A Travellerspoint blog

Brazil!

Fortaleza and Belem

sunny 35 °C

Dark brown hair!

Three days at sea on the way to Brazil! Finally I had the time and patience to go to the hair dresser on board to get my hair done! After the bleaching of the sun in Thailand, my hair didn’t want to keep the brown dye in it that I desperately put in. So after a 2hours 15minute visit at the hairdresser on deck 9 with view of the open sea mission impossible was accomplished thanx to Helmut! Here a pic:
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Fortaleza

After three days at sea we have finally arrived in Brazil! Our first stop was Fortaleza! As always, I worked as a Scout. I was the translating tour guide of the Beach trip – perfect ;-) We were picked up by busses and drove to the beach. After 2,5hours we drove “home” again, easy! The beach was beautiful but I’ve seen better. Maybe that had to do with the fact that we had around 250 guests with us which makes a deserted beach with palm trees a hot spot for German tourists, who, by the way, didn’t have better to do than to complain about the fact that there were no sun beds nor sun umbrellas ready for them (As claimed in the brochure). Well, typical German! Luckily I had an awesome group of 47 people who were pretty relaxed about it – therefore my day was great!
I didn’t get to see much of the city, but there was a huge contrast between rich and poor. My tour guide kept on pointing out the 5* Hotels along the promenade while I looked to the other side of the road to see very poor housing of the locals.
Fortaleza is the 5th biggest city of Brazil and many Brazilians themselves come there for a holiday!

Belem

Our second stop in Brazil was Belem. It is the 10th biggest city of Brazil and I was overly excited because my job was to join the tour with the boat that went into the Amazon River with a walk through the rain forest!!!
The first highlight was that we couldn’t drive up to the harbour and had to anchor several metres in front of it. Our little boats moored up with our ship, so we didn’t have to use the tenders to reach shore. The first view was stunning! On one side there was the rain forest and on the other a skyline that resembled the skyline of New York (Well ok, a lil less great, but still….;-)
Once we were heading towards the River the impressions I got was just amazing. As always, I tried to take heaps of pictures but nothing could really resemble the impressions we all got during our trip! After around 1,5hours we stopped at a little village in the middle of the jungle! Group after group entered the forest and our guide showed us so many things!! There was a school for all children of that area, we found fruits I have never seen on the floor and the guide opened them for us to taste. I saw a tree that was over a thousand years old and we met a local that brought us some “Brazilian Nuts” of the Brazilian Nut tree, climbed up a palm tree with leafs knotted around his ankles (he even jumped from one tree to the other) and finally he found a HUGE spider and put it on ME!!!
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Everything was so exciting, words cannot describe it properly!
After our visit in the village we entered the boat again and explored some side arms of the river, where people were having parties, were relaxing in their “weekend huts”, were swimming in that “dirty” water and there were actual bars built along the River!
At around 3 pm we drove back to our ship that already looks pretty damaged on the sides because the harbours at Cape Verde didn’t have these smoothing things on the pier to protect the ship’s sides.

Diving!

Finally!!! We are starting a course for eight people of the staff! I said I would love to so that course so we start with the theory soon and do the pool skills in the pool on deck 10 :-) The first dives will be in Barbados!!!I cannot wait to get there!!

Telephone card!

At last I bought a great telephone card that I can use to call anywhere of the world no matter where I am! I guess it works with satellite and it’s a bargain: Only 6 Euro per hour…hehe.

Oki enough writing! Need to read Harry Potter now ;-)

Posted by JazzyFizzl 20:12 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Cape Verde

Mindelo and Praia

sunny 33 °C

Scout

The last two days were special. The ship arrived at Cape Verde and I was asked to be a Scout for the upcoming excursions. A Scout is some kind of tour guide that tags along the trips that our passengers had booked for the specific destination. We have eight Scouts on board, but they need help at the moment, because all local tour guides would only speak English. So my main job at the tour was to translate what the local tour guide was saying. The average age of our passengers is 60, which is horribly old compared to the other routes the ship drives. Hence, heaps of them don’t understand English. Both trips I went along with were tours to explore the island.
I cannot describe the impressions I got during the two days! It was not like I imagined Africa. Coincidentally it rained one day before we arrived (which rarely happens!) so I saw lots of green on the island. I tried to capture it with pictures but it was way more beautiful than the outcome of the pictures.
It seemed as if houses were built until the money ran low, you could often see houses with an unfinished upper floor. Paint for the houses seemed like luxury to me. The rather poor housing stood in contrast with the beautiful landscape! All people I saw and met were really friendly! One street vendor even gave me a bracelet as a present (see picture!)!
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Summarizing, I am very happy to have gotten the chance to visit Cape Verde! It is of no terms the usual holiday destination, but it was a good experience and reminder how lucky we are in our country!

