Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Dive into the Life of an Aqua Captain on Allure of the Seas

My name is Nicholas James Thomas McMahon, and I am the Aqua Captain of the Aqua cast onboard Allure of the Seas.   While growing up my interest in the sport of diving grew every summer that I spent at our local pool in Cincinnati, Ohio.  My dad dived in college and was very successful (at one point ranked 22nd in the NCAA).  

My interest for diving grew and I began taking lessons.  I started competitive club diving around age 12, dove all through high school and earned a scholarship to dive at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.  As a NCAA Division I athlete, I dove for 4 years and was a two time NCAA Zone qualifier.  I enjoyed living in Florida and having a diving scholarship made me very happy.

An Oasis Class Aqua Theater

Since I was very young I was extremely curious about the ocean and the life teeming within it.  For 4.5 years, I studied Marine Biology at FAU and graduated in December 2008 with a B.S. degree in Marine Biology.  So on top of diving in Florida, I was able to study my favorite subject and learn about the ocean first hand!  I am very fortunate to have such an amazing college experience.  After college I found a job working in the Florida Keys as a Marine Science Instructor, and stayed there for one year before boarding Allure

Competitive diving at the university level takes place on 1 and 3 meter springboards, and also on a 10 meter platform.  The three levels we have in our aqua shows, “Ocean Aria” and “Let You Entertain Me”, are a 3 meter springboard, and a 10 and 17 meter platform.  All of the divers in our cast dive from the 3m springboard, and the 10m platform. However, only our two featured high divers can dive from the 17m high dive.

Before each Ocean Aria performance, we have a half hour warm up period where the lifts and boards are down so we can do a few dives.  At 8 o’clock the stage staff presets the props underwater, so we have to get out of the pool.  After this we have an hour to stretch and warm up until the show starts at 9:00 PM.  In between shows we usually grab a bite to eat, and if necessary, fix any problems that occurred in the first show.  During the course of a regular week, we have two “Ocean Aria” performances on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and two “Let You Entertain Me” shows on Saturday. 

However this is not where the fun ends for us; we have many other jobs throughout the week to keep us busy.  We spotlight and dress two to three ice shows weekly, as well as spotlight one Blue Planet performance.  We also, are in the DreamWorks parade twice a week.  On day three of every cruise, we have an “Open Dive” session, where we are required to come to the aqua theater and practice our dives for the show, learn new dives, or do diving drills to keep our skills top notch.  As performers, we are expected to stay in peak physical shape for our shows.  We are required to workout a minimum of five days a week for at least one hour at a time.

The Aqua Theater onboard Allure

 However, ask any diver on the aqua cast what their favorite day of the week is, any the answer will NEVER be Saturday.  This is the day where we do at least 1 of each of the things I just mentioned above, back to back to back, etc.  So here is the typical Saturday of not only a diver from the Aqua Cast onboard Allure of the Seas, but more specifically a Saturday as the Aqua Captain . . .

• 9:15 am  Workout (sometimes)

• 10:30 am  Breakfast

• 11:00 am  Cast Call for Let You Entertain Me
• Warm up, put on make-up, preset costumes for the show

• 12:00 & 1:30 pm “Let You Entertain Me” Aqua Show Performance

• 2:15 pm  Grab a bite to eat for lunch and go to room to change

• 2:45 pm  Call time: Spotlight or Dress the 3 pm Ice Games ice show

• 4:45 pm  Call time: Spotlight 5 pm Blue Planet performance

• 6:05 pm  Put finishing touches on next week’s schedule, finish weekly report of aqua shows, and prepare notes for the cast

• 7:30 pm  Meet in Amber theater for Call time: 7:45 DreamWorks Move it Move it! Parade
• Get in costume

• 8:30 pm  Dinner, check email, print schedules

• 9:00 pm  Meet in Aqua Theater with the entire cast of Ocean Aria
• Give notes on timing, placement, aerial numbers and any issues with the show to the cast

• 9:30 pm  Technical Run of Ocean Aria: A full run of the show, not in costume, to make sure all technical aspects of the show are safe and running smoothly for the following week of shows. 

