Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Time Flies on the Oasis

It's 10 1/2 weeks until the end of my contract (and 44 days till my birthday!). It seems crazy that I've been here so long already. I'm not going to lie though, I am starting to get a little tired.

It's been almost a month and a half since I wrote last, what have I been up to since then? I don't even know if I can remember.

Well, on the 21st, my mom and my sister came to cruise. That was super exciting. I went out to dinner most nights with them, and luckily Bry got to come a few times too. I also saw a couple of the shows. Bry, being the awesome roomie that she is, covered a shift for me so that I could go. Then to say thank you I got my sister to buy her a beer from the pub we're not allowed in :) haha. I only really got to see them in the evenings, as I was working during the day, or they were on an excursion. I was lucky enough to get most of the day in St Maarten off so I got to go on an excursion with them. It was a see and sea tour, so a bus tour through both sides of St Martin/St Maarten, and a glass bottom type boat tour as well. I didn't like the boat part, felt super awful with how much it was rocking. We got to stop in Marigot, the French capital, and do some shopping. Or in our case, walk around a bit and buy frozen yogurt. I'm kicking myself for not buying Bry a shot glass that had a skull and crossbones and said "same ship different day". I'm hoping we can get to the French side before our contract is up, even though it's an expensive taxi ride. I think they enjoyed their week, I hope they did. Saying good bye on Saturday was the hardest thing to have to do. They had to meet for their tour at 7:45, and since I started work at 9, I met them at 6 in the morning and we had breakfast together. I waited with them until they got called to get off the ship and then walked with them to the promenade. I was going to walk them all the way to the gangway, but I didn't feel like having to walk down the whole promenade crying. Apparently there was another couple on the tour with them that saw me walking away. It really sucked. I thought having them visit would make the rest of my contract easier, but so far it hasn't. It's made me even more homesick.

We've had a few people leave, and new people come on board. Including our manager this week. Actually as I'm writing this, I still haven't met the new manager (he came yesterday). I think the crew changeover is one of the things I'm struggling with the most. I don't like change to begin with, but then I get used to certain people or things being a certain way, and then they're different. 

We've gotten off a few times in port. Sometimes it's hard trying to work around both mine and Bry's schedules to be able to get off. We don't do too much when we're off the ship, mostly just walk around, look in shops and usually find somewhere to eat lunch. We're still hoping to be able to play with dolphins in Mexico, and I still really want to do the Labadee zipline (I'm trying to convince Bry to do it also). I have a whole list of things I wanted to do, but somehow I don't think I'm going to get it all done.

I had to do lifeboat filling again. And I'll probably have to do it at least once more before I'm done, as they do it every 3 months. At least this time I was sitting with people I knew so it made it seem a lot quicker. I've also had to do assembly station leader training. So basically going over everything I have to do in case of emergency and in passenger drill every Saturday. Turns out I knew most of it already, which is a good thing since I've been doing it for almost 3 months. I also had glow party and parade rehearsals. I'm still not on stilts, but one of the guys is leaving soonish so I might be next on the list. Fingers crossed. Our route for the parade changed a little bit, but what we were told to do, and when and where we need to be at the end don't really coincide, so our new motto for the parade is "screw it, just give'r" and as long as we don't run over any small children, penguins, artwork or guys on stilts, we're good. For glow party one of the girls from sports is leaving in 3 weeks, so I'll probably have to step up and do the other 2 choreographed dances. I'm not sure how well that will go, I think I've got half of both dances, and I still struggle with the one I have to do each time.

We still go out to dinner a lot. Still mostly Sabor and Johnny Rockets, but we've also been to Chop's and 150 Central Park. Both are specialty restaurants that cost extra (like $39 and $30), but we went on discounted days (either special days for crew or formal nights) so we got it a little bit cheaper. I got filet mignon at Chop's, and I was super excited that I could get spinach with it. Sad that I was excited about that, but it was delicious. 150 Central Park is a set 4 course menu, so I was a little concerned about that, but it ended up being really good. For the main you have a choice between fish or beef, so I obviously chose the beef haha. They have 2 different menus, one for each half of the cruise, so I'll hopefully be back to try the second menu.

