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Hospitality at Sea

Life After Study Abroad….

By Hospitality at Sea

It’s been 3 weeks since students disembarked the Carnival Horizon. Yes, this is a sad thought, but FIU students have been handling life pretty well after study abroad .

Let’s see what some have to say about where their journey took them after the cruise…



Abigail Moon, 20. Flew back to Georgia the day we disembarked the ship. Abigail had a couple of days to spend with her family and friends before she had to pack her bags again and head back to NYC. For the past two weeks, she has been interning for the Yankees baseball team in the Human Resources department, where she looks over 2,000 employees. She has a lot of interaction with the employees and handles any problems that may arise during the baseball games.

“I have been working so hard! It is really making me miss the amazing group of friends I’ve made on the ship.”













Steven Wiltbank, 26. The morning we arrived in the port of NYC, Steven had a short 50 minute drive to his home in New Jersey. Lucky him! A couple days after the cruise he went through a training program with a master spin instructor for his certification. He succeeded and has been working for Tandem Cycle Studio in New Jersey.

“I am saving all the money I am making from the studio, this summer, to plan my next cruise in February!” 











Zack White, 21. Working hard for “The Plant Guys” to learn some of the hardest forms of work in society, so he can fully appreciate physical work when he is successful in the future. He plans on putting his hard working money into the stock market.






Lisamarie Christina, 20. At first, Lisa was hesitant to go on the study abroad cruise, but she decided to go and make the best of it! Since the cruise ended, she has been waitressing 5/6 days a week. She plans to save her money this summer to rent her own apartment and focus more on her sorority ~ Phi Sig~.













Nina Dimarzio, 26. Did the big move to North Carolina just 1 week after the cruise! She is attending a new school and began her training at Ft. Knox. She received amazing new this week about receiving a scholarship from the military! The cruise has given her amazing memories, friends, and knowledge. Also, the cruise gave her the relaxation she needed before she began her training.

“My move to North Carolina after the cruise went better than expected! Its a completely new atmosphere here compared to Miami. My new school is treating me well! I do miss FIU and it will always be apart of me.”














-Sacelia Rose~Marie


Halifax, Nova Scotia

By Hospitality at Sea

May 21st, 2018

Halifax is an Atlantic Ocean port in eastern Canada. This city is a major business center and it’s also known for its maritime history.

*8:30am* We all ran off the ship to explore the waterfront port city! First stop? Tim Hortons Cafe. I would say it’s like the Dunkin Donuts of Canada! There’s a selection of coffee, smoothies, and baked goods. As we were walking on the boardwalk, we saw vendors setting up for the day showcasing their homemade jewelry. It was a very peaceful walk along the water watching the locals jogging and walking their dogs. Some time had passed and the stores and restaurants were still opening up, so we decided to explore the Citadel and the Public Gardens.







The Citadel:

Today, the Citadel watches over the city’s downtown. Now, its role is as a reminder of Halifax’s past and not as a military fortification. From 9-5pm, tourists are able to buy tickets to enter the fort. The Citadel has some activities for tourists to do, like “ghost tours” and “being a soldier for a day.” It was fun to see a soldier all dressed up, standing outside of the Citadel welcoming the tourists into the fort.





Public Gardens:

The Public Gardens are a 16-acre oasis in the heart of downtown Halifax. It officially opened in 1867 and has retained much of the original Victorian character today. The garden has Victorian fountains, statues, urns, and a stage for the band to play. Vibrant and fresh flowers stand tall throughout the park. This is the perfect location to have a photoshoot (which we took advantage of!!). The garden is one of the free activities there was to do on our entire Europe trip, so it was nice just to sit with friends and take it all in. I would say this moment was the first time we all had the chance to sit and think about how lucky we all are to be traveling the world!!



Popular Foods:


Beaver's Tail



The city was very clean and organized. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. Flowers stood tall and horses occupied the streets. The buildings were well maintained and the streets were not congested (like Miami). Beautiful city! Beautiful day! Beautiful memories! I would recommend Halifax, Nova Scotia to any traveler!















