to find small stuff, because the diving itself was really amazing! The water so blue and the corals simply untouched!!! hmmmm – diving deluxe! :-)

Posted by JazzyFizzl 16:10 Archived in Netherlands Antilles Comments (0)

Caribbean part 2

Barbados

Next stop: Barbados!
This harbour was very special for us as the dive crew! Finally we also had work to do – that is in diving!!! I had my dive course (OW 1-3), we had DSDs and Snorkelers. My course was great. The water was finally blue (before it was still not the typical Caribbean colour) and my students got to do 2 wreck dives on their first steps into diving! It was a great place, but unfortunately I didn’t get to see much more than the beach where we were all day, coz the moment we got back to the ship, it left the harbour.
So that was also our first day on which we really had to wash gear. Here at AIDA the guests do not touch their equipment after diving! It’s all to us to wash it, you can imagine that this takes forever! But it’s all good coz we also got our 4th diver Christopher on board!

Dominica

Wow!! I have arrived in the Caribbean! In the morning I went on a whale watching tour (I had to translate) and we found 6 sperm wales (German: Pottwale)!! Two of them were mom and baby!! It was just lovely and noooo picture I took can represent the amazing time we all had on the boat!
Once the whale watching boat came back to the ship new guests embarked to do a snorkeling tour at the Champagne Reef, which is supposed to be famous because gas bubbles come out of the bottom (it is something volcanic). I just stayed on the boat and didn’t get to eat lunch (note to myself for next time!!!). My students from the previous day also arrived and we did OWD4 at that reef. Most snorkelers were totally disappointed, I, however, had the time of my life. This dive would easily rank in the top 15 dives I ever did. Maybe that is because I had no expectations at all and once we descended I found so much stuff! Sea snakes, moray eels, trigger fish in other colours than in Thailand and Australia, a GIANT lobster and so on! The gas bubbles coming out of the water were disappointing in the end. I saw that kind of thing before in Indonesia where massive bubbles came out of the bottom. Here it was rather boring!
And as in Barbados, after being back on the ship we left the harbour again! Seems that I didn’t get to see much more than the beaches at the destinations – fine by me ;-)

St Marten

Well, maybe you heard about the hurricane “Thomas”. It has been here and the sea has no visibility at all! Also, we arrived on the 11 of November, which is a very holy holiday! Too bad that I got the tour on a seedboat with snorkeling and shopping:-P I was pretty afraid that the guests would kill me, because that’s how they are when a excursion isn’t done like in the brochure! Luckily, all of them were pretty cool about it. I did my best to excuse the changing of plans and we all had an amazing day anchored in a lonely bay, just swimming around and relaxing while having a rum and coke in the hand!
After we got back to the ship I had like 1,5 hours to explore the pier with lots of shops. St Marten is very American tailored. Next to AIDA was the Freedom of the Sea, it looks HUGE next to the Aida! However, it does look like a skyscraper, which I, personally don’t like!
It was a very nice day! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see much of the city!

Domincan Republic

Finally, we have arrived. New guests arrived at Rosseau today and our OLD (as in past and as in very OLD in age) guests left. Before, though, they would go on tours as their flights only left in the evening! I was lucky to get the best tour ever!!!!
The boat arrived just next to the ship and 32 guests embarked. After, we drove to “Piscine Naturale”, something I have never seen before, just on post cards! Translated it means “Natural swimming pool” – and indeed, in the middle of the ocean (you could still see land though) there was the bluest water I have ever seen and it was only waist deep (well obviously deeper for me hahah). Rum and Coke was served, sea stars could be found and music was on board of our boat! It was soooo amazing! After an hour or so we continued to drive to Isla Saona, a beautiful island without any population, except on days when tourists go there. Some Natives prepare a buffet, another native man climbs up to get us a coconut to cut it open to drink and eat it. One of the guides from our tour boat gave me a hat made of leaves as a present :-) After a few hours we drove back to the ship, which meant for us back to work and for our guest back to Germany. I had check in for the new guests in the evening.
It was an amaaaazing day and I hope I get this tour again next time (in 2 weeks!)

