Film and TV obsessive / World Traveller / Gamer / Camerman & Editor / Guitarist
The early days of the Diamond Princess, new roommate, a happy photo team & the legend of Joaquin
Handover with Marek was the definition of smooth, no issues and he was even slightly complimentary about Chad which was a surprise, however as I would learn in the previous year or so the Diamond had been one of the best party ships in the fleet. This time I had just missed working with my fellow first contractor Amanda which would have been 3 times in my first 4 contracts but I’d only heard great things about the ship from her.
Diamond Princess prep & 3 flights to New Zealand
The thought of working with Chad again was not a very appealing one however I knew I’d have a great manager and assistant manager in Kirsty & Scott who I’d worked with before & Sam & Cat who I’d worked with on the Coral & Sun. The Diamond was a grand class ship but built originally in Japan and over the course of the 6 month contract I’d be doing 3 different itineraries starting in Australia, crossing over to Asia and then finishing off in Alaska again.
Local leave in Sydney & a big decision on the next contract!
There are so many aspects of life that you take for granted working a regular 9-5 job on land, compared to a work everyday 13-14 day for 6 month contract at sea. Having a full day off seems like a gift from the gods and as goods as ship food is (on certain ships at least!) you crave any meal thats not from a buffet or worse crew mess!
Overnights in Tahtiti, Bora Bora, Kava & the Jacuzzi incident!
With everything going well on the work front and the end of my epic contract really in sight now, I set about just enjoying the ports on my last few weeks. First up was Bora Bora, French Polynesia which to this day is still one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and though I had been lucky enough to visit here twice before both times I had been ‘working’ as much as snorkelling and driving all over the island was work.
My last days on the Star Princess
And finally my 3rd contract and 3rd and 4th ships was down to its last day! My replacement Leandro was one of the original videogs hired at the start of the videographers days in Princess. From Argentina at this point in 2009 I think Leandro had been with the company at least 5 years at this point and he had his pick of assignments. After the Star I think I only ever saw Leandro scheduled on the Ocean & Pacific Princesse’s the companies two smallest ships and therefore most exotic itineraries.
A pacific tsunami and a disagreement with the cruise director
After proving myself to Richard and working hard I was finally able to enjoy my last month onboard the Star Princess. I had a great junior, my own cabin and a new photo team which brought lots of positive energy which can give you that extra kick you need to get to the end of the contract, however there were still certain days where I had issues to deal with.
The Titanic's hull was 4 times thicker than the ship you are on now!
When I recount my time at sea I may not always get the timing right and one story I had forgotten from earlier on the Star was the safety briefing I had to attend after the ship finished Alaska. After two 30 day trans-pacific cruises the Star Princess would make its way over to South America to cruise Antartica, I would be getting off in Sydney after the first 30 day cruise.
Month no. 9, A new team and a mob hit!
When I started 8 months ago on the Sapphire Princess in Mexico as a junior videog level 2, I didn’t think in my wildest dreams I’d be coming up to my 8th month onboard as an acting senior videog about to head across the Pacific ocean again with a two week holiday in Sydney at the end of it.
The last days of Alaska & ...Chad!
Alaska can be absolutely stunning in all weather conditions though towards the end of the season the weather can turn to absolute shit with constant freezing rain, rough seas and dim misery every day you step ashore. As great as this team and ship was, everyone always seems to get burnt out by the end of the contract and adding in good friends leaving every few weeks with general fatigue you begin to crave normal land life. Despite the burnout many of the team would be finishing up their contract in a few weeks in Seattle and there was a bit of resentment that after a whole Alaska season (and the same 4 ports) for almost 6 months we were all going to miss out on this amazing month long cruise from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia. I think it was only the two assistant managers JP & Lara who would be staying a little longer and bar a few new faces at least half the team was due to leave in a few weeks. Like I said it was mixed as some of us (at 8 months onboard already myself) were done and ready to go while others really wanted to see do the month cruise to Australia.
The sad tale of 'John' the American videographer Part 2
By now I’d had ‘John’ onboard for one cruise and definitely was raising some red flags in terms of his onboard behaviour and competency at the job. His first Martini Demo shoot & edit had been so bad I’d had to leave it off the final DVD and it had taken him over 6 hours to edit, while he had not got to grips with the export process at the end of the edit and frankly I did not trust him at all yet to do any task by himself.
Chapter 70 - The American 2: Chad Harder! The continued adventures of one of the worst people I have worked with
(This is will be a long one - fair warning and it will contain some swearing and ranting) You may have an inking of my thoughts when it came to my junior videographer ‘Chad’ onboard and believe me when I tell you I’ve been restrained so far, as a videographer he was competent and he’d gotten to the stage where I could mostly trust him with simple tasks so issues like him leaving a shot of a bear shitting in a video (for actual minutes in close up) and missing the ‘o’ out of the country night title ON PURPOSE had largely been remedied but the guy was still an utter twat. This chapter maybe split over multiples just so I can put myself though the PTSD of logging all the fuck ups I had to deal with this guy.
Greggors:Spa Model & The Beginning of the end
Like any great contract it usually starts to wind down when enough of the team who are their when you start begin to leave and 4 months in as you begin to suffer burnout suddenly your best friends leave and you have to go through the effort of making new friends for a couple of months.