I get a lot of questions from family, friends, and strangers about what I actually do on these ships that I work on. It’s a good question because I have quite a few roles when I’m on board the Sea Bird, Sea Lion and most recently, the Quest. Each day is different, so there is no straight answer, but here’s a general outline of my day:
600 Wake up
615-700 Coffee and personal time, usually checking email or writing
700-730 Teach a light stretch class on the sun deck
730-830 Breakfast and meeting with the expedition leader and other staff to go over the day and assign roles (hiking leaders, kayaking help, zodiac drivers, etc…)
830-1200 Morning operations:
– If we’re cruising and looking for wildlife I might be out on deck or in the spa giving massages
– If we’re hiking I might be leading a long, aerobic hike or joining a naturalist on the trail
– If we’re kayaking I might be on the kayak beach helping people in and out of kayaks and/or in a kayak or SUP board myself
– If we’re doing Zodiac cruises I might be in a Zodiac or back on board giving massages
1330-1700 Afternoon operations (same as morning operations)
1700-1800 Personal time or massages
1800-1900 Cocktail hour and recap in the lounge. Staff give mini presentations about what we saw that day
1900-2030 Dinner with the guests or out in the lounge
2030-2130 After dinner presentation of some sort or bedtime!
2130 Definitely bedtime
That’s pretty much the structure of a typical day when I’m on the ship! Morning and afternoon operations can vary wildly, so I could be doing all sorts of different things depending on where we are, what the weather is like, how active our guests are, etc…. I love that my role as a Wellness Specialist includes on shore responsibilities like leading hikes, stand up paddle boarding and/or kayaking with the guests. If I had to just do massage all day I would go crazy. For real. But my days are broken up and provide enough variety that I rarely get bored or tired of the same itinerary. I also have free reign on the number of massage treatments I offer during a week. Sometimes we’re super busy and I only have time for 4-5 and other weeks are slower so I can fit more in.
Even when we have a plan, though, that plan can change in a minute if we see wildlife. Scheduling massages can be tricky, then, because whales or dolphins can show up whenever, wherever and I don’t want anyone to miss a great sighting. I have yet to have someone jump up off the table and run to the bow of the ship in a bathrobe though :-p
* As a side note, you probably noticed that I wrote the times in military time and that’s because we use military time on the ship. It was a bit of an adjustment getting used to, but now my brain can easily switch between the two.