-Sacelia Rose~Marie

Sea Days

By Hospitality at Sea

May 15th-20th

Yes, we had MANY sea days! But, we all made the most of them and kept ourselves busy. Also, it seemed to me that everyone made friends very quickly on the cruise, which is fabulous! Hospitality at Sea programs are an easy and fun way to make new friends and to meet new people from around the world. Personally, I have met many FIU students that I never met before and kind people from all different countries.

A typical Sea Day 


9:00 am-1:30 pm: Classes

 Lunch/Nap/Spa Seminar/Gym

Sports & Outdoor Activities/ Pool & Hot Tub


Comedy Show/IMAX

8:00 pm: Dinner Together

9:00 pm: Show











Crew Member Interview

Having been a photographer for many years, crew member Victor is continuing to do what he loves on the Carnival Horizon. Victor is from Romania and is blessed to capture smiles and happy moments throughout the trip.

When did you realize you wanted to work on a cruise ship?

“Ever since the age of 26, I realized I wanted to travel and see the world. I wanted to meet new people and discover new cultures. I wanted to experience different foods. Simply just wanted to have fun while traveling. So, I applied to Carnival and it was one of the best decisions I have made for myself. I have made great friendships on the ships because everyone is here for the same reason. All crew members who come to work for a cruise line want to travel, make money, and meet different people”.

What advice can you give future crew members?

“Choose your time wisely! I realized after a couple of weeks on the ship that I don’t have as much free time as I thought I would have. But, if you plan out your day wisely, you will be able to work hard and play hard”.

What is your favorite memory so far with a guest?

“One time, a guest ask me to give his fiance a gift. It was their ten year anniversary. I was taking pictures of them and I told the women to shut her eyes for the next picture. I prepared the gift and told her to open her eyes, where her present was waiting for her. I continued to capture this special moment with my camera”.

-Sacelia Rose~Marie

Vigo, Spain

By Hospitality at Sea

May 14th, 2018

Vigo is Iberian Spain’s westernmost city. It is right on the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by it’s mountain landscapes. The city is a seafood fan’s dream, where oysters hardly travel more than a mile to your plate. YUM!! Vigo’s location also gives it a microclimate with temperatures up to five degrees warmer than other Galician cities. Unfortunately, when I first arrived in Vigo, the weather was very gloomy and dark. But, it’s Spain, so everything was still beautiful!! From wine tasting, hiking, site seeing, museums and food tasting, there is plenty to do here in Vigo.

My first stop was Parque Monte del Castro, where I was able to admire the gardens, statues, monuments, fountains, and views. A couple of friends and I hiked up the entire hill to the very top of the park. It was a great workout! There are many stairs and trees with pen spaces and playgrounds. When we reached the top, there was an amazing view of the mountains and the ocean. Also, the parks history can be experienced through the archeological remains, statues, and monuments.

The rest of the day in Vigo (since it was a short day at port) was spent drinking some sangria, shopping, and food tasting! The stores were basically the same in each port city. The sangria was best in Malaga and Vigo. Lastly, the food was DELICIOUS in Vigo!

Churros are a fried-dough pastry, based snack. They’re very different from the churros we find on the boardwalk in the states.

Mushroom Risotto is a typical Italian dish. Although, its main ingredient is rice, which is the basic ingredient of paella too, so this dish also has a good reception is Spain.

Croquettes are a heavenly creation in Spain. Croquettes are a breadcrumbed and fried roll of food leftovers, usually bound with bechamel sauce or mashed potatoes.

-Sacelia Rose~Marie

Lisbon, Portugal

By Hospitality at Sea

May 13th, 2018


Lisbon is the stunning capital city of Portugal!! Lisbon is said to be one of the most vibrant cities of Europe. It is a city that effortlessly blends traditional heritage with striking modernism. Portugal offers history, adventure, a buzzing nightlife, gorgeous beaches and is blessed with a glorious year-round climate.


We had a beautiful day here in Portugal. Again, students had excursions and some explored the city on their own. We did not have much time in Lisbon, but we made the most of it.

  Now, I would love to share some top places visited during our stay in Lisbon!!


