Mama Sharito’s Mama comes to cruise

Sheesh, it has been a long time since I wrote! The reason for this is ‘Five-month-itus’, a condition that anyone who has spent more than 5 months on a ship will have experienced. Symptoms include: 

  • Crankiness.
  • Glazed eyes.
  • Increased caffeine intake.
  • An aversion to guest areas.
  • Exhaustion characterised by the sensation of excitement at the realisation that one is falling asleep that actually wakes you up a little bit. 


Finding time to do anything but nap has become a challenge and even finding time to nap is really hard. My mother, having now seen me at work, with some idea of how much I do in the day, will understand when I go into a mini-coma upon my return home. Even though it is not contagious, she has threatened to lock me in my room and confiscate my phone so I wont be tempted to socialise until all the symptoms have subsided. 

It was in 2006 when my mom and I first went on a cruise and I decided I wanted to work on one. This, though only my second contract as Cruise Staff, is my 4th in total and it’s something of a dream come true for her to come and see me in action. Our first cruise was on the Superstar Libra, capacity about +-1200, sailing half full. Her second was now on the this one, capacity 3900, sailing full (which is still a bit empty considering we can squeeze closer to 5000 guests on board).

To explain the title of this blog, ‘Snow White’ (my previous nickname) seems to have died on the my last ship and here I’ve been renamed by my favourite Mexican Cruise Staff Jesy as ‘Mama Sharito' I’m guessing for my tendency to be so effing responsible and stuff. It’s catching on. Anyway…

Honorary Cruise Staff 

During Mama Sharito’s Mama’s week on board:


We took our picture with the captain and bought it. 
On our first cruise we only did the first part. She’s been holding it against me ever since. (Actually the captain made sure the photo manager gave it to us for free. He also sent wine to her room. That’s what you get for being the mom of kinda a big deal.) 

We drank a lot of cocktails at the Mojito Bar. 
In fact, if I couldn’t find her she was usually hanging out there. She said it was because of the “comfy chairs” and the “peaceful deck overlooking the ocean”, but you know my mom.


We played putt putt. 
She won, she always wins (because she cheats. You probably don’t believe me because she’s cute like that, but anyone who’s ever played a board game with her knows it’s true). 



She played the trivia I hosted. 
…And lost. (I wouldn’t let her cheat.)

We swam with dolphins. 
Ours was a boy named “Paris”. He was awesome. 
That reminds me, Mom, can I have a dolphin? I promise I’ll feed it and take care of it and play with it everyday? 

She made friends with a nice lady from Canada. 

We got to swim in the sea.

We went to one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, Magen’s Bay.
And experience its dive-bombing pelicans. While we were there we also got to use one of the 10 least beautiful toilets in the world. (It was a day of extremes.)

Me and my mother's finger on one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world

Rodrigo at Magen's Bay

She watched me in the Dance Off. 
My partner was not the strongest but we made it all the way to the finals because I told the judges my mom was in the audience. (That’s not cheating and if it is, you know where I learnt it!)



She watched Burn the Floor 
...And got her picture taken with a really sweaty dancer with nice abs. 
We didn’t buy that one. Oh dear, I’m never going to live that down.

We ate a lot. 


She got to watch artist “LEBO” (in no way South African despite the name) do a live painting.

We went snorkelling. 
I think I’ve done so much snorkelling in my time on ships that I’ve started to take it for granted. It was really cool to watch her experience it for the first time. We went off to Athol Island on a snorkel tour and tested out our brand new waterproof camera. (There are even videos!) We also bought some fish food. Best $3 I ever spent! The fish were all up in our business. And somewhere in the middle of all the little yellow and black thingies were some other really strange looking things trying to get lunch. 


Photo-bombed by Nemo's friend 


We took a lot of #selfies. 
(Some of which were only because the camera was new and we didn't know which way to point it)
When you do a lot of travelling alone you learn skills like how to take good selfies and apply sunscreen to the middle of your back. I don’t always post the selfies because I don’t want to be that girl (and Instagram hates me) but with my mom with me, I wanted to make sure I captured the moment. All of them. 

What we didn’t do:


She missed my intro with Sponge Bob because she got lost. 
She manages to get through the Jackson Hartsfield city of an airport in time to get her connection but gets lost trying to find Spice H2O (our outdoor nightclub) after I had shown it to her. I guess that’s how big this ship is! - But at least she saw it on her cabin TV. (Swimming with dolphins beats dancing with sponges anyway.) 

We didn’t go to the ice-bar. 
The ship is “cold enough”.

She missed the fireworks 
Because she went to fetch her cardigan.

She didn’t go down the family water slide. 
But she did think about it. I think I almost convinced her. 

She didn’t go to a single art auction. 
But she made friends with the auctioneers and sure let them try to convince her. 

She didn’t get to watch our Glow party intro. 
I really like our intro but it rained. It never rains. Until the week of her cruise I genuinely believed that the “Masters of Magic” that work in the Illusionarium were controlling the weather. We have never ever had to move the glow party indoors before. Never. In the five and a half months that I’ve been here. Sometimes it rains a little bit but stops before the party starts and then the Cruise Staff have to go and squeegee the dance floor. Why do we even have a sponge on staff? 

She didn’t watch the Happy flashmob (I had something else on at the time). 
But she did utter the words “That Pharell Williams, I’m so impressed with him”.
(If you haven’t read my mom is cuter than your baby you really should.)

Yeah, I guess she’ll just have to come and do it all over again. What do you think, mom?
And then we can take more selfies, like these:





In other news:


We had an 80’s / Oldies and Goldies crew party
If the title confuses you, you are not the only one. Basically you had to dress “retro” in whatever way you interpret that (not that it was explained even that clearly). The music was equally all over the place - usually it is, in terms of geography and culture but this time in terms of era as well. 





I made a bingo whoopsie
Calling Bingo is great if you like the sound of your own voice, but if you’re not great at talking nonsense to fill space it can be tricky. The other day I was calling bingo. It was a really tough non-responsive old-people crowd who had already heard all of our bingo jokes. I was dying. When I saw two people enter at the back I made the much recycled “Welcome, thanks for joining us. Did you have trouble parking?” joke which totally worked. Except about half way through I realised it was the CEO of the whole of frikkin cruise line. Whoops!  
“B10, if I am lucky I wont be fired, just B10”. 


26 Cruises down, 5 more to go
Redbulls consumed today = 1


               
               


            

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Sharon Waugh

Sharon is a writer, cruise ship entertainment host and freelance unicorn wrangler. She is currently taking a break from her seafaring adventures to explore some more landlocked locations from her homebase in Johannesburg, South Africa. She likes to photograph a plastic lawn flamingo 'Rodrigo' on her travels because it seemed like a good idea ten years ago and 53 countries later, it’s probably too late to turn back now.

 Sharon greatly dislikes reading 'travel blogs' by people who are just rephrasing press releases or composing lists like '15 ways to travel the world for cheap', specifically formulated for SEO, with absolutely no evidence that the writers have ever left their bedrooms. (This is not one of those blogs.) Sharon also dislikes bigotry and referring to herself in first person, apparently.

To find out more about Sharon and Rodrigo’s travel aspirations read this.

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