Today it marks one year that I arrived in Portugal when I had to disembark from AIDAperla due to COVID 19.

When I think about, it kind of scars me how fast time goes by.

Fortunately, I was accepted, at the time, by a Portuguese company- Mystic cruises, who allowed me to finish my cadetship of which I only had 20 days left.

VESSEL REVIEW | World Explorer - Mystic Cruises opts for hybrid power on Portugal's first polar expedition ship - Baird Maritime

MS World Explorer

A lot of cadets and officers around the world lost their job in this pandemic, which was a shame.

But now we can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Time ashore in Portugal:

I thought long and hard about it and came to the conclusion that the better option to pass time during this pandemic was to go back to college and get my masters degree.

I’m kind of tired of spending so much time at home. This crisis gave me even more reasons to realize that working on land is definitely not for me…

I miss waking up in different places every day, visiting new ports, feeling the ship’s motions, I even miss missing home.

When I’m home during vacation it feels like the time is better spent.

Is life at sea perfect? No, but it is what makes me happy!

Future perspectives:

I am right now less than two months away from finishing college so soon I hope to be back on board!

AIDA CRUISES Repatriation:

After one year of living in the middle of a pandemic and global lockdown due to COVID-19, I decided to share here how was my journey back home.

With COVID impacting the entire Europe, we received a message on board that all our passengers would disembark on March 18th and our cruise would be almost empty from that date on.

I was in a Bridgetown- Barbados anchorage for more than one month. We only left our anchorage position to do some round trips around the island to produce fresh water and to discharge.

Ships at Anchorage

In case you don’t know, to produce potable water, it’s advised that we are at a certain distance from the shore so that sand sediments don’t get stuck inside the filters.

Port visits:

To get provisions for the ship, we had to go ashore twice during our stay in Barbados.

From the entire crew, only the staff captain was allowed to leave, through the gangway, to check the ship drafts, all other remained onboard the entire time.

Social distancing:

As I was a deck cadet at the time, I had to share my cabin, but due to the pandemic and as we didn’t have any guests on board, we were transferred to passengers’ cabins.

As you can see, they can surpass ours by a lot ahah.

Crew Cabin

Pax Cabin

Internet access:

It always depends on which company you work for, but in general the internet on board doesn´t work that well for obvious reasons, and when it works it isn’t cheap.

Because of that, I took with me a special router to always have internet everywhere that worked acceptably on land. At anchorage it was another story…

As the ship is constantly in motion around its anchor, I only had connection when the ship was turned towards land or at superior decks.

So, every time I wanted to make a videocall I would go to the last deck to be able to call home.

Departure to Europe:

At the end of April, we left the Caribbean bound to Europe, making the route at a lower speed than usual with a duration of two weeks until we arrived at Canary Islands.

Cruises at Canary Islands

There we welcomed other crew members from other AIDA cruises so they could come and disembark on Germany with us.

I arrived at Hamburg on the 16th of May and left for Portugal on the 17th.