Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Disney Cruise Line Vs. Disney Cultural Rep Program

Edmonton..and snow!

Interview show down time.... My mind is somewhat all over the place currently so bare with me if this seems scattered. I had my Disney Cruise Line interview today and will tell you how it went and all that, and compare it to the Disney CRP interview process.
I found a blog last night that is about vegan food at Disney World... it kind of made me super stoked! It's like a whole new world has opened up ... here's the link. I am not a vegan myself, but a vegetarian ('But Kate, how do you sell steaks then?' 'Easily, I pretend well :) and it doesn't bother me, except when they order rare prime ribs without horseradish sauce...it just looks alive. But besides that we're all good, it's interesting to me actually haha. but that's another post...) For Lent I decided to give up dairy, refined sugar (which I started early on March 1st) and booze (which I actually gave up February 1st so that I could drink in the beginning of April when I go on a trip with my friend Ashley...I figure 40 days is 40 days, it's actually be a bit longer, plus I'm not actually Catholic) SOOO long story short, I'm currently vegan thus a vegan Disney site is superbly interesting! Phew! That was so unnecessarily long winded. I apologize.

I also apologize for those of you who are reading this strictly to see if I have heard news from Kristen yet as to whether we all have CRP jobs or not. I have not heard yet therefore you can stop reading now and check back tomorrow ;) Believe me, when I know, everyone will know!
Yes I am inserting random airplane pictures throughout this blog

So yes, my Disney Cruise Line interview!!

On a side note: I will never sit in a window seat again. My first flight I of course was on the aisle and it was beautiful, and then I decided to try a window because it was close to the front and there weren't any aisles left except for the back. The window was awful. I'm the annoying person on the plane who can't sit still and always has to pee (TMI I know...it's mainly that I just want to walk around) but I always need to get up and move around and I felt soo trapped in the corner on the window. I had two big men beside me and they were sleeping with their legs sprawled apart and were mouth breathing really loudly and forcefully..at me! It was just too much. I know I sound like Howard Hughes or one of those people who can't deal with germs, but it's not true! I love germs, I was just too boxed in. Besides that the travelling went great! My bag appeared right away and I had zero layover in Edmonton, walked off one plane and right into line for the next :)

And it was SOO GREAT seeing Carrie and my cousins and Aunties!! The little girlies are getting so big and chatty and it's so cute. I was trying to do my hair this morning for my interview and found myself asking 4 year old Kira if my hair looked professional enough...she did end up saying I looked nice so that was good. A lot better than what she thought of my Auntie Mary's outfit... hehehe.
Ice Ice baby..do do do do do do do... vanilla ice

So Carrie and I left for the interview just before 8 and I arrived with perfect timing, just as everyone was entering the room. I sat with two girls, Joyce and Erin, and chatted with a girl in front of us as well, Jenny Lee. Joyce was going for merchandise and Erin and Jenny Lee who were both teachers, were going for Youth Activities Counsellors.
Eric, the recruiter from Cast-A-Way was stuck in traffic, but arrived shortly (and I will say was wearing a super nice clothed dress shirt..it was a turquoisey-blue. I was a fan haha) and we all sorted out paperwork and filled in an DCL application. The Disney recruiters weren't in the room at all and never introduced themselves.

Then we watched a video that introduced several positions on the ship from dining room server to engineer to sound technician to youth counsellors to shore excursions and showed around the cast areas of the ship. They talked honestly about what it was like working on the ship, how hard it was, how fun it was and advice for new cast members on homesickness. People started getting interviewed during the film, then when it was over Eric told the rest of us our interview times. Mine was at 12:15pm. Eric then put of a video of the lifeguards who get to live on Castaway Cay, and then about working in the galley. I chatted with the girls sitting around me for a bit until their interview times, and then Eric informed us they were running pretty far behind so my interview wasn't going to be until 2:15!!

It was so crazy actually seeing what was down below!

