sexta-feira, 6 de novembro de 2009

Arrivederci Edd - Barboy Costa Magica


Where you are, I hope you are in peace! That God be with you and you have comfort and that all the hearts of the people closes to you are quiet now! That they learn how to be without you and only remember the good times with you. Our friendship was brief but wonderful, It was great had met you and wherever you are now, please look at us!

Today we had a big lost. One of the crew members of Costa Magica passed away. He was about a month in a hospital e today he didn't resist the treatment and the worse came to happen.
Now we pray God to send him peace and lig
ht. That all the angels of God take care of aour friend Edivaldo from the bar. His last contract was at Costa Magica were he met Fabiana his girlfriend that took care of him until the end, She is a brave girl, and I really hope she gets better.
Edd was not so close friend to me like he was for others. I remember that almost everyday, when I used to go out from the pizzaria, at 3:00 am, I used
to see him at the corridors or the smoking point, where everybody from the bar used to be by this time.
He also was
always at the deck 9, working at the buffet.
He was important because, every time we called him to attend some passengers, he was always available. Nobady from the bar liked to work there, eider did him, but were always smiling and very polite.
Good bye,
so long,
far well...

sexta-feira, 23 de outubro de 2009

Parties on board

Parties on board

Crew parties are like this:
The priest is charged for the parties. It happens 2 or 3 times a month. It depends on the priest on board. Some times, they serve the soft drinks and pizza for free, some times they have the open bar, with the cheaper drinks or, they just put the DJ (music) without food or drinks. It does not need any motive, it just happen. The DJ is a volunteer crew member; There is a special place for the parties, which can be a disco or the reserved place place for food, where we call staff mess or crew mess. At Costa Magica I went to parties at the crew beach, at the crew and staff mess and in a disco (deck 12) there works only for crew members, but I heard that some times they do parties in the passengers disco also for crew.
They put special lights, that keep blinking like in the disco, and the music they play is very democratic. But, Reggaeton is the most played hit in all party. They put also Merengue, Axe Music, Dance, Techno, some times Indian songs and depending on the occasion, also Filipinos songs.
Brazilian people are the most animated people in the parties, they don't miss one.
When there is no alcoholic drinks at the party, the crew members goes to the crew bar and when the crew bar closes, they go to the staff mess where after mid night they sell drinks. And them, after a fell drinks, the crew go to the party.
Something very funny about the ship life is that the crew members creates a new character for the life on board, so it is very common to have some unusual fashion style, specially for the party. Something that is also curious is the quantity of gay people on board, seams like they put themselves out of the closet, the crew member is free to do everything they wanna do, but they don't do in their real life.

segunda-feira, 28 de setembro de 2009

Feding on board

Well! This is a very important subject, once that the work on board is very heavy and you must to be well fed to handle it. The thing is, inside a ship, healthy food is something hard to have access. There are 40 different nationalities on board and to please all of them is impossible, so if they please a bigger number of people as possible, it's better. The higher number of crew members are Filipinos and Indians, so the food that pleases the taste of them is more frequent. Is very common to see cattle entrails on the menu and lots of rice!
If you hear the jargon "Como arroz!", don't be surprised, this is a large appreciated
delicacy in the ships.
Fruits and salads are always in the end, who arrives before eats it, or the wise you have to make do with what you have. Who works in the restaurant got the mafia, even those it is forbidden to eat passengers food, there is no cameras to spy you, so you can grab some fruits and balance your diet. Some waiters eat after the service, while they are cleaning their station.
Staff members have better food, but they've discount at their salary for it.
Other thing that interferes in the food is the working schedule. Because it always changes, so you don't have a straight routine and it's very common to start the morning shift without eating and be for hours with the empty stomach. But if you think that it will make you loose weight, you are wrong. When you stay for hours without eat, your body will be in enormous stress, asking for food, so when you finally eat, your body absolve all the nutritious and keeps some for the next time that your body will be for a long time without food. That reserve is in shape of fatness. So, you will get fat and still your body will be weak.
Concluding, be aware to it. Use the mafia to take care of you health!!!

