The ship was a great piece of artmanship and the part that I was quite keen to re-visit was the rock-climbing wall. Why, you might ask, because what really mattered to me was learning the ropes! No pun intended. Figure eight knots, clover-hitch, daisy chains, caribbeaners, gri-gris, harnesses and helmets became more prominent words in my vocabulary. Rock climbing became a sport of mine and big in my fitness regime. Rock climbing became a big deal to me and so did my forearms!
After learning all I could at the rock-climbing wall, the next step was jumping in the deep end with the Flowrider (surf simulator) – all to find that there is no deep end. Instructing the guests on how to surf came naturally, although surfing took a little more time than expected. Trying to surf meant practicing what I was preaching to the guests. Luckily I had a great team to help me along.
One of the scariest moments I remember, was hosting and umpiring sports over the microphone. I was not accustomed to speaking with this voice-enhancer contraption. It freaked me out so much that I suffered with sweaty palms and a dry throat with each thought of holding it. By my third week, it was as if I was born with it. I no longer had to do breathing exercises in front of the mirror to calm myself down, all I had to have with me were my key words and the rest was settled on the court! Being on the court gave me a breather from the other duties and time to have different interaction with the guests. Not only are the competitors rallied up, but the spectators too!
The fun did not stop on the sports deck with the rock-climbing wall, the Flowrider or on the sports court but it continued in the form of parades, outdoor night clubs and themed party nights. My job certainly did not stop on the sports deck, as I was part of the above nightly activities. I got to dress in ridiculous costumes for parade evening and be in fitted all-in-one suits for the outdoor night club evening and best of all be dancing in 70’s and 80’s themed party nights.
The fun never ends and the reality show continues to star you as the energiser bunny, ready to entertain morning, noon and night. It can be tiring and rewarding at the same time. Nothing is more rewarding than inspiring that 74 year-old to climb a 15-metre rock-climbing wall to ring the bell or bewildered kids smiling when you pass them by in your cartoon character costume. Guests absolutely love posing with you for photographs in a fitted lycra mask-covered all-in-one suit and then dancing with you all dressed up in a pretend street party in the 70’s of 80’s era.
I love what I do. Even though everyday might not be a good day, my job is fun and interesting. I often tell people that it is playtime and not just time for work. Guests do get demanding and it can be draining but seeing the world at a minimal cost is worth it!