Tag: Disney Cruise Line

It all went well, and I’m holding thumbs

Last week I had my third interview with Disney Cruise Line for a position I applied for.  There were certain things that counted in my favor, and others perhaps not so much, but overall I think this position suits me very well, and i will be able to make a huge success of it.  I have a good feeling about this one!

The manager with whom I had the interview was kind and very straight forward and open.  You see, that is what I have loved through each recruitment process I have gone through with DCL: You always have a good idea of where you stand, what their expectations are and what opportunities there are for you.

If the recruitment process is this well organised, I cannot wait to be a part of the company as a crew member and experience what working for Disney must truly be like.

For now I am still waiting for a decision to be made, as there is a team of people who will make the call.  I should know within a week or two whether I have made the giant leap into my dream career, working for the dream company!

Advertisements

Another step forward to reaching my dream

People say it’s not how fast you get there, all that matters is that you keep moving forward, one step at a time.

In making my dream to work for DCL come true, I have taken another positive step forward.  I have been through two rounds of interviews, and the next big one is this week.  If I understand the process correctly, this will be the deciding one.

I am nervous, but the good kind of nervous.  I am confident that I meet the requirements of the job, and that I am a suitable person to work in the industry.  This is make or break week!

I think the time is right now as well.  Although there is a possibility of romance in my life, which there hasn’t been before, he understands that this is my dream, and his situation doesn’t allow us to be together now either.  In terms of my finances I am at a better place now as well, and I even have the prospect of people who would like to rent or even buy my house when I go work overseas.

My ex and I have agreed that he would be moving his things out the house when he is back in November, so one less thing to worry about.

There are still a couple of loose ends I need to get tied up before being completely ready to go, but I think all of that can be done well ahead of time.  After all, I am not sure that I have the job just yet, but things are falling in to place to be ready.

Once I know the outcome after this week’s interview, I will update my blog again, so it might be a couple of days.  When successful, I would probably still have to wait several months and go through a whole other process before I can go, including a full medical, police clearance etc.

Will keep you updated!

Will this be my “Big Break”?

Over the last several months, I have been applying for jobs in the cruise industry left, right and center.  I have had several interviews, can complete an online application with my eyes closed and have several copies of my cover letter and résumé, customised for each cruise line and position that I have applied for.

None have been successful.

As I mentioned in a previous post, each and every position that I have applied for was a position where I felt I could make a success of it with my current knowledge, background and experience.  In fact, I know that I would make a success of each and every one of them, given the chance to prove myself.

The standard reply on each of them were: “We have stronger candidates who meet the requirements of the position better and you are no longer considered at this time.” – or something to this effect.

To say it is discouraging is an understatement of note.  It takes strong discipline, motivation and sometimes madness to keep on going and not give up.  I haven’t given up!

I recently customised my documentation for yet another angle to take on getting a foot in the door in the cruise industry.  This time, I focused on the things I have solid experience in, through the employer I have been with for the last 11 years.  I was fortunate to have it sent to the relevant people directly, and they thought my résumé good enough to at least have an initial telephonic “meet and greet” – the first interview of what I would imagine be a couple at least to follow.

Will this be my “big break” that I have been praying, asking and begging for someone to give to me?  Do we absolutely have to rely on someone giving you that big break?  Why do we find it so difficult to get somewhere in life without someone giving you that opportunity?  Surely my track record, experience, attitude and values should be enough to make my dream come true without having to rely on that?  How do we make recruiters, interviewers and potential new managers understand what our competencies are and that we are suitable for the position – in fact, not only suitable for the position, but to stand out in the crowd of sometimes thousands of applicants, and convince them that we are the best candidate for the position?

There are two schools of thought here:  The first is the almost cliché “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”  The second is that you determine your own destiny, and that you cannot rely on other people to make it happen for you.

I believe that being successful calls for both, at various times in your life.  Sometimes you have to rely on someone else to give you that chance, and sometimes you have to outright ask for it.  The key is that you need to make them understand that, in other words, you determine what they think of you, that they understand you are the best candidate for the job, and that you will be successful.  As the person applying for the new job, you are ultimately the one determining your own destiny.

How do we bridge this gap, and make that happen?  Confidence without being arrogant, doing your research about the requirements of the job, good communication, good first impressions, be honest, be friendly, smile.  These are all examples of advice that you will find when you read articles about how to get the job.  But they do not answer that question, how do you convince the recruiter/interviewer that you are their perfect candidate, and convince them to give you that chance to prove yourself?

I haven’t found the answer yet.  If you have, and you are willing to share it with me and the people who read my blog, please leave your comment below.

Why so much details?

You might ask why I went into so much detail telling the story of my two trips.  Well, I actually already answered the question, as I alluded to the fact of what impact the entire Disney experience has had on me.

 

However, it is more than just the impact it had on me.  As mentioned in a previous post, each time I experienced Disney (and especially Disney Cruise Line), a little piece of me remained behind on the ship when I returned back home.

It was during the launch, trans-Atlantic cruise and christening of the Disney Fantasy, that the penny dropped with me that I wanted to be part of the Magic of Disney.

