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January 12th, 2019

Week Before Last

**DISCLAIMER**: The views expressed in this blog are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer!




01/06

Today we are at sea. It’s a fairly nice day out. I had breakfast and practiced my Ain’t Misbehavin’ stuff, then walked around on deck a bit. I downloaded a new book yesterday but it turns out it’s only 600 pages, so I’m rationing it haha.

It was a pretty average day. I had a nice lunch and opted for a nap instead of the gym. Nia gave me some Gabrieli music so I spent some time enjoying that. We had Welcome Back rehearsal and then the show, both fine. Paul has a cold but he still did both of his shows, and they were just fine. It’s worth mentioning that this was our last time playing this particular show (Paul has two Broadway shows so we’ll have one more later in the week). It felt strange to turn in our music afterward.

Tomorrow we are in Cabo as usual. There’s nothing I need there, but there’s always internet stuff to do.


01/07

Welp, so much for getting off the ship today.

Not sure if it was just me, if maybe I’m extra sensitive today or what, but it seemed to me that the sea was rougher than usual. I decided to give it a go anyway, but when I got to the tender it was bobbing up and down pretty violently. I gulped and stepped on anyway, but hadn’t counted on sitting there for as long as we did. After just a few minutes I felt dizzy, and five more minutes after that I was about to panic because we hadn’t even left the dock yet and the little boat was pitching so hard that everyone was holding onto their seats. Nope. I got up and got off.

I feel upset about it, and I can’t pinpoint if I’m upset because I’m embarrassed at how I reacted today or because I feel trapped on the ship, or simply because I’m homesick. Or maybe it’s because I checked the weather and it looks like it’s going to be another hellride on Thursday and Friday. Maybe it’s all of those things. Anyway, looks like I’m staying on board.

I just want to have “normal” sea days. I don’t want to have to dread the end of the week each and every week. But that is unrealistic, and in any case there are only a few sea days left, so I’d better suck it up.

It was an otherwise productive morning. I had breakfast, did laundry, and cleaned our cabin bathroom. I rested a bit, ate scones at tea time, and went to the gym. I even did another round of packing things since Stacey had gone ashore and I could make a mess. It begins...



We only had one show this evening, with Jamie, who is also a Princess cast member. It's been a while since we did his show so of course we felt we could have done better. Still, it was a pleasure and Jamie sounded great. Afterward we turned our music in. Another show lost to memory.

The ship was moving a great deal tonight. We have a new captain this cruise, and apparently he thinks stabilizers are for pussies. Again...I was hoping to enjoy the last two weeks here with less nausea...but instead it looks like this could become a nightly event. That's a shame. Yes, the Meclizine is a lifesaver and I'm very grateful for it. But it does have side effects. I wonder if the cruise ship industry considers that one third of the global population is susceptible to motion sickness; in other words, at any given time, 33% of your passengers are deciding whether to book their next cruise or not based on their experience. Just saying. "The views expressed in this blog do not reflect..." etc etc.


01/08

Today we had a short morning drill about Stairway Guide safety and how to speak to passengers during an emergency. Afterward I got off the ship and took the blue line path to the tourist square in Mazatlan. I'm grateful to get off the ship today. This is my last time visiting Mazatlan; next week I have IPM duty in this port.

Allegro cafe was open, so I went there. I've been giving Dulce Mami a lot of patronage and figured why not spread the love. Plus Allegro has faster wifi ;) I got a chai and got all caught up on my internet things. After several hours of applying for jobs and taking care of other business, and two cups of coffee and a muffin, I could no longer find an excuse for camping at Allegro. It was a nice day, so I wandered a bit and found some interesting places in the quiet side streets. It was a nice way to spend my last day in Mazatlan.





Elsewhere, some of the ladies were out with the Mariachis for one last meal. Tomorrow Juan and Ray will deport in Vallarta, and head home for a break before their next cruise contracts. It has been wonderful performing with these two, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot from them. And with this, the goodbyes have begun. Juan, Ray: as they say in the circus, “See you down the road”! Thank you for everything.

(photo courtesy Mario)

Back at the ship I unpacked and cleaned up before our Disco sound check. It was nice to have some chill time.

The Disco Deck Party went well. Either the sea was very calm, or someone graciously had the stabilizers on tonight. Maybe there's hope for the rest of this contract after all.


01/09

Today I woke up very early for some wifi time. I have IPM today, but Nia has kindly covered me for the morning since she'll be asleep anyway. I had a few errands to finish, including sending headshots and a bio to Winter Park Playhouse and letting the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey know I'll be back in town soon to start volunteering again. I also worked on my project-that-I-can't-tell-you-about-until-it-happens, and made plans to visit with my sister on Saturday.

I have a sore throat again. I'm very much hoping that it's just because the air on the ship is dry. Can you even get sick twice in a row???

Back at the ship I unpacked, showered, and had lunch. And a nap.

