For those of you who are not familiar with the term, GOB stands for ‘Girlfriend On Board’. As I have mentioned before, my husband and I met whilst working on cruise ships. For a few years, we were both able to arrange to complete our contracts on the same ship, at the same times (roughly). However, as we each had a different employer, this became difficult. My husband (then boyfriend) was a maritime engineer onboard and officers have certain privileges that other crew members do not. These privileges were free of charge, such as room service, dry cleaning, their own private cabin (crew members usually have to share a room), and best of all, officers can bring their partner onboard for six months per year. When it got to the point where I was unable to arrange my next contract on the same ship, we decided to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
As a GOB, I was able to enjoy the best of both worlds onboard; you have access to both passenger and crew areas, you are not required to work or wear a crew uniform, and you are able to join all of the passenger entertainment onboard. I was able to attend the theatre shows every night, watch movies in the cinema, sun bathe on the decks, enjoy great food every day in the passenger restaurants, attend fantastic parties in the crew bar each night, and then sleep in the next day while my poor husband had to get up early and go to work.
Each day the cabin steward would come and clean our cabin, make our bed and replace our towels with fresh ones. It really was the life! On sea days, I’d go to the library and read or study Dutch language books. I also did some casual work every now and then for various departments onboard, such as selling tours at the Shore Excursions desk, working in the duty free shops on board, or assisting the art auctioneer.
The ultimate part of being a GOB was that every day, whilst all the other crew members were working, I could go ashore and discover what ever port we were in on that particular day. For two years, I was able to thoroughly explore amazing destinations such as Alaska, the Caribbean and Mexico. One particular cruise, however, was an experience I will never forget. In 2006, I was onboard as a GOB for a relocation cruise from South America to Australia. Below are the ports that we visited during that unforgettable cruise, and I will treasure the memories I have of them for the rest of my life.
Bora Bora, Tahiti
Pago Pago, Samoa
Bay of Islands, NZ
Milford Sound, NZ
This was also our last cruise. We disembarked in Australia at the end of this relocation cruise, were married two months later, and then moved to Sydney where we both began working..on land this time.