I know you are curious – many of you have left me sweet notes and comments to let me know how just how curious you are. This post is for you.
- Our Ship – the MV Explorer – was built in 2002 as a cruise vessel. It was purchased in 2004 by the Institute for Shipboard Education and retrofitted to accommodate the needs of a university (classrooms, offices, etc.) – but essentially, if you’ve been on a cruise, you probably have some sense for what our ship looks like.
- We have two cabins – the kids sleep in one room and we sleep in another. We have a baby monitor in their room so they can call us if they need us in the night.
- Our laundry is done for us on the ship. Each bag is very expensive, so we did bring a plastic tub, laundry soap, and a clothesline so we could wash some in our cabin. For the first few weeks, I washed all our clothes in the shower. Lately, I’ve opted to send our laundry out.
- Our rooms are cleaned for us every morning.
- Our daily schedule looks a little like this:
10:30: Swim (even my 2 year old is becoming a swimmer with daily practice!)
2:00: Dependent Children Enrichment Program.
- Dependent Care Program: There are about 30 children from age 2-18 traveling on the ship. There are two set times during the day when this group gathers. From 9-11:30am, the group has their study time. Since my children are too young to sit quietly for 2 hours in a study hall, we do our own thing.
In the afternoon, activities are designed for the younger children to learn about the countries we are visiting (traditional dance, language, food we will encounter, the flags and geography of the locations) as well as learn about the ship (the chefs have visited and taught the kids how to make pizza, sushi, and edible floral bouquets, and they took a tour of the bridge). They have also spent time rehearsing a play, learning card and board games, and playing group sports like basketball and dodge ball. My two-year-old son is too young to participate, so we spend more time playing!
- Our meals are prepared for us. We get to choose from two different dining halls, and the staff is always so eager to see our children come to eat! They save a box of Fruit Loops for my three kids every morning.
- Our stops in port last anywhere from 12 hours to 6 days. We just crossed the equator on our way from India to Mauritius.
- Why are we here? My husband is working on the ship. He is a resident director, responsible for the community life and student safety. We are traveling along as part of the larger learning community. When I am not playing with my kids, I am writing, reading, and learning as much as I can in each new country about cultural practices surrounding education and parenting.
Do you have more questions? Leave them in the comments, and I’ll answer them in another post!