All American Girl in Europe! What it's like to travel Europe every 9 days...

In this very moment you can find me sitting in a quaint coffee shop with good wifi, (thank you Helsinki) in Finland! It's currently 10:50 am (3:50 am. back in the states) and I'm feeling productive and totally in the head space I want to be to work on blogging this beautiful morning! It's a good day to be a tourist. As most of you know I'm traveling the baltic right now on one Norwegian Cruise Line's biggest ships, The Getaway. A lot of thought went into making the decision to join my husband and work on a cruise ship. Back in April he was offered the part of Elvis Presley in a musical called A Million Dollar Quartet, a show he's performed in over 9 months  last year. After much discussion we decided it was the right move financially for us as a couple for him to take this job even though it would make long distance hard.  NYC is really expensive and we were struggling to save living paycheck to paycheck so this opportunity was hard to say not to and obviously traveling a part of the world we have never seen was quite a temptation. Back in April, a few weeks after Chris accepted the performing job I found myself thinking about what the next 6 months were gonna look like with us being a part and not being able to talk since he would be on a ship. After spending most of last year in a long distance marriage I couldn't help but start to wonder if there was any way I could get on the ship! So we pursued it and left it in God's hands. I applied for a position I knew I was qualified for (Youth Counselor) and I got the job! It's such a fun job! Active sports games every night with the kids. We have 3 year olds to 12 year olds in our program. It's basically YMCA but so much cooler if I had to say so myself! 

Our 9 day cruise itinerary looks a little something like this: 

  • Day 1: Copenhagen, Denmark (Embarkation for guests and where I joined the ship) 
  • Day 2: Warnemunde Germany
  • Day 3: Sea Day 1 (the first of only two sea days out of the cruise) 
  • Day 4: Tallinn Estonia
  • Day 5: St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Day 6: St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Day 7: Helsinki, Finland
  • Day 8: Nynashamn, Sweden 
  • Day 9: Sea Day 2

My work schedule is actually pretty amazing compared to most ships and most other jobs on my ship! I work every. single. day. There isn't such thing as weekends as a crew member BUT some days like today I have the entire day off in Port and then I work the later afternoon shift into the night. So today for example I work from 4:45 pm to 10:30 pm. And other than Sea Days (which are just two a week) I have either the morning or night off every day which is soooo nice! Most people who work on the ship as a galley crew member or in the kitchen work 10-12 hour days and only have maybe 2 hours off in the middle of the day to sleep! They work long hours and with little complaint. It makes me grateful for my job. On Sea Days I work around 12 hour days but I just make sure I get enough sleep the night before or it's killer! But most day's I go out in Port and see Europe!

Crew Member Secrets: Crew Parties are a real thing! The other night we had one on 4th of July where all the crew basically gets down with each other on the dance floor and it's endless drinks bar. For me and my married self I don't part take in the dirty dancing but it's a lot of fun to go nonetheless! Where do the crew eat?! All the crew eat together at a place called "The Crew Mess." It's basically the crew cafeteria for meals but every week at certain times we are allowed to eat at the guest buffet called "The Garden." (It's so much better than crew mess!) There's also a bible study on Wednesday nights for crew members and we can use the slides near the pool on a port days! Chris and I love trying all the different restaurants on the ship and hearing live music! Basically it feels like a college every night on board! My philosophy is work hard and play harder! I work long hours but I also have time down time to relax, see some amazing countries, and hang out with my new friends after work! So no complaints from this peanut gallery! Hope you enjoyed reading my crew life story! More blog posts about Europe coming your way soon.

XoXo,

Lauren...