domingo, 27 de setembro de 2009

Family visitors on board

Family on board

A nice thing when you are in Brazil is to have your family on board. They can come on board the ship, while it is at the port, they can walk around the ship, and they can eat at the buffet without expend any money for this. And when you are in your break, you can go with them and show the ship and eat in the buffet with them. This is very easy, you just have
to fill up a form, that the crew office lives close to the door, over a box written "visitors", so you put the name, age, ID number and birthday date, you can bring until five people on board and you put this form inside the visitors box, three days before the port were you family will be in the ship. The security will take the forms, show to the staff captain, he will sign it giving the permission and them, the name of all the visitors will be in a list, which the federal police will have a copy, so, your family will show some ID with a picture, the security will hold it during the whole time your visitor is inside the ship and when him/her lives the ship, the security will deliver
the ID back. You can invite family, friends, whoever... They can use the pool, eat at the buffet, as they were passengers, they just can't buy anything because in the ship they don't accept money, but if you want to offer some drinks to them, you gonna have to buy it with your crew card.
Now, if you are a very friendly person and now people from every department on the ship, you use you mafia to get some free drinks, gifts and also special treatment to your visitors. When the ship is not moving, like in port, all the stores inside the ship closes, they only work at sea, so your visitors don't have access to buy in the duty free, so if you want to buy something to them, you'll have to buy it before. The crew members has 20 % off discount buying things in the ship. Drinks only have discount at the crew bar, in the regular bars the crew member have no discount.
The crew members are also allowed to buy cruises for their family and friends. They only pay 20% of the whole price of a regular cruise, so it is very cheap, any crew can afford it.

quinta-feira, 24 de setembro de 2009

Friendship on bord

On board there are hundreds of crew members. It's wearied to be very close to someone that you hardly know, but believe me. On board, even if you don't know the name of some
one, is very common share the same plate to everybody. Everybody is family on board. But don't get it in the wrong way. People cares more about you, when you have something to offer, after that, you're just one more, so be careful and don't trust people so deeply, because you can hurt yourself.

Also if you want to date someone. Don't create a whole history about some one that maybe is only with you for the
same reason that you are with them, company, or even sex.
All this is allowed, by be careful, he/she can hurt your feelings.
Be polite to all, smile, help them, coz' the same way they need you, you will need them anytime. Be a political person, talk to everybody, the guy that cleans the bathroom and t
he captain, the dishwashers and the officers, the guys from laundry and the high position, you never know what could happen to your or when you may need somebody.
On board you can never be jealous, never be possessive, just enjoy it as long as you can.
Of course is possible to find some truly friends, somebody that you will love for the rest of your life, and also the love can become a matrimony, who knows?

Brazilian Ports


During the Brazilian season, We visit some ports in beautiful cities. It's amazing to see from the see, so many different places from the same country. This way is easy to know how Brazil is rich in culture and diversities.

Salvador - Bahia

Between all the places that the ship goes, Salvador is one of the most expected city. I would never say that this is the most beautiful city in Brazil, 'coz I could be unfair to the others, but Salvador has something magic and it has so many colors and the weather is so nice, also people are very helpful and joyful.
The good thing in Salvador for the crew is that everything is very close to the port. Pelourinho is the biggest colonial architecture in latin America, and you can visit a very amazing place, where culture is very strong. Farol da Barra is another close place from the port, there is a good beach and is goog for memorable pictures of Salvador. There are Rio Vermelho, Pituba, Itapuã, Abaeté and if, you have extra time, you can go to Stella Maris, that is wonderful for surfing, but is a little far from the port, it's about 40 minuts by cab.

