Students at UCF’s Rosen College will have the opportunity to participate in a unique elective course next spring that will take them aboard the Disney Cruise Line during Spring Break for an in-depth look at the cruise industry.

The hospitality management and event management students will venture behind the scenes to experience the inner workings of a cruise ship and attend a series of educational seminars by Disney Cruise Line executives on a variety of topics.

“The cruise industry is the most exciting growth category in the entire leisure market,” said course instructor Suzan Bunn. “Over 50 million North Americans indicate an interest to take a future cruise with an average annual passenger growth rate of over 7 percent. Cruising affords a way to sample destination areas in a way no other travel does.”

Students first will study by land during lectures at Rosen College and then by sea during a five-night Caribbean Cruise on the Disney Wonder. The partnership between the college and Disney will give participants the opportunity to learn about the cruise-industry history, operating and marketing procedures, career opportunities, ship profiles, itineraries and ports of call.

“Working with the Rosen College of Hospitality Management enables us to share our expertise with the next generation of hospitality and tourism professionals and provide insights that will help them better understand the cruise industry,” said Anthony Connelly, senior vice president of Disney Cruise Line operations and a University of Central Florida alumnus.  “We strive to make a positive impact in the lives of our neighbors in all of our homeports and destinations around the world, and it is especially meaningful to be able to do that right here at home in Central Florida. We believe these efforts will ultimately benefit the cruise industry, which is a significant segment of tourism in Florida.”

For many, taking a cruise may sound like a vacation, but for students interested in taking this course, it is an opportunity to add to their knowledge and skills in preparation for a career in the field.

“I’m very passionate about the cruise industry and that is the reason why I am going to school here at Rosen,” said sophomore Jessica Getlik.

Only Rosen College degree-seeking students are eligible for this course and a valid passport is required. For more information, contact Bunn at or 407-903-8212.