You will have seen that Carnival is rolling out our new Internet programs thick and fast across the fleet. This will be followed by the popular Hub app that is now on Carnival Breeze, next on Carnival Sunshine and by year’s end, on even more ships. These are more ways to connect with people in the cabin next to you or family who are hundreds or more miles away. “Hooray” many of you will say but I would expect there to be some “boos,” as well.
Yes, the blog is back.
After ignoring it for far too long, I have decided to put more time and effort into this and so I hereby pledge to you with my right hand on a photo of Megan Fox’s bottom, I shall sit here in my underpants and write as often as I can.
In my defence, the blog received the 20 million page views it has had because it documented my life as a cruise director and because I answered the questions posted there. So I hope that, as I do breathe new life into this page, you will continue to read and comment and although Facebook remains the main course, that a twice-weekly blog appetiser will be to your liking. OK, let’s crack on and talk about…………ummmm…………..me. (more…)
It is with great pleasure that I introduce you all to our new President and the lady at the helm of your next brilliant Carnival cruise vacation. Please say hello to Christine Duffy
I guess we should start off with a simple but important question………….how do you feel?
Excited, honored and so very proud to be given the opportunity to lead this iconic brand and the Carnival team who serve our guests!
Can you tell us where you are from and about your employment journey so far?
I started my career as the receptionist at Rosenbluth Travel in Philadelphia after being turned down to be a Pan Am flight attendant. I had gone through several interviews with Pan Am, and in the end, was told I didn’t meet the height requirement. I then spent 20 years at McGettigan Partners, another Philadelphia agency that specialized in corporate group meeting and incentive travel programs. After 20 years at McGettigan, we sold the business to St Louis-based Maritz Travel Company in 2001, and I was appointed President and CEO of Maritz Travel in 2004 and served in that role until 2011 when I joined Cruise Lines International Association.
Some of the readers here may not be aware of the superb work that CLIA does for the cruise industry. I think it is very important that we fanfare this and your role there so please could you explain what CLIA is all about and your role there?
I have been President and CEO of CLIA since 2011. CLIA is the trade association representing the global cruise industry. With 62 cruise line members, 275 Executive Partners representing industry suppliers including ports and destinations around the world, and more than 12,000 travel agency members with over 50,000 agents, CLIA is the largest cruise industry association operating under our “One Industry, One Voice” mission. CLIA works to promote cruising by providing training and certification to travel agents and promotional events, like CLIA Cruise Week and the annual Cruise3sixty conference. CLIA’s Global Technical and Regulatory team represents the industry at the International Maritime Organization in London. CLIA committees bring cruise line members together on a regular basis to share best practices and implement policies that go above and beyond international requirements in the safety, comfort and care of our guests along with a commitment to continuous improvement around environmental impact.
So here you are ready to take the helm of the world’s most popular cruise line. What are your goals for the first few months in the job?
Listen, listen, listen and learn as much as I can from our guests, from Carnival team members shoreside and team members on board our ships who serve our guests every day. I plan to visit our ships and meet team members and guests on board as much as possible.
I know you and your family just spent a week on the Carnival Breeze. Can you tell us about this experience, what you enjoyed and anything you saw that you feel we can do even better with?
We had our best family cruise ever on the Breeze. It is a FUN ship! I went down both slides in the water park, enjoyed the spa for relaxation, visited the indoor and outdoor fitness areas to work off the calories from the great food on board. From the specialty restaurants to the dining room to Guy’s burgers, Bonsai Sushi and the Cantina we loved it all! The crew was amazing and constantly go above and beyond for our guests. There is so much to do on board and, of course, we had the opportunity to experience great destinations. I can’t wait to do it again!
Do you have a message for the thousands of Carnival customers who are reading this?
Along with our talented team, I am very proud and honored to continue the legacy of Carnival Cruise Line creating lasting memories for our loyal customers and those who may be sailing with us or cruising for the first time.
And some getting to know you questions.
Sunrise or Sunset ?
A Wonderful Life
A port of call you have never sailed into but really want to?
Real books or a Kindle/ E Reader?
Who makes you laugh?
Our son Sean
Finally………..On accepting the role of President, the now retired Gerry Cahill had to sing a Karaoke song in front of all the shore side employees in the Carnival Cafeteria. He chose “Just A Gigolo.“
This is now a tradition for our Presidents to do this so………………what song can we look forward to hearing you sing?
We are Family!
Thank you Christine and we all look forward to sharing our Carnival journeys with you.
As this will be my last blog for a while. I wanted to cram in as many questions as I can, so let’s start today with some immediate Q & A. Off we trot (more…)
Stupid, stupid me. Yesterday, after singing “Let it Sodding Go” to Kye for her bedtime song, I asked my wife, Heidi, in a terrible moment of weakness I asked her if she wanted anything brought back from Seattle because I would be getting off the ship to get some essentials – some hemorrhoid gel and cigars. As soon as I said those new words, I knew I was in the s**t. And it was because she wanted me to shop at a place that we don’t have in England even though the advertising states it’s a British store….. yep……I’m talking about Victoria’s Secret, which is about as British as July 4th and grits. Now, whatever my wife wants she will get because I love her ……..except for one thing and that one thing is underwear. (more…)
For those who stumbled across my blog by accident while surfing Uncle Google for “I Love Big Fat British Guys Who Blog in a Pair of XXXL Underpants”………..I had better explain the title of today’s musings. (more…)
It’s hard to think about hurricane season when you are in Alaska and sailing through fjords with lagoon-like waters. Two weeks ago, though, I was talking about hurricanes and storms with one of our newly promoted cruise directors whose bio will be featured in a forthcoming blog. He told me about the difficulties he had recently gone through, thanks to Tropical Storm Bertha, which, by the way, was named after one of my Great Aunties who would kiss me on the lips every Christmas before handing me my present that I knew would be a pair of socks. Anyway, back to the young CD I was talking to on the phone and who had called for some advice from me. Oh, by the way……….he called me “Godfather” which resulted in me calling him a wanker. Do you know, when I started with Carnival this young, good-looking, newly promoted CD was only five years old ……………what a total bastard. Godfather, my arse. (more…)
Pirates used to be fun with their wooden legs and shoulder-based parrots and cries of “shiver me timbers.” Say the word “pirate” and you and I see a salty sea dog with gunpowder smoldering in his beard. They would all wear long black or red coats and have a patch over one eye… unless, of course, they were really stupid pirates and have patches over both eyes… sorry…. old cruise ship joke. (more…)
In the old days every crew member from the captain on down were paid in cash. Every two weeks we would go down to stand in line at the paymaster’s office and get our envelopes with our salaries in it. Usually my contained loads of $1 bills, I think the paymaster must have thought I had a lap dancing fetish — and if I find out who told him I will use a blow torch on their nipples. (more…)
Is it just me or are the words “please” and/or “thank you” being used less and less these days? I have sat here in my underpants and invited my blog readers to ask me questions and to tell me if they need my help and therefore I have to accept how those questions and how those requests are made. But they are such small words to say after all and it’s not like I am asking you to type the Gettysburg Address after asking me for a sodding table for two. Saying “thank you” is easy and I wonder why so many seem not to be able to say it? I was taught by my Mum and Dad that politeness costs nothing and, from an early age, it was drummed into my head that I should say “thank you.” This was OK and I accepted it but I didn’t always like it, especially when it was my birthday as a child when I had to write a thank you letter to everyone who had sent me a present. (more…)