Backstage Travels

All the world's a stage…

Day 7: We’re starting to lose track of the days…

The morning started later than usual, and we just gathered in the permanent-looking tent outside of the hostel. There was a heater, but…it was chilly. We started out with a Torah passage, and broke into pairs to discuss it. I was paired up with one of the Israelis, Ofer, and we had an intense discussion. We both have very different ideas about a lot of things, but the thing that made our conversations meaningful and deep was our respectful listening and responding to each point. I don’t usually have religious discussions, and I tend to look at things secularly while trying to be objective. We ended up getting off topic a bunch of times, but I was never sorry for that.

We also played what we were told was a card game. It was not a game, and it was not fun. We were given a set of cards with things written on them like “Praying,” “Living in Israel,” “Raising Kids Jewish,” and other things that we were told people think are important to keep the Jewish religion and traditions alive. We were split into groups of five or six. We were a group of five, and were the only group to not have an Israeli. It showed. Eventually we were told little by little to whittle our choices of things that kept Judaism alive to three cards. Many of the groups kept “Supporting the IDF,” “Having a Jewish State,” or “Visiting Israel.” Meanwhile, our group kept “Raising Kids Jewish” (because children are the future), “Keeping Jewish Traditions” (because we decided that included keeping kosher and holidays and praying and reading the Torah, all cards that we eventually threw out), and “Remembering Jewish History” (because we decided that included things like anti semitism and the Holocaust).

That non-game got intense quickly.

That night, we blew off some steam in Tel Aviv. Our tour guide said she knew someone who owned a bar, and we spent the evening there. I’m not usually a going out person, but I had a good time. It started to feel like I’d known all these people for years and years…but it’s been a week.

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My birthday!

So…Tuesday was my birthday!!!

And I was in Nassau, Bahamas. Now, I have stated before that Nassau …may not be my favourite port ever. However, my friends told us about a pretty hotel called Graycliff. It has a beautiful pool area and a koi pond. Oh! And a chocolate factory. I was so busy having a good time, that I didn’t take any pictures of the place. I’ll get on that next time.

We also partied pretty hard in the crew party the night leading up to my birthtime, and Tuesday night after work while we were leaving Nassau.

My friends decorated my door on Monday night:


I didn’t get a picture while there was still limbo crepe paper up because our steward needed to come in and clean. But still… 🙂

And then presents!



And cards!





One of the dancers, Sandy, made the black card. It’s black Gaffe (ish) tape on black construction paper. It’s cute because pretty much everything I do and wear is in black as the backstage manager.

And here’s some of the chocolate from Graycliff:



Doesn’t the blue one look like a painting? It was dark chocolate and salted caramel. The other was milk chocolate and mango.

So I’ll be back with Graycliff pictures. And I promise not to leave this much of a gap…no I don’t. But I’ll try 🙂

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New Year’s and Swimming with Dolphins!

So I swam with dolphins today ^_^


And we danced.


And we kissed. My New Year’s kiss!


Her name is Troya, and she’s about 5 years old. She was really cool to swim with.


This was my first excursion and it was awesome. I went with my friend and roommate Jenny. This is us on New Year’s :



We had the date right up there on the famous Carnival Funnel:



It was supposed to change from 2012 to 2013, but it just ended up looking like this:101_2002

These were our guests:101_1994

And this was the crew, where we were all invited to the Lido Deck for the countdown:101_1988


Apparently someone complained about us partying up on deck to ring in the new year. There were drinks, but none being served up there, and there was just music and hugs, mostly. This person wrote that since they paid to be there, they should have been able to party, while we wait on them. They wanted their cruise comped. Fortunately, our Guest Services person is sane, and disregarded it.

Oh, and Frank’s coming to visit on the 11th! So excited!

All in all, it’s been a pretty good year so far 😀

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Day -1

It’s the day before I set sail 😀 But, I guess if tomorrow’s Day 1…would that make today Day 0? …No, there was no year 0 lol…


Last night (though it seems much longer…I have had a long day), we had a going away party with the family. They surprised me with a cake and everything

That’s a picture of my ship, the Imagination! On the cake!

Carnival Cruise Lines provided my plane ticket and hotel room for one night.

This is a (stock) photo of my swanky hotel:

I’n’ it pretty? King sized bad and a room to myself. My mother said that the hotel managers put us in big rooms because they know we’ll be packed like sardines for the next six months lol.

So, tomorrow at 9 am I leave in a shuttle to port. I’m so nervous and excited. I’ll try to take an actual picture of my ship instead of using a stock photo. I probably won’t even be able to post at all until Friday, when we’re back in the US.

As for nervous and excited, all week I’ve been bombarding Frank’s inbox with questions about what to expect and what to bring. I’m still worried I brought too much…or not enough… :/

Did I mention I’m nervous? And excited?

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