I've done a few more lessons. I'm still not awesome at it, but I'm getting better. unfortunately we haven't really had much time to ride in the past couple of weeks. It was pretty cold in the evenings for a little while, and then with my family coming we just didn't get out. Now we're getting into the high counts for spring break so it's going to be tough to find time to ride in the next couple weeks as well.

As I'm counting down the last half of my contract, I'm starting to stress myself out about what I want to do next. Do another contract, go back to Blue, find something else, and if I do another contract do I try and work on my vacation or do I just take time off? Plus then not knowing what ship I'll be offered or how long m vacation will be is hard as well. I need to stop thinking about these things until closer to when I have to actually deal with them. But overall I'm still enjoying myself, so that's a good thing.

With the rate I'm going I might have one more post up before I come home. Stay tuned. :)

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Officially a Sports Staff!

I got my 90 day evaluation, good news they want to keep me. I managed to get into lessons before my 90 days were up, thankfully. I've only done a few, but they've gone alright. Having a 90 day eval means that I've been here for 3 months already, which is insane. Time has been so weird, like it feels like I've been here forever and some days go by so slow, but then at the same time it feels like I just got here and then it's the end of another week. I think if my math's right, I have 16 voyages left.
I'm trying to think of what I've done since I wrote my last blog post. We did mid line rescue training for the zip line. That was fun. And I actually mean that haha. Bry hated it, but despite dangling in the middle of the line she did really well. Everyone was kind of surprised at how well I did. I guess because I'm new? But it's similar equipment to what I've used before and I pay attention. I think I did my final rescue the second fastest (damn only 2nd lol).
I just realized I haven't written anything since the Christmas cruise, which was over a month ago (it's February tomorrow!). So let's see, the New Year's cruise was actually probably busier than Christmas. We got more commission from flowrider lessons as well. We had to blow up balloons for the balloon drop on the Royal Promenade. It was fun, had about 100 or so of us and took around an hour. I got to watch the acappella group Home Free on New Year's Eve, they were really good, and then partied with the sports team a bit before heading to the Promenade for the balloon drop. Unfortunately my camera died just before midnight, which I was super upset about.
I got a stuffed Dave the Minion from Bry for Christmas! Haha. I got her sriracha candy canes. I have also been ordering probably too much stuff online. But it's just so exciting having an American address and not having to pay a stupid amount in shipping and customs.  After I get my next package I probably won't be ordering anything for a while. 
I've finally officially been off in all 6 ports. Falmouth wasn't super exciting, especially since we only had like 2 hours to walk around. Did actually have a couple exciting port days in the past couple weeks though. We got to do a team building wave runner tour in Labadee. That was awesome of our supervisor to do that for us, it was kind of a thank you for our work over Christmas. It was fun, but I also felt mildly uncomfortable. Felt like I was going to fall off even though Bry wasn't going very fast, and even though they gave us the option to switch drivers I didn't want to. But at least we didn't fall off (2 guys did though).  
And then this past week in St Thomas the Quantum was docked at the other pier, and since I had most of the day off I managed to hook up with a couple people who had a friend on the ship and we went to visit. That was a fun day. We got to tour the ship, and then we ended up doing the ifly, which is the skydiving simulator. That was fun but uncomfortable as well. Super cool of them to let us do it.  Then we went to the Windjammer for lunch, which was delicious. They have fresh baked cookies which makes the whole place smell delicious. It has a different feel than the Oasis for sure, but it's a nice ship. I was in super tourist mode. Took so many pictures, and then my camera died. Luckily I had my phone with me so I used that for the rest of the afternoon.

