And so I find myself again on the beautiful sun princess. She’s one of the older ships of the fleet, but still beautiful. Built in 1995 at Ficantieri ship yard in Italy and launched in 1996. She has a capacity of 2010 passengers and 924 crew. In October 2007, Sun Princess was the largest ship ever to pass under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, with an astoundingly small clearance of 2.5m!
The Sun Princess was the star of the 1998 remake of The Love Boat. Two seasons of The Love Boat: The Next Wave ran on TV in 1998 and 1999 and starred Jessica Alba. While the show wasn’t as big a hit as the original, I loved it! Had you told me all those years ago that I would be on this very ship now, I wouldn’t have believed you. Yet here I am.
I’m known as a ‘Seagoing Wife’. Dear Husband works on here and I come along too! He is a bridge officer, and works four hours on the watch and eight off. Yes, it’s a seven day a week job, but anyone who’s been at sea will know that on the ocean, days of the week just don’t exist. I’ve heard it said about ship life that every morning is Monday morning, but every night is Saturday night!
I hear you asking, as a seagoing wife, what exactly do I do with my days at sea? Don’t I get bored? I simply don’t have time for boredom. My day starts at 4am as I get up with dear husband (if I don’t, we find ourselves in 2 different time zones – he wants to sleep and I’m wide awake and vice versa). While he heads off to work I go and get a cup of tea, sit outside and catch up on emails, Facebook and the news. It’s actually a really magical time of day watching the sun rise. By 5:30 am it’s back to the cabin to catch up on my washing and choosing what I’m going to wear for the day (this sometimes takes a while – a girl has got to look right!) and clean up the mess I’ve made (anyone who’s lived with me will tell you tidiness is not my strong point). At about 8am we have breakfast together, then Dear Husband goes off to do some other jobs, while I either get my computer out and do some designing (I sell illustrations and photos online), read and enjoy the sun, talk to people or go to one of the onboard lectures.
This morning’s lecture was from the pilot that is onboard. He talked all about the Great Barrier Reef passages, incidents that have happened on the reef, the weather conditions and all the different types of vessels he has piloted. For a geography nut like me, it was very interesting! The hour went by way too quick.
Noon time we have lunch and then it’s time for a nanna nap. When you get up at 4am, if you don’t have your nanna nap you are totally cactus by night time. 4pm swings around pretty quick and for Rosario, it’s back to work and for me it’s time to go back outside for a couple of hours, talk to people I’ve met or get the computer out and create the next big thing in the world of vector illustration (go to www.lifeofrileydesign.com.au to see what I do in my professional life). By 7pm I’m busy choosing what I’m going to wear and deciding what I can possibly do to tame the unruly mop that is my hair! It’s always fun dressing up and yes, sometimes I over-bling it, wear a few too many colours of eyeshadow all at once but that’s better than being underdressed right?
Rosario’s back a little after 8pm and we head off to dinner – usually down in the officers mess, but sometimes we go other places around the ship too. We are not big party people and most nights onboard after dinner you will find us in our cabin, either catching up on the latest National Geographic documentary or deep in conversation about the depth of the ocean under the ship or the topography of where we are going to visit tomorrow. Yes, we are complete geography geeks, but it works for us.
So now you have a little insight into a typical sea day aboard. There is always something to do, I never ever get bored.
Keep checking back in the next two weeks as I’ll be posting about where we are going 🙂
Until next time for somewhere on the sea,