Embarkation Day and Life at Sea

Beautiful sunset
   Beautiful sunset view from the World Odyssey

Day 1 at the World Odyssey on September 13, 2015 was one day I was waiting for almost 6 months. Nobody ever told me how calm the shipboard faculty were expecting us all to be. I did not have breakfast in my excitement to see the ship, and left straight for the Hilton hotel terminal 4 from where a bus picked us up to take us to the Southampton to embark on the beautiful World Odyssey. It took me almost two hours to get to the port. At the port they introduced a new rule where we had to separate out all the liquids from our suitcases or bags and put them into our hand carry or backpacks which were going to enter with us, while the rest was going straight into our rooms. After almost 3 hours since I left from Greater London where I was staying, I started starving for I had not eaten a bite since I woke up. I entered the terminal (immigration) where I saw a long line waiting to get into the security. I moved along the line for half an hour till I reached the first counter. They did not have me on the records to board in London, since all the internationals were boarding the ship on September 14 in the port of Le Havre, France. This served as my lucky opportunity where a crew member escorted me through the long line waiting for the security check. I got into the security check and the man then took me straight to the stairs of the ship. If I had gone through the usual, it would have definitely been an hour longer. As we climbed up the staircase, I felt so real! It was like my dream coming to life. It was finally the WORLD ODYSSEY, the big beauty that I was boarding. We entered straight into deck 5, where the faculty gave me an option to eat before I stand into a long line again to check into my cabin. The food was laid on deck 6 in the Berlin Restaurant. It was salads, pasta, soups, water, iced tea, and HONEY CAKE. It felt so good to see how we shall be served for the next four months. The honey cake was there because it was the day of embarkation for the ship as well as the beginning of a new Jewish year, where the tradition is to have a piece of apple dipped in honey for a sweet beginning and a beautiful journey ahead. I talked to so many wonderful people at lunch and yes everybody was excited as much as I was. It was now time to get into a long line to check in. After an hour and a half, I was finally assigned my cabin. At this point I was so tired that I wanted to rush to my cabin and get straight on my bed. I entered my lovely cabin on deck 5 that was perfection for me. The ship was supposed to leave at 2000 hours (we followed the London time), but it left earlier than the time scheduled because the captain of the ship saw a storm coming in the sea on the route from which we were traveling. The time was changed to 1700 hours, and we all gathered on the deck to wave off London and begin our beautiful SAS journey. As we began sailing and reached the middle of the ocean, an announcement was made for the orientation in the kaisersaal. We all gathered in the big hall where there were speeches by the faculty and dean, and we were introduced to the journey we chose. After a while, the ship began rocking and rolling with the big waves of the sea. The captain announced that the decks will be closed and everyone must walk holding the railings of the staircase. It caused a lot of seasickness among all the students. Everyone was extremely tired and definitely not ready for the huge waves. The waves were helpful in putting everybody to a good sleep at the end of the orientation. The first day was definitely unusual but adventurous which makes me kind of excited to see what the trip is going to be like. I am all set for my journey now!

Dining room
                           Dining room

After 2 rough days in sea everybody was kind of low and seasick. But once the decks were open after 2 days everybody came alive and in the next 30 minutes everybody was out on the deck for the bright sun. In the evening we saw the beautiful sunset followed by the delicious dinner. The classes are really interesting but distracting too. One of my classes is in a room where you can see the sea through the window. I saw dolphins once and yes that was a complete distraction but that is the beauty of this program. Talking about classes, yes we get a lot of readings to do as class meetings are less and professors expect us to read before class. The projects we are getting for this semester are really interesting and will something to do in each port. For my International Economics class I got a project for which I have to deal with the prices of certain goods in each country and then compare the prices in the end. I will keep talking about my life at sea as it goes on.

Outside deck
                       Outside deck

By Nikhil Bansal

Graduate from the University of Mississippi in 2017 and now working at my farm in Zambia. Follow me through my living experiences in different parts of the world.

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