On more than one occasion, I’ve overheard conversations between cruisers, or indeed read questions posted in the Q&A section of our forum, about cruise directors. Who a ship’s cruise director is on a particular voyage may not be at the top of the list of considerations for the occasional cruiser but for the cruise veteran, it can be an important factor. Why? I thought I’d investigate the role of cruise director to find out.
It certainly won’t come as any surprise to you to find out that a job on a cruise ship involves being a people-person. In fact, that’s a massive understatement and being a ship’s cruise director doe sin fact involve being the ultimate people-person – an assertive mutli-tasker with a strong personality who has to be in daily contact with both passengers and crew. A visible presence on the ship, the cruise director should expect to be approached with all manner of questions and problems from passengers (all of which they will have heard many times before) as well as overseeing all aspects of the voyage and supervising any number of events.
As well as knowing the ship inside out and being able to address any issues that passengers may have about any aspect of it, a cruise director has to be fully versed in all the ship’s safety and security procedures and be in constant contact with fellow staff and crew, relaying these problems to them and also keeping an eye their conduct too. As well as dealing with any day-to-day issues which may arise, it’s very important for a cruise director to attend every key event held on the ship, whether that be the welcome aboard reception, VIP functions, or a private party.
So, far so administrative, but why should a passenger care who their cruise director is? Well, the role also involves being responsible for organising the schedules of all the on-board hospitality and entertainment staff, including regular staff entertainers, as well as special guest artists and speakers. Who your cruise director is can have impact of your cruise’s whole atmosphere and tone, something which you’ll pick up on more and more with each cruise you take.
As cruise ships continue to get bigger, so does the list of responsibilities tasked to them, which is why on some larger cruise ships, you’ll find assistant cruise directors, who sometimes in turn have their own assistants and a team of staff tasked with different roles.
Ultimately though, it all comes back to the cruise director for the final say, so if you end your cruise with a feeling that you were made to feel welcome and well-looked after and you thought that the entertainment and events on-board complimented your cruise or made it feel that bit more special, then you’ll have your cruise director (and their team) to thank.
By Simon Brotherton