“Washy Washy, Happy Happy”

January 22, 2018

I learned a valuable life lesson: Don’t brag too much about what you have in your first aid kit because you just may have to use it. I woke up the first morning on the cruise with a nasty sinus infection so I had a crack into the Mexican meds.

Pounding headache as I headed down to my make-shift hospitality desk in the ship’s lounge, in between the Guest Services and Excursion desks because my company didn’t reserve a room for their cruise host to sit and answer questions. So, I talked to people, listened to our guests complain about how choppy the water was on the Great Barrier Reef excursion before the cruise, she described in great detail the volumous vomiting, as I kept glancing over at the sushi roll demonstration happening 30 feet in front of me. Apparently, “Japanese hand lotion” is spicy mayo and Green Playdough is wasabi. Did not know that.

One of the things I really love about my job is how you really get to know people in great detail. Being a “cruise host” is different than being a Tour Director in many ways. On a ship you don’t see your guests too often because they are off having fun, hopefully. Some hang out in their cabin and have an afternoon nap, hit the casino and smoke their life away at the penny slots, gorge on the neverending buffet or lurk around the ice cream machine waiting for another soft serve cone. This particular cruise I don’t have to organize any shore excursions so I can get off the ship in port and play as well. When a Cruise Host does have to organize optionals, there is a lot that needs to be done with the ship’s group coordinator in order to keep our guests together as we exit the ship, not to mention coordinating with the ground staff to make sure the guides and coaches are at the dock.

When you are a Tour Director, on say a 14-day bus tour of the National Parks, you get to know everything about your guests. All the Nitty Gritty details, all of their quirks, how many grandkids they have, what did they do for a living, which one is the jokester with the dirty tales? It’s fantastic!

Tonight, there was a couple that sat with me for almost an hour and a half just shootin’ the bull about all the places we had all traveled. What were our favourite countries, favourite cities, favourite foods, etc. They were well traveled, what I like to call a “good traveler” because their complaints were not about the little things like not enough handtowels, but how people are treated by staff and vice versa.

After they left, I closed up shop and headed up to deck 12 for dinner and luckily they had some chicken noodle soup that I added rice to because I can’t taste anything. When there is a fresh crepe with nuttella being smeared all over it and I have no interest, I must be sick.

Any time you enter a dining room on a ship, there is someone standing at the threshold with a spray bottle of alcohol greeting you with “Washy! Washy! Happy! Happy!” As they douse your hands, sometimes wrists or just everything if they aren’t paying attention. Thank God, because I hope to never deal with the onset of Norovirus. I will hide in my cabin and eat crayons to survive until we get off that ship. Wash your hands people! Washy Washy! Happy! Happy!

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