Real Estate and Forex and Life, Oh My!

Apparently I don't know what it means to be a consistent blogger. Anyways there are a few things to be updated in my life. 1. Real Estate Investing Since last November I have been interested in investing in real estate. I Read more

Time Keeps Marching

The summer has been a whirlwind of fun. My parents were here for about 6 weeks, though they did travel a lot during that time. I was able to spend about 8 days with them down at my sister's Read more

Made It Through The Winter!

Well it seems that the winter is finally over. In fact there wasn't much of a spring around here. As my friend Casey put it, in Wisconsin there is winter, and then there's a death match between winter and Read more

New Job Finally

I've been back in the States since October and have had a couple of jobs here and there, but they weren't very good and didn't last long. Well it's been just a bit over four months and I finally Read more

I've Been Everywhere Man

Well I have now come to the end of my career on cruise ships. I thought it'd be nice to provide a little list of all the places I've been in the last 3 years. Most of the names Read more

I'm Off to See the Wizard

The wonderful wizard of Alaska!! Yeah I can't wait to be back in Alaska. Sounds strange to say that because it's gonna be 5 long months of hard work but it's gonna be a nice change - at least Read more

Skydiving in Honolulu

Well, this is definitely something worth writing about. I jumped out of an airplane. The airplane was 14,750 feet in the air. The free fall was 60 seconds. It was amazing. I had never thought about sky diving before Read more

Next Contract - Panama Canal and Alaska

With also a few other places thrown in such as Tahiti, Bora Bora, Hawaii and Christmas Island!! If you're interested please see below my itinerary for this next contract on the ms Statendam. I'll be joining it during dry dock Read more

Asia 2011

Hong Kong Style

Hong Kong is amazing. Up to this point in my life if there is anywhere I would really love to live it would be Hong Kong. I really enjoyed Singapore and I think it’d be cool to live there too, but it’s just a bit too hot. There are also a bunch of rules about what you can and cannot do in public, and it’s freakin’ expensive too. The only thing I have against Hong Kong is that they speak Cantonese instead of Mandarin. Now you can get by with Mandarin but the default that most people speak is Cantonese so it’s just a little annoying. In the grand scheme of things I can handle that, maybe I’d even learn Cantonese.

I went up to Victoria’s Peak, which has an amazing view. I think it should have taken me about 45 minutes in the bus, but there was a huge accident and we ended up sitting around for about an hour while the cops and ambulance and tow truck came to clear everything away. Including both the ferry and the bus it was only about $4 USD round trip. For lunch I had niu rou mian, which was also very cheap yet incredibly tasty. When I’m done with ships…expect to find me here. =D

Posted on in Asia 2011, Cruise Life 5 Comments

Asia Cruisin’

Well, I’ve been having a nice cruise around southern Asia thus far. I’m getting to see a lot of cool new places and experiencing a lot of great culture that either I have never experienced before, or I haven’t for a very long time. It was great being in Bangkok because even though I don’t speak Thai, it is very familiar to me as I spent 9 winters in Chiangmai for ELIC mid-year conferences. The dock in Bangkok that we docked at was actually about a 2 hour drive away from Bangkok, but my manager Tino and I decided to go for it and head to Bangkok. We rented a taxi for $150 round trip and the guy took us all around Bangkok seeing a lot of cool sites. I got many really neat photos but…..

The sad part to this is that my camera was stolen from my cabin after I got back that night. I set my camera down in my room and didn’t think about my camera until the next day when I needed it for a photo shoot. Well my camera was no where to be found. The ship security has been doing cabin searches and nothing has been found. I just made a claim to my insurance company and so I should be able to get the camera and lens replaced minus the $250 deductible that I have, but I won’t be getting the photos back. I’m really bummed about this but at least it was only one port worth of photos that were on the camera. I need to make sure I download photos to my computer right away from now on.

Until I get to Alaska I’m going to have to use one of the company back up cameras that are really old and falling apart. Once in Alaska I’ll order a new camera and have it sent to the ship. Ah well.

I have updated my photo gallery with photos from Cambodia which I took yesterday. Tomorrow is Vietnam and I plan to get a lot of nice ones there as well.

Posted on in Asia 2011, Cruise Life 8 Comments

Singapore Photos

I have uploaded some photos from Singapore to my photo gallery.

