Having Guests Visit You Onboard The Cruise Ship
Luckily for me, I had friends and family in the area who wanted to drive to Port Canaveral to see me, so I was really able to stay in touch with people. But its not like a crew member can just walk off of a ship to see someone that has popped in to say hi.
Because of the previously mentioned crew windows, it was really hard for anyone to come see you on the cruise ship. That made seeing my boyfriend, who would drive an hour each weekend to the port to see me for just a few brief hours, really difficult. Because if I missed a crew window, I wouldnt see him again for a week.
In fact, one weekend the crew windows were never opened and we were not allowed to leave the ship. My boyfriend was waiting on the dock to see me, and my cell phone had no reception in port. Even the onboard satellite phones that cost about $8 a minute werent working because we were in port, so there was no way to let him know that I wasnt going to be allowed off of the ship.
Frustrating isnt even the word to describe what it feels like when you cant see friends or family who are so close, yet so far, in the bureaucratic red tape of sailing in international waters.
To get around all of the red tape and spend some quality time with me, my boyfriend surprised me on Thanksgiving by booking a stay on the Thanksgiving sailing. The entire lobby heard me scream when I saw him walk off of the gangway into the main lobby of the ship.
Disney Dream And Disney Fantasy Main Dining Restaurants
The newest ships of the Disney Fantasy and Dream have the same 3 main dining restaurant locations.
Enchanted Garden is a beautiful restaurant that is themed on the gardens of Versailles.
Disneys innovative magic allows the restaurant to be transformed from day to night as your meal is served. Enchanted Garden also has a buffet breakfast and lunch on select days.
Royal Court is very lavishly decorated and inspired by Disney animation classics such as Cinderella, Snow White, and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast.
Even the breadbasket is in the shape of Cinderellas carriage. The menu is French-inspired.
Animators Palate is more technologically advanced than on the classic ships and has 2 shows. The decor is a lot of fun with brightly colored chairs in Mickey Mouses signature colors.
The menu is Pacific Rim and American inspired. Take some time to look at the restaurant walls where you will find lots of Disney animation objects which change for each show.
Have you experienced Disney cruise rotational dining? Which is your favorite Disney cruise restaurant?
We’re Forced To Take Vacation Time
Business Insider explains that most crew members are on a four to five-month contract. But after that expires, theyre required to take an 8-week vacation before theyre allowed to work on another ship. One ex-employee tells the publication its a way to protect the mental health of the staff. “Let’s face it, it’s hard work being ‘on’ six days out of seven. It’s good to go home and see our families and recharge our batteries,” they explained.
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Things Staff Have Said About Working Aboard Disney Cruises
Things change when youre working onboard a Disney cruise rather than just enjoying it.
Disneyland is supposed to be the most magical place on Earth, so what does that make Disney cruises? From the sounds of it, Disney cruises are just as magical as going to one of the parks perhaps for some folks, it may be an even better time since youre out at sea! There are tons of entertaining things to do on a Disney cruise, from meeting the characters to hanging out in one of the clubs or activity centers to indulging in a tempting buffet. Most guests leave happy after setting sail on a Disney cruise.
But what about the employees? Things change when youre working onboard a Disney cruise rather than just enjoying it. Cruise employees get to see all of the behind-the-scenes drama. Theres not much room for downtime or having a personal life when working on a cruise since you cant exactly get off the ship when your shift ends. Working on a Disney cruise sounds like a lot of hard work, but at the same time, many current and former staff say it was one of their best experiences. Keep reading to see 15 things Disney cruise employees have actually said about working on the water.
Dont Miss The Fireworks
Pirate Night on select Disney Cruises starts with a pirate themed dinner, continues with a buccaneer bash and ends with a fireworks show and then a buffet.
If youre on a Caribbean or Bahamian cruise, fireworks will be the same day as Castaway Cay Disneys private island in the Bahamas.
The fireworks are not to be missed so go early grab a good seat. Or, if youre like us and have noise sensitive children, hang out at the back of the ship, near the basketball courts.
Youll still be able to see the fireworks but are far enough that the scary music and loud pirate banter wont bother you.
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Resources To Assist In Becoming A Disney Imagineer
Below is a list of resources that one can utilize to assist them in either learning more about Walt Disney Imagineering or search for open positions within the company.
The Walt Disney Company Career Website:
On the website type Walt Disney Imagineering into the Keyword search function. This will narrow down all open positions specific to WDI.
