Let me tell you, living on a ship is truly an experience in itself. It’s confining and amazing and stressful and rewarding, and after spending 7 months on the Disney Fantasy, I can easily say that I loved every single moment. Don’t get me wrong, it can take some time to get used to but once you do, it’s great. And like everything, it has its quirks. Here are some of the things you need to know.
TIME IS A DIFFERENT ENTITY.
On a ship, a week feels like a month and that continues to grow exponentially. I met some people that I swore were my best friends, until I remembered I had met them 4 days ago. Because you live in such a bubble, you get to spend a lot of time with the same people and you get to know them very quickly. It’s a beautiful thing and I met some incredible people during this contract.
HOME DECOR IS A MAGICAL THING.
The first time I saw my cabin, I was a little overwhelmed by the white walls and the small space. Some of my taller friends could actually touch both walls by standing in the middle of the room and stretching out their arms. The walls are magnetized so it’s really easy to hang things to decorate. Tarps, canvases, posters, lights, you name it. I ended up having a really colourful room, but some of my friends created spaces that could be on a home decor show (Jonah, I’m looking at you!).
HOME PORT DAYS ARE FOR TARGET.
Because we sailed through the Caribbean, every Saturday we docked in Port Canaveral, FL to pick up new guests and start the whole process again. This was also our restock day. We Ubered to Target, bought some popcorn and hit Starbucks for some decent food and internet. There are places on the ship to buy those things but a lot of money can be saved in the long run by optimizing home port days. Internet is also available on the ship for crew, but can be pretty expensive. Luckily, my family and friends back home always made sure to make time to talk on Saturday afternoon, so I wouldn’t pay a fortune to see their smiling faces.
NEVER NAP DURING “ALL ABOARD” TIME.
Around 17:00 every port day, the ship leaves to journey to the next destination. Because the crew cabins are generally at the very front or back of the ship and at lower levels, the engines and thrusters turning on sometimes create the same feeling as living in a tornado. So don’t try and grab a quick nap before work, it’s never worth it!
DANCING ON A MOVING STAGE IS HARD.
I lived on the ship from August to March, which is also known as hurricane season. At first, that didn’t mean much to me, but I quickly learned that jumping and turning in heels is much harder when the floor is shifting below you every few minutes. The trick? TIGHTEN YOUR CORE. I swear it helps. Because safety is so important to Disney, they always made sure to check in before performances, but the show must go on and after a few weeks, I got the hang of it.
ALWAYS RESPECT THE CREW.
It took about 2 minutes of being on the ship to realize how hard the crew works. Disney hires phenomenal people who always give their 100% to make sure you’re enjoying your vacation. They work long hours, live in small spaces and always have a smile on their face. Sometimes, my cabin attendant would even leave me a towel origami swan with chocolates on my pillow and I wasn’t even a guest! Long story short, RESPECT THE CREW. Believe me, your cruise would be a very different experience without them.