Disney Dream Cruise Director Oversees Magic at Sea
As Cruise Director on the Disney Dream, Rachel Quinn is responsible for all of the onboard fun. Which means that all the show performers, musicians, DJs, kids activities personnel, and even characters report to her. AOL Travel met up with Quinn in a theater on the ship, which is under construction in Germany.
Disney Cruise Line
Quinn, who is from South Yorkshire, UK, has spent the last 22 years at sea. She started off as a performer before going on to serve as Cruise Director for Disney Cruise Line on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.
Quinn says a prerequisite for her job is that you've got to love people. That's a good thing as guests will see a lot of Quinn on the Disney Dream -- among other things, she'll serve as emcee.
AOL: Rachel, what is a cruise director?
Quinn: A cruise director has the best job in the world, I have to say. I am very fortunate. Basically we are here onboard to make sure the guests have nonstop fun and entertainment -- from the minute they board the ship to that last minute they really don't want to leave the ship.
AOL: How does one become cruise director?
Quinn: For me personally, I have 22 years in the industry. I was a main stage performer so always loved that side of the business and then just transitioned into being a cruise director. But not all cruise directors come from entertainment. We have cruise directors at Disney Cruise Line with a recreational background. But the key is time onboard the ship, understanding guests, understanding guest flow, and just the operation of a cruise ship.
AOL: We're in the lovely Buena Vista Theater where Disney movies are going to be shown, and this is just one of many places where magic is going to happen on the ship. Can you tell us what's in store for passengers?
Quinn: We'll be showing Disney 3-D Digital movies in here, as well as regular great movies. We have the Walt Disney Theater onboard where we have musicals and shows akin to Broadway. We just have amazing spaces here onboard for every single age group. Ranging from youth activities, the Oceaneer Club, Oceaneer Lab, It's a Small World Nursery. We have Vibe of course which is for the teenagers exclusively. We have come up with the most incredible space for the teens. From 6 to 16 to 60 we've got it all covered here on the Disney Dream.
AOL: So how many people are involved in the entertainment process on the ship?
Quinn: There are a lot ranging from main stage performers to the technicians to the youth activities team. We are sitting at about 150 to 160 [entertainment] crew members onboard to make our operation run smoothly.
AOL: Are there going to be some surprises on this ship? What do you have up your sleeve?
Quinn: Well, I couldn't tell you all of them because you know we want to surprise our guests! But yes, there are a lot of surprises for our guests. The innovations here on the Disney Dream are simply incredible. I know a lot of guests will already know about our wonderful AquaDuck (water coaster) on Deck 11. It is amazing, and by the way, been down it myself a couple of times. It's unbelievable. We have interactive floors. We have Enchanted Art. We have the Adventure Game. You just won't get it anywhere else. So you have to sail with us.
AOL: This is unlike any other ship when it comes to entertainment, I think you would say.
Quinn: As with our Disney Wonder and Disney Magic, we present the best entertainment in the world, certainly on any cruise ship, and we have certainly set a new bar here on Disney Dream.
AOL: Among other new things are going to be expanded deck parties. Tell us about that.
Quinn: We, as you know, have the fantastic Pirates evenings on our classic ships. Well, here on the Disney Dream we are going to have two different parties. One is Mickey's Pirates in the Caribbean party that will be earlier in the evening, specifically for families. We then have Buccaneer's Blast which is our fireworks display. And then we have our Club Pirate. This will be for the adults, but families are certainly invited as well. You will recognize a few elements from Pirates of the Caribbean, and then we're going into a fantastic dance party.
AOL: That's an important point. This ship clearly has places for adults who like to party, which may seem like a departure for Disney. Is it?
Quinn: It is, but you know we have so many adults that sail with us that do not have children. They love the world class service that we offer, and it's that friendly atmosphere onboard. We have a lot of areas on Disney Dream for adults only, including The District with some fantastic bars, lounges, and nightclubs.
AOL: The ship debuts in January. How are you preparing, and how is the rest of the entertainment crew preparing for the launch?
Quinn: We've been preparing for the last year, looking at guest flow, and how we can make the most of the time of the guest. They are only here for a 3- or 4-day cruise. There's a lot to see, a lot of experience. We have of course been rehearsing in Toronto our beautiful theater shows, and they'll be arriving here soon as well. And our technicians are making sure all this fantastic new technology is ready to rock 'n' roll as soon as our guests get onboard. So preparations all the way round.
AOL: And do you have the corny jokes ready? The schtick?
Quinn: I am very happy to tell you I don't actually own too many corny jokes. But then that's all a matter of opinion, isn't it? I'm sure I will have a few of those up my sleeve as well.