Ripcord by iFly on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas

Royal Caribbean

Welcome to my world of Ripcord by iFly with Royal Caribbean! For the past six months I have gone through the process of becoming an International Bodyflight Association Level One indoor skydiving instructor and transitioned to my current gig on board the Anthem of the Seas. I earned my certification from iFly’s original tunnel in Orlando, Florida.

What EXACTLY is indoor skydiving?

My daily routine working with Royal Caribbean does vary as “sports staff”, but my main responsibilities revolve around instructing guests how to fly for the very first time inside a wind tunnel. During a typical class we will have 12 students go through a one minute experience in our wind tunnel. As an instructor, it is our duty to provide insight, proper knowledge and a safe environment for everyone. Keep in mind the wind inside is moving anywhere from 80-150 mph!

Here is video of an actual class on the Anthem of the Seas…

For more information about Ripcord by iFly please visit Royal Caribbean. Only three ships in the world give you the ability to fly while cruising, so be sure to refer to RCL’s Quantum Class.

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Royal Caribbean #AtSeaStories Featured Facebook Campaign

lifestyle, Royal Caribbean, travel

For the past two months I have been quite fortunate to be featured on the Royal Caribbean Careers Facebook page. Each #AtSeaStories post shows a glimpse into my life as a ship-based employee on the Adventure of the Seas. As I am on the homestretch of my first contract with RCL, it is an exciting time as I look to sign on again for another contract. Below I have included snapshots to each post. The page has over 135,000 followers around the globe and has generated some buzz. Check out the RCL Careers Facebook page for more information!

#AtSeaStories #1

#AtSeaStories #2

#AtSeaStories #3 

 

#AtSeaStories #4

Top 10 Reasons to Work on a Cruise Ship with Royal Caribbean

food, lifestyle, Royal Caribbean, Scuba Diving, travel

A quick late night style version of the top 10 reasons to work aboard a cruise ship with Royal Caribbean:

Number 10…Challenging yourself on a 7-month, 7 day work week contract…

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Number 9…Living amongst the places people vacation…

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Number 8…Experiencing the behind-the-scenes action on board a 3,600 passenger vessel which operates 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

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Number 7…Indulging in local food and culture…

Number 6…The chance to learn new adventure sports…

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Number 5…Stepping into or out of your comfort zone surrounded by thousands of guests…

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Number 4…Stepping back to enjoy the little things in life…

Number 3…Financial savings/debt payoffs…

Financial_RescueNumber 2…A 3-minute commute to the office…

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And the number 1 reason to work for Royal Caribbean…TRAVEL!…

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Cane Bay Dive Trip – St. Croix, USVI

Royal Caribbean, Scuba Diving, travel

Last month, my final time in St. Croix with Royal Caribbean, I went on my first dive as a certified Open Water scuba diver. It was a last minute trip and I found out early in the morning that I was confirmed via Shore Excursions on board. It took me awhile to wake up and be 100% mentally ready for this dive. In fact, I even started setting up my regulator backwards once on the boat! Rookie mistake. My scuba instructors definitely gave me a hard time on board when they found out. Luckily, they only pretend to be tough ladies and are teddy bears.

The highlight of the trip was going with the dive shop operators, Cane Bay Dive Shop. They run a first class trip and are a friendly bunch. I felt super comfortable underwater on these two dives – even more so without a wetsuit in 80 degree ocean. We went to two separate locations with the first being a shipwreck offering up a bunch of marine life. The trip was made even more special by meeting some of the guests that were cruising on the Adventure of the Seas. The photo credits go to Andy from Wisconsin with Pharo Marine. Big shout out to George from San Juan, Puerto Rico for his great video documenting our adventures!

Enjoy the footage and thanks for following my Caribbean adventures at Man Travels World!

 

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PADI Open Water Certification in the Caribbean

lifestyle, Royal Caribbean, Scuba Diving, travel

On a rain soaked morning in Saint Maarten, I found myself bobbing on a boat in the Atlantic Ocean, preparing for my final dive to get open water certified as a PADI scuba diver. Mask, snorkel and fins – check. Tanks, BCD and regulator – check. Only problem was the chewable seasickness tablets were not kicking in soon enough. Waves smashing against the side of our boat, lifting us up and down again and again. Cold sweats in the hot Caribbean sun followed by bigger and bigger amounts of saliva building up in my mouth meant bad news. I shuffled my rubber feet towards the end of the boat. Slowly. This wasn’t going to end well. All I needed was to get in the water, descend down and enjoy the calm under the waves. It did not happen soon enough.

One upheaval into the sea quickly followed by another. The fish were getting treated to a good meal. I had no choice but to jump. Problem was the nausea did not stop there. What a sight it must have been as my dive instructor looked on, the captain of the boat offering advice as I was trying to tell jokes in between retching. This all lasted less than 30 seconds. Feeling calm and much better after emptying my guts, I released the air out of my BCD vest and slowly descended down in to the depths.

This was the latter part of my PADI Open Water Dive certification course that I began on the Adventure of the Seas back in March. I began my course through the dive shop on board with the two in-house dive instructors – shout out to the team! After self-study, classroom instruction and pool sessions I hit the open water with two fellow colleagues with Royal Caribbean. We had our first open water dives with Underwater Safaris in St. Thomas. So, as I was now diving solo due to my friends finishing their contracts, Scuba Fun was helping me complete my Open Water certification.

