Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oh Ida...

Hello hello!
Well things just never end the way they're supposed to, do they? :) We've had quite a second to last cruise, what with Hurrican Ida in our midst! We had some very rocky shows, but were able to pull through! On Saturday we were informed that instead of our normal route of Tampa, Sea Day, Cayman, Cozumel, Sea Day, we were going to be re-routed to Key West due to the hurricane. The original plan was to spend what should have been our first day at sea in Key West, THEN have a Sea Day, and then proceed to Cozumel as normal. THis would have meant pushing our last night of Shout back one night, because we only perform on Sea Days. HOWEVER, when we go to Key West, they shut down the port and wouldn't let any ships through! So instead of Key West, we spent another day at sea. So this 5 day cruise only got one day in port, which was today. We swapped Shout BACK to the night it was supposed to be on, so as of two nights ago, I'm done performing for Carnival! What a wild ride it's been, and I can't believe it's over!
We spent all day yesterday relaxing, and were able to go out and about before midnight because we didn't have any shows. Then we had crew bingo and our friend Chris, a social host, won over $1800 so that was quite the nice surprise!
Victoria, Nicola and I just had a fabulous lunch in Cozumel and did some souvenir shopping. We only have one more day in port after this- unbelievable. And then of course, the Elvis charter is just 2 days away- I'm sure I'll have lots of stories to share from that too!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

coming to the end...

Well everyone, it's hard to believe, but I am coming to the end of this journey! Last night was our very last 2 performances of Fiesta Latina, which still hasn't truly kicked in yet. We swapped the shows this cruise (normally we would have done Shout last night) so there's as much time as possible to alter the costumes for the new cast so that they can open the show on the 11th. I love that we get to see them perform! This means that we'll do Shout 4 times with only one day in between to recover, but after that we're DONE! So we'll perform two Shouts on the 6th, Intro Show on the 7th, 2 more Shouts on the 8th, and that's IT. Because of the charter coming on board on the 12th, we have our entire last cruise with NO work. Explanation:
Carnival allows groups to charter an entire cruise ship for their group only. This apparently happens quite often but the only one we have during our contract just happened to fall on our last cruise. These charter groups completely take over, they have their own activities and their own shows. This charter is run by Elvis Presley's childhood friend, Jerry Shilling. AKA this cruise is going to be filled with Elvis freaks and impersonators. There's an impersonation contest with a crazy prize, something like $10,000, a 24 hour booth with PB & J and banana sandwiches (which was apparently Elvis's favorite snack), things like that. So essentially, I'll have my last 8 days here getting paid to do pretty much nothing. HA! I honestly couldn't be luckier! The atmosphere around here has been so different since the new cast came on- much more relaxed. Everyone is just able to breathe a bit easier.
The only downer is that Tiffany pulled a muscle in her arm a while ago and the doctor forced her to get physical therapy for it off the ship- in Miami. She left on Monday and won't be back til the 12th. So we're closing both shows without a full cast. But hopefully, if everything goes as planned, she'll be with us for the charter cruise.
I'll be home in snowy Minnesota in just 12 days, and Harrisburg in 18! I'm feeling so good about this entire experience and so thankful for it. It's truly changed my life, and I'm glad I can say that with a smile on my face. Can't wait to see everyone! Love, love, LOVE :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


4 more cruises to go! I’m so in awe of how quickly things have gone as the end gets nearer. The new dancers got here two cruises ago, and the new singers arrived last cruise. Everyone is so great- friendly, and such quick learners! They’ve learned all of Fiesta Latina in 9 days. They’ll open that show the night before we leave so we’ll get to watch them perform which will be such a blast!
We’ve been trying to do as much as possible to use our time here wisely. A couple of cruises ago a few of us took the ferry over to mainland Mexico and spent the day at Playa del Carmen. The past two cruises we’ve spent the day at a hotel resort called El Cid with a great pool and amazing food. Last cruise was the crew Halloween party and I went in a whoopee cushion costume ☺ And then the next night there was a guest costume contest so Neil, Victoria, Nicola, Ronaldo and I were in charge of choosing people to be a part of it and then judge the contest. Tonight we had a birthday party for Nicola, and she turns 19 tomorrow.
Today was a great day because I got my FLIGHT INFORMATION which makes it all so real that I’ll be home in 18 days! I can’t wait ☺

