Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

A Day in the Life of a Royal Caribbean Cruise Director

Intro from Adam:

Many readers have requested to hear more about our crew, their backgrounds and their responsibilities.  Since we also hear similar questions from guests onboard, I will ask select crew members to periodically blog about their experiences on our ships.   I hope you enjoy the first post from Cruise Director, Ken Rush.  Please let us know what other crew members or roles you are interested in hearing more about.
———-
Ken Rush, Cruise DirectorI’m Ken Rush, a Cruise Director on Allure of the Seas and I can boast of being from the Courtesy Capital of the World – La Mirada, California. After studying acting, I pursued a successful career as a Master of Ceremonies for many major events including charity auctions, nightclubs and cabarets. In the fall of 1984, I took a cruise aboard the Azure Seas that changed my life. Within months I was hired as a Cruise Staff member.  I was promoted quickly through the ranks holding several positions from Shore Excursion Manager, Production Manager to Cruise Director. I have been Cruise Director on numerous Royal Caribbean International ships and am very honored to have been chosen as part of the inaugural team taking out all of our new ships including the latest amazing, Allure of the Seas.

 

Many guests ask me, “Do I ever sleep?” and the answer is “Yes about 5 hours a day.”  That’s not necessarily true, it’s more like 5-7 hours on a very busy day, like an average sea day onboard the “Ship of Entertainment,” Allure of the Seas. Our ship offers entertainment not only in the evening time, we offer entertainment all throughout the day.

 

As the Cruise Director, I am in charge of all of the activities and entertainment throughout the entire cruise and I am not just saying this, as much as I have enjoyed every ship I have ever worked on, we have really hit a home run in every aspect onboard Allure of the Seas with the many different shows we offer and the quality of the shows, which in my opinion (and many others) are terrific. 

 

Also, a lot of people have no idea what is involved in being a Cruise Director as they think the only thing we do is host the activities and shows. There are many things to do behind the scenes; from office time which includes planning the cruises, creating the activities, music and entertainment schedule for the week, to budgets, finances, human resources and managing a team of 225 staff members, just to name a few but there is much more.

 

Here is an example of what a sea day looks like to the Cruise Director of Allure.

7:00am – Wake up and get ready for a busy sea day
7:30am – Office time – making sure everything is set for the day and to look ahead and plan future cruises.
8:30am – Meeting with the Hotel Director and all division heads to discuss business of the day and the entire week, the clientele and any concerns or questions everyone has.
10:30am – Call with the Miami office and my bosses in Entertainment and Guest Activities for a weekly check in.
11:00am – Record television show for guests
11:30am-12:15pm – Walk the ship saying hello to our guests.
12:15pm-12:30pm – A quick lunch
12:55pm – Close the “How To Train your Dragon” Family Ice show
1:15pm – Host the Belly Flop Competition in the AquaTheater
2:55pm – Close the next “How to Train your Dragon” Family Ice Show
3:00pm – 4:30pm – Walk the ship saying hello to our guests
4:30pm – Get ready for the evening
5:00pm – Attend and host the Platinum and Diamond party for our Crown and Anchor Society members who have sailed many times with us before.
6:00pm-6:30pm – Dinner
6:30pm-7:30pm – Office time – answer emails and do business calls.
7:30pm – Host OceanAria Aqua show
8:15pm – Close OceanAria Aqua show
8:15pm-9:30pm – Walk the ship and check in with the staff and musicians and support them in the shows and music sets they are hosting
9:30pm – Host next OceanAria Aqua show
10:15pm – Close OceanAria Aqua show
10:15pm-10:30pm – Run over to the Amber Theater
10:30pm – Host the Love and Marriage Game show
Midnight – Attend the Escape by Malibu party in the Solarium, support the team running the event and socialize with our guests.
1:00am – Go to bed and get ready for another full day tomorrow.

 

Typically a Cruise Director works for 4 months then has 2 months off and yes, during the 4 months on, we are really “on” with no days off and very limited time off but if you love people like I do and love your job like I do, it’s a wonderful life. And I must love it as I just celebrated 26 years with Royal Caribbean and I still enjoy every single day.

 

People also ask me, “What is the toughest part of your job?” and my answer is “To try and make every single person onboard happy.” Some say that is impossible and my response to that is, “that doesn’t mean I won’t try…..I only want all of our guests to have a wonderful cruise vacation and yes, I know that sounds like a planned response but I am very sincere when I say that because I truly mean that.”

