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…)
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!