Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Only 5 cruises left!

Hola from Curacao! (and it’s my last time here, sad day!) Again, it’s been another relapse of time between entries… I guess I sort of forgot this even existed L But anyways, time has definitely flown by and it’s been pretty decent since I last posted. There’s not a whole lot of monumental things to comment on; I’m still doing tours here and there and I’ve been doing some things on my own with people from the ship. I have a few favorites, and one of them was in Dominica when a bunch of us hiked up a TON of gigantic rocks to go see a waterfall… it was epic! The rocks made it challenging, especially since it was all trial and error to figure out which way was the best to get us up there, and then some of them were covered with algae and they were slick. It was such a beautiful sight when we finally made it to the top =) (Pictures can be seen on my Facebook album titled Roseau, Dominica).

Another fun day was the last time I was in Curacao. A former employee on our ship, Justin, is from Curacao and he has a friend that owns a boat here and a ton of us went on it for the day… SO FUN! I forgot how much I love being on the water (being on a cruise ship doesn’t count in this respect! Haha) I liked being on a smaller boat, it reminded me of the summers back in Michigan J It was a pretty chill day; we docked at a small beach and hung out all day, and some of us jumped off the top of the boat into the water; I did and I felt crazy! Haha After all of that, we rode around in the sea for a bit and then I came back to port to meet up with Sarah and her friend Melissa (who came on for a ten day cruise on Feb 24) so we could go to dinner. Speaking of Melissa, she was such a blast to have onboard for a cruise! She’s one of Sarah’s best friends from college, and we all got along really well and had lots of fun at all the ports. YAY for new friendships!!!

Hmm… OH! Another favorite day lately was my last time in Barbados. I went with some cast members to a beach bar called The Boatyard and I got to play sand volleyball and ride a jetski! I WAS IN HEAVEN! (I also got to play beach volleyball in Grand Turk on the 25 of Feb, which was my first time playing this contract!) As soon as I got on that jetski, I took off and was racing with myself and doing donuts and loved every minute of it. I was skeptic at first also because it was a three seater, and I kept asking the guy for a two seater (because I thought the smaller the watercraft, the more speed I could get, Thank you Dad for the need for speed!)… well I was wrong! The one I got to ride was a 2012 and she has some jump to her! I was riding so fast and jumping so many waves haha I even got to back out for a few more minutes after my 40 minute stretch, and Dan rode with me that time and I actually threw him off by accident while turning around! He was a trooper though J

Let’s see, what else… the shows have been fine. I think I’m finally reaching the point where I’m getting over it… I don’t want to because I still have 5 cruises left… but I’m not as excited about them as I used to be. It’s been awhile and I’m ready for a change. Interesting things do still occur each and every show though! Last time we did our ballroom one, the turn table onstage stopped working, so we had to do the entire second half of the show with no lifts, and some numbers use the lifts a whole lot, so having  8 of us improve on stage was a bit funny… lol but we managed it.

We got to have a crew party on deck 10 in the crow’s nest recently, and a crew party means free alcohol (while supplies last). It was a good time just hanging out and being crazy with all the different employees onboard, and of course, some of us ventured off to the officer’s bar (aka the crew bar) afterward. I’ve posted those pictures as well, which I’m sure those of you who keep up with this have seen them already.

As for what’s coming up with last 5 cruises… my dad will be here the next cruise! He’ll board Mar 26 and stay until April 4! I CANNOT WAIT! I hope he has a good time; I’m just really excited to see him! I haven’t seen anyone since July 15th… and that feels like forever ago! I’m pretty stoked though, I think he’ll enjoy the cruise. We’ve got excursions planned and beach days planned and there’s always stuff to do onboard. I’m going to be busy but it’s definitely going to be worth it!

After he leaves, I have FOUR 7 DAY CRUISES LEFT!! The first one we go to St. Maarten, Half Moon Cay, San Juan, and Grand Turk and the last three we go to St. Thomas instead of San Juan. AND, the last three are State Farm Charters, which means the ship will be half full than normal, and our show schedule might be changed a bit (such as doing only one show a night at 9pm instead of doing two at 8pm and 10pm). We’ll see how all of that turns out; all I know is that it’s going to FLY by… and excited as I am to be coming home and seeing everyone, I truly am going to miss the people I’ve met onboard. I don’t think too much about it at the moment because I want to enjoy the time here and now instead of dwelling about the ‘see you laters’ down the road… but I know that those that are meant to stay in my life will =)