 Sintra is a resort town in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains. Very close to Lisbon, with a 30 minute car ride or an hour bus ride.  Sinatra is said to be a Portuguese fairytale because of a longtime royal sanctuary, its forested terrain studded with pastel-colored villas, and its massive palaces.




Cabo Da Roca:

Cabo da Roca is a cape, which forms the westernmost point inland of Europe. When there was no knowledge of the world being round (they thought it was flat), they thought this was the point where the world stopped. Here is where the lighthouse, that was completed in 1772, stands tall at the edge of the ocean. The beautiful scenic overlook is a popular spot for tourists, who enjoy the view from the cliffs that was once the end of the world!








Bairro Alto:

Biarro Alto means “high district” and is found atop one of many hills. Today, Bairro Alto is basically a center of nightlife and restaurants in the center of the neighborhood. Every section of the neighborhood is made up of narrow cobblestone streets, local grocery’ shops, butchers, and bakeries. Laundry hangs from iron balconies and the chatter of caged birds fills the air. As I was walking through the streets, we stopped and spoke with a server in a small cafe. In perfect English, he told us, “At night, all changes. The shops close and the bars and restaurants, invisible during daylight hours, open up”.

It was 3:00pm and ready for us to board the ship again! Students had the chance to layout by the pool and take a nap, warm up in the hot tubs, or grab a late lunch at the buffet. Next stop, VIGO, SPAIN!!

-Sacelia Rose~Marie

Gibraltar, United Kingdom

By Hospitality at Sea

May 12th, 2018

 Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory on Spain’s South Coast, which offers adventure, military history, beautiful beaches, culture, shopping, and natural attractions. The climate of Gibraltar is affected by the surrounding sea, so it was very foggy and chilly in the early morning. Throughout the day, the temperature warmed up and we were able to appreciate the soft winds that came off the Sea. My tour guide told me that the official language in Gibraltar is English, however Spanish is widely spoken. In fact, the language spoken is an unofficial dialect called “Yanito.” Yanito is a mix of English, Spanish, and some Italian words. How interesting is that!?











Gibraltar was technically our third port stop, so excitement and energy was still flowing through students veins. The ship was cleared at 8:00am and we were allowed to get off and explore the United Kingdom! Some students had excursions like touring the Gibraltar Rock, visiting the monkeys, and exploring St. Michaels Cave.

Now, let me take you through my journey in Gibraltar….

Gibraltar Rock

I personally did not purchase an excursion in Gibraltar, so I had to find my own way up to the enormous rock! Locals told me it would take 2 hours to walk up the rock…. NO, THANK YOU! As I continued walking through the city, I came across a company who drives groups of tourists up to the rock for 25 pounds each. What a deal! So, myself and 7 friends hopped into our tour guides van and we had an hour an a half to explore the rock. Our first stop was the lower rock city-overview. This is where we saw the entire city from above. The view was breathtaking! FUN FACT: Spain and Africa (Morocco) can be seen from afar at this section of the rock!

St. Michael Cave

We continued to drive and I honestly did not know what to expect next. Our tour guide stopped the van halfway up the rock and we got out to enter St. Michaels Cave. The cave is a vast network of limestone grottoes 984 feet above sea level on the actual rock. –As we were walking in, we hear screaming and laughing and we look to our left to see a monkey stealing a ladies plastic bag with her souvenirs in it! It’s funny because our tour guide DID warn us about the monkeys stealing personal items before we exited his van.– The cave was  astounding and modernized. Different colored LED lights shine up the walls and stairs are built-in throughout the entire cave. Today, the cave hosts concerts, ballet, and theater shows thanks to its beautiful acoustics and romantic setting.







Barbary Macaques 

Finally!! We arrive at the top of the rock! We see monkeys flooding the street and jumping on top of the tour vans. Our first stop at the top of the rock was the Skywalk. FUN FACT: The Skywalk stands 340 meters directly above sea level and is located higher than the tallest point of London’s “The Shard.” Impressive! At first, I was SO scared to walk on the skywalk because it is made of all glass. When I looked down, I saw my feet and 340 meters of air before the ground! Just a couple of feet away from the skywalk is where the monkeys all hang out and eat their fresh fruits and vegetables that the Gibraltarians provide for them. The tour guides bribed the monkeys with nuts to get them to jump on our shoulders. We had to keep our hands down and be calm in order for the monkeys to stay calm. Having the monkeys jumping on everyone’s shoulders and seeing  everyone’s smile reach from one side of their face to the other was such a great memory!

