© 2016 by KAYLEE RANDALL.​

Always an Adventure: My First Months as a Cruise Ship Dancer

December 24, 2016

Hello there. It’s been a while. About two months to be exact and so much has happened. I’ll try to catch everyone up and from here on out try to be better with writing every week or so. Where to begin?


We signed on to the beautiful Adventure of the Seas on October 30th but she wasn’t so beautiful then. We were dry docked in the Bahamas and she was undergoing a major “revitalization”. That's Royal Caribbean jargon meaning limited water supply, staying in plastic covered guest cabins, too many new hire trainings, roasted chicken for every meal, and for the cast, installing three shows which took up all of our time for the first two weeks.


The fun part was that I finally have a roommate now. And once Julie and I moved in together, we realized that we are the same person and we knew it would be very easy to get along. Which is great, because the roommate situation can either make or break your contract. And before long, we formed a beautiful little group of the most intelligent, interesting, and refreshing people from all over the world. 


It was the night of the U.S. Election and we all got together in Alex’s cabin where Fred and I discussed politics, I spoke with Judith about ballet and psychology, Julie and I tried to explain the Electoral College, and Isaac tried to make us feel better and explain that Australia’s Prime Minister is an idiot too. We played games and got to know each other and I felt so lucky to be surrounded by such cultured and open humans. That was the night I fell in love with everyone in the room and I knew this was where I was meant to be.


From there, we wrapped up dry dock, the cast finally got to move into our permanent cabins, we opened our productions shows, and things started to feel more normal. We had guests on board, which was a lovely change from the horny contractors who stare down the few of us women on the ship, and the Adventure was bustling with energy after being cooped up for what felt like ages.


Performing here is so amazing. I mean, performing anywhere is incredible. But it’s been so long since I’ve danced on a proper stage with lights and a set, a live orchestra and air conditioning (shout out to all my homies holding it down on the Florida streets). The only struggle is we’ve been in a reblock since day one because unfortunately we had a male dancer resign. So everything is different from what we learned in Miami. Plus, we had one of our female singers get super sick last cruise so that meant some sweet paso doble for me. Always an adventure on the Adventure.


Other funny mishaps include me falling down the stairs in “Can’t Stop the Rock”. Tripped on a bellbottom (which tells you just how awesome the costumes are for that show). Or in "Jackpot" showing my whole ass to the audience because my boxing shorts were rolled in a ball around my waist during the Rocky section. How? Not sure. Someone should check to make sure I’m situated before I go on stage. Or when the whole entire staircase just doesn’t show up for the finale. It’s fine, just pretend it’s an office run!


We’ve had some really amazing days off the ship too. Our first time in St. Kitts we found an amazing little beach with hardly anyone there. Out in the middle of the water was a floating plank of wood that we played on for hours and I learned that plantains with sour cream is a delicious and necessary combination.


In Aruba, we took a catamaran to snorkel on the most beautiful day. First stop was a 70-year-old shipwreck and then we went to a small reef off the coast. Both stunning, we all could’ve stayed for hours and hours. We drank rum punch and sprawled out on the boat and celebrated a perfect Caribbean day.


 Barbados is another amazing place. The Boatyard is the typical hangout and while the restaurant itself isn’t great, the beach has the most incredible water. There was a rope swing that I didn’t trust myself to try, but maybe one day. We played volleyball which I also suck at and to finish off the day we swam with a wild sea turtle! She was magical. I can’t wait to go back and become friends with more of them.


Overall, customer service in the Caribbean blows. Waiting two hours for your sixteen dollar nachos that end up being just chips, cheese, and jalapeños isn’t fun. But when you’re with amazing people in unbelievably stunning places, you get over it pretty quickly.


This has been our first “normal” cruise with no rehearsals, no new shows to open, and everything has settled down into our new norm. That might be why this is the week I’ve felt the most homesick because there’s less to distract me. I’m not in a whirlwind of choreography and blocking and notes and new people and boys and the novelty of it all. Plus it’s Christmas Eve and it’s never easy being away from home during the holidays.


But, as a cast we’ve truly become a family in these last few months and I’m so grateful to know and love them. We’ll spend Christmas morning together and continue the day getting too drunk to be sad. Because that’s what you do on ships right?


Wishing everyone a beautiful holiday weekend full of what you love most. Feliz Navidad!

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