Monarch of the Seas
Tell us a little background on yourself:
Long Story really…I have a Jazz performance Degree playing drums and percussion. I toured around for 6 years after college, playing in different bands and productions all across Canada and the US. I also worked in college radio in Toronto, so that is where I got the gift for gab I guess. I joined Royal Caribbean in May of 2001 as a musician in a show band. From there, I was just pushed by some great Cruise Director’s to do more than I was doing and that is how I got to be where I am today. I did take a year and a half off to work in radio again in Chicago, at WGN. It was an amazing opportunity and a profession I hope to get back into once I am done here.
How stressful is your position as cruise director?
It is stressful, but it all depends on how you handle it. Time management is key to everything out here. You have to realize that it is a 24 / 7 position, so you have to manage your time and energy accordingly. Laughter gets me through the day.
What kind of work schedule did you have?
My work schedule depends on the itinerary, etc. But I work anywhere from 10 to 14 hours a day. I always have time for myself and we all learn that a quick afternoon nap can be your best friend.
How long are your contracts per ship?
I work 4 months on and 2 months off.
Do you get to see the ports at all off the ship?
Yes….I have basically seen the world over the past 7 years. I love it and wouldn’t be here without all of the fun stuff that goes along with the job.
Perks of working for a cruise line?
Meeting people from all around the world in every walk of life. Travelling is another huge part of this job…there is nothing wrong with jumping in the ocean in Barbados, Bermuda, the Med and Australia, all in the same year.
Down side of working for a cruise line? Missing family and friends and missing seeing their lives change as much as yours. We do however get a great deal to get them out for a cruise. I just had 10 of my family here for Thanksgiving.
What type of food do crew members eat?
Almost the same as the guests, just with a much greater variety. You are trying to please people from over 50 different nationalities, so the food is very diverse. It’s a great way to find a new favorite from another country.
Is there ever any drama on board with the crew members or do you ever feel like you are playing the kindergarten teacher?
There can be drama, but that can be controlled through proper management and supervision. For some of these people, it is their first time away from home and the first time living with a lot of people in a confined space for 24 hours a day. You make the best friends out here, but it is like living in a college dorm everyday.
Any advice to people that want to work on a cruise ship?
Try it out. Finish school and then take 6 months just to try something different. You will grow up a lot, have fun, see a bit of the world and get paid for it, all at the same time. It isn’t for everyone, but it is a great place for those who love it.