Copacabana - Rio de Janeiro

Well, Rio is internationaly known and some places there are tipical to visit. like Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Corcovado and the suggar bread mountains, so having a fresh coconut water is the minimun thing that you can do there. If you don't have much time, but you need to buy something for your cabin, there is a street called Rio Branco, cross the Mauá square, is a commercial center in that avenue. There are pharmacies, lotteries, and many stores.

Búzios - Rio de Janeiro

Also in Rio de Janeiro, Búzios is a Paradise. During the day it has beautiful beaches and during the night, all the stores are still working and you can buy fantastic clothes for a very special price. The bars and the dancing clubs are espetacular, but there is a creperie where everything happens, there is the point of Buzios, that is Chez Michou, a french guy is the owner, him together with some guys prepers the creps and that is a particular guy that prepers it so fast that you can't follow it. They have a DJ, and when the creps are done, they
call your name at microphone. Yet, they have some original drinks which you will love.

Fortaleza - Ceará

Fortaleza has beautiful beaches, but you have to take a cab, Do not get out from the port by feet, it's a little dangerous. But it takes only five till ten minuts to arrive to the handicraft market, and the edge. The things in Fortaleza are not expensive, but at the beach you have to rent umbrella, beach chair and the cooler, this is not like in Salvador, that if you buy something in the beach hut, you don't need to pay just to sit in those chairs. The water is so clear, the sky is so blue, you have to go to Fortaleza at list once in a life time! The ship only passe by Maceió during the crossing.

Ilha Bela - São Paulo

Who could ever imagine that São paulo has a place so charming and nice as Ilha Be
la? This island lives up to name. The sky is very clean and the water is so clear. There are some nice small restaurants, Some bars close to the edge and there is a particular hostel where you can have lunch for a small price, to use the pool and if you have your lap top, you have free wi-fi access. At night is also good to go out from the ship, coz' the bars stay open for the passangers.

Ilhéus - Bahia

If you take a cab, you can go around the downtown, stop at the home madden chocolate store to buy some peculi
ar chocolate called "Gabriela" and "Nacib", that has male and female genital parts shape. You can stop by the handicraft for gifts and go to the millionary beach. But be smart, there are many street vendors offering too many things, you have to be patient with it. But the beer is not expensive and you can have a nice sunbathing.

Maceió - Alagoas

This is a very beautiful city. The edge is all flat, and the water is very clear. People there are very simple, but joyful. Only 5 minutes buy cab and you are at the edge. Nice ploace to have a good sunbathing and a cold beer.
The ship only passe by Maceió during the crossing.

Recife - Pernambuco

The Brazilian Venice, Recife is cutten by the Capibaribe river and you can go walking everywhere. The handicaft store is very close, cross the bridge and walk about 5 minutes to the left side. The ship only passes by Recife during the crossing.

See Brazil throught the coastline is an experience in a life time. worth living to see this!!

Brazilian Season

Is that what they like more... Beija flor visiting Costa Magica at the Roberto Carlos Cruise


After the crossing, I could see the difference between European and Brazilian public. It's way too different... GOD!!!

European are very polite, silence, they like to read, they hardly go to the pool, they consume lots of wine and different kinds of drinks, they play at the casino, they buy at the duty free and they go to the theater, they watch the music shows, they go to spa, gym, they do the hair and they are always circulating in the indoors areas, they also go outside to see the places the ship goes, they eat out and they buy gifts for their families, they also take pictures using the ship services. Brazilian people usually are always at the pool and the buffet, they don't like the formal services or to use the ship services, they go around the ship in first cruise day to take pictures, but after this they eat, eat, eat and when they are not in the pool, they are drinking beer, or dancing.

So, if the company wants to have the Brazilian public, they have to full the beer deposit, to have at list two DJ's and put all the pools working well, besides the food services, that must to work all day long!!!

Increnable, they never stop eating!!!

Brazilian is noisy, happy, lazy, and very annoying, they never read the Today, and so they always ask about everything. It mean lot work to do!