Posted on in Asia 2011, Cruise Life 5 Comments

Welcome To Singapore

The itinerary has changed a little because of the stuff going on in Japan, so here is the new itinerary:

Singapore, Republic of Singapore (April 14th)
At Sea
Nathon (Koh Samui), Thailand
Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand
Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
At Sea
Nha Trang, Vietnam
At Sea
Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong, China
At Sea
At Sea
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
At Sea
Nagasaki, Japan
At Sea
KOBE, (OSAKA) JAPAN
At Sea
Busan, Korea
At Sea
Vladivostok, Russia
At Sea
At Sea
At Sea
Petropavlovsk, Russia
At Sea
At Sea
At Sea
Kodiak, Alaska
At Sea
Sitka, Alaska
Cruising the Inside Passage
VANCOUVER, CANADA (May 18th)

Now this is kinda cool I think because I will now be able to go to Korea! I’m not sure about Russia though because I need to have my Seaman’s book in order to get in, and it’s still not here, so I might just have to stay on the ship on those days. Several Japanese ports have been taken out but I’m still going to two Japanese ports, so it’s all good.

Currently I’m in Singapore however. The first night I got here and they weren’t expecting me and with all the contraction going on in the ship, they didn’t really have a place for me to sleep. So I slept in the Ocean Bar. That’s one of the bars upstairs where old people usually go to have a drink and do some dancing with somebody playing on the piano. Anyways the entire ship is a wreck right now. I did get into a room yesterday though so I was able to have a nice sleep last night. I also went downtown with some friends yesterday. We went to Sentosa Island, which is a really neat place. This afternoon I’m going to go to Chinatown and Little India. Then later I’m planning on meeting Gabe and Benita and we’ll go out together. I really like Singapore and it’d be a great place to live, except for one thing: the heat. I am sitting in my cabin right now sweating buckets and I’m not even moving. I really want to go out and explore but it’s just so hot that I almost don’t want to go. I will of course however.

Well, I think that means it’s about time I went out. Ciao, and enjoy your cold weather wherever you are!

Posted on in Asia 2011, Cruise Life 7 Comments

Great News!

One doesn’t normally think of 6:30 in the morning as a time for great news, but today was one of those days. My phone rings and it’s some odd number that clearly isn’t from the US. I was thinking that it might be the UK office from my company, but it turns out it was Tino, my previous photo manager on the Ryndam. Turns out he’s going to be the manager on the Volendam! I’m super excited to get to work with him again. I already know what to expect from him so it’s going to make easing into this contract a whole different story from last time. Also I know other crew members on the ship so all around I feel more comfortable at the start of this contract than the last. I guess it makes sense but it’s making a significant difference to how I feel about it.

Posted on in Asia 2011, Cruise Life 1 Comment

Contract Numero Dos!

I have just received my flight details for my next contract. I’ll be flying out of Milwaukee with a final destination of Singapore. I’ll be joining my next ship the Volendam there in Singapore on April 10th, after several very long airplane rides. I’m hoping to spend some time with my roommate from college and another college friend while I’m in Singapore. The ship will be in dry dock until the 14th of April so I’m gonna have a couple days to explore a little bit.

When the ship leaves however I’m going to have a very exciting itinerary!

Singapore, Republic of Singapore (April 14th)
At Sea
Nathon (Koh Samui), Thailand
Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand
Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
At Sea
Nha Trang, Vietnam
At Sea
Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong, China
At Sea
At Sea
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
At Sea
Nagasaki, Japan
At Sea
KOBE, (OSAKA) JAPAN
At Sea
Yokohama (Tokyo)
Yokohama (Tokyo)
At Sea
Hakodate, Japan
Kushiro
At Sea (Pacific Ocean)
At Sea
At Sea
At Sea
At Sea
Kodiak, Alaska
At Sea
Sitka, Alaska
Cruising the Inside Passage
VANCOUVER, CANADA (May 18th)

For the times where a certain city is listed twice in a row that means the ship will be in that port overnight. After May 18th I’ll be doing Alaskan cruises out of Vancouver until the beginning of September. At that point, assuming I haven’t been transferred to a different ship, the Volendam will be repositioning to Australia and New Zealand via Hawaii. I’m really hoping I get to stay on the ship for that!

Posted on in Asia 2011, Cruise Life 5 Comments

I’m Freeeeee!!!

I’m currently in the Charlotte airport on my way back to Indianapolis. It’s hard to believe that I’ve left my home for the past 8 months. Anyways, I just want to say that my current address to receive mail is:

924 Lindberg Rd.
Anderson, IN 46012

Once I get to my next ship I’ll update with a new address.