Bry and I got asked to go ice skating to be in the background for something they were filming, so of course we said yes. We thought there'd be quite a few people there, but it was only the two of us and the guy that was talking, so that was kind of weird. But we got to go skating so it was fun.
Gone out a few times as well. Dinner, mostly to Sabor and Johnny Rockets...ok, only Sabor and Johnny Rockets.. And gone to a few shows. Didn't get to go to the ice show when we planned because it was super packed. But watched Come Fly With Me a few times. As well as the aqua show  I don't even know how many times. We watched from the front row and as usual got soaked. The cast was splashing more than usual, because they enjoy it way too much. We actually joked with them later that we weren't totally drenched and they had to try harder next time. This week we watched from by the rockwall because Bry had later doors and I really wish we could have been in the front row because the theatre was packed, even the second and third rows were filled and we would have gotten them drenched (because let's face it, we're horrible people lol).
We even went to the bar a few times! Lol. I still don't drink though. We had a sports girls night in one of the girls' cabin. Watched a movie and ate junk food. It was fun.  Bry and I also convinced Wesley to do Harry Potter trivia with us, because we can't ever get to the guest one. So he added even more questions, ended up being 90,and I only got 79 right :( upset about that actually lol. I beat Bry though :) haha.
Other things I've done; parade and getting slightly better at figuring out what I'm supposed to do, Glow Party still working on getting my dance right, spot lighting for the ice show which was kind of fun even if I was a little spastic, did a lesson with all Canadians which was awesome, and got chocolate from a guest which was also awesome.
I think that's about the extent of what I've done. I'm super excited because in 3 weeks my mom and my sister are coming to visit!  So my next post might not be until after that (because let's face it I'm a bit of a slacker haha). Anyways, stay tuned for that!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas On Board the Oasis of the Seas

Just coming up to 2 months on board now. I still struggle to remember what all I've done so far. I finally got to get off for real and visit Labadee. Unfortunate because with over 1700 kids on board this week there was no way I was going to be able to get on the zip line. I now know why crew don't get off in Labadee very often. There really isn't a whole lot to do. If you want to do any of the activities (zip line, coaster, water slide) or go swimming and/or sunbathing, it's a decent port. But there's no where to really go shopping. All the shops are artisan market type booths, which I'm sure probably have some cool things, but I have no need or room for anything.
I had my first lesson this week. It went, ok, I guess. I'm still not very comfortable with it, especially not the boogie boarding part. I have one month to get better at it. Hopefully I can. Unfortunately didn't get any time to actually practice because we did have so many lessons and doors. Plus side to lessons is we get extra commission from them. 
This week was the Christmas cruise, so as I already mentioned there was 1700 or so kids on board. We got to help wrap the presents for all the kids in the youth programs, which was kind of fun. It was weird because we thought everything was going to be super busy, but it turned out it was only the flow rider that was crazy. The rockwall got pretty busy on sea days, but the zip line was pretty dead for most of the cruise.
Last Saturday we got another new crew member, which was nice. The only thing he hasn't done is zip line, so at least he can still do flow rider lessons. But unfortunately we were still down 1. This Saturday we're losing another member, he's being transferred to another ship, which sucks for us but it's nice for him, he'll be closer to home and the same time zone. He also only joined us aa few weeks ago. In his place we're getting oone of the guys back who left 2 weeks into my contract. It's crazy that I've been here long enough for people to leave and come back from vacation
II didn't do too much outside of working this week. Mostly just chilled in our room.. We went out for dinner twice, to Sabor and Johnny Rockets. On Christmas Eve we did Christmas carolling on the promenade. That was kind of fun. 
On Christmas Eve they also had our crew Christmas dinner. It was really good. I got roast beef, and I was super excited to eat strawberries and grapes. They also had ice cream and you could make sundaes and it was delicious. For Christmas from Royal we each got rolling  backpacks that say Oasis of the Seas Crew on them. Super nice to do that for us, and they're pretty heavy duty bags as well. Apparently we're also supposed to be getting tablets in early 2015, which is also super cool. 
On Christmas  we had our  Sports Staff gift exchange, as well as glow party. In addition to that I had late gangway and doors so I had a very busy Christmas night. The glow party wasn't as packed as they thought it was going to be. Could've been because it was on a different day and time than usual. Who knows. It was fun though.  For our gift exchange we had to get a $25 general gift and then we picked numbers  and got gifts in order.  Some people put more effort in than others but that's to be expected. I gave and got candy, which isn't too bad for me. And Bry gave and got alcohol haha. Luckily I didn't end up with booze. Usually when people play that game they steal gifts but we didn't have enough time so we just kept what we picked. We also got a gift from our manager, good quality toilet paper. Apparently that's his thing, either toilet paper or toilet seat covers are his Christmas gifts. Since I knew this, and he's from England, I found Union Jack toilet paper at the Best of British store in Fort Lauderdale last week. He loved it. 
Christmas in Mexico was weird. it was like 27 degrees. And there was no snow. I didn't like it. I haven't been super homesick or anything so far, but for whatever reason turning on facebook and seeing everyone's Christmas posts made me super upset.
I bought internet on Christmas so I got to facetime home, which was nice. Got to talk to my sister since she was visiting. We talked for close to 3 hours, probably would have ended up talking longer but I had to work. Also had to do laundry in the morning so I couldn't call until about 1. I finally got to open the presents my mom sent me, they've been sitting in my room for about a week and a half and I haven't been allowed to open them. I am now officially going to be known as "the Canadian", because I got a Canada tshirt and tank top, as well as a necklace, and I also just bought myself a pair of Canadian flag earrings that are super cool. Other Canadians love meeting me, it's awesome.
I'm supposed to be getting mail today, it was supposed to be 2 packages, one from my sister and one that I ordered, but my name is only on the list once. Which is slightly unfortunate. I'm hoping it's wrong.  Last Saturday I got a little package and my name wasn't on the list, but it could have been classified as a letter, I'm not really sure. Since I wasn't expecting a package and it was from China, I took it to security to have it checked. They told us when we were in training that if we weren't expecting a package to have it checked by security. If it had been from Canada and I recognized the return name, I would have just opened it, but I was slightly concerned. Turns out it was glow in the dark stars. Found out they were from Heather, doing a test to make sure things got to me haha. So if anyone is sending me a package not from Canada, give me a heads up :)  I know surprises are nice but just to save me from panicking haha. 
I finally went to the gym last week. And by that I mean Bry dragged me to the gym and I almost died. It was good though. Haven't had time to go since, unfortunately. I did however finally go running on the track yesterday. I ran for almost half an hour, which I was quite impressed about. And then today my legs hurt.  We haven't managed to go practice Spanish yet though. We signed up for Rosetta Stone but since it's only available in the training rooms we need to find time to do it. Myabe after the busy cruises are over.
I got to do the parade! My role is to ride a bike. There are 4 of us from sports staff assigned to bikes, however there are only ever 2 bikes that work. So the first week I actually rode the bike, almost crashed into a penguin and a guy on stilts, but it went alright. We're also supposed to help carry a dragon and dance at the end. This week I was just the dragon, and no one told me when I was supposed to go dance or whatever so I didn't really do anyting.  I'm hoping I can do stilts or something, it's super lame to go just for  5 minutes. I want to do more! Haha. 
I'm now officially trained on zip line launching, however I haven't managed to make it back up there since I finished my training.
I can't think of much more that happened over the last couple weeks. So I guess I'll leave it at that.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