Your next question may be: “Why only now”?

I can think up several excuses which I used both in the past and now, but I came to realise that at some point I had to do something pro-active to make my dreams come true.  I think in a way, seeing how (relatively) easy it was for my partner (now ex partner) to get a job with DCL, made me realise that I too can achieve that dream.  In a sense, I thought it was out of my reach previously, but I believe wholeheartedly that this is a dream that can, and will, come true for me.  I have never been so determined, passionate and set on making something that I really want to come true, and I am taking proactive steps to make it happen, not just sitting back and waiting for it to come my way.

It hasn’t been an easy task so far, as I have been turned down several times already, but I am determined to keep on applying for available positions, as I know there is a position waiting for me there, at the right time, and at the right place, when it is meant to be.

One day, I will be reunited with the part of me that stayed behind at Disney Cruise Line.

Running…

I have never been a big fan of road running.  My father used to do it A LOT and it has just never been something that interested me.

In an effort to lose weight and get fitter, I started going to the gym again about a year ago, and strangely, the exercise that I enjoy the most is treadmill running!

Last night I realised that all this time, I had been running away from things.  I have been running away from things all my life.  Running from my past.  Running from my failed relationships. Running from my poor state of finances.

On Saturday evening, I watched a movie called The Founder, recommended to me by my cousin.  Without giving the story away, it’s about how McDonalds started, and the story behind how it went global.  I learned a few lessons from the movie, one of which is that persistence trumps everything else in order to succeed.

I have been disappointed that the last two months of regular and hard gymming, had not resulted in major weight loss, but what I have realised is that I am becoming fitter.  My resting heart rate has dropped from 75 to 62.  I also checked my blood pressure, and that has come down to normal levels without medication.  The persistence in working out has paid off: perhaps not exactly in the ways I wanted it to, but in other ways, and probably better ways!

Last night, while achieving my 5km personal best run, I realised that I was no longer running away from things, but running towards better things.  I was running towards becoming a healthier person, and I decided that I was going to start running towards the positive and good things and my future, instead of running away from the negative things and my past.

I am running towards financial freedom.  I am running towards a new career (my dream one…).  I am running towards being a success and I am running towards making a difference in this world!

The silent battle inside my head in finding my dream job…

I have this dual going on inside my head.  Or is it a dual between my heart and my head?  I don’t know, but I felt the need to write about it.

I have applied for several different positions at several different cruise lines, and at some point or another, the response is exactly the same from the recruiters: “We have other candidates who are stronger for the position.”

On the flip side, I know that each and every position I have applied for, I can do the job for the most part, and I am willing to learn the part which I am not able to do yet.

The question is, where am I failing to convince the recruiters of this?  I know what my capabilities are, I know that I am a fast learner and that I can do just about anything I put my mind to, but I also know that I do not apply for positions that I don’t know for sure I will not be successful in.  Why would I set myself up for failure?

Over the weekend, my mom saw that I was becoming disheartened by the repeated failures, and her wise words to me were: “It means the time is not right, and it is not yet meant to be.”

That gave me the encouragement and confidence to keep on going at it.  My logic says that at some point, someone will see the potential in me that I know I have – and I am not being over confident or arrogant, I know myself, and I know my capabilities better than anyone else, and I know that I would do well in the jobs I apply for.

I also remain thankful that I am not unemployed at the moment, as I can imagine that this process must be ten times worse when you are hard up for a job.

Nobody has ever achieved anything by quitting, so I intend carrying on and working at achieving this dream of mine.  I WILL  succeed!

 

My second overseas trip (leg 6)

The sixth part of our trip included a stop over in Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, and finally to Port Canaveral in Florida, which would become her home port.

First a bit about Castaway Cay:  Although this was technically my third time on the island, it was definitely also my favourite!

 

We booked the Stingray Experience as well as snorkelling for our day on the island, and wasn’t disappointed by either.

With the stingray experience, we got to not only see them up close and personal, but also learnt a lot about them, and even got to feed the stingrays – an experience I will never forget!

We also enjoyed some quality relaxation on the white sand beaches of the island, cocktails on the beach, and a little bit of exploring the other things to do on the island.  Lets not forget about the food.  In true Disney style, we were treated to an island barbecue, with all the meat, salads and other condiments that go with a traditional barbecue (or braai as we call it in South Africa).

IMG_2905

From the island we continued our overnight trip to be welcomed into Port Canaveral, as the Disney Fantasy arrived for the first time in her home port.  Not only did people from all over Florida flock to the port, but the Disney staff at the Disney Cruise Terminal were out in full force to welcome her to her new home.

IMG_3051IMG_3077

Once again, the excitement in the air was extraordinary, as a new chapter began for Disney Cruise Line.

Keep a look out for the next part of our journey in my next post…

 

An unexpected application request…

As I have mentioned several times in previous posts, and the whole point of this blog, is that I have a dream to work in the cruise industry.

I have been keeping an eye on available positions not only at Disney Cruise Line, but also at various other cruise lines.  I would be delighted to work for many of them, although not all.

