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  #1 (permalink)  
Old April 25th, 2011, 02:07 PM
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Talking Cruise Director made a difference

It is my humble opinion that all cruise directors are stamped out of pretty much the same mold, a modicum of talent and a boatload of ego. I seldom notice, nor care, who the CD is.

However on our recent cruise on HAL Volendam, Jimmy the cruise director made a difference. His personality and involvement with the passengers seemed a cut above the mode we are used to.

Check out our trip report and pictures at Australia and Indonesia Cruise and see some of the things Jimmy did that were fun.

How do others feel? Does the CD make a difference for you? Do you have your favorites?
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Old April 25th, 2011, 02:58 PM
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Well.... ordinarily, the CD never makes or breaks a cruise for me. I can barely remember a name....On the Magic next week...the famous or infamous, John Heald, who has a cult following of sorts, will be our CD,and it should be interesting to see how our 9 day go....lots of fun I am betting.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 08:58 PM
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I agree with Trip. Generally, I don't even know the CD's name. We sometimes watch the "Morning Show" on the cabin TV, but that's usually all we see of the CD.

Then, again, there's John Heald ! We sailed with him on one of our first cruise's when he was just a CD. Now, as Trip says, he's become a "cult personality" !

I keep up with his blog ( http://johnhealdsblog.com/ ) and personally, think he's hysterical! Other people, don't so much .
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Old April 26th, 2011, 08:37 AM
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Our last cruise we saw the CD as he said goodbye during debarkation
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Old April 26th, 2011, 08:43 AM
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On our last cruise the CD was great as a cruise director but lousy as a person .

A friend of a friend was a CD on the Princess line for many years and he ,in his opinion believed that the CD made the cruise what it was .
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Old April 26th, 2011, 09:41 AM
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i think that the cruise directors biggest influence is behind the scenes
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Old April 26th, 2011, 11:02 AM
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Question CD duties

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaK View Post
i think that the cruise directors biggest influence is behind the scenes
Well, that is an interesting comment. Personally I have never seen much evidence of that either. The cruise staff seems to work pretty smoothly regardless of the CD.

Perhaps his biggest influence is in booking the acts aboard? Or is that done by the head office?
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Old April 26th, 2011, 12:00 PM
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When I worked on cruise ships it seemed to me the CD was the pivotal person on a cruise ship - but then when I started sailing on them I realized most people do not even know who he is.

Where you see the CD the most is at entertainment events - if you skip those you may never even see him, but if you go to all of them you will come to know all of them.

here is how I picture CDs...

"Good evening!"

[little to no response from audience]

"I said GOOD EVENING!"

"Good Evening" yelled by maybe 1/2-dozen people. Then the CD acts like that was a really funny joke.

Its a tough job (being CD) and I have seen all kinds of styles, good & bad. The best are the ones who know how to entertain themselves, but who don't have an ego about it.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 12:46 PM
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What you DON'T know about the CD is the most important part.

The corporate office hires and assigns all the entertainment. The CD has no choice but to accept it and make the most of what he gets. At times he receives entertainers who are absolutely awful. He gives them the week off rather than forcing you to suffer through them. Often he convinces very good entertainers to perform additional times for you without being paid extra for it.

The CD sizes up the constantly changing demographics and then programs the daily activities to best suit the needs of those demographics.

He decides how, when, and where to keep the children busy so that their parents are happy - but even more important - so that those without children are even happier.

He programs hourly activities that spread out the passengers and make the ship feel less crowded.

He programs certain events so that they do not conflict with each other, e.g., he ensures that the bingo session is not competing with the Senior Repeaters party, or the disembarcation talk is not scheduled on a port day.

His personality and personal sets the tone for the behaviour of all his activities staff.

Based on prior experience, he decides which entertainers and which activities are most effective and successful at which times and in which ports.

He has a repertoire of activities that are not scheduled for every cruise. Based on his evaluation of the itinerary and passenger mix, he chooses to program events and activities that will be most enjoyable for the greatest number of passengers under the circumstances.

He is often approached/attacked by unhappy passengers over issues that have nothing to do with his department. He them follows up with the correct departments to ensure that those unhappy passengers are taken care of.

He is very involved in crew morale. If the crewmembers serving your food and cleaning your cabins are happy and smiling, you can probably thanks the cruise director for scheduling all the great parties, shore excursions, and activities that made the crew so happy.

He has a critical role in the safety/security system onboard. In many emergencies, this fellow is responsible for saving your life.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 09:55 AM
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Talking CD or not CD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
What you DON'T know about the CD is the most important part....

The CD sizes up the constantly changing demographics and then programs the daily activities to best suit the needs of those demographics....

He has a repertoire of activities that are not scheduled for every cruise. Based on his evaluation of the itinerary and passenger mix, he chooses to program events and activities that will be most enjoyable for the greatest number of passengers under the circumstances....

He is very involved in crew morale. If the crewmembers serving your food and cleaning your cabins are happy and smiling, you can probably thanks the cruise director for scheduling all the great parties, shore excursions, and activities that made the crew so happy.

He has a critical role in the safety/security system onboard. In many emergencies, this fellow is responsible for saving your life.
True, true. But to be honest, almost everything you listed is an administrative function that can be handled by any capable administrator, and really probably not so arduous nor difficult as those of any other department head on the ship. While the CD makes the overall decisions, most of these areas are actually executed by staff. Sometimes I feel the Assistant CD is more important than the CD because he actually puts these into effect. If the CD is a poor administrator, it will show up in subtle ways. If the CD is a lousy entertainer and not good with people, it hits the passengers in the face. As I said, most of the time, the CD is in between -- just a presence vaguely perceived as a modicum of talent and a boatload of ego.