But you think it is bad to work with Brazilian? No way! This is so funny, they are always so worried about us, and they ask so many stupid questions, that is no way to be borried working for them. By the way, I am one of them, and I know I am not so different from them. When I travel as a passanger, probably I'll behave just like this.

quarta-feira, 19 de agosto de 2009

First impressions

Fears and doubts discoveries

I arrived in Savona at november 16 2008 for the crossing to Brazil. It was an 18 days cruise, full of europeans. My work in the buffet was very calm, but still too many things to do. In the ship, they have a journal they call "Today", with informations about all the events and time for the meals and all the services on board, this way, the passangers don't need to keep asking all the time, averything to the employees.

A cruise have the days we go to a port and the navegation days. Some times, it takes more them one day to arrive from a port to another, so that's why we have the naegation day. When is port day, it's ok, because all the passangers goes out to visit the place and for the tours, some times they eat out side and spend a lot of time doing it. For the people who works in the ship this is very nice, thay don't have to many things to do, but in the navegation day, all the passangers are inside the ship and they eat all they long. It means more work to do. The animation and recreation knows exactly what I'm talking about. But the record is in the restaurants, specially in the buffet.

Of corse that the ship has many places to go. Cassino, theater, pools, gym, beauty saloom, spa, bars, shopping stores, and many activities the recreation prepares for the passangers, but everything happens in the buffet.

Depending on the area in the ship you work, you have more or less time to go out, but you never have one whole day off. You have break times. But even this way, is possible to go out. Some times, with two hours break you can do so many things that you would never imagine. You learn how to manage your time better.

My first time out of the ship, was theree or four days after I embarked, I was so confused because all the problems I had, that I didn't do my crew pass, witch is the employee ID on board, it is a magnetic card with all the crew informations.

Only after a few days on board, some one informed me that I had to have this card to go out and come back to the ship. I got out in Tenerife, but I didn't go to the city center, I was so afraid and insecure and I had nobady to go with me, that I just steped out and came back inside.

After this, I stared to go out in everyport, even if I had nobody to make company.

Medical off

Tight shoes and twisted foot
What they say about the shoes are all true. We really have to use it at list two numbers bigger them our feet. That working shoes are really unconfortable. I asked for a shoe that was one number bigger them my feet, and I really suffered a very big pain in my feet and toes. The first week is the worse af all, coz' is the adaptation time for the life on board. For me it was even worse, once that I didn't get rest after the trip.
That shoes were really hurting me and I couldn't handle that any more, I had to change that as fast as I could, but the problem is that we only can change the shoes after 3 months on board, or the wise, we should buy the new pair of shoes. I didn't want to pay a dime for this so I starried to think some way to change it without paying for it. My first two weeks, I didn't walked, I schlepped. The pay was so big that I cryed many times, when it was very strong and couldn't stand it, I went to the doctor. I was crying and the dostor saw me there sitting in the hospital waitting room. He asked me what was happenning and I shoulded him my ankles and feet, he gave me some medicin and sand me to my cabin. It was my firs medical off. I asked the doctor to give me a prescription that sad to the inventory officer that I had to have a new pair of shoes, because that one that I was wearing was giving me health trouble. They changed my shoes. This time, just to ensure I asked for a shoe 3 numbers bigger them my foot.
My medical off had only a half day of duration. In the other day, with the new shoes, I went back to work normally.
one week more and I twisted my right foot. It was injury. I were going up stairs holding a tray full of silvers and I steped wrongly in the ladder. It was painfull but I didn't go to the doctor right away, coz' I just had one medical of and I was ashamed to go again, but I didn't have other way out, the pain was too strong after a week with the swollen ankle. They gave me a shot and put bandages in my foot and I worked back in the other day. Other half day of medical off. After this I had no health problems until the end of my contract.

First day on board

Ok, after all the problems I had with the flight and the agency negligencies, I finally arrived at Savona. I met some passangers at the airport and, was with them that I went from Milano to Savona buy van. They were very nice people, all brasilian, two couples, one young and the other not so young, but I liked them much more, coz' after I was inside the ship, they used to ask me about my first impressions of work and everything. Italy is a very beautifull country, all the trees on the way to Savona, and all that houses very european. It was not so cold, actually it was very warm.

