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Vanesa/ Nicole’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 25 Mar 2010

Location: Vila, Vanuatu

Map“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” (Gilbert K. Chesterton)

Being in Brisbane again for a week long layover we have a great deal of time on our hands to think. We were pondering today how we initially came into this journey of self discovery with little to no expectations. We thought like everyone else that we would only manage to stay away for a couple of months, before returning to Canada. As time went on we discovered that we were not just on this journey to be a tourist and stay for a couple of months, we are a true traveler by definition. We are not here to see the common attractions, but rather to learn and grow as individuals, get to know the locals, their lifestyles, and traditions.

If we could describe ourselves in one word right now, that word would be DETERMINED! Like any situations in life things don’t always go your way. Let us tell you, if there was a long route to be taken, you better believe we took it. However, as the saying goes “When life throws you lemons, make lemonade,” we have taken those words to heart and made lemonade out of every situation. We have used that quote as our motto this entire trip, and in our opinion it has worked out quite well.

We have managed to land an amazing job opportunity in our field of child/youth work for P & O Australia Cruise Lines after a long few months of job searching. We have just completed our first week, and absolutely love it. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t quite hold up and we managed to catch some tropical activity from two cyclones which were located to the north of us. This caused 7 – 10 meter high swells which shook the boat pretty good. We were not authorized to dock at our first location which was Noumea, New Caledonia as the swells were too high and it was unsafe to get that close to shore. We did however manage to dock in Lifou, Loyalty Islands and Vila, Vanuatu which were both cute little villages, and boy was it hot there. TRES CHAUD!

The boat that we are working on is called the Pacific Dawn, it holds approximately 2000 individuals in total, 1200 passengers and 800 crew members. There are 14 decks which include: 4 swimming pools, a dance club, show lounge, shops, restaurants, bars, spa, and fitness gym. We could not last a day without getting lost at least once. There are so many doorways and hallways that all look the same. Being entertainment staff we are entitled to use all of these facilities, with restrictions of course. We have met so many new friends from all over the world. Some countries include: The Philippines, England, Scotland, New Zealand and Canada (of course)!

The staff members have been wonderful and very welcoming in terms of showing us around and making us feel at home. Being in the entertainment department means that we are required to dance in a couple of the children’s shows (don’t worry we will bring home a DVD so you can laugh at us.) We have a great number of themed evenings such as: Country & Western, Island Night, Dancing through the Decades, Formal Night (where the children dress up in their cute little prom dresses and mini tuxes.) All these evenings involve dancing to at least two choreographed dances, so when we return we have some dance moves to learn.

We have been fortunate enough to have our contracts extended until the 10th of July. During that time we will also get the opportunity to try out another ship called the Pacific Jewel for two weeks during Pacific Dawn’s dry dock. We are looking forward to getting back to work and truly immersing ourselves in sea life, and getting involved as much as possible. We have noticed that departments don’t seem to be interacting with one another as much. So we are hoping to go back to the ship and work closely with the crew lounge staff to start planning some special events and theme nights for staff onboard. We look forward to introducing new programming into our department; as well as, showing off our new themed night outfits. Stay tuned for some crazy and fun pictures!