I’m officially on the boat, I mean ship. First thing you learn this is a ship and not a boat. The past few weeks have been crazy with a capital C. Between learning the land of the ship, getting sick, taking all the million tests and seminars for first time onboard, and understanding all the ins and outs of the job it’s been a lot, but I’m still standing.
The two biggest challenges I have encountered are having limited access to interwebs and having to always be “on.” My access to internet costs 40 dollars for 667 MB which if you are unwise will go by very quickly as my first two (three) packages did, Therefore I have quickly weaned myself off my Instagram and Facebook habits as they are complete data drainers. I think they may be complete life drainers too because after the first week of withdrawal I’m beginning to appreciate being disconnected from looking at everyone else’s life and having a chance to solely focus on my own. I have learned Whatsap is gold when it comes to communication and if you love me message me for the next three months only on Whatsap. I’d like to thank the friends and family who have been in communication with me for the past weeks because I don’t know if I would have made it without the solid foundation to complain to.
The second challenge can best be understood by imagining you live at work and you never leave. While my job ends once my show is over (and all the paper work bahh) I’m never off. My job is unique in the fact I’m front and center cooking on stage and people recognize me all times of day. That means having to be pleasant at 7am when I’m just trying to drink my tea and meditate and even though I can relax with drink on board (for a deeply discounted price) it’s never my party. The guests are generally nice (and old) and have been teaching me patience, a virtue that up until now made up a very small percentage of my being. The most annoying part of this is I have to change my clothes like 15 times a day, chef coat and black pants for shows, super uncomfy uniform any other time unless I’m going to the gym. I guess it wouldn’t be 15 times a day except anytime I seek solace in my room I immediately disrobe.
Speaking of room I actually lucked up with accommodations, a single cabin with a full bed and even complete with a toilet seat that has a gangster lean. Of course I spruced it up with my own personal touches. The weird thing is there is no window and it gets so dark. I’m talking dark like when I wake up in the AM I have no idea where I am or what time it is. So it’s a little jarring waking up every morning in panic until I glance at my phone. I live in a guest area but after two weeks realized the door next to me leads down to crew only area so I can sneak out in sweats. #smallpleasures
In generally all the workers are friendly and only about 10% of us are American. Typically it takes me three times meeting someone before I remember their name which is a little embarrassing considering I see everyone constantly. Testing my memory skills, which clearly have been on a steady decline. Yet everything is so new it’s hard to know people’s intentions, there’s def hierarchy and “cool kids groups.” It felt so good to be able to spend a couple of hours with my aunt and cousin in Seattle, like ahh people I know and trust.
On a more positive note the job I came here to do is getting easier and finally after the two weeks of training hell I can focus in on each show individually. I’m becoming more comfortable with my performances and the messages I need to convey to the crowd. My shows are always packed and some even have people standing. I’ve gotten positive reviews about my speaking voice and presence. Only complaint that has been voiced to me is why are there no samples! I’m gearing myself up for the first reviews of the program. People that cruise often are creatures of habit and can’t please everyone, but I really hope they like me. Although that’s the first mistake of performing, caring what people think. I still feel like I’m going to throw up before each show and my mind goes blank but I have to remember I’ve been a chef for 7 years and everything I have done has lead me to this moment.
Also on a positive note I’m seeing the most beautiful scenery most people only dream of! Such an adventure and I can’t wait to take advantage of the free and extremely discounted excursions for crew.
I asked for this challenge and that is exactly what it has been. I cannot wait to get to the point when I am bored but it’s going to take focus and discipline. I know I can’t please everyone so I’ll just keep putting my best foot forward and smile thru the process.
Oh also now that I work for a corporation let me just say these opinions are my own and not reflective of the company who employs me.