Monday, October 12, 2009


Hey hey!
Unbelievable, it's already October 12th! It's amazing how experiences like this seem to drag on and then by the end things move so fast you're done before you know it!
The past couple of weeks have been filled with a lot of joy. My wonderful best friend, Chelsea, came to visit me ALL BY HERSELF (not a cheap vacation, I might add) for our last cruise of September. We went to 7 Mile Beach for the day in Grand Cayman (where both of us forgot our wallets, so it was a nice cheap day! haha) and then in Cozumel we took the ferry over to the mainland and took a tour to the ancient Mayan ruins in Tulum. Words cannot express my fascination! Our tour guide was fantastic, and was actually of Mayan descent, so he was very knowledgeable and intent on changing American stereotypical views of the Mexican people. The ruins themselves were incredible, and they were set right on the most breathtaking beach and ocean setting we had ever seen! So after touring the ruins we were able to take a dip in the ocean, and then rush back in time to have an absolutely delicious, authentic Mexican meal. YUM! Chels also got to experience the disco, salsa class with Ronaldo, and country line dancing with Karina, as well as the Mojito party and the Sangria party out on Serenity deck. We had a wonderful 5 days together :)
But the fun didn't end there! Chels stayed on for a SECOND cruise, and Lisa, Laura, Benny, Kenny and Jeff joined her! We had an absolute blast together. Jeff tried his hand at karaoke (as well as the casino...yes, it was a problem but I think he's got it under control now...), and there was a lot of mini gold, shuffleboard, music trivia, and as much time as possible outside in the Caribbean air. Then in Cozumel I took them to Passion Island where we relaxed in hammocks and ate our fill of chips and guac for most of the day. What a blessed person I am to have such incredible friends! We did nothing but laugh for four days straight. Well, laugh and EAT...
My time with my friends definitely gave me the energy and positive attitude to get through the next month. The new dancers arrive in exactly one week, and the new singers arrive one cruise after them. There's plenty to look forward to- our "un-birthday party" for cast members whose birthdays don't fall during the contract (including me!) which has a Christmas theme..clearly I was behind that...Halloween, a trip to Playa Del Carmen in mainland Mexico, and then of course our Elvis cruise (more info on that at a later date!)
I can't believe I only have 5 weeks left. As difficult a time as I've had at some points, I could not be more thankful for this experience. Still, coming home to snow will be quite the sight, and one that I'm very much looking forward to :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

things you didn't realize were privileges til you went without them:

1. Driving
2. Eating what you want, when you want it/home-cooked meals/going out for dinner
3. Walking out your front door
4. Consistent internet and cell phone service
5. Dry land
6. Going running in a straight line, not in circles or in place
7. Fall leaves
8. Windows in your bedroom
9. Talking to your boyfriend whenever you want
10. Good friends who tell you the truth, challenge you, encourage you, and uplift you through good and bad times

54 days....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

you can't keep me down!

hello hello!
Greetings from PANERA- we found a panera in tampa and my life could not be more complete at this moment ;) It's great though, it's a little shopping center and being here makes me feel like a normal person haha!
Many things have happened since I last wrote. As a cast, we took a trip to passion island in cozumel (photos are up on facebook). You take a speed boat called the Twister to a small island with nothing on it but lounge chairs and umbrellas. There's an open bar and buffet as well. It was the first outing where the entire cast was together, and to make it even better we were the only ones there for half the day! A whole island to ourselves :)
Two cruises ago, I had a great surprise- Sara Fertig, a friend from high school, happened to be on the Inspiration for her honeymoon! I got to meet her new hubby and they got to see my shows. It was so much fun! I was wondering if anything like that might ever happen.
Last cruise was a bit of a bummer. Right at the very end of the Intro Show, I rolled my ankle and hurt it pretty badly. The next morning it was swollen up like a balloon and ugly and bruised, so unfortunately I had to miss out on SHOUT for both performances. I was honestly devastated. Charlie and Tiffany both had family visiting and I hated that I couldn't be with them at all or have them see the show as it's supposed to be. I was signed off (meaning that I couldn't get off the ship- literally couldn't leave my room unless I was going to the mess to get food) for three days. Thankfully, I healed up in time for Fiesta last night and it went really well! The swelling's almost completely gone at this point. As I may have mentioned, when Derrick or I can't perform one of the dancers takes our place, so Kali got to debut as the Production Singer the other night. I only wish I could have seen it! I heard she did a great job lip syncing to my voice :)
As of yesterday, I have 2 months to go. I can't believe it! Also, I got an email from the Singing Supervisor, and I officially have a replacement! Her name is Marjorie, and she's worked for Carnival before. I can't wait to meet her in about a month!
Future plans include Busch Gardens (hopefully on Monday!) and visits from Chelsea and then Jeff, Laura, Lisa, Kenny, Benny and Megan. I can't WAIT!
Love to ALL, especially my Bry. <3