More of Megpie's Oasis Adventures

I get to be in the parade! That's the most exciting thing I think that's happened over the past few weeks. Also, Guardians of the Galaxy is on our crew tv channel. I have glow party again tonight, and I hope I can remember the dance and actually take part this week. 
I've met several Canadians, most of which are just as excited about it as I am. The best one was meeting people who's sister in law is from Midland, and I actually know who she is. I've also had a few kids doing a scavenger hunt who needed a picture with a Canadian crew member. 
I've been able to get out onto the wave a few times this past week. I'm actually noticing improvement, which is awesome. Still wiping out quite a lot though, but it only *sometimes* results in water up my nose. We had training for flowrider lessons, I'm not very good at it at all, and they want us in lessons by next week. I don't think that's going to happen. 
I also got training for zip line launching this week. It's not hard, just a lot to remember, like what order to do things in, and it seems like a bit of a pain. I might like landing better, aside from it hurting my elbow. It's also fun on landing, because when it's slow you can watch things happening in the aqua theatre. It just gets really hot on the landing platform, launching has a bit of roof for shade. 
Update, I did manage to get on stage for the dance at Glow Party this week! There was not a lot of people at the party though. Which kind of sucks, because then you start wondering why you're even bothering. The next one will be the Christmas cruise so it should be packed. 
Speaking of Christmas, Bry (my roommate) pointed out yesterday that it was only 2 weeks until Christmas and the next time we were in Mexico, it would be Christmas. And then it would be our 2 months. Which is crazy to think about. Exciting, but crazy. I should hopefully get my Christmas package from home tomorrow. I thought I was going to get mail last Saturday but I didn't, which was kind of sad, so I really hope I get it tomorrow.
We have 4 staff members leaving tomorrow. 3 were planned, the end of their contract. The fourth has a family emergency. So unfortunately we're going to be down a member this week, and hopefully we get someone next week or Christmas will suck. Our new members are also 1 new hire and 2 new to the bigger class of ship  so they're going to need a lot of training. 
I don't really feel like I have much to report from the past few weeks. The only show I went to see was the aqua show again. That one's easy to go see because as long as we don't have doors after, there's always seats in the front row. The last one we went to the cast had entirely too much fun splashing us. We don't mind though, and guests think we're crazy. But it's actually a really good view.
I finally bought myself a pair of Ray Bans. Which I was super excited about. That's been my most expensive purchase so far. I also had to buy a new watch because apparently the flowrider likes to destroy watches. My old one is still kind of alive enough so it's going to be my flowrider watch, so I can hopefully keep this new one for longer. They have random sales on the Promenade for jewellery or watches, bags and sunglases and things like that, so I got 10% off my watch, plus our crew 20% discount which was nice. Bry got the best deal on her watch though, it was regularly $585, 75% + 20% off, under $150.

