Mix together talents as a cheerleader, entertainer, and mother. Add a large dash of caring and organizing then wrap it in a blanket of energy.
What do you have?
Our Celebrity Constellation Cruise Director, Sue Denning.
I introduced you to Sue just after I met her on our transatlantic cruise.. Remember? She’d zipped past me en route to clean toilets in a public restroom on our ship. Along with the ship’s near-thousand other employees, she was working to eradicate the gastrointestinal virus that struck the sailing before ours. That toilet-cleaning made an impression on many of you and I promised a sequel; here it is:
It didn’t take long for life to get back to normal on board and then we started seeing Sue in her more traditional duties: interacting with passengers (like making the rounds on Sea Days with Hotel Director Jamie Petts) and introducing a variety of on- board entertainment and enrichment activities; always perfectly coiffed and always smiling, I might add. (I couldn’t have done it – way too much energy and enthusiasm required).
This English wife, mother and entertainer has been working in the cruise industry since 2004, both as a performer and Cruise Director. Yet, having a work schedule that requires four months on board, followed by two months off, hasn’t had a negative impact on her marriage (35 years!) or on her family (a son and daughter).
“I have a magnificent husband, two great kids and a wonderful home,” she says, flashing her trademark smile. “My husband performs on both land and sea. My daughter is performing in Vienna and my son in London’s West End. You might call us a modern-day Von Trappe family.”
“I genuinely care about what I do,” she says of her 24/7 job, “I have a passion for it.” But the job’s not for everyone, she cautions. “It is essential to be a people person. You must like what you do. It requires tolerance, not temper.”
Among cruise directors’ responsibilities are:
*directing passenger services, from activity programs and public announcements to "welcome onboard" and disembarking information.
*developing schedules for a staff of lecturers, speakers, special guest performers and on-staff entertainers for regular onboard programs.
* attending VIP functions, private parties, and ship-organized events, such as past passenger and welcome aboard receptions, like the one pictured above.
The real key to job success for a cruise director, she says, “Just to be yourself. Wake up the same way, every day.”
Do I need to tell you we are already hoping to have Sue aboard our Celebrity cruise next November?
Note: I wrote this post about Sue last week and our travel schedule prevented me from getting it posted until Sunday, Jan. 15 - two days after the tragic accident in Italy involving a Costa Cruise Line's ship - not Celebrity.. We love cruising and know how seriously all cruise lines take the safety of their passengers. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families whose lives were impacted by this incident.