How to leave a lasting impression on the workplace

Every week on the ship we have to fill in a time sheet so that the company knows how much more they can make us work before they break labour laws, and so that we know just how tired we thought we were. So, on one particular time sheet day, a number of us Cruise Staff were in the office putting these together and generally stuffing around when someone discovered a picture of me on the company hard drive. It was a picture taken with the Captain (I was accepting an award because I’m awesome) with a somewhat awkward expression on my face. We stopped to laugh at it and then continued stuffing around. While I had my back turned, someone zoomed in on my face, printed a number of copies, posted them all over the hallway outside and returned without me noticing. When we left the office, they made me lead the way and obviously we all had a good laugh. 

Of course we had to leave them all up so that all the other departments who walk through that hallway to use a bathroom reserved strictly for entertainment personnel could also have a good laugh as well. The next day everyone kept asking me if it was my birthday. Over the next two weeks some of the pictures went missing (I’m not sure I want to know where they ended up) and the rest of them were vandalised. First I got earrings, then my teeth and eyes were highlighted in yellow, then different people made various other contributions to the artwork that was my face ...and I didn’t mind one bit. 

Then, just a few days before the end of my contract, they disappeared. At about the same time, the Box Office accidentally printed a number of letters on card stock instead of paper and so we suddenly had a lot of paper for recycling. 

I hate saying goodbye. Everyone kept saying that they were going to miss me and the office wouldn’t be the same without me after I left. I decided to make sure this was true and did a little bit of redecorating on my last night on board: 

Of course I had to sprinkle some unicorns in the mix.

Our recreation supervisor is a big fan of the Suicide Squad:

And then I got more creative: 

Inside the cupboard

Inside the bingo terminal:

On the ceiling:

And inside the gameshow sign-up bucket:

I also stuck one in that entertainment department bathroom that everyone else uses, so that other departments could be in on the joke as well, and I hid more in some other fun places. 

In other news:

Rodrigo got new legs
I mentioned in the last blog that I lost Rodrigo’s legs. I also mentioned my friend Pony, who is friends with pretty much all 1800 crew members onboard and has more mafia than anyone I know. She was with me when we were returning to the ship in St. Thomas and I realised that Rod’s legs were gone. Just after we checked back in, we ran into someone she knew who worked in the Engine department. She told me (in Polish) to show him my flamingo (that’s right, some days I understand Polish) and a few days later Rodrigo had, not one, but two pairs of legs. One silver and one copper so he can accessorise with his own limbs according to my mood. 

Silver, copper and mismatched.

We tried them out in Tortola (the last and the second time I ever went off the ship in that port this contract), and though it was a bit rainy, they haven’t even rusted yet. 

26 cruises down, 0 to go
Hours I’ve slept since I've been home: Most of them




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Welcome to the Sharonicles

The Sharonicles is a travel humour blog by a South African travel writer. With six years of experience as a cruise ship crew member, her travels on ships and on land have taken her to 57 countries on five different continents.  She photographs a plastic flamingo called 'Rodrigo' on her adventures because it seemed like a good idea ten years ago and it’s probably too late to turn back now. She also likes unicorns, carbs and referring to herself in third-person.

Here she shares advice, opinions and anecdotes revealing the funny side of travel from her experiences. 

Browse by category

Practical travel tips and destination guides 
for anyone visiting any of the places I have been.

My thoughts on travel mascots, photographing 
your butt in exotic locations and the addictive 
nature of cruise ship employment, 
among other things.

True stories about trying to find trolls in 
Norway, toilets in Denmark 
and getting flashed in Cuba, to name a few.

Tips for cruisers and crew 
members, as well as anecdotes from a variety 
of experiences at sea.



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