Whenever passengers find out that I will be spending Christmas on the ship, I always get these sympathetic looks, but actually, it’s not bad. Of course, I always miss my family at this time of year but, the ship makes such a big deal of Christmas it is a lot of fun to be on board.
I thought for this Christmas post, I’d share a story that happened during my last Christmas on board, to hopefully make you see that Christmas on board can be really fun.
At this point, I was sharing a cabin with a little Chinese girl called Sha-Sha.
Sha-Sha wasn’t used to celebrating Christmas, so she was very excited about all the Christmas traditions, like the carol singing, the presents and most of all, the Christmas tree.
It was about a week before Christmas day when we decided we needed a little Christmas tree for the cabin. I had promised to pick one up when I went out into town but when I did, I was unable to find one. As it was her day off, the following day I asked her to see if she could find one.
I spent the whole of the day at work, so when it came to 9.30 and I finally finished my 12 hour day, I was so ready for bed.
Wandering back to my cabin dreaming of climbing into bed, I put my key card into the door and pushed it open but the door wouldn’t move. There was something leant up against the door.
I called out to Sha-Sha and heard her little voice shout “Wait a minute” in her Chinese accent. While I stood waiting, I heard the most peculiar rustling sounds. A good 5 minutes later I saw her little head poke around the door and she edged the door open to reveal thick green branches poking out of the doorway. I felt like Lucy walking through the wardrobe into Narnia.
My mouth opened and I stood aghast. Sha-Sha looked at me, beaming and said enthusiastically, “Do you like it?” She had brought the biggest tree into our cabin!
I had so many questions, but I could say anything.
Finally, I murmured “How did you get it in here? And where is it from? I thought you were going to get a little one?”
She explained that she also wasn’t able to find a little tree in town, which caused her great disappointment, but when she came back on board she saw this one lying in the crew passageway and thought it would do perfectly.
My main question was, how this little 4ft 6 girl, had been able to firstly carry the tree to the cabin and get it through the tiny door but also, how had no one seen her and not said something?
She gave me a puzzled look and said: “So you don’t like it?”
I felt like a mean parent who’s child had found a stray animal and asked if we could give it a new home. I couldn’t even see my bed, let alone get into it.
With the front door wedged open by the branches, people were walking past and commenting on our new addition to the cabin. The one person who I didn’t expect to walk past was the Deputy Captain, who stopped, looked, smirked and said with a chuckle “I don’t want to know, but I will be back in 30 minutes and the tree needs to be gone.”
I looked back at Sha-Sha who now looked quite bashful.
I took the head of the tree and she was at the base, and we dragged the tree back down the corridor giggling all the way, until we got it back to where she originally found it, passing at least 30 peoples’ puzzled faces.
When we returned back to the cabin, everything was covered in pine needles. We didn’t have access to a hoover as it was midnight by this time, so I finally got to climb into bed, spending the majority of the night pulling bits of tree out from under me.
Despite being tired, this was such a fun night, and now such a lovely memory. I hope you have had a chuckle reading and imagining this.