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November 3rd, 2018

3rd LA Port

(**DISCLAIMER**: The views expressed here do not reflect the views of my employer!)


10/28

Today we had cabin inspections at 9:30am. For these inspections, we have to make sure our beds are made and the cabin is reasonably neat. Our life jacket, muster hat, and safety card all need to be on our bed. Since I’m on the top bunk, my safety rails and ladder have to be in place. And then someone comes through and has a look to make sure everything is in order. They might only glance into the room, or they could do a thorough inspection…it seems to vary. This time we got a cursory glance.

I had breakfast and practiced for a while. First I worked on improv, using Stacey’s suggestion of practicing a ii-V-I pattern. If you’re not into music theory you may not know what this means…don’t worry. It’s pretty much just an exercise that helps train my ear to listen to a certain pattern and make things up over it. When that was done I played through a Mariachi song that I’d recently downloaded in the hopes that the Mariachi band will let me sit in with them one night. After that I played through our set list for this afternoon, which is a bunch of dance tunes.

When all of that was done I packed up and started walking back to my room, but on the way I noticed several passengers looking over the side and pointing. There were some flying fish leaping out of the ship’s wake! I have never seen flying fish in person before! I tried to capture a video for you, but they were small and fast and it was unpredictable where they’d appear. I mean, if you can see it, there's one in this clip:



I put away my things and enjoyed some quiet time before lunch. Normally this is when Molly and I would have our art auction work. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, they’ve done away with our positions. It’s a bummer, but I had fun while it lasted and perhaps having the free time will be nice as well :)

Later in the day we had our dance band set, followed by a sound check and then performance of the Captain’s Circle Welcome Back event. This is just a short little special event for people who are members of Princess’s VIP club. Guests can win prizes and such, and we musicians and dancers are featured for a few songs.

After that I went to the gym, and then to dinner. And later in the evening I went to the crew bar for drinks and card games with some of the band ladies. All in all a nice day. Tomorrow we arrive in Cabo San Lucas. I have a rehearsal in the afternoon, but after that might have some time to go ashore! We’ll see!


10/29

As it turned out, I did have time to go ashore! In the afternoon there was a short sound check, then I got on the ferry to land. It was my first time riding the tender port boat!

Once in Cabo San Lucas, I wasn’t sure where to begin, so just wandered. There were many touristy things to do, including a dolphin experience, glass-bottomed boats, snorkeling, and any number of beach activities. For now, though, I just wanted to look around. We’ll be coming here a lot over the next three months, and I see no need to do everything at once.



It was a lovely port with some nice shops. It was a very hot day, so after a while I went into a mall to cool off. But I didn’t need to buy anything. I ran into Molly (drums) and Rebeca (guitar) and Ray and Kiba from the Mariachi band. They were lamenting the shoddy wifi situation. We headed back to the port together, where Molly and Rebeca decided to sit in a restaurant in the hopes of wifi and Ray, Kiba and I decided to head back to the ship. Sorry my shore excursion wasn’t full of thrills, but hey, that’s just the kind of day it was.

That night we had another Disco Deck Party, and it went well. Our music is paired with a sort of cheesy video featuring some Love Boat cast members, but the guests seem to enjoy it. After the set some of the girls went to get ice cream, but I wanted to go to bed because we’ve got an early morning tomorrow.


10/30

First thing in the morning we had our first bi-monthly entertainment department meeting in one of the ship’s lounges. Most guests were ashore having fun, so the lounge was empty. We got some information on upcoming guest artists, safety drills and inspections, and promotional/financial statistics.

Right after that we had a crew safety drill. For a passenger drill we would don our lifejackets and perform a safety demonstration for the passengers, much like an airline steward would. But for a crew drill we take our lifejackets and neon yellow hats to an assigned check-in station, where we have our ID cards scanned. From there we go to our normal passenger safety positions, and from there to our “muster stations”, which is basically any room large enough to safely hold a large number of guests in the event of an emergency.

Once we arrived at our muster station, our muster captain came around to make sure we were standing in the correct position. From there, we received directions on how to organize guests and take them to the life boats in the event of an emergency.

After the drill was finished, I was starving! As a special treat I went up to the guest buffet for breakfast. I had banana bread, smoked fish, yogurt parfait, fresh fruit, and scrambled eggs with mushrooms. Yum!

Then it was time to practice and go to the gym. I had taken Rebeca’s IPM duty, but in the end she decided to stay on the ship because the crew drill was longer than expected. It was also very hot and humid here in Mazatlan. We will be visiting this port very often, so I’m not worried…I’ll definitely be checking it out another day!



