by The Whole Family.


We can’t believe it… our nearly-four-months aboard the MV World Odyssey.. IS OVER!

A year or so ago the idea of being at sea with a ship full of college students still seemed pretty, well, nutty.  Let’s just say some of our friends thought it “insanity.” But now the journey… over 27,000 miles with stops in 11 countries across 3 continents… has ended.   And now the five of us look (with some trepidation!) towards our NEXT three-months of travel WITHOUT all our wonderful shipboard amenities and the great new friends we made.  We will miss you, World Odyssey!

Want to see a slideshow of our best photos from the voyage?
Visit our home page!

Our last days at sea…

After getting aboard the ship in Morocco, we had just three days left before the end of the voyage.  The students had final exams, there was a “packing day” for everyone to get their rooms packed and bags ready to be moved en masse off the ship — and we had a final pre-port meeting and an “Alumni Ball” night to celebrate the accomplishments of everyone on the ship. The last few days were busy, emotional … and certainly memorable.


As we close our Semester at Sea chapter…. we thought this blog post would be even better if we looked back at some of the at-sea events and people that were a special part of our life aboard the ship.



Shipboard Performances  (by Alexander)

When you’re stuck on the MV World Odyssey, there isn’t much to do. Okay, that’s not true.  There’s a lot to do.

One of the things I liked to do during free time was to just get creative, and I was happy to be involved in these two events…



and this…


Now, this was no piece of cake, there WAS work involved.  In the first video, the whole shipboard community listened to us announcing events coming up on the ship, as we got to be the voice for the day.  Of course I had to be a little creative, and add fake events, because we did this on 4/1… April Fools’ Day!!

The second video, well, you know the tune, my Dad just changed the lyrics to fit the end of the voyage.  He played the song at the ship’s talent show.  Perfect, right??

The whole voyage was full of great performances.  All the other performers were very talented, and looking back, those performances were a big part of the heart and soul of SAS.




Crossing at 0,0 (by Sydney)

The crossing of 0,0 was when we crossed the equator and the prime meridian. Mommy and daddy must have been really excited because THEY WOKE US UP AT 6:00!! (this is Sydney writing I WAKE UP AT 8:OO TO 9:00.) I was kind of happy that I got up but I must have been pretty mad because they made us get out of bed. Before we went outside daddy and mommy showed us how close we were on the map on the TV in our room.  I wore my pajamas out to watch.


I am going to talk about what we saw out on deck. I saw a buoy, the buoy marks the spot where the equator and the prime meridian cross each other. Our friend Rex got to steer the ship around the buoy. He did a good job. A collage student won the auction to blow the horn when we got to the buoy. He did it serval times. It was really loud. It was kind of cool to see a buoy just sitting there. It looked like a regular normal buoy but a little bigger.




Sea Olympics (by Piper)

Sea Olympics is an Olympics for the ship. I think they made Sea Olympics so I don’t have to sit around all day and do home schooling. Sea Olympics lasts one day so not that long. There were 10 to 20 games and 7 teams counting our team. Our team was called the C+ Sea. There was the Yellow Sea and the Red Sea, but we were the C+ which is a terrible grade.

Dressing up Dr. John

Sea Olympics aboard the MV World Odyssey

Sea Olympics aboard the MV World Odyssey

The first event was where each team got to dress up their team captain. For us, it was a man named Dean John, the President of the Institute for Shipboard Education. All the kids on the ship helped dress Dr. John. It was so much fun. He looked hilarious. You should have been there! We put a skirt on him, and Daddy’s bright yellow under pants over the skirt. His belly was showing with jewelry hanging down all over it. The best part was we got to put makeup on him.

Frozen T-shirt Contest

My Mom and Dad both competed in the frozen t-shirt contest. How it works is each team gets a frozen t-shirt, and I mean frozen solid and tied into knots. You have to try to break the ice as quickly as you can and put it on before the other team does. My Mom and Dad banged it against the ground to try to break up the ice. It was really loud. When Daddy put it on, it was all ripped up. We got in third place, and Mommy bought me a smoothie after because it was so hot on the deck!

Musical chairs

70 people played, exactly 10 from each team. We played in the student union, Kaisersaal. Before musical chairs started, I felt scared because I thought I was going to be kicked out of the game really soon since I am tiny and puny. My brother told me, “You have to be aggressive,” and I was aggressive. I was really aggressive. I was quick and pushed a little bit to fight for a seat. But in the end, when I was kicked out, I was in 18 out of the 70 people left in the game. At first, I was really sad and cried a little bit. My college friend, Fabiana, owes me a Coke because I stayed in the game longer than her and her team. Later Alexander told my mom I was great.

Chess Tournament

Sea Olympics aboard the MV World Odyssey

Sydney and Jay Orris in the CHAMPIONSHIP match in the Sea Olympics chess tourney

My sister was in a chess tournament. She won three out of four games of chess. (From Dad: it was team chess where Syd was partnered with Luke Orris, an older kid. Syd was for sure a leader on their team, though! I think she decided MOSes!)   I only got to see the very end of the chess game. Even though she didn’t win every game I was very proud of her because she tried her best.


Lip Sync contest

The last thing we did was a lip-synching. Our team lip-synced to happy. It was very fun. I did a cartwheel and Alexander did his kandama and Sydney pet her stuffy!  You should have been there.  There were some very good performances!


In the end, C+ got in second place, so we didn’t get the grand prize which was having a dance party in the Fritz Bar with free drinks. It was such a good day after musical chairs, frozen t-shirt contest, lip sync and dressing up Dr. John. It was the best day on the ship so far.


SAS Shipboard Marathon  (by Joe)

One of the awesome people we met aboard the ship was Mikki Hebl, a professor of psychology at Rice University.  Besides being a great instructor/researcher and all-around great person, Mikki has distinguished herself by having run a marathon in all 50 states and in 6 of the 7 continents.  At the start of the voyage, she was missing Africa…  and since Mikki is a get-shit-done kind of person, she organized a shipboard marathon (!) while we were in Africa so she and others could knock off yet another continent!

Of course I (joe) was game for this!  Kristina joined in as well.

We all met at 4am on the morning the ship docked in Casablanca, and we started walking/jogging.  We had a pretty good pace at first, but as the deck got more crowded while people were waking up and coming out to see Morocco for the first time, it became an increasingly “harrowing” event.  (Having trained in the motorbike-traffic of Vietnam, we were well prepared for this.)  The hardest thing besides the blisters was probably finding a method to accurately count the 200+ laps around deck 9. Ours included rubber-bands on a wrist, sharpie on a shirt, and a master-counting paper we marked at every mile.

Kristina stuck it out for 13.1 miles and completed her first half-marathon! Yay, Kristina Mikki and I both completed the full 26.2, so that’s a marathon in ALL SEVEN continents for Mikki (WOW!), and I’ve increased my marathon-continent count from two (North America + Europe)  to three!  Woo hoo!




Lip-dub video

in closing… we include the “Lip-dub” video that was entirely created by students aboard the ship in our last days aboard.

Goodbye, SAS Spring 2016… and thanks for all the fish!

3 thoughts on “The Voyage Ends: Au Revoir, Life-at-Sea!

  1. I’m so happy you have the announcements and life long learner man recorded and posted! So wonderful to revisit these days through the eyes of your family. You all made the voyage a joy! Any chance you have our “Dock Time” performance recorded? Lisa


  2. I love you, Belfiore family. I have been back at running and think about y’all! Be safe, have a thousand more crazy adventures, and make all sorts of unforgettable memories. XOXOXOXOX Mikki


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