Cruise Directors

I've been following a discussion regarding the cruise director for an upcoming cruise.

How much of an impact can a CD have on my personal experience?

10 Answers

It depends. Some cruisers say that a CD really makes their cruise an enjoyable one to others who could care less.

Im one of the ones who could care less. What does a cruise director do? well....organizes games at the pool, holds classes for shopping trips ashore (translate shill for the cruise line "approved" shopping venues...caveat emptor) makes announcements after shows that virtually nobody cares anything about (they're thirsty or hungry), speaking of announcements, those endless announcements on the ships PA.."don't forget BINGO!!" you might even get one that uses English as a FIRST language. That person, or one of his assistants, emcees game shows in the evening. Usually for folks who actually don't care either, but don't know what to do with themselves. Speaking of announcements. about the most useful announcement was directions to get OFF the ship in port, at a pier or tendering.. In all fairness, I have seen them ashore organizing screwups on excursions...(causing or fixing em, your choice). Next cruise will be # 23, and the only time we paid any attention was on the first two, because we had NO idea what goes on onboard. Then we learned to read the dailies, and stick a copy in my back pocket. THATS our cruise director. Those dailies, depending on the line, will tell you everything you need to know.

Want to know who's way more important? welllll...your cabin steward, attentive (or inattentive) waiters, the bartenders, your concierge, if you have one..and...dare I say it, the "announcements" by the Captain...

The impact of a CD depends on the ship. On the bigger Ships (Oasis, Allure, etc) I have found that the CD has less of an impact as an individual, as their staff has.

On the smaller ships we have cruised on (Empress, Majesty) The CD's staff is much smaller, and therefore the CD themselves can have a profound impact.

Ex: The Cruise Director for our Empress cruise was essentially non-present. There definitely seemed to be a big difference on Majesty, where we stepped on the ship, and were immediately greeted, in Person, by the CD and a member of her staff. The Atmosphere was completely different with a Present and active cruise director.


However your daily publication from the cruiseline is your best source to know whats going on, and can replace a CD alltogether if you're not into the cliche cruise "things"

Agreed, OPUS, excellent point and well said. back in the day, when the ships we cruised on were significantly smaller, this was true. Even now, I could understand the impact a cruise director may or may not have, especially on those smaller ships. Indeed, I have seen "niche" ships on TV where the Cruise Director seemed to be the most important member of the crew. Today however, they seem swallowed up by 4k+ passengers.

I am one of those who could care less.. but being on a ship for 5 days before hitting land, I found that the CD was pretty entertaining, but the Fun Times (or whatever daily your ship offers) really directed us more than anyone / anything. Like Yankee said, it was more helpful and portable! We aren't ones for games etc but we did go to the 80's "party" and were entertained by the CD. I wouldn't book a cruise just specifically for the CD, I know a lot of people do.. and more power to them!

CDs coordinate add-on talent (singers & comedians) and activities (games) - so if you're happy with the talent and activities you'll enjoy the cruise more. Many have very outgoing, and sometimes annoying (to some people) personalities - so you may be left with a negative impression.

Personally I don't care. As long as the entertainment is good, I think they're doing their job. I do get annoyed when they talk on and on and try to be funny when they're not. But some are pretty talented. So you can't paint with a broad brush. I think its probably a pretty demanding job - long hours and you have to appear to be happy and energetic all the time. They need to set a tone for the cruise.

cruise directors is just someone to blare over the ships communication system. We go for ship and destination not cruise directors.

We have had 2 great CDs, but would not book a cruise just to see a certain one.


Actually the Entertainment DIrector coordinates the "talent" once on board (the entertain department at corporate make all other approvals and arrangements like the contracts and ship to ship travel arrangements to get the entertainers on a particular ship), while the Cruise Director is merely the public face liaison to MC and cheerlead passengers into getting them to attend shows, events, and major activities.

The definition of a good or entertaining CD will varied and subjective, just like our options of any entertainer. Try to think of them (the CDs) as more of your on board news anchor, some of us can do without still having a well informed and enjoyable time planning things on our own, while others like to have that recognizable face or voice to introduced the audience to the main show or tell them about things going on around the ship. SO for some having an entertaining CD to warm-up the crowd is a necessity, and to them a good one vs. a modecore or dull one will make a world of difference. While to others the CD is just an old fashioned hold over to years ago when cruising was less sophisticated.

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