We speak to the people who make your job easier. This month: MSC Cruises’ Karen Spencer
What does your job entail?
We are working very hard to promote the brand and empower more agents with MSC knowledge, as this is key to our success for the future. I visit agents to share excellent offers, conduct training and attend consumer events to make sure all our key messages get across to my region and potential cruisers, as well as helping my lovely northern angels out with any queries they may have. I also support with marketing, commercial queries and social media.
How long have you worked in the travel industry?
For 31 years! I worked for a retail travel agent for 27 years, then I joined MSC four years ago and I’ve not looked back since.
What’s the best thing about being on the road?
The people that I meet daily. Agents make me smile and I hope I make them smile, too! It’s hard work, with long hours, but spreading my love and passion for MSC across the north is the best job anyone could have.
What’s the worst?
Some of the dodgy hotels that I have booked myself into over the years. A hotel in Hull had shutters and two thick doors to get through before you even got to your room, plus in reception it said the room rate was by the hour! It was lovely!
Favourite place to visit?
Goa. The people and the food are just amazing. After a hard year of non-stop work, it’s always great to get that sun on your back in the winter months and Goa offers just this.Chilling on the beach, chatting to the locals and sharing a drink or two… or three is perfect!
What do you listen to when you are in the car?
It depends on what time of day. Early mornings are Radio 2, then later in the morning I have a bit of Radio 1, then on the way home I have silence! Weird, I know, but after chatting all day, it’s sometimes nice to have some peace and quiet and plot my next day. Plus it’s a good time to catch up with my roadie chums and travel agents and find out how their days have been.
One thing you couldn’t live without on the road?
My knife and fork. you never know when you are going to get a chance to eat, so it’s usually grab and go and eat in the car. I used to swing into McDonald’s (and other well-known fast food outlets) but not any more. Healthy eating all the way for me!
What’s your favourite thing about MSC?
There are way too many favourite things. We have an amazing product and our growth is due to be phenomenal over the next 11 years, with 13 brand new ships, so there are exciting times ahead. My team are amazing and fun to work with and we all share the same aspirations as to where we are taking MSC. After the team, it has to be our pizza! #bestpizzaatsea
Biggest myth about MSC?
English is the fifth language spoken… It is the first language spoken on board, so it means we win bingo first!
If agents want to find out more, what should they do?
Follow us on social media. MSC Cruises Travel Agent page on Facebook has all of our key offers, plus competitions to win cruises and goodies.