My First Sixthman Advance

With a solid two months of Sixthman life under my belt I was beginning to feel like I was finally getting the hang of life in my new gig. I had my morning commute down to a tight 12 minute ride, was chiming in on all the fun Slack channel conversations, and more importantly I was establishing supportive and loving relationships with the office dogs. But one aspect of Sixthman life was still looming – The Advance. Ever since my first day at Sixthman I knew The Advance was as important to Sixthman as Kanye is to Kanye. I’d had it on my calendar within the first minute of signing my contract, this was clearly THE event of a Sixthman summer.

For those of you who are like, “Okay, congrats on the new dog friendships, but what is an advance- I’m just trying to find more info on drink packages!?” Let me explain. The Advance is a three day, two night team building and bonding trip for Sixthman employees at Lake Lanier to reset before heading into cruising season. While some of you might think that sounds like a “work retreat” you’re totally and completely wrong because at Sixthman we don’t retreat, we ADVANCE!

The Advance proved to be every good thing I hoped it would be and more! I laughed, I cried, I learned and by the end of it quite a few people called me the F-word… FRIEND! So without further ado are my favorite moments from The Advance:

1.     Beach Party:

The day started with the Sixthman Olympics, where we tested new games to bring onboard Sixthman cruises. Not to risk any sailing spoilers, but baby masks, whipped cream, and a simulation egg laying contraption were all in the mix. From there we were treated to a delicious Mexican dinner and I watched a Sixthman beach volleyball game so intense Misty May herself would have had to tap out! But my favorite part of the night was when all my new coworker pals and I pulled chairs around a big beach bonfire, filled up our drinks and just hung out!

2.     Captain’s Dinner:

With everyone decked out in their crisp captain’s shirts we were all treated to a decadent dinner on a picturesque dock. We had four long tables set in the shape of a huge square so everyone was in each other’s view and before we were allowed to eat we had to play the biggest game of flip cup I’d ever seen-  it was awesome!

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3.     Sixthman Solves Sessions:

Contrary to what the past two moments express we actually did a lot of thought-provoking and productive team building exercises at The Advance and my favorite was being part of a Communication and Care Breakout Session. In this breakout session we were split into groups and prompted with communication based dilemmas to find solutions for. Being able to express real and honest opinions, and have actual input to the interdepartmental communications of the company made me feel heard and cared for by our Leadership team. Exercises like this helped me hone into how much of a collective effort Sixthman life truly is.

4.     Letters from my family:

During The Advance we stayed in adorable cabins on Lake Lanier that were stocked with snacks, drinks and my favorite part- a packet of letters from my family. Each person was given a packet of letters from their family, friends and other important people in their lives – it was such a touching and kind gesture that said so much about the values at Sixthman. It made me feel so happy to be a part of a group of people who value sentimental gestures and understand how to make their people feel special and remembered.   

5.     The Roadhouse:

Have you ever gotten such a nice compliment you started crying? Have you played the floor is lava in the past two months nay past two years?  Well I have, thanks to the Roadhouse. The Roadhouse was the party palace, The Advance’s hot spot, the most popular dorm… it just had that it factor … and by it factor I mean lots of snacks and even more booze. Nighttime dance parties, philosophical porch table debates and even watching grown men take “shots” of easy mac cheese powder defined the Roadhouse and reaffirmed why I was so excited to be a part of this crazy fun group!

 The SXM Staff and their families on 'Family Day'

The SXM Staff and their families on 'Family Day'