Monday, August 29, 2011

More photos of ship life and Greece!

Mine and Sarah's cabin! Behind me is the tiny bathroom, and to my left is our closet. That's pretty much it!

Sarah and I in our opener costume for Ballroom Blitz!

Charlotte and I in the Northern Lights club onboard

Roomie and I are SOO classy!

One of the famous sites of Corfu, Greece

Posing in a gigantic, beautiful archway with the Med Sea behind me

Sarah, Ali, Kelli & I posing with the amazing blue sea behind us!!

"The Fort"

That's all for now! I figured out why it was slow to post pictures ;) There are a lot more on my facebook, but I'll try to port more to my snapfish so everyone who doesn't have facebook can see :)

Cruise #2: Shows, Dubrovnik & Corfu

So we're on the 4th day of our second cruise and so far, so good! The first day was back at the home port in Civitavecchia where Sarah and I walked around a little bit and used the wifi there and bought a few little things from the stands at the port. The second day was a sea day and we had our Ballroom Blitz show that evening, which was a lot of fun! We also had dance classes that morning and afternoon. I went to the afternoon one (in which they taught the Waltz) and I partnered with a few ladies because there weren't enough men. They were sweet; we keep running into them on this cruise which I think is so fun!! I also met a mother and daughter, Louise and Natalie. Natalie is 12 and dances and they both love our shows (They did a 20 day cruise) so they were talking about all the fun things that had done before on other cruises. They were fun to meet. I saw them sitting in the front row of our second show that evening!

The third day, Sarah and I walked around Dubrovnik for a little. We didn't go into the city, but just stayed out by the port because we slept in and only had a few hours before all aboard. I bought a really pretty scarf and we also went grocery shopping! What an experience that is to guess what you're buying since you can't read the wording! HAHA But I think I did okay! =) In the evening I went to the gym before we met up with the boys there and worked on some choreography and our frames for our shows. Afterward, roomie and I ordered room service and watched It's Complicated.

Today Kellie, Ali, Sarah and I went our to Corfu to sight-see and shop! We did quite a few hours of that and I had authentic greek food for lunch, which was surprisingly better than I expected :) I'll try to post more pictures, but for some reason my computer hates uploading pictures lately :( That's frustrating! I have a lot up on facebook but I know not everyone has facebook.

Tomorrow is Olympia, Greece! Hopefully I can get out to see the ruins and such, I just have to figure transportation and such. So yes, so far so good! Still loving ship life! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

End of turnover week & Naples, Italy

AHH! So turnover week is FINALLY over!! Today was our first day off!! But before I get into the details about today, yesterday was our final show, "That's Vegas." BOY what a show!! There's so many sets and special effects and costumes and all together its just WOW!! Not only did we do it twice in a row (8pm and 10pm), but we also had a full show for the tech at noon, so we did the show three times in one day; and that takes a lot of energy! But it was a blast. The second audience was amazing! They had such great reactions to a lot of numbers =)

Today, we had a fire drill and general emergency drill. The fire alarm woke us up at 9:30am, and we had to evacuate our cabins because the "fire" affected our part of the ship. Then we had to do the general emergency drill at 10:10am, where we are traffic directors (which basically means we mediate the traffic in the stairwells of the ship) and after that we are told to report to our life raft stations. So that was fairly quick and easy, so a bunch of us got ready and went out to explore Naples, Italy for the day! It was also one of my cast member's, Susan's, birthday today! We ate amazing pizza at Castel Nuovo and then did some shopping! I got a shirt, an italia jacket, a really pretty dress, a belt, and a birthday present for my old roomie =) Definitely successful!!

Tomorrow begins a new cruise, and we only have three shows throughout the cruise, so now we can REALLY start to enjoy the ports and go exploring Europe! I'm STOKED!!! It felt good to get off the ship today and accomplish some things, so now I can't wait to continue doing that at these later ports! We'll be at Civitavecchia tomorrow and the next day will be a sea day before we arrive at Dubrovnik. AHH I LOVE MY LIFE!! =)

Most of the cast in Naples, Italy eating pizza at Castel Nuovo!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Second show = success!

Tonight we did our performances of our second show, 'If Walls Could Rock', which is our musical theater show. It went really well! The second crowd was more responsive than the first, but both were pretty good crowds! Its a fun show to do since it's a lot of acting in addition to the dancing. We only do this show every other cruise though, so we won't be seeing it again for almost 20 days!

Today's port was an island off of Spain, Palma de Mollorca. It was soo pretty! Sarah and I were going to go shopping but we realized that we were close to all aboard time so we scratched the idea. So we napped instead before the shows =)

I love going to the crew bar between the two shows because it leads directly out to the bow, and I get to see the beautiful sea and any surrounding land!! I went out there today between the shows and it was a little windy, and I saw mountainous and on my right with a lighthouse and a wide open sea on my left. SOO pretty. Next time I'll take a picture... actually, I'll probably take a lot of pictures!

