This IS Us

Hey Friends!

Before I get started on this article, last night we hit our first major milestone, 1,000 Subscriptions on our YouTube Channel! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Thank you to each and every one of you for your love & support, it means more to Stef and I than we can possibly describe!

We also received a message that made our day, it just made us smile and smile. I want to print this and frame it, I love it so much:

You truly made our day, THANK YOU FRED!

Like I said before, we hit 1k subs last night, this image was captured minutes before we hit 1K:

Youtube Realizations:

A few things we never realized about running a Youtube channel like this:

Your fans are legit, they are serious fans. – From that amazing comment above to countless Facebook, Twitter and Insta posts, if people like you they will show it. People have called our business to tell us they love our Cruise channel. Haha. That’s dedication. Thank you!!

People take you at your word, always. – Good, Bad and Ugly, as a content creator you are held to your word. We’ve been yelled at quite a bit for our thoughts on the MSC Seaside, for example. We were also yelled at on a ship once because we “Never said there were lines on this ship” Umm.. Yeah. Hadn’t done that particular type of cruise before but they held us to it nonetheless. I often joke that my name tag keeps falling off when people come up to me on a ship to tell me their ship issues. For the record, I love it, don’t stop. Just fun to talk about.

With the love comes the hate. – And this is what I’m going to talk about in this article. Despite all of the love piling up, the negative and nasty come flying in as well.

Part of it is this brand loyalty nonsense that is all too common in the cruising community. The Coke v Pepsi nonsense in cruising is so bad it’s comical. When we did our first NON Norwegian cruise we lost about 200 subs (and subsequently gained like 500) and received a handful of messages saying things like that we’re disloyal and that NCL is the greatest and we’re stupid. I’m sorry, are you a shareholder? Does our opinion cause you physical harm? Why are you so cray about what ship I’m on? Don’t even get me started about the onslaught of random hate when we announced we were going on the Carnival Horizon or the MSC Seaside. YOWZA.

Another reason for the negativity is loyalty to other Youtubers and content creators (my opinion differs from theirs, GASP.) It’s as if you’re only allowed to like one Youtuber.

Sorry folks, you already picked a Youtuber. The moose outside should have told you.

Look, in the world of online content creation people will do crazy things for hits & views. SHOCKING. I know. We don’t do the salacious comments. Or the click-baity headlines. That’s what the news does. Each time I see a Youtuber trying to Jerry-Springer it by making a ridiculous, audacious claim I laugh and say “What’s in your kitchen that might already be killing you, news at 11.” These statements are the original click bait, designed to keep you tuned in through the quarter ad hours. Same happens on Youtube. Someone will say something like “worst cruise in XX cruises” or “the worst cruise in the history of cruises.” Ok, probably not, but even if it was that headline is designed to motivate you to click, not to inform you. There are DIE HARD fans that will fight you without any provocation and most didn’t watch either video. LOL. Yes, I just LOLed in a blog post because I’ve been in countless situations where someone tries to school us online and they didn’t watch the video they are referencing and they didn’t watch our video either. Just blind loyalty. No shade from me, I got nothing but mad love for all of my fellow Youtubers, even the ones that don’t agree with me. It’s all good. Truly. YouTube is a grind and I’ve got nothing but love and respect for everyone out there making it happen.

If you know Stef and I, you know we want EVERYONE to vlog. Everyone has a story and we want to help you tell it. Not throttle you for having a difference of opinion. To all of the Travel Agents sending me hate mail I hope you realize there’s no such thing as bad publicity. If you notice, it’s damned near impossible to book the Seaside. Coincidence? Nope. You haters just saved the MSC marketing department millions of dollars. Same with the current NCL Haven controversy. The Haven is more booked now than ever and it’s more expensive now than it ever has been. Again, coincidence? Probably not.

When someone posted an “I hate Stef” video with every nasty thing you could say to or about a woman, our business doubled. Thanks buddy! We literally couldn’t have bought that kind of traffic. Good can come out of bad. Oh and google Karma bro, OOF. As much as I’d like to meet up with you Negan style for saying those things about the love of my life, the world is already handling you.

Lastly there are people who like to wake up and spread the hate. Professional trolls, if you will. Most likely have a cozy 3/2 under a bridge or overpass somewhere, with legit internet. I firmly believe that just as there are people like us who want to spread positivity, there are just as many or more that want to watch the world burn. That’s sad.

All of this brings me to our latest accusation from the haters, that we aren’t genuine. We’re trying too hard. We’re fake. We’re scripted. Yikes.

I hate uninformed assumptions based on nothing but raw uneducated emotion.