~Sacelia Rose~Marie

Malaga, Spain

By Hospitality at Sea

May 11th, 2018

 Malaga is a port city on southern Spain’s Costa del Sol. This city is blessed with their high-rise hotels, resorts, hilltops, and yellow-sand beaches. Personally, I believe Malaga is underrated because this city is far from lacking in energy! From the moment we got off the ship, there was PLENTY to do and see. Luckily, the city center and beach is walking distance from the port. At first, I was looking for a taxi to bring me into the city, but I recommend walking to your destination and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

There are an array of excursions and activities to do in the city. Personally, I chose to walk Malaga on my own with a group of friends and it worked out in our favor! We rode on the Mirador Princess ferris wheel, which was only 8 euro for three rides. The most breathtaking views can be seen from the very top of the ferris wheel. Next, we took a horse carriage ride around the beach. The horse brought us to the beach and back, where we were able to see Plaza de Toros where the bull fighting takes place. Located in the center of the city is the famous street, La Calle Larios, where shopping can be done the right way! Make sure to look out for two clothing stores called Pull and Bear & Bershka!








For those who like to have a solid plan when traveling, Carnival provided excursions such as:

  • Kayaking in Andalusia, where students entered caves and paddled around the sea.
  • Exploring Cordoba, where students had the chance to see how the three monotheistic religions lived in harmony through architecture and narrow flower filled streets.
  • Horseback riding, where students were able to see the countryside on the back of a horse.


We had a pretty lengthy stay in Malaga, which is not a complaint! The day was filled with adventure and the evening was spent at the beach for most of us. Just past our port, you’ll find Malagueta, the most popular beach in Malaga. Beach chairs and umbrellas can be rented for a small fee for those who wanted to relax before boarding the ship. For those who worked up an appetite after their excursion had the opportunity to eat at one of the beachfront chiringuitos, small seafood restaurants that line the sand.











~Sacelia Rose-Marie



Embarkation Day

By Hospitality at Sea

May 9th, 2018


It is one exciting morning because today is the day our trip officially begins on the Carnival Horizon!! After breakfast in the hotel, we all met up in the lobby to wait for a coach bus to bring us to the port. Seeing the glow of happiness and excitement on the faces of each student was priceless! I knew from then on our trip would only get better.

Our ship is out of this world! From on board activities, spa treatments, and gourmet restaurants there is no way students will be bored after class is let out each day. Yes, CLASS!

Cruise Line Management, Travel Law, and Personal Empowerment classes will be taken on sea days from 9:00am to 1:30pm on the ship. The Cruise Line Management class allows students to learn how an entire cruise ship operates day by day. The Travel Law class gives students legal knowledge about the Travel Industry. The Personal Empowerment Class increases students interpersonal skills.


During Embarkation students flooded the pool deck for the sail away party. Once the three horns went off it was officially time to sail out of Barcelona! We had a fun packed afternoon on the ship from exploring the shops, pools, restaurants, and casino. Later that night we had our first sit down dinner as a group. Professor Thomas checked all of the students in and prepared them for class the next morning!!








~Sacelia Rose-Marie

Barcelona, Spain

By Hospitality at Sea

May 8th, 2018

 “This is Professor Dodge. Anyone in Barcelona yet?”

 When this text message was sent to our Hospitality at Sea group chat it finally felt real. It is official!! We are in beautiful Barcelona, Spain.

  Let me take one step back before I go into detail about Barcelona…. To be honest, before arriving in Barcelona I had no expectations at all. I did not know what the city offers for college students. I was nervous about the language barrier some students may encounter and I was scared to travel alone (which I think a lot of the other students can relate to). Students are flying in Barcelona at different days/times prior to May 8th. My roommate and I were lucky enough to fly into Barcelona three days prior to the cruise to explore the city. From trying new restaurants, touring, hiking, and shopping we immediately made unforgettable memories and friends in three short days. We had a strong understanding of the city by the time the rest of the students arrived, so we were able to show some students the main attractions.