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Oh my goodness! It's only been 3 weeks since I last posted but I don't even know where to begin with the updates!
First off, up until the 15th of August, things continued to be pretty lowkey. We had a great time celebrating Alanna's birthday, but sadly, she left unexpectedly 2 days ago- her grandfather is very ill and she decided she needed to go home to Australia to be with him. We will miss her (and already do!) so much! She was such a sweet girl. My thoughts and prayers are with her.
We had our traffic light party (you wear red if you're taken, yellow if you're not sure, and green if you're single) and last night had crew bingo. I didn't win, surprise, surprise. :) Tonight is our final big crew activity of the month, the Horror Party! Pictures to follow soon enough :)
Oh one funny thing that did happen though, was that Derrick got sick (that's not the funny part!) and was quarantined to his room for 24 hours, so for one of the performances on Fiesta a couple of weeks ago, Gaven had to step in and sing to Derrick's track! It was hilarious doing a romantic ballad with him, looking at him with Derrick's voice coming out of the mic and Gaven's mouth not exactly singing the right words. SO funny. I'm glad I got to experience that :) And Derrick's feeling fine now, so it's ok!
Now on to the really good stuff. VISITORS!!!!! On the 15th, Mom, Dad, Amy, JJ, Papa, Poppy, Jen, Abbie, Aunt Judy, and BRY came to visit! Quite the group :) We had SUCH a blast. Most of my time was spent with the "younger" crowd ;) but I was able to eat int he dinner room with everyone 4 out of the 5 nights, and Bry has officially become a Canasta player- we played with Mom and Dad a bunch of times up by the coffee shop on the ship. It was so much fun! I took Bry, Amy and Jen to crew bar, the disco, Treasure Island, and Bry got to experience No Name as well. It was so great to be with him, as quickly as it went. I don't think it could have been a better five days :) And of course, had an awesome time with the fam as well! They always make me smile :) It was so wonderful to be able to show them all what I do and where I hang out on the ship.
We spent our last day together at the FLorida Aquarium, which was worth watching Abbie's reaction to every single tank of fish with such excitement. :) I had a very tearful goodbye with Bry and the family, and then I got back on the ship to prepare for another cruise of visitors with Trish and her mom. Turns out, however, that I was in for a surprise. Trish was there, but her mom was not- in her place was Tim, Cory, Darcy and Jay! A great group of old and new friends :) They were so much fun to have on the ship too- very interested in the activities on board haha. We went to Paradise Beach in Cozumel, went to Deck Party, and spent lots of time laying out in the sun. They were some of the best audiences members we could ask for. For whatever reason, sometimes you just get cruises where the audiences are completely bored with the shows and have no interest in participating. Unfortunately, Trish and the others were on such a cruise. But they made up for EVERYONE else in the audience with their enthusiasm! They made it so much fun to perform to them :)
Needless to say, my last couple of days have been very very relaxing. Visitors sure can take a lot out of you! Totally worth it though :) I now have a month to recuperate before Chels comes on September 26th (all by herself!) and then is joined on October 1st by 4 more incredibly supportive friends :) Thank you God for all the amazing people in my life!
I come home in 82 days, then I'll be at Messiah 6 days later. We can do this... <3