Ship Life​

Crew Cabin​​ Fever

I first set sail on April 27th, 2017 on the Disney Fantasy.

At the time of posting this, the Disney Fantasy is the newest and biggest ship in the Disney fleet. The rooms are the same sex, but the floors are co-ed. I lived in the forward / front of the ship with another female within the same department as me. Of the seven roommates I had, five were in the Youth Activities role.

Ship Life

At the time of posting this, the Disney Fantasy is the newest and biggest ship in the Disney fleet. The rooms are the same sex, but the floors are co-ed. I lived in the forward / front of the ship with another female within the same department as me. Of the seven roommates I had, five were in the Youth Activities role. The typical cabin has two beds, a desk, chair, mini fridge, TV, one small safe per person, and storage space. The desk has a light and small mirror, a phone, 4 outlets (2 UK and 2 US) and 4 drawers. Each bed has a reading light, a small shelf, and a privacy curtain. You also have a bathroom inside your room about the size of an airplane bathroom plus a shower. My first impression of my cabin was that it was incredibly small and claustrophobic but eventually it did feel comfortable/cozy. There are cabin inspections every week and they’re pretty strict. With that being said, it’s not hard to comply with the guidelines. Just make sure the trash is taken out/hidden appropriately, whatever you have in your fridge/freezer isn’t prohibited (i.e. milk or hard liquor), beds are made with your life jacket on top, and surfaces are clear/clean. They do focus on certain areas in the cabin. The Wonder would tell us what the focus was but the Fantasy wouldn’t. Some examples of that would be the carpets, fridge, shower curtain, air filter, etc.

My second two contracts were on the Disney Wonder. It was significantly smaller than my cabin on the Fantasy. This ship is much older than the Fantasy, by about 20 years, and it shows. The carpet was actually from the last time the Magic was in Dry Dock. Honestly, I was just thrilled about having a room with a porthole because that meant natural light, something you don’t see on the Dream or the Fantasy and maybe 98% of the rooms on the Wonder actually have them. They’re great for phone signal if you have service. On port days you could get on facebook without buying $20 on the internet or even leaving your bed. Come to find out later, each and every cabin was unique in its own way. Whether it was the layout of the desk/wardrobe, the carpet and if there was a porthole or not. Literally, every cabin is different.

 

I actually ended up changing cabins after that first week. Although I really loved the idea of having a porthole in my room, the need to have a different roommate outweighed my need for natural light. I ended up liking this next room better than the first because, come to find out, the bunk bed in the first cabin wasn’t spaced out properly when it was converted into a petty officer cabin. With this new room, I actually could sit almost straight up on my bed. The carpet was also nicer and the location was better for me to access the elevator to the top deck for work. Oh, and I really got along with my new roommate who was from Spain. (Love you, Steffie!)

I settled in rather quickly this time since I brought way less stuff. I hardly took anything to decorate with me this time and literally half the amount of clothes. Another main difference from the Dream Class to the Classic ships is the luggage space/location. Instead of it being under the beds, it’s usually at the foot of the bed. I say usually because there are a few cabins that don’t have this at all. There is some space above the wardrobe for a medium-sized suitcase. My role had me wearing thick heavy coats when it rained, so I needed that space on the side to store them but only one wardrobe get it. Also, unlike the Dream and Fantasy, the walls aren’t magnetic, only the doors.

I eventually made it down to the bottom bunk. With my physical disability, the ladder to the top bunk was quite painful for me. You’re at the mercy of the person in the room before you arrive. As I mentioned earlier, I switched rooms because things didn’t work out with the first roommate I was assigned to and she wasn’t going on vacation anytime soon, so I was the one who had to change rooms. When you embark, you get randomly chosen for a room unless you already know someone on the ship and they can submit the paperwork AND they have availability for both of you to move in together. I never had any real personal issues with my roommates, but some were easier to live with than others. Such is life, but having a good/bad roommate can make or break your contract. I had ended a relationship with a guy I was seeing on the ship between contracts 2 & 3 and I promise you, if I didn’t have the roommate I got, I wouldn’t have had lasted very long. The anxiety of what had happened was already affecting me, thankfully I found out who my roommate was going to be and I was relieved. Had I returned to the ship, already feeling alienated, and have to move into a room with a complete stranger could have easily driven me to resign that week. 100%. I’m sure I sound super dramatic about this, but I was an absolute mess after finding out my now ex had cheated on me with Mulan and that all three of us would have to be on this tiny ship together for the next four months.

As far as cabin parties go, despite the small space, they happen…often. Again, everyone’s cabin is different and some people luck out with the bigger rooms but people make it work if they need to. If that’s your thing, it’s a great way to unwind with your friends and coworkers. The crew bar is also a popular hangout spot, but that’s a post for another time.

Another HUGE difference for the crew that transfers from the Dream class to the Classics is the TV. Each TV has a signal and a large selection of things to watch (mostly Disney channels). Again, at the time of writing this, the Wonder hasn’t caught up to the rest of the ships. The Dream, Fantasy & Magic has on-demand entertainment in each and every crew cabin. The TV’s are a little bit newer as well. A large selection of movies categorized in the different genres that you can choose from and pause and watch later. As opposed to the Classics where select movies play on a schedule continuously with no control. This is partially due to the cost. To get on that level is way too high to justify for these older ships so they just have left things where it’s at.

They would have to do this while in Dry Dock and most of the time and money goes towards guest areas during that time. Crew areas are typically improved over time while at sea. For example, the construction on the crew cabin hallways spanned the entire length of my second contract and part of my third.

 

If I had stayed, I would have wanted to work on the Magic to sail the across the atlantic from New York to Europe. There are plenty of opportunities to see new places, especially with the new ships coming out soon.

I recently had a DCL friend come visit me here in seattle & I’ve been invited to a wedding in England this year as well. But I think the most random was when I met up with a couple crew members while in NZ and one of them was even in my new hire group.

Do Not go hunting down cast members asking for their discount, it’s a heavily monitored process (mostly for friends and family or the cm themselves). However, if you are a three stripped officer or higher, you could actually sign people on to cruise for free*. Which is actually how I met my boyfriend. 

TLDR; I lived on a cruise ship

Thanks for reading & Drink more water
-Ri

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