Trip Disaster

Hey Wanderers

So my trip back to Florida has been eventful and stressful couple of days. 

On May 20th I was up at 3am to have breakfast and coffee, finish packing and say goodbye to my grandfather. My dad and I drove out to the airport where I checked in for my 3 flights which would take me to Orlando, FL.

Everything was pretty smooth that morning, dad and I had coffee at the airport and then I headed on through security to pick up bottle of water and find my gate. My dad headed off to work. My first flight of the day was Auckland to Sydney 7:35am NZ time landing at 9:30am AUS time. 

We landed in Sydney and I got through transit customs in record time. I checked the flight boards and saw that my Sydney to Dallas was scheduled for a 1:00pm. I ended up at McDonalds as it was really the only thing worth eating at 10am and there was strong free Wi-Fi. I stayed there until 12:15 when I picked up a bottle of water and some jols and headed to my gate. I had been there no more than 15 minutes when an announcement came across that there was a problem with the plane and there was currently a 2 hour delay to our service. The staff were very nice and issued everyone a $20 food voucher for the delay. 

2 hours later however they announced that the challenge was still being fixed and we were now “hoping” that the flight would be ready by 4pm. no compensation was offered at this time.  

Around 3:30pm the captain announced that the flight would “hopefully” be on time for a 6pm departure and boarding should commence at 5:30pm. By this time I was getting super ancy and annoyed. This was only flight 2 of my trip and I had now missed my connection due to the delay. I talked to the attendant at the counter who advised that at this point we may have to overnight in Sydney if they can’t fix it by 6pm. 

So I email DCL and let them know what’s happening just in case. But fortunately we boarded the plane in record time at 5:30pm and were in the air by 7pm. the flight was smooth and the crew were amazing. I enjoy flying Qantas long haul as they feed you a lot you get 2 meals as well as alcohol and ice creams. 

We landed in Dallas at 6:30pm USA time, as I exited I was handed a new connection ticket for an 8:15pm flight. I headed straight to the passport control desk and was in line for 1.5 hours as they had only 4 people on and 2 huge international flights had landed at the same time. Eventually they started to move us to different lines to try and get us through faster. 

After passport control I ran to customs picked up my bags cleared them and re checked them (read as: threw them to the luggage guys shouted Orlando and took off running to security). After security I had to catch a tram from terminal D to terminal A. I made it to the gate as they were calling for boarding. I had no time to grab any food or any water and internal American flights you have to buy everything if you want it. In frantically updating Facebook and texting my parents to say I made it to Dallas and heading straight to Orlando. We land in Orlando right on midnight. So three flights and a 6 hour delay and its only just changing days. Yay time zones!!!

Once in Orlando I head to pick up my luggage which surprise surprise isn’t there. So I head over to the counter and log a lost luggage form. They say it’s on the first flight from Dallas in the morning and I’ll get the next afternoon at the hotel. 

I then call for a pick up from the hotel but get lost trying to find the pickup point and end up asking my friend to pick me up some food and then me and take me to the hotel. 

The Next Day

The next day I wake up super sick. I am violently ill for the entire day. I drag my ass out of bed and my friend takes me out to Walgreens and me down some Pepto-Bismol on the way to Walmart. That’s where I hit rock bottom. I throw up in Walmart. After which we checked out and headed back to the hotel where I contacted DCL medical and was given an extra 3 days at the hotel to recover before joining the dream on Monday. 

All in all one of the worst travel stories I’ve had yet. 

 

Bye for now

Xx

Vacation!!!

Hey Wanderers

My First Official Contract with Disney Cruise Line finished on March 30th 2015. I had extended my contract by 3 days so that  could stop working on a Castaway Cay day, which means I boarded the dream in a foreign port and re-board the dream on my tourist visa instead of my work visa.

I did this as one of my on-board friends and I went on a 1 week vacation to Orlando/ Disney world!!!!!!!