I’ve softened that comment up and made it legible for you readers. The person who made that statement about us not being real wasn’t as eloquent and used a lot more profanity.

What’s in a Word?

The truth is I was very VERY careful with how I named our show. Sean and Stef IRL. IRL means IN REAL LIFE. (Fun fact, I fought tooth and nail for the show to be called Stef and Sean IRL but Stef stood her ground and said Sean and Stef sounded better.) For those of you who have been with us for a minute, you know we didn’t start as a travel show. We started daily vlogging because we desperately wanted a family and couldn’t have one, no matter what. If you want to know the real us, you can watch that vlog, roughly 150 episodes. I can save you time, we’re exactly the same in those vlogs as we are in the cruising ones. WHAT?? Did I script that too? LOL. Also, if I scripted our show you’d think the computer would be tired of typing “alright so” and “what.”

Back to the very first statement, this IS us.

  • We’re goofy. All the goofy.
  • We’ve invented silly characters that make fun of the bad situations we’re currently in.
  • We’ve been through numerous personal tragedies that nearly ruined us and our marriage.
  • I’ve almost died, twice.
  • We make up songs in the moment and change lyrics to whatever is on the radio.
  • We add sound effects to everything, EVERYTHING.
  • Our cats have nicknames and nicknames and nicknames.
  • We speak for our cats and have HILARIOUS conversations daily. Usually it’s the cats complaining about the lack of speedy service in the kitchen. (We get a lot of great material from the incessant whining in the Haven)
  • We’re best friends, we’re lobsters.
  • After countless battles and endless tears we decided to actively put joy out into the world. We declared that if we couldn’t have a family of our own, the world would be our new family.
  • We play video games together. We eat together. We travel together. We run a business together. We fail and succeed together, we’re an equal partnership.
  • Stef really does LOVE snapchat & snacks. (Had to make this the last one, cause reasons)

So why all the hate? Why call us disingenuous? Not sure. Perhaps this person isn’t happy. Perhaps they don’t have a good relationship? I don’t know. I want them to know that we’re all about building people up, not striking them down.

Who are Sean and Stef?

Well, you can read our mission at the top of our site:

  • Travel.
  • Emotionally invest in each other.
  • Spread positivity and light everywhere we go.

That about sums up our lives right now. We want to help people. We want to travel. We want to spend time with each other. We want to see the world. We want to meet people and spread joy.

Let’s Talk About Stef:

Stef is an amazing woman who simply cannot be reduced to a few words, but I’ll try my best.

Stef is a former Walt Disney World Cast Member. She did two tours in the Disney College Program and also worked as an Attraction Host at Epcot. Stef was in the Tapestry of Nations and Tapestry of Dreams Parades and also worked in outdoor foods in Tomorrowland.


Strange fun fact, I was working with Disney marketing when Stef was in the parades. I was on several shoots that involved the parades and Tomorrowland. We inadvertently crossed paths many times, unknowingly and wouldn’t actually meet for many many years.

Stef is also an amazing painter. Our home is adorned with MASSIVE original works of art, many painted just for me. I LOVE my Disneyland and Stitch paintings. Well, I love them all but those two are special for me.

Stef has two degrees, one in art, the other for teaching. She was a teacher for 7 years, she taught Art & Biology from Elementary through High School.

Last but certainly not least, Stef is an entrepreneur. She is the co-owner and Chief Financial Officer (and customer service and lead web designer and tutorial artist, etc. etc. etc.) of our business, Rampant Design. We make effects, templates, presets and other easy to use tools for ANYONE who makes video. That’s right, everything from shooting your kid’s soccer match to the effects seen on America’s Got Talent, we create something for everyone.

And of course many of you know Stef as the forefront of our show, Sean and Stef IRL.

Stef is the most positive person that I know. She’s the reason that I am who I am today. Stef is truly an amazing human being and I’m honored to be on this journey with her.

The Other Half:

That’s me. Like Stef, I’m also a former Walt Disney World Cast Member. I was a Monorail Pilot, an attractions host at Playhouse Disney & Voyage of the Little Mermaid and I worked for various marketing divisions of the company, including working for the Disney College Program, the International Cast Program, the Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World Jobline, the bus videos for Disney’s Magical Express and DCL and many many more.

I went to an unconventional school called Full Sail.

I started my career as a VFX Artist and Post Production Specialist in Hollywood. I had the pleasure of working on shots for Oliver Stone (Any Given Sunday), JJ Abrams (Dark Angel) and Aaron Spelling (Charmed) to name a few. My mentors were some of the original Special Effects artists on the original Star Wars series. I came up in the industry when practical effects were where it’s at and digital was the wild west. I got to learn from the best of both worlds.

