Well it has been almost a full month since I signed onto the Jewel and with time I am beginning to have a pretty good time on board. The first week was very tough, I was sight reading all the time, and while doing that I was struggling to keep my range in tact.
Basically, the first cruise was very tough in many aspects. I had 12 hours of emergency/safety classes on the ship. Ranging from fire fighting, to evacuation, to sexual ethics, to CPR. I was lost just about every day, the passenger area is very clear, but the crew portion of the ship is very difficult to navigate. Socially, I was pretty frustrated because believe it or not only 22 Americans are on the Jewel crew. Now many of the other nationalities speak pretty good english, but there are still many people who speak very poor English. I also still don’t like that the only known social spot for the crew is the bar, which is almost always VERY smokey. However, if you want to meet people and talk... thats about your only chance.
After that first week my playing has improved greatly in some aspects such as sight reading, and range have gotten much better. I am also more confident on my jazz & pop playing now. The musical director seems to really enjoy having me in the ensemble, and aside from some occasional drama in the orchestra, we have a pretty good time performing together.
Also my social life has gotten a little better on board I have met some really awesome people that have very similar interests. I am still trying to work on making friends with the cast, but I still feel like they don’t really care to move out of their own “click.”
Do I like this job, YES! I don’t think there is any better way to see the world, perform, and get paid. I have been through the Panama Canal, caught some rays in Aruba, snorkeled in the Grand Cayman Islands, and my most favorite place so far has been the old city in Cartagena, Colombia (where they make the coffee). All the other stops have been very americanized, however this one you walk in to the town and instantly feel the history and culture. I was dumb and forgot to take my camera this last time, but I am going to be taking lots of photos next voyage.
So far I have only taken pictures in Aruba, which is where the picture above is from. It was so nice outside, and there were so many Iguanas everywhere!
Final tidbit of news is that when I sign off on March 23rd, I will be joining the Brilliance of the Seas on March 30th which will be touring Europe! Places such as Barcelona, Italy, Rome, Egypt, and so many others I can’t remember. This next cruise is going to be life changing, I can not wait!
Accessing the internet is a very timely process here, so I am sorry for the long delay in a new posting.