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.

 

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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

disney cruise: Day 1 embarkation

May 17th

Saturday dawned bright and early suprisingly enough as i had spent an amazingly long night at a Cher concert.

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Flying Cher

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cher was amazing, it was my first concert and i had the best time.

DISNEY FANTASY

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saturday consisted of last minute getting ready which took a lot longer than i wanted so i was getting pretty grumpy by the time we finally met up with Michael and got on the way to the port.

once we arrived at port canaveral we got all of our stuff  out of the van, and christopher had his big suitcase sent to the room because its wheels were broken and it was  full size suitcase. the rest of us (katherine, micheal, and I) gather our stuff and went through security and up into th line to check into our 7 day cruise!

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I have been waiting for this day for years/months! and finally we were there, checking in to our adjoining staterooms on the Disney Fantasy for a 7 day eastern caribbean cruise. nothing but luxury and disney trivia ahead of e for days and days.

After arriving in the stateroom and getting our selves sorted with our new quarters:

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After getting ourelves situated we started to roam around the ship that we would call home for a week.

We stopped by Cabanas on the 11th deck which we discovered has an amazing seafood buffett which we all stuffed ourselves with.

We then explored the ship for a few hours till it was time to pretty ourselves up for dinner at palo.

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lobster Ravioli

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Lamb Shank

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gnocchi and marscapone soup

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Chocolate Souffle

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we gorged outselves on plates and plates of rich and delicious food for over 2 hours. the somalier talked us into buying 2 bottles of wine for the table, and our server plied me with as much prosciutto as my heart desired.

we had planned an evening of fun and roaming the ship after dinner but i had started to feel ill and mostly food coma, so we all went to bed to sleep off the amazing food we had all eaten.

 

that ends day one of  my disney cruise

TTFN

Nutmeg

 

Applying and the Interview

Hello!

This blog is going to be about applying for the IDCP. Woot..

So I first heard about this opportunity at my university in my first year of study.

 Back ground information:

I am 22 years old and I live in New Zealand. I studied at Otago University at the bottom of the South Island. I started out studying a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies with a minor in Hospitality. I then changed in my second year to a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Tourism. Then in my third year I dropped the honours course as I just wanted to go and travel and not spend 4 years at university.

 All these changes sure were fun, changing from arts to commerce meant I now got to do all the “fun” math papers I had been avoiding. *sigh*

 But I graduated in 2012 with my Bachelor of Commerce and couldn’t be happier. (Well sort of)

Back to the topic at hand:

So I discovered the IDCP in 2010 through my tourism department at university. It sounded fairly easy to get into and sounded like it encompassed all sorts of awesomeness.

Here is the link if you want to check it out for yourself. -> https://www.disneyinternationalprograms.com/icp.html

The requirements are pretty easy:

To qualify candidates must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age

  • Be a citizen of Australia, New Zealand and/or the United States of America.

  • Be a current student at an accredited post-secondary university or at a tertiary-level accredited educational (TAFE)/Polytechnic institution and have completed at the first full year of study prior to application.Recent graduates of a university or TAFE/Polytechnic may also apply but must start work at Walt Disney World Resort within 12 months of their graduation date.

    •  Please note you may not defer the semester prior to your arrival
  • Per Visa regulations, you may not study via correspondence

The requirements vary depending on your home country and whether they recruit there.

So I decided to wait until I had graduated or almost graduated to apply as I love to travel and probably wouldn’t have come home again to finish my degree.

So during my three years of uni I became pretty obsessed with the program. I discovered that Jeni (our Australia/New Zealand recruiter) visited my university twice a year and also occasionally guest lectured while she was around. She also did 2 presentations per visit.

Suffice it to say I got to know Jeni really well as I went to every presentation and crashed every lecture she gave.

By the time I applied, she was as excited as I was that I was finally applying. 😛

So during my third and final year of uni, around September my turn finally arrived. I filled in the online application (except for the work history section as it has a well known glitch) printed it off and signed it. I also filled in a sheet with my choices for roles, signified whether I wanted a 6 month or a 12 month role, got a copy of my passport, and filled in my Resume and a cover letter.

I dyed my hair brown ( which didn’t work properly, I have so many colour running through my hair that it was more purple than brown L)  took out all my ear piercings except for the 2 designated by the Disney look and organised an appointment time.

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You must be interviewed for this program either in person or via Skype.

I was nervous about this for the whole year before I applied.

Jeni was lovely she was just as excited as I was to be applying.

She asked me basic things like what my favourite Disney movie was what hometown I would like on my name badge. However since I had gotten to known Jeni over the years she didn’t ask me as many things as she did to a few others.

She also asked what my preferred choice would be and the length of the program I would like as well.

At the end of my interview she told me not to stress and that I would hear back within 2 weeks.

And so the waiting began…..

Tips…..
  • Be friendly, Open and Honest
  • Research the Disney look and dress as if it’s for a job interview (which it is)
  • Be as flexible as possible when choosing roles, the more you pick the more they can offer you, (they cannot offer you a role which you haven’t selected)
  • Make sure you have all your paper work, and be 15mins early to your appointment.

All in all I highly recommend that you apply for this opportunity, so far it has been the best experience and I haven’t even gotten there yet J

All the best