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Meet Phillipa Lyder, who has worked for Royal Caribbean International® for eleven years. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Phillipa loves to cruise in her spare time and recommends Australia and New Zealand as the perfect cruise destination for adventure seekers. Scroll down to learn more about Phillipa Lyder.
Tell us about a moment where you went above and beyond to meet a Crown & Anchor® member's needs.
I met a young couple, and they wanted to go to Alaska. After talking with them I found out the wife was dying. It was their wish to go to Alaska, a dream they have always had. I booked that cruise for them. I was on that ship, Serenade of the Seas. They weren't sure she would be well enough to travel. She had maybe 24 months left to live. But they were a very, very happy couple and loved life. As the time got nearer, I began to check the booking. I informed the management and everyone working with the Crown & Anchor® Society members and made sure we did everything that we could do for them to make this the experience of their life.
What's a new and adventurous itinerary you would give to some one looking for a fresh experience?
I love to cruise in my spare time. There are so many opportunities when you do Australia/New Zealand. For one, it's the most beautiful landscape you could ever imagine. There's something there for everybody. Adventure for adventure seekers. If you love wine, the countryside is phenomenal, particularly in New Zealand. That's something that would top my list for one of the most beautiful places that I have been to, so it is certainly one that I recommend.
You attend several receptions, parties, and events on board. Which do you most look forward to and why?
I most look forward to the very beginning of the cruise, going down and meeting our Crown & Anchor members who have just come on board, particularly in the Diamond and the Concierge Lounge. It is wonderful because I've been with the company for so long that I meet these people over and over again.
The Crown & Anchor® Society Members are probably pretty interested in your personal on board life. What question do they most often ask you and what is the answer?
Most often I'm asked where I'm from because of my accent. I sound like I'm from the Caribbean. I look, however, like I'm from Europe or South America. It's the first question that everyone asks me. And I am from Trinidad and Tobago.
What would guests be most surprised to learn about you?
I love working, and I have won an international competition for art.
What path has got you to your current role?
I have always been in the tourism industry. I worked for the Administrator of Tourism in Trinidad for quite a number of years. Before that, my family owned a night club, we were involved in the Trinidad Carnival. Basically I was looking for a change, a complete a change from what I was doing. I had never been away from home. I heard from a friend, about another friend who worked onboard a cruise ship. I had never heard about cruise ships before. They told me about this job. I said, oh that sounds pretty interesting. I needed a change at that time. It just so happened that the recruiter for the cruise lines, saw me in the newspapers, because I did a lot of public relations for the Tourism Administration. They asked if I ever thought about working on a cruise ship? Just when he asked me that, I didn't have to think about it and said, "You know what? Yes," so he said, "I have someone coming in in a couple days. Come on by and you can do an interview. So I went and I did the interview. I actually applied for guest services at that time. When the person read my resumé they said, "You know something, there's a position called cruise staff that you have a lot of background in so you might be interested in that." It just so happened that the cruise staff did come up. I jumped into that, and it has just come forward from that.