• 10:30 pm  RELAX.  Maybe get on the internet to catch up on life at home, and connect with family in Cincinnati

I think back on all of those summers growing up, watching my Dad get up on the boards at our local swimming pool.  I never imagined that my growing passion for diving would help secure a college scholarship, lead to a position as a Marine Science Instructor and then allow me to perform on this magnificent ship.

17 responses to:
“Dive into the Life of an Aqua Captain on Allure of the Seas”

  1. Pingback: Dive into the Life of an Aqua Captain on Allure of the Seas | The Escape Artists Blog

  2. jackie

    We were just on Allure of the Seas in November and saw all the wonderful and talented performers of the Aqua show and other shows on board. You can certainly tell that they are very well rehearsed and dedicated to what they do.

    Actually the Aqua Theater is one of our favorite places to sit and relax both on the Oasis & the Allure.

    • Adam

      We’re glad you enjoyed it, Jackie. We hope that you can come relax onboard again soon.

  3. paula martin

    A holiday to remember. My mam and dad celebrated there 30th wedding anniversary and as a family we went on the Adventure of the sea to celebrate it. We all had the most amazing holiday ever and would like to thank yous for the tiny details , friendly bar staff and outstanding band quartet

    • Adam

      You’re more than welcome, Paula. Congratulations to your parents, we are thrilled they could share such a special moment in their lives with us.

  4. Tonya hodgson

    Thank you so much for sharing! As the mother of a diver and a travel agent I have been fascinated by the aqua show for a long time. I can’t wait to see the Aqua show when I am on the Allure next October! Good luck. Try and fit some fun into the hours you aren’t working.


  5. michael lieberman

    My wife and I are D+ members and were on the Allure in Feb. and on the Oasis last week.(Nov. 19th) Of all the great shows on those ships, the Aqua shows are by far the most amazing shows to go watch. To think these shows are put on in the middle of the ocean on a ship is incredible. If you go on either ship, don’t miss these great shows.

    • Adam

      It really is amazing, isn’t it? We’re happy you two had a great time on Oasis.

  6. Kimberley Russell

    Your ship looks beautiful, I would love to be on that ship. But I can’t afford it, how can I try to win a trip on the Allure or Oasis of the Sea.

  7. Jackie C.

    I only have about 100 more days to go until I get to board the Allure! Let the countdown begin….

    I am sure I will be just as dazzled as I was on the Oasis (whose crew members proudly point out that while the Allure may be longer, the Oasis is heavier, which makes them the biggest!)

    • Adam

      It will go faster than you think, Jackie! We’ll see you onboard soon.

  8. Kay Stelling

    Your new ad campaign: Cute, but falls short of re-branding the line. Glad to see you dumped the “Why Not,” campaign……..which meant absolutely nothing since it took explaining. This “campaign” is just that, a campaign, it will have a shelf life. It does target a much broader (younger) audience beyond the “Wed, Dead and Overfed.”
    As far as re-branding – coming up with a concept that truly speaks to what makes Royal Caribbean “remarkable,” your ad agency needs to step it up. If they don’t, I can always make myself available to you. :)
    Kay Stelling
    Big Brain
    Genius! Advertising and Marketing

  9. Jan Millner

    Have been on 25 cruises–23 on Royal Caribbean(diamond plus member) and I must say the “Allure of the Seas” is truly incredible. The organized embarking, boarding at ports, disembarking was as smooth and even faster than ships much smaller in size with fewer people aboard.

    Congratulations to you and the company for outstanding service, choices and amenities! The ship is gorgeous–great Boardwalk–could use a soft serve(not the icy frozen yogurt) Carvel type booth on near the hot dog stand (or incorporated with it) –would be a great addition!

    I do recommend you replace the Samba Grill or buy much better cuts of meats for the restaurant. The meats were very salty and had a strange taste. The whole idea of a “Churrascaria” is all about the meat. The salads on the buffet were wonderful–and so was the entertainment–but the service could be greatly improved and please either get better grades of meat with better flavor without so much salt–or find another theme restaurant to replace it.