One of the lines I have sent my CV to is Holland America Line’s Entertainment Recruitment Team.  Although there weren’t any positions available immediately on their website, I took the chance regardless.

I recently received an email from them, saying that they looked at my credentials, and invited me to do a first round of video presentations for a Cruise Director position.

Now, the thought of applying for a Cruise Director position hasn’t even crossed my mind, but I certainly wasn’t going to let such an opportunity go by.  After all, I do have a fairly good understanding of what the responsibilities of a Cruise Director is, thanks mostly to my cousin who has been a Cruise Director for several years, and having had several opportunities to see him in action and also often talk about his job.

So, I bit the bullet, and submitted the application with the videos they requested.  Even if I am not successful for this position, perhaps they will see that I really am interested, and that I am willing to make the effort to show my passion to work in the cruise industry.  Perhaps someone will see some potential in me?  That’s all I wish for, to be given an opportunity, to prove myself, and show just how passionate I am about making this dream of mine come true!

My second overseas trip (leg 5 – The Big Apple!)

My second overseas trip (leg 5 – The Big Apple!)

This part of the trip was probably my favorite!  Not only did I get to see New York for the second time in my life, but we also strengthened some great friendships during the time in NY.

Because it was the christening of the Disney Fantasy while she was in New York, all the guests had to spend that night off the ship, and were treated to a stay in the Times Square Marriot Hotel, and complimentary entrance to The Lion King show on Broadway.

This was my friend’s first time in the big city, so it was quite fun to show him all the sight seeing attractions, and for some, it was my first time too.

I absolutely love this city, and wish I could go there once again.

Since we were not on the ship the night she was christened, we watched it on television in the hotel room and then the next morning on the local news.  The excitement about having a Disney ship in the New York harbour could be felt in the atmosphere all through the city, I mean, the Disney Fantasy did make one hell of an entrance when she entered port, playing “New York New York” on the ship’s horn, and one could hear it echo throughout the entire Manhattan!

Here are some pictures of those very special few days in New York:

My second overseas trip (leg 4)

The next part of our trip was the longest one and the most relaxing one.  It was the part where we actually crossed the Atlantic, en route to New York.

IMG_1884

This was pretty much what we saw for several days.  Just open blue waters.

If my memory serves me right, we spent about 12 days on the open seas, where all you could see around the ship was open ocean, and great sunrises and sunsets.

This was the part of the trip where I really formed an appreciation for the work that each and every crew member does on the ship, and what it means to be a Disney Cruise Line employee.  I also appreciated the hard work each and every one of them do, and began to form an idea of what it means to be on the waters for extended periods of time.

With each day that passed, the ship really started running more and more like the well oiled machine it was bound to be.  Keep in mind that many of the crew were new, it was a brand new ship, and although the operations were not running at 100% capacity as yet, there was a lot of hard work being done behind the scenes to get her ready for her full capacity cruise.

100_2848

Of course I couldn’t resist another photo op with my favourite Disney character.

We spent our days lounging around in the sun, enjoying the on board entertainment, making friends, and eating.  It sometimes feels like all we did was the latter, but there were some other fun times in between.

Allow me to take some time on the food:  It was everything and more one could ever imagine!  From breakfast, to lunch, to supper, and all the snacks and things between, “Every Meal was a Moment”, as we often said as we took pictures of the wonderful and delicious food that was available or served to us.  At some point, and I can’t exactly remember when, all we wanted was just a plain old home cooked meal!

Just a few of the many lovely dishes we were served.

Apart from the food, there was some great entertainment too.  I fondly remember the nights that we spent in the “Adult club” area, dancing and drinking the night away.  The best nights were those nights that we moved an hour on, as we were crossing different time lines.  On such nights, the bars would stay open an hour longer, and the crew would all go to bed an hour later, as they could get up an hour later the next morning.  There was a certain untold excitement each night that the clock moved an hour on, which you could feel in the air, and subtly see in the behaviour of every crew and passenger.

DSCF3444

Many of the days now seem like a blur, although we were “busy” all the time…

The seas started becoming rougher as we went along, and I remember one day, standing at the aft of the ship, looking forward, on one of the top decks.  Although one could not feel it, the ship was moving quite substantially.  One moment, looking towards the bow, you would just see sky, and no horizon.  The next moment, as the bow of the ship ducked down, more than half of your view would be ocean, and the rest the horizon.  This ship is so big, that if one didn’t see that, you wouldn’t believe how much the ship was actually moving.

One other moment where I realised just how rough the waters were, was one night, where I went outside on the fourth deck to have a smoke, and the sea spray from the bow hitting the swells came up all the way to where the smokers were standing.  That, together with the strong winds, made it nearly impossible to get a cigarette lit, never mind smoke it.

Like I said, those days were a blur, however, it was during these blurry days that I realised something again (and this was not blur at all, it was clear as daylight): I knew I wanted to come back to this ship, but not as a passenger, as a CREW MEMBER!  That dream has not yet come to fruition, but, I am working on that, now more than ever, to make that dream come true.

In my next post, I’ll be sharing some of our adventures in New York.