Cruise Ships and Me

By: Talin Orfali Ghazarian

When I was a kid around 10 years of age around 1995 or around that time frame, I remember when I traveled with my family to Cozumel, Mexico. We stayed at a hotel right by the cruise port. One morning we woke up and we saw these 3 gigantic cruise ships at the port. We got so excited that we wanted to go see them. After our breakfast, We decided to leave the hotel grounds to go walk by the big cruise ships on the pier. Back then we were allowed to walk beside them before restrictions came along to only crew and cruise passengers being allowed. Then my dad said to us, we will one day go on one of these ships.

Sometime went by. I was 15 years of age around 1999-2000. My dad said, let’s plan and go on a cruise. I got so excited to the point where I was jumping up and down. We booked a cruise and then began packing. We went to the airport to catch our flight. Our first cruise embarked from Montego Bay, Jamaica. We took the bus to our cruise ship. That first glimpse of our ship Sundream from Sun Cruises back in the day. My excitement went through the roof.

I remember when I was going crazy on the bus and I said, Wow, that is so huge! Meanwhile it was a mid-size ship and back then I was just starting on researching cruise ships. One of the ladies on the bus said, My dear there are far more bigger ships out there. So, we check in, get on the ship. Those first steps. That first glimpse of ship life was so amazing. We were hooked right away. I felt like cruising was made for us. We fell in love with cruises. We ate such delicious food, we took in the beautiful sea, visited many ports, enjoyed the entertainment and meeting people. Enjoyed the sightseeing, met the captain of the ship and the officers. Our table was one away from the captains dinner table and it was amazing. I was so excited to see the white uniforms. From then on, I became obsessed with cruise ships. I have met every captain and the officers of all my cruises I have been on. I love the photo ops with them. They are awesome.

I decided to do a lot of research which impressed a lot of people as I began to learn the cruise lingo, studied different cruise lines and ships. So practically more than half of my life, I have been devoted to cruises and cruising. Life changed and my perspective on life too. I got to experience one of the most exciting ways to see the world and to travel thanks to my father.

My latest cruise I took was the partial crossing of the Panama Canal. That was so exciting to experience and to see one of the most important parts of the world. Without the Panama Canal, shipping would take a lot longer. It is a time saving shortcut for cruise and cargo ships. The ships would have to sail under Antarctica and come back up north. That would take a long time. Panama Canal was quite amazing to see.

For a while now, it has been my dream to go to a drydock to witness a cruise ship being built and the day where it touches water for the first time to do sea trials. That would be an amazing thing to see. I have even had dreams on becoming a GodMother of a cruise ship one day.

There is just something about these cruise ships that get me excited about them. Ships and technology have come a long way since the beginning of the cruising industry. So many beautiful designs, more to offer guests, food options, drink options, and so much to do on them. You have no time to be bored. Each deck on a ship feels like you are in a different part of a city. They are floating moving cities that sail from port to port.

Now, after many years of experience and research, I have been giving travel advice, tips and packing tricks to a lot of people who have asked me. Friends, family and a lot of people online are coming to me to give them information. When they decided to book a cruise and go, they came back and they messaged me and thanked me for giving them the best advice. They became hooked on cruising just like I did when I first began.

There are over 300 cruise ships worldwide and that number is expected to increase in the coming years as new cruise ships are expected to make its debut to the cruise lines they belong to. There are a few cruise ship building yards and most are found in Northern Europe and in Italy.

Cruise ship building is not easy. A lot of work goes into building them from the steel, welding, wiring, testing, inspections, hundreds of tests and so much more. All cabins of a cruise ship comes assembled prior, and even parts of the ship from the Bow, Aft, Midship, The bulb, propulsion systems come in and then as a puzzle, they weld and make it come together as one.

So many aspects of a cruise ship is a lot of hard work. Designing ships aren’t easy. They need to find interior decorators, they need to find the style, furniture, bedding, linen, cutlery, plates, glassware, among flooring, walls, paintings, finishing and everything. So many steps are taken to carefully select high quality products to meet the cruise lines expectations.

These aspects really excite me to no end. I can go on and on about these beautiful ships. I’ve been quite fortunate in my life to travel and share my travel life with others. I feel that everyone should try cruising at least once in their lifetime.

Booking and planning a cruise is not so difficult at all. As long as you go to the right sources and to the right people, its such a fun and awesome moment. I know there are so many things involved with getting to know the cruise vibe, but I guarantee you that you will love it.

I love watching how the captain and the officers navigate the ship to the dock and I love it when they drop the lines to secure the ship to the dock. I never miss an opportunity to view that process. I always wake up early to watch the whole process unfold. It is quite amazing how ships can turn on a dime.

I have been on a total of 8 cruises. I am hoping to get on more ships and enjoy and experience very soon. On YouTube, I have been watching live port cams of cruise ships docked at various areas of the world. I even go and search cruise ships in general and watch the videos and living vicariously through people’s videos until I am able to get back on a cruise ship again. I have made many friends through this industry and its amazing how we can come together to talk about our similar interests.

Will you get onboard with me and follow my cruise journey? I can’t wait to share more as I get on more cruise ships. I can’t wait to book more soon.