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The SeaTrek Dive Shop on the Adventure of the Seas

The first dive in Saint Maarten with my dive instructor, Austin, and the rest of the divers went swimmingly. In fact, five minutes into it, as this particular dive sight was known to feature this, I found myself eye to eye with a 6-foot nurse shark! It came from behind us and along my right side. I could have reached out and touched her if my body was not frozen and rigid, following every move with a calm precision. Strangely I did feel a wave of tranquility as I encountered this creature for the first time. It was magnificent.

In addition to this first sighting, we again found ourselves in the heart of a trifecta of nurse and reef sharks on the second dive. The same goes for stingray, lobster, barracuda and a wealth of beautiful fish swimming at 60 feet. Despite the uneasy feeling of bobbing like a lure in the Atlantic Ocean to begin the day, there is no feeling like breathing underwater, surrounded by marine life, of which I had only dreamed of swimming with for years. This was the entire reason for getting PADI certified so quickly after beginning work with Royal Caribbean. Next up is a change in itinerary with stops in Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao!

For more information about recommended PADI Certified dive shops in the Caribbean, please check out the following and be sure to follow them on Facebook. Tell them Julian Austin, the face behind Man Travels the World, and the student diver spewing chunks into the sea sent ya!

Professional Association of Diving Instructors

http://www.padi.com/scuba-diving/

https://www.facebook.com/PADI/

Underwater Safaris

9715 Estate Thomas PMB 143, 00802, Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands

uws@godivevi.com/www.godivevi.com

www.facebook.com/uwsvi

Phone: +1 340-774-3737

Scuba Fun Dive Center

Great Bay Marina, Dock Maarten, Pointe Blanche, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten

contact@scubafundivecenter.com/www.scubafundivecenter.com

Phone: +1 (721) 542-3966/Cell: +1 (721) 586-2822

Other Recommended Dive Shops

N2 the Blue

Cane Bay Dive Shop

Buddy Dive

“Dude, what’s your job?”

lifestyle, Royal Caribbean, travel

Many folks have asked this exact question since I started working with Royal Caribbean 6 weeks ago. Until September, I am working on board the Adventure of the Seas with the Sports Operations team on a 311m, 137,000 ton vessel. Practically all crew on board work seven days a week, one cruise after the next with a turn around in San Juan, Puerto Rico of about 8 hours. Most of the time the sports staff are on the rock-climbing wall on Deck 14. We also oversee the operation of a multipurpose sports court, inline skating track, facilitate tournaments and activities and rent equipment from our sports office on Deck 13.

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Hanging out at the rock climbing wall on Deck 14.

Technically, my title is that of Sports Staff. There is certainly a crossover of crew responsibilities including weekly drills, passenger debarkation and embarkation duties too. However, my job description stretches to other entertainment areas as well. I am currently Tiki #2 in the Island Frenzy Parade, a group leader for Quest, an adult themed scavenger hunt, and one of the leading men of Ladies’ Night. I will spare those details for my own well being!

The itinerary with this Royal Caribbean ship is pretty damn impressive. With six days in ports and only one cruising day, it gives us a great tour of the southern Caribbean. As a two stripe crew member I have the fortunate opportunity of enjoying free time outside of the ship in the tropical and lush islands of Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Martinique, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Be sure to follow this blog as next week I discuss going through a PADI Certification for scuba on board and diving in St. Thomas.

And to all of my American readers back home we are less than 1% of all crew on board. Seriously. 15 out of 1,200 crew are from the USA. If traveling the world, meeting new people, saving money and expanding your horizons sounds any good to you, I highly recommend working for a cruise line. I think it is safe to say I truly have an international job working with people from all walks of life.

Modern Day Pirate: Working Aboard a Cruise Ship

lifestyle, Royal Caribbean, travel

Disclaimer: Man Travels World will feature writing aimed to provide knowledge about working as cruise staff with Royal Caribbean, exploring ports of call in the Caribbean and the lifestyle associated with this semi laid back style of a career choice. This website also will focus on international pieces via crew interviews, cultural education, food and recreation. Essentially, this is an exploration of the world. We all have unique stories, backgrounds and reasons as to why we travel the globe. Follow us as we spread the positive vibes of seafaring and land-based pirate souls alike.

Here I am already beginning my fourth week of work with Royal Caribbean aboard the Adventure of the Seas. Finally things are beginning to slow to that island lifestyle associated with the itinerary. In that time span I have visited ports and cities in St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Grenada, Antigua, Barbados, St. Kitts, and of course, the home port of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

 

I knew coming into this job that I would only have hours to explore these places on any given day, especially as our hours of operations stand pat every afternoon with sports operations and the rock climbing wall. That being said I have started planning excursions in the short-term; namely getting PADI certified. This was a huge goal of mine early on as the Caribbean offers amazing dive spots. I would be stupid not to take advantage of the sports and discount that is offered to crew to get certified on board.

Moving forward, I am on contract until mid-September. Follow along as I discover the southern Caribbean vibes as an employee with Royal Caribbean. Not a bad way to make a living!