Themed Entertainment College and University Programs
Check out our article with links to the various colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer themed entertainment programs.
WDI Imaginations Website:
Imaginations is a design competition created and sponsored by Walt Disney Imagineering with the purpose of seeking out and nurturing the next generation of diverse Imagineers. Started in 1991 by Disney Legend and Imagineering executive Marty Sklar, the program has grown to include separate versions sponsored by Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort. Throughout the years, hundreds of students from universities all across the United States have participated in this competition and had the opportunity to present their projects to Imagineering executives. Furthermore, many of them have become interns and fulfilled their dream of working alongside Imagineers and seeing their work installed at a Disney location.
Dining with an Imagineer:
Your Character And Team Integration
When we speak of character, as it relates to Walt Disney Imagineering, it can mean a multitude of things. Some might be quick to say Mickey, Minnie, Donald and their friends.
While those types of character are important, one form of character that is even more important to becoming a successful Imagineer is ones individual character.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word character as one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual and moral excellence and firmness.
An individual that has good character and a good personal disposition will allow them to go far within Imagineering.
Imagineers will need to work with a multitude of individuals and personalities to design and implement amazing Guest experiences. Individuals with solid character, that are trustworthy, and have good personalities will find it easier to work with the multitude of personalities on a project team.
Most large projects at Imagineering have upwards of one hundred or more individuals working on them. Large projects, such as new theme park lands or theme park expansions, may have well over two hundred team members.
Disney, and its subsidiary companies such as Walt Disney Imagineering, pride themselves on not only hiring the best subject matter experts, but individuals that have sound character and good personal dispositions.
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Working With Travel Agents Specializing In Disney Vacations
The amount of research necessary to plan all the details of a Disney vacation can be too time-consuming or even intimidating for some people. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the options, a great solution is to use the services of a travel agent who specializes in Disney travel.
Disney Specialists have completed the College of Disney Knowledge, an online course offered by Disney that covers Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney. This is a great starting point, but frankly its not enough. Believe it or not, a travel agent can easily become a Disney Specialist in a few hours, without ever having visited a Disney vacation destination in person!
For that reason, we recommend picking an agency such as Small World Vacations that focuses on Disney travel and requires its agents to have advanced experience with Disney destinations, including in-person, on-site visits.
How Come Its Free?
Normally the client pays nothing extra for the service provided by a travel agency. Travel agents make their living from a small commission paid by the travel supplier for the resort hotel rooms, theme park passes and vacation packages they book. The agent is compensated by this commission for the time, effort and attention she provides to the client.
What to Expect
Avoid Problems with Payments
Our Personal Recommendation
We Totally Date Each Other
Although weve all been warned not to date our co-workers, it doesnt sound like Disney cruise employees take that to heart. DisneyAMA admits many co-workers become involved with each other during their time at sea. You are confined on a ship from 4-9 months with only these people, the Reddit user wrote. The young 21 years olds hook up just as much as the 40 something married with kids people do!
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Disney Cruise Line Jobs Available
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Hotel And Lodging Jobs
Disney guests can choose from hotels and lodging ranging from luxury to motel-style accommodations. Cast members make sure guests enjoy their entire stays regardless of which type they choose. Jobs are available in bell services, front office, concierge operations, guest services, housekeeping, recreation, and management.
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Dont Miss The Shows & Movies
There are two movie theaters on board each Disney cruise ship playing recent Disney features as well as an outdoor screen by the main pool.
Movies are played throughout the day, multiple times a day so if you miss one you most likely will be able to catch it again on another day.
We watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on opening day this past December during our Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy. Oh yes, my husband decided to stay up until midnight so he could say he was one of the first ones to see it! That gives you an idea of how current their movie list is.
Every night after each dinner seating, theres musicals and other evening entertainment karaoke, dance parties, trivia, comedy shows etc. The musicals are Broadway-worthy and the theater was at capacity every single night of our cruise.
If you happen to miss the shows or want to avoid the crowds, you can catch them on the TV in your cabin.
How Does Dining Work On A Disney Cruise
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Disney does things a little differently on their cruise ships. So how does dining work on a Disney Cruise?
Its a pretty great system once you understand the way dining works on a Disney Cruise.
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Safety Training For My Disney Cruise Line Job
After coming aboard as a new crew member, there is not much time for rest, and there wont be until after your contract ends. Its that simple. And NOT an exaggeration.
