Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

“The Best Job in the World,” A Day in the Life of an Adventure Ocean Manager

Hi everybody!  I’m Paula Nicol, Adventure Ocean Manager on the Serenade of the Seas and my hometown is Sackville, NB, Canada.  I’m proud to tell you that I have been working at sea and with Royal Caribbean International for 12 years now.   What is an Adventure Ocean Manager you may ask? Well I oversee the Adventure Ocean program and it’s my job to keep all our junior cruisers, 17 years old and under entertained and to ensure they have a great vacation onboard!  How do I do that? I’m lucky to say I work closely with highly qualified Youth Staff, and together we provide an exciting activities-based Adventure Ocean youth program to the kids and teens onboard all our Royal Caribbean International ships.  As our company has grown and our ships have evolved, so has (I’m happy to say!) the Adventure Ocean program.  This means my job is never boring and always changing.  Onboard I oversee 7 different age group programs, starting with kids as young as 6 months, through the oldest, who are our 17 year olds. As an Adventure Ocean Manager it’s important we offer fun, creative, and engaging activities that are age appropriate for each group, thus we always have to keep our finger on the pulse of what the kids and teens love to do! 

 Paula Nicol, Adventure Ocean Manager

Guests often say to me “You have the best job, you get to play with kids all day”.  My answer “You’re right…I do have the best job in the world”.  Having said this, although I do get to play and host activities for the kids and teens, there is also a lot that goes on behind the scenes for an Adventure Ocean Manager, which often takes place before and after the doors to Adventure Ocean open (very early in the morning) and close (very late at night)!  I’m responsible for planning the daily activities and organizing the kids & teens cruise compasses, creating and implementing innovative activities, facility inspections for safety and security, training and development of the Youth Staff, equipment inventory, customer service, budgets and supply management just to name a few.

Another question I get asked a lot is “how did you end up doing this job?” After I earned my Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Physical Education and a minor in French, I entered the world of teaching.  After teaching for awhile I had the travel bug and while on a sailing trip with friends to the British Virgin Islands we saw a cruise ship (Nordic Empress) docked in Tortola.  Three months later I was working as a Youth Staff onboard that same ship, the Nordic Empress.  Fortunately I have been able to combine my passion for working with kids and traveling into a very rewarding career at sea!

What does a typical day look like for me? Well everyday is different, depending on whether we’re at sea or in port, high or low kid counts, however a typical, first seaday of the cruise would be something like this:

7:15 am -  Rise n’ Shine

7:45 am -  Breakfast

8:15 am -  AO/Fuel walk through and office time to make sure everything is set for the day.

9:00 am – Noon -   Registration in Adventure Ocean.

Noon -  Check on Fuel and the Adventure Beach Waterslide area.

12:15 pm -  Lunch

1:00 pm -  Office time.

2:00 pm -  Float through Adventure Ocean to support the teams running the afternoon sessions and check in on our afternoon Fisher-Price® programs.

5:00 pm -  Off to the gym for me!

7:30 pm -  Back to AO to either support the teams where necessary.

10:30 pm -  Wrap up in the office to ensure things are set for the following day.

11:30 pm -  Check in on the Late Night sessions and on the Fuel teen programs.

Midnight -  Done for the night.

Although our days can be long and we do typically work 4 months straight without a day off, there is so much to smile about at the end of the day that you want to get up and do it all over again tomorrow.  There is nothing better than seeing the big smiles on the kid’s faces during activities and hearing the laughter & shrieks of excitement as I pass through the Adventure Ocean facilities.  The best compliment we get is when we hear the kids tell their parents “We don’t want to leave!”

12 responses to:
““The Best Job in the World,” A Day in the Life of an Adventure Ocean Manager”

  1. Art Martin

    How would people go about applying for a job in the on board musician/entertainer part of the company ??
    Do you apply online or in Florida ??

    Art Martin
    Raleigh NC

    • Adam

      Hello Art, please click here for all available entertainment jobs. Thanks so much and good luck!

  2. Eric Groody

    It was great to see Paula’s guest blog entry. Our two daughters had a wonderful time in Adventure Ocean on the Serenade of the Seas in January 2008 and 2009. Paula was wonderful with our kids, as were all the Adventure Ocean staff members. We have had similar experiences with the Adventure Ocean experience on our other Royal Caribbean cruises.

    The Adventure Ocean program really enhances the overall family cruise experience. We get to spend a lot of time together as a family. When Adventure Ocean opens up though, the kids can’t wait to go there. The kids have a great time and make lasting friendships, while their parents have some alone time, enjoying all the activities RCI ships have to offer.

    Our daughters are looking forward to our upcoming cruise on the Explorer of the Seas, and getting to to go to Adventure Ocean and Fuel. They will be seeing some friends again that they met on the Explorer last year.

    • Adam

      We’re so happy to hear that you and your two daughters have such a wonderful time with Adventure Ocean, Eric. It really sounds like your daughters made special long lasting friendships with other cruisers their age. Thank you for sharing your comment, and we can’t wait to have you all back onboard Explorer of the Seas!

  3. Andy

    Paula, Thanks for sharing all that the staff does to make it a special experience. My daughter is shy — before her first cruise, she was nervous about meeting other kids. But from the first day onward, she looked forward to Adventure Ocean with anticipation. The staff made it exciting for all the kids, and they accomodated her special needs (she has a mild form of cerebral palsy.) Now a veteran of two cruises, she looks forward to her next Adventure Ocean experience.

    • Adam

      We look forward to having both you and your daughter back onboard, Andy. We are glad that the Adventure Ocean experience could help your daughter out of her shell and enjoy her cruise, while making friends along the way. We’re even happier to hear that she is looking forward to her next cruise experience, this is truly heartwarming. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us.

  4. tamer

    Hi There,

    i really am so much interested in working on the international cruise,and i am facing some sort of difficulty submitting my CV to the site,would appreciate if you can be of help regarding this.

    Thank you

    • Adam

      Hi Tamer, we are happy to hear about your interest in working with us. For information about our application process please click here. If your problems still persist please don’t hesitate to call us at (800) 398-9819. The best of luck to you.

  5. Michael lieberman

    Adventure Ocean is fantastic. My wife and I are diamond plus and have been on over 20 RCCL cruises, with eight of them being with our daughter, son-in-law & 5 year old grandson. He can’t wait to go to AO and do all the activities with new friends. We always know he is safe and in good hands and that he is busy and enjoying himself without adults. Next cruise is Oasis Thankgiving week and he is talking about it already. RCCL and AO are the best…….

    • Adam

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Michael. It makes us so happy to hear such raving reviews from you and your young cruiser. We can’t wait to have you and your family onboard with us again this November. See you soon!

  6. Lisa Langrell

    The timing of Ms. Paula’s blog couldnt have been better as we set sail on May 7th on Serenade with our 5 year old son whom. We are celebrating our anniversary (May 8th) and our son will be turning 6 (May 13th) all while aboard our cruise. This will be our first cruise with our son so we want to take advantage of the kids programming. We are so excited and I think we are more excited for our son-to truly see this whole new experience through his eyes. After showing him pics of the ship he has become really excited and he had 2 comments: “Look at that slide mom!” and “Can they make me a Star Wars Bday cake?” LOL. Dont be surprised if Darth Vader makes his debut aboard Serenade with “Life Saver” in hand.

    • Adam

      We’re glad to hear that Paula’s blog could be so helpful to you and your family, Lisa. We just know that your son is going to love Adventure Ocean as well as the rest of the ship. We’d love to see pictures when you get back! Feel free to post them on our Facebook page. We’re looking forward to seeing your family (and pictures) soon!

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