With this news I messaged Carrie and we met for lunch at Big Fat Burrito!! There are few foods I love more than burritos so it was exciting, however I must say it didn't hold a flame to Chipolte Mexican Grill! The no cheese or sour cream may have had an effect though as well. It was fun though and Carebear loved hers!! Then being the incredibly awesome sister she is, Carrie bought me a soy chai tea latte, and not just from anywhere, from Starbucks!! Which if you know Carrie you know she does not like chains, especially evil ones like Starbucks, and if you know me, you know I LOVE STARBUCKS! It's a dirty secret of mine. High heels, a pencil skirt, a pretty blouse, a blazer - AND Starbucks! I felt like such a power player in the world! It was great! haha. Also it was just super super chilly out and I greatly appreciated the warm drink - Thanks Carrie!!!
I returned to the hotel the interviews were at around 1:30, and it's a good thing I did because they somehow got ahead of schedule, and I was next! While I was waiting in the seats just outside the doors for the interview I also Eric if I was the only person applying for Dining Room Server - and he looked confused at first, then realized he had forgotten I had to write a test! So I had to go back into the waiting room and write a two page test with questions like "What type of grapes are Champagne made from?" and "If beef is wrapped in this and topped with this and this what is it called?" and things like that! It wasn't easy! Apparently I did alright though. Sheesh! Some warning would have been nice!

Then I went in for the actual interview... The interviewers name was Missy and she was from Human Resources. She asked why I wanted to work for the Disney Cruise Line, about my time at Disney World, about what I do in my current job, about my wine knowledge, and if I knew anyone who had done serving on the ship before. I told her I knew people who had started serving and quit, and she asked why I thought I could do it, or why after hearing all the bad stories about it I still wanted to do it. I told her that I had no false pretences of it being anything like when I worked at Disney World except in the service standards, but that I was ready to work extremely hard, think I could learn a lot and gain a lot from the experience, and that I was willing and prepared to have to prove myself so that I wouldn't be labelled as 'just another lazy Canadian or American who was just going to quit' as she so eloquently put it. She asked if I had any questions, told me after they approve you to be hired and you get a medical/background check done, you usually get a start date within 30 days, therefore I would be starting in late May to early July. And I should find out sometime next week! And that was it, I said thanks to Eric, by to the girls I met and left.
My interview outfit...yup, bathroom shot! pure class ;)

So we shall see :) It seemed like Missy was somewhat trying to frighten me, or more make sure I was aware of the realities of the harshness of serving on the ship. She did say I would make good money though :D

Alright so first of all: It's weird to me that Missy's name tag said "Missy: United States" I realize that the cruise ships cast is from all over the world, but country are soo huge, it seems weird saying you are from the entire place. And yes I don't know the name of small random towns in Czechoslovakia or the Philippines or even Eastern Canada, but I don't know, it just seems weird. I remember when I got my first name tag for the CRP and it said "Kate: Canada," I was so upset! Everyone kept asking if I was from the whole country, or if I was a nomad, and things like that and I was sooo excited when I got one that said Courtenay, BC on it.

Now that that is out of the way I'm going to break it down a bit into steps, and then talk about the CRP (Cultural Represenative Program) then DCL (Disney Cruise Line) then my opinions.

The Application Process:

CRP - For the CRP you apply to the recruitment company Yummy Jobs. Their website is usually very up to date and Kristen, the Canadian Recruiter (she herself is American, lives in Michigan) usually responds to emails pretty well. So you fill in an application on their website at the time they say they are accepting applications, send in your resume and wait to hear back. If your application checks out you have a phone interview, usually scheduled through an email before hand. A few weeks later you find out if you get to go to the face to face interview. If you do you are given information about locations, dates, and what to bring with you. The first time I applied the process was overall smoother and all the face to face interview information was available as soon as I was asked to interview. This last time the face to face interview information (location etc) was not known for many weeks after finding out I was invited to the interview. Kristen was helpful though and even when she herself didn't have any information, she emailed to let us know she didn't know, and that as soon as Disney let her know, she would let us know.