Safety training starts just hours after you board the ship, beginning with the assignment of a life jacket and your crew station during an emergency. While you will see some crew members positioned throughout the ship during each safety drill before embarking on your cruise, every crew member has a position to take somewhere in the ship should there be an actual emergency.
As part of the Cruise Staff, my position would have been in the Oceaneer Club, checking I.D.s of children who were being picked up by their parents.
Safety training is taken extremely seriously among crew members onboard the Disney Cruise Line. There are strict guidelines to follow, stringent protocols in place for every conceivable event, and at no time will a half-hearted attitude be tolerated.
Getting Mail And Phone Calls On A Cruise Ship
When I was a crew member, the Internet was not available on the Disney Wonder, so times have changed, thankfully for the better.
One of the only public places for crew members to check their email was at an Internet cafe somewhere on Nassau. I never did visit the cafe, because I never had time. Remember, its really difficult for some crew members to have enough free time to do any errands off of the ship. Since we stayed late in port at Nassau, many crew members would head to the cafe at one or two in the morning.
For the international crew members, email was the cheapest and easiest way to keep in touch with their friends and family. However, all of the cruise lines that docked in port had crew members who were all competing for the computer terminals at the Internet cafe. Just because you had the time and the money for a taxi to travel there, it didnt necessarily mean you were going to be able to check your email.
If you werent using a pay phone, cell phone or email, your communication with the rest of the outside world relied on your postal mail if you got it.
Since we were living on a ship, mail only came twice a week while we were in port. Our mail was sent to a stateside address, then delivered to the heads of each department on the ship. For instance, all of the Cruise Staff personal mail was delivered to our boss, who then had to hand it out individually.
So its not like youre ordering supplies on Amazon.com and getting them in a couple days.
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This Jobs Takes A Toll On Our Mental Health
Disneyland may be the happiest place on Earth, but were not sure if that applies to the employees. Former Disney cruise employees have been honest about the toll working on the infamous ships takes on their mental health. Having to smile 24/7 no matter how rude guests maybe isnt as easy as it sounds. I really enjoyed my time on the ship, but it was truly a roller coaster of emotions. You are always exhausted, so emotions are heightened, Reddit user DisneyAMA explained.
The Accommodations Are Cramped
Its obvious that cruise ship employees are expected to sleep on the ship during their time at sea, but according to ex-Disney cruise employees, the accommodations are anything by lavish. A former youth Activities Entertainment Host described the rooms as tiny cabins with a roommate. Dont expect much privacy during your hours off!
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Benefits Of Disney Employment
- You will get excellent training that will prepare you for jobs elsewhere
- Cast members get free park admission that also allows them to bring in guests except during certain blackout periods
- Another perk: discounts on merchandise, resort stays, some restaurants, and special events
- Many cast members are eligible for medical and dental insurance, sick days, and paid holidays and vacations
Some Terms You Should Know
As discussed earlier, whether you are an executive or custodial worker, Disney refers to all employees as “cast members.” The company also calls customers “guests.” Here are other terms that are part of Disney’s special language:
- On stage: any area visible to guests
- Backstage: Areas where cast members work behind the scenes, as well as get from one place to another throughout the parks.
- Utilidors: Tunnels under the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
- On Property: Anything on Disney property.
- Code V: Alert that a guest has vomited.
- Mousekeeping: The Disney resorts term for housekeeping.
- PAC: Parade Audience Control
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Options For How To Work For Disney From Home
- Disney Work From Home Job as a Disney Guest Services Representative taking orders and helping customers with their orders. This position handles orders and customer service for the Disney store so if you love Disney products this might be a great position for you. This is a great option for those with previous customer service experience. This position is usually hired for in Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Nevada, Illinois, Mississippi, and British Columbia.
- Disney Work From Home Reservations Are you a Disney fanatic? Find out how you can get paid to book Disney vacation reservations and how to work for Disney from home. These types of jobs are for those who love helping others book their dream Disney vacation and would be a great fit for those that personally love to travel to Disney and can share that passion with others.
- Disney work at home call center Work as a remote support representative working directly for Disney. Disney hires directly for these positions and you will be helping customers with their orders. This is very similar to the first position and is great for those that enjoy customer service.
- Adventures By Disney Jobs Travel as a digital nomad and work from wherever you are in the world leading Disney adventures. Disney Adventures is basically like a tour guide trip planned by Disney travel guides. Those that travel and lead these trips are the types of positions this jobs is for.