Taking It To The Edge!

Edge is awesome. Done.  After my first full week, it’s been everything that I hoped it would be and more.  The kids (our little Edgelings) have been fantastic this week – they’re not too cliquey, they’ve gotten super into Gender Wars, they’ve got some sick dance moves (as well as some crazy flexibility), and none of us have had to call anyone’s parents at all!!!!  I’m really enjoying seeing and learning more about the programs that Edge offers, and all my fellow counselors have been super helpful and supportive.

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(The Edge Crew)

The biggest difference that I’m enjoying so far is that the kids know ME.  They know my NAME.  And it’s weird how weird that feels.  And it might just be me being vain, but, in this job, it is very very very satisfying being recognized.

One of our most popular programs in Edge is Gender Wars (which I just mentioned, but you probably didn’t know what I was talking about and you’re not here in person to butt in and ask, so….), which is an ongoing boy vs. girl competition that happens every night.  It almost always involves some sort of trivia (name that tune, family fued, etc), but pretty much any other activity can also be turned into a Gender Wars point.  For the final night, the last night of the cruise, we host “How Well Do You Know Your Counselors?”  It’s a lot of fun, quirky facts that they have to try to pair up with the right counselor (naturally, one of mine was “I’ve hand-raised baby seals”).  For the last round, the kids had to do impressions of all their counselors.  For the boys’ impression of me, Nicholas simply said “I love hockey and I’m awesome at Mario Kart. I’m basically a dude in a woman’s body.”  And while all the girls were outraged and offended on my behalf, I just couldn’t help but laugh, because they’re basically right.  The boys won that point easily.  And with that, the boys won Gender Wars for the week. Ha

Unfortunately, by the time Gender Wars ended last night, it was 11pm and my shift was ending, meaning that it was time for me to say goodnight and goodbye to everyone one last time.  And although I tried to bow out gracefully with a heartfelt speech, I ended being cut off and bum rushed into a giant group hug.  I could certainly feel the love – it fact, it nearly knocked me flat on the ground!  I’ll miss these kids.  They were the first group of Edgelings that I could call my own, and for that they will be hard to forget.

Can’t wait to see what this next cruise has to offer!

 

In other news, Castaway Cay is a freaking furnace.  How the hell do people actually live in these places year round?  How can anyone do anything during the day except lay down in the shade, completely still, and try not to die of heat exhaustion?  Even taking a Snapchat of my sunburned face seems to require too much energy. Ugh. When is summer over?

…Oh wait, never.

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Side note: Melissa, if anyone asks, you’re getting married in December and I’m the maid of honor (duh), and that’s the reason why Disney should approve my contract extension request!

Mooooooving on up! (Literally)

Guess what, ya’ll – I’m moving to Edge!

Just for a recap, there are technically 5 different youth spaces on the Disney Fantasy: there’s the It’s A Small World Nursery (up to 3 yrs), the Oceaneer Club (3-12, but designed for 3-7), the Oceaneer Lab (3-12, but designed for 7-12), Edge (11-14) and Vibe (14-17).  I spent my entire first contract in the Lab before moving to the Club, where I spent all of my second contract.  For the first 3 weeks of this third contract I’ve also been in the Club, but now I get to move!!!! Hooray!!!!

I’m super duper excited to be in Edge.  As much as I’ve grown to love my little toddlers, I’ve definitely missed my big kids.  You know, the ones that you can actually talk to rather than spend a solid 5 minutes just trying to understand the 3 words they’re trying to say… Oh, and I probably won’t have to listen to “Let It Go” 100 times a day anymore!!! I get to learn a new space, a bunch of new programs, and I’ll even occasionally be exempt from cabin inspection! So I’m sure to have lots of wonderful new stories to share.

Sooooo, it’s been real Oceaneer Club/Lab. I’m sure I’ll be down to visit every once in a while, but until then – See Ya Real Soon!

Happy Anniversary!

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Woo hooooo!  Last week marked my 1 year anniversary with Disney Cruise Lines!  And what a year it’s been (cue the emotionally background music and the montage of adventures…)

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In case by some bizarre chance you are unaware of my life thus far, I have been spending the last year working as a Youth Activities Counselor aboard the Disney Fantasy.  It’s here that I’ve been able to visit ports including San Juan (thanks, random hurricane), St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Grand Cayman, Jamaica (brand new!), and our Mexican ports, Costa Maya (now defunct) and Cozumel.  Not to mention our weekly stop in the Bahamas at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay (it’s pronounced KEY, people!) and our home port, Port Canaveral, Florida (whatssup Merrit Island Mall, see you on Saturday!)

Now, to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what any of the excursions are like in these places.  I don’t even really know how to get to any good beaches.  But you know what I can do? I can tell you where to find good food and free wifi within easy walking distance from the ship in ALL of these ports.  And that’s pretty cool too, I guess…

The weirdest part of this whole anniversary business though, is realizing how few of us are left from my Traditions group, the group of weekly new hires that I started out with.  Some have transferred to other ships and some have resigned, but a small handful are still here.  And a lot has changed over the last year (including having safety boards installed into the top bunk beds….I can’t decide if I’m surprised that so many people here tend to fall out of their beds here…repeatedly).  Itineraries have shifted, and I’ve even gotten to celebrate a few holidays on board (including the DCL Games).  Lots of people have come and gone, which is the absolute hardest thing about ship life.  And the constant turnover of counselors and management makes for a less than ideal work environment.  But somehow, despite all the drama, this ship has become home.

Yuuuuuup, a lot of changes.

And I’ve also become a lot better at reading myself.  For example: you know you’re in a good mood when you’ve spent an hour straight letting two little kinds continuously drag you into jail, from which you escape, and then letting them drag you right back, and then running around like a zombie (which apparently fails to infect anyone else even when you grab their face and yell “you’re a zombie!!!”…), all with genuine smiles and laughter.  Because, despite the long hours, the god forsaken heat and humidity, and the abysmal pay/rooms, this job is still pretty dang awesome.  Even when kids occasionally pee all over themselves….

But for reals, it’s been great – and the fun’s not over yet! I’ve still got another 4-5 months left in this contract, and there may even be the slightest possibility of a fourth contract way out there on the horizon…. but I’ll get back to you on that one…

Until next time!