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The Ship Of Dreams

Posted by on March 23, 2012

People ask me all the time while I’m onboard about what I enjoy doing while on “vacation” away from the ship.  My standard, and favorite, response has always been that I cannot wait to go into YOUR office buildings and sit in cubicles.  I guess it IS a bit on the  ironic side that for people’s vacations, they come and see me at my work, and for MINE, uh…..I go home….??   ……………..Hhhhmmmmmm, home….. Well, sorta…

See, I consider myself a professional wanderer.  All my friends and family live in Chicago and its suburbs and I was born and raised there and will always consider it home, however, I sold my house there when I got the position with Carnival 8 years ago and don’t have a permanent place any more.  Sure, I have a ton of places where I could crash, but don’t have a spot of my “own.”  Susan was born and raised in Niagara Falls, NY area and has a really nice house, huge fenced in yard and two dogs there…. but again, not mine, and I have no interest in ever living there.

So, that takes me back to my original point… what do I do, and where do I go, while off my UNofficial home, the Carnival Glory?  The most simplistic version of the answer – whatever I want, wherever I want to do it.  Susan and I L-O-V-E southern Florida, and we are currently in process of exploring different areas and options to move down here and set some roots, however, as of right now we’re doing what we love to do best – traveling and exploring!  I’ll always vividly remember an early conversation we had when we began “dating” on the Carnival Holiday in 2004 (Although you don’t really date on ships, you “after-work-hours shmooze.”  I once took her to the disco and then for late night pizza at the pizzeria…I know, I know….I’m smooth.  I sure had her (myself) in the palm of my hand).  Sooz and I both had a common lifelong goal of one day setting foot in every major city and country in the world, obviously excluding those at war or might pose a serious health concern or threat – like Detroit (Sorry Eric and Joelle).  Ultimately, this free spirited mentality has always fit in with our goals, and my lack of a permanent home.

But, looking back on my life and reminiscing, I have come to the paradoxical conclusion there’s another reason I’m in the incredibly groovy position that I am today….  and it’s kind of embarassing to say, actually……….wait for it………………….


The Ship Of Dreams herself…….



Huh????????  Josh, are you serious?!?!?

I know what you’re thinking (I can see the strange wrinkles above your eyebrows pop up) … How can this guy who makes his profession at sea possibly credit the most shocking, ghastly, legendary maritime disaster in the history of mankind with the gratifying life he has today?!?!

For the answer, please read the below email which I recently sent the the British Broadcast Company, who will be attending and documenting the 100 Year Titanic Memorial Cruise that Sooz and I will be ecstatically joining as of April 8th.  They want people to tell their stories to the world, and you know me, never the shy one, I jumped at the opportunity to try and get a spot on their program…

“Hello, BBC!
I have just read the Newsletter and wanted to throw my hat into the ring for a shot at doing an interview with BBC pre-cruise.  My name is Josh Waitzman and I will be travelling the TMC with my wife, Susan.  We are from Chicago, IL and Niagara Falls, NY.  Our story is quite interesting, and I’m sure would make for a fun twist to their broadcast… 
I have worked for Carnival Cruise Lines for the past eight years and met my wife during my first week onboard when I began.  She was a singer/dancer in the production shows, and I started as a social/karaoke host.  I have now been a Cruise Director for the past almost four years and am blessed to be in a position I truly love.  I credit my profession wholeheartedly to my fascination with the sea when I was seven years old and  found an old Titanic book in my closet, which I read cover to cover in a day and a half.  A week later, Robert Ballard found her at the bottom of the Atlantic and the world went Titanic crazy!  I was hooked for life and eventually satisfied my obsession for ships and the sea by getting my job at the age of 27!  I have since been to every exhibit, seen every documentary and movie (I saw the movie in 1997 seven times!!) and read countless books.  So, when the TMC cruise came about, I jumped on it and booked the first day. 
Susan and I were married Memorial Day weekend last year, and 6 days later I began my Cruise Director contract on the Carnival Glory out of New York City going to a few ports in Canada and New England (ironically including Halifax), then eventually down to the Caribbean from Miami.  So, since I just finished that contract, and given the fact that we never had a chance to take an official honeymoon, this is it…..!!  (even though Susan insists that I still owe her a trip to Hawaii.)
Ultimately, I attribute having a wonderful wife, an amazing job and a gratifying life to my early attraction to the Titanic and it’s intriguing legend………… and I would love to share my story!”

