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Erin Duffey, cruise director of Westerdam: “Essentially all of my job is interaction with passengers, whether that’s on stage or one on one. ”

JD Lasica / Special to Cruiseable

Erin Duffey, cruise director of Westerdam: “Essentially all of my job is interaction with passengers, whether that’s on stage or one on one. ”

A conversation with Westerdam's cruise director

Demystifying what goes on behind the scenes of a modern cruise ship

There's still a little bit of mystery about key members of a modern cruise ship crew and what they do. The cruise director, in particular, is the public face of the cruise line brand, but apart from hearing occasional PA announcements, a lot of passengers don't always have a keen appreciation for the important role the cruise director plays in making a cruise pop for its guests.

On my sailing aboard Holland America's Westerdam earlier this month, I pulled aside the ship's cruise director, Erin Duffey, for a quick 6-minute video interview (with my iPhone 7). Erin details what goes into the job of a cruise director, how she interacts with passengers, what goes into a typical day and how she works with the event manager to optimize the ship's entertainment offerings. 

Erin was fun to talk with, and her passion for her role and her focus on delighting the ship's guests was just infectious. A couple of highlights:

“Basically I'm the face and voice of the ship. I bring on all of the shows, I'm always walking around public venues to make sure events are 5-star quality and I basically serve as the brand ambassador to Holland America.”

“At noon I'm up on the bridge, and the captain will give all the navigational and weather information, and I highlight what's happening from noon to night.”

By the way, Westerdam is undergoing an extensive refurbishment in April and will be setting sail again in a month with some great new enhancements. 

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JD Lasica
I'm co-founder, Editor and chief cat herder at Cruiseable. Follow your cruise bliss to any land where it may lead. Let's connect! I'm @jdlasica on Twitter.

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