Thank You Interns!

As summer begins to close and fall starts to come into sight, our interns have begun their last few weeks of work with us.  Since the end of May, our interns have been onboard our ships not only providing excellent customer service to our passengers, but also learning the fundamentals of hotel and restaurant management. Many of them came directly from school and have spent their entire summer break with us. American Cruise Lines realizes that giving up the solace of summer was a difficult decision and we would like to commend all of our interns for choosing to further enhance their education through our internship program. We only received positive feedback and praise from our shipboard managers as well as our passengers about your performance. ACL would also like to thank our interns for all of their diligence and we truly hope that our program was a rewarding experience. For any student thinking about joining us next summer, keep an eye on our website as our application for the 2017 internship program will be up in the fall.

While our interns were hard at work for most of the summer, they did find time to get off of the ship and explore the city around them. Through social media posts, we were able to see all of the adventures that they went on and how they enjoyed their time onboard. Below, there is a gallery full of pictures that our interns took while cruising.

 

Welcome Aboard Interns!

 

     American Cruise Lines would like to officially welcome aboard our first class of summer interns! Composed mostly of undergraduate students, this group of twenty is coming from some of the best hospitality schools in the country. We have multiple students in the class who are currently attending the University of Houston and we also have a few that are enrolled at Stockton University. In addition, we have several students coming from Virginia Tech University, Cornell University, and Purdue University. Despite their different backgrounds, all twenty interns have a great passion for hospitality and decided to pursue an internship with ACL in order to gain some experience in the field. With arriving at training this week, the class will take its first step towards completing our internship program. After a successful training period, they will be sent to one of our ships where they will begin their 12 weeks of work alongside our fantastic shipboard staff.

     While our training classes are full for May, we are still accepting applications to our program that begins in June, July, and August. Our internships are very hospitality orientated and they are structured to give you the foundational skills necessary to be successful in the industry. However, even though our typical applicants are hospitality majors, we do encourage those studying other disciplines to apply. Our program will do much to strengthen your communication, time management as well as leadership skills which are all useful for almost any career path. Thus, if you are interested in having a unique internship experience this summer that will take you all across the U.S. while gaining valuable career experience, our program will be right for you.

If you would like to apply to our internship program, please do so via our careers website.

Good luck to all of our interns this summer!

Employee Spotlight

Rachel Haraguni

 

 

Rachel has been one of our best hospitality instructors for the past four seasons. Before coming to ACL, she served in the Navy for eight years and then received a BS in Hospitality with a focus on Tourism and Event Management from the University of New Haven. She instructs the majority of our training classes for temporary employees, so she most likely will be the first face that you come across when you arrive in Guilford, CT to start class.

Since training can be a point of apprehension for some candidates, we asked Rachel to share her perspective of the process. Not only does she run through a typical training class for our temporary employees, but also she offers advice on how to be successful and mentions some of the qualities that she looks for in a trainee.

 

1. What do you like most about being a hospitality instructor for ACL?

“My favorite part of the job is that while I train the same material each class, I get to interact with so many different personalities. The fact that I get to help mold young adults and provide them with guidance on what can potentially become their career is very rewarding for me. I have gotten to watch several of my trainees do well in a temporary steward, galley steward, or deckhand position and move up the ranks within the company to a full time position as a Chef, Shipboard Manager, or ERA.”

2. What is a usual training class like for temporary employees? (Deckhands, Stewards, Galley Stewards)

“A typical training class for temporary employees starts out with introductions of not only the staff but also the trainees so everyone gets to briefly know each other. We will talk a little about the company and our passengers to set the expectation. It will then turn more toward the breakdown of their specific positions through several methods of training to include PowerPoint Lectures, and hands on training with tons of reading material for the trainee to be able to read ahead and study from in the evenings. All trainees will learn shipboard safety and how to respond during an emergency. The days will be long to simulate the days aboard the vessel, so trainees should come with a great attitude and ready to work!”