After the gym I decided to eat lunch at the “tea time” that takes place in the buffet area around 3:30pm. Molly (drums) has been raving about it ever since we set sail haha. It was actually pretty awesome! Mini scones and mini burritos, salads, fresh fruit, ice cream, and a chocolate fondue fountain, among other things! I made myself a little plate. Yeah don’t judge me for all the desserts :P


The rest of my day was pretty uneventful. I got myself a Princess logo water bottle, since washing and reusing plastic bottles is getting old. I wandered around the ship and on the decks, and just enjoyed some quiet time. The ocean is so big and blue. On the circus train, traveling between cities was part of the excitement. You’d see so much along the way. Here it’s just the vast ocean, so it can seem a little boring. But every once in a while you can see something amazing, like sea turtles or flying fish. And there’s a nice calm feeling that comes with the rolling waves and the sounds they make on the ship’s hull.


10/31

This turned out to be a busy Halloween!

First thing in the morning we had a training session that went for over an hour. After that most of us decided to go ashore in Vallarta, if only to visit the Mexican Walmart that was close to the port. Going there was pretty nostalgic because it reminded me of the Supermercado we loved to visit in Mexico City with the circus. I didn’t actually buy much, just a dish towel and a few cheap shirts to flesh out my ship wardrobe.

After Walmart I walked over to the Galleria mall next door. I enjoyed window shopping and looking at all the cruise ships from the food court.

https://instagram.com/p/Bpm9U2JhWLf


It was very hot and humid, so after getting my free wifi fix at the mall I headed back to the ship, got a shower, and had lunch. That evening we had a rehearsal with our first guest entertainer, Anne Martinez from the Vegas show BAZ. Although we were essentially sightreading her music, the rehearsal went well and so did the two evening shows. The shows were pretty much just Anne singing and talking a bit about her background and musical experiences. She’s an interesting person and a very talented vocalist. It was a privilege to perform for her!


Later on there was a Halloween party in the crew bar! I went up to check it out around 10pm, but apparently that was too early because it was dead (pun intended). I decided not to wait around because I hadn’t made a costume and we’ve also got such a long day tomorrow. But still, I got a video of the decorations.


I should mention that other parts of the ship have also been decorated for Halloween!



I wasn’t very festive for this holiday, other than eating a bunch of candy! But hey, we’ve got three more major holidays while on this ship!


11/01

Only two months and nineteen days until I can see my boyfriend again! But who’s counting ;)

Today we had another early morning training session. After that many band members went off to practice. There’s a lot to do…we’ve got our first Voices of the Ocean rehearsal today, plus a rehearsal and three shows for the guest entertainer. The last show starts at 10:15pm, so it’s going to be a long day for us. For that reason, and because my parts for all of these are not very involved, I chose to chill for an hour before lunch and just run through the music right before the rehearsal.

Voices of the Ocean is copied after the hit TV show The Voice. Contestants are auditioned, and then must choose from a list of pre-selected songs, which the house band (us!) will play for them during the “show”. There are even gonna be spinning chairs and buzzers, just like on The Voice!

We rehearsed in Adagio, which is a sort of lounge way up on Deck 16. I’ve never been to this little corner of the ship before.



The rehearsal went well. It was fun to play along with amateurs who were brave enough to get up there and do their thing! That takes a lot of guts. I hope everyone will have fun!

Afterward we found out that Anne, our guest entertainer, was not feeling well and would not be performing this evening. Instead, one of the cast members from the Princess Theatre company would be performing some rock songs with the rhythm section as backup. We were a bit surprised to hear that, since she also has two theatre performances this evening at 6:30 and 8:30, and the guest entertainer spots are at 7:30 and 10:30. It’s a lot of work for her on short notice, but it’s wonderful that she’s stepped up to fill in!

As for the horn section, we suddenly found ourselves with two fewer shows to perform. We’d still cover the middle guest entertainer time slot with a dance band set at 9:15, but I felt bad for the rhythm section for having so much work. I attended their 7:30 set, partially to be supportive and partially in case something else came up and the horns were needed after all (you never know!). They did a fantastic job. Our dance set went well too.


11/02

Today is another sea day. After yesterday’s shenanigans, we were happy to have a light day today. Just a rehearsal at 2:30 for Voices of the Ocean, and the actual show at 7pm.

In the morning I had breakfast and chatted with Jameson and my family. The ship wifi is sketchy any time we’re moving, but by refreshing often I’m able to get messages every few minutes. After breakfast I chilled for a bit and spent some time reading on the deck.

Our rehearsal went well, the show went well. All of us got to play with the judges’ chairs!





11/03

Today is weird. We have a crew inspection today, but not all of us...but none of us can get off the ship until it's done. Sigh...
I woke early to do laundry, then went to a sound check for the Disco Deck Party show which will be later tonight. After that several of us pooled on an Uber to Target. We have very limited shore leave, maybe two hours. I'm typing this from the Target actually.

So pretty much every Saturday I'm going to be posting to this blog because that's when we're in LA. There may be one or two exceptions to this, but expect postings once per week, Saturdays.

In closing, here are my pins, which I must wear any time I’m in a public area on the ship!