    Rita’s Cantina, on the other hand was fantastic. We were with people who weren’t wild about Mexican food and they loved it as well. The dishes selected were perfect for all kinds of palates–not spicy –just delicious–especially the flan dessert–fantastic! It was a fun party!

    Central park recreation was wonderful and so were the restaurants all along the path. I especially loved the Park Cafe for wonderful salads–made exactly the way you like and mixed up with dressing–really great addition.

    The Promenade is amazing–loved the new way to get photos–brilliant! One strong suggestion about stores***
    What makes RCCL a fun shopping experience is NOT having mall stores. Please add your own stores and hire great buyers to get unique and well priced inventory-that’s what give us a reason to shop and buy -otherwise it just becomes a regular boring mall. Coach may be a nice extra but adding Guess and any other “name” stores will in fact discourage most cruise shoppers who have malls at home. Be unique. I was a buyer and Broadcast News reporter for many years if you need help with ideas for stores–email me.

    The entertainment was the best I’ve seen on all the ships and of course you have one of the best cruise directors on that ship–Ken Rush. (we also love Geoffrey–forgot his last name–english fellow with dry wit)

    Thank you for finally putting fresh fish on the ship and serving it the first two or three nights! I am a fish person and in the past I have always found the fish to be “fishy” on board RCCL. But, if this is a new policy for the dining room–it is wonderful. I really enjoyed the sea bass on the first night. The plating of the food is also much nicer. The only fish reminiscent of the past was the halibut on the last night–very fishy. Better not serve fish than serve fishy fish–don’t you think?

    Didn’t check out zip line–will do it next year when we are already booked.
    Thanks for running such a top notch company and listening to passenger experiences and suggestions.
    Jan Millner

  10. Lori

    I was on the Allure of the Sea Dec 1,2011. WOW ! seems such a small word for how large this ship truly is. Great Shows. Saw them all. recommend for those who wish to see it all schedule show reservation well in advance as they go fast. Exception: They need to rope off the lines as people who are less considerate seem to save places which is not honored on the ship. They need their help to control this issue. Lines move very fast for every event. Was very pleased on their set up for seating for those of us who are handicapped. A Big THANK YOu ! Nice process to get on and off the ship very well organized. Their were well over 5200 of us and we all were able to leave the ship in less then 6 minutes. Staff is wonderful. Cabin staff Hat off to you Jobs well done. Smoking areas well highlighted. Also allowed on Balcony ourside cabins. Again Thank you. The disembarking on and off the ship at ports with scooters and Wheel chairs was wonderful Lots of help right at your side. Even with a Huge smile. Breakfast and dinner lines moved fast also. Need work on Elevators when the shows end. an Assistant should be their =- Cutting in line once again. Also every thing was very clean where ever you go. The walking path was a nice added feature. One direction. For how huge this ship is it is very well organized. You many have 5 **** 1 being the lowest. Very Impressed. Thank you staff for your hard work it is greatly appreciated by many. Wish I could same the same for other ships and other cruise lines. Something for everyone is on this ship.

    • Adam

      We’re glad you had a splendid time onboard Allure, Lori. We appreciate your suggestions and we hope you can return soon!

  11. Sonja Effenberger

    My husband and I travelled from Australia with friends all celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary.
    You may say why have Aussies travelled all this way. Well our talented son who we are very proud of, had a role in “Chicago and performed in “Blue Planet”. All the shows are truly amazing. The ice-skating, diving, comedy, singing, and stage shows to the lovely voice of Paul O’Shea playing the piano.They were all just fabulous. We were amazed with the quality of all the shows.The Allure of the Seas, is so majestic. The staff outstanding. The food incredible. We all had a truly amazing experience on the Allure of the Seas – Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship. We had an experience of a life time. Thank you to all involved for making this all happen that’s from the Captain and entertainers through to the cleaners you are all so wonderful. Congratulations!
    Regards From Sonja, Rolf, Lyn and John from Down Under – Australia

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