Hello Cruise Fans,
I’m Cruise Ship Karen, and I’ve been working on cruise ships for over 12 and a-half years, since September 2005.
My ship life has consisted of me having 6 different roles, and working for 7 cruise lines. My first five and a half years working in the hosting and management side of Entertainment on ships, and the past seven years working as a vocalist (you can read my extended story here; if you’d like to learn more details on all of this).
So far I’ve traveled to 101 countries, 6 continents, had countless incredible adventures and experiences, and met thousands of amazing people, many of whom I now call my friend, all that I wouldn’t have had, were it not for cruise ships.
The most enticing thing that has kept me coming back for more and more is the travel (the second reason is the people, and the third is the food around the world, just in case you were wondering.) I am both very lucky to have had these experiences, and have also have worked very hard to gain, and keep, these wonderful jobs that have allowed me not only to travel to these places for free, but also be paid and in satisfying roles that are in what I studied and trained for.
I now wish to share my years of experience and first hand knowledge with fellow crewmembers and cruisers. I love going to new places, meeting new people, seeing the sights and sites, big and small, famous and hidden local gems, as well as knowing the best local places to eat, drink, shop, and how to get to them all, from a ship. EVERY SINGLE PLACE I WRITE ABOUT IS SOMEWHERE I HAVE PERSONALLY BEEN and if its on the site it’s because I enjoyed it in some way and thought you might too.
I have found that while there are endless websites and blogs about many of the ports ships visit; there are precious little good quality, reliable, independent resources about how to travel and really experience these places from a ship point of view, whether you are crew or cruiser. My first reason to make this site was to create a resource for crew members, as there is often very little info for them onboard, and I have made “Crew Info Folders’ for four different cruise itineraries. I also wanted to be a reliable, independent resource and give sort of “insider information” for guests, as while there is more information readily available for them from travel agents and the cruise lines themselves, it can often come with an angle to sell something. My next reason was to have a place to showcase my travel writing skills, to use when pitching articles, as I’d like to get into freelance travel writing. Also, it was to show a company all the knowledge I have about cruise ship travel to help secure a job. After researching many other blogs, websites, watching YouTube videos, seminars, and being inspired by Nomadic Matt’s budget travel website in particular (www.nomadicmatt.com), I decided to umbrella brand myself and put all my knowledge and these purposes together and create something that is completely me, that I can share with anyone who is interested.
This is what I wish to offer you – my firsthand experience, passion, knowledge, constantly learning about these places and making friends everywhere, my love of tours (I’ve been on over 400 of them), and my incessant photo taking and note-scribbling mean I have a lot of tidbits to share.
My website has a resource section with my Port Guides with everything you’ll need to make the most of your time ashore, even if you’re working and only have two hours off. There is an area for Blog Articles I’ve written about places or adventures that inspired me, and an area with some articles I’ve had published so far. (If anyone would like to hire me or have me pitch to you about anything related to my site, or wish to discuss guest posting please get in touch. Karen@cruiseshipkaren.com )
I also have upcoming sections on Food Adventures, Videos – with my Vlogs, a Directory for various businesses I’ve used and would recommend from around the world, Singing where I have info about my experience as a musician on a cruise ship and I many more ideas, that I’ll add as soon as the time to write it all lines up with my enthusiasm!
I will be adding to the site consistently and I invite you to come back again and again to read the new Port Guides, articles and updates that I will be adding. My goal is for this to become THE tool that anyone cruising, whether it is for work or play, checks out my site first when planning what to do ashore.
In short, this site is my baby. I am going to put everything I’ve got into it. It is free, and I simply ask that if you do enjoy it, please Like, Comment, Subscribe to my Youtube Channel where my Vlogs are, and most importantly, share a link to my site to anyone you think may also enjoy it, because it is my goal is to turn this on the side, working-on-it-every-spare-minute-I-have-for zero-compensation-thus-far site, into an actual business at some point, so the more people that read it, the more possible a prospect that will be.
Thank you for reading and happy cruising!