Once in the port of Savona, I sad thank you to the passangers I met and the agent of Costa told me that I should get into the ship from another entrancy, only for crew. where the segregation satrts, lol! :)

Well I identified myself to the policemen and he called a latino guy from Peru, his name is Luiz, he was the crew purser by that time. He holded my passport, and sand me inside. There I had to do a lot of stuff like, catch my uniform, delivery my medical exams in the hospital, go to the Crew shief steward office to pick up my cabin key. My luggage was left in some where to when I could finally bring to my cabin and put my staff together.

After I had my uniform, I went to cabin and had a good shouwer, when I thought that I could just sit in my bed and get rest, I heard Manaira's voice telling me that I shoul go work. I went to work, some girld should me the way until there. When the elevator oppened, Lucas (a brasilian from my city) was in front of it, when the first thing he told me was that my uniform was wrong, I was wearing the gala t-shirt. This is a mistake that everybody does at the first day.

Lucas should me the place he used to work and him together with other snack stewards, brought me to the buffet supervisor. He was from Honduras, his name is Raul. We had four buffet supervisors: Raul (Honduras) Rendith (India) Pichete (Guatemala) and Miguel (Honduras), Some times is very hard to recieve orders to different people by the same time.

They put me to help the others, I was a little lost, but it were many brasilian snack steward on board, and they use to help each other.

quinta-feira, 13 de agosto de 2009

I´m back

Hello guys
I´m back!!

now that I finished my contract at Costa Magica, I know better how is the life on board. I can agree with many things that was posted here before, maby somethings I don't agree but it will be posted in another moment. Now, e are going to know a little how was my contract.

Well, first I would like to tell you how was my flight. Missing a few minuts for my flight to leave from Salvador, I resolved to open my e-mail box to see one last time my messages. That was the wa y that I knew that my flight had been changed. Yep, my agency only informed me about this changing from the e-mail box, and if I did't open it, I could just go to the airport by the time my real flight should be leaving, at 5:00.

The first attitud I had when I first saw the e-mail was calling my agency, the Infinity Brazil. They did't know how to explain me a thing about what heppend to me, the only person that knew about the changings were Sheila, who is encharged for the contact with the company. She seemed to be very nervous and no patience at all.

I just ran out from my house without saying good bye to my kids, and went to airport. When I arrived there, the airplane was still there, but I did't have time enought to travel in it, because I still had to do tha check in, 'coz I was doing an international trip, and I should arrived at tha airport to do the check in at list 2 hours before the departure. I lost my flight!

When I calld back the agency, they just sad to me to go back home and to weit for another embarcation date. What do you think? I had been waitting for that day for months, I could never go back home and just wait again, I don't Know how many months more..

I was lost there, and my colleague Sauane arrived at the airport with her mum, she was having the same problem as me, in fact she suposed to be in the same flight as me from Salvador to Sao Paulo.

She gave me the idea to call Genova and try to catch the international flight, but for this we should pay some rates, but Sauane lended me the money and I went on. When I called Genova, they told me that I could go, but my flight at Frankfurt, only could leave Sao paulo in the other day, so I slept in Sao Paulo, and I arrived at Savona, in my embarcation day. It means that I did't sleep at the hotel like everybody, I did't have the time to get rest after the whole trip, I just arrived from the airport straight to the ship and starried to work.

I'm telling you this story because what I see in this is that the agency only is interested in feeling up the number of workers for the companies, so this way they get more money. They don't care if you are the right person for that job, or if you can be in a better position, they want the money and that is it! But I don't care. I still have something to thank them, because they were the people that put me inside the ship, even if I could be in a better position or if I had to be my oun agent when I had the problem, they still have theyr part in my embarcation.