Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rocky Seas

Time is flying by!

Tonight the ship is rocking. I love it! It's fun to watch the passengers try so hard just to stay upright and it's fun to engage my abs and but and some serious leg muscles in order to walk fairly normal. This rocking also really puts me into a deep sleep. I missed this on land. Luckily I've never been sea sick, even through 100 foot waves! I enjoy the ride :)

There's a new set of passengers on board. They just arrived today. So far I've met two nice couple that I feel will be good listeners and friends for at least the length of the cruise and hopefully longer. That's one part of cruising I love; meeting new people I'd never have the chance to meet otherwise, and becoming life long friends.

The trio put on our first stage show a couple days ago. As a group we all were the least prepared for this show than any other in our lives. The sound check wasn't enough time, the lighting wasn't correctly done, and we didn't have enough time to thoroughly rehearse the music. Even so, it went surprisingly well, and I'm sure the audience was none the wiser. I'm guessing we'll put on more shows but since we've been through this one we'll be better prepared for the rest.

So far in the cruise I've only been off in Quebec City. I've been so busy with trainings, rehearsals, and research that I haven't had a chance to eat normal meals or sleep 8 hrs a night, let alone go out in port. I'm truly hoping that since much of the training is done that I'll be able to use those extra hours for some sight seeing, sleeping and eating :)

Working for NCL is really awesome. I'm so happy here. Here's to cruising the high seas for several more years to come!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quebec City

The last two days we've been docked in Quebec City. The first day the trio went out and walked around a small part of the city, seeing sights like the Plains of Abraham and the Castle of Frontenac. It was a beautiful day and there were street artists in abundance as well as many art galleries in the open air and the restaurants all had their outdoor seating filled to abundance.

Today after yet more training, two of us took off again into a different part of the city. We browsed through a local grocery store, a couple music shops, and a beautiful Catholic cathedral. We also saw a couple parks and walked down several quaint neighborhood streets. It was another beautiful day in Quebec City, and we enjoyed it to the fullest.

We have been playing every night and it's been going quite well. I've been fortunate to sell several cd's already on this first cruise. If that continues than I'll sell out of what I brought which is my goal of course. I don't want to bring any cd's back with me. We have a consistent group of listeners and I've had the chance to speak with several of them and they're quite nice. The best part is that we only have to play 3 hrs a day; not 5! It makes an enormous difference. I feel like I can give my all on the stage instead of conserving energy to make it through the night. We've also been sight reading a lot. At least half of what we played tonight was sight reading and I feel lucky to have a group that can and will sight read on stage. We rehearse every sea day though (there are lots of sea days) and some port days.

We're still going through lots of training. I have two more trainings in the morning and there are more the following days. Because my schedule is upset I've only managed to go to the gym once. But the crew gym here is nice. It has 2 of nearly every thing and is open all the time. The only problem I have is that I usually make it through an hour on the eleptical by watching a tv show on my netbook. Unfortunately my battery won't last that long anymore and just a couple days ago the computers transmission/connection to the earport terminal crashed so I can't use headphoned now :(

But life is good; no life is great! I'm really having fun performing with this trio and I'm looking forward to exploring more new cities and countryside. There's lots to be done still. I have much research to do on the new music and we have lots of music yet to rehearse and add to our repetoire. There are plenty of trainings left and there are still a few kinks to work out but life is beautiful!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Continuing to readjust to ship life.

NCL is all that I've heard. The best line to work for out of 4 cumulative between the trio members. There are some down sides and small things like not being able to bring non sealed food back to the ship. So no more leftover pizza for breakfast the next morning. You also can't buy anything without swiping your card. I'm used to just saying my room number and the person types it into the computer. Nothing needed. You also don't have direct deposit available. That's inconvienent more than anything else. But these things are all petty compared to the fact that we have to play less hours, the company is very flexible with our schedule, we always get dinner, there is very little segregation, and the cruise line lets you do what you do best. It's really quite refreshing.

Today was our first port, Halifax, but we're still in training so the morning was consumed with that and the rest was with finishing paperwork, meetings, and rehearsal. Then it was off to work. I will be getting off sometime in Quebec City in a day though. A couple supplied I need to get.

All in all, I'm having a fabulous time. I really really hope that we get extended or that we get offered another contract.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Back at Sea

It's been a very long couple of days what with training starting early in the morning and then having to run errands all afternoon and then work all evening. I'm exhausted, but happy.

When the training is over I'll be able to get my workout schedule and sleep schedule and most importantly, bar schedule in place.

