When we joined the ship, we hit the ground running… or should I say, we hit the water swimming! We were expected to open one show a week for 3 weeks, in addition to fulfilling other requirements onboard.
The other requirements included guest and crew drills as well as training sessions. Unfortunately, some of the training I did my first contract expired while I was on vacation, so I had to join the new hires for a few sessions. I had to repeat a liferaft training in the pool, during which the crew had to practice swimming in life vests, learn how to flip over a liferaft if it doesn’t deploy properly, and practice getting in and out of the raft.
One member of the cast was unable to join the ship until day 3, so we had an understudy filling in for the first few days. In spite of the delays, we opened the ballroom show on the last night of the cruise with our full, original cast.
Only 2 nights later, we performed the ballroom show again for a new group of guests. That same day, we started blocking rehearsals for the fairy tale show. The next few days were full of tech and dress rehearsals. The costumes are large and intricate and the show features some aerial work, so it was challenging to transition from studio to stage. We opened the show on the 7th night of the cruise with two performances, and received standing ovations for both.
The next evening, we had costume fittings for our third and final show. The following day, day 2 of our third cruise, we started blocking it and also performed the fairy tale show again. Sadly, one of the other female dancers was ill, so we had to re-block the performances that night. I went in as her understudy for one section, so my track was more challenging than usual. I was worn out after the performances, but enjoyed being a part of a new section!
We opened the last show on the 6th night of the cruise. Costumes, live orchestra, and excited audiences made all the work of the past two and a half months worth the effort.
At the end of week 4, we performed our first parade. This week, we will be installing Murder Mystery, and the following week we will premier our Welcome Aboard number. All of these things, along with two of our production shows, will be repeated weekly. Rehearsals may be over, but we have plenty of work ahead of us!