Tell us a bit about yourself …
I live in Hollywood with my husband and my two sons, who are aged 15 and 19. Life is always on the go, balancing travelling with work and spending quality time with my family.
How long have you worked in the cruise industry?
I’ve worked in the travel Industry for my entire professional career. My first job was as a travel agent and then an agency manager; I then transitioned to the airline industry as a manager of reservations, followed by airport start-up and management. I started working in the cruise industry, and with Royal Caribbean specifically, more than 20 years ago. Travel is such a great industry; I couldn’t imagine being involved in anything else.
How has your career progressed with Royal Caribbean?
I moved to Miami in 1995 and began at Royal Caribbean as manager of reservations. Over the years, I’ve held a variety of positions, including manager of customer service, director of trade support and service, and director of certified vacation planning, before taking my current role: director of guest services and housekeeping operations.
Tell us a bit about your role.
I support a wide variety of teams on board our entire fleet of 25 ships. They include guest services, print shop operations, group coordinators, international ambassadors, concierges, stateroom attendants, laundry operations and our facilities cleaning team. I’m a huge people person and I love dealing with so many different people from all over the world on a daily basis.
What else do you love about your job?
An innovative culture is truly part of the DNA at Royal Caribbean. I’m very lucky to be involved in a variety of new projects which are aimed at improving the guest experience. The introduction earlier this year of Royal Suite Class, with our wonderful Royal Genies, is a great example of one of these initiatives.
Royal Genies are like butlers and provide a premium service for our suite class guests by adding an element of surprise and delight to their holiday experience. As the ultimate insiders onboard our ships, a Royal Genie can craft exclusive experiences across all elements of the holiday.
The Royal Genies have undergone training from the British Butler Institute and, as a result, are always looking at attention to detail and the ways that they can enhance the holiday experience of guests, guiding them through a once-in-a-lifetime holiday.
They can best be described as a cross between Carson from Downton Abbey and Mary Poppins, offering a heartfelt service that helps guests enjoy the ultimate holiday full of unexpected moments. It’s this innovative approach that continues to drive my passion for what I do every day.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging?
Just that sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day!
Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?
When I’m not travelling with work, I really cherish having downtime with my family. Favourite holiday spots would have to be either waterskiing with my family in Wisconsin or walking the beaches in California – bliss!
Do you have any insider tips for passengers heading off on a Royal Caribbean cruise?
My biggest piece of advice is to make sure you ‘pack’ your sense of adventure and be open to experiencing new cultures, cuisines and activities.
Any interesting facts about your role that you’re able to share?
I love receiving feedback from our guests and after all these years, I still get a real kick out of the lovely letters we receive thanking us for creating such a memorable holiday experience. That feeling never gets old and always brings a smile to my face.