3. What is your training method for temporary employees?

“We like to look at things from the trainee point of view and try to design the curriculum to be fast paced but easy to grasp through repetition and examples. While there are some topics that have to be taught via PowerPoint, we try and do as much hands on training as possible. I find that constant feedback and sometimes working one on one with trainees helps with the learning process. We tell actual sea stories of things that have happened onboard our vessels and how to handle situations they may come across. While we do have a very strict time schedule to follow, we still try and keep the course balanced by infusing a bit of humor into certain topics where we can. We will take the time to assist one person if they are falling behind so they can keep the pace with everyone as we want to set everyone up for success.”

4. What qualities make someone the “Top of their Training Class?”

“Some qualities that make trainees ‘Top of their Training Class’ would be having a great attitude, smiling, a semi-outgoing personality, being a go-getter, helpful, and obviously being able to quickly pick up the material being taught. A lot of those same qualities are what we look for when deciding if the trainee has met the needed requirements to safely and successfully work aboard our vessels. Material wise we can pretty much train anyone, but the trainee has to bring a great attitude and the drive to want to succeed as those are the things that can’t be taught in the short time that we have them.”

5. Do you have any advice for someone who is just starting the training process?

“My advice to someone starting training is to come ready to work with excitement and great energy for your new adventure! Pay attention during training and soak up as much as you can while you are with us. We don’t expect anyone to be perfect. We know you aren’t a machine, but take notes, actively participate, ask questions, bring a great attitude and you will succeed. Also, don’t over pack! Remember you are going to work so will need room for your uniforms, and a few sets of clothes for your off time. But remember you can wash your laundry onboard; you will be in port almost every day and can purchase anything additional that may you need. That is always feedback I get from trainees and managers alike, they wish they didn’t over pack.”

Looking forward to meeting you!

 

 

A Few Great Testimonials!

 

 

With the coming of spring, American Cruise Lines is now gearing up for a new season.  Our corporate office is hard at work finalizing our passengers’ travel plans while our shipboard staff is busy preparing our fleet in anticipation for their arrival. This summer is shaping up to be one of our best yet, so now is the perfect time for you to join us! We have openings in management as well as in our 16 week temporary positions.

If you are hesitant about submitting an application, please peruse through some of our recent employee testimonials (below).  As you will see, a career with ACL is a rewarding experience that will not only provide you with great professional skills, but also will allow you to meet some remarkable people while traveling throughout the U.S.

This is my third season with American Cruise Lines and this company has been nothing but good to me. I started as a steward and enjoyed the lifestyle so much I came back as management. The passengers are wonderful. Many have cruised with us before and enjoy a familiar face when returning. The benefits are great. The stewards and deck hands work very hard. This is a great way to save up money for a large future goal and there is always plenty of room to advance. The traveling is a bonus. It definitely is what you make of it. I always push my crew to get off the boat and experience the world outside. I am very proud of how hard I work and at the end of the day it feels good to be rewarded.
— Assistant Hotel Manager
American Cruise lines gave me the opportunity to travel and make new friends. Even though it is a lot of hard work and long hours you get to really learn what hard work means and it is like to be a team, you get to meet new people every week which is really cool. It is a great way to get out of a small town and really do something with your life. Passengers are great. The best part of this whole thing for me was making life-long friendships.
— Steward
Working for ACL was an experience that stays with me every day. The truth is in the interview at least it was for me in both positions held. You certainly do work long hours and at times stressful, and truthfully, I can’t think of any experience that is filled with growth personally and professionally that doesn’t stress you out at times. If you don’t mind working hard while banking money, this job is certainly for you. One thing I didn’t mention is the travel, which is truly an experience you will never be able to get with any other job. I’ve traveled completely up and down the East Coast and the Mississippi over a dozen times, you get to take in the history of the bedrock of America, which is an opportunity in itself.
— Deckhand Turned Cruise Director

New Hotel Management Positions

American Cruise Lines is currently looking for experienced managers to work onboard our ships this coming spring and summer. Whether you have worked on a cruise ship before or just need a change of scenery, our manager positions are ideal for those with a passion for hospitality. We have a range of positions available from a Hotel and Dining Supervisor to a Cruise Director. Each managerial role offers the chance to not only travel throughout America’s waterways, but also to build a successful career in the hospitality industry.

