Neil Farmer Lives in UK  neiljfarmer@hotmail.com 

 

I was a cruise ship photographer aboard, SS Amerikanis, from January 1994 until June 1994, during which time we sailed the Eastern Caribbean out of San Juan,  a transatlantic crossing to Amsterdam, and then around the Baltic and Norway.

 

I must apologise for not remembering everyone�s name, perhaps you could e-mail Carol who�s site this is to complete my page.

 

I had a great time working on the Amerikanis and it is very sad she has now been scrapped. Since leaving ships I have been working as a medical photographer, seems I�m destined to always have a camera in my hand.

 

 

Left: Me dressed as a pirate, after terrorising the passengers in the restaurant, for photos of course. These are two of the ships dancers, Nicky Asker left and Rachel Catherall right.

Right: Me with two of the dancers after a show, Miranda left and Rachel Catherall right. We would take this same shot with the passengers as they left the show lounge. Not surprisingly it was one of our best sellers.

Parties in the dark room after the ships bars had closed for the night.

In the Azores, Ponta Delgada, Left: Gareth, Brad, Mick, myself at the back, ?, and Darren the Amerikanis show bands trumpet player. Right: Hairdressers, with Brad, Mick and ships entertainer

SS Amerikanis in Port de Castries, St Lucia. Me across the harbour from Amerikanis at Ponta Delgada, Azores, during the transatlantic.

 

 Amsterdam embarkation. Me and Mick showing the results of our  transatlantic goatie beard growing contest, think I lost.  

 The Photogs, Welsh John No2 Photog, Geordie Mick Stoker Photog manager and myself.

Casino staff in the restaurant on formal night, from  left, Claire,   Casino Manager, ?, Gareth, Brad Newson.

Enjoying coronas in San Juan, from left, Claire, Brad, Me, Casino manger, Mick, Lisa.

Bergen Norway, Dave? Photographer and Me

Sailing in Geiranger Fiord Norway

Amerikanis in Geiranger Fiord Norway

Me and Mick in Helicopter in St Lucia

 Amerikanis In Port de Castries St Lucia

& finally me & Mick with the ship's receptionist. 

 

Lasting memories aboard SS Amerikanis  

As a photographer on board a cruise ship you don�t just take photos of the passengers you get to go everywhere, taking safety photos for the safety officer. As a result I knew my way around the Amerikanis very well. Having been on board for some months, one evening I had grown tired of walking from my cabin, lower floor aft up many stairs, virtually the full length of the ship and down many stairs to the dark room lower floor forward. So I decided to take a short cut. Opposite my cabin door there was a small room with a ladder down to the engine room. This brought you out next to the extremely long prop shafts, ducking under one I proceeded  forward between the two engines around a corner, where I came across two engine room staff with their backs to me. Walking past them I turned another corner and conscious of the fact I wasn�t supposed to be down there I legged it as fast I could up another ladder, through the staff canteen and on to the darkroom. The following day there was a rumour going round the ship that a ghost of a photographer had been seen in the engine room!  

On one occasion the sea was so rough that we couldn�t work in the dark room in the bow of the ship, as we were being lifted out of our seats. This also caused the chemicals in the processor to tar up, covering our photos with black sticky spots.

When it was rough you could also look over the side aft and see the huge brass propellers coming out of the water.  

Sat outside a bar around a table in the Azores , mid Atlantic enjoying a beer; an American, Australian, Canadian, Brits and a Geordie, all staff from the Amerikanis.  

Welsh John the photographer sat on top of the Amerikanis�s bridge singing rugby songs and getting caught because he looked through the window from above and waved at the crew. He was marched with Mick the photo manager straight to the Staff Captain, who�s disciplining involved a laid back, �don�t do it again�. Well we did process his films for free.  

The same two Mick and John play fighting one night, �John ya heeed�, �Whats that Mick ma heeeed�. John needed 8 stitches in his forehead or was it foreheeed after colliding with a table corner. John asked the ships doctor if he was going to give him an anaesthetic whilst putting the stitches in. He replied, �I think you�ve already had enough�.  

Those great Canadian�s the Amerikanis Show Band; playing the Pink Panther theme tune whilst the Staff Captain was walking around the show lounge, before Captains hand shakes.  

The Pirate ship Jolly Roger excursion in Antigua, swinging of a rope swing from the mast into the sea, followed by far too much rum punch. The Mango Tango catamaran tour to the Pitons in St Lucia .  

Captain Popanicalow, Safety George, Jerry Entertainment manager and lots of great passengers, for some reason mostly from Minnesota.

 

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