Posted on in Caribbean 2010-2011, Cruise Life 5 Comments

What Makes Success?

Has the last 8 months of my life been a success? Well the answer is a resounding YES. I haven’t changed the world, been hired by National Geographic or cured cancer, but I have done a few particularly good things. I have been to more countries in the last 8 months than the rest of my life. And that’s saying something. I’ve made a lot of GREAT friends. I’ve made (and saved) some money. I’ve learned a lot of great skills in photography, sales and basic dealing with people skills. I’ve had SO much fun.

I’ve learned a lot about people too. Living with so many different kinds of people really forces you to get to know other types of people and learn to either like it or deal with it. I think working on a cruise ship is a great way to broaden your horizons and stretch yourself out of your comfort zone in a big way. My next contract isn’t official yet, but I’m pretty sure I know what it will be. I’ll post about that later once it’s official. I do know that I’m coming back to Indiana for sure on February 27th, which is this Sunday! I’ll have around 6 weeks vacation to sleep, eat and see friends. Don’t ask me to do any work, I won’t. 😉

For the rest of this week, I’m gonna be having a lot of fun. I’ll be going to a nice waterfall in Jamaica, going around Cayman with Mrs. Fraizer, hanging out in Cozumel with friends, and enjoying the last night on the ship in the OB. I’m gonna miss all you my Ryndam friends, the cool thing is though that I’ll see many of you again on another ship.

And now I must return to the ship or I’ll be left behind here in Keywest…

Posted on in Caribbean 2010-2011, Cruise Life 6 Comments

Count Down To The Future

My contract has been extended one week because of some inspections that the ship is going through. Apparently I need to be around for this, so I’m staying on one extra week for that. This means I’ll be going back to Indiana on February 27th. I’m gonna have about 6 weeks break and then my next contract starts on April 13th. I’ll be joining the Volendam in Singapore and traveling north around Asia for about a month before the ship goes over to Alaska. After Alaska it will be going down to Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand. So I’ll have another very interesting contact coming up.

As I mentioned in my last post, I participated in the Miss Ryndam contest. I didn’t win, but I sure had a lot of fun. Apparently I was in the running to win but I didn’t change my dress between the talent portion and the portion where you answer a question. Apparently I was supposed to be wearing a different dress for that, but I didn’t know. Anyways I had a ton of fun and I know most of the people there wanted me to win…why…I’m not sure. I will say however that since the show, every single day I have had someone tell me that I make a beautiful girl. The first two days I couldn’t keep track of how many people told me that, but it’s been more than a week and people are still commenting on it. Don’t tell anyone but…. I secretly liked it. Shhhh…. The sound system was screwed up so I didn’t do as good at the dancing part as I would have liked, as I couldn’t really hear my song. But there is a video and I’m currently trying to figure out how to convert a .vob file to .mov without buying a program to do it. Once that is figured out I’ll upload a video to Youtube. In the meantime a few photos will have to suffice.

Posted on in Caribbean 2010-2011, Cruise Life 8 Comments

The Day That Never Came….Until Today

Today is the first day that I got a full day off. We’ve been having this competition the last 4 weeks in the photo department on who gets the most Black Label bookings, who sells the most photo packages and things like that. Well I won and so the reward is that I get a whole day off. My goodness, let me tell you how nice it is to get a whole day where I don’t have to talk to passengers, deal with the printer, or touch a camera. It’s been super nice and I feel truly refreshed.

This coming Friday is the Ms Ryndam competition, aka Miss Ryndam. This is a cross dressing Miss America type competition. Each department is supposed to have somebody competing, so I’m going to be the cross dressing addition to this year’s Ms Ryndam competition for the photo department. Oh yes, it is going to be quite a sight. I’m not sure exactly what type of dress I’m going to be wearing, but I will indeed be in some sort of dress. There’s also a talent competition. I wouldn’t spill the beans if I expected any of you to be in attendance, but as you won’t, I plan to sing along with Vitas, a Russian singer. The particular song that I’ll be singing with is the very high pitched screaming that he does. I’ll also definitely come up with some super talented dance moves to go with the song and I’m sure it will be a treat for everyone who happens to be at this competition. There might even be some video recording that takes place, so I might be able to post a link to the video on YouTube some time in the future, but please don’t hold your breath for that. Anyways it’s gonna be a lot of fun to be a complete idiot in front of all my friends….

Right….

Posted on in Caribbean 2010-2011, Cruise Life 8 Comments
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