DCL - The the DCL you apply to the recruitment company Cast-a-Way Cruise and Resort Hiring Agency. The DCL recruiter's name is Eric and he himself working on the Disney cruise amongst others, at one point. I originally applied to Cast-a-way in the summer and had a phone interview in August. I was invited to the face to face interview in September and sent an informational email with the location, time, and a bunch of paperwork I had to fill out. Then Eric emailed a few days later and said that there was a problem with my rehire status! This freaked me out (obviously!!) and I called and emailed all my old managers from Disney to find out what happened. It turns out there was another Kate Armstrong at Disney around the same time who has a restricted status, however when he put in Kathryn Armstrong and Epcot/Le Cellier I could be hired again. I ended up not being able to go to the interviews and Eric said it was totally fine and I could attend the interviews in February/March (aka now!). I waited until January to email Eric asking if there were any dates or information about the Spring interviews and he said not yet but he would keep me posted. By mid February I emailed again because the dates were posted on the Cast-a-Way website. Eric emailed back asking for my resume. I was a bit surprised but emailed it to him. Then got no response. So I emailed again, and he again asked for my resume. I sent it again, with a bit of an outline of how I'd already had a phone interview etc reminding him who I was, and got a form email back saying 'they would contact me if I had any of the qualifications they were looking for.' This freaked me out as I had ALREADY BOOKED MY FLIGHTS TO TORONTO! Yup, the secrets out (sorry Mum and Dad!) but there was a seat sale, he has already previously told me I was invited to the interviews, and I wasn't expecting such a run around, and had booked my flights around the dates posted on the website. So when Eric started emailing as if he didn't know who I was, and that he had already invited me to the interview it freaked me out. I emailed again telling him who I was, reminding him, and he said responded saying he couldn't book me for an interview because I had restricted rehire status! I couldn't believe it! So I had to reply reminding him/telling him about the situation in September and how we'd already figured it all out, and then he booked a phone interview for me last Thursday (which I missed because my phone was on silent...I'm a mess) and then rescheduled it and had it on Friday and got invited to the face to face interview again - thank goodness!!
Note: I would not advise assuming you are going to get an interview. I did and it worked out because he had already told me I could go before so I thought it was a given...led to high stress levels until it was all worked out :)

The Goods:

The CRP application process was a lot smoother. Although it is much more drawn out, it is also much more organized. Waiting drives you crazy, but not having a clue what is going on and having to be repetitive is worse. Cast-a-way use to do the hiring for the CRP as well, and from what I've heard from friends who went through Cast-a-way it was messy then as well. I will say that Cast-a-way deals with hiring for a lot of other companies as well and I think doesn't have a large staff, but then again Yummy Jobs does a lot of other programs as well, I'm not sure how many people work for Yummy in the UK, or if Kristen is alone in Michigan for that matter...
CRP - 1 DCL - 0

The Face to Face Interview:

CRP - This was such an exciting day!! My first time through the Disney recruiter was Roger and when we arrived he was playing Mary Poppins music while he set up and it just made my insides SO EXCITED! The presentation was a power point with a mix of slides and video with an overly peppy girl named Valerie. It went over all the major facts of the program and I was so jazzed up and pumped to go after I saw it. I couldn't stop smiling! They also did Disney trivia with prizes! Then we were given our interview times and mine was pretty much right away, so I interviewed then left. This last time I had a face to face the Disney recruiter was Jeni and she was so full of energy. Her presentation included the same Valerie videos, but there were two different programs interviewing so she had slides and program information for both. Watching her presentation made me feel so ready to hop on a plane and do it all right then and there! I wanted to share Disney with the world and interview right away - however I was nearly last! When it was my turn Jeni seemed just as energetic as she was in the morning.

DCL - I recounted most of the face to face already in this post. I thought it was weird that Eric ran the presentation and the Disney recruiters didn't even introduce themselves. I don't have a clue what the other interviewers name was. It felt very unmagical. I know we are going on the ship to work and work hard, but it is still Disney... I thought there would be some kind of excitement or something?

The Goods:

It's kind of clear who this is going to...the CRP interviews were an event in themselves. The DCL interviews were a day I just wanted to be over. The people I met were nice, but it just had a really somber we're here because we have to be mood. Eric kept lipping (dissing...making fun of) the video because he's been watching it since 2003, and yah, it was just not the best experience.
CRP - 2 DCL - 0


CRP - They told us we have to wait 3-4 weeks to find out.

DCL - They told us we will find out next week.

The Goods:

DCL takes the cake!

CRP - 2 DCL - 1

Overall I would interview for the CRP over and over and over again, and maybe even be a Recruiter someday if I could. I don't think I'll ever interview for DCL again, but you should never say never .... right JB? ;)


kim said...

i like your interview outfit photo! tres hire-worthy!!

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