As for post contract… the day I disembark the Noordam (May 2), I’ll be flying straight to NYC to audition for the Rockettes and the ensemble on May 3 and May 7. I then plan on flying back to MI May 9 so I can see my dad and grandpa and everyone else from my hometown for a week or two, and then I’ll be making my way back down south to see the other part of my world and the people in it. On my way down, however, I will be stopping in Chicago to see Sarah and her family and then Springfield to visit Dave! I can’t wait to catch up with everyone!! Beyond that, I’ll be staying with my family in Texas and probably going back and forth between there and Michigan, and then I think by the end of the summer I’ll be moving to NYC to see what I can establish there. It all depends on how the audition goes in May, and I’ve already made some contacts with people and have meetings set up and we’ll see if any job opportunities spring up from that.  I’m excited to see what the future holds J

I’ve definitely learned a lot from this contract, and I’m so happy that I got to travel the world and see some amazing things, and that I’ve gotten to meet such a diverse amount of people (as well as create long lasting friendships in the process!) I do want to do at least one more contract, and that would be the ms Oosterdam. The rehearsals start in December 2012 and then the contract starts in January 2013 and goes until about September… and the best part is the itinerary: it goes to New Zealand, Australia, Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico. Come on, I can’t beat that! I’ve seen Europe, now my next goal is to see Australia J I would also like to see the Baltic region, but that requires another contract. Who knows, maybe I’ll do another one after the Oosterdam! So that’s the plan…. It’s just an idea of what I have in mind; I have no idea what’s actually going to happen, but I definitely can’t wait to find out =)

As for the rest of my day today in Curacao, I plan on using up some wifi for a little bit longer, and then Sarah and I are going to go out and shop and see if there’s anything worth buying, and then we’re meeting up with Simon and Dan later for dinner. And then I have to be back onboard by 8:45pmish in order to attend Lido Pool Party… not my favorite of duties, but it only lasts an hour anyways.

So thanks for taking the time to read this little random postJ Can’t wait to enjoy the rest of my time here in the Caribbean, and I can’t wait to see all of you when I come home!!!! J

<3 xoxo

One Final thing I forgot to mention: I will be an aunt again VERY soon! My sister is going to have a baby boy within the next couple of days, his name is Nathan Luke and I cannot wait to meet the little guy when I get home! (Nor can I wait to see all my munchkins, I miss those little bundles of joy!)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy 2012!!!!

Well, clearly things got busy on the ship for me to neglect this blog for so long; oops! My last post was around Thanksgiving, so I’ll just have to sum up my entire holiday experience onboard the ship.
Thanksgiving was nice; we had a legit thanksgiving feast served to the crew, which was really nice. The tables were covered with white linen and there were free bottles of wine =) They even had turkey and pumpkin pie!! So I was able to enjoy a “true” thanksgiving meal while away from home. I was also able to call of my family that day =)

Hmm, as December came and went (can’t believe it’s already done and over with) things got really busy. Every time I was in Florida, I had a billion things to do, whether it was shopping for Christmas gifts, groceries, or going to the post office to mail home Christmas gifts. It was almost stressful, but I survived! I was able to get everything mailed home in two trips, but only once did I have to go through customs (which is REALLY a pain; I had to wait until 10am to leave the ship, then wait an hour in line to get everything checked, Not fun!) But regardless, I did get everything accomplished that I needed to when I was in Florida.

As for the Caribbean experience, I haven’t done too much. I’ve gone on a few tours here and there, and actually have spent more of my time staying on the ship. I think I’ve just felt so busy with getting things accomplished for the holidays that it was nice to just be lazy in my cabin. Plus, I’m here until May… I have PLENTY of time to get acquainted with the Caribbean islands. There was one instance in Curacao where I dressed up as an elf with three other cast members and we did a dance to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” for the orphans that came onboard the ship. They were served lunch, then we did a little performance, and then we handed them all gifts onstage afterwards; it was such a blessing.

Christmas Eve was a fairly busy day: we had tech rehearsal in the morning for our show, which was Ballroom Blitz. Our show times in the evening had been changed to 7 and 9pm instead of 8 and 10pm because we had to immediately get ready after the shows to sing in the Christmas Choir Concert. 3 choirs: International, Indonesian, and Pilipino and all we did was sing a bunch of Christmas Carols onstage. That happened at 11pm and then the crew was invited to the Pinnacle bar afterwards for free appetizers and drinks. I attended that and then went back to my cabin for the evening, where Sarah and I decided to keep our family traditions going: we did gag gifts and opened one real present for Christmas Eve. However, we proceeded to stay up until 5am opening the rest of our gifts because we felt like it (and in retrospect, it was a good choice because Christmas day turned out a little crazy…) So we had a good time in our cabin with our little tree and plethora of presents and took our time dragging out the Christmas spirit. We even made fake snow!! I got a Victoria’s Secret hoodie, a cardigan from Express, and a coffee mug full of pictures of us from our excursions in Europe.