Typically, our managers work 6-8 week shifts with 1-2 weeks off as part of their full time employment. They also receive full benefits and daily competitive pay. All potential applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or business as well as previous experience.

If you are considering applying for one of our manager positions, please take a look at our Top Eight Pieces of Advice for Manager Applicants (below). This list comes straight from our recruitment team, so please keep it in mind when you are going through the hiring process. Good luck!

Top Eight Pieces of Advice for Manager Applicants

 1. Be sure that any correspondence with a recruiter is both formal and professional.

 2. Before the interview, conduct research on the company and the job opportunity--if the recruiter gives you a brochure or a packet to review before the interview, be sure to do so.

 3. Arrive on time for the interview (even when it is on Skype) and be prepared--make sure you are dressed appropriately and are ready to answer questions regarding your resume.

 4. During your interview--be authentic, honest, upbeat, confident and focused. Try to avoid complaining or showing any negativity.

 5. Be aware of your body language-your eye contact, handshake, smile, and posture can all convey your interest in the position. Try to control nervous tics such as toe tapping or pen clicking.

 6. It is fine to be nervous. We know that interviewing can be stressful and we try our best to make it a painless process. But, be sure that you do not come to the interview overly anxious.

 7. Be sure to listen during your interview and come with questions regarding the position.

8. Remember to follow-up after the interview with the recruiter and send him or her a thank you email.

Employee Recognition- Kenson Cesar

Chef Kenson has been a member of ACL’s shipboard kitchen staff for more than two years. He has served on four of our ships including the American Star, the Independence, the Queen of the Mississippi, and the Queen of the West. Kenson started out as a galley steward where he not only conquered the challenges of a 12-7-12 work schedule, but also developed a passion for preparing food. After completing his 12 weeks onboard, Kenson decided to stay with ACL and turn his newfound love into a career. Through the training provided by our excellent executive chefs, he was able to work his way up the ranks. He is now one of our most talented sous chefs who takes great pride in making the soups, the sauces, and the hors d’oeuvres that are served alongside the main entrees to our guests.

Kenson’s dedication as well as his profound customer service skills can best be described through his actions. Recently, while onboard the Queen of the West, two guests had to depart for the hospital prior to lunch. They did not return to the ship until well after dinner service and, knowing that they would be hungry, Chef Kenson waited in the dining room for them. He prepared them both something to eat and even assisted them to their room to dine. The guests were ecstatic as he definitely went above and beyond their expectations.

Seeing Double on the American Eagle

After the Aaskov Sisters, identical twins Amber and Jacquelyn, graduated from Nichols College in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in business and a minor in hospitality, they were not sure what they wanted to do, but did know they wanted to travel. Through research they discovered American Cruise Lines, applied online, and shortly after began working as Stewards together on board the American Eagle, “We thought it would be a great opportunity and a good experience for the future.”

Q: What is a fun and memorable experience you have had?
A: One very memorable experience we had was with a guest during our fourth week aboard. We met someone who graduated from the same college, which is amazing because Nichols is such a small school in Massachusetts. We connected from the beginning and he was so pleased with his choice to cruise with us. Additionally, we had a big family this week that chose to sit at our tables for the duration of their cruise. Making connections with groups of people in such a short time is really a unique thing to experience. 

Q: Plans for the future—what’s next?
A: After finishing being stewards, there are no immediate plans, but we want to take many different options into consideration. We would love to spend our time traveling and seeing parts of the world we haven’t seen before. We also both might look into applying for a management position with the cruise line because we’ve really enjoyed our time here.

Q: What do you like the most about this job?
A: Definitely the crew and passengers we’ve encountered and befriended thus far. When we first got here, we were scared because we did not know anyone. But after our first week on board, the people we worked with became our boat family. We have made lifelong friends with our Eagle crew, and also with the passengers. Making people happy is what we love to do. 

Q: What is something unique about you?
A: Well our senior year of college, we were voted “life of the party” as our senior superlative. 

