Every other week, while we sail our eastern itinerary to St. Thomas and St. Maarten, we conduct a ship wide drill. Fire teams, evacuation teams, life raft teams; the works. We even go through all of our drill procedures here in the youth spaces before we get dismissed back to our own assembly stations (where we’ll sometimes go through all the abandon ship orders too). However, I was lucky enough to be selected for a special duty during this week’s drill. It all started the day before drill, when a mysterious 30 minutes worth of “SAFETY” was squeezed into my schedule. After much pondering, fantasizing, and theorizing, it was finally revealed that this was for a special meeting up on the bridge with the chief safety officers – that’s right, I got to go up to the bridge! The home of Captain Mickey! Albeit, our meeting was in a tiny little office in the interior of the bridge, lacking the killer view, but whatevs. The little nautical fan girls out there must be, like, soooooo jealous!
You see, the US Coast Guard is coming on board in a couple weeks to observe us, so it turns out that a couple of other YA counselors and I had been chosen to test our fellow crew members on how to deal with various scenarios during an emergency. I got to be a lost child. And although not everything went as smoothly as it should have, being lost was an awesome experience. Not only did I get to spend my first hour of work just walking around pretending to be a 5 year old with no clue as to what was going on, but I got to have another pow wow with the safety officers after the drill finished to give them our feedback. Nothing says I’m important like getting to criticize safety procedures to a room full of white uniforms, while standing next to an $80,000 navigation simulator.
But now whenever I run into the crew members that helped “find” me that morning, they still tease about whether or not I’m still lost. You win some, you lose some.
Also, today’s Worst Case Scenario tip concerned how to survive a dance marathon. Thank god for that. You see, working with children all day actually makes this a valid concern. Too bad “clutching your partner and swaying slowly” probably wouldn’t be considered good Disney Show…
Also, also, do you know what the cutest thing ever is? A service dog getting its picture taken with Pluto. Yup, that happened this week too. 🙂
What a week! And it’s not even over yet…
So this week, a lot of people have been sick. Like everyone. Like, we had to change our ship’s AGE level to HIGH. This means that not only are we bleaching like crazy all day long, but we also have to be hand-washing Nazis for both the kids and their parents. We’ve lost all of our guest privileges (aka no more going to see the shows, no more dining requests in the nice restaurants, and no more coffee bar!!). You have to wear gloves to eat in the crew mess, and you have to wear a dust mask when sorting your trash (screw that, Becca and I are already pawning off our trash to friends who have better housekeeping routines so that we don’t have to throw it out ourselves). But the fun doesn’t stop there, oh no.
This week one of our guests has a service dog with him, “Kingston” (I’ve changed the dog’s name for its own protection…). So Kingston gets to come into the kid’s club space with us. Under other circumstances, I would be thrilled. Living on a ship means that you are pretty much devoid of any animal contact outside of the K9 dogs sniffing your bags when you get on board. So seeing service dogs is always a fun treat. However, Kingston doesn’t have a very strong work ethic, and has a bit of a problem with authority. You see, Kingston prefers to jump on counselors, (*allegedly) scratch other children, and jump and scratch on the door that rudely separates him from the cookies that are being prepared backstage. But it’s not all bad, because Kingston is still able to enjoy lots of freedom, seeing as his child is gladly willing to be pulled around every which way and in any direction that Kingston prefers. Does Kingston’s child want to color in Pixie Hollow? Too bad, Kingston wants to drag his child all the way back to the Lab side because he hears a ball bouncing in there. But that’s what a service dog is supposed to do, right? So it’s all good. No worries…whatsoever……
Now I’m just waiting for the Mr. MOB or Blue Parties announcement to wake us all in the middle of the night. Or maybe Becca and I will just fail cabin inspection again. Who knows. All I do know is that this cruise has been quite an adventure and I’m ready for it to be over.
But enough about that – who wants to sail the Disney Dream in May with me????! Any takers? We’re running the Castaway Cay 5k, so be prepared.
Yup, I said it.
I promised you all a blog, and I’ve delivered nothing. Why? Was there some kind of crisis? Did we lose all power/internet on board? Was I somehow prevented from getting off the ship at any of our ports? Sadly, the answer to all those questions is No. I’m just incredibly lazy. I literally have only pondered writing a blog post, tops, maybe twice in the last month. Oh and yeah, that’s right, I’ve been back for a MONTH already! Which seems insane. How on earth has time gone so quickly?
Anyway, I’ve committed myself to providing you all at least a Picture of the Week post for the rest of my contract. I should be capable of that, right? Right?
Well, here’s the first one – and it’s a two-fer!
Although, personally, I think we look a bit sloppy without our shirts tucked in, I must say, the sportier tops definitely better reflect the nature of our positions. And the boob stripe isn’t nearly as awkward as I anticipated. Hooray!
Welcome Line outfit!
This week I was finally selected to help represent Youth Activities on Welcome Line. Welcome Line mostly consists of members of the Youth Activities, Cruise Staff, and Dinning departments, who get to all dress up in our fancy shmancy whites and greet all of our new passengers for the week. You see, here with Disney, every single family is personally introduced upon embarkation, and are received with generous applause. Concierge guests are even personally escorted to their own private lounge. Ooh, la la!
Thanks for sticking around after all this time. And to show you how much I appreciate all your support in this adventure, I have one more bonus picture for you all today:
Just because we can’t accept tips doesn’t mean we don’t get presents!
After an adventurous start (aka having my first flight cancelled and then flying into the tiniest airport I’ve ever been to at Grand Cayman, where I was then abandoned by my arranged driver and had to find my own way back to the DCL port), I’m finally back on the Fantasy, hard at work once again. But this time around I get to work in the Oceaneer Club! The Club is connected to the Lab, where I was placed during my last contract, so I’m still with the same age bracket of 3-12, but the Club side is designed for the smaller kids. It has rooms like Pixie Hollow, Monster’s University and Andy’s Room, and the Club’s entertainment program consists of shows such as Tinkerbelle’s Talent Show, Big Top Fun Fest, and Pluto’s Pajama Party. So far it’s been a nice change. Even though I jumped into the middle of this last cruise, I met some really great kids, and I’m excited for the next one.
Even more exciting though is that we will soon be getting our new uniforms (pics to follow, I’m sure), and this week we are starting to use the new Oceaneer Bands, which are replacing the now defunct Mickey Bands. I’m sure there’s going to be lots of hiccups and snafus this week, but hopefully we’ll be able to make the best of it.
But I know that what you guys really want to know is where I’m living, am I right?! Success – I’m living forward again, at the front of the ship, on deck 3! Yay! Phew. And I’m all settled in with my roommate, Becca, nesting with lots of pretty magnets and streamers on the walls. And now that I’ve made my first weekly pilgrimage to Target/Starbucks, I’m all set.
While I’m looking forward to this week’s cruise (Bad Ass Coffee in St. Thomas, here I come!), this last cruise was especially cool because, due to the crappy weather, we weren’t able to dock in Costa Maya. So instead we went straight to Cozumel, and then docked there over night. Having a late night/overnight in port is awesome. And strange. It’s weird to walk around a place that you’ve been to so many times but never at night. And getting off the boat was also quite the adventure, as the waves were still pretty damn choppy and were sending cascades of water across the pier. But we all survived and no one got fired (that I know of…). And that’s what I call a good night.
I hope the rest of you are enjoying the cold and snow back in America. I’ll think of you as I’m building sand castles in the sun.
PS. This last cruise taught me that I am completely useless at French. I might have to work on that…