At sea

Last night left Africa and are now heading towards Brazil. No land for 3 days ;-) And I think we get one hour as a present each night (turn clocks one hour back) as long as we drive towards the west!

German-ness

In general and as expected, the ship and its rules are very German. I am not allowed to wear thongs (flip flops) on board at the passengers area, even in my free time!!!! I also have to wear long trousers after 6pm when working! (Bless us, at some partner ships you have to wear blazers after 6pm!) And I am not allowed to log in SSI’s ODIN to certify students…hahahah…Just imagine this was the case at Big Blue!! It would be a very poor person whose job it would be to certify them all every day!!
Right now I look at it with some kind of humour and everyone says it takes a while until I would get used to it (the German-ness and the cruise ship-ness). So let’s see, maybe I will become a proper German one day :-D

Posted by JazzyFizzl 16:10 Archived in Cape Verde Comments (0)

Tenerife & Days at sea

sunny 30 °C

Tenerife

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The last stop of the Canary Islands was Santa Cruz @Tenerife. There were two divers and two snorkelers booked so I was the lucky third person to have a free day.
Walking away from the harbor usually takes ages, well it was a 15-20 minute walk until I reached the city. I didn’t plan an active sightseeing tour, so all I saw were the streets around Santa Cruz, again pretty hilly and as usual you could find McDonalds (meeting point of all crew members who are free because there is free internet :-P ), H&M, Zara and so on. I was looking for a supermarket and I had to ask around until I found it somewhere in the back streets. Often I find it more interesting to walk around in the back streets as you get to know the city better than walking on the shopping street.
As with the other islands of the Canary Islands, I found that Tenerife is nice, but I would not necessarily book my holidays there.

Sports

Whoop whoop, today I went to Fatburning- and to a “tummy, legs, bum” course in the morning! Naturally, my male colleagues make fun of me, but being able to eat all the time in our restaurant could end dramaticly on my body, lol. Luckily, diving involves some serious lifting which adds to my sport exercises. ;-)

Days at sea

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Today is the second day at sea and tomorrow we will arrive at Cape Verde. This morning we had a safety exercise again, as we have some other duties than the other part of the crew. I also learnt that we are the last few people to leave the ship in case of an abandon ship announcement, i.e. only when all rescue boats are boarded with crew and passengers, it is our turn to be called to leave our Assembly points to also go to the rescue boats. Hmm, very nice :-P
In the afternoon I was on the crew sun deck for a while to enjoy the sun. It’s already pretty warm and the sea is really flat, I’m really impressed!
During the last days I got to know the ship better, I usually know now where to walk. Just sometimes I hear Thomas or Andre saying: Jasmin, where do you wanna go, we need to go right (or left..). Well I’m getting there ;-)
I have been here for one week today! It is really hard to explain the feeling of the life on a ship. It’s like a small village on many levels in which you walk around all day. Well I really cannot find the words, it’s just really exciting. (Let’s see how long that lasts..hehe) Today my last “job” is to put on a pretty coat and welcome the guests at the restaurants…haha…”Good evening, hello, enjoy your meal,…”…well, somebody has to do it, ey?

Cape Verde

Tomorrow we arrive at Mindelo. We don’t have lots of diving activities during the next few weeks, so I will join the Scouts and translate some tours. I am pretty excited for tomorrow, as we will explore Mindelo by Mini Bus! That way I get to see heaps of our tours as well! :-)
Famous people
I just found out yesterday that 2 ladies of the famous show of the Schmitt Theatre of Hamburg are on board. I watched their show in January and when I saw them walking around on board in their costumes I thought I recognized them. They looked hilarious (as in their play) but Thomas fooled me and said they were normal passengers…lol…but today I met them at my sports class and I saw them as normal persons.
Another famous person on the ship is Kay Ray! Some of you know him probably, he is performing at the Wollfabrik in Schwetzingen!! I’ll definitely go and see his show!

News

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You cannot find any newspaper on board! Also, as of yesterday, we don’t get any TV channels on TV anymore :-) (Cant watch me series anymore!!! Haha) That’s why we have the AIDA News! It’s also handy to look up what date or day it is! I am already confused! Also the time is constantly adapted! Luckily in a good way for us, we always get one hour more sleep as long as we move towards Brazil!!
I’m looking forward to the excursion tomorrow and hope that my German translations will be adequate! ;-)

Posted by JazzyFizzl 14:32 Archived in Cape Verde Comments (0)

Gran Canaria

ugly shoes!

Filies:

There are many Filipinos on board and Thomas says that apparently they love my „type“. It’s funny, they look at me with a big smile, quickly look at my name tag and say: “Hello Tschasmin”. Haha it’s really cute and helps a bit to not get annoyed when they all look at me wherever I go (and probably at every other girl on board)!

