Tuesday, August 30, 2011



I have been on the ship now for five days. On the 25th, I drove to Canada with my parents. That night they got to take a tour of the ship while I met up with some fellow students and explored Montréal. It was great getting to know people before we boarded and made the anticipation more exciting rather than nerve-racking,

The next morning, I woke up bright and early and walked my luggage down to Pier Alexandra. The process of boarding was quite simple. I just had to tag my bags, have my carry-ons scanned, and hand in my passport and yellow fever card. The next step was receiving my student ID and finding my room.

My room is kind of tiny but it works. There are two twin beds; one for me and one for my roommate, Paola. We get our own bathroom with a shower; a wardrobe/closet with shelves and hangers; a dresser that we share that has three drawers; a tiny table; a vanity; a mini fridge; a TV; and magnet wall that we quickly decorated.

Our first night on the MV Explorer we had to do an emergency drill. I am in muster station A1. We had to wear our life jackets and do roll call and stand outside our life boat until everyone was accounted for. It was annoying but I'm also glad to know that I am safe.

We get three meals a day, but I have quickly learned that breakfast and lunch will always consist of pasta and potatoes. Very repetitive. The nice thing is that there is always a salad bar and sandwiches. The best meal is definitely breakfast but it is only served from 0700-0830 (yes, everything on the ship is in military time).
My classes so far have been pretty interesting. Today was my third day of classes. On A days, I have poetry, which sounds like fun and my teacher is super nice but I know nothing about poetry and everyone else in the class is super informed. :/ Today I had global studies, which we all have to take because it teaches us specifically about the countries we are visiting. So far it is pretty interesting. I also attended marine biology, which might be difficult because it is a lot of memorizing creatures and stuff. But I think it will be cool. My last class is architecture. It sounds interesting because rather than studying building styles and eras and such (production history, like how its made) we will be studying the consumption history, which is more about who lived there what it was used for and why it is significant. Every day on the ship is a class day. No weekends because we don’t have class while in port.

Everyone that I have met so far is really nice and everyone is from so many different places. A lot are from California and Boulder, Colorado, though. I am the only person from RI. :)

Fun facts:
-Tonight will be the third night that we lose an hour.
-Yesterday was Captain Kingston’s birthday.
-I have seen dolphins and I am now on the lookout for whales.
-Last night we passed over where the Titanic sank (or so I’ve been told).

When I get into certain ports I will try to find internet cafés to upload pictures and videos.

Internet on the ship costs money but we are given a free email so if you want to get in touch with me, just email me at vrwilliams@semesteratsea.net. Keep in mind that it can take up to a day to reach me and another day for you to receive what I have sent.


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