I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people about what my shipboard life is actually like, so I thought I’d answer them all here so everyone knows how I will actually be living for the next few months.
There are about 640 students on board, along with 60 lifelong learners, who are essentially retired people who just want to travel the world with college kids. There are also 100 faculty and all their families. So we have little kids of all ages running around. It’s a fun dynamic change; there are some major cuties. ☺ There’s also 200 full time staff, who work in all kinds of areas. Cabin cleaners, dining service, spa specialists, etc. All the crew is so awesome though, they are some of the happiest, friendliest people I’ve met in my entire life.
Life on the ship is pretty easy, I must say. I have my own room and bathroom that I share with one roommate, Sarah. I tried to include a picture so you all could see where I live. Me and Sarah get along really well. She’s from Muncie, Indiana, one of 7 in her family, and is a nursing major. She’s a little less outgoing/social than I am, and is really comfortable having just a few close friends. She sticks to herself a lot of the time, but we have a lot of fun together in the room. She really cracks me up and she has this adorably addicting laugh. I’ve also met a group of other girls that I’ve really grown to like. Mainly, I’ve been hanging out with Izzy, Kimmie, Jessica, Heather and Anna. All of them go to school in California but are from different states around the country. Izzy is actually from Wisconsin! They’re really fun, easy going girls, which I really like. A lot of the people on the ship are (for lack of a better word) high maintenance and here to party. So it can be a little difficult to find genuine people, but everyone is friendly and willing to talk. I was lucky to find the girls that I did off the bat, because we get along splendidly ☺
I am taking 5 classes while onboard: Macroeconomics, Contemporary Social Issues, Energy Technology and Society, Global Studies, and Sustainability. I absolutely love my energy and sustainability classes. They are fascinating and will surely change my direction in life. They have really woken me up to the environment problems facing the globe and the necessary steps our society needs to take to turn the tides on our energy crisis. The days are divided up into A and B days, and simply alternate. We only take classes while we are sailing, so yes, we do often have classes on Saturday and Sunday. Certain classes require that you do a field component in port, so there are occasion field trips or papers we must write while visiting various countries.
Food on the ship is, ummm, edible. We have set dining times and meals, so the selection can get a little redundant. Noodles, salad bar, crappy over-cooked meat, and steamed vegetables are regulars. I have been frequenting the peanut butter and jellies.. One good thing though is the fruit. They bring in fresh fruit from the ports we stop at, so there is always a new selection. After Morocco, they introduced this new fruit that I have never seen before. Called a plumot, it’s a hybrid of an apricot and a plum. Aka delicious. I’ve probably had 20 this week. Other than the dining hall, there is a snack bar and an outdoor bar. Since were on international waters, everyone over 18 is allowed to drink. We’re limited to 5 drinks a night, but that’s a really popular place for people to hang out. Plus, we charge it to our ship card, so thanks for the drinks dad ;)
As some of you may know, we have a special guest onboard for our voyage. Archbishop Desmond Tutu is circumnavigating the globe with us. I see him from time to time and he is just the cutest man in the world. He gave an empowering speech on our first day on the ship saying how we as students are the agents of change in the world, and he is lucky and proud to meet of all us. He has also done book signings and speeches in class. He will be celebrating his 80th birthday with us in South Africa, which is a pretty exciting event. We’re all really looking forward to it.