4 Day Cruise to Key West and Cozumel out of Miami (through the eyes of a crew ship singer)

Melanie Cuevas

Created By:
Melanie Cuevas

 
Singing for cruise ships has given me the opportunity to travel and work at the same time. Here is a sample of what a four day cruise might look like for me. I was performing on the Carnival Victory June 2017 to September 2017.

Under the Mango Tree

737 5th Street, Miami Beach, FL, United States

Because I am on a ship for about 6 months at a time, I sometimes get tired of the food served on the ship. I like going out to different food places during my short time on land and sometimes even away from where the ship ports so I can avoid bumping into coworkers.
I am a very big fan of açai bowls and I have to say this place probably has one of the best I have ever tasted. After spending some time hear, I was ready to get back to the ship and get to work.

Work

Port of Miami, Miami, FL, United States

"Home Port" days are one of the busiest for me because once all the guests are on the ship there needs to be a safety briefing. All the guests need to go to their muster stations and listen what to do in an emergency. My duty was to guide the guests where they have to stand and perform a life jacket demonstration.
After this, it is time to put make-up on and get dressed for my main job of the evening.
The first night I always performed a motown set and a 70's/disco set.

Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley in Key West Florida

Key West, FL, United States

The first port of call after leaving the port of Miami is Key West, Florida. After Hurricane Irma, we could not go back to Key West immediately and had to change itineraries for a few weeks, but coming back was a great experience because I was impressed at how the community had cleaned up after all that happened. I took the Hop-On and Hop-Off trolley the first day back to Key West after the hurricane. I think it is one of the best things to do here because the trolleys take you to so many parts of Key West from the famous Mile 0 sign to the southern most part of the United States. You are free to stop and get off as many times as you like. Featured in this photo is a statue of the famous Marilyn Monroe.

Work

Key West, FL, United States

On the evening of Key West, I sing a 90's to now set of music and then I'm done with work for the day!
Now I have the option to just relax or maybe go to the gym for a workout!

Tacos in Cozumel, Mexico

77238 San Miguel de Cozumel, Quintana Roo Mexico

Next, is the amazing Cozumel, Mexico. I love this place because I found out there are places that sell $1 tacos! One place is Macarena Tropic which is the address the location that I have entered on the map. This place not only has great tacos, but it also has wifi. Finding wifi is very important for those of us working on the ship because wifi is not free and is VERY slow all of the time.
If you come here and you find that it is closed you can go across the street and find a small taco truck (featured in the photo). Also, amazing tacos for $1.
I love finding places like these because Cozumel is becoming more and more "tourist-y." I enjoy finding places where locals come to eat.

Kaokao Chocolate Factory in Cozumel, Mexico

1a. Bis Sur S/Npor 80 Bis. Av. Sur, Flores Magón, 77670 San Miguel de Cozumel, Q.R., Mexico

This is probably my favorite place I have visited in Cozumel. Upon arrival, a tour guide will teach you the history of chocolate and how the Mayans utilized it many years ago and after that you will get to make your own chocolate! It feels so rewarding eating chocolate that you know you made yourself. It was honestly the best chocolate I have ever tasted because it was only crushed coca beans, cinnamon, and honey. This experience costs $20 (transportation to the factory is not included).

No Work!

Puerta Maya Cruise Ship Terminal, San Miguel de Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel days were always the best because it was my day off so after a full day of activities in Mexico I get to rest and sleep! :)

Survival Craft Course Training

Miami, FL, United States

Part of being a crew member on the ship is participating in many trainings. One of these trainings is the Survival Craft Course Training. We learn everything there is to know about survival at see. A portion of this training we learned about life rafts. We need to be knowledgable of how the life raft works, the items inside, the capacity of passengers allowed in the raft, etc. If there was a life raft in the middle of the ocean that had capsized, we learned that anyone can flip it back over. Of course the instructor chose me to capsize the raft back to normal position because I was the smallest one in the class.

Work

Port of Miami, Miami, FL, United States

Finally, I am scheduled to perform a woodstock and 80's set to close out the final evening of the cruise.

Back to Port of Miami

Port of Miami, Miami, FL, United States

Then once the four days are over it is back Miami. All of the guests go home, but I now prepare for a 3 day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas.

