Cruise in Review: Tell us about your path to becoming a Cruise Director?
Jaime: I’d been involved in drama my whole life and I went to Michigan State University where I obtained a degree in human relations and psychology.
As I was graduating from college, I figured that if I wanted to do anything, I wanted to travel and meet a lot of people, so my mum takes credit that she told me to apply…although I have selective memory and I don’t remember that!
So I applied and I made a whole binder with pictures and letters of recommendation and I started as one of the entertainment staff.
I was lucky to meet John (Senior Cruise Director – Carnival Cruise Lines) on my first contract and he brought me onto Splendour.
He helped me and then I got promoted to Assistant Cruise Director after that and now I fill in for different Cruise Directors who are on vacation on various ships.
This is my third ship this contract and I am transferring to Pride at the end of this cruise.
Cruise in Review: What do you love most about your job?
Jaime: I love every day of it now. I appreciate every second! I love the stage time, the admin stuff is the less fun part.
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up but I just knew I wanted to help people and when I see people getting involved and enjoying their vacation I can think that I really contributed to that.
I really have the best job because when people are having fun they come and tell me…I’d hate to work for Guest Services!
Jaime: Well I’m 26 and I’ve had boyfriends who have worked on the ships but it’s very hard to maintain.
Living and working together isn’t so bad because I don’t get sick of people easily, but now that I’m jumping around a lot I want to just take this time and be proud of myself and do what I’m doing helping other people and then when I’m ready to settle down… then I’ll worry about that later.
Jaime: The next promotion would be to have my own ship but I’m sure it will happen when the time is right, I’m not in a huge rush. Right now I enjoy bouncing around.
I get to meet different people, experience different itineraries and learn about different clientele, which is really a bonus.
Then, when I’ve had some experience with this, it will be nice to make my own programming and feel as if this I have my home.
They just started keeping cruise directors on the same ship for three years so I’m enjoying the jumping around right now.
Cruise in Review: While you’re working in this unique role, who is responsible for the programming on the ships you’re currently relief Cruise Director for?
There’s an outline…on this ship a lot of the programming is set from the office because we have the new 2.0 feature, so they tell us the set list for those events but everything else around it is outlined by the previous Cruise Director…I have the ability to change it though.
I work with the entertainment team and I try to encourage them to put down activities that they want to host because they’re going to enjoy that more.
I took out some of the things that the previous Cruise Director had down and added some of mine but it’s all within a library and you can pick from that list. It’s a huge library!
Before I leave I have to fix everything and put it back to the way it was but I get to show my personality more that way.
Cruise in Review: How involved are celebrities like George Lopez and DJ Irie in the Fun Ship 2.0 initiatives?
Jaime: Indirectly, I know that all the DJs we have now have been to the ‘Spiniversity’ with DJ Irie.
I haven’t had too much interaction with them personally but I know that George Lopez is making his way around the ships.
He just did the roll out of the comedy brunch on the Miracle and I think he was on here before I arrived so they’ve been testing everything.
DJ Ro Parrish who is like ‘Irie’s boy’ was here and he was getting everything ready to go.
It was so fun to be a part of and now Erika is here and she is doing such a great job! It’s cool to have a female DJ!
Cruise in Review: Who is the most famous person you’ve encountered when cruising?
Jaime: I’ve been on some charter cruises…I was on the John Mayer charter and got to interview John which was exciting!
There was a picture on my Facebook page and all my friends got so excited…the video is on You Tube as well (see below)!
I was also on the Leonard Skinner charter…a lot of times celebrities will sail but they don’t want to be seen.
The other week there was one of the singers from En Vogue here but she was all about getting noticed. She sang karaoke so all the crew were trying to get her autograph and everything!
Unless it’s a charter though, you don’t really want to bother them if they’re on vacation.
Cruise in Review: When you do get vacation time how do you like to spend it?
Jaime: Sleep…you know hibernate. I usually sleep for about 4-6 hours per night because it’s busy but that’s my choice because I want to go and hang out with my friends after work…as long as I can keep my voice, otherwise I sleep more!
My parents live in California so I go and see them. I grew up in Michigan so I go and see my friends there. I just take the time to see my family and catch up with friends because I don’t get to do that when I’m here and now that I have friends all over the world I am able to travel and see them as well!
I want to visit Australia, it’s on the top of my list!
Originally written by Natalie Aroyan for e-Travel Blackboard