Gran Canaria:

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Today we had a snorkel excursion to the south of Gran Canaria. This time Thomas went with me to show me the procedure of such a tour. Gran Canaria’s beaches are made of volcano sand, so it is usually black. It was the highlight of our tour that “our” beach was made of imported white sand from the Caribbean! Thomas did all the talking and briefings and I went into the water with the people. There are really people who have never snorkeled before, or better: who have no idea what to do with a mask and a snorkel :-P But the easier it was to get them excited when seeing ONE single fish! There were also some crabs and the highlight: 2 Squids!!!
Well I love to be in the sea and it is really rewarding when your guests get excited!!! So sometimes it is nicer to go on a snorkel tour where you can’t see much than on a great diving tour with experienced divers who always have something to moan about!!!! Just imagine the typical German diver…yes that’s very often a pain in the … .
All in all, today was a great day!!!

Shoes:

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An official SORRY to Thomas for being a grumpy girl when he suggested to get some “Tracking Shoes” for the upcoming excursions. You can see from the picture that these shoes are pain the eyes or the biggest NO GO for normal life. I tried to fight them as long as possible while we were walking around the shopping centre, but then we met the Scouts who could only agree with Thomas that this pair of ugliness is the only thing that would be allowed to wear when working for AIDA. I don’t really understand why AIDA tries to market towards the young, trendy and open people, but give the ugliest uniforms to the crew?! The pants are a nightmare while the shirts are an “okish” style with an horrible colour. I would suggest tank tops if we work in hot places! Or at least shirts out of the correct material! What passenger wants to see big and nasty sweat stains under the arms?! I’m longing for the great blue CDC shirts!!! Ow well, I accepted being an unattractive person in order to work at the nicest places in the world! :-) Better than at Schwarzkopf: Wearing lovely clothes while working in an office all day long ;-)
The combination of my uniform, my latest purchase of tracking shoes plus my crazy hair after a dive or snorkel is just hilarious!
Yet again: Sorry for not accepting that THOMAS WAS RIGHT, right from the start! :-)

Tomorrow Tenerife!

Posted by JazzyFizzl 15:07 Archived in Spain Comments (1)

Madeira!

the island of the flowers

Madeira!
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After two days of cruising thorugh the bumpy sea we arrived at Madeira, also called “the island of the flowers”. Yesterday was very rough, many of the crew were really sick and the decks were empty, coz the people were better off in their beds :-P The waves were around 5metres high. Luckily I didn’t feel anything!!

We moored up at 9am and the activity teams (biking and diving) were already ready with the gear to push it out on land. After that, the guests were allowed to disembark.
We were picked up by a minivan to drive to a local dive school. There are no beaches on Madeira (As far as I could see), it is pretty rocky! First we did a shore dive (well we jumped off a rock and got out with a ladder) and then we took a boat to another dive site. The water was freezing compared to the waters I am used too, it was 22 °C!!! Luckily I bought my new wetsuit of 5/6mm!! I know I know I am so spoiled concerning diving, but the only thing you could see were rocks and one large fish – a groper, that is so friendly that you can touch it. It reminds me of Wally in Cairns, just that Wally was way more beautiful!!!! The groper was just grey! Ow and we saw a Morray Eel :-P
Well these two were the attractions of the diving, so the guests were happy!

At 4pm we were back, packed and ready to drive back to the ship! One passenger bought us all an ice cream! Nice!!!

Back on board we went to the front of the ship to watch the ship leaving the harbour, which was my first one in daylight and it was amazing. It’s probably not exciting anymore when you do it more often, but for me it was wonderful! The captain blows the horn 3 times when the ship leaves the harbor and if there is another ship, it blows its horn 3 times as well to say “goodbye”. Then our ship blows another quick sound to say “Thank you”, and then the other one again one quick one to say “you are welcome”. I would love to work on a ship! It’s great, but I would need to study again for several years and my degree would have been for nothing! Ow well, but so far I really love the board life! Today I walked through the corridors, this time KNOWING where I was actually going, and I felt a chill of happiness going through my body  EXCITING! I am loving it!

As we already left the harbour at 5pm, I didn’t get to see much of Madeira. Well, I saw the landscape from the ship and when we drove through the streets I could also get an impression. It is nice, but..hmm…didn’t really win me over. However, as I said, I didn’t spend too much time “on land” ;-)

So, day 4 is already over and I can say that I am yet again a lucky girl. It’s a great ship, I have a lovely team and I don’t get sea sick!!(yet).

Tomorrow Gran Canaria!

Posted by JazzyFizzl 13:56 Archived in Portugal Tagged madeira Comments (0)

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