Lombok Island, Indonesia

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Heavy morning cloud at Lombok

Leo and I arrived into Bali on the 4th December and checked into a hotel for the night. We were picked up after breakfast the next morning and delivered to Seabourn Odyssey by the agent at breakfast time. This truly is my second home. As soon as I appeared on the quayside I was welcomed, my suitcase was whisked away I set about the process of taking over the ship from Capt Bathgate.

Come departure time the heavens opened and did it pour??? My goodness! It was so heavy we could not see the buoyed channel so we sat for 45 minutes to let the deluge pass by and the visibility improved. Off we went for the overnight hop to Lombok island.

True to form the jet lag kicked in and at 3 am I was wide awake reading my book. Typical. It normally takes me a few days to readjust to the time zones.

The photo shows our approach to lumbar harbour. It was a warm and humid morning with heavy cloud cover. Truly tropical in fact. Just before breakfast we dropped our anchor at the entrance to the bay in which Lumbar lies and sent our three tenders away with the tours.

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Ferries at anchor off Lumbar harbour.

My day was spent getting to grips with all that has happened during my time off. In that time the ship has repositioned from the Med through Suez and out to Asia and now Indonesia. Handover notes were read. Minutes of meetings were scanned. It all builds a mental picture of the ship and her crew.

What I would like to do over the next days is to introduce you to some of the crew that make the ship tick. I would like to show you people that you may not get a chance otherwise to meet. Each and every one of them plays their vital part in keeping the Seabourn odyssey running.

Today I will start with our Assistant Crew Purser Bernadette Lagaya, Bernie to us. In her own words here is what she does onboard.

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I am Bernadette Lagaya, just “Bernie” for short, Assistant Crew Purser on the Seabourn Odyssey. I come from Paranaque City, just south of Manila, Philippines. I have been with Seabourn since 2006 and started out as a Night Auditor on all of Seabourn’s smaller ships – the Spirit, the Pride and the Legend. When the bigger ships were built, I was promoted to become the first Assistant Crew Purser on board Seabourn’s first big sister ship – the Odyssey. My main task involves assisting the Crew Purser in his numerous duties – from Signing Off and Signing On of our 350 Crew Members and up to maintaining individual crew files and passport checking. I also deal with money exchange for the Crew and am highly relied upon in organizing Crew Activities on board. Basically, what Guest Services does for the guests – I do for the Crew.

It may seem that I just go through monotonous routines when it comes to work – but that is very unlikely – especially when we have our weekly Crew Drill. My emergency duties involve assisting the Captain and his team on the Bridge through writing down all occurrences and issues reported through the radio and on the phone which is very helpful in improving and correcting mistakes in every Boat Drill we have.

I do admit that that working on ships is a tough job – the biggest difficulty would be staying for 9 months away from my family. I have a 16 year old son, named Kyle, who is on his first year in College. I am a very proud mom to a 6 feet tall teenager taking up Multi Media Arts in one of the Philippines’ so called “Ivy League” universities. I am very thankful that I am blessed with my Mom and my two older sisters who takes good care of him while I am away.

I honestly love my job because I deal mostly with the Crew – I have found friends from almost every part of the world. My boss, the Crew Purser, Bjorn Witkam, is not really my boss, he is more of a friend that I enjoy working with – we make work fun and we make things happen through good times and bad times. The big plus is I get to travel the world for free!

I have simple dreams and my goal is to build a life I don’t need a vacation from, oh wait – I am actually living it right now!


There you have it. If you do have any particular member of the crew that you would like a little profile on drop me an email by clicking the link at the bottom of the page or leave me a comment.


Mark Dexter 2015