Dear Dr. Geneive Brown Metzger,
Year 3 Deck Cadet Strachan Nyshauna, an American Caribbean Maritime Foundation Scholarship awardee at the Caribbean Maritime University. On August 29, 2022 I officially embarked on The Royal Caribbean International, Mariner of the Seas cruise vessel as a Deck Apprentice Officer. The Mariner of the Seas was built in 2002 having an overall length of 311.2m and breadth of 41.5 m with a gross tonnage of 139,863 T. This Voyager class vessel has the capacity to carry approximately 1200 crew members and 4000 passengers for each cruise.
When I arrived on the Mariner of the Seas I was directly escorted to the bridge where I met the Deck Officers and the Captain. At this time I was given a mentor who gave me an overall tour and familiarization of the bridge and the vessel. This was a good learning experience where I had gotten the opportunity to see different compartments, emergency signs and signals, fire doors, watertight doors, weather tight doors, life-saving and fire-fighting equipment. All this information I learnt on my very first day, at this point I knew my notebook would be my very best friend. I took so many notes and pictures I had to transfer the information into a binder.
As the days and weeks went by my enthusiasm for learning became boundless, I ensured I was at least one hour early for my duties because I wanted to be fully prepared for any task given. My job entails assisting the second officer (preparing the bridge for arrivals and departures), working with the deck department (chipping, painting and cleaning), working with the security officers when I had gangway duties and assisting the deck officers where needed.
My achievements included receiving my Steering and Mobile Elevated Working Platform Operator certificates. I was able to steer the ship at these amazing ports for arrivals and departures, Port Canaveral in the United States, Nassau Bahamas, Little Stirrup Cay Bahamas and Great Grand Turks and Caicos. Being in charge of the Christmas competition for the deck department (which we won), filling the role as a Marine Administrator when the need arise and working at Dry Dock at Navantia ship yard in Cadiz, Spain. These were all awesome experiences.
Although my schedule was compact I was still able to enjoy all the activities on board which included ice skating, water-sliding, water-surfing, rock climbing and the variety of foods. The crew members were so welcoming and helpful, meeting different nationalities, exposure to different cultures I felt at home.
With prayer, determination, discipline and hard-work success is possible, “I believed I could and I did”. I thank GOD I was awarded the scholarship from the American Caribbean Maritime Foundation, a position as a deck apprentice officer on the Royal Caribbean International, Mariner of the Seas, all of which would not be possible without the Caribbean Maritime University and my supporting parents. ACMF I thank you for changing my life and the many lives that you have changed and will continue to change.
Year 3 Deck Cadet Strachan Nyshauna