Ah, where is Julie when we need her?
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Old April 27th, 2011, 10:06 AM
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I wonder if the norm, back in the 70's, was that the cd's were mainly women,and that's why the Love Boat, had a woman in this role..If so, I wonder when the shift went to mostly men.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 10:46 AM
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Question CD or Hostess?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
I wonder if the norm, back in the 70's, was that the cd's were mainly women,and that's why the Love Boat, had a woman in this role..If so, I wonder when the shift went to mostly men.
AIRC the role Julie played on the Love Boat was really more of a social hostess than a CD as we understand it today. Of course back then few people had actually cruised and most had no idea of a CD's duties.

And also I seem to recall that one of the major characters was described as a bartender, not even as a beverage manager ...
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Old April 27th, 2011, 03:37 PM
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Until our most recent cruise,we've never had a CD either make or break a cruise for us. Some seemed a lot more personable than others but they all did what I consider to be a satisfactory job. To be honest, I suppose I've never given them the credit they deserve, just took them for granted-but no more! The CD on the Constellation last Feb. was outstanding and certainly added to the overall success of the cruise. And it was -surprise- a woman!! Her name was Sue Denning and I think she must be a female John Heald (although we've never sailed with John)

I think the importance of the CD also depends on what kind of cruiser you are. If you're the type who tends to do your own thing, like hang around the pool all day and spend all day ashore on port days and the evenings in the bar or casino,then you probably won't have much interaction with the CD. On the other hand, if you're a cruiser who likes to get involved and "do everything", then you become much more aware of who the CD is and what kind of job he/she is doing. It always looks like such a fun glam job but they work incredibly long hours-as do all the staff and crew. Tough to be "on" 24/7
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Old April 27th, 2011, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
What you DON'T know about the CD is the most important part.

The corporate office hires and assigns all the entertainment. The CD has no choice but to accept it and make the most of what he gets. At times he receives entertainers who are absolutely awful. He gives them the week off rather than forcing you to suffer through them. Often he convinces very good entertainers to perform additional times for you without being paid extra for it.

The CD sizes up the constantly changing demographics and then programs the daily activities to best suit the needs of those demographics.

He decides how, when, and where to keep the children busy so that their parents are happy - but even more important - so that those without children are even happier.

He programs hourly activities that spread out the passengers and make the ship feel less crowded.

He programs certain events so that they do not conflict with each other, e.g., he ensures that the bingo session is not competing with the Senior Repeaters party, or the disembarcation talk is not scheduled on a port day.

His personality and personal sets the tone for the behaviour of all his activities staff.

Based on prior experience, he decides which entertainers and which activities are most effective and successful at which times and in which ports.

He has a repertoire of activities that are not scheduled for every cruise. Based on his evaluation of the itinerary and passenger mix, he chooses to program events and activities that will be most enjoyable for the greatest number of passengers under the circumstances.

He is often approached/attacked by unhappy passengers over issues that have nothing to do with his department. He them follows up with the correct departments to ensure that those unhappy passengers are taken care of.

He is very involved in crew morale. If the crewmembers serving your food and cleaning your cabins are happy and smiling, you can probably thanks the cruise director for scheduling all the great parties, shore excursions, and activities that made the crew so happy.

He has a critical role in the safety/security system onboard. In many emergencies, this fellow is responsible for saving your life.
all that and more...
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Old April 27th, 2011, 07:40 PM
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From previous cruises, I didn't even remember the name (nor even that we had a cruise director :X) but on my last Carnival cruise, Todd and Kevin (assistant director) did such an amazing job! Very enjoyable! Made a huge difference to us and made us loyal to Carnival.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 08:02 PM
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Cool Difference in cruise directors

In all the years we have cruised the Cruise Director has not seemed to have made a difference, or maybe I never noticed it.. Then we cruised on a Celebrity ship with Alan King as the CD and the tone of the ship improved as this friendly CD was all over the place. Last May we cruised the Soltice with John Gantham and again..what a bore, reeking of cologne, not seeming to know what to do when he had a problem with the entertainment in the main theatre..In October we sailed the Equinox and had the pleasure of Dru Pavlov, what a lovely gentleman and he set the cheerful atmophere for the entire 13 day cruise. Lucky cuisers who have had such positive experiences
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Old April 30th, 2011, 01:33 AM
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My first cruise was Costa Atlantica and the CD was Andreas. He was phenomenal. Very personable and likable. And always dressed to the nines ... which fit with the overall feel of the ship. Last year was Carnival Imagination with Tory. And I just wasn't impressed. She always felt like she was trying too hard. And not very conversational when passed on ship. Andreas was great, including his star gazing on the nights of our sea days.
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Old February 28th, 2013, 07:47 PM
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I had him on sensation in Jan 2013 he made the cruise special for me! I'm an Iraq veteran and it was my wedding anniversary he honored me on the final night at the final show. I went to the veterans meet in the oak room and the employee in there took my Iraq injured anniversary story to WEE Jimmy and they sent roses to our room champagne! Reserved seating at the show and had me stand to speak about me and honor me!

After the show he talked with us 30 minutes I met the two break dancers Bboys that hip hop on the cruise and Jimmy's last words were let us know the first day so we can pamper you! The whole cruise

Top that off end of show I stood up to leave no one else did I look up at spotlight area WEE JIMMY SALUTES ME! Nothing but respect and love!
He showed us pics of the house he just bout in Ohio. I want to send him and the dancers a gift and can not figure out how to contact him!
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