While on board we indulged in a few brunches. Admittedly, I really love a good brunch, it is something Italians don’t seem to do. So, when I decided to round up a few of the wives onboard for brunch everyone jumped at the chance for an “all chicks event”.
Although none of us knew each other, the brunch was a big success and the Mimosas and great food certainly kept us there for hours. We all exchanged email addresses and for the rest of the cruise we hung out at the Alchemy bar, Disco and Pizzeria just to name a few. All my years working on ships, I realized that I had never truly embraced the idea of being a passenger. At least not until this past Christmas.
Even though I had many guest priveledges, it is hard to shake that “crew mentality” that comes from years of wearing a name badge and following rules on ships. Even after I quit in 2007, I still held onto the notion that I could not completely cut loose because my husband still works onboard. And in fact, this is still true now, but for the first time, I really embraced the idea of being a guest onboard and let my hair down with a group of women I now call my friends.
I know that once a sailor, always a sailor and that if there was ever an emergency onboard, I would probably click into “crew mode” without batting an eye. I was always proud to be part of such a great team and still think of the ship as my second home.
Of all the wives onboard, I was the only one who had ever worked on ships. It made for great conversation and it was great to hear what their perspectives were from their own experiences as wives of men who work on ships. I think we all gained some new insights over the holidays 🙂
Time went by all too quickly, but I must admit, this past Christmas I was a bit hesitant to go aboard. I didn’t really feel like travelling and my last time onboard I was miserable. We had terrible weather and I was bored and we hardly had any chance to get off the ship together. As I was just there in September and the idea of another International flight so soon didn’t really appeal to me. I wanted to go to the UK to visit my friend Elora instead but the flights were jacked up and I couldn’t afford it.
So, at the last minute I decided to go on the ship. I had already mentally prepared myself for the ridiculously long dinners at the Captain’s table and not being able to get off the ship because there were too many other family members onboard who outranked us. I brought loads of books and aside from some moments in between from my husband’s work schedule, I knew Nina, one of the wives I met in September would be there too. So maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all.
It turned out to be one of my most memorable times onboard as a sailing wife. I also realized, that after following the Captain’s Italian daughter around the ship that it was her second home too. She knew her way around better than me and she was only 10! And she turned out to be the best play date ever. We made towel animals, played mini golf, pigged out on pizza and coke, sprayed all the perfumes on our arms at the gift shops and then sat in the front row together at the show.
Nina was also great company. She loaned me a really pretty dress for New Year’s eve and we had girly moments while I did her hair and make-up for the big night. She kept the Prosecco flowing too which as all my readers know is my favourite beverage of all time 😉
Life is full of surprises and good people make the world go around. I hope there are more brunches and mimosas in my future because I could really get used to all this fun!