Aruba

Today we have been to Aruba! I got the tour with the certified dives. A dive boat picked us up at the ship, we drove to the dive spots (Pilot boat Wreck and Harbour Reef) from which we could still see the AIDA!It was great dives, but the visibility was poor, but I can imagine that it is a nice dive spot. It rained throughout the day and our guest are a bit grumpy about that.
There is a strange man from SSI on board who teaches us DAN O2 and first aid (quiet ironic, considering I am already an O2 and first aid instructor!!!! If the Australian or Thai SSi people would see some of their colleagues in Germany, they would not recognize that it is the same company…lol…very very German!! I am afraid it’s getting downhill now that headquarters were moved to Germany!
For me (and my roomy) it was a great day though, as we changed cabins!!! YEEEAAHHHH, we got one on the outside, we see light when we wake up! How nice is that?! Today will be my first night here!
There is always so much to write, but I usually forget all the things!!! Damn!
Well I post some pictures now and go up to deck 10 to go to the 80s party to check out the new passengers ;-)
In 2 days time we will arrive in Panama!

Posted by JazzyFizzl 16:36 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (0)

Finally Caribbean

...no time to be online anymore :-P

13-11-2010

Caribbean

Well, you might have realized that I am now in the Caribbean as I didnt find the time to write about my adventures. Now that we have arrived here, I actually do have work to do! :-)
Ile Royale – French Guyana
Next stop was Ile Royale. I didn’t have any idea what this island was about – and: there wasn’t much to find out in the internet either! Even Wikipedia couldn’t give me decent information!!! Looking back it’s funny that I actually tried to find out whether I could go diving there...haha. Everybody was already wondering why there were no trips offered by AIDA (and believe me, if there is something to see, they offer a trip to make more money...haha).
Everybody was kind of free that day, so Aileen (biking guide), Ekki (Spa therapist) and I queued up for a tender boat (coz we anchored) to explore the mysterious island.
Once we arrived, it was obvious why there were no trips or anything planned for that island. Ile Royale is very little, you can walk around it in like 40 minutes. There is one hotel with a restaurant on it and heaps of palm trees. Many different animals were running around – it was just a paradise island.
The history of it, however, isn’t that lovely. It used to be a prison island were many people were killed. The prison cells were cruel!! If a person got send to prison for 5 years he had to stay in a cell for that long and after he had to stay on the island for twice the time longer! They tried to send 28 female prisoners in order to “produce” families but it didn’t work. There is a cemetery for children and women of the guards, if a prisoner didn’t he was thrown into the water for the sharks!!!
All in all it was a great day, but I am still amazed that so many cruise ship stop at this small island!

Trinidad (&Tobago)

After one month, we had finally left Brazil and after the stop at Ile Royale we arrived in Trinidad. I had no expectation at all about Trinidad. Before my trip I actually had to look it up on the map to find out where it was :-P
We still didn’t have any diving trips, but I had to go along with a “beach transfer”. For some reason I immediately got a great feeling about this island. The landscape is beautiful and the villages and cities were very nice. People were really friendly and I was happy to be able to understand their language (opposed to Portuguese in Br azil) even though they have a weird accent. The beach transfer was a nightmare, there were 50 people and some didn’t show up at the meeting point but the beach itself was lovely! As there isn’t much diving around that island I am thinking of coming back to the sister island Tobago in the future! Does anyone want to join?
Barbados
Good news and bad news:
Bad: I didn’t get to see much of the island at all!!
Good: I had an amazing time anyway!!!
Barbados was the “big day” for us. Finally we had work that was dive related!!! Plus, our new colleague, Christopher, arrived that day to support us now that we are in diving heaven ;-)
As I wrote earlier, I am doing the diving course with the people from our show ensemble. Barbados was the big day for them to jump into the water and dive for the first time in the open sea!! Everyone was excited, including me because I was so happy to be under water again!!! We had to do 3 dives that day which meant that there would be a tight schedule for us as we had to do all the skills! The first dive we did from shore, there was nothing to see except for sand. For the second and third dive we took a boat and drove just a few minutes away from shore to find 6 wrecks lying in about 6-16metres! All of the 4 students were perfect, so we had a lovely day with only diving!
Once we were back on the ship I (and the rest of the dive team) had to wash all the equipment from all divers and all snorkelers which is a hell of work!!! We stood there until 9pm until we finished! (I started at 8.30am!!
But I was still happy as I had a perfect day under water and my students were great in the water!
Ow yeah, we moored up next to the yacht from Bill Gates!!