Q: What are your favorite ports of call?
A: New Orleans, Memphis, and Baton Rouge. Those were the three that we enjoyed the most because they are so different from New England and there was a lot for us to do on our breaks.

Working at American Cruise Lines - Heidi Cater

A new testimonial straight off the boat!

Heidi is a Steward (Hotel Service Member) who recently just completed her 12 weeks on the Queen of the Mississippi.  She is a recent graduate with a business degree. We spoke to her by phone this week to get her take on the experience.

Tell me about some of your positive experiences while onboard?

“We formed a family unit.  I also enjoyed learning the fine dining, and housekeeping experience.”

How were your living quarters?

“They were perfect, I lived with two others.”

What cities were you able to visit?

“We went to Memphis, Nashville which was my favorite, and New Orleans.  I enjoyed Nashville because it was a big city, there was also a museum there I liked to visit.”

What advice do you have for future stewards?

“You need to be a hard worker!  Twelve weeks is a lot of hard work but it can be done.  You have to know what you are walking into.  Be ready to work hard!”

Employee Spotlight: Inside Sales Rep, Sandy, UT

Our Sandy, UT sales office has a number of great team members doing sales and customer service. So we though it would be a great idea to profile some of the people who make ACL a leader in the cruise industry. Below is a Q&A with Kimberly Swartzenberg, one of our sales reps.

1.       How long have you worked here and what did you do before ACL?

Re: I have been employed with American Cruise Lines since 1/12/2015. I was in the first training class in Utah. Prior to ACL, I was a manager with Walgreens and a Field Sales Manager with Vector Marketing (Cutco cutlery).

2.       Describe your best day ever working in sales at ACL?

Re: I have a tie for the ‘best day ever here.’ If you had asked me a year ago what my best day was I would tell you it was first time I booked 20 people in one day. However, it was soon followed up with the first time I hit Soaring Eagle (this happens when you book 50+ passengers in one week). I booked 52 passengers in one week (with only 20 minutes left! I hit it on my very last call for the week. I booked three passengers on the Columbia River and I will never forget the feeling of accomplishment when they told me they were ready to book). Also, I received a significant bonus along with an already very rewarding paycheck!

3.       What’s the best part about your job?

Re: I would say, hands down, the best part of this job is the clients you are working with. I’ve done sales for years and though I’ve always loved my past jobs, I have never been a part of something so special for people. You will speak with many engaging and charismaticpeople, and there are few things better than helping someone book the vacation they’ve always dreamed of!

4.       How would you describe the sales team members you work with?

Re: I love the people I work with and count many of them as close friends. The managers here are wonderful as well! We are all likeminded and there is a fun and friendly level of competition amongst us. My fellow team members look out for me, as I do them, and are encouraging and excited in my success, as I am theirs. Same can easily be said about the managers here. It’s a great feeling to come to work every day with friends.

5.       Are there great incentives in place to achieve your sales goals?

Re: The standards set for weekly goals are easily achievable and the bonus structure creates a lot of incentive to be consistent. The company will often offer further incentives as well- bonus cruises, pay off trips, etc.. Since I have started with this company, I have won two trips! One to New Orleans with anyone of my choice and another to any port of call that I wish.

6.       What types of people would do well in an ACL sales role?

Re: I think the best part of this job is that you do not have to have an innate affinity for sales. There are a few key qualities I believe one needs to have with this particular job; people oriented, motivation for constant success and personal growth, a friendly competitive side, goal oriented, a willingness and eagerness to learn and some basic computer skills. Of course, sales skills will only benefit you, but I do not see them as a requirement.

7.       What advice do you have for potential applicants thinking about joining ACL sales?

Re: If you’re looking for a job where your personal successes will be celebrated and you can feel safe and comfortable with the people around you then this is the place for you. I sought out a position that I enjoyed, gave me the feeling of progression and meaningfulness also coupled with a lucrative income. I have found exactly that with American Cruise Lines. So, if you’re looking for anything that falls within these, then ACL would be a great fit for you.

Apply for a sales job in Utah or Guilford, CT today!