So, whatcha think?  Are you judging me yet?  I would if I were you….

Now, I know what ELSE you’re thinking…. Let me get this straight…. Josh, you spend your life on the ocean, and on your time off, you booked a cruise?!?!?!


Crazy, huh?

I’ve always just held this fascination with the ole’ ye’ legend herself – The Titanic – and 2 years ago when I received an email from the Titanic Historical Society (yes, I am a HUGE DORK and a member), I jumped at the opportunity to book this historical memorial voyage.  The ship, Fred Olden Cruise Lines’ Balmoral, sold out in a matter of months from what I understand, even with the astronomical prices it has charged to get onboard.  It holds the exact same amount of passengers at the Titanic did (1300), was built at the same shipyard (in Belfast, Ireland) and will be doing the exact run out of Southampton, England (well…. hopefully not EXACT…) that the Titanic did exactly 100 years ago, with many historians, authors and documentarists onboard!  There couldn’t be a more perfect choice of a vessel.  The 12 day itinerary itself will include stops to Cobh, Ireland (Titanic’s last ever port of call), Halifax, N.S., Canada (where the ships chartered to pick up any remains/artifacts came from and is the final location where many of the famous victims were buried) and end in New York City (the intended destination of the Titanic).  However, the highlight of the trip, besides for the chance to experience the many famous speakers, will be that the ship will literally stop right on the exact location the Titanic hit the iceberg and sank, to the second, 100 years later.  There will be a ship memorial tribute and a moment of silence for the 1500 souls who perished at 2:20am, the time when the ship slid under the icy waters of the North Atlantic in 1912.

Did you get the shivers yet?  The first time I heard about it, I was so excited/enthralled/mystified that I got the heebie jeebies!!

However, as I was just mentioning before, because neither Sooz nor I have ever had the chance to visit any sites or sounds of England, we have planned a week of sightseeing and touristy “stuff” beforehand.  Prior to our cruise, we will have the distinct opportunity to stay and play with one of Carnival finest Cruise Directors ever, who retired about a year and a half ago, Sir Lenny Halliday, at his and his wife’s home in Liverpool.  He has assured me that there’s more than enough Beatles and Titanic sites that we will be occupied just about the entire three days (I’ve always wanted to visit Abbey Road!).  We will then stay two days in London doing random tours of the city itself, in addition to Stonehedge, Windsor Castle, the Roman Baths, and ultimately end up in Southampton for two days enjoying the Titanic monuments and museums until the ship sails on April 8th.  This is TRULY a trip of a lifetime for me and Sooz….

Now, while onboard, I don’t anticipate joining in on any Hairy Chest Competitions or Deck Parties, sliding down and twister slides, or being part of a Love & Marriage Show like I’m so accustomed to (especially the slide part, I got trapped last time I try to go down one), but I do expect to sit back and relax and immerse myself in the seminars and events all relating to the Titanic, eat everything in sight and enjoy cruise life from the flip side!  Hell, we’ve got 5 days at sea!  I might even stand at their guest services desk laughing and yelling at people who make ridiculous complaints and possibly even heckle a Cruise Director or comedian just for fun…. why not, I’m on vacation!  Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do???    :)   On a serious note though, I do intend to blog my ass off and include a whole bunch of photos on here throughout our momentous trip.  So from April 8th onwards, make sure you sign on to!

As for my “schedule,” I’ve got another week here in Florida until 3/28, and then 3 days in Chicago til’ we fly out to England on 3/31 (landing 4/1), so in the meantime, expect another blog or two from me….

