Monday, January 12, 2009

Up—coming Cruise

Yup! It’s finally come round! My second time as art tutor on a cruise ship starts on 27th Jan when I ‘join’ the good ship ‘Oriana’ in San Francisco. Only this time I shall have the company of my good friend, Marion, who will be my Assistant to help me in the art classes. Of course those that know me, or remember previous posts on this subject, know that this isn’t the second time I shall be cruising the high seas…. I was myself an assistant to another good friend of mine, Julie, back in 2002 & 2003. So this will actually be my 6th time on the magnificent ships of P&O.
The trip is 5 weeks long and takes us from San Francisco to Honolulu (Hawaii), Tutuila (American Samoa), Fiji, Tauranga and Auckland in New Zealand, Sydney, Brisbane, Whit Sunday Islands and Cairns in Australia, New Britain (Papua New Guinea) and finally Hong Kong, from where we are flown home.
Quite a journey and the first time for my friend Marion on a cruise ship, so she is particularly excited. I can’t wait to show her around the ship and I wonder if her face will be as mine was on my first meeting with the big white ships… all agog!

My job onboard is to teach drawing and painting to the passengers, which we shall be doing every ‘sea day’(that is – when we are not in port). I am looking forward to meeting the passengers I have met before again and, of course, some new passengers.

What I am finding quite surreal is that my friend Julie (and her fiancĂ© Hans) will be joining the ship as we leave it, to take over as the art tutor for the last 5 week ‘leg’ back to the UK. When I did my first cruise trip as her assistant in ’02, I would never have imagined such a situation. Yet here we are, a few years on, and it just feels a little strange… but good strange. Because of the opportunities she gave me to travel as her assistant and her encouragement (bordering on bullying!), Julie has introduced me to a bigger world, both for work and travel… I thank her so much for that.

I shall endeavour to post ‘ship’s logs’ during our journey, as I did last year, and in my Links list you can find the ship’s webcam; so, if you wish, you can see where we are on our journey… and maybe even catch us standing in front of the webcam!

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