The beginning of my journey of life at sea as a chef started when I embarked on a cruise ship in Sweden Stockholm August 2015. I was excited and scared of the unknown I also just turned 21!
I embark on the ship 9am on the dot and got taken to the HR managers office, she gave me forms to fill out introduced me to the executive chef, as he showed me the way to my room he warned me to becareful of some of the men on the ship I had no idea what he meant (I found out what he meant very quickly). I got settled in my single cabin and got ready to start work. I was mislead with food in the crew mess when I arrived there was burgers, hot dogs, fries, icecream! I was so happy the days after that is was rice, rice and rice also some meat and fish. Seriously no exaggeration there was rice for breakfast lunch and dinner. I was definitely mislead😂
I started my journey of the unknown and to be honest it was scary! The ship was massive to me but compared to most ships it was small, the first few days I always ended up getting lost. When I walked through corridors I felt like men would stare at me like fresh meat, I’ve never been exposed to so many men in my working career and I’ve never been noticed by everyone but everyone noticed as there was only few females on board. I panicked because I realised there was only few women on board and hundreds of men. Not only that but I discovered I was the youngest on board and I thought I was not going to make any friends (oh how wrong I was😂). The first 2 weeks I would call my Mum and tell her I’m leaving at the end of the month. I was so convinced I was going to leave.
So during my first week it was quite daunting. I learned how to handle the persistent men and not to let them bother me. I decided I had to change my mindset and be open minded and positive. I found a young girl similar to my age and we bonded straight away. I went out at every port and made more friends and life at sea didn’t seem so bad I started to see the benefits. I learned that when things get tough you have push through for things to get better “there is always a light at the end of a tunnel.”
I got to travel around Europe for free. I made friends from around the world. I had parties every week and I had my own cabin for the month. I got to learn about Filipino culture, Indian culture and plenty more as I met so many people with different nationalities. So that was my first month on board. Not such a great start but it got better very quickly. An update on my second month will be up soon!