How to DJ a Party on a ship cruising out of Miami

  1. If no one is on the dance floor play the cha-cha slide or the cupid shuffle followed by the Wobble. (I don’t know how, but cruisers instinctively know how to do this dance.) 
  2. Then play all of Pitbul’s songs (They’re pretty much all collaborations so people might not notice the complete lack of variety)
  3. Throw in one LMFAO song, one Black Eyed Peas song and that “I don’t care” song. I love it! 
  4. When you have run out of Pitbul and all non-Latinos have gone to bed just play Reggaeton. 

…Or you could always try the Macarena. Wait, what?

Right before I left South Africa for my first contract I went out to Monte Casino with a whole bunch of my friends (which, for everyone who is not from Joburg, is a fake old Tuscan village but indoors with lots of noisy slot machines and flashy lights in it) and tried to start a flash mob on a fake cobble-stoned square. I did the Macarena. One person joined me (thanks, Zolna). And it was awesome. Though almost no one else in that fake inside noisy flashy Tuscan village noticed, I vowed that one day I would find a way to bring back this classic dance craze and recreate the joy and exhilaration we haven’t felt since the 90s. This cruise I got my chance…

On the second night of the cruise, I was partying it up at the Norwegians’ Night Out Party (which is the closest thing we have to a formal night on this cruise line) as my job requires. And I may have been doing the running man when my Assistant Cruise Director acknowledged my mad skills and announced that if anyone needed to learn how to dance they should follow me and started chanting “Go Sharon, Go Sharon!” So I bust out into what I call “the somewhat restrained deadpan Macarena”. 

At about the same time, the DJ started playing a song by my second favourite Latin singer Marc Anthony (My first is Enrique …just kidding, it’s my boyfriend Edwin, who says I never mention him in my blog. Hi!).  From what I can tell, the song (which is in Spanish and I don’t know what it’s called but every Latino and shippie reading this knows exactly which one I’m talking about), has pretty much been the Miami cruise ship anthem for the whole of Latin America since its release (whenever that was) and never seems to get tired. How no one has thought to combine the Marc Anthony Latino anthem with the Macarena before now (timing-wise it sort of almost works and everything) is beyond me! The combination was magic and it wasn’t long before the entire dance floor had joined in. Kids born in the 2000s discovered it for the first time. It was beautiful. 

Eventually the song ended (it’s not the shortest either) and people were still going. So I ran around and hi-fived everyone in my vicinity as if to say “thank you, you’re wonderful, but really, you can stop now”. Yes people, I can die happy. 

After the parties the Cruise Staff always meet for drinks. My Mexican Cruise Staff friend nicknamed me “Mama Sharon”, because I drink a lot of tea and apparently act like an old lady, but after this I was renamed “Sharito”.  That’s way better! When I hosted a game show the next day, the DJ used the actual Macarena song to intro me, so it seems to have become my thing …for at least the rest of the cruise anyway.  


In other news:

My gay boyfriend arrived
His arrival was a bit delayed. He didn’t come the day I expected him to and I was worried they had decided to send him elsewhere. So then I was sad and ate my feelings (it’s so easy to do that here) with my gay boyfriend replacement Andrew (now known as “Gay boyfriend #2”).  And then Evan arrived. So I celebrated by eating more carbs. You know what this means don’t you? There will be even more ‘Evan more’ adventures!  

The happiest helipad ever

I went to the ice bar
They didn’t give us ponchos and they took us through the back door (because we’re crew) and then we didn’t drink anything so I feel a little bit cheated of the whole Ice Bar experience but they also didn’t charge us the $20 they charge the guests, so that’s okay. I’m sure next time I’m in charge of the solo cruisers for a cruise and we’re not understaffed I’ll get to go again with them …Although, I’m not sure Rodrigo will be included. 

Chillin with my friends. We're so cool

I survived two cruises understaffed
For two cruises before Evan came (and another new guy) there were just 4 cruise staff, instead of 6. It was a little bit crazy trying to do all the stuff we usually do with only 4 of us especially when it’s high season and there’s 4700+ guests on board. There are kids everywhere. It’s scary. Fortunately, the summer is almost over and then things will be ‘normal’ again.  

We had our first redirection for the hurricane season
Yeah, tropical storm Bertha tried to rain on our floating parade (flotilla?). Our ports didn’t change we just went south of the Bahamas and sailed past Cuba to get to our usual destinations. These stabilisers are really good, so while we can actually feel the ship rocking for the first time, it’s really very mild …and quite relaxing actually. It also rained on our Glow party last week but no one left the dance floor in our outdoor night club. Except for the fact that it made my hair frizz in all the selfies I photobombed during the selfie song, it actually made the party more fun. 

I used my phone for a work-related call
On the small ships there’s one ship phone (it’s like a really old nokia from the 90s) for the whole of the cruise staff - so only carried by the all day duty person. Here, because it’s a big ship, we all get one which is very useful for coordinating our lunch and dinner plans. The other day I made a whole work-related call on it. I’m still working on my pre-predictive text typing. It’s not like riding a bicycle. 

We still don’t have stock of keyring light thingies
Tragic I know.

7.5 Cruises down, 23.5 to go
Dove chocolates I’ve consumed while writing this blog = 5




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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.