Well Sunday started out my journey into this mind blowing experience that I will call home for the next 8 months. After a couple flights from Indianapolis to Vancouver, Canada, I made my way to Canada Place, the dock in Vancouver for the cruise ships. After I made it through customs as I was about to board the ship, there were about 4 photographers waiting for everyone who came on board. These photographers were diligently making sure that they captured each and every person. When it was my turn I introduced myself and they all seemed surprised that I was not Asian. Apparently they had been discussing among themselves over the last week what the new photographer would look like. I suppose “Kee” sounds Asian and they all had their different ideas on what I would look like, how tall I would be, and even my personality.
So I got right to work signing some papers that needed to be signed in order for me to work on board. There was actually a sheet that I needed to get about 9 signatures from different people in different departments. In order for them to give me their signatures I had to watch various videos and make sure I was up to date on all the ship’s security and safety stuff. So it took about 48 hours to get all of that sorted. Other than that, the first day I was actually put to work photographing and helping set up the photo gallery. I put in about 8 hours of work the first day. Everyone else did about 13 because they had been working since the morning when I was traveling.
Come to find out, 13 or 14 hour days are quite regular! Monday was formal night and so everyone dressed up for dinner and we set up special backgrounds to take photos of everyone. I got up at 8 to start work at 9 and we worked all day until 11 PM. Tuesday I got up at 6 to shoot gangway photos of passengers getting off the ship at Ketchikan. We shot until about 10:30 and then had a break till 3. At 3 we worked until 11 PM again. Today I got up at 7 to shoot photos of passengers getting off the ship here in Juneau. I get a break from 10 until 5:30 and then we’ll work until 11. So I get pretty long days.
The food is excellent. I get as much as I want and it’s free. I have no worries about gaining weight however. This ship has at least 12 levels and we go all around the entire ship and it’s really tiring going up and down so many stairs. There are elevators of course but stairs are often quicker and we need to get places in a hurry. This ship has room for 1,350 passengers and about 800 crew. It’s a giant ship and yet it’s the 2nd smallest ship in the fleet. The largest has 6,000 passengers.
Internet costs 10 cents a minute so I do not get internet access on the ship. I am unwilling to pay that much. I will simply have to wait until we are in a port to access the internet, which is about 4 times a week. We stop at Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau and Seward. I also don’t get cell phone service unless I am at an American port, which are all the ports I just mentioned except for Vancouver.
This week I am not really doing much exploring of the ports as I am just getting in and I’m really tired from all the work and the stress of trying to learn the ship and not get lost. That was a real problem the first day and a half. I have a much better grasp of it now and can make my way around pretty well. I will in the coming weeks do much more exploration and should have fun photos to post. I will also be uploading some photos of the ship and my work areas soon.
That’s about all I’m going to bore you with right now. It’s about time for lunch for me and I feel a nap would be a great thing while I have the chance before work starts this evening.