Japanese word of the day: Kiru (きる) = cut
A day at sea literally just means that we spend the day traveling on the sea, not stopping at any port. For me, this means being lazy!!! My plan for the day was to just sit around the ship, lounge hopping and writing stuff for this blog. My actual day turned out to be a little more eventful than that.
We got up a little later than planned because our clocks turned forward one hour in order to match with our next port, Vladivostok in Russia. Because of this, we had a late breakfast mixed with lunch so in simple terms, we had brunch.
I took my sister to a paper ornament making event at 2:00PM where we *made paper ornaments* with my dad and uncle. It was a basic craft where you just made one of those twisty-star thingies but for every step that the instructor did, the Japanese guests would gasp loudly like they’ve never seen it before, and honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was phenomenal to them. The Japanese craft of origami is strictly only folding, and cutting, gluing, or taping is not allowed. It was so cute how the Japanese guests enjoyed this paper ornament event, and my sister and I finished ours proudly and hung it on our stateroom door. Of course, I’m terrible at crafting and my star turned out incredibly warped and looked more like a circle than a star, but at least I put effort!
I really wanted to just decompress and write on my laptop while sipping on a non-alcoholic mojito but my mom wanted to take me to a Disney trivia. I complied, and my Disney knowledge was absolutely crushed. The host was a very cute girl who had the brightest energy of anyone I’ve ever met on this ship, and she said that she used to work for Disney. I loved her sense of humor, and I honestly don’t really have any words to describe what kind of humor it was. She was the type of person that makes you want to be her best friend :)
The Disney questions were really difficult, like:
“When is Mickey’s birthday?”
It was free response. There was no multiple choice or any of that fancy stuff. I had a 1 out of 365 chance of getting it right (for the record, the answer is November 18th).
There was also this question about the Lady and the Tramp where the question asked like “For what occasion was Lady given as a gift?” and the options were like:
And I was like “bro”. There is no way I could’ve remembered small details like that, much less what Lady and the Tramp was even about.
My mom and I managed to get second place, though. I think we got 11/15 right. Proud moment.
I finally got my writing time afterwards, but the time passed by so quickly that before I knew it, it was 5:30PM and time to meet the rest of my family for dinner.
After dinner, we saw the production show which was a music review of songs from the 50’s with singers and dancers and a Pink Cadillac as a prop. It was actually a very well put together production, and the singers and dancers were amazing. It made me miss singing a little bit :’). The technology of the show mimicked what I saw in Anastasia on Broadway, where the Pink Cadillac rotated as the backdrop projected a road that was moving so it seemed like the Cadillac was moving towards you.
Daily drain pic from Hakodate
I wanted to try to get our family to do an all-inclusive activity, so we all went to a club to play this game called Majority Rules. Essentially, the way the game works is that a question is projected onto the screen and teams send in answers. There are no right or wrong answers; the way you get a point is by being with the majority.
I was wearing my Stanford shirt, and the second I walked into the room, this man came running up to me asking if I graduated from Stanford. When I told him I’m going there in the fall, he got super excited and told me he graduated from Stanford in 1977 and did his bachelors in Psychology and then his Masters in education. He’s currently in retirement but still doing tours in San Francisco around Chinatown as a volunteer. This gave me a taste of how amazing the alumni association must be around the world to have two Stanford students from completely different generations immediately bond. He gave me his alumni email, and I might take a tour from him someday :)
It turned out to be a really fun game, and one I might bring back home. The highlight of the event, though, was the cruise director who was hosting it named Duvaul. He was able to make extremely funny jokes on the spot out of the answers we sent in. It was clear that he was theatre trained because he used his whole body in his storytelling, and his energy filled up the entire room. I had a nice discussion with him afterwards about career planning after college and what options there are for theatre majors, and he gave me some really useful advice about taking even the smaller jobs because any experience means some experience that can help build your resume.
Duvaul also told us that Princess Cruise Lines is the best cruise line to work at because they treat their employees the best. Some cruise lines don’t let the crew eat at the buffet or even walk out on the open decks, making them walk in secret hallways instead. Princess actually opens more areas to crew, and it’s very clear that they are very happy because you see them wandering out on the open decks, taking pictures or sipping drinks from the bars. Happy crew members means excellent service to the guests, and I think that it’s a wonderful strategy on the company’s part.
Right after the game was a Zumba class, so we stuck around to join because I missed dancing. The last time I danced was at Rent callbacks, and I didn’t make it into the show. It was kind of hard to follow the instructor because I couldn’t really see him, but the music he was playing really got my mom and I moving because he was playing Latin American pop! The second he turned on Gloria Estefan, my mom and I just looked at each other and immediately started moving to the music. It was very apparent that the instructor had Latin American roots, so after the class, my mom and I went to talk to him in Spanish (well, she did all the talking while I tripped over my tongue and made a lot of conjugation and vocabulary errors. I understand everything, though!). He told us that he is from Columbia and that he speaks Spanish, Japanese, English, and is trying to learn Chinese.
To add on to the mass of colorful people on this cruise, we met this bartender named Chris from the Philippines. He told us that this is his first cruise on this particular ship, and that this would be his first time in Russia.
I really love connecting with people, and the crew on this ship is no exception. There are so many interesting stories and backgrounds that can be told from these people, and I hope to get to know some of them better as this cruise goes along.