One of the best parts of a cruise? Getting to know the people!

Getting to know you

I was thinking this morning about how much I’ve gotten to know so many crew members during all of our cruises over the years.  And about how much I’ve enjoyed getting to know them all.  I can’t think of one crew member that I didn’t really like.  Well, there was that one room steward who never ever smiled, but who knows what was going on in his life at the time?  I smiled at him anyway, it couldn’t hurt, and maybe it helped his day a little.  It’s not an easy job by any means.

Even though I’m a quiet cruiser, I am a people person and my favorite part of a cruise is getting to know others, crew members and fellow cruisers alike.  I have met so many people of so many nationalities, and have gotten to know them a bit.  These are all part of my cruise experience, and the memories will last a lifetime.

Getting to know all about you

So many of the crew that I’ve talked to have left their homes and country and sacrificed to provide a better life for their family.  Vherr, a waiter in the buffet area, was going to work for two years so he could go home and start his own business for his wife and son.  Myat, a room steward, was second generation crew member, and was supporting his grandparents at home. And most of the stories that I hear are the same.   These are not easy jobs by any means and most of them do it with a smile.  I don’t think that I could do it.  Please be sure to tip them.

An then there was Tim Connor, Cruise Director on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas at the time we sailed.  He was raised by parents who were both in the cruise entertainment industry, and eventually, he learned to love it himself.  Read about Tim HERE.  He had a fascinating story.

Maitre d’s

On another cruise, we got to know the Maitre d’, Marcin, who was so kind to us, and even invited us to a private tasting in the galley.  And on our first cruise on Carnival, we met Maitre d’, Nikolai.  And then three years later we saw him again on the Dream, and he remembered us and sent us a bottle of wine for dinner.  And on our last cruise on Empress of the Seas, we met the Guest Services Manager and Hotel Director, who made sure that we had a wonderful cruise.  These are the kind of crew that make a cruise memorable.  No wonder we love it so much.  And here are just a few of the crew members we’ve met over the years!

Friends for life!

Besides crew members, we’ve met some wonderful passengers, some of who have become friends for life.  On Carnival Dream we met a couple that we hit it off with immediately.  We kept in touch, and decided to cruise together again on Carnival Liberty the next year.  He has since passed away, but he was a great guy.  We still keep in touch with her. 

A shore excursion brought a surprise for us.  My husband was talking to a lady from the same area of the country that he’s from.  Within that conversation, he found out that she was a distant cousin!  And of course we’re still in touch.

On Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas we met a couple that sat at our table at dinner every night.  We enjoyed their company and we still keep in touch.  And then on this past cruise to Cuba, we met a very nice lady named Pat, and I’m sure that we will continue to keep in touch.  Thank goodness for Social Media.

My favorite story is from Oasis of the Seas.  We usually like to sit with others at dinner so we can enjoy the conversation.  For some reason the hostess was reluctant to seat us with others, but finally sat us with an older gentleman traveling alone.  The next night she sat us with an older lady traveling alone.  We saw the gentleman from the first night and invited him to join us.  I saw them together later in the cruise, and I’d like to think that a friendship came of that meeting.

It is a small world after all

So, I guess that meeting people from all over the world is one of the things that keeps me cruising. I’ve met them not only on the ship, but on shore during shore excursions. I feel that if all of these people from so many nationalities and creeds can get along on a cruise ship, why can’t we all get along?  After all, life is just one big cruise.   Walt Disney had it right!

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