Cue 1 week of shopping and seeing friends and eating!!!

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We caught up with some friends, we shopped and slept and tanned at Mickeys Retreat. It was a great end to a contract.

After Orlando I flew home to New Zealand where I spent a wonderful 10 days seeing friends and catching up on sleep and snuggling my favourite animal.

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I then flew to Australia to visit my friend from the college program, we were proper tourists we visited museums and art galleries. Walked through botanical gardens. Drove to the gold coast and of course bummed around at home.

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After Australia I flew home and visited my mum who has a new favourite animal as unfortunately Mary Jane had to be put down in March.

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RIP Mary Jane

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Welcome Lily

I had 7 weeks’ vacation all up. I finished up my time at home spending as much time as I could with friends and family, doing driving lessons and slowly packing my bags and counting down the days till I flew back to Florida.

Bye for Now

Xx

Flying to America 2014

So I began my trip at 2am on Mondays the 27th of October. We had to ER up early so I could finish packing and coffee before leaving the house at 3:45am to get to the airport by 5am.

Said my goodbyes to my grandfather and my cat and then we were on our way. We got to the airport super early cos surprise! There is no traffic at 4 am. So we decided to have a McDonald’s breakfast a wee waited for check in to open.

Once it opened I went to check my bag and get my boarding passed for my 3 flights of the day. It took a while because she was really interested in what I do and why I was going. I also had a question about luggage that wasn’t easily answered. My question was on my itinerary it said baggage limit: 4 pieces. And that was it no actual information on weight or size also there no helpful information on the help pages. Tash had to ring 2 different places to find out and the answer that came back was it is 4 pieces of 23kgs each!!!! Holy crap that’s a lot of luggage. I checked one bag that weighed a grand total of 16kgs.

After checking we headed up stairs to get coffee and spend my last 2 hours in the gateway lounge. It was really tough leaving my dad but I found it a whole lot easier than last time when my best friends and family were there. Besides I knew I’d be back in April so it’s not like in going forever.

I bought a magazine, a bottle of water and for some money changed in to Australian dollars and some into American, I used the notes in my wallet making the most of my immediate resources. I boarded the plane to Sydney and it was tiny I felt like I had no space in my seat, I was also seated next to a giant man who took up all the room without trying. The flight took 3 hours or so. I think we landed a little late. I then had to go through transfer security where they made me throw out my water. I then spent the next 4 hours wandering through the airport, I found an Asian noodle place for lunch which was delicious and I felt much better after that. But the free Wi-Fi refused to work on my phone which sucked

The plane was late leaving Sydney. It was a 14 hour flight to Dallas, Texas. It was actually a really nice flight I enjoyed the food and the staff were friendly, it was just way to long. Speaking haha of food there was a tonne of it haha with dinner which was a honey chicken salad and fruit bowl I had a Bloody Mary and then a vodka ginger beer. In the middle of the night we got ice cream and sliders. And then scrambled eggs and beans for breakfast. They also had a serve yourself snack station as well.

We arrived late into Dallas, where I had to go through customs, passport control and bag pick up and re check. Then back through security and then find out I was in the wrong terminal all while my flight was boarding. After running through the airport for half an hour I finally get to the desk to discover my flight has already left and I had been rebooked on to a 7pm flight. So I spent 4 hours in Dallas, sitting in TGI Fridays drinking cocktails till I felt better about life.

This last flight was killer. I was so over flying g and being cramped in tiny planes. Luckily this flight was only three hours but it seemed to drag on forever. Once I got to Orlando I picked up my bag and wound my way to the Disney ground transportation and caught a Disney magical express to pop century.

Once I arrived at Pop I discovered once again the frustration of knowing how to do that persons job better than them but not being able to. So I went up to my room and met my roommate. Larissa 50 years Old Russian from Australia. She will be in merchandise on board the Dream.