That evening we did the last of Paul’s Broadway shows. It’s amazing to think we’ve been performing with Paul for six weeks! Both shows went well. And afterward, we turned in our music. Honestly, It’s been a pleasure working with Paul. He’s been gracious, approachable, exacting, and fun. His musicianship is going to be the standard by which I judge any future guest entertainers :)

Tomorrow night Paul’s throwing us a little party in the dressing room, just to put the cherry on top of what’s been a great experience!


01/10

I slept for a long time today. It felt like my cold was coming back, so I figured extra sleep would be a good idea. Then I went to the guest buffet for a better-than-usual breakfast of smoked fish, muesli, and fruit.

We had Voice rehearsal in the afternoon, which went quickly. Afterward the ladies went up to the buffet for lunch, but having just eaten I chose not to go with them. Instead I typed this blog and did some reading. The internet is not working today and it’s kind of a bummer. It’s been pretty consistent for the past month, so I shouldn’t complain, but when you can’t say “good morning” to your boyfriend or respond to an important email that you know is waiting for you, or make plans with your sister, it’s a little frustrating. I hope it’ll be working again tonight or tomorrow.

At night we had a double dance set in the Wheelhouse. The first set featured Nia and I, for the second I sat out and Paula came in on sax. The Wheelhouse stage is small, so it’s better not to have the whole band up there. We had a great audience, lots of people got up to dance and we got a lot of compliments on our playing afterward.

When the sets were finished we went to the theater dressing room for the get-together Paul had arranged for the whole entertainment department. It was nice to share a drink and some snacks with the dancers, lighting/sound guys, cast members, and musicians. Pretty soon a lot of us will be going our separate ways, but we’ll have some great memories.


(photo courtesy Rebeca)

01/11

Still no internet again today. Argh.
Seriously, in Vallarta I actually finally got some responses from my job queries. I know that there are emails waiting in my inbox to schedule interviews. And my sister was thinking about meeting up again, and had said she’d get back to me by yesterday, but I’ve got no way of knowing what’s happening. Arrrrrgh.

That aside, the ship has been moving a great deal and it’s hard to be motivated to do anything. When the ship plunges, the gravity is crushing. And when it rises back up, it feels like you might get thrown off the ground and into a wall or something. It’s extremely uncomfortable, and even those who don’t get motion sick often get brutal headaches. My boss, who has worked ships for twenty years, was motion sick yesterday night.

Anyway, we are fortunate to only have Voice today. Because of the movement of the ship, the entertainment schedule was changed such that the production show will take place today (although I’m not sure the motion is any better for the dancers). That means Dwight’s show has been cancelled, so we ladies only have one afternoon performance.

Before the show I ate breakfast and did laundry. The show went well, there were only five contestants this week so it seemed to go quickly. And afterward, we were free for the rest of the day! How exciting! Too bad it’s a sea day haha. I took a nap and tried not to let the plunging sensation get to me.

We received a weak wifi signal sometime in there, and I managed to send a few texts and check my emails. Thankfully no one wants to do an interview this Saturday (I had offered it for phone interviews and was worried that someone would take me up on it and I wouldn’t know until it was too late). And I think my sister and I will meet up tomorrow. That would be nice.

Since we had an unexpected night off, Nia decided it might be nice to have a dinner together. We probably won't have time to do this next week. Jane made reservations for us at Crown Grill, the ship's steakhouse.

We all sat around a big table with Paul and talked about all kinds of things: how we got into music, what our plans are for the future, what's the first thing we'll do when we get home, etc. We enjoyed an AMAZING meal. I just had to get the filet mignon again, it was so good!



Full and happy, we walked back to our cabins together. Tomorrow we arrive in San Pedro for the second-to-last time.


01/12

As usual, I got off the ship early. Nia and Molly came with me as they were making a Target run. I went straight to Hojas. It was raining, and I was pretty damp by the time I got there. Kayle and Skylar are picking me up later...maybe they will let me borrow their dryer. Or a big fluffy towel!

I had my favorite Hojas sandwich, a Number 3 with no cream cheese and an egg. I skipped the tea in favor of an Americano. And I bought each of us a slice of carrot cake.

I'm sitting here typing this and feeling grateful, and excited. Grateful to have had this experience and learned so much, and met so many wonderful people. Grateful and excited for the opportunities awaiting me when I get back to Florida. Excited to see Jameson again, and to move forward with my life, in whatever direction it may lead. The past year has been very difficult, and it was hard to have a good attitude. Honestly, I'm not sure that I'm in a better position this year either. But I think that if I can actually manage to keep a positive attitude this time, that will change things. Accepting this cruise ship contract was a good idea, and I'm glad Jameson supported me and encouraged me to do it. I'm glad for everyone in my life who recognized that this was something that I should try. It's opened up my perspectives, and overall I think it's made me a better person (I mean we'll see haha). So, thank you to everyone who has supported me this far. I am extremely lucky to have you in my life!

Kayle will be coming to get me soon. It'll be good to see her again.

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