42 responses to:
“A Day in the Life of a Royal Caribbean Cruise Director”

  1. Pia

    I´d like to take this opportunity to thank you Ken for making our cruise so memorable. You kept popping up everywhere and therefore gave the Allure and Royal Caribbean a face and personal touch. We had an amazing week and long to be back. Greetings from a wintry Stockholm.

    • Adam

      Hello, Pia. Thank you for the kind words in regards to Ken. We hope you’re staying warm in Stockholm. We are so glad to hear you had such a memorable time onboard Allure and we hope to have you back onboard soon.

  2. michael lieberman

    Ken is an amazing cruise director. My wife & I were on the Allure 1/30-2/6, it the most astonding ship we have ever been on in our lives.(WOW) I don’t belive Ken ever sleeps, as we seemed to see him every minute of every day and if someone is not having a great time, it is their own fault. We already have reservations for the Oasis for Thanksging week and can’t wait.

    • Adam

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Michael. We are so happy to hear that Ken could show you the WOW even with his busy schedule. We are looking forward to having you back onboard this Thanksgiving. We know you will have a great time onboard Oasis.

  3. Marie Cusano

    I have been on a few cruises with Ken as the cruise director and he is the best. He really made the cruise a very enjoyable experience. RC has picked a great person with Ken. Glad to hear he is on Allure because I plan on another cruise this October on the Allure and look forward to having him as our cruise director again….Thanks Ken….

    • Adam

      We are so happy to hear that you enjoy cruising with Ken so much, Marie. We are sure he will deliver the WOW just as he did on your previous cruises. We can’t wait to see you with us on the Allure this October.

  4. Maria Kaye/MONTALBANO

    I have been on a lot of Royal Caribbean cruises but nothing like the cruise on the “Oasis of the Seas” on the 19th of Feb thru 26th, Oh My Goodness Spectacular, Thrilling and exciting It was the greatest cruise of my life and that Richard Spacey was the best I have ever seen in a cruise Director he made it so much more special for everyone!
    I am going got try The “Allure” this summer and see if it is as wonderful as the Oasis, RCCL Rocks! like no other, Yahoooooo what a fantabulous Criuse!

    Love you guys xoxoxo Maria

    • Adam

      What a great word to describe your cruise with us, Maria! We are so proud of all of our Cruise Directors and we know you will enjoy your time onboard with us again. Thanks again, and we hope to see you soon.

  5. Gail Foster

    I loved the post from Ken Rush and what a wonderful Cruise Director!!! My husband and I are Diamond Members and have been on serveral ships where Ken was the Director. He does make you feel welcome and at home. I have never laughed as much as the “Quest” show he hosts. I was planning a cruise with girlfriends for the end of March and told them I only wanted to cruise on Royal Caribbean. So we are going on the Freedom 3/27/11 – I am very excited and as always look forward to being treated as part of the family. Thanks. And please say hello to Ken.

    • Adam

      It sounds like you have quite the cruise in store for yourself and your girlfriends, Gail. We’re honored to hear that you feel part of our family, as that is exactly the type of experience we’re constantly striving for. We can’t wait to have you and your girlfriends onboard so they can also experience our Royal Advantage first hand. We will see you all soon, and we’ll be sure to pass the word along to Ken.

  6. Mary Lavelle

    hello just want to say been on board 2 other ships navigator and freedon with ken and those trips were just awsome had a great time will be on allure in oct this year and cannot wait knowing he is the director and that my waither john from the phillipines will be on the allure counting down the days they r great

    • Adam

      We’re so happy to hear that you had such a wonderful time onboard all of your cruises, Mary. We’re sure he’ll do another great job delivering the WOW and creating a memorable experience onboard for you on the Allure this October. Take care, and we will see you soon.

  7. The Captain

    Ahoys,
    Thanks for the informative article ..I always wonderred how it is all made to look so easy..I,m available as a guest speaker as I am single and have authored a book . I didnt realize theres an ice surface on the Allure, I skate almost once each week..
    Happy Sailing
    Captain.._/)..

  8. Linda Reimann

    We were just on the Allure 13-20Feb and our Cruise Director was Alan Brooks. He was AWESOME – so many other folks were all talking about what a riot he was (loved his humor)!! Alan said he moved to the Allure from the Oasis…. so is Ken the ‘regular’ CD for the Allure and Alan the 2 mos replacement?