Sorry this one was so long today…. but you know me…. I can’t stop talking once I start…………

I’d like to leave today’s blog with a little quote I love to use during my morning shows on the ship.  It’s courtesy of Mark Twain and sums up this entire vacation for my wife and I, and has sort of become my life’s motto…. it goes like this:

“Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the things you did do.  So, throw off the bow lines, sail away from the safe harbor and catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.”

Bye for now.


13 Responses to The Ship Of Dreams

  1. Christine Goff

    Josh, you and Susan always have a place with us. We will move the giraffes back to our room.. I love your blogs.. You just put a smile on my face when I am having such a horrible day..

    Thank you Josh


  2. the big meow

    Hey Big Sexy,
    Love your blog and am looking forward to reading more. The trip sounds wonderful and we will be with you in spirit. Be kind to the cruise director, he may be on the Glory one day. have fun, enjoy vacation and I await the next read. love to Sooz

  3. Frank and Bridie

    How awesome so happy for you guys!!!! What a cool trip of a lifetime

  4. Patrick Criscuola


    Glad you and Susan are LOVING FLORIDA. Maybe you guys will soon call it home? It is a really great place to live and raise a family. Billion and one things to do. I am really loving all of the blogs and seeing everything you are doing and planning on doing on your time on and off the ship. It is so cool that you guys are going on Titanic cruise, that truly is once in a life time experience. Like you said it is also a vacation/honeymoon for you guys. SO ENJOY IT. Take your own advice, the cruise is what YOU want to make it out to be. Just make sure to get that rest and relaxation in.


  5. Mrs. Magnum

    It’s no wonder we get along so well, we share your “dorky” fascination with Titanic as well as a love of wandering. As long as it’s on a cruise ship, we’re good. We hope you enjoy the journey as a passenger and remember, heckle away and do what you want. As Magnum says, “I’m never going to see these people again……..” Safe travels and ENJOY your trip. It sounds like a once in a lifetime opportunity and clearly you have earned it!


  6. Jackie

    Another great blog!!! I would like a shout out in one of your future installments!!! LOL…..take care….hi to Sooz….xoxo

  7. Heide

    Hi Josh
    Great job on the blog! Enjoy your great vacation with the wife – I hope you get chosen
    for the show- best wishes! Have a blast!
    Heide from WI

  8. Jason Michael

    Today’s Blog was great,,, funny stuff…

  9. Lila

    Another fabulous blog! We are SO happy for you to have this opportunity (and perhaps just a twinge of jealousy in there). :-) We’ll be waiting anxiously to live this very special voyage through you. Thanks so much for giving us this opportunity to experience it, after all, second hand may not be as good as living it out ourselves, but it sure beats missing out on it completely. Wishing you and Sooz a great adventure. Keep the blogs coming!
    Doug & Lila

  10. gary waitzman

    Josh, I’m your dad and never knew how you got hooked on the titanic stuff. Good for you, follow your dreams, love, me

  11. Joelle

    ouch…thanks man. I’ll remember what to get you for Christmas this year. :P

    I so look forward to your updates from England and the Titanic Memorial Cruise. Eric actually took me to see Titanic for our first date so it has always had special meaning to us as well. I pray that you guys have safe travels and enjoy every minute together.

    hugs and love!

  12. CindyB


    If you and Soozy are ever in Cleveland, OH you are more then welcome to stay with me. I’ll even come get you at the airport! There are some cool things in the city: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a kick butt science centre, new aquarium and numerous sports activities (if you’re into that kind of thing). In the summer we get the Tall Ships and the fall is gorgeous.

    Thank you for blogging! I’m thrilled to be able to live vicariously though you and your Carnival life/adventures. I’ve just booked my 8th Carnival cruise for next year, sadly not with you as CD (Freedom in January) and am looking forward to the Southern Caribbean itinerary.


  13. karen sautner

    Looking forward to seeing all the pics and reading the blogs!! Ryan is such a TItanic fan he has done so many book reports and projects on it …. can’t wait for him to see all your pics!!! Have a safe journey!!

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