I’ve mainly been speaking about our travels so for those of you interested in how it is as a crew member on board the Celebrity Silhouette, here it goes! Below are pictures of our cozy cabin, that we’ve made homey with photos, collectables from our travels thus far, Christmas lights, a wall of maps and smuggled in succulents (shh don’t tell!) It is good, not glamorous, not exceptional but we have a nice room with a window and as musicians on board, we cannot complain.
I like to describe working on a cruise ship as a social experiment. There are 1,200 crew members amongst the 3,000 guests every week, coming from 66 different countries, it’s a microcosm of the world. Coming from my privileged American bubble, it’s been an eye-opening experience. Celebrity takes care of it’s crew, don’t get me wrong, we are all housed in warm places and are overly fed but there is a lot of inequality, that I’ve never had so obviously in my face. Coming from a first world country accustomed to Western lifestyle, freedom is something I expect. This rule heavy environment, where you are constantly at work and therefore on surveillance, has been an interesting transition. That’s why not many Americans work on this ship, we like our freedom and are more entitled than people I’ve met from other countries. I’m grateful for the life I have raised with by my hardworking parents but even more grateful for this humbling experience that has given me friends from all walks of life. Khatibu from Tanzania, Fa from Indonesia, Mohen from Mauritius, people who come from vastly different backgrounds. Whether they support families back at home, or have gone to university like myself, everyone has a dream, and that is the point in which we all connect. We are all the same and I’ve never felt so isolated and similar at the same time. Uniforms, positions, rank and privileges can often separate people but more often than not this experience has made me realize we are all floating in the same boat. Literally. We bleed the same blood, we feel the same joy and pain and no difference in skin color, social status or position of power makes anyone better or worse than anyone else. Life naturally keeps us secluded in our own bubbles but having this multi-cultural experience has only furthered my travel bug. The more you walk in someone else’s shoes, or in this case alongside, the more appreciation you have for your own. Someone will always have it better but more often than not someone has it much worse. It’s not so in your face on land, the awareness is there but the cultural differences and experiences some see that I will never understand in this lifetime are so blatantly obvious, you can’t ignore it if you tried. As much as I’m traveling out in the world, the real cultural experience is underneath on Deck 2 where the crew highway is. This perspective is invaluable and worth a lifetime of traveling. It’s brought a new gratitude and mindfulness of how lucky I’ve been to grow up with choice and not obligation.