What's a Cruise Director?

March 26, 2007 -

John Heald

We start with an apology. I am very sorry that I could post my blog thingy over the weekend so I hope you have not all lost interest and have found a better blog to read like Watchingpaintdry.com or even worse another Cruise Directors blog. I learnt today that an esteemed colleague of mine on another line that will remain nameless has started one. I wish him the best of luck and hope it is very successful (no, I don’t, I hope nobody reads it, get your own idea).

So, this morning started early at 5:30am. We have people with very early flights so debarkation starts at 6:00am. Please remember that in Europe you are still required to check in 2 hours before flying.
Anyway, I began my announcements and by 9:30am 3000 guests were on their way home. It is always a strange feeling saying goodbye to a group of guests you have got to know. It is easy to treat each group the same but they never are. You have to change your timing, content and tone depending on the demographics of the audience.
There is a misconception as well that all Cruise Directors are handsome, Armani wearing models. Well as I can vouch, I am very ugly and Armani does not make XXXL.

I am sure though my fellow CD of another cruise line who has started a blog is extremely handsome .( I bet he looks like he has fallen out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.).

However, as a Cruise Director called Gary Hunter, who I consider the best in the business, once told me that “The microphone should not change your personality, it just makes your voice louder.” This is so true and even if I change my content and tone, I always try and be the same on the microphone as off it. I am sure my colleague from another line who is writing a blog now has a great personality (similar to the Lesser Spotted Mongolian Bog Pig.)

This brings me to another contentious subject. I know some of you have remarked that various “characters” have appeared on multiple cruises and you are all of course correct. I do this quite simply not for myself but for the guests. I want them to be famous and recognized and even though their “stage name” may be the same, each person is very different. I love improvising with guests and it is the part that I love so much about my job.

I read recently on Cruise Critic that one man “hated me” because I had been doing the “same act” for eleven years. Not true, it’s twelve and as long as I hear laughter and see people smile, I will keep making these people famous and allow them to be in the limelight. I also read on Cruise Critic that a Cruise Director on another line was doing most of my routines. I am happy that my shows are now on another line and wish that Cruise Director many great shows (get your own jokes or I will come over there and set Willy Banger on you.)

Anyway, back to today. At the beginning of my travel talk, I interview three random guests just to show “who is from where.” My first was an gentlemen called Eddie Fortuna. He was here with his 7 kids, 16 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. He is Italian now living in Florida and for those people who do not speak Italian I should point out that Fortuna means RABBIT!

Boat drill was at 8:00pm tonight. We did it in Spanish as well as we have 400 guests from Mexico and the Dominican Republic. I just finished a little walk down promenade. There are not too many people about although the Casino is busy as is our Piano Bar.

Can I just answer a couple of posted questions.

Ed – You need a vacation mate – hurry up and get here and let’s talk:)

Jose – I promise you will see Stromboli; bring your camera.

Galadriena – A fellow python fan. We are the knights who say “Neeegh.”
Thais and Fabian – Please post ASAP your inlaws names and I will send them something special.
Lance & Ilda Gunberg from New Bedford, Massachusetts – I remember that cruise well. It was a tough and thank you for the wonderful words.

Thanks again for all the comments and I am sorry I can not reply to them all. We are in Napoli tomorrow and another early start for me.

Rather a random blog this one and even though I make fun, a Cruise Director really can make a difference to your cruise and I salute you all (even the one from another line who has stolen my jokes, my act,and now my blog; keep your hands of my wife!)

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.