Tomorrow starts the three-day streek of crazy rehearsals for our Vegas shows. Tomorrow is also a sea day so the theater will be occupied a lot, therefore we have to have our rehearsals super late in the evening... we start at noon and go until six, have dinner, and then rehearse in the ocean spa for a little bit, and then go back to the theater until 3am. Yikes! We'll be good though :)

Other than that, that's about it for now. Our next show is in three days, and this cruise ends in four days, which means turnover week will be over!! YAY!! Stay tuned for more posts! <3

Friday, August 19, 2011

First few days of turnover and Barcelona!

Well, so far so good with turnover week! It’s been a busy process but not too excruciating! On Tuesday, we got up at 5am to board our 6am shuttle to Civitavecchia and made it onboard a little after 9am. We immediately had to go to some crew meetings and right after those, it was off to rehearsal! We set the opening show, LUEY (short for Let Us Entertain You), onstage and had costume/wig fittings. Around 4:30pm, we had to report to our designated spots on the ship as traffic directors for the lifeboat drill that happens the first day of every cruise. Let me tell you, it’s a little nervewrecking to do on your first day because a) you don’t really know what to do and b) you don’t really know the layout of the ship! I had at least three people ask me questions (all while being stationed in a crew hallway) and I had to ask other traffic directors because I had no clue! I felt silly, but I did let them know it was my first day onboard J After the drill, we had a little bit of time to get ready and go back to the theatre to do a tech run for LUEY, and then perform it “for real” at 9:30pm. It’s only a baby 30 min show, with little snippets of what the passengers can expect from later shows, but it was still fun! It’s tricky learning to work with a moving stage. We have four risers that move up and down, and those are within the turning part of the stage, and then in front of all of that is the pit that goes up and down. SO my choreography corresponds with the risers going up and down, and the first time I did it during blocking I actually got scared because I forgot that one riser goes back down after we step off it! In time I’ll get it, and so far I haven’t had to deal with a whole lot of boat rocking yet so that’s good! But anyways, after we did LUEY, we had to stay and start blocking for our ballroom show, and we were in the theatre til around 2:30am, making for a 22.5 hour day!

Day 2 wasn’t as crazy as the first, but we still had to get up early for meetings and take care of a bunch of new employee stuff, such as getting signatures from different officers and taking training classes on the computer. In addition, we still had all of our rehearsals, and we there all day again up until around 2am. We finished blocking, and then had a heads and feet run after, which is where we were all of our shoes and headpieces (wigs, hats, etc.) We had a few hours in the evening to go eat dinner and sleep because apparently we were all so tired that the run we had wasn’t very good… so bless Tj’s heart (our rehearsal director) for giving us time to recharge ourselves.

Day 3 wasn’t too bad. We finally didn’t have any meetings so our first call of duty was at 11am. We had a run of the ballroom show at noon and we were done a few hours later after that. I was able to nap in between and eat dinner, and then got ready for our first two shows of Ballroom Blitz!  They turned our really well! I had a lot of fun! It’s a 55 minute show but it goes by soooo quickly. I literally feel like after I’m onstage, I change and then run back to get onstage for the next dance. It helps that we have dressers as well, which I am pretty sure are all Philippino. I was nervous about it at first, but there’s really no time to think about being completely undressed when you’re rushing to get into the next costume! I definitely wouldn’t make my next dance if they weren’t there to help. So overall, both shows were a success!! J

Today was a fairly light day! We didn’t have anything until 11:15am, which was only costume fittings, and then we started blocking our second show from 1-9:30pm. The theater is dark tonight because we are staying overnight in Barcelona! J The ship had a free shuttle for crew members to get to Barcelona, so Kellie, Sarah and I went and walked around for a few hours. Even though I only got to see it at night, it was still really pretty!!  We walked down one of the main tourist roads, holy crowded!! Kellie bought a piece of the most amazing pizza bread I have EVER HAD. Both of us were practically salivating because it was SO good! I can’t wait to go back during the day and go SHOPPING!! There were so many stores, all of which were closed because it was nearly midnight when we walked around, but I can’t wait to explore them! The roads don’t look like NYC or anything; they’re pretty alleys and make imperfect paths, AHH!! So crazy awesome!!

We’ve also been to Livorno and Monte Carlo, but I haven’t been able to get off the ship; obviously! We stay in Barcelona tomorrow until 11pm and then go off to Palma de Mallorca (Spain)!  So there is the beginning of my worldly travels; and you best believe that I am dancing in each country! Not only on the ship, but Kellie took videos of each of us dancing in the streets, so we’re going to keep doing that at each port we get off at J AHHH!! Loving this life!!! Missing everyone from home, but I promise that I am doing very well and I’m stoked to share as much as can with you all J Much love!!!!
It takes awhile to post pictures, so I've posted the bulk on my facebook. I'll try to post more on here later :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Che Bello!

