Where in the World is Madeline McClurg Part II

Madeline McClurg from the summit of Mt Maunganui, New Zealand (McClurg)

She has gotten her feet wet. Her sea legs are firm and planted, and Madeline McClurg, Activity Host onboard the Celebrity Edge, is sailing the world.

As promised, Now Habersham is following up with McClurg on her life at sea and her continued adventures on a cruise ship. Click on the link above to read Part I of her journey.

“Even almost two months in, I still say it’s the best job ever,” McClurg said with great excitement. “The best part of the job is there is never a boring moment.”

McClurg at the top of a hiking trail in Picton, New Zealand. (Madeline McClurg)

New experiences

McClurg loves how each day is a new experience for her. She talks about the fact that even when the activities are the same, it is different because there are always new people who come to try something they’ve not tried before.

“The most challenging aspect of the job is how much energy it takes. It is exhausting as we never have an entire day off even if we have some hours to go off the ship in port!” McClurg added.

Her job is to interact with people  – talking to guests even when not hosting an event is crucial to making it the best experience possible for them. Hearing how much fun the guests are having means a great deal to McClurg. Some have told her, “It is the most fun they have had in years.”

Personal growth

On a personal level, McClurg believes she has grown since she began this quest. “I’ve learned so much about customer service and interacting with people. My confidence and speaking ability have developed as well.”

Madeline McClurg hosts a Game Show onboard the Celebrity Edge Cruise Ship. (McClurg)

In Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, McClurg only had a couple of hours and wanted to make the most of the time. She took the famous Wellington Cable Car to see views of the city from up high and to explore the Wellington Botanical Gardens. She climbed the summit of Mount Maunganui in Tauranga which McClurg brags was the coolest moment she has ever had. The views were unbelievable. The guided tour of the Sydney Opera House meant a great deal to McClurg with her interests in theatre, dance, and music.

In Australia, she went to the Australia Zoo near Brisbane and was able to pet kangaroos and koalas!

“I’ve done so many things I never dreamed of doing in my lifetime,” McClurg remarked, “It is surreal, for sure.”

The impact on her life

“So many things have impacted me, but I would say it’s the people I’m surrounded by, especially my fellow crew members,” McClurg talked about the influences the job is having over her life. “Here on the Edge, we have a very friendly environment where everyone speaks and smiles to each other when passing.”

McClurg at the Australia Zoo petting a kangaroo. (McClurg)

McClurg has made friends with people all over the world: the Philippines, Italy, Kenya, Brazil, Canada, Australia, the UK, and so many other places. She enjoys sitting down to meals with the crew and listening to their stories and experiences from their home countries.

“The hardest part about working on a ship is that people come and go constantly. Just when you meet someone and become close to them, that person’s contract ends,” McClurg explained. “Unfortunately, you have to get used to saying goodbye to so many wonderful people. The good thing is the ship life is a relatively small world…you will probably run into them again on a future contract.”

Continuing the job

As of now, McClurg would love to continue her job with the Cruiseline. “I’m kind of just taking it one step at a time and seeing where life takes me, but I’m almost two months in now and never want to leave this life,” McClurg’s enthusiasm is contagious. “There will come a point where I will want to settle down, but as of now, I am young and single and free! I want to see the world.”

McClurg has had to learn to navigate new places, and in so doing, she has found herself in a few scary situations. “I’ve been known not to have the best sense of direction, but this experience of traveling has really been helping me become better at navigation,” McClurg said. For her, the scariest part about getting off the ship is the feeling that the ship is far away. She understands to leave enough time to do what she wants to do and to get back to the ship with time to spare. Being in an unfamiliar place can be terrifying, but it is something she is learning to do.

Passing through Milford Sound in Piopiotahi, New Zealand (McClurg)

People, people, people

“There was a couple from Illinois on board, and I actually met them on the very first activity I did on my very first day aboard the ship,” McClurg began. “They then stayed for the next cruise as well.”

McClurg felt a connection with the couple because whenever she saw them, they gave her encouragement, and it felt comforting to be around them her first few weeks.

“They got to see me go from my very first day to a few weeks into my job and they were supportive the entire way through,” she added. McClurg believes that her first weeks onboard would not have been the same without this lovely couple.

She also met a woman from Australia who is currently a music teacher. McClurg’s long-term goal is to be a music teacher. The two connected and enjoyed many conversations about music programs in Australia.

“I love how you meet someone and realize how much you have in common,” McClurg said.

New Foods

McClurg went to a small bakery in Tauranga, New Zealand, and asked what the most New Zealand type of food was that she should try. The lady pointed her in the direction of a Lolli Cake, which is a delicious and soft cake made of just a few ingredients, including different-colored marshmallow candies in the center.

Lolly Cake in New Zealand. (McClurg)

Another time she visited a bakery in Napier called Stuffed and got a giant Snickers doughnut. “It was one of the best doughnuts I have ever had!” McClurg laughed.

One thing she has noticed about New Zealand and Australia is that there are cultural food influences from many different countries. “I ate at an amazing traditional Filipino restaurant in Dunedin, Australia, with some friends from the Philippines and tried Pancit, a noodle dish. Dunedin also has many Irish influences,” she added.


“It’s hard to get homesick because I am so busy,” McClurg reflected. “Homesickness sinks in though when I have a long break or meet someone that reminds me of a family member or friend.”

As McClurg continues her travels, Now Habersham will keep you updated on where in the world she is and the adventures she is having.


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