I stumbled onto this blog by “Crewbar Queen,” begun on two separate sites several years ago. She obviously held a staff position, based on the ease of her entry into ships. She didn’t see it that way. Her words, filled with anxiety and confusion, moved me. All crew can relate to her every word. Below is her only post.
“It’s Sunday and I joined the ship today. I am already exhausted. I look around as I type this, staring at the four walls of this closet size cabin with four beds in it. Soon my roommates will be off work so I am glad I was able to shower before they get back. One bathroom, four beds, one tv, one other Canadian, a Filipino Girl and a Romanian. I can't remember their names yet. The Romanian girl seemed stuck up as hell. In fact, so did most of the Romanian girls I met today.
“I wonder what I am doing here. From the second I stepped onboard today, I have been pulled in every direction, fitted for an ugly red uniform, thrown into a boring three hour safety class which pretty much has me fearing a Titanic-like experience now, and I have been lost three times.
“I am starting work tomorrow. I will just stand alongside some girl who seems to struggle with the English language, and learn as I go. 2000 guests got off the ship today and another 2000 got on. I am feeling a little overwhelmed at the amount of knowledge I need to have. Everyone here seems so intense. The Safety Manager flipped out on me and this other Canadian girl when we were late for class today. He actually threatened to send us back home before we left port. I never realized I would need to know how many lifeboats a ship carries, or how to evacuate the passengers. Isn't there a captain and some sort of safety squad for that??
“I kind of miss home. I packed my life into cardboard boxes in less than a week and left every comfort zone I was sheltered by. The small voice inside of me that I normally ignore finally spoke loud enough to get me here, and now it's still trying to talk me through it. This is supposed to be a chance to see the world and an opportunity to grow.
“Later - My roommates are back and I am sitting in bed. The Romanian girl’s name is Alina. She hardly said two words to me when she got here, but she sure is full of conversation for this guy in her bed now. All I can hear is her giggling and his deep Caribbean accent. I guess he's her boyfriend. I didn't realize we could fit another body into this cabin. Wait...is she really....what the f@#$, they are screwing!
“Does she not realize two other people are in this room? Does she seriously think this curtain that closes around each bunk is sound proof?? I open my curtain and look across at the bunk next to me where the Filipino girl, Carmella, is sitting. I look at her as if to say, "is this really happening?". She smiles obliviously and keeps staring at the TV, slurping her instant noodles. Clearly, this is something she is used to. I'm logging off for the night. I'm not to used to falling asleep to live porn, I think I'll pop in some of these ear plugs they gave us to drown out the sound of the engine and try to get some sleep.”
By Brian David Bruns, author of national best-seller Cruise Confidential.
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