Today, the forum, and the illusion of time.


Well. We skipped a port today. Mystery Island. The weather was just too bad and it would have been dangerous to tender in. It’s a shame really because I was really looking forward to getting off the ship! I have been onboard for so long I am starting to look like a cave dweller. I was looking forward to a nice sunburn! Of course with the weather as it is there wouldn’t have been any sun to get burned by anyway. It’s been allot of sea days so far on this cruise. Three in a row after Sydney, yesterday we were in Vila but I couldn’t get off, and now today is another sea day. Tomorrow is Isle of Pines, hopefully that will be a better day. Isle Of Pines is beautiful and the beach is massive. I was going to do a nice “what’s the big mystery about Mystery Island” photo blog today but it seems Mystery Island will keep its mysteries intact.


Have you all had a chance to check out the new forum? The link is on the right hand side under “links”. A few people have joined and posted so life is starting to breathe itself into the boards. Joining is easy. Just make a post and its automatic membership. If you haven’t yet visited please do. Some interesting topics so far and feel free to add topics you would like to discuss. Don’t post your questions for me in comments on the blog because it’s hard to reply. Use the forum.

When you join you will be listed as a PSA (Passenger Services Assistant) which is a no stripe position. With your progressive posts your rank will climb through Junior Assistant Purser (half stripe), to Assistant Purser (full stripe), to Senior Assistant Purser (two stripe), to 1st Purser (three stripe) and then Passenger Services Director (four stripe, managing director of all hotel operations). The first member to reach PSD level will win a Pacific Sun Hat and T-shirt.

Also anyone who is not yet signed up for the Crew Office E-Zine? If you have not signed up yet get your name on the list quick so you don’t miss out on the first issue coming out soon!

The illusion of time

You know, a funny thing happens when you work onboard. After a little while, I am not sure how long exactly but I am guessing about three to four cruises, you loose touch with time. Not the hour of the day but the date. It’s funny but I rarely ever know what day it is. After all it doesn’t matter to us what day it is. It doesn’t matter in the slightest. What matters to us is what itinerary day it is. For example;

“When are drills this cruise?”
“ In Vila”

“When is the back office meeting?”
“Sea day two at 18:30”

“When’s payday?”
“Sea day 3” (or sometimes) “The sea day after Vanuatu”.

But it gets worse than that. Everything and I mean everything onboard repeats itself every cruise. So you can also tell what day it is by simple little things like the lunch in the mess. I am always disappointed when I walk in and see this certain funky sauté’ of scallops in the buffet because I don’t like it. “Oh it’s that day again” I will mutter because that means at dinner it will be seafood lasagna which I also dislike. If it's Vila you know right away it's man overboard drill, full crew drills ( sometimes just technical) and crew rounds.

You can also tell what day it is by looking at the cruise staff. If they are dressed like cowboys, you know its country western night and therefore must be sea day 3 on this itinerary. If they are in grass skirts its island night and port Vila. If they are in pajamas then it must be pajama party night and so on and so forth. The same goes for the photographers. Are they dressed like pirates? Then you know island night is upon us.

Ask any of us though what day of the week it is and the chances are good we will not have a clue. Nothing is ever gauged by the days of the week. If it’s a 10 day itinerary, our “week” is ten days long. The first day of the week for us is the turn around port and the last day is the day before that turn around port. Even if the itinerary is a revolving or alternating one, it is the same. We live and breathe by the itinerary.

Depending on the itinerary day we know exactly what to do from the uniform to wear to what time cocktail parties will start. It's an enitre cyclical structure. Sometimes something different might happen which confuses us all. For example for officers, if you sail after 6:00pm on a turn around day ( maybe the ship is delayed for whatever reason) then the rig of the evening is whites. You will see officers in red sea rig ( white shirt and black pants, the normal uniform for tropical evening sailing) who then have to go change uniforms. Change is good, but only in real life. Onboard the ships it confuses us.

What about days like today you might be thinking, when we miss a port? It’s still Mystery Island today – we just didn’t go. ;0)
1 Response
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Ahhh, so those days of the week matts in the elevators, are really for the staff and not the guests. ;)

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