A shore excursion manager plays a vital customer service role on cruise ships. As a key salesperson on the ship, the manager works to sign up as many passengers as possible to take part in cruise-offered shore excursions. As the point person for these activities, which may include snorkeling, shopping or sightseeing, a manager coordinates the logistics and handles customer complaints.
Port of Call Duties
The shore excursion manager is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of a shore excursion go as planned for both the cruise line and the passenger. The manager works directly with vendors and passengers at each port. He must select vendors that are not only cost-effective, but that also provide superior service to the cruise passengers and keep them coming back for more. The shore excursion manager must constantly evaluate each partnership and address any issues that might arise.
A shore excursion manager works to attract as many passengers as possible to planned activities. Sales ability is essential, as are customer service and hospitality skills. On the ship, the manager sgive presentations about excursions and answer passenger questions. He must relay passenger information to the shore excursion provider and ensure that all passengers have tickets and documents. Dealing with any complaints that customers may have about a particular shore excursion is also part of the job.
Most shore excursion managers work both on and off the cruise ship, and receive room and board as a perk. Managers may be required to work in close quarters and stand for extended periods of time. Working on a moving ship has some hazards, such as seasickness, potential to fall overboard and falls during rough seas. At ports of call, weather conditions may vary. Working in the rain or extreme heat may be necessary.
A high school diploma or GED is usually necessary for this cruise ship position, and experience in hospitality, customer service and sales is a plus. Shore excursion managers are expected to have thorough knowledge of the ports of call they will be working at, and many employers require a minimum of two years' experience in shore excursions or another management role.
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