Every young child has a dream. To be a firefighter or a police officer, to go to space, or to be a professional athlete. These childhood dreams are so innocent and beautiful at heart, full love love and compassion for others and the world we live in.
But like many things in life, we outgrow them.
We become tied up in the changing world of pop culture, our family and friends have such a profound influence on us when we grow up, and we face the stark reality that is everyday life. No longer can we dream of fantasies and achieve our childhood dreams.
I had a childhood dream, well, I still do.
But I wasn’t like the rest of the kids my age, oh no, I didn’t care for dreaming of becoming a firefighter or police officer, nor an athlete or a space cadet, but rather I wanted to be a cruise ship captain when I was a kid.
I was fortunate enough to be born into a family that promoted travel and instilled in me the wonders that have shaped how people live, how cultures thrive, and how special humanity truly is. I was just three years old at the time when I went on my first cruise with Princess Cruises. It was an experience that I can only remember certain parts of, but when I look back at the photos I can still hear the ocean, feel the warm breeze, and smell the selection of food. Every year since 2003 our little family would take a cruise to a new place, and as I looked out into the world, I found my childhood dream, becoming a cruise ship captain.
I just loved the beauty of cruising. Being on the ocean, close to nature, visiting some of the most beautiful and calmest places in the world. And of course, who wouldn’t want to travel on a cruise ship? Where the journey was the destination.
I was maybe five or six years old when I wanted to be a cruise ship captain. By gosh, I viewed it as the best job ever. Being able to set sail to some of the most beautiful places around the world all while helping people have the time of their lives as they made memories, connected with loved ones, and enjoyed everything the world had to offer.
Thank goodness I had a charming personality as a kid because I was truly out there on my own island of childhood dreams.
There was no other kid that wanted to be a cruise ship captain, nope, no way. I was all on my own, and I held my ground on that dream for a long time.
But then I started to grow up.
As I grew older to 10 years old and then suddenly on to 14 years old I began outgrowing my childhood dream of wanting to become a cruise ship captain. But I still wanted to work for Princess Cruises. I had realized how impactful the cruise line was while I was growing up. Some of my favorite memories as a kid were on cruises, and I know they will last for a lifetime.
I bounced around from a cruise ship captain to an engineer, to a photographer, to itinerary planning, and finally managed to land on marketing.
Now, at the age of 19, I still dream of working for Princess Cruises, 16 years later. I have spent almost entire life doing my best in school to get good grades, trying my hardest to be a good example of a person, and learning as much as I possibly could about the Princess Cruises brand. For 16 years, I have been working towards achieving my childhood dream, working for Princess Cruises.
On Wednesday, March 20, 2019 I got the call.
I was on Spring Break and spending the day exploring at the Santa Monica Pier when a Princess Cruises Human Resources Representative called to tell me that I would be starting my first-ever internship with Princess Cruises in the summer.
Was I excited? Um, hell yeah!
Tears of joy ran down my face for days on end. I was the happiest kid in the entire world. Finally, after 16 years, my childhood dream starts to come true.
Fast forward to Monday, June 10, 2019. It was Day 1.
I walked through Princess Cruises’ international headquarters for the first time as an intern, and I absolutely fell in love. Everything about Princess that I remembered as a kid all came rushing back. Strangely enough, it instantly felt like home. From the wall murals of the unique service at sea, to the ocean themed carpet, and the garden of cubicles and meeting rooms.
It was everything I wanted and more. 5-year-old Danny Diaz would’ve loved this, so much.
While I push forward in my professional development with Princess Cruises and look forward to all that is possible within the cruise line, I also look back at some of my fondest memories, of my childhood with Princess Cruises, of home.
To date I have spent sixteen years with Princess Cruises, been on twenty five cruises with them, and have spent almost a full year of my life growing up on ships around the world.
This blog, “I’m A Princess” is a platform for my stories of growing up with Princess Cruises. After all the traveling I have done with Princess Cruises and how much I know about the company, I’m practically a verified Princess as this point.
I want to write about what I learned, what I saw, how I felt. The way cruising has shaped my life is astonishing now that I look back on all the years, but it is a story worth sharing, because everyone should see the world, meet new people, and discover new things. And maybe, just maybe along the way, I’ll meet a few more princesses.