So far things are going alright. I miss real food. At least it's not boring, though sometimes the days feel really long. I think that's all I have for now. Stay tuned for more updates.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Weeks 3, 4 and 5 on the Oasis of the Seas

I had planned on having a post up for Saturday of the end of week 4. That did not happen. I haven't written anything over the past 2 weeks. Mostly because I'm lazy, but also because I have actually done a fair bit over the last couple weeks. 
Let's see, the end of week 2, I managed to get off in Fort Lauderdale, and found a post office (ok, Office Depot, but they have stamps and mail things), as well as a Walgreens where I bought a few things I needed (laundry soap, bathroom soap, contact solution, chocolate). It's only about a 15-20 minute drive and the shuttle/taxi thing only costs like $2 each way, so it's not too bad.
So far I've determined that Eastern cruises are much more, turbulent, for lack of a better word haha. I think we're further out into the Atlantic so it's rockier. The sun also sets sooner in the Eastern so we usually end work a bit earlier.
I've managed to get taken out on the flow rider, which sucks when it happens. You're relatively dry, loading someone in and they latch on to you, won't let go and you can't break their grip and end up on your ass and soaking wet. And of course everyone laughs. You also get splashed when people wipe out right in front of you. Which is sometimes funny, and nice if it's super hot, but when you're already kind of cold, it sucks.
Didn't get off in any of the ports week 3. I was hoping to visit Labadee and Falmouth this week, however I think I have stuff I'm supposed to do so maybe not. It's hard when you have enough time to sit around and be kind of bored, but not enough to get off and explore without stressing about being back on time. I managed to get off in all 3 ports week 4 though. Didn't do too much, wandered Nassau and found free wifi at Dunkin Donuts, went to Emerald Beach in St Thomas as well as looked in some shops, and went to lunch and shopped a bit in St Maarten. There are so many things that I see that I want to buy, but I have to keep telling myself I don't have the space and I have time. I have however bought a bunch of postcards. Probably almost 40, to send as well as for my collection. By the end of like month 2 I'll have forgotten which postcards I've sent to people or bought for myself.
I've gone out for dinner a few times, because sometimes it's hard to face the crew mess. It tends to be the same food almost all the time. One can only eat so much pasta and bread. I'm seriously going to get fat. I've gone to Johnny Rockets, which is probably my favourite. It's $6 for all you can eat off the menu essentially (minus the milkshakes, those cost extra but I don't care because they're delicious). Johnny Rockets is kind of like a 50's style diner with burgers and stuff. I've also been to Sabor, which is Mexican. There's not a whole lot there that I'm excited about but the quesadillas I had were pretty good. Plus it's cheap. Windjammer, isthe  guest buffet style dining room, we just need to make reservations and it's $3 to go, it was really good. Fun to go on formal night. Most recently went to Giovanni's, which is the Italian restaurant. Again, not a whole lot on the menu that I was excited about, and it's kind of expensive, but I suppose once in a while it wouldn't be terrible. The steak I had was delicious. I don't eat much meat in crew mess.  Except for bacon at breakfast. Again, going to get fat.
I've now officially seen all the shows. Actually watched all 4 during week 4. Rather busy week haha.  The shows on board are Oasis of Dreams, the aqua show, which is amazing. I could watch it every week. Actually watched it twice this week, the second time was the front row where you get soaked, but it's super cool to watch from there. There's also Frozen in Time, the ice show. Which is also a very impressive show. Didn't have the best view, so I'd definitely like to go see that again. There are 3 Canadians in both the ice and aqua shows, which I thought was fun. Another one of the shows is CATS, which is a full on Broadway style production. So it's almost 2 1/2 hours long. Phenomenal singing, dancing, set and costumes, but it's definitely not for everyone. I might go see it once or twice more but I  won't be seeing it every week. The last show on board is Come Fly With Me, an aerial/acrobatic/musical show and oh my god is it amazing to watch. It's another one I could watch every week. Starting hopefully next week the aqua cast will be putting on another show, which is about 25 minutes, and it's supposed to be more of a silly/comedy type performance. I've seen them rehearsing while working the rock wall (we have a great view of the aqua theatre), and it looks really funny.
