But in mid-March, the Covid-19 pandemic caught up with the Holland America vessel and the voyage took an surprising flip.
After a 60-day stint caught at sea enduring a number of quarantines, ship-wide lockdowns and outbreaks of coronavirus signs amongst a whole bunch of passengers and crew, Perrie lastly disembarked within the Netherlands and made the lengthy journey again to Australia, through air.
Back in her house metropolis of Perth, Perrie was topic to a different obligatory quarantine in a lodge room for 2 weeks, with none bodily interplay with the surface world.
To maintain her thoughts lively and engaged throughout this unusual time, Perrie determined to get inventive.
Each day, the lodge workers delivered three day by day meals in paper bags. Before lengthy, she’d collected a stack of them, and an concept started to type.
Perrie would vogue outfits out of the paper bags.
“But I think just the paper bags that kept coming and coming were really the inspiration.”
Creative course of
Ashleigh Perrie made this incredible outfit out of paper bags.
Courtesy Ashleigh Perrie
First issues first, Perrie wanted to gather sufficient bags to place her intricate costumes collectively.
“The first design that popped into my head was a gown, I wanted something very extravagant, very formal, and as detailed as I could get with the items that I had,” she says.
“But the first one I actually ended up making was the tutu, in the end, the “Bag-erina” as I called it, because I needed the bags to stay in the form for that one and for a lot of the other costumes, I had to cut up the bags and use different shapes.”
Perrie received inventive whereas quarantined in a lodge room.
Courtesy Ashleigh Perrie
Alongside the ballet costume, Perrie created a tennis-appropriate outfit that included a racket, tennis skirt and visor which she referred to as “The Maria Paper-pova”, a catwalk-style getup she named “Queen Quarantina” and of course, the extravagant robe she’d first envisaged, dubbed “Origami Diva.”
She constructed the costumes utilizing no matter she might get maintain of — the paper bags, of course, plus napkins, biodegradable containers and disposable cutlery — and utilizing only a pair of scissors, sticky tape and a roll of cotton. As the mission got here collectively, Perrie shared snaps of her creations and little snippets of video of the method together with her mother and sister.
Quarantine, says Perrie, wasn’t simple, however this was a enjoyable, inventive and thrilling distraction.
“It was tough after being at sea for so long, and obviously we already had done three quarantine periods on the ship,” she remembers.
“So then coming back and having to face another two-week quarantine and not being able to you know, finally hug your family and friends at the airport when you arrived was tough mentally, just thinking ‘Oh, it’s a bit of a disappointment coming home.'”
But Perrie mentioned she additionally appreciated the time to herself to come back to phrases with the state of affairs — and her inventive outlet made the time fly by.
“It was time to wind down, it was time just for me to chill out and look after myself after everything I’d been through,” she says.
Eye of the storm
Symptoms unfold, 4 visitors on board the ship handed away, and others examined optimistic for the virus.
As ports closed their door to the Zaandam, Holland America deployed a second vessel, the Rotterdam, to supply aid and decide up wholesome visitors, however in the long run each ships grew to become contaminated.
Passengers ultimately disembarked in Fort Lauderdale in Florida on April 2, however crew weren’t allowed to depart. Instead, Holland America needed to sail employees again throughout the Atlantic to the Netherlands.
“It was definitely a very challenging experience on board,” says Perrie, who got here down with Covid signs.
“The entire ship went into lockdown, the company handled it amazingly — it was a very difficult situation that no one has really got any experience in handling. Our captain was brilliant. They did everything they could as fast as they could to stop the spread and to make sure all the guests were kept safe.”
Perrie calls the expertise “a real test of mental resilience.”
“We had a lot of faith in each other, on board. Obviously, you had to stick with your fellow crew and get each other through the crisis. It was tough, but it was a very, very character strengthening experience, I think.”
At the tip of May, Perrie’s lodge quarantine ended and she or he lastly reunited together with her household.
Before she left the lodge room, Perrie filmed herself modeling every of her creations — and tried her finest to pack some of them in her baggage.
She squeezed some in there, however she needed to abandon the bulk for recycling.
When Perrie shared video of her creations on Facebook, delighted family and friends started sharing it on-line and it quickly unfold.
“I’ve had great responses from everyone, just people appreciating how creative it was and how amazing it was to be able to do that when you’re locked inside a room for two weeks and you haven’t got anything else to do,” says Perrie.
Perrie hopes her mission will make folks smile.
Courtesy Ashleigh Perrie
Did the expertise put Perrie off cruising for all times?
No, she says, she loves how engaged on a cruise permits crew to journey the globe.
That mentioned, Perrie hopes that the occasions of the previous few months will carry a few re-examining of how the world reacts to a disaster at sea.
“The biggest problem we came up against was a lot of countries closing their borders, and the cruise companies trying to do everything they could to get us home, and just facing the difficulty of not having any sort of humanitarian help to let us disembark,” says Perrie.
“So, it would be interesting to see if, from this experience, something more positive can come out of it — and that maybe some policies can be put in place to deal with that sort of thing.”
In the meantime, Perrie’s simply glad to have put a smile on folks’s faces throughout a troublesome time.
“I think a lot of people are seeing it as a positive in the whole Covid pandemic and something nice to look back on,” she says.
She’s been contacted by a variety of completely different organizations concerned with her work — from a museum and artwork gallery, to a company which works with girls affected by submit traumatic stress dysfunction.
Plus, Perrie managed to nab a couple of paper bags that she’d but to remodel and squeeze them into her case, so keep tuned for extra potential creations in upcoming weeks.