We all know you’re well looked after and your every whim is taken care of on a cruise. But do you really know what goes on behind the scenes? Do you know how many people it takes to prepare your meals or launder your fluffy, white towels?
Officers and crew work tirelessly to ensure a cruise runs smoothly, yet passengers often forget this. People are often quick to criticise, but they can be very slow to dish out praise. Many also don’t understand the rank structure on board, which can seem very confusing (particularly to new cruisers).
I thought it would be interesting to share with you, interviews with officers from across the many cruise lines we know and love. This is their opportunity to tell you a bit about what they do and how they came to be at sea.
For my first interview, I spoke with Andrew Lazarus who works for Carnival Cruise Line’s Fun Squad. Originally from London, Andrew has been at sea for several years and is currently working towards becoming a cruise director.
Can you tell me a bit about what you do and which ship you work on?
I am a senior Fun Squad team member, which is one below cruise director. Fun Squad is Carnival’s entertainment team. I currently work on the Carnival Imagination, based out of Long Beach, California.
What do you like most about working for Carnival Cruise Line?
It’s a great company with a family feeling. We are not just team members, but we’re part of the ‘Carnival Family.’ Plus we have 25 ships, so it’s a massive company that is constantly growing and evolving.
Please talk me through a typical day for you on board
I look after the day to day running of the entertainment on board. My duties include hosting daytime and evening activities such as karaoke and production shows in the main venues.
I also greet guests arriving and departing the ship. You’ll also see me involved in the running the tender operations at Catalina Island, as well as debarkation at the end of the cruise. Fun Squad are EVERYWHERE!
How long have you worked at sea and what other roles have you had?
I’ve actually worked at sea since 2005. Initially, I was a lead vocalist (singer/dancer/performer) in the West End/Broadway production shows. Due to an injury, I moved over to the hosting side of things. I’m en-route to becoming a cruise director within the next 7 months!
How long are you away from home at any one time?
I am away between 5 to 7 months at any one time (without a full day off).
Do you have a favourite place you’ve visited over the years?
I’ve been fortunate to do a World Cruise four times. My favourite places are: Australia (East Coast), New Zealand, South Pacific, Hong Kong, South Africa, Indian Ocean, New York and San Francisco.
What advice would you offer someone wanting to work in the entertainment industry at sea?
It’s not as easy as it looks! The hours are long, but very rewarding. You need to really have a passion for entertainment and great interpersonal skills.
Have you got a special memory you’d like to share from your travels?
When I went to Cape Town for the first time. My father was born in South Africa, but sadly passed away over 20 years ago and it was always somewhere I wanted to visit. We were there for 2 days on the World Cruise.
I went to the top of Table Mountain and was overcome with emotion due to the amazing views and, of course, the family connection.
I had cell service and remember calling my Nan from the top of the mountain. I have been fortunate enough to go around the world four times on a cruise ship, but that day was very special.
You can find out more about holidays with Carnival Cruise Line via their website.
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