Day 85 of Traveling the World, The Emerald Princess, Middle of the Pacific Ocean. April 26, 2018.

Ships are floating cities unto themselves. It is hard to believe that so much activity…..meals, casinos, trivia contests, games, drinking, live bands, live shows, bingo, making new friends…..can all happen in the Middle of Nowhere! It was 3,500 miles of blue, blue ocean between Tahiti and LA. It took us a full 8 days of seeing just water to get back to land. We read; played trivia several times per day; watched downloaded movies on our iPads; and attended lectures on sea life, South Pacific culture, classic cars, and the secrets of DNA. Oh, and we ate!…..not every 2 hours, like some, but regular meals with a snack. And the sail was as smooth as glass. Falling asleep in a ship to a gentle rocking is so easy to get used to.

Making new friends on ships is easy. You start talking about something small, and suddenly are telling all. The photos below are of the beloved crew members who made our 27 days enjoyable. They are the ones who were interested in us, and in most everybody….talkative, inquisitive, warm, and funny. The first photo is the atrium of the Emerald Princess. Then, the cast of characters:

🛳 Fermeniman from Jakarta. (Not sure of the spelling….sorry, My Imam!) He worked in the breakfast buffet, and always called out to me with a big smile and kind eyes. He was happy to do anything at all, but would always get us a bowl of nuts for our morning cereal and yogurt. He did everything with joy. Our conversations were always rushed, as the buffet got so busy, but he is going home to his wife Yuni tomorrow. A wonderful man, My Imam!

🛳 Csaba from Budapest. Csaba worked in the back of the buffet, where we escaped every day for some quiet to read or watch Jeopardy. He walked fast, worked hard, and loved hearing about our travels whenever he had a breather. He was always willing to get us whatever we needed, and in fact, he insisted!

🛳 Sherida from Nicaragua. When we saw her name, we sang “Sherry” to her by the Four Seasons, but she had never heard the song. “Maybe when I get home and have Internet, I will listen to it,” she said. Such a nice woman…very interested in our story of traveling. She was always enthusiastic and always smiling!

🛳 Samuel from the Philippines. Samuel taught us a few Tagalog expressions – an informal hello is ….kumusta? I thought he was saying, como esta? – which I know from Spanish, so that was easy. And mabuti is an informal way of saying it’s all good, or a casual thanks. I remembered it by thinking of My Booty, and I greeted poor Samuel most days by calling him Mabuti. He worked in the buffet and brought us coffee most mornings. He was always smiling and always very kind.

🛳 Sandra from Winnipeg. Sandra is definitely a character on board the Emerald. She is part of the Cruise Director’s staff and ran trivia about once a day. She is funny, articulate, and very personable. She said several times that she was married to the sea, and truly enjoys her time on board. She has a different pair of glasses for each day, all wild and unusual!

I love these people. They made life on board enjoyable for about a month of our travels, succeeding in making their cruise a great one. It is the crew and itinerary that make us return to a cruise line, not so much the food or amenities. These crew members shine!