Wow! December and the holidays just flew right by. Now it’s 2012 woo hoo! the year the world as we know it is supposed to end, well, I guess we’ll see what happens. I’ve been going from California to Mexico, through the Panama Canal to Columbia or Aruba to Florida and back again on the MS Statendam. I decided to go by Allison on this cruise ship contract because it feels like a nickname isn’t very professional for my job, but when my friends heard about my nickname, they wanted to call me that instead so my friends call me SunGee or Sunny, which is funny because I went by SunGee on my last ship and when my friends found out my “real” name they wanted to call me Allison.
Life on a ship is fun, but I often have dreams at night about hanging out at Dancing Rabbit and I wake up nostalgic wishing I was there already. I think part of me really misses it and is really anxious to move there, even though it isn’t my permanent home yet. It’s hard to believe that my contract on this ship is already half over and it seems like I came aboard not very long ago. Soon enough I’ll be heading to DC and driving to Dancing Rabbit. When people ask me where I’m from, which happens a ton on a cruise ship, I say I live in an ecovillage in Missouri in the United States (gotta say United States sometimes because some of the international people think I look Filipino and don’t know where Missouri is). I feel like that place is more my home than the apartment in DC where all my stuff waits for me in a closet and it’s so much more interesting to tell people what an ecovillage is. It’s weird to miss home when you’re not even living there yet. I made a Dancing Rabbit wallpaper for my laptop, but I know that I’ll just put a cruise ship on my desktop when I’m at DR.
This year I had an awesome holiday season with my Holland America family, and my family in Seattle sent me pictures and a nice video saying Hi. Makes me wonder when I’ll be with them for the holidays again, second year in a row that I haven’t spent Christmas in Seattle. On the ship I got to be an elf for Santa and help pass out Christmas presents for the children on Christmas morning. Several passengers and crew told me what a great and cute elf I was. New Years was so fun, I don’t remember when the last time was that I had so much fun on New Years. There was a huge party on the ship and I stayed up till 4 in the morning, but unlike most land jobs, everyone still has to work on New Years Day so I was up at 8am again.
Getting 4 hours of sleep on New Years wasn’t that bad though because on a regular day I usually go to bed at 1am or 2am and get up around 8am, every day, sometimes I get to sleep in or take a nap, but usually I work all day, I work every day, yes, 7 days a week, between 3-10 hours every day, sometimes I get time off to see the ports when the ship is docked and I get to go on passenger excursions for free sometimes. As a “Youth Staff” I entertain children at the top of the ship in the kid’s play area. Working with children can get confusing sometimes when I look like I could be at least 10 years younger than I really am, I get comments from the passengers, like “Oh, 27! I thought you were a child with a name tag,” or “Youth Staff, does that mean you get to be ‘grown up staff’ when you’re taller,” or “Oh, you’re part of the crew right? How did you get to be a teenager who runs the teen room?” These are real comments I’ve gotten from passengers! I usually work from 9am to 10pm with a break for lunch and a nice break from 4-7, usually eating dinner at 6 with my friends in the passenger buffet restaurant. I get off work at 10pm or 12am and after work the ship dress code is either “smart casual” or formal so sometimes I change clothes from my uniform and I go to see the show in the show lounge or I go to the nice passenger bar at the front top part of the ship, The Crow’s Nest, or the crew only bar at the bottom of the ship on the crew deck, the Officer’s Bar or “OB,” and hang out with my friends, I don’t drink alcohol because my body hates it, but hanging out after work is much more fun than going to sleep. That’s my life right now though, I love my job and ships are fun, but I Work hard and Play hard… and eat really good food and gain about 10+ pounds, knowing that I’ll probably lose it in the first few weeks home like I did last time, eating cereal in DC and Rabbit food and running around the ecovillage. Although my contract is half over and after about a month or so on one ship I get bored of the same sort of food all the time so I just don’t eat a lot of it anymore. I also got my eyebrows waxed and my teeth whitened in the spa because the spa needs models for their services on embarkation day when the new passengers take a tour of the spa. Geez, I don’t feel hippy enough getting that stuff done. And the spa girls are telling me my my hair would look really good with some highlights and layers and all this stuff to give it volume, but I won’t let them touch my hair so I can donate it to Locks of Love when I have 10 inches to donate.
Ship life is fun, but somehow I think I’ll sort of forget what it is like for myself right now when I’m at Dancing Rabbit. Like jumping from one ship to another, I kind of forget about what my life was like on the last ship, if it sucked or how much fun I had, because I’m so busy having fun and dealing with my present life on the new ship. I’m sure I’ll be busy with a very different life in the ecovillage and forget about ships for a while. Makes me wonder if I’ll miss ship life and my job.
Probably won’t miss the emergency drills though, and all the time changes, and the rocking floor when the ship moves sometimes, and wearing my orange and navy blue uniform all the time, and the slow satellite ship limited minute card internet, or the homesick or bratty kids (and parents) or I had an accident kids, and the seasick people, and the rare rude passengers like the ones that cut you in line like you don’t exist, and the crazy people- well the craziness that people do on ships when you live and play at work, especially when it comes to hooking up, it’s worse than High School on a ship, you never know what you might be getting into (or not getting into) or if people are being secretive, or if people are gay or straight or bi or a player or a slut or taken or done or what anyone is doing or wants to do. I think right now I’m done, kind of given up on trying to hook up with anyone on a cruise ship because of the craziness so far, well granted I never was able to hook up with anyone in High School either so it’s probably better this way, wouldn’t mind if it happened but I’m done being interested in anyone here. I think I have a weird life too because I’m a small sweet girl so people expect me to be some cute innocent little thing, and even though they know how old I am they forget that I’m a woman so if I say something dirty, or say anything about sex, people don’t really know what to do with that, they usually run away when they find out I’m not the kind of person they thought I was even if they find out I’m the kind of person they want me to be. You know you got it bad when all you do is email your ex and he emails you saying the same dam things- “disgruntled with dating or hooking up, guys/girls are so full of stupidness, drama, or they’re flakes, and that seems average like everyone is like that, you are so awesome, it’s not going to be easy settling for some average person after dating someone awesome for the past four years.” I know what the Rabbits say about DR, “lonely, see the same people all the time, small dating pool, or hey not everyone’s monogamous and some people have more than one partner, hope you’re ok with all of that.” I’m sure that whatever happens at Dancing Rabbit it can’t get any worse than a cruise ship, I’m sure I’ll be so fed up by the time I get there, I won’t even care anymore, stuff won’t phase me, whether good or bad, surprises won’t be a surprise anymore compared to what I’ve seen here.