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Retiring Her Sea Legs For Iglu’s Office

01 May 2013

Royal Caribbean Ship Sailing

After spending the last five years working onboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships Sally Grimes is welcomed to the Iglu team to bring a wealth of unique knowledge about all things cruise! Here’s what she has to say:

After living and working on cruise ships for the last five years of my life it seems surreal that I am now sitting here writing a blog introducing myself and letting you all in on a small snippet of my crazy adventures at sea!

A mind for adventure…

At the innocent age of 21 after completing my studies and working within a few companies in the travel industry, I had this adventurous dream of working onboard a cruise ship, which was slightly strange bearing in mind I had never been on a boat, let alone a cruise ship! I started to look into different cruise lines, jobs and more importantly how old you had to be to work onboard! From extensive research I became particularly interested in Royal Caribbean due to their large, innovative ships and bright, friendly reputation. ‘Guest Services Officer’….what a perfect role I eagerly thought to myself. I knew I had excellent customer service skills, good communication skills and was sure I would be able to enhance a guest’s experience on a cruise. So with no further ado I sent off my application, had my interviews and was hired…eeek now it was just a waiting game for my placement!

Off I go...

A month later I had my US visa and flights booked and I was off to Miami to join the Majesty of the Seas to work and sail around the Caribbean. Although the Majesty is the smallest of Royal Caribbean’s fleet I will never forget walking up to the ship in complete awe of how large it was. The astonishment did not stop there, the interior was magnificent and I knew I was going to love my new home! It did not take me long to rapidly start gaining a passion for cruise. I learnt so much about the cruising industry and I feel that you gain an extensive understanding of the industry if you have actually worked onboard!

My first six month contract came to an end and I knew I wanted to stay with Royal Caribbean and build up a career within the cruise industry. After being placed on a Freedom class ship for my next contract I was lucky enough to be part of the take out team for the new ship, Oasis of the Seas. I was so excited, I mean the Oasis of the Seas…the largest, most innovative ship in the world, can you imagine my anticipation?

Being part of history…

I was one of the first people to step onboard the Oasis in August 2009 in the ship yard at Turku, Finland. It still gives me goose bumps when I remember the taxi pulling up to the ship…it was AMAZING! In -8 temperatures I donned a helmet and thick coat and set off to explore the ship, to be honest when I entered it looked like a building yard and it was incredible to experience first-hand how a ship is built and pulled together. In November we set off on our two week crossing to Fort Lauderdale, of what will always be the most exhilarating two weeks of my life. From going under the Great Belt Bridge to being stuck in 40 foot waves in the Bay of Biscay the whole experience was incredible. The welcome when we arrived into Fort Lauderdale was unbelievable, it felt like the whole world was waiting for us. I even get a tiny bit emotional sitting here thinking about it!

It was on the Oasis that I became interested in starting to move up positions in the company and further my career. The position of Loyalty Ambassador was the role I really wanted! This role involved onboard marketing, booking guests on their future cruise and taking care of the company’s loyalty guests. This role really gives you chance to enhance and share your knowledge of cruising with people and I was delighted to be offered the position. I have worked as a Future Cruise and Loyalty Ambassador representing Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara Club cruises onboard many Royal Caribbean ships including Oasis of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas. I have taken lead of various projects and been the face behind many new ideas that have been implemented onboard throughout the fleet.

Seen the world…

I have been on every class of Royal Caribbean ship as well as travelled on other cruise lines and also been fortunate enough to travel all over the world so I truly have first-hand knowledge of everything anyone would need to know about cruise! I honestly do not believe there is a better option for a holiday than a cruise. No other choice of holiday allows you to go to multiple destinations, only have to unpack once, get constantly waited on, see the best in entertainment and taste the finest dining options…all in one place. Cruising offers incomparable value for money and I can fully understand why after going on one cruise, you are hooked! With the cruise industry rapidly expanding it is now possible to cruise all over the world on a range of cruise lines depending on your style of traveling.

My time at sea has been one electrifying journey with a wonderful company! It has taught me not only about the travel industry but about myself and life as a whole.

My new adventure…

I am now extremely excited to join Iglu’s Digital Marketing team and hopefully bring some unique, informative and new ideas to the team. Marketing is an area I have experience in and will find great pleasure in combining this with my passion for the travel industry, particularly cruise. I already know that Iglu are a fantastic company who have really grown within the travel industry and built an admirable reputation in the world of cruise and ski. You only need to read the constant positive feedback from customers or see the awards they have won to realise this.

Due to personally experiencing almost everything in the world of cruise I am planning to do regular, knowledgeable blogs for all your cruising needs! Stay tuned.

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