A Perfect Day In Port

Mar 09, 2023

If you are working on a cruise ship, you know the true meaning of the day off. There is no such thing. When you say " day off", you probably consider the day during the cruise when you start your job late in the afternoon. But If you work longer for some cruise line company, you probably experienced the true gift of 24 hours off on the ship! That happened to me once, and here is my " perfect day at sea"... We were on our usual relocation cruise from Alaska to Hawaii. Cruises in Alaska were not really busy, and crew members were visibly excited about the upcoming visit to Hawaii. The three scheduled Ports- are Maui, Hill, and Honolulu.

The bar manager told us to make a wish list of which port we wanted to be on 24 hours off. He said that most of the guests would be out of the ship anyway, so we would make groups, and we would all be working for two out of those three ports all day long to cover each other, and on the third chosen port of call, we will get the 24 hours off. Wow. Needless to say, all bar staff wanted to be off in Honolulu, so we had a problem. But the bar manager said at the bar meeting either we would find an agreement between ourselves, or nobody would be off in the ports, and we would work our shifts as usual, as per the regular operational schedule. Miraculously, we agreed, and I got my day off in the most beautiful place in the world, Honolulu.

The ship docked in the early morning, around 05 am, in the beautiful Port of Honolulu. I was excited to explore this stunning city outside, so I could not sleep. I woke up around 0430 am and went on the open deck on my hidden spot on the ship, where was the best view of the arrivals. Standing on deck 10, I was trying to absorb the beautiful, peaceful, and indescribable scene in front of my eyes. The pink-blue sky above Honolulu was welcoming our ship in the port. I returned to my cabin in a hurry to prepare for the big day ahead. During the first part of the day, I climbed the famous Dimond Head spot in Honolulu with my friends from the bar department. It took us around 1 hour to climb the stairs upon reaching the summit. It was a steep climb, but it was all worth it. At the top, the one million dollar view. From the very top, you can clearly see Waikiki beach, one of the most famous spots for travelers. 

It was around 11 am when we went to one nice restaurant for a quick lunch break. After that break, we kept our schedule around noon and went further to visit the beautiful, historic reach Island of Oahu. We booked the 4-hour tour that included visiting some stunning places. Oahu was a fantastic place. The island of Oʻahu in Hawaii is often nicknamed  "The Gathering Place." It appears that Oʻahu grew into this nickname; it is now the most populous Hawaiian Island, but in ancient times was not populous and was outranked by the status of other islands. It was such a beautiful 4-hour tour, with amazing vibes and beautiful places...

Around 16h, we went to visit the famous Waikiki beach. That was a spectacular experience, especially for me, coming from a landlocked country, to witness a stunning win sand beach with powder sand. We just ordered some pina colada and were chilling, waiting for the sunset. The adrenalin kept us fresh, and nobody from my group of friends was tired, despite their busy schedules. We just wanted to squeeze the best possible itinerary in the 24-hour time, and we did it. I rented the board for surfing; I was trying to learn how to do it, but obviously needed to gain more talent for it. I even cracked my tooth while attempting to stand on the board and catch the wave. It was soo much fun, and I never felt more stress-free and relaxed on that day.

Shortly after, there was the cheery on the top of the cake, the stunning sunset on the Waikiki beach. Spectacular scenery. You know that feeling when you want to freeze time and the place where you are? That was the moment for me. Watching the beautiful sunset while sipping the pina colada on the Waikiki beach, I almost forgot that I needed to return to work on the ship the next day. Those moments accumulated so much joy and positive energy; it was the best way to make a balance in the stressful ship environment. After the sunset, we went to the nearby restaurant and ordered some amazing pineapple stakes. It was around 19h when I returned to the ship, but only to change my clothes and get ready for the night out in Honolulu. I took a quick shower, freshened up, and around 21h, I was already hitting the dance floor in one famous nightclub in Honolulu.

It was almost 04 am when I came back on the ship. The deadline for returning to the ship for the crew and guests was 06 am, and my work started at 11 am. Without much sleep, I never felt so fresh and energetic. It was much needed day off in one of the most beautiful ports in the world, and I was blessed to get 24 hours off. When I returned to the ship early morning, I felt happy and fulfilled, ready to work hard with new commitments and desires. Finding a work-life balance is essential, especially when working hard on the cruise ship for several months straight. In some contracts, we bearly go out due to our hectic and demanding schedules, but sometimes we get lucky, and indeed, I was fortunate on that day in beautiful Honolulu. Stay safe, focus on your goals, and remain strong, no matter what happens! You are bigger than all the circumstances around you. Enjoy your contracts! God bless you all!