From Galley to Goddess: My Rise to Beach Goddess Aboard Safari Voyager
Ascension: From Galley to Goddess: My rise to Beach Goddess Aboard the Safari Voyager
By Amanda Randall
My UnCruise career started many, many years ago aboard the 84 passenger Safari Endeavour in Juneau, Alaska. I quickly became infatuated with our laid back, outdoorsy itineraries and enthusiastic crew. As much as I loved my position as pastry chef - I envied the expedition guides. They always seemed to be racing off to bushwhack through the temperate rainforest, kayak in front of a glacier, or skiff off in search of whales. Meanwhile, I baked the days away in a windowless galley, providing passengers and crew with far more calories and sugar than they were used to consuming in everyday life. The standing ovations at the end of the week during captain’s dinner being the only things driving me forward.
My third season with the company I was finally able to make it down to Baja for my first of five seasons (and hopefully more!) in the Mexican sun. The freedoms that the hotel crew enjoyed on this route were unparalleled. Crew beach, skiffs to shore on a moment’s notice, plenty of room in snorkel skiffs with the guests – the possibilities for adventures seemed limitless. Responsibilities in the galley always had me running back to the boat after an hour and half or so though – leaving behind white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and amazing hikes. I enjoyed making my way along ridges and through canyons, scrambling across rocks to get to spectacular views, and pretending to be a mermaid on rocks overlooking tidepools. As I expanded the territory that I could cover on those short breaks, I couldn’t help but ask myself – was I a hiker?
As my 2022 Baja season came to a close, the last week I found myself as an extra body on board the Voyager. My pastry chef trainee was awesome didn’t need my help in the galley, and a low passenger count meant the front of house staff didn’t really need any extra hands. Somehow, I found myself adopted by the expedition team. All my dreams from 14 previous seasons were finally coming true! Expedition Leader Keka, and guides Marika and Christian welcomed me with open arms. I happily schlepped beach chairs and coolers from the skiffs to the beach for the afternoon beach parties. I rejoiced when I could help launch kayaks or paddle boards. Need to me pour beach cocktails at Isla San Francisco or co-guide a burro ride at Agua Verde? I would love nothing more! A few times I even found myself alone on the beach for 20 or so minutes, able to close my eyes and listen to the waves quietly breaking. Not a care in the world except if I had worn enough sunscreen or not. And perhaps the best part? I had my own radio!
The guides immediately started referring to me as “Beach Goddess” (as Marika so lovingly labeled my radio my first day) and made sure our guests were well aware of the new moniker. Our chief mate even mistook me for a guide one day as I came down the stairs with my crew hat, yellow rash guard, and Teva sandals on. I proudly showed off those sandal tan lines to the rest of the crew as the week wore on. You don’t develop too deep of a tan working in the galley, after all.
Will I permanently turn in my apron and measuring spoons for an orange hat and radio one day? Probably not. But my week as Beach Goddess will remain in the highlight reel of my life forever. Perhaps next winter they’ll let me relive my glory days for an afternoon or two.