I'm actually struggling to remember what all I've done. As much as I have done, it doesn't seem like that much, and my days all seem to be running together.
At the end of week 2 my emergency position was changed from basically being extra staff to be runners for things, to being assembly station leader. Which is just great, let's take someone who has no idea what they're doing and stick them in this position. And then for my second time being leader, we had the coast guard on board making sure everyone knew what they were supposed to be doing in case of an emergency. I was close to having an anxiety attack. Luckily we passed on our first try and they didn't ask me specifically any questions. Which, even though I would've been freaking out, after all the studying I did, I kind of wished they had.
I've gotten my picture taken with almost all the Dreamworks characters on board. I also bought myself a stuffed Mort. He's kind of creepy but makes me laugh. Somehow the ship managed to get a copy of Penguins of Madagascar in 3D, so we got to watch that this week. super funny, and I got my picture with the Penguins and got a free poster. I think my favourite characters on the ship are the Penguins and King Julien. I'm going to try and see how many pictures I can get with all of them over the course of my contract. Everyone thinks I'm a little ridiculous but I don't even care. It makes me laugh.
This week in Labadee I only got to get off the ship because I had to do lifeboat filling. Which isn't exactly a picnic. You are crammed into a hot and crowded boat with 369 other people in Haiti, which is like 31 degrees, and you sit there for like 20 minutes while you wait for everyone to fill in. And you're wearing a stupid life jacket and isn't the most comfortable thing in the world to wear. 
My job itself is going pretty good so far. I haven't gotten out much the past week to practice flow rider, mostly because we had so many lessons booked, and because of that I had to do a lot of doors. I'm finally being trained on zip line landing though. It's really not too difficult. I think I have to do one more supervised session on it and then I can be on my own. Then hopefully next week or the week after I can be trained on launching. I'm now also part of the glow party. Which means I get to dress up in a fluorescent shirt and dance around with people. There's also a choreographed dance that I'm struggling to memorize, but I also missed doing this week because no one told me when it was supposed to start. Whoops. Only downside to glow party is that it doesn't start till 11:30 at night. Which is when I like to be in bed. I want to be part of the Dreamworks parade but I'm not allowed. At least not until the other sports staff who are in it leave. Which I think should be before Christmas. 
I can't believe Christmas is in a month. There's already Christmas decorations up on the ship. It's going to be weird not having any snow for Christmas. As happy as I am to not have to deal with it, not having a white Christmas is a little sad. 
I also can't believe I've already been here for a month! Time seems to be flying so far. I had my 30 day evaluation. I meet expectations and they still want to retain me, so that's good. I apparently need to be able to teach lessons by 90 days or I'm not performing my duties and they can get rid of me. Only problem, I'm not a very good teacher. So I'm a little concerned with how that's gonna go. The cool thing though is that we get commission from the lessons. And even though right now I'm not doing lessons, I do doors so I still get included. We were averaging about $25 dollars a voyage, but our thanksgiving cruise this past week we had a lot of kids and a lot of lessons so I think we got over $100.
Im having a tough time remembering what else I've done and what I've written so far, so I think that's all from me. It's weird that I've only been here for a month, but I'm finishing week 5. Because we're counting by cruise voyages. 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Oasis of the Seas So Far

So far, this has been a wild experience. Not just including the rollercoaster ride of emotions before leaving, and stressing out about everything once I got here. The ship is huge, biggest of Royal Caribbean's fleet, and it's hard to keep track of where everything is. I'm getting better, but I still get lost on occasion. I've also had a whole lot of training, safety and security training, and all the things about living and working on a ship, as well as job training.

