Tag: Disney

Being specific and my view on mediocrity

Being specific and my view on mediocrity

WD Do it wellIf there is one thing that I despise, its mediocrity – both in other people and in myself.

The things in my past which I regret the most, were things I did without really being passionate about doing, which led to a mediocre attempt at best.

WD Get back up

The thing that gets me the most irritated with people in all aspects of daily life is mediocrity – the mediocre attitude towards customer service, the mediocre attitude towards doing your job, the mediocre attitude of relationships (both platonic friendships and more romantic ones).

quote-about-mediocrity-600x375quote-Sean-Penn-theres-a-lot-of-mediocrity-being-celebrated-205628

In my quest to find my dream job, I refuse to be mediocre!   I am specific about which jobs I apply for, not because I think I am better than anyone else, or discriminate against people who are willing to do certain jobs, but because I only apply for jobs that I know I will not be mediocre at.  I apply for positions which I know I can do (and do well), ones I will be good at, ones that I have a real interest in, and ones that I know I will always do my best.  That does not mean I know the in’s and out’s of every specific job, but I know something about it, and can learn the rest.

TalentWD do the impossible

It’s a choice, after all, to do your best, to set your personal standards, and to not be mediocre.

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!

My second overseas trip (leg 7)

My second overseas trip (leg 7)

Once we disembarked in Port Canaveral, we received a warm welcome from my cousin and his partner, who showed us around Orlando a little.

They had some other guests at their house, so they spoiled us even further by reserving us a room at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.  For those who have not been there, it is a resort themed on the music of the different decades, from the 1950’s to the 1990’s.  Apart from the music, it also features the popular trends of each of those decades.

Probably the most memorable is the bowling pin shaped swimming pool in the middle of the resort.

After checking into the resort, we headed over to the Hollywood Studios theme park, in time to see the street parade.   In the picture below is my favourite ride, the Hollywood Tower Hotel.  We then headed over to Magic Kingdom to enjoy some of the rides and see the fireworks show the evening.

Unfortunately we only had the one night to spend in Orlando, as our trip continued the next day, and we did not get to see half of the things there is to see.  After a quick brunch in Celebration, my cousin took us to the airport.

We drove past the welcome sign to Walt Disney World Resort one more time, and I was sad that we had to leave so soon.  As the welcome sign promises, it was the place where dreams really do come true, and one day, my ultimate dream will come true when I see this sign again as a Disney Cast Member.

IMG_3462

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.

 

The answer

I have been told by recruiters and in prospective job interviews (both recently and a few years ago) that I had too many interests listed on my CV or résumé.

It’s been a question I have been asking myself for many years, even when I was at school, as I couldn’t decide what I wanted to become one day or what career path I should take.  I think my parents would attest to this more than anyone else, as I think I have let them down a couple of times in my life, especially when I quit my university studies in my second year of Mechanical Engineering.

I was then going through some of my posts I shared on LinkedIn, and found this one which I posted a while ago, and only now did it really dawn on me that his was the answer to that question I have been struggling with for so long:

ext

And who other was holding the answer to my question than Walt Disney himself?

The risk with having so many interests, however, is that you become the proverbial Jack of all trades… (master of none).

I have decisions to make, on my future and on my career, and on making my dream to work for Disney Cruise Line a reality: which trade am I going to choose, and become a master in? (Or am I already a master in at least one?)…