I was definitely successful in exploring Rome today! After we were able to check in, Sarah and Laura and I met up at 12:15pm and headed out for the city. We saw everything that we possibly could; the Colosseum (in and out), the Trevi Fountain, tried to see the Vatican but it was closed for the holiday... and I saw a bunch of other things but I don't really know what their called! :( We had lunch and dinner there and I enjoyed good, Italian pizza and gelato!!! And we even got a little lost, haha but even after a little wandering and such, we made it back to our hotel around 9:30pm. What a day! Rome is ridiculously pretty... the architecture is unbelievable and the structures are so large that I felt so small! AHH it was so fun to walk around though! Something to add to my list of "things I have done" *BIG GRIN* OHH and italian espresso is AMAZING!

On our way to Rome!

The infamous Colosseum!

The arch outside the Colosseum

Inside the Colosseum

Playing with my panoramic setting on my camera :)

Huge and gorgeous structure

Trevi Fountain

SO Rome is BEAUTIFUL! Off to ship life tomorrow at 6am! Not sure when then next time I'll post will be but I will do so as soon as I can!! :) <3


Well, I made it safely to Rome, Italy!! It's currently going on 11am here, so that's about 5am Michigan time, or 4am Oklahoma/Texas time. Both of my flights were very peaceful, and I was able to keep my bags underweight, so I only had $70 in baggage fees!! Even going through customs was very quick! The second flight overseas was on the biggest plane I had ever been on! It was two seats on each side, and then 5 or 6 in the middle :) There was a little screen on the back of each seat so we were able to watch movies, and they also had a map that tracked the plane's journey across the sea! It was pretty neat! I slept for all of my first flight, which was about 5 hours, and then about half of the second flight, which was 7 and a half. We landed in Rome at about 7:50am, and then made it to the hotel around 10am (it takes a lot of time to get baggage for over 15 people, and THEN wait for a shuttle to the hotel!) So now, we are all waiting in the hotel lobby to get checked into our rooms! Good thing the wifi is free! :)

I'm still hoping to get into the city later today, even if only for a little bit. I want to see a little bit of Rome while I'm still awake! (Btw, I'm not feeling much of jetlag yet!) Tomorrow we are getting picked up at 6am to head toward Civitavecchia to board the ms Noordam!!!!!! OMGOODNESS I still can't believe that I'm in Italy right now!!!! It's so crazy! Nothing looks really different yet, but we're literally still by the airport, so hopefully I'll feel like I'm in Italy when I hit up the city later =)

That's all for now! I'll keep you all posted when I can!! SENDING MY LOVE!!! <3

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A few photos from the studio!

Being pedestrians in "Take It Uptown"

"Wishin' & Hopin'" (Cutest number ever!)

*Disregard how funky my legs look.. This is Sway from "That's Vegas"

Oh Rooms and I.. :)

One door closes, another door opens

So the rehearsal process in LA is now officially over! We had a rough last few days when our 8 hour rehearsal periods were extended to ten hours, and we were even on the brink of working on our day off. Thankfully, we still had today off which worked out wonderfully because I don't think I would have accomplished everything I wanted to otherwise. I cannot believe that it's been a month already. All four shows are learned, and the next time we do them, we'll be setting them onstage on the ship!! It still hasn't sunk in yet that I'm about to be living on a gigantic boat for the next 8 months of my life... I am SO EXCITED!!

My last day off here was really nice. Sarah and I woke up at 8am naturally, so we decided to go ahead and start off our day early, which was probably a good thing. We went to the post office and mailed some stuff home, and then went to Starbucks after because we were in desperate need of food, and most importantly coffee! ;) We got the last of the things we needed for the ship from CVS and Trader Joes, and even stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond to try and find a few things for myself for storage (no luck). We were also successful at making our first clothing purchase in LA, haha! A few weeks ago, Kellie and I had discovered a cute little boutique shop called Fashion Runway, and so I took Sarah there and we both managed to find a cute dress for the ship; yay!

After the last of our errands were run, I was able to skype with my Dad and Grandpa for a little while. I am SOO glad that I got in a good, long chat with them, and even "see" them before I leave! I got a good, fatherly "lecture" about doing everything in groups so I stay safe, and we talked about all the odds and ends about my trip. And, I even got to hear about the latest ruckus my wonderful father is causing at good ol' Fino's restaurant, haha! Gosh, it felt so good to see my dad and Grandpa, I'm one lucky girl!! I'm going to miss them soooooo much!!!!!! I definitely shed quite a few tears after getting off skype with them because I just want to give them both a huge hug and I couldn't, and it's a little scary knowing that I can't call whenever I want because my phone's being turned off until November.

