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.