Everything also just seems so unreal. It's November and it's 28 degrees out, I can walk around in the middle of the day when we're in port, even get off the ship, I just can't get over that I'm actually here. So far I've only managed to get off in Cozumel week one, and Nassau week two. Didn't do much off the ship, mostly just wandered a little bit through the tourist areas, hopefully as time goes on I'll explore a bit more. I'm definitely hoping to get back to Atlantis at some point.

My room is small, but that was expected. This is actually our second cabin, it wasn't ready when we came on so we were in the extra crew cabins. I've even managed to find a home for almost all of my stuff. And the some stuff that doesn't have a home is mostly because after the initial putting everything away, I've been super lazy. I have the top bunk, which isn't terrible. If you leave a chair at the bottom of the ladder it makes life way easier. There's a tv for both bunks, and a light and a shelf (our first room didn't have shelves and I was annoyed), and then we have our curtains. My room mate is American, also a new hire for sports staff so that's nice.

The sports staff department consists of 19, plus a supervisor and a manager. There are only 4 girls. I'm the only Canadian, a couple Americans (though one's leaving this week), 3 from England, Portugal, Spain, quite a few from Serbia, Macedonia, Romania, Trinidad and Tobego, and I'm sure there's more that I just can't remember. They seem like a pretty good group of people, though they all seem to drink a lot.

The job itself seems alright. We run the climbing wall (5 decks high), zip line (82 feet, 9 decks up), and the flowrider (surf simulator). We also occasionally do set up for events and doors (scanning cards to check for show reservations). The hours vary quite a bit, especially with having to do doors, we can start anywhere from 7:45 in the morning, to not starting until after noon on port days, and we can be done by 6pm, or doing doors we can finish at 10:45 at night. We also sometimes get random hours off in the middle of the day, sort of like split shifts. It's not  horrible, it's just hard to get into a routine. We work 7 days a week, sometimes we can be "on call" and get a port day off, which so far isn't too bad because it's not like I have much I can do on my days off anyways.

We get to clock our hours practisin on the flowrider, which is kind of cool. We need to get good enough so that we can teach lessons. I don't suck as much as I did my first time but I'm still not great. At the end of every cruise our staff does what they call a flow show, which is a half hour show with them doing little skits and tricks and things. It's super cool. So maybe by the end I'll be good enough to take part haha.

All in all it's been a pretty hectic last 2 weeks. Stressful, and a lot to learn but interesting as well. Hopefully I get a few more chances to get off the ship in port and get to explore a bit.

I think that's all I have to report on my first 2 weeks on the ship. Stay tuned for more updates over the next 6 months.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Megpie's Newest Adventure

For anyone who doesn't already know, I went to school for Tourism & Travel and Recreation & Leisure. This has prompted me to contemplate working on a cruise ship on and off for the past 6 or so years. I finally decided to apply, and got the job.

The whole process has taken just over two months, from applying to interviews to being accepted and finally, receiving a date of employment. I leave tomorrow to fly to Miami, where I will stay the night and then get transferred to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to board the Oasis of the Seas. Funnily enough, when the Oasis was launched in 2009, I said "that's the boat I'm going to work on" and sure enough, here I am. I'll be working as sports staff, which basically includes working the rock climbing wall, surf simulator, zip line, and running any activities or theme nights.

I will be gone for almost 7 months, alternating between 7 night cruises of Eastern and Western Caribbean. Which means I'll be travelling to Mexico, Labadee in Haiti (Royal Caribbean's private destination), Nassau in the Bahamas (yay Atlantis!), Jamaica, St Thomas and St Maarten.

For the past 2 weeks since finding out I got the job, I've been flipping between being excited, nervous, sad to be leaving, stressing out about all I needed to do, and completely freaking out. I'm back to being nervous again.

I'm also sad because there were quite a few people who I wanted to say goodbye to before I left but I won't get a chance to. And I know I'll still have some ways to keep in touch but it'll be limited.

I'll try and keep up with writing blog posts while I'm away, but those might be limited as well.

my new home!

Wish me luck!