The evening of May 8th is when all FIU students and professors met their roommates and checked into the NH Collection Constanza Hotel in Barcelona for a night stay. A lot of us have been communicating with each other weeks before the trip, so it was interesting to finally meet in person. Everyone shared their stories of how and when they arrived in Barcelona. Some students came a couple of days early and stayed at the Constanza hotel, a hostel, an AirBNB, or another hotel. My roommate and I stayed at Hotel Praktik Rambla, which was located in the heart of the city center and the famous La Rambla. I would recommend this hotel to fellow students and professors because of the perfect location, free breakfast, and spacious rooms.

There is a tremendous amount of activity to do and sights to see in Barcelona. We all tried to stick together but everyone was on his or her own schedule this evening. But, maybe it was suppose to work out this way because we all got to see different sights in such a short amount of time. Then, everyone was able to share his or her own experiences and pictures with each other.

Now, lets brag about Barcelona!!






La Rambla and La Boqueria Market:

La Rambla is the most famous street in Barcelona while La Boqueria is the biggest market in Bracelona. La Rambla is a very wide street, which offers souvenir shops, restaurants, clothing stores, and people watching! The market is connected to La Rambla and offers a great lunch with a variety of seafood, nuts, sangria, gelato, cheese, and meat. It is a must see!! A bit of advice while visiting La Rambla is to watch for the pickpockets and to use common sense.








Gothic Quarter:

The Gothic Quarter is the center of old Barcelona and one of the best-preserved medieval areas in Europe. The architecture in this quarter is breathtaking. There are delicious cafes tucked away in the narrow streets where some of the best pastries can be found! While roaming around this quarter, I stumbled upon Formatgeria La Seu, which offers three local cheeses along with a mini glass of wine for just 3 euros. One of the centerpieces of Gothic Quarter is the Barcelona Cathedral. Make sure when going into the cathedral, you cover up as they will not let you in.











La Sagrada Familia:

The striking appearance of La Sagrada Familia takes your breath away. This church has been under construction for over 100 years, and supposedly will not be finished until 2026! The backside of the church is filled with carvings of religious figures and ornate decoration. Upon going inside, it is safe to say that this is the most unreal site of Barcelona. The pillars look like tree trunks and then the stain glass windows with the sun make it multicolored inside. One of the main attractions of the church is the towers. Upon entering the tower, one must go up an elevator to then get to a very narrow stairwell. Once there, you walk up the tower and go onto the little balconies to get up close with the wonders of Gaudi. The detail and the colors along with the magnitude of the edifice are extraordinary. Once done, one must take a very narrow and circular stairwell that has railings only on one side. The best description of the stairwell is like a nautilus shell. Once going down the steps, you are greeted by the main floor and tons of tourists. This is something one must absolutely book in advance as queues can last as long as 2 hours!






Park Guell:

 Park Guell is one of the most popular photographed sights in all of Barcelona. This park is a masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi and is a series of buildings, gardens, and handmade tiles. For more adventure, I would recommend hopping on the city bus and walking uphill to the park. If one is limited with time, I would recommend taking a taxi directly to the park entrance. When I arrived on a Monday afternoon, the park was already flooded with tourists. I tried to purchase tickets to enter the most popular section of Park Guell with the beautiful views and tiles, but I was too late! Make sure to buy your tickets online ahead of time to guarantee entry. Although if one cannot purchase tickets, the rest of the park is beautiful and still worth seeing.








El Classico:

“FUTBALL”!! Barcelona vs. Madrid. The biggest rivalry in soccer!! But, I have to admit that soccer is not my forte, so I turned to my fellow FIU classmate to share his experience at the El Classico. Jake Desilets states, “ The atmosphere was electric and the passion was very intense.” Jake was fortunate enough to see Lionel Messi score a goal! It is safe to say that attending this soccer game was a once in a lifetime experience for Jake.










Sacelia Rose~Marie

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