Have you been watching ITV’s The Cruise? The programme that takes viewers behind the curtain of Princess Cruise’s Regal Princess and deep into the bowels of the ship and life on board.
The show, which has been aired on primetime TV, is a great advert, not only for Princess Cruises itself but the wider industry. We were offered the chance to speak with Scott, the new engineer, and talk about how he came to be working in the cruise industry – and made it onto the show itself.
Cruise Adviser: How did you first come to first work on a cruise ship?
Scott: It was after I left the Royal Navy. I got a call from Princess shortly before Christmas, asking to come for an interview and it all went from there. Originally I hadn’t intended on going back to sea but the job was that interesting that it lured me back!
CA: What is life like on board compared to in the Navy?
Scott: The ships are obviously a lot vaster than they are in the Navy. When I was in the services I was on an all-male ship, which is called a Stag Ship. Six month deployments on those could be a little lengthy… there was a lot of Testosterone and gym towels hanging around.
CA: What was the hardest thing about your job now?
Scott: It’s the size, there is such a lot of real estate to watch over. For that reason I would say it’s harder, but there are so many perks: the food is better, the company is better and the people you work with are from all around the world – so it’s a great contrast of people that you meet day to day.
CA: What’s your favourite destination?
Scott: I really like the Americas and Hawaii. My days are quite busy but I do try and get off the ship on my lunch break and do a bit of shopping – just to feel a bit of normality.
CA: What does your day consist of?
Scott: It’s meetings for most of the morning, and planning what needs to be done throughout the day or week. And then it really depends on if it’s a sea day or a port day. We’ll be working around the passengers too, it’s crucial that we maintain the illusion that everything is perfect and nothing breaks down. That’s not often but you need to keep on top of everything. We are kind of like the tooth fairies. With a little bit of TLC everything runs like clockwork.
CA: What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Scott: The biggest challenges are when we’re in drydock. A lot of the work prior to those events is more stressful than the drydocks themselves. You have to plan everything out, make sure the contracters know what they’re doing and making sure that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. You have 12 to 15 days when the ship is unrecognisable. It’s like putting humpty dumpty together again. The last day of a drydock is insane. But, for my job, to see everything stripped back is great because you can see how the basic elements are made and are run.
CA: How were you selected for the show in the first place?
Scott: I landed in it! I had been on board Regal Princess for about three hours and was doing a handover with the hotel service engineer who was on board. I got called into the hotel general manager’s office while I was looking through the handover notes! I felt like a naughty schoolboy being called into the headmaster’s office! I didn’t even have time to ask him where his office was. I ended up finding it, walking in and everyone was on a conference call. I was handed a press release and someone asked me if I wanted to be on TV.
CA: Were you given a strict set of guidelines?
Scott: Not really. I was just told to be myself. Although it was really nerve-racking because I had only just started. So the guys would say they want a couple of shots in the engine room and I wouldn’t know the way! So I was parachuted in.