Categories: world

Expat is spoken: When home is a cruise ship

As a former soldier, it became a sports coordinator for a big American cruise box that became a bit used…

As a former soldier, it became a sports coordinator for a big American cruise box that became a bit used to getting used to.

One day, Byron Blane was defending the nation in New Zealand’s army; Next he hosted board tournaments and parties and instructed passengers on everything from trapeze and zip lining to indoor skydiving and riding on surfboard simulator.

Well, not really the next day. He trained himself as a fitness professor and worked as a fitness director for the Carnival Cruise Line one year before landing the sports coordinator’s gig with Royal Caribbean International. But there was still a big adjustment.

1; who comes from the East Coast’s Tokomaru Bay – says.


Byron teaches a young passenger to “fly” in the parachute simulator.

“I had done a five-day cruise four years earlier, which helped. But I had just come from an eight-year career in the army, so the change of the environment came as a shock.”

Working seven days of weeks, which constantly exchanged time zones, lived and worked with people who spoke several languages ​​and used to provide customer service were among his biggest challenges, but Blane soon found his sea breeze.

Currently working as an iFLY instructor for Royal Caribbean, which teaches passengers to “fly” in a security simulator on board, Blane spends three to six months at sea at any time, after which the company flies back to New Zealand for a break.

His latest floating home – the world’s largest cruise ship, the Symphony of the Seas – took him on a tour of the Mediterranean, in Barcelona, ​​Palma de Mallorca, Marseille, La Spezia, Civitavecchia and Naples.


Paying to travel the world with like-minded people is quite hard to beat, says Byron.

The best part of the job is, of course, to be able to “see different parts of the world while being fed and housed,” Blane says.

“You experience many different things and work with people from different cultures every day.”

The worst thing is to “stay away from family and friends for long periods of time”.

The limited space on a cruise ship also takes a little adjustment to, he says, like eating the same food every day for several months at the end, especially when you are a fitness professional worried about the nutritional content of your meals.


Hours are long after the crew many crew members, but they have time to explore.

“It’s not good, but it’s not bad either,” he says. “But it’s free so you can not really complain.”

And the crew receives discounts on the restaurants on board, but many prefer to hold out for port days when they can look for what they’ve been looking for.

Blane says that life on board is very social, with HR teams organizing games, competitions, parties, themed nights and excursions in the ports.

“At the same time, many crew members work very long hours. You have so many different nationalities living together in a limited space to get to know each other.”


Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa: All in one day’s work for Byron.

Blane spends much of his free time aboard the gym, using the 12-meter FlowRider Surf simulator (an east coast boy, surfing in his blood), practicing “flying”, studying, playing pool and table tennis and socializing.

The long hours, time zones and expensive conversations and Wi-Fi make it difficult to keep regular contact with people at home, he says.

“But you’ll find ways to get around. Most crew will leave the ship on a day off, find a restaurant with Wi-Fi, have a meal and chat with friends or family.”

Flying to New Zealand regularly is a bonus, he says, but “for the most part it is not synchronized with holiday periods.”

Blane would recommend a career in cruising to any “young, single and ready to mix” who like the idea of ​​being able to travel for a living

“I am very grateful for traveling the world, doing a job like I love and get paid to do it. I hope more kiwis follow after, because I’m I’ve never had any regrets. “

If you know an expat who wants to share knowledge about the home at home, email [email protected] with Expat in the subject line. 19659002]

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