Posted by JazzyFizzl 16:31 Archived in Barbados Comments (0)

Still in Brazil

but on the way up North :-)

Brazil

Finally we are on our way back on the Amazon River towards the Caribbean!!!! The last few days were “changing days”, so most of the old guests left and the new ones arrived in Manaos. Manaos, however, is not really made for such a tourist crowd. It was a big struggle to get the old 1500 people to the tiny airport and get them checked it and pick up the new ones. But everyone from every position worked together (I was at the departure/arrival terminal of the ship) and we managed it without major problems. So now we are on our way back to Belem, we have been there 10 days ago or so, before we head towards the North! North Brazil was amazing, many great impressions, mainly because I worked as a Scout (went with the tours and translated them into German), so I was able to see heaps of the country while getting lots of information. Nevertheless, this kind of Brazil definitely doesn’t represent the South part of Brazil. Here everything was still very basic I felt. It was a good experience but I am really glad we head towards the Caribbean so I can do what I love: DIVE!

Diving

When many crew members (12!!) applied for the dive course I basically jumped up to be able to teach the courses. So I did the theory and the first pool session and didn’t have to work as a Scout. Lovely! Tomorrow I have another group of 5 in the pool. The biggest challenge, however, are the passengers who have nothing better to do than complain about the fact that they cant use the pool for some time. Luckily, I am able to press the button and go under water, so that I wont hear them haha. In 6 days from now we will arrive in Barbados where I will do the first 3 dives with the course. The next day, in Dominica, I will finish the course and also guide the whale/ dolphin watching tour…exciting times!!!!! It will be busy but I am looking forward to it

New VIP

As I wrote before we had Kay Ray here and 2 women from the Tivoli theatre and today I was on the cross trainer with Andersson when he told me that he played a role in Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten and Unter Uns (famous TV series in Germany)! Haha…I said now that I know I want a signature :-P

Sport

I cant believe it: I have a luxurious fitness studio 6 decks above my cabin and I am still not able to use it properly! Back in Germany I paid lots of money to be able to go training and I used the excuse of being to lazy to drive there. Well, I keep on telling myself to go more often. In fact, I just came from there ;-)

Ship life

I don’t know how many kilometers I walk every day, how many stairs I climb and how often I use the elevator. It is hard to explain, but all you do is racing through the ship to get from A to B. AIDAvita, for example, wasn’t designed for a dive school on it. So our working places are spread over the whole ship! But it’s nice. You walk and walk and every time you see someone from the crew you say “hello”, no matter if you know each other or not! It’s all pretty friendly here. I am still amazed how so many Philipinos say “Hello Tschasmin”, even when I am not wearing my name tag haha.
When I am running around the ship I always think “ow that’s something I wanna write in my blog” but obviously I always forget it!
There is a party “upstairs” every day, but we need a leisure pin to go there, and we have only 5 for the department. But anyway, nobody wants to go upstairs every day. AIDA passengers are really a special group of people! I am not writing too much here in my blog, as I might get in trouble ;-) But I will be able to tell you so many silly stories!!! Haha it is hilarious!

Oki doki, now I get ready and go to the crew bar. Not for long so, I have an early morning! Need to be in the pool by 8am, so that there are less people who will complain haha :-D

Posted by JazzyFizzl 17:39 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

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