I was also able to skype with Angel, Marisa and Dave (some Oklahoma friends) since they were all hanging out! I miss that crew! It was good to connect with them again since I haven't really seen them a whole lot the past year. And it was of course wonderful to "see" my Seester before I leave! After that, I started packing and doing all the crazy things that go along with that. I was able to get all of my stuff in three bags and my two checked bags are less than 50 lbs! YAY! Which means no $200 in fees for overweight baggage! I'm stoked!

By the time I was done packing, I was able to get in a long, much needed convo with my Mumma! We laughed and cried and joked and it was wonderful :) She helped me get a short (well, sort of!) list together of the things I needed to get done on the internet tonight. While I was on the phone with her, Kellie told me about her ideas for sightseeing in Rome the day we have there, and I started to get super excited!!! Here's the plan: First we'll have coffee at Caffe San'Eustachio in the piazza behind the Pantheon, and then visit both the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona. Then we go to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, and then walk around Saint Peter's Cathedral. After that, we take a cab to go see the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Forum, which from there we can walk and go see the Trevi Fountain. Finally, we end with a walk to Piazza di Spagna and do a little shopping and make it home by 4pm so we can get a good nights rest! Leave it to Kellie to find and map out a plan of action for our limited time in the city of Rome before we board the ship!

So, after my mom got to hear about all of that, we talked a little more and then ended our convo on a bittersweet note. (It's really hard to say goodbye to my parents, let me tell you!) I got to talk to Angel again on the phone for about an hour and I am REALLY hoping that she makes a cruise! It'll be so much fun! We talked a little about life and how much were gonna miss each other, but we both know that time is going to FLLYY and before we know it, we'll be reunited :)

So yes, today has been a wonderful day off and I feel like I was able to get in all the communications that I wanted to, and I feel sooo grateful that I am super close with all of my family :) It was hard fighting tears today; I'm going to miss everyone so much, no matter how awesome this experience is. Its so hard to leave my loved ones behind! But I know that are with me all the time, and they are supporting me through and through :) I'm sending all the love I possibly can and more through this sillly little blog!!

And with that, T minus five and half hours til I am schedule to be picked up and taken the airport! ROME here we come!!!!!!!!! =D

Monday, August 8, 2011

5 days until Rome!

Today was my last Monday of rehearsal! We brought back the Ballroom show because we finished the Walls show last Saturday. So now we know the opening night show (LUEY), Vegas, Walls, and half of Ballroom. After leaving Ballroom for two weeks, I forgot how hard it is! I hoping it'll get back into my body. We have a few dances left to finish, so we'll be done by Wednesday. Thursday and Friday we run all of the shows and get notes and then we're done with rehearsals on Friday! I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to be doing with my Saturday yet, but I know that Sarah and I are going to not sleep Saturday night before our flight because we're getting picked up at 6am for a 9am flight, land in DC around 5pm, board a plane at 6pm and get to Rome at 8:30am on the 15th... so there will be plenty of time to sleep on the plane haha

My mind keeps racing over the fact that I will be across the globe in less than a week. I could barely sleep last night because I kept thinking about the things I want to get done before I leave and the people I want to talk to before I lose my phone for 4 months. I don't think not having it is going to be THAT bad, and I really don't think that lack of internet usage is going to be that bad either because I'm hardly on the internet now (if it is, it's mostly through my phone). I am going to miss being able to contact my family whenever I want, that's probably going to be the hardest adjustment. I have to keep telling myself that anyone that's important in my life is going to disappear these next 8 months, and if they do then they weren't meant to be in my life anyways.

I sometimes want to cry because I feel overwhelmed with joy with the opportunity I have in the palm of my hands right now. It makes me smile to know that I'm getting paid to do something that I absolutely love, and I get to travel.. and I'm young. Who else can say that? I'm so very fortunate, not only that I have this opportunity, but because I've been blessed with family and others who have unconditionally supported me along the way. I didn't have to go to school to dance, let alone in Oklahoma. It's so crazy to think of how lucky I am, as well as everyone else in my cast is, to be able to do this.

I think I've been having more anxiety this week because I know my time is running out in the states. And I know that the 4 months in Europe are going to truly fly by.. but it's still the jitters of this all being a new experience. I know my family is feeling it too.. both my parents tell me that they still worry because to them, I'm still their little girl, and I am SOO glad I have parents that care so much. At the same time, I feel sad because I don't want them to cry over me, even though I know it's good tears :) Regardless, I'll figure out a way to hopefully call my rents and sister more often than not.

Lots of emotions going on right now.. and I'll get through. I can't wait to write about the countries I'll be in and the experiences I'll have on the ship and to post pictures =) It's going to be amazing!!!!!!