Dancing with the Stars in the Sky

As you may know, I studied drama. As much as I enjoy special treatment and free stuff like the next person, on the whole I think I have been one of the lesser fame-hungry people who have pursued acting to this degree. Having said that, there is one thing that always makes me wish I was famous and that’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Apart from Ian Von Memmety’s cheesiness making me want to stab myself in the face and both Sandy and Pabi’s massive abilities to annoy in unique but equally cringeworthy ways, I can’t imagine anything more fun that being offered extensive lessons from professionals at no cost to me, and having my amateur attempts at dancing receive so much attention. So when I heard that my ship does it’s own take on the game show where guests are paired up with “Sky stars” (i.e. Dancers and Cruise Staff) I knew I wanted to be one of those people. And then I got my wish! I didn’t even have to ask. 

Yeah, I wish I had watched the thing before I participated in it. I was told to dress appropriately, so I threw on a cocktail dress that I could move easily in and all the Swarofski I own. One of my friends took one look at me, shook their head and told me to put some pants on as the guests get quite “into it” and there may be some lifts. Yay! I like lifts! I changed. Obviously our version is not choreographed or rehearsed but I was still expecting social dancing. I was excited. And so so naive…

I was paired up with this very normal middle-aged little hispanic man and yes, even though “normal” is usually the strongest possible insult in my book, in this case I was relieved by the presence of this otherwise horrific quality.  I soon discovered that instead of waltzing it’s more thrusting and instead of the Tango it’s more twerking. We were voted out first. Obviously. And then we got to go to the losers lounge where we were interviewed backstage (as they do in the show) by Brad. At least I got to be witty so it wasn’t a complete entertainment fail. Like I have only learnt about the existence of the South African ‘celebrities’ through watching our version of the TV show, everyone who didn’t know who I was before, knew me the day after. There, I gained fame. I was a celebrity for the two whole remaining days of the Cruise. Sorry you missed it. 

I know I should probably be discouraged but I really want to do it again! Not because I want to be dodgy (twerking is to dancing what fart jokes are to humour), but because I’m convinced that if I find a way to incorporate my best wedding reception moves and my mad kitchen dance skills, then I’m sure I can do better. As it is, on the first day of each cruise we have a sail away party where the Cruise Director introduces us to the guests and we have to intro ourselves in dance. This week my ‘Sprinkler’ was met with a very warm reception. I’m going to do it! Between the running man, the Macarena (I’m bringing that back, by the way) and my other signature move that doesn’t have a name but needs one, I’m determined to make it at least halfway without any dry humping!

In other news…

I got a computer. 
I’m typing on it right now. No more 5 minute start up time, no more computer freezing if I try to do more than two cuts on a video edit and no more line through my screen! (That’s been there for months.) It feels like Christmas! Like this job, a decent computer is something I’ve wanted for a very very long time and though attaining it seemed less impossible, there were times I thought I’d never get it. I didn’t know whether or not to get it in SA but I’m glad I waited until I got to Miami. Not only are they cheaper here, but I got a brand new model and the guy at the Apple Store got me a student discount. I hugged him. Twice! That made it possible for me to get the extended warrantee which is a very good thing considering how technology and I haven’t always (or ever) seen eye to eye. But I’m turning over a new leaf …or tree, an apple tree.

Outside the apple store in South Beach Miami

I lost a roommate but gained my own cabin. 
When I arrived I shared a cabin with Makayle who left after a week (it’s a long time in ship life). She was transferred to one of our other ships in Germany. I really liked her and if you have to share a tiny cabin with a stranger I got a good deal. But I certainly can’t complain about having one all to myself. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. 

I hosted my first pool games. 
It’s quite daunting because you’re all on your lonesome (Gigi was on standby just in case) on the open deck with a whole bunch of lethargic people in a post-beach day semi-coma who just want to chill on a deck chair and you have to make them have fun against their will. I’m not scared about hosting the games but getting volunteers is very daunting. Nobody wanted to play. Nobody. I was lucky though in that there were two kids dancing on the stage so I started interviewing our ‘future Sky dancers’ to fill the dead air and then I made it into a competition to see which of them could round up the biggest teams. It worked. Next time I might have to cry. 

I ate in the fancy guest dining room. 
On this ship we’re allowed to do that without getting permission in writing from 17 different people. They don’t have chocolate melting cake. It’s very sad, but otherwise very good.  

They gave me a muster station! Bah! 
On this ship there is a crew drill every week (not only once a month like the last ship I may or may not have worked on which may or may not have been the parent company of the same cruise line who’s ship the Costa Conchordia may or may not have run aground). Fortunately, I only have to go to half the crew drills and two out of every three guest ones. I really thought for the reason I may or may not have described in brackets above that I would have to redo the Basic Safety Training I received through that company that qualified me to be a muster station supervisor before, even though I may or may not have been relatively incompetent about what to do in an emergency. Now, I’m just an assistant which is way better and yet more complicated, but at least I know what to do.   

And I got off the ship. 
I’ve gotten off twice in Miami (once to buy my Mac) and twice on our private island Grand Stirrup Cay. - The second time I spent the day going down the hippo slide - a giant inflatable water slide which is free to crew members. I also got off in Nassau with some of my new friends. It turns out trespassing at the Sheraton is just like riding a bicycle! Docked with us that day was my last ship and the ship that my first ship collided with. So many memories all in one port…

The beach by the Sheraton, Nassau

Standing in front of my new home as scene from Great Stirrup Cay

Please remember I live under a rock now, so any news is welcome. And Rodrigo says ‘hi’. He’s making lots of friends. 

6 Cruises Down, roughly 44 more to go… 




  1. Wow that is random that your first ship and the ship you collided with were there! Or maybe it's perfectly ordinary. I wouldn't know. It seems your ships behave kind of the way my ex boyfriends do. ie. cropping up in unexpected combinations. Jules


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Sharon Waugh

Sharon is a writer, cruise ship entertainment host and freelance unicorn wrangler, living it up on the high seas. She also likes to photograph a plastic lawn flamingo in exotic locations because it seemed like a good idea 10 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 writer has ever left their bedroom. (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.