Fortunately, training should be mostly over in a week.

The trio is melding well together and we're having lots of fun. It's a good group and I really hope we can keep this up and working for a while.

I'll write more later, but I'm going to bed now. It's midnight and the days are 17 hours long these days and today I only managed time for a bowl of oatmeal at 8 a.m. and a sandwich at 10 p.m. So much to do I can't even fit in meals. I'm hoping for a better meal schedule tomorrow :)

Soon though things will get sorted out and all will be normal. It's just the requirements of joining a new cruise line. It's been so long for me I'd forgotten how exhausting and rigorous the schedule is. And for me as band leader, it's even more so. But it's worth it :)

Friday, September 7, 2012



I'm finally heading back out to sea. Spent all day in airports and busses and getting a great workout hauling all my stuff around...in heels :)

Finally made it to the hotel tonight and after a terrible dinner and a nice rehearsal it's the last free internet I'll have for a while.

Wish you could all come on a cruise and let me entertain you!

Until then, you'll just have to dream...


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I LOVE My Family

The last few days have been wonderful. Staying with family out in the country, and visiting other family nearby. It's been so good to get to know them better; visit, learn, play, and just be a part of the family. The last two family reunions I've missed since working on ships, but coming back to where many of my roots are helped me realize how much I love them and missed getting to know them more at the reunions.

I truly hope that in the next year I can come back and visit again. It's been a real uplifting, motivating, and all around happy experience that I can't wait to repeat!

Watching my family work I realize how smart they are, how skilled they are, how selfless they are, how kind they are, how patient they are, how loving they are, how giving they are, and how truly blessed I am that they are my family!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New glasses!

My last pair of glasses from high school finally broke about a month ago. And when I say broke, I mean they were not fixable. Multiple parts were broken and I was just going to have to buy new frames. Of course, no place will sell you frames without the lenses and the prescription has to be current for that so there is a reason it's been over a month since my glasses broke before I write this blog entry.

But finally I got the money and ordered my "free" pair of glasses from Coastal.com

I did a decent job with the help of a friend, in picking them. They're not as tall as I'd like, but they definitely work better than my broken ones!

Here's a before and after photo.

And if you're not color blind, these new glasses frames should bring out the color of my eyes!

What ya think folks? Any have an opinion? Should I send em back or keep them?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Country living

My family is from the country, as all of ours were at some point in history. But many of mine are still true farmers with big farm land out in rural countryside. I'm talking no paved roads, leaving the house door unlocked, keeping the car key in the ignition at all times, and owning a motor home. Lucky for me, I get the motor home all to myself for the next 3 nights and 2 days. It's spacious and private and I can even pick up the internet signal from the house. Boy do I feel spoiled....until tomorrow comes around and I'm out taking care of cows and driving tractors.

But in the mean time, my family is awesome! This is what I was greeted with upon arrival :)

A nice clean living space all to myself.

And a fully stocked fridge as well as a variety of cereal and candy!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lipault Luggage Desire

So if there is anyone out there that reads my blog and feels generous toward my plight of luggage here's a plea to you.

I've been using a Walmart folding duffle bag for the last 3 years. It's now covered in camo tent tape to hold it together, but I still use it. However, I really need a new one. Not only does the bag have holes I can't tape anymore around the zipper but it's so difficult to pull behind me when walking through the airport since it doesn't have a stiff back nor an extending handle.

I've hunted for a new piece of luggage for a couple years but I need something so specific that I just hadn't found anything that was perfect; until now!

Ever heard of Lipault?

It's a brand that you can buy in the US now, but it's absolutely perfect for me! It's a foldable line of luggage. Now, I'm assuming you all know I live in my car so a non collapsing piece of luggage just isn't an option, but I need something better than what I have now so a cheap replacement isn't a good option. It's amazing my duffle has lasted as long as it has because everyone else I know on ships that bought them all had them destroyed by the airlines between one or 3 flights. I've been lucky, and the tape has helped but I'm ready for something sturdier.

So to help you know more about Lipault, here are a few links for your perusing.

The first link has the line laid out nicely. You can see what options there are. I'm only interested in either the 26" or 28" wheeled upright or the 27" rolling duffle. I'll have to replace my carry on soon, but after my duffle.

And this has nothing to do with my decision making (my current luggage is black), but I love the fact that this luggage comes in fabulous colors!!!!

The second link is a forum site with many comments and reviews on the luggage.

All in all, I believe this luggage would be the perfect fit for me and my lifestyle.

Now just to acquire some....