Yesterday, my friend Kat sent a series of questions about life on the ship. I’ve been less adventurous at ports this week, so I decided this was a great time to answer those questions and give you all a glimpse of ship life. If you’re wondering about anything else, feel free to send me more questions!
Have you had any storms yet?
We’ve gone around most of the bad weather, but have still had some rocky nights. You get used to the motion pretty quickly, and it normally doesn’t last too long. I have not yet had an issue with seasickness (knock on wood!).
Do you ever get scared?
Yes, but not for the reasons you would think. I feel safe on the ship, and intrigued, not intimidated, at the ports.
I get scared that the conditions on the ship (rough water, etc) may prevent me from performing to the best of my ability. I worry about being pegged as a clueless new hire. I am uncertain what I am doing with my life after this contract, and wonder if this period of time will make future work more difficult. I am unsettled by the fact that everyone I love is on the other side of the world. Honestly, I feel scared a lot, but with that fear comes excitement.
Do you eat in a special cafeteria or do you get to eat at the lavish buffets?
I eat in a staff cafeteria. It is a large buffet, but isn’t as lavish as the guest food. We also get crew discounts at the restaurants on board, so I’ve also gone to Johnny Rockets (mmmm onion rings) and Portofino’s for a delicious 3-course meal with the cast.
Have you gained weight form all the ship food? Or lost weight dancing so much?
This is a complicated question. I lost weight during rehearsals in Florida, but gained quite a bit, if not all, of it back the first two weeks on the ship. The free buffet was very exciting at first, but has now lost it’s luster. I’ve started eating a normal amount of food again, and have been going to the gym everyday. I have no idea what I actually weigh at this point, but I’m at a healthy size/shape.
How is life living in a cabin with a roommate?
I was very concerned about having a roommate. I lived alone for 4 years, and while I had a roommate for the past 2 years, we both had our own rooms and ample space. Living with my current roommate has been shockingly easy! Laura is really friendly, we like to wake up around the same time, and we are both clean and organized, but not too meticulous. We got to know each other well when we were sharing a room in Florida, so the transition to the cabin has been pretty simple. Our cabin is very small, so we do frequently have to dance around each other to get out the door or into the bathroom, but we haven’t had any real problems.
Who does your laundry?
I do my own laundry. There are machines backstage and right around the corner from my cabin! I’m still trying to find the best time to use the machines, but they are at least conveniently located.
What do you think of your costumes?
The costumes are fun. They’re colorful and sparkly, and often include wigs. They look great on stage, and make me feel like an entirely different person for every number.
What do you think of the choreography?
The choreography is so different from what I did in San Francisco! I really enjoy it though. I get to do a lot of different styles, and really have fun with the movement. I like some pieces more than others, but they all are entertaining. The amount of shimmies I do has made my unintentional shimmying habit get a little out of control!
Do you get a day off from dancing?
Yes. The longer the cruise, the less dancing I do. We will perform both shows during each cruise. On show days, we do a tech run and two performances. We also have a welcome number, a farewell number, and 2 parades. 4 and 5 day cruises I will only get one day off, but when we get to 14 day cruises, I’ll have quite a bit of free time.
Do you have to understudy other parts?
I understudy 3 numbers.
Do passengers follow you around or want to hang out with you after the show?
Passengers don’t want to hang out after the show, but they do want pictures! Any time I’m in guest areas, I am blinded my camera flashes. Being in Asia, my blonde cast mates and I stand out a lot. I never know if they want a photo because I’m a dancer or just because I’m a redhead.
Do the dancers teach technique class to each other?
Yes. The cast does 2 technique classes a week. On off days, I either do yoga or a Sparticus workout routine with some friends. I do barre by myself before each rehearsal and performance.
Have you ever worried that you don’t make it back to the ship after your land adventures?
No, I always head back early!
Do you get to call/Skype your family?
Not as often as I’d like! Normally I have internet access when everyone at home is sleeping. I was able to talk with my parents on FaceTime yesterday, and Skyped with a couple friends last week. I’ve been emailing as much as possible, and trying to keep Facebook updated. This is one of the hardest things for me, since I usually talk with my family every day or two.
I’ll be stopping in Jeju and Incheon/Seoul again next week. Check back for details!
Thanks for all the answers. While I didn’t pose the questions, they have run through my thoughts and it’s terrific to hear the answers. Re fear and excitement. They are similar emotions. So it’s great that you acknowledge the fear because then it can move off. And visa versa, you can enjoy the excitement. As to your future, you have a few months so let that one go. Just ask your heart to keep giving you a “ping” when you are involved with or feel something you absolutely love. Quickly write that down and put it in an envelope. By the end of the trip you might have lots of new threads to consider or you might clearly know an old thread that seems like it must be pursued. In other words, let your heart lead you. xxxx Ann
Thanks for the excellent advice! Miss you!