What a life! I have officially been on the ship for a little over two weeks, though it feels like two months. The days have been long and busy and life on a ship is so different than I ever expected it to be! Here is a little port-hole into my life on the beautiful Nautica: (see what I did there.. port hole.. yep. Good one Suz.. thank you.)
Ship life is very militaristic. There is a STRICT hierarchy of officers, and commanders, and the chain is NEVER broken. There are very strict rules about what we are allowed to say, wear, where we are allowed to be, and what we are allowed access to.
Some basic rules on the beautiful Nautica are as follows:
You are always on “the beautiful Nautica.” And “No matter how a guest chooses to spend their day, it’s going to be a great one, on the beautiful Nautica.”
It is not a boat. In fact, it is never referred to as a “boat” it is ALWAYS a “Ship.”
You do not go to the “front” or “back” of the ship, you go “Forward” or “Aft”, and to the “Port” or “Starboard” side
We do not live in “rooms” on “floors”, we live in “cabins”, and they are on different “decks”
We do not play “ping pong”, or “put-put.” we play “table tennis” and “outdoor golf.”
I wear pantyhose every day...every…day.
You never let a guest see you leaning against a wall, or with your hands in your pockets.
You never tell a guest, “I don’t know” or “That’s not my job” you always tell them you will find the answer.
No guest elevators for me… so I climb A LOT of stairs. #datbootydoh
I am NEVER to be in a guest area in anything other than my uniform, and if I go to work out, I take the crew passageway as far as possible and sneak into the gym.
NO Cell phones ever. Ever Ever Ever.
NO bags or purses… My bra has conveniently become my new wallet
Morning: Slacks, blouse, black flats, nice jewelry
Mid Morning: Work out clothes- sneaking exercise in between needle-point and table tennis.
Post Work Out: Back to slacks for lunch and afternoon activities
Early Afternoon: Work out clothes, for a rehearsal.
4:00- In nice sundress, for Tea Time.
Early Evening: Back in work out clothes for another rehearsal
After 6pm: Dressy attire for dinner and/or evening activities.
Showtime: Into Costumes
Post show: Dressy attire for a drink and a little dancing at the bar
I need a wardrobe assistant, I think.
Lets talk Safety Drills. Imagine standing in the entrance to the main dining room as approximately 300 guests stampede you trying to get to their lifeboat station. Naturally, they have no clue which lifeboat station they are at, but instead of showing you their life vest so you can read the number on the front and direct them, they either don’t have their life vest at all, shout their stateroom number at you which you can’t do anything with, walk past you and go to the completely wrong station or yell at you that “we would all be dead by now if this was a real drill.” Saftey drills are real fun, if you catch my real fun.
Down at the crew bar, you can buy mixed drinks for literally like 2 dollars- essentially giving every crew member easy access to alcoholism. Actually not really- at any time on or off duty, you can be breathalized and if you show any indication of intoxication your are on a plane home the next day- not kidding.
Staying connected is really difficult. The time difference sucks, usually 8-10 hours ahead of home. The internet is EXPENSIVE. And it’s unreliable. I’ve been on Facebook one time. I try to leave my internet for texting and emailing- I feel disconnected, but also being unplugged is kind of nice for a change. I don’t have to feel bad comparing my life to yours ;)
And last but not least lets talk about Big O points. Guests collect Big O Points by playing games and activities throughout the cruise and then trade them in at the end for t-shirts, visors, blankets, etc. They’re like arcade tickets for old people. The most astounding thing about Big O Points is the power they hold over these guests. We will be ported in the most amazing cities, which these people paying 20,000 dollars to visit, and yet they will stay on the boat to play put-put… for Big O Points. And the competition is SERIOUS. They bring their own ping pong paddles, they drag the golf ball with their foot into the hole after 7 strokes and yell out “2 strokes on hole 4!” The bean-bag gets meticulously tossed around in their hand as they stare intensely at the Bag-O-Bean hole, only to miss and yell “You put the target closer yesterday... Not fair!”… All for Big O Points… ALL FOR A T- SHIRT. It’s like I’m in a twilight zone where toddlers are actually old retired people, and I’m in charge of a really expensive day care. What I would give to be like, “Joe- we don’t throw our ping pong paddle across the room! Time out by the pool bar- now!”
Other than that I get to dress up in pretty dresses, find out people’s stories, and get told, “You’re a good singer for not being a professional.” I get to be on the beautiful Nautica. And that is quite a wonderful job.
OH AND P.S. I TOTALLY GOT MAYBE FOR REAL BUT I THINK IT WAS A JOKE ASKED IF I WAS INTERESTED IN HAVING A SUGAR DADDY BY A GUEST NAMED GENE ONE NIGHT AFTER BINGO.