Back…at last

Celebrity MeridianSo, how long has it been? What’s the saying…the road to hell is paved with good intentions. There I was happily thinking about getting a daily blog going. DUH! I find it hard enough to keep posting e-mails to my girlfriend on a daily basis. But hey, you have to make time …and so I will.

Vacation time has swung around again…back with my first cruise company and by far my favourite – Celebrity cruises. This was a cruise line I started my career at. Back in the days of the lovely Horizon and Zenith and…the Meridian. Anyone remember her? I joined as cruise staff and made my way up the ranks with my debut as CD on the Meridian. Excellent start – a baptism by fire without a doubt. I recall we had three very strongly represented and zealous religious groups come on board for the same cruise. OMG – who on earth organized that semi-charter? Here I was, one very green CD, nervous as a kitten in a lightning storm. The groups trudged on – one by one. First the Catholics with a priest wearing sandals and carrying a large religious emblem – almost as large as himself. Then came…the Protestants with an Irish Priest whose eyes glinted with the fire of religious smite, the bible clenched beneath his arm. Then I watched, aghast as the Rabbi and his followers proceeded on board. To say that these groups were at odds with each other would be an understatement. They competed for room space. They competed for converts and they argued their very secular beliefs with great gusto. Terrified, I was the brand new CD caught in the middle ; trying to orchestrate the disharmony of bands with the similar song but different instruments. A cacophony of off-key banter proceeded throughout the 14 day cruise. The ship of Babel….

I would like to say that the Brotherhood of Man came together …mmm…no. They left with their own religious flags proudly hoisted as they had arrived. It left me feeling oddly disturbed at how the message of love and tolerance could be so ironically lost on them. Still, it was an experience and so the adventure began.

Now, a decade later, I return. My first two seasons back have been happy ones. Happier for the fact that I did not have a Take 2 on conducting the precarious, volatile differences of Beliefs. Still, the analogy remains as I observe, somewhat more wisely these days, the persistent differences of all who come to cruise. We have the party animals. We have those seeking peace and quiet. We have those who want more activities. We have those who want to read a book. We have the rude, the kind, the angry and the happy. CD and the 7 guests, I guess. Dopey, Happy, Sneezy…etc. It’s an eclectic mix of souls and I now realize why I love what I do.

I celebrate the differences of all and thank the heavens for never waking up in Ground Hog day. No cruise is ever the same. No guest mix is ever the same. Every cruise is a challenge. I also realized that there are just those people who will not like me or enjoy me or what we try and do. It remains that I will walk away from a cruise and say – Ok, did I give it my best shot? Did I try? If the answer is yes then I know I’m in the right place. If it ever is no, then I know I need to go on land and get a ‘real’ job 🙂

Now, as I enjoy my lovely home, I  drive my car and try not to say good morning to every person I see in the Grocery store aisle. (Apparently land people think you’re crazy if you do that). Strange, they should go cruising and find out there is a world of genuinely happy people who like to greet you and really care about how you are. Ah, if only the world could be a cruise ship…actually, no…then where would I go on vacation?

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