I started working in casino's in 1999, in Edmonton, Alberta. I worked at the Palace Casino, in the West Edmonton Mall. I was wandering around the mall one day and saw the casino. It was time for a new line of work and I have always enjoyed playing cards, so I thought why not give dealing a try. After my initial interview I was told that I had been selected to attend blackjack training. The training classes were usually lasted 4 hours. We trained for 2 weeks, 5 days a week. 40 hours. At the end of the training we had to do whats called a "table test". For this test you usually have 2 or 3 supervisors from that casino come and play at your table for about a 10 minutes.
I passed my test. I still had some practise to do, but, I would be fine to work on the gaming tables. Over the next few months I worked dealing dealing blackjack only. After I was confident in my ability, it was time to learn Caribbean Stud, Let it Ride and Baccarat. These games are very easy to deal, with little training needed. Soon after I learned to deal Poker and then Roulette.
In 2002 I applied to work on cruise ships for the first time. I wanted to work with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, mostly because I had a lot of friends from the casino who had gone that way before me. The requirements were that you dealt Blackjack, Caribbean Stud and Roulette, with a minimum of 2 years experience on Roulette. I applied via email. I was 6 months short on the Roulette experience but I had also started my Craps training, and hoped that would help me out. The response I got was to reapply in 6 months. That's what I did.
When I tried the second time, the response I got was much better. The hiring partner that I applied to was coming to my city to conduct interviews and table tests. I was give a date and time to show up, and given a list of documents that I would need. My interview would be in about 3 weeks. I spent this time anxiously waiting, and collecting my paperwork. I was showed up early for my interview. I also had a friend with me who was interviewing as well. We were both dressed in suits, and I think looked pretty good. There was a group of about 20 people interviewing at the same time. We all sat in a conference room for a meet and greet, and to watch a short video about cruise employment. After that each person went to a small room to have and interview, then to another room for a short table test. After that it was back to the conference room to fill out paperwork.
I passed my interview. I was blown away. I got an email about a week later saying that I had been accepted, The email also contained a list of about 5 ships that I could choose from for my first contract, and another list of documents that I would need to bring with me. I decided To pick the GTS Summit out of the list. I called the hiring partner, and she gave me a date to be in Florida to join the ship. I would have to get a medical, and pay for my airfare. It was winter in Edmonton, and very cold. I was leaving Canada for the first time and I would not be home for 6 months. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.