Carrie's Adventures

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The month... a wee bit more detail

Yes, so I have been very bad at not updating. What is even worse is that I have a PC in my cabin again and I still have managed to find reasons not to write. I guess I sometimes think it isn't all that exciting and my life, while in a different port every day, does have an element of routine to it which really and truly is not that exciting.

Martha left on the 1st of March leaving the ship to me. It has been an interesting experience working on an older ship which is not as well equipped as the Constellation. Here, when a PC dies, you don't swap the hard drive into a spare, you rebuild it from scratch. There were some challenges as well on the personnel side. The assistant ~ Kathey ~ and Martha did not get along. There were times when the tension in the room was so thick. I know for myself this imbalance is difficult to exist in and it took Kathey and I a bit to find our stride. She is a experienced IT gal who has worked internationally within the Financial community and her decision to come on ships was to be able to travel and work in IT. Like others, she has desires to fill the DSM position and finds it frustrating to know that with only 8 ships in the fleet this position is difficult to attain as the churn is very low. That said, she and I seem to be working well and just in time to see the next addition to our team arrive. A permanent DSM will be arriving on Monday and I will be stepping back into the Assistant role, which I think I may have forgotten what it is like ~ after 4.5 months of being the 'boss'. Stefanos is leaving the Millenium and was onboard while they were in Chile. I'm not sure how the delayed departure will affect his flights, or our current situation may impact him getting onboard when he does arrive.

So life here has been pretty much work ~ which is sad to say. I know the whole reason I wanted to do this was to be 'less responsible' and have an opportunity to see other places. Well the see other places has not been as frequent as I thought ~ but the few times I have been out they have been good. (Photos and commentary to follow...) I hope with 6 weeks remaining, I'll manage some time off with Stef.

I did ask Dad to come and explore the Mexican Riviera. That was before our 'wee outbreak' happened. I'm still waiting to see how this all falls together before I give him the green light to purchase the ticket. There is a lot of stress at the moment. Sr. Management is having a lot of tough questions to answer and the staff are exhausted. I think the hard part being that we just don't feel like there will ever be an end. We have been on alert for such a long time that it now seems like it is part of our regular day.

With the arrival of Stefanos, I will also be losing the cabin. I have just gotten comfy here and used to being in this cabin without Akis. Again, wierd to be here when the memories I have are of us both being here... but alas, it is what it is.

Plans going forward ~ I was excited to hear that we do cross paths with the Infinity in April. April 12th to be exact. We are both in Acapulco for the day so it makes it seem easier knowing I'll see him in just under 3 weeks. The next 'rendez-vous' will be in Juneau. I was hoping to be able to jump from Mercury to Infinity and cruise back to Vancouver, however the damn Jones Act which was brought into existance ages ago, prevents me from going from one ship to another without first being in another country. So the best plan of action was to do this in Skagway, where I can drive 20 minutes to the Canadian border, cross, come back and then meet with the ship ~ only they aren't in Skagway with us, and I will miss him my about an hour in Prince Rupert. So all things considered, it looks like I'll be catching up with him again in Vancouver.

Further to that, we are planning on going to Athens this summer. He came to see my house last time, so I guess fair is fair and I'll be going to see his. It's actually quite exciting as there has been some progress on the house he is building and this will be seeing it in a more completed state. He is a bit nervous about my ability to communicate with people. I have acknowledged that I know not everyone will be speaking English ~ like his parents ~ but I think the few basic phrases I have will suit. The main one being ~ I want to eat something. This should keep his mom happy! I will definitely need to brush up on the Greek while I am there.

Plans have me doing one more contract ~ those being the famous last words ~ and my placement is again on CS. I'll be joining them in July in time for the Norwegian cruise which I loved last year and to finish the Baltic season. (I guess I get that chance to take the tours I didn't take last year!!) I'll be going as the assistant but all things considered, I'm good with that ~ and it will be nice to get back. Although folks here on Mercury are nice, I guess I feel more comfortable on CS ~ more developed relationships maybe ~ but somehow it seems easier... Oh, by the way, I did make up with the doctor I fought with when I first got here. Now he chases me around the mess with his hands claiming he hasn't washed them and is going to give me the 'hospital germs'... The nut.

Other news ~ my sister is engaged. Turns out that after buying the house, they decided to buy the rock... I've very excited for her and Craig. Guess I might need to be available for this wedding.

Well will start the process of uploading the photos and will let you know what I thought of some of the other Mexican ports...

A bad day for Celebrity

Things out here just seem to be going from bad to worse. Since arriving on Mercury we have been in a constant state of ‘Code Yellow/Code Red’ which basically means that passengers and crew are having tummy troubles. Code Red means the numbers have hit levels that indicate that there may be a virus or something occurring on board.

Since the last sailing on March 17th we have been Code Red and there is constant cleaning with bleach and disinfecting products. It has taken over the ship and the end result is a not very pretty ship. The harsh effects of the bleach have resulted in corrosion of the metal, splitting of the wooden rails and an overall dirty appearrance, as we are not able to vacuum or clean down the walls.

We have had personnel onboard from Miami and inspectors are coming in Puerto Vallarta to determine the fate of the ship. Currently my team has been allocated one shift to clean a minimum of 6.5 hrs a day. Originally it was both of us which means who is looking after the systems?!?

The fear is that on the next sail which is the 27th, we will not be able to embark passengers and as a result the ship will not sail.

I know that Celebrity has been plastered on CNN with the accident which happened in Chile. And while the Millenium starts with the same letter, we are not the same position ~ for which I am thankful. However my replacement who is suppose to be taking over my position is on Millenium and we aren't sure he will make it to join us in San Diego if we sail...

I will post more ~ but I’m off to sanitize and sniff some bleach.