    • Adam

      Hi, Linda. We are so glad to hear you had such a great time onboard with Allan. Ken started Allure but is now on vacation so Allan is now the cruise director. Thanks so much and we hope to see you again soon.

  9. Carol and Marvin

    Having the good fortune to have been on 60+ cruises we always make it a point to thank the cruise directors for the effort they expend to make a sailing special. The cruise director establishes a tone to ensure a special experience for the guests. It can vary from exciting to laid back and relaxing, depending on the ship and the passengers it serves. A combination of manager, entertainer, good will ambassador and friend; their influence is felt throughout the ship and we salute them for their tireless energy.

    • Adam

      Hello to you both Carol and Marvin and congratulations on your 60+ cruises! Thanks so much for your very kind words about all of our cruise directors. We are just so happy to have such wonderful cruisers like you to share these experiences with. Our cruise directors truly strive to deliver the WOW on each and every cruise. We’re delighted to know that their efforts are greatly appreciated. We can’t wait to have you both back onboard with us soon.

  10. Robert

    Great blog from Ken. I have been on 5 RCCL cruises all out of Port Canaveral. I have had Drew Devine, Marc Walker, and Grahm Seymore as Cruise Directors. All of whom did a fantastic job. I have always made it a point to thank the Cruise Director each cruise that I take. If I see one roaming around the ship I always try to say hi and ask them if their day is going well.

    Robert Anderson

    • Adam

      Thanks for the kind words, Robert. We are so happy to hear you enjoy our cruise directors, and go out of your way to greet them and make them feel appreciated. We are sure they are glad to meet such a fine gentleman as yourself. We hope you to see with us onboard soon.

  11. Jackie

    We were on Oasis last fall. We had Allen as our Cruise Director. He was wonderful. I was wondering if he has been moved to Allure as I saw him doing an interview with Jennie McCarthy during her filming on Allure. We would be very happy to have him again as our Cruise Director later this year on Allure, however we’ve also heard how wonderful Ken is and would love to meet him also.

    • Adam

      Hello, Jackie. We are so happy Allan was able to WOW you onboard Oasis this past fall. To answer your question, Allan is indeed the current cruise director onboard the Allure. Thank you so much for the kind words and we hope to see you again soon.

  12. Lyndsey Hart

    Hey that’s awesome that you started a blog. Will the nation of why not be hosting any online contests soon? The last one was really fun and hope we can see something similar in the near future.

    I’ve never been on a cruise so if that could be a prize that would be nice too :)

    THANKS!!!

    • Adam

      We are glad that you like it, Lyndsey. We are happy to hear you enjoyed our last contest and be sure to keep a look out on our webpage as well as our Facebook page for any upcoming contests.

  13. Susan

    Dear Adam,

    We were on the Allure Jan 30th saiing and we had Allan Brooks. He was fantastic. I had so much fun watching him, especially at the 70′s party.
    The allure was the best ship I have ever sailed on. I have been on 10 rccl cruise. (Diamond now, finally)
    Thank you so much for providing us with wonderful ships, service and fun.

    • Adam

      Congratulations on your diamond status, Susan. Thanks for all of the kind words and we hope to see you back onboard soon.

  14. louis

    Adam, congratulations on the initiative to further explain the employee work in a ship, is a very good idea.
    It was very interesting to read what Ken Rush has told us about his day to day. Definitely, the real success of a company count on employees as loyal and wonderful as seems to be Ken Rush. I congratulate you on having persons like him among your employees. Undoubtedly, ride the Allure of the Seas, and having Ken as a cruise director is a real privilege. Now I see why your company is considered the best , with the best ships and THE BEST employees¡¡¡ :-)

    • Adam

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Louis. We are very proud of our cruise directors and we will be sure to let them know how greatly appreciated they are, not only by us, but most importantly by our great fans like yourself.

  15. Helen aka mama monarch

    Morning Adam. Nice to see this column written by various crew members, giving us an insight into their jobs and lives. There is one character who, if you could tie him down long enough, would make for a terrific guest writer. Talking of Seamus, the legendary Leprechaun who is Maitre’D aboard Monarch. He has a million stories to tell about his 29 years with the company and each one has you roaring with laughter. I have shared 43 cruises with Seamus so far and hope to fit in a few more. It is people of his caliber and character that have made this company one of the best cruise lines.

    • Adam

      We are happy you enjoyed reading this article, Helen. Thanks for the great suggestion. There are so many wonderful crew members onboard our ships with such rich and interesting stories, each contributing memorable experiences for our guests in their own special way. We’ll be sure to send your idea along to the right department. Thank you.