 

Under the Mango Tree

Eat
737 5th Street, Miami Beach
Because I am on a ship for about 6 months at a time, I sometimes get tired of the food served on the ship. I like going out to different food places during my short time on land and sometimes even away from where the ship ports so I can avoid bumping into coworkers.
I am a very big fan of açai bowls and I have to say this place probably has one of the best I have ever tasted. After spending some time hear, I was ready to get back to the ship and get to work.
 

View on Map

 

Work

Explore
Port of Miami, Miami
"Home Port" days are one of the busiest for me because once all the guests are on the ship there needs to be a safety briefing. All the guests need to go to their muster stations and listen what to do in an emergency. My duty was to guide the guests where they have to stand and perform a life jacket demonstration.
After this, it is time to put make-up on and get dressed for my main job of the evening.
The first night I always performed a motown set and a 70's/disco set.
 

View on Map

 

Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley in Key West Florida

Get Around
Key West, FL
The first port of call after leaving the port of Miami is Key West, Florida. After Hurricane Irma, we could not go back to Key West immediately and had to change itineraries for a few weeks, but coming back was a great experience because I was impressed at how the community had cleaned up after all that happened. I took the Hop-On and Hop-Off trolley the first day back to Key West after the hurricane. I think it is one of the best things to do here because the trolleys take you to so many parts of Key West from the famous Mile 0 sign to the southern most part of the United States. You are free to stop and get off as many times as you like. Featured in this photo is a statue of the famous Marilyn Monroe.
 

View on Map

 

Work

Explore
Key West, FL
On the evening of Key West, I sing a 90's to now set of music and then I'm done with work for the day!
Now I have the option to just relax or maybe go to the gym for a workout!
 

View on Map

 

Tacos in Cozumel, Mexico

Eat
77238 San Miguel de Cozumel, Quintana Roo Mexico
Next, is the amazing Cozumel, Mexico. I love this place because I found out there are places that sell $1 tacos! One place is Macarena Tropic which is the address the location that I have entered on the map. This place not only has great tacos, but it also has wifi. Finding wifi is very important for those of us working on the ship because wifi is not free and is VERY slow all of the time.
If you come here and you find that it is closed you can go across the street and find a small taco truck (featured in the photo). Also, amazing tacos for $1.
I love finding places like these because Cozumel is becoming more and more "tourist-y." I enjoy finding places where locals come to eat.
 

View on Map

 

Kaokao Chocolate Factory in Cozumel, Mexico

Eat
1a. Bis Sur S/Npor 80 Bis. Av. Sur, Flores Magón
This is probably my favorite place I have visited in Cozumel. Upon arrival, a tour guide will teach you the history of chocolate and how the Mayans utilized it many years ago and after that you will get to make your own chocolate! It feels so rewarding eating chocolate that you know you made yourself. It was honestly the best chocolate I have ever tasted because it was only crushed coca beans, cinnamon, and honey. This experience costs $20 (transportation to the factory is not included).
 

View on Map

 

No Work!

Sleep
Puerta Maya Cruise Ship Terminal, San Miguel de Cozumel
Cozumel days were always the best because it was my day off so after a full day of activities in Mexico I get to rest and sleep! :)
 

View on Map

 

Survival Craft Course Training

Explore
Miami, FL
Part of being a crew member on the ship is participating in many trainings. One of these trainings is the Survival Craft Course Training. We learn everything there is to know about survival at see. A portion of this training we learned about life rafts. We need to be knowledgable of how the life raft works, the items inside, the capacity of passengers allowed in the raft, etc. If there was a life raft in the middle of the ocean that had capsized, we learned that anyone can flip it back over. Of course the instructor chose me to capsize the raft back to normal position because I was the smallest one in the class.
 

View on Map

 

Work

Explore
Port of Miami, Miami
Finally, I am scheduled to perform a woodstock and 80's set to close out the final evening of the cruise.
 

View on Map

 

Back to Port of Miami

Explore
Port of Miami, Miami
Then once the four days are over it is back Miami. All of the guests go home, but I now prepare for a 3 day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas.
 

View on Map