The Social Media Attention Seekers

Remember back then before social media existed, we wrote in journals and secret diaries where we did not want people to read? Now, with social media trending, it is so much easier to share ideas, post videos, pictures and write articles for the world to see. Now, we are drowning in information overload, so many videos created and pictures posted. Sometimes, we cannot keep up.

Recently, I have been watching YouTube videos of how to cook and bake certain foods I want to try for myself, and then all of a sudden, I ended up on these YouTube channels that are so beyond disgusting, dangerous and attention seeking. It is not for entertainment purposes nor appropriate.

Well, those videos are those people who put themselves in front of a camera to eat 32 Big Macs from Mcdonald’s, or someone who eats plates and plates of Spaghetti, or those people who join massive eating contests to eat boiled eggs, a gigantic pizza, or a huge plate of a mountain of food. That is not only unhealthy, but very terrible example they are setting for people. It is beyond me of how people can eat that much. I am sure the aftermath was not fun for them to deal with.

Some people nowadays, do not care about endangering themselves and spreading a terrible trends that can endanger other people’s lives. They don’t care how this negatively affects other people. It is very ridiculous. Social media has really gotten out of hand. I was not going to join TikTok, but I took the plunge and I did it. I have noticed a lot of strange and horrible videos. Just so people get their 15 minutes of fame.

People are following each other to do the same thing. They don’t consider the consequences in the long run that can affect their life and others. People are not grasping reality. A lot of people on social media are trying so hard to do anything and everything to get themselves out there and to make themselves famous.

The question is when do we draw the line? Some people make tons of money off of YouTube and other social media to do absolute nonsense and people now of all ages are engaging in some people’s ridiculous trends. While people who actually physically work hard to make ends meet do not get the amount of money that someone who stuffs their face with ridiculous and outrageous amounts of food that is so unhealthy.

People have really lost their way. I just hope that people get a wake up call and realize what they are doing to themselves and what they distribute out there in social media. It is very concerning, dangerous and very ridiculous. The quality of people now, morals, respect. dignity, and goodness is so rare. Especially these days. We need to stop attention seekers being able to do what they want no matter what the cost.

I would love your opinions on this matter. Do you agree?

What do you think should happen? Are you in favor of a social media cleanse? Do you think social media platforms need to be more mindful of what they accept?

My Dream – Cruise Ship Christening – Naming Ceremony

By: Talin Orfali Ghazarian

Since 1999, it was my very first time I went on a cruise. The thought of it really excite me. I remember going to a travel agent and looking through brochures of cruise ships and I automatically fell in love with them. I began to go through books to research on them. The first ever cruise ship I ever sailed on was the Sundream of Sun Cruises and immediately the following year in 2000/2001 her sister ship Sunbird. then in 2002, Costa Atlantica.

Then in the recent years I went on the MSC Seaside, Norwegian Joy and a few others. I keep hearing about christening, naming ceremonies, dry dock celebrations. I have seen videos on YouTube on cruise ship inaugural ceremonies and that really made me become interested in wanting to one day be part of that to experience and witness it in person. Travel and cruises have been a passion of mine most of my life. I feel like I was born to travel and cruise. It is such an amazing feeling.

Now, you maybe wondering why cruise ships get christened before they sail out to sea with passengers and crew? Well, it is to bless the cruise ship and all who sail her. They tie a bottle of champagne and it must hit and break the bottle on the bow of the cruise ship with a press of a button. When it hits the side of the bow and breaks, it means its good luck. Then followed by a fireworks ceremony and a great party afterwards.

Christening a cruise ship is a very important part of its journey. That maiden voyage and first time when passengers who book their inaugural cruise vacation, they must feel so awesome to be able to be on the ship and be the first to sleep in those cabins, tasting the food, and enjoying the ships ammenities. It must be an exciting feeling.

In my lifetime, I hope to be part of that someday. It will mean a lot to me if I can experience that. I am very passionate about cruises and cruising. The specifications, the parts of a cruise ship and all the awesome lingo and terminology is what I absolutely love and I love talking the cruise ship language. It is my absolute favorite. A lot of people tend to ask me what cruises are, and what to do. It makes me feel so good. I love to help people with cruise ship questions from what to do before booking and what to pack and what advice they need when they sail

I always love to meet the cruise captain and the officers. I just love their uniforms, the hats, and the way they operate a cruise ship. Even the crew. Thank you all so much for working so hard. It is not easy running a giant cruise ship, it is not easy being away from family and friends for so many months, but to make a living and to provide for themselves and their families. I appreciate you all.

There are those passengers that are so disrespectful, show unkindness, are rude, and are very demanding. Don’t be rude. Be kind and respectful. They are working and trying extra hard of their abilities to make sure you have what you need. Ask kindly and in a respective manner. If you show good manners and are nice to them, they will appreciate it more than you know and they will look after you a lot better.

Just because you spend a lot of money on cruises, it doesn’t give you the entitlement to be rude and nasty to people who are trying their best to serve you. Be kind.

Anyway, that part was off topic, but I just thought I would put that in here, because people just need to hear it.

I hope that my dreams come true. It would mean the world to me. Cruise ships and cruising are in my blood.

I just love it. You can say I am obsessed 🙂