I recently just returned from my first real vacation in many years. I joined some of the members of my high school class for an 8-day Caribbean Cruise.
We sailed aboard Carnival’s Splendor and it was wonderful.
Behind The Fun
Carnival offers a special behind the scenes tour of the ship on the last sea day of a cruise. It’s a very extensive tour that starts on the bridge and time with the captain, Splendor’s Roberto Tine.
Next, we travel to the ship’s engine room and visit with Splendor’s chief engineer Mario Testa.
What we basically learn is that everything on today’s cruise ship can be fully automated, but a full staff of people man the controls and make the decisions.
The Carnival Splendor can carry 3,012 guests along with a crew of 1,150.
The Key People
One of the light boards on the ship had pictures of the key personnel on the Splendor and showed four people, the captain, the chief engineer, the head of hotel operations and the cruise director.
The person just about everyone on the Splendor came in contact with was cruise director MarQ Anthony.
His Facebook page really tells the story of this dynamic personality. People write on his page things like: We will definitely be returning just for MarQ and his funny, crazy self. He blew it away. Truly an epic vacation. The most memorable moments of the cruise included the very talented, energetic, and hilarious MarQ, our cruise director. I won’t forget this cruise anytime soon! Carnival has a jewel with MarQ and some other staff members on that ship. MarQ was fantastic, phenomenal, amazing, and overall the most energetic and fun person I’ve ever met. He made every single event my mom and I attended on the ship memorable and we had a great time. The best part was seeing how much he enjoyed everything he did and his effort to connect and build relationships with people throughout the cruise. We looked forward to hearing his wake-up calls and getting into any event he was involved in on the ship. We loved you MarQ and we look forward to (hopefully) seeing you again!!!
I have to say, I concur with everyone’s comments and MarQ IS Carnival in my mind.
People Attract People
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how it’s people that attract people. I wrote that article to emphasize how it was the radio personalities that put a fire in my belly to be a part of the radio business. I worked in radio for over four decades and then seven years ago I transitioned into teaching when I became a broadcast professor at a university. I wanted to light fires in the bellies of my students for the radio industry.
We never get a second chance to make a first impression. For my fiancé this was her first cruise. For me it was my second one but my first was about three decades ago, so it was like the first time for me too.
Good first impressions come from projecting a positive image and doing that comes from your attitude. MarQ led a team of people on the Carnival Splendor that had a positive attitude. Anna is the head of training and staff development on the Splendor and was the person who led our group of 16 people on our tour. (Note: the Behind The Fun tour of the ship is limited to a maximum of 16 people)
The crew’s section of the ship is like a city within a city. It’s not as flashy as the guest accommodations but it is clean, comfortable and Carnival makes every effort to ensure that their team members are happy and well cared for. The hiring business model appears to put hiring people with the right attitude first. Everyone on the Carnival Team was upbeat, positive and fun to be around. They don’t just make a great first impression but reinforce that impression with every encounter.
The cruise was a wonderful vacation. We visited four islands over our eight-day cruise, we saw many wonderful and amazing things, we even rode a Segway, but what we will remember forever were the people of the Splendor and how they made us feel.
In the end, it’s not about stuff or things, but people-to-people encounters.
So much of the cruise experience could be fully automated, but it would pale with the experience we enjoyed because of the wonderful people on the Carnival team.
Almost every radio station impacts more people with their broadcast signal than the 3,012 guests aboard the Splendor, but they lose their advantage when they automate and voice track their product. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Clayton Christensen wrote in the “The Innovator’s Dilemma” that businesses are disrupted not because they ignored threats to their business but because they didn’t recognize the threats to their business.
Radio can’t dilute its core business while in pursuit of possible ancillary activities.
Radio’s core business are talented people totally engaged and focused on their service area, 24/7.