As for Christmas day… well, it started off great. We had to get up at 8:30am to meet in the officers bar because all of us as a cast had been doing Secret Santa throughout December so that morning we decided to do the big reveal by the Christmas tree in the officers bar. I had Jacob, and coincidentally Jacob had me! Haha I gave him two seasons of one of favorite TV shows, and he got me a really cute pair of heels; yay shoes! Overall, the exchange was fun but some drama started to stir up and that’s what started the day off on a not-so-good note. When we were done, Sarah and I tried to nap before our next call of duty, which was dressing up as elves to take pictures with the kids and Santa on board, but then the time got changed and we were rushed to get changed and go take pictures, and that’s when there was full blown-out drama. The details don’t matter, and it didn’t involve me directly, but it was just unfortunate that everything had been going really great between everyone and then it got a little crazy on Christmas day. And then to top it off, we were supposed to be in Grand Turk, but it was too windy to dock so it ended up being a sea day. So after taking pictures, I slept for a couple of hours and then got to skype with my dad and the family again (I skyped with him on Christmas eve during the day and we opened our presents together J I got new running shoes and a heart rate monitor, yay!) I also got to talk to my mom and my sister. So overall, not being home for the holidays didn’t turn out as horrible as I thought it would, and I ended up enjoying myself for the most part. I still miss being around everyone at home, and crazy as it is I miss seeing snow, but I think that my experience on here was a good one to be had.

New Year’s wasn’t bad either. I didn’t have any shows scheduled, which was great, but we had to help decorate the ship, which consisted of blowing up balloons and hanging them in different bars around the ship… woo! Lol That was really all I remember doing during the day on New Years; in the evening I got ready and we went to dinner and then a bunch of us girls went to the Pinnacle bar for pre-drinks, and then ventured to the Vista Lounge for the big event. I had a glass of free champagne and mingled until the countdown and drop of balloons at midnight, and then I danced until about 1:30am. I went to go to the Northern Lights afterwards (the onboard “club”) but it was WAY too hot, crowded and smoky for my liking, so I just went back to my cabin to relax. I was able to get online and say Happy New Years to a few people and was even able to skype with Sarah in Alaska! (weird though, it was 2am my time and only 9pm her time). The next morning I didn’t do much, I think I might have worked an art auction and then was lazy the rest of the day because that’s what I usually do the day before I get back to Fort Lauderdale J

In addition to all of the holiday experienes, there were also a lot of birthdays happening! My birthday was epic; my roommate threw me a surprised themed party in the OB, which ended up being Moulin Rouge and she made e an Eiffel tower costume… amazing! I even had my own bottle of moscato to drink for the night (since I don’t buy drinks from the bars onboard hardly ever) and Ron was able to get me a birthday cake. It was a good time! Charlotte’s birthday was the next cruise and we did a ship bar hopping party. She went to the piano bar with Levi and Josh first, met Sarah and I in the Crow’s Nest, then we all met more people at the Sports bar, and then finally ended up in the Ocean bar with everyone. After that, we went to the OB where it was decorated with balloons, and there was a cake and I had made her a pair of “Victoria’s Secret Angel Wings” haha (because she loves VS). I didn’t stay out too late because I remember being super tired that day, but I can’t remember why haha. More recently, Ali’s birthday was yesterday, she turned 30! We had our Vegas show, but afterwards we all dressed in our formals to hang out at the Northern Lights and had a few shots for her birthday. Her fiancĂ© had a cake made for her (awww how cute) and it was delivered to her during rehearsal J He also prepaid for four meals and two bottles of wine at the Pinnacle Grill because Ali had told him that Sarah, Charlotte, Ali and I were going to all go together to celebrate our birthdays… so we all get to basically go for free! He’s such a sweet guy, Ali’s lucky J And then to wrap up the birthday extravaganzas, Sarah’s is next cruise and I think I’m all set for her party plans. I’ve got everything I need and I hoping to surprise her just as much as she surprised me.

And that’s pretty much the gist of it now. I officially now have less than four months to go and have many ideas on what I am going to do after this. I have a couple of things brewing, but I won’t talk about it yet because I want to have more finalized thoughts on something before I mention all of the options I have churning in my head. I’m anxious for the next couple of months to fly by. I’m going to be working on my vocal skills, and teaching Sarah how to tap so we can prepare ourselves for the Rockette audition in May (yes, I WILL be doing that one again J) And that’s really it… if anything more happens between now and the next time I write, I’ll be sure to mention it ;)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful new year so far, may it bring many happy blessings!!!!