I mentioned a few weeks back that I was travelling as an ‘Enrichhment Speaker’ on board a cruise ship – and promised to let you know how it went…
Well, this week, I’ll make good on that promise – and let you know how you can get in on it, too …
First up – the headline: yes, it was well worth doing, and I’ve thrown my hat in the ring for another cruise quite soon.
But it IS work – so while you get to cruise and go to all the cool port destinations, you don’t get the same chance to relax on sea-days because you will be preparing your presentations; giving presentations; or conducting post-mortems on your presentations to make them even better next time.
So how does it work?
Depending on the ship that can take the form of craft classes, line-dancing lessons, even watercolour courses – but common to almost all ships are the ‘Destination Speakers’ and the ‘Enrichment Speakers’.
What’s the difference between the two?
Destination speakers are those men and women who tell you about the ports you are about to visit, about what to watch out for and what to avoid. Sometimes, but not always, they will also spruik the ship’s excursions (although some lines have actual cruise-line staff to do that).
Enrichment speakers, on the other hand, are those presenters who deliver ‘educational’ sessions on sea-days – on topics such as history, astronomy, antiques, geography, culture, military history, forensics and more.
That was four 45-60 minute presentations, on sea days – and for (almost all) the rest of the time, I was just a passenger – with all the same benefits that other passengers had.
Why? Because Guest Lecturers, as they are called, are not actual crew-members; instead they are ‘independent contractors’ who are contracted to deliver their lectures.
And how much do they get paid? Well, nothing – although they do get a cruise for them (and a partner) for free!
So my wife & I got a cabin, all our meals in the main dining room or buffet, use of all the facilities, the same shore visits as all other passengers, etc.
In the case of our recent cruise, we were on a Princess vessel – so the cabin we got was a ‘fleet cabin’ normally used by junior officers. It was quite small, only got cleaned and made up once a day, and had no toiletries / hairdryer / etc – and no folded towel animals, either!
But for $65 a day (the fee I paid to an agency to ‘place’ Shirley and me) we were not complaining!
Again, I have to stress these are a working holiday and hence I couldn’t complain when I had to attend a crew emergency drill for three hours one morning – but if you reckon this is the sort of thing you would like to give a go, contact me on the link below, and I’ll give you the details of the agency that places most Australia-based speakers on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess and Crystal cruises.