just few words… and few more
Hello everyone! Welcome to my travel blog about destinations I visited while working on river and ocean cruise ships!
My name is Katarina (Kaća, Katie, Katya, Kale, Kat, Catherine, Kate, however you like it) and I come all the way from beautiful Serbia!
I am professor of French literature, language and culture (that’s what my Master Degree in French literature says at least), but I’ve never quite worked in that field!
RIVER CRUISE EXPERIENCE
My working experience began when I was on fourth year of University, when I decided to give it a shot and apply for a French river cruise company that was hiring people from my University to work as tour escorts onboard their ships in Europe.
I remember it vividly.
Interview was held in one of the oldest and most exclusive hotels in Belgrade and there was a line of my colleagues from French department waiting to see if they’re going to be the chosen ones. The cruise company was only hiring few people, so none of us really had much hope!
Interview was in French and, as always, I was spontaneous and laughed unusually loud (I remember I took interviewer’s glass of water without even noticing it, after which he asked me if I wanted some water).
Anyway, I passed the interview and got hired (maybe incident with water has got something to do with it !?) and I was SUPER EXCITED!
That marked the beginning of new era. I mentally prepared myself for hard work and good fun, but what excited me the most were the destinations I was going to visit and people I was about to meet.
The itinerary we did with Rivages du Monde, French cruise agency, was absolutely amazing! 12-day cruises from Munich to Bucharest and backward, with stops at gems of Danube river: Linz, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade, Iron Gates, Ruse, Bucharest, and many more. We also did one cruise to Norway and went all over to Svalbard (where I visited the northernmost post office in the world!!!).
I fell in love with the job and continued to do it passionately over few following years and then…
Well, you can guess. I fell in love.
AND? Switched the company (in Serbian language we have an expression for that: “mladost-ludost”, or “the madness of youth”).
Madness on one hand, but an extraordinary experience on the other!
Although my job at Viking River Cruises was very demanding (I worked as concierge), being part of this amazingly organized company with the most powerful fleet of river ships world-wide – felt awesome!
I was positioned in France as they needed bilingual concierge, and I had the opportunity to visit some beautiful French travel destinations in Normandy and Aquitaine. There I explored Bordeaux region’s impressive vineyards and chateaux where the world’s best wines come from. I enjoyed Normandy’s Calvados, its vast plains and long beach stretches where some crucial historical events took place.
Overall, France was a short, yet unforgettable experience.
OCEAN CRUISE ADVENTURE
After river cruise ships chapter ended, I decided to go back to Serbia and tried to get a tour guide license – which I officially got in 2016, after 6 month studying and passing all exams. I worked as freelance tour guide and even wanted to open my own incoming tour agency – but it just didn’t work.
SEA WAS CALLING.
People say once you experience life at sea, life on land would never be same again! And it’s kind of true – but just to some extent.
This time, I wanted something different! Something big and new!
And that’s how in 2018 I applied for cruise industry giant – Royal Caribbean International, where I got a job as SHORE EXCURSION STAFF! This has been the experience of a lifetime that inspired me to write about it and share it with the world.
Doing this absolutely amazing job and being part of this fast, ever-changing, growing-like-crazy cruise industry has definitely brought me a priceless experience! It has brought me to where I am now.
And here I am, decided to try to put in words at least half of my hopes, fears, challenges, achievements, failures, and share some memorable moments of my own cruise ship experience.
This blog is about the destinations I visited and things to see and do in those places. You will find some useful tips and information on cruise jobs and ship life. Whether you are guest or crew member, or simply want to get to know about travel destinations - this blog is the perfect corner for you!
And before I stop and let you immerse in my world, I would like to highlight one thing. All the photos used in this blog are from my private gallery. Most of them were not professionally taken, and at the time I took them I never considered writing about them or putting my experiences into words. That’s what makes this blog unique and full of surprises.
But, enough of the talk.
Let’s get started! 🙂