And so ended my long Monday I left New Zealand at 8 am on the 27th and arrived 35 hours later I arrived in Orlando Florida 10pm on the 27th of October.

 

My Hairy Journey

So if you have been following my process you all know that recently I dyed my hair purple and it was amazing!

Purple hurr dont curr

However since I got the call to arms from Disney Cruise Line I have been battling the purple to get back to a natural colour. After I came back from Walt Disney World I was really broke. It is thanks to my wonderful father that I have been able to afford anything. I have been living on his good graces since I got home. Because of this scenario I have been trying to fix my hair myself as cheaply as possible.

So let’s take a walk down my extra fun crazy hair experiments.

Step One:

Bleach and dye hair purple using SPLAT! Hair dye in Lusty Lavender and Purple Desire.

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Step Two:

Live it up large with purple hair, rock it like it’s the most awesome thing you’ve ever done because you love it.

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Step Three:

Get a call from dream employer regarding position. Accept position realise purple hair not acceptable. Cry, cry a lot.

Step Four:

Put on your big girl pants and do all the web searches and watch all the YouTube videos about hair colour removal a home.

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Step Five:

Mistakenly listen to your father and try to bleach the colour out??

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Step Six:

Realise this doesn’t work. Research how to remove pink hair!!!

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Step Seven:

Try dying your hair a dark brown.

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Step Eight:

Discover it wasn’t dark brown.

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Step Nine:

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Try vitamin C hair caps and other homemade solutions

  • Baking soda and vinegar
  • Baking soda, crushed vit C tabs, dish soap
  • Anti-dandruff shampoo
  • Baking soda, crushed vit c, shampoo, dish soap,
  • Sterilising solution

Step Ten:

Try dying hair a mahogany brown to mellow out the red.

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Step eleven:

Notice how dry and sad looking hair is

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Step twelve:

Pay a professional to fix your mistakes.

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Step Thirteen:

Love your new Disney approved hair colour!

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So what is the moral of this story??? Pay a professional??? Don’t dye your hair crazy colours???

Nahhhhhh

Be yourself and persevere through it all!

Flights, Flights, Flights

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So I finally got my flight details and my sign on paper work!

I now know for sure when I am arriving in Orlando!!!!

However before we all celebrate and throw our sassy hats in the air, I have some details about my flights you may all be interested in.

The Dream Flights:

October 27th

2am – wake up, breakfast, finish packing, freak-out. ETC.

4am – Leave for the airport, cue dad complaining about it being “the middle of the night” and “do you really have to leave?”

5:15am – check in for my first of many flights in one 24 hours period

8:15am – depart Auckland City for Sydney

Spend 3 hours on a plane

9:45am – Arrive in Sydney

Spend 4.5 hours at Sydney airport

2:25pm – depart Sydney for Dallas, Texas.

Spend 18 hours on a plane

1:45pm arrive in Dallas, Texas

(At this point I would like to note that it will still be the 27th of October)

3:25pm – depart Dallas for my final destination of the day ORLANDO, FLORIDA!

7:00pm – arrive in Orlando, be sick of planes. B excited for friends and Disney!!

7:30pm – catch a bus to Walt Disney World pop century resort!!!

8:30pm – meet roommate! Hope like hell my friends love me and are coming to visit, also txt mum and dad let them know I’m alive!!!

October 28th

As far as I am aware I should have this day off (Food and wine any one???)

October 29th

Contract signing and schedule review

October 30th

Disney Cruise Line traditions and training

October 31st

4:30am – roll outta bed and check hotel room for items that belong to self

5:00am – get on the bus for the Dream.

(Side note if you miss this bus you have to get yourself to the port at your own cost)

11am – begin living the Dream!!!

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So now there are only 9 DAYS TO GO. I have to get my A in G quick fast.

To Do List:

  • Buy black flats (Sunday!!!!!)
  • Buy white socks
  • Get my hair cut and coloured ……….. Professionally (Tuesday!!!)
  • Pack my bags
  • Get my “original medical papers” back from the doctors
  • Have a margarita filled leaving dinner!!!!!!! (Friday!!!)

