Monica Carpenter’s Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism class was recently treated to guest speakers from Disney Cruise Line. This course encourages students to navigate the various aspects of this vast industry.

Mats Oskarsson, Hotel Director for Disney Dream and Brent Davies, Cruise Director for the Disney Magic, shared some valuable insights to the cruise line industry. With over a decade of experience, each of these industry professionals has a strong hold on what it takes to be successful.

“Our guests expect every aspect of their experience to be taken care of. We do all of the thinking for them,” Davies shares. This self-proclaimed ‘Captain of Fun’ does just that by providing guests with exceptional entertainment. His responsibilities include the adult and family entertainment and youth activities on board, as well as port adventures. Davies brings the magic to life onstage with the Walt Disney Theatre.

As a Hotel Director, Oskarsson oversees multiple departments including food and beverage, housekeeping and guest services. Crew members complete extensive training, focusing on effective communication, safety and security, as managers must carefully follow mandated state guidelines. Oskarrson’s responsibilities are no easy feat considering there are approximately 1,100 crew members and 4,000 guests on board. Crew members typically work 10 hours a day, seven days a week. Disney Cruise Line creates a balance between work and play by offering employees complimentary gym access and entertaining port activities.

In addition to the daily operations, Oskarsson notes the challenges the industry faces from the current economic climate. “People have less money to spend, but still want to go on vacation. We make small changes, such as offering free soda, in order to accommodate the economy,” he says.

In closing, Davies discloses to the students a key to guest satisfaction, “Never underestimate how you can positively impact a parent’s vacation by carefully planning their children’s activities.”