  16. Renelle

    Thank you Ken for making our first RCI cruise on the Allure of the Seas so fun and memorable. We are looking forward to another cruise on the Allure! I was quite impressed with the endless activities on board and I too wondered when you had time to eat/sleep since you were everywhere on the ship! You were very entertaining and I enjoyed shows you hosted as you made me laugh quite a bit! I have to say that I was extremely impressed with the entire crew…all are very polite and gave great customer service. Our stateroom attendant Bambang was outstanding as were our dining room servers John and Hardy (sailing 5/1-5/8). Thanks to you and the entire Allure crew…you are AWESOME!

    • Adam

      Thank you so much for all of your kind words, Renelle! It’s great to hear that you had a great time onboard Allure of the Seas and we will be sure to tell Ken, along with the whole crew, how amazing they made your experience. We hope to see you again soon!

  17. judy

    I am sailing on 11 December on the Allure of the Seas. Will you be our Cruise Director?

  18. Andrea

    I sailed on the Allure of the Seas January 2012 and Ken Rush was the cruise director. My son and I met him in the sushi restaurant one night and he was very down to earth. Later on that evening, he came dressed in the famous white Saturday Night Fever suit and hosted a 70′s party in the Promenade with the “Village People” and Mod girls dancing. That was the best night on the cruise for me. I still have Disco Inferno as a ring-tone on my cellular. I can’t wait to sail with Royal Caribbean again.

    • Adam

      We’re happy to hear you had a great time onboard, Andrea. We’ll see you back onboard soon.

  19. Lindsey Grandsard

    My husband and I just finished our 5th sailing with Royal Caribbean and Drew Devine by far has been our favorite Cruise Director! He is so engaging and gets the crowd excited for upcoming events. I noticed him several times around the Monarch of the Seas meeting and greeting with guests. I truly feel the cruise director can make or break the entertainment experience and Drew has mastered this art!

    • Adam

      Thank you for your comment, Lindsey. We are truly grateful for all of our Cruise Directors and are happy that so many people appreciate what they do.

  20. Pam Erikson

    Just discovered this discussion on cruise directors, and after having many cruises under our belt, and our favorites with RCI – we have to say that our past two cruises (Baltic b2b with transatlantic in September) were the most enjoyable in all the years we have travelled – and for the most part this is because of a simply fantastic cruise director and activities staff. Steve Davis has the most wonderful personality for that job, which is why he does it so well! We will make a point of finding cruises where Steve is the CD and book those in the future! Well done RCI in continuing to find such wonderful staff. They really do make the different to our trips.

  21. Carly Pell

    My family of 6 has a cruise scheduled for July. Although two of us are platinum members, this will be the first cruise for 4 of the family members – so we are very excited. I wondered if there was a way to find out the cruise directors’ schedules when booking a cruise. The cruise directors have all been very good, but it would be nice if we could look at some type of schedule so perhaps we could vary cruise directors from year to year. Also, would there be any way to know who would be on the headliner show on the Allure and/or Oasis? Again, they have all been good – but just looking for a little variety.
    Thank you,
    Carly

    • Royal Caribbean International

      Hello Carly, In order to inquire who the cruise director will be for your sailing, please contact us prior to your sailing and provide us with your ship and sail date. We are able to provide that information closer to your sailing date. Regarding our production shows, they usually remain onboard for approximately five years. We look forward to welcoming you and your family onboard in July.

  22. Carleen

    Can you tell me who the cruise director will be on the Explorer of the Sea departing Thursday 7/31/2014 from Bayonne, NJ to the Caribbean.

    Thanks so much,
    Carleen

    • Royal Caribbean International

      Hello Carleen, the current Cruise Director for the Explorer of the Seas is Leigh Xuereb. We expect that he will still head that post during your trip. This is subject to change . Hope you enjoy your cruise!

  23. Alexandra Armijo

    Dear Mr. Adam,

    My name is Alexandra Armijo.
    I truly enjoy cruises; the entertainment, the service, and all the over all experience is something I find to be one of a kind.
    I am currently a college sophomore who has just read this blog of what your job entails…..and I must admit you have inspired me. I was always unsure of what type of hospitality career to pursue, but as of now I have never been more certain.
    I hope to become as successful and content as you one day.

    P.S

    Sorry for writing three years late(:

    Sincerely,

    Thee future Cruise Director

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