I’ll put up a packing list for you guys soonish….. Once I’ve finished deciding what I’m actually taking!

Visa Funtimes

So as you know last month I applied for and received the C1/D visa which is a transient visa / seaman visa for working on board cruise ships. Once I received this I though bam! I’m so in! time to start planning my vacation at the end of my first six month contract with the Disney Dream. However when u sent an email to the casting assistants asking for my travel dates and asking about how I would organise my return flights as I would love to spend a week at Disney World and a week traveling the states, they said I would need a different visa.

A DIFFERENT VISA!!!!! Are you kidding me?????

So I did some research and it turns out I needed to get the B1/2 visa at the same time. If I had applied for it at the same time it wouldn’t have cost me any extra either. But because I didn’t I had to cough up another $192 NZD to pay for the visa. Unfortunately it’s not really an option to not get it as I want to visit my friends in the states before coming home. So on Thursday morning I quickly filled in the required ds-160 and made an appointment for Wednesday the 15th of October. Now I have been through this process 3 times already. In 2009 I applied for and received a j1 visa for camp America. In 2013 I applied for the j1 visa for Walt Disney world and then again in 2014 I applied for a c1/d visa.

So I’m pretty smooth at filling in all the required information and making the appointment. This morning the only paperwork I needed was my confirmation of employment, confirmation of appointment and my ds160. When I went in there was no one in line but most of the seats in the interview waiting area was full. Now they only have 2 people conducting the interviews. So it took around an hour to get from paperwork to interview stage. They said that the employment paper made it really easy to approve the visa, as it proves income. The only questions I was asked this time around were “Are you ready for your holiday?” And “What did you do on your last visa?” And then he approved my visa for ten years!!!!!!

So even though it did cost (my dad) an extra $200 it is well worth it. However learn from my mistakes and apply all together 🙂 So now I’m looking at Contiki tours as I would love to travel a bit of the great US of A before heading back to glorious New Zealand.

Here’s a few tips about the B1/B2 visa I found useful;

  • B1 is the business part.
  • B2 is the tourism part.
  • The length of time you can stay in the USA for is 6 months at a time on the B2, but is subject to a case by case basis decided by your immigration/customs officer.
  • My visa is good for 10 years (!!!) but they can be issued for as little as 6 months. Though word on the web is that on second application you would then be issued with a 10 year one.
  • There is to be no working while on this visa. This is why I have combined mine with the c1/d
  • You do not need a certain amount of money in the bank to apply, but I was told that my employment papers made it easier to get as it made me financially stable.

Have any suggestions on what tours I should do? Leave me a comment below!!!

Story Time

All right my children it is story time

As you all know I have been working my way through the DCL recruitment plan since early august and it is now early September. The fun parts that stick out the most have been not getting the forms that are apparently time sensitive and necessary on time.

I have another chapter to add to that today ……YAY!

I recently go in touch with another lucky, wonderful Disney bound crew member who will also be joining me and countless other on board the Disney dream. Woot for making friends. However through our chat I discovered that she already had her flight information?!? I was quite shocked how did she get hers when I didn’t have mine? So as we were talking about it I email the dcl casting assistants to enquire when I could expect my flight details and they kindly informed me that they were waiting for me to complete a form……. Sigh….. Yet another form I hadn’t actually been provided.

So now I’m checking no on the boxes asking me if I have been to any countries with Ebola and signing and sending the form through to DCL and waiting hopefully, tentatively that at last I will receive my flight details soon!!!

Also a word of warning for all those getting a C1/D visa, at the same time you are applying make sure you get the B1/2 as well it doesn’t cost any extra and allows you to spend some time at the end of your contract travelling the united states before you fly home.

Only a short one today my lovelies

Xoxox

Nutmeg