It was here in time where I honed my sound effects that people claim are faked in our IRL videos. When you work with producers and directors it’s important to sell the work. So when I was busy vanquishing demons or morphing Alyssa Milano, it was always with whooshes, whips, bams, and lots of crazy hand gestures.

As a post production professional I also worked for the U.S. Marines, the U.S. Army National Guard, the Air Guard, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

There are a few hundred music videos and commercials out there with my work in them. I love video. More importantly I love helping people.

That leads us to Rampant, our online business. I have a little over a million views on my free training. I teach Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, primarily. In every single video you’ll hear me make all kinds of crazy sound effects. Why? Not because they are staged, it’s who we are.

We’re always making goofy sounds and making every situation fun, who says you can’t learn how to design a RGB split AND be goofy?

Ever watch our show and see me in the background, bobbing my head? It’s because I already know what tracks I’m going to use that day and I can see & hear the video in my head. I’ve been to the Matrix and back, it’s all ones and zeros, yo! Yeah I’m a weirdo, but I’m not scripted. YOU CAN’T WRITE THIS, BABY!

I’m an unconventional artist and filmmaker. I like old glass and new cameras. I like mixing GH5 and OSMO footage with Snapchat. I like using pop music and modern editing to tell stories. I love telling stories. I love meeting people from all over the world and learning from them. If you know me, you know I love to learn about the people I meet. I love to see the world from multiple perspectives.

Like I Said, This IS US.

So there you have it. A little bit more about us. Love it or hate it, Sean and Stef IRL is who we are. We’re a goofy, random, fun loving couple who likes to travel and spread positivity any way we can. We have nothing but love for each and every one of you out there.

Sean Mullen is a Travel Filmmaker, Vlogger, VFX Artist, Brand Ambassador and the CEO & Lead Designer of Rampant Design, Inc. He is a 3 Time Emmy Award Winner and former Walt Disney World Monorail Pilot. Sean is married to the AMAZING Stef IRL.

5 thoughts on “This IS Us

  • Amen — the universe needs your perspective and positivity!! Y’all keep doing you and don’t worry a lick about those trying to bring you down 🙂

  • Great write up, Sean! I’m a recent follower, and it’s great to learn a little more about you guys and your background. I love that you’re both goofy and unafraid to be yourselves and share your enthusiasm in your videos (especially Stef). Now it’s time to catch up on your past adventures and anxiously await more… I usually cruise Royal, but maybe someday our paths will cross on a ship somewhere!

  • My husband and I found your channel because we were gifted a cruise vacation to take our children on NCL Getaway, Western Carribean. We started watching vlogs of all the YouTubers that went on that cruise, found you two, and fell in love with your style and how genuine you really are. Those cruise vlogs led us to watch your daily vlogs from last year, and now we have binge-watched every video on your channel. Please don’t ever stop vlogging! You two are the reason that my husband and I want to vlog our vacation in September/October. Thank you for being the amazing humans that you are and keep up the amazing vlogs.

  • These are two of the most amazing, bright, good hearted, dynamic, giving, and hard working people I’ve personally have ever had the privilege to know. You can’t help but be amazed by the accomplishments and talents of Sean and Stef, all of which they’ve worked so very hard for. What’s more Impressive, and it’s hard to top those lists, is who they are. Sean and Stef have character and integrity that people just don’t find anymore. It’s solid and it’s genuine. They love life, they love each other, and they love to share that with others and that my friends, is something that is rare and uncommon today. Perhaps that’s why some shade these two incredible people, or more likely, perhaps those that project negativity around or about them are jealous. Jealous of their accomplishments, their happiness, their education, their travels, and most probably jealous they will never be a person so great or happy. I almost feel sorry for those people, but nah!! As for the piece of scum loser that said the horrible things about Stef, you sir.. There is a place for you, and you will find that place, or rather it will find you eventually. Sean said it right. Karma. Sean is a gentleman and a patient respectful man. His response speaks volumes. Lastly, and most relevant, these two know cruising. They have so much experience and time invested. They are so bright, and combined with their experience and talents for production makes them the best VLog/reviewer out there for cruises and vacationing. They are objective and without judgement. They are fair and unbiased. This is their life, be respectful of them and their life. What they do they do for you and I and they’re damn good at it. They deserve to reap the rewards of ALL of their hard work and talents. Sean and Stef are the best it gets in my world. Congratulations on 1000 guys and cheers to you! -A&C

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