Life At Sea, Part 1 – Alaska

Any performer who has worked on cruise ships for any significant length of time understands the unique dynamic of cruise ship life.  It’s a bubble.  With no cell phone service and limited internet access, you are forced to connect with the other entertainers and crew members.  And connect you do.  It’s ship life, and you simultaneously love and hate it.

Cruise ships have their own scale where everything is relative to being on the ship:

“This itinerary rocks.” = This itinerary contains 1 port stay overnight somewhere.. anywhere.  It almost feels like we’re living a normal life for a few hours.

“The crew bar last night was awesome.” = The crew bar finally didn’t have Filipino karaoke one night.

“Scale of 1 to 10– bro, she was an 8!” = She was a ship 8, land 5.  And she was from Romania, which for some reason made her more attractive.  etc.

I was fortunate enough to spend the summers of my college years on cruise ships, as well as the next 2 years once I graduated.  I worked regularly on 8 different cruise lines– Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, Regent, Radisson, Holland America, Cunard, and Disney.  I zig-zagged all over the world on flights to ships in an amazing blur of port cities– Puntarenas, Costa Rica – Sydney, Australia – Hobart, Tasmania – Dunedin, New Zealand – Cartegena, Columbia – Goa, India – Ketchikan, Alaska – Nassau, Bahamas – Helsinki, Finland – St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – Civitavecchia, Italy – Georgetown, Grand Cayman – Mykonos, Greece… the list goes on and on.  I will be forever grateful for the amazing travel opportunities I was given during this time of my life.

I wanted to make sure I marked this significant period in my performing career in my online journal, but I didn’t know how I could possibly give it the space and weight it deserved– the friends, the shows, the sites.  I honestly could have  written a journal entry for every ship contract, whether 4 months or 4 days.

The following 3 entries are my best attempt.  I can divide my time on ships roughly into 3 periods.  This 1st one focuses on Alaska, where I spent every summer of college for at least 10 weeks.  Part 2 is dedicated to world cruises.  Part 3 is  dedicated to Disney Cruise Line.  I still perform regularly onboard Disney Cruise Line several times each year for 4-7 day contracts.

With singer Bobby Arvon and comedian Rick Starr…

2 of the greats Bobby Arvon and Rick Starr