I thought this would be something I could build up to entry by entry but I figured, “no time like the present”, right? The routine varies from ship to ship but this is what’s commonly referred to as the “broad strokes”. If I was the kind of person who aggressively kept track of all of my activities like a good student of academia, history and the world is supposed to… who am I kidding? I like to drink, party and socialize. Who better to work on a cruise ship?
So, the routine depending on ship itinerary on any given day;
A day unlike any other… but like so many others. This is where old passengers (crew, guests and otherwise) leave the ship to go somewhere else and new personnel join up. The home port serves as either the one place you’d rather not go back to because it feels like a never-ending Monday at the office or as a relaxing break from being out of touch with the “real world”.
Good home ports: Charleston, SC. Miami, FL. Sydney, NSW, Australia. Tampa, FL. Galveston, TX. New Orleans, LA. Long Beach, CA.
Ports get used to collect supplies and personal items for the upcoming voyage, connect with family and friends and in my case get something to eat while chatting up locals.
The actual “grind” of Embarkation Day starts when you get to work, usually around 11am. Work consists of being informative and entertaining and most of all, helpful. Most asked question on Embarkation?
“Where’s the food?”
As a man who has chosen his profession to be that of playing songs to set up a vacation atmosphere, everything I do or say goes towards maximizing the experience. In the USA I’m on the mic selling people the dream that they’ve saved all their hard-earned ducats for. “Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages!” and the like. I go for a live show feel mixed with performance theater just to envelop passengers into this reality we’re trying to create. It’s barely about mixing the music (I’m one of the only people I know who admittedly cares about good DJ mixing on a cruise ship. Really). What you’re going for is an overall fun vibe. Something like when you introduce yourself to someone you WANT to get to know. Keep it fun, keep it light-hearted and let them connect with you on one level or another. Harder and easier than what I make it sound like.
This atmosphere continues until the safety briefing in which I or other crew members show you how to save your own life in case an iceberg hits the ship in the middle of a tropical cruise. People worry about these things. After the briefing comes the deck party where the Entertainment Staff (DJ, Cruise Director, Assistant Cruise Director, Hosts) all team up to set the standards for what may very well be the greatest vacation you’ve ever taken in your life. Yes even better than that out of town trip you took where you woke up with a tattoo on your face and a tiger in your bedroom.
Next up, I’m gonna get into the nuts and bolts of what I do. Yeah. Why they paid me the big bucks to hit play all day and night. Because that did happen.