Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Preparing to Teach My Way Through the Islands. (It Ain't Cheap!)

We're delighted to again welcome Karen Albright Lin to Chiseled in Rock!

Karen consults and edits for published and yet-to-be published writers of fiction, nonfiction, and book proposals. She writes in a number of genres and conducts writing workshops in various venues, including on cruise ships. Today, Karen is sharing how she prepared for her latest cruise and the five classes she would teach while on board.



My last two cruise teaching gigs were with Celebrity Cruise Lines, Belize/CostaRica/Panama and the Baltic, and I previously shared thoughts about those trips here on CIR:

Writers, want a free cruise?  The secret is revealed.
Teaching my way through the Baltic, Part 1
Teaching my way through the Baltic, Part 2
Teaching my way through the Baltic, Part 3
Teaching my way through the Baltic, Part 4

This time the offer came from Princess. They wanted me to teach writing courses on sea days from Tahiti to Sydney, boarding the boat midway through a 32-day cruise, taking over for the guest speaker who was on board before me. Tahiti had always been on my list of places I wanted to go. So I signed up, and:
  • Sent a list of which classes I’d teach on those sea days and what my AV needs would be.
  • Paid my broker her fee of $70/day for each ship day, which covered my husband, Wen, and me.
  • Read information provided by Princess (far less material than sent by Celebrity)
  • Bought the mandatory Medical Evacuation Insurance, cost about $50.
  • Arranged flights.  
    My flight to Tahiti was covered by Princess, but my return from Sydney and all of Wen’s travel needed to be covered by us. Mitigating those expenses, Wen had frequent-flyer miles. I chose when I wanted to fly into Tahiti and from what international airport (DIA), they arranged for a fare based on past negotiations and offered it to me. Wen’s would be full fair so we chose to take separate flights to save half the cost (Air France charges considerably more than Tahiti Airlines). We were able to coordinate it well so we would land in Tahiti at almost the same time.
  • Waited for the arrival of my Maritime Visa that is required by our ultimate destination, Australia, for all those entering who worked on the high seas. This was covered by Princess.
  • Applied for a Visa for Wen. 20$ at our expense.
  • Researched any excursions we might want to go on without paying through the more expensive cruise arrangements.
  • Double checked that my PowerPoint presentations were ready. My broker asks that I always have one more than asked for so that if weather causes one extra sea day. I needed a total of 5 for this Island Cruise. I had 7 prepared.  These included:
  • An important detail: Each of my PowerPoints end on a slide reading “Enjoy the rest of your cruise” accompanied by a photo of the ship. I had to remove the photos of a Celebrity ship and replace it with the Sea Princess.
  • Checked Internet for what the weather should be like, what clothes to pack.
  • Fly into Tahiti a couple of days early to acclimate before boarding.  We rented a car, stayed at the Tahiti Meridien with a nice private deck with to-die-for views and a delicious included breakfast. We’re talking sashimi, cheeses, meats, chocolate croissants, green grapefruit, a tofu lomi lomi, papaya, and passion fruit to die for.

  • The ocean and pool were too cold for my taste, but Wen braved the waves three times to snorkel. This cold water theme was to continue as we traveled through the Polynesian islands where unseasonable rain threatened to put a damper on much of the snorkeling. We were determined to make the most of it.

We would board the next day and discover the many differences between teaching on a Celebrity cruise and teaching on a Princess cruise.

Karen Albright Lin


Thank you, Karen!

Please stop by next Wednesday (the 18th) when Karen will again join us to share some of the downsides to teaching on a cruise. (Downsides?)


Myra Nour said...

Enjoyed sharing about teaching on cruises. Sounds like a lot of pre planning!! Myra Nour

Anonymous said...

How cool, Karen! Did Zach to the artwork?

Looking forward to the rest...of the story....

Sisters of the Quill said...

What art work, Frank? Do you mean the power point pages? No I put the powerpoint together myself.