Eating crocodile in Adelaide – World cruiseMumbia, Maharashtra, India – Taxi’sSkjolden, Sognefjord, NorwayScuba diving at Whitehaven beach, Great barrier ReefMumbia, Maharashtra, India – Lady walking her cowRiding a elephant in Phuket, ThailandPluket ThailandDancers of arrival at KeemananAlbany, during tour of AustraliaKotor MontenegroIzmir, TurkeyAlgieria, Algiers

The life of a Destination Lecturer!

People ask, "What is it like to be a Destination Lecturer?” The answer is “Very Hard Work!” Yet I adore it! It’s a fabulous life style.

Research and Lecturers

The majority of my time, in fact many hundreds of hours, is spent researching and collating material for the bespoke destination presentations. Although, I have visited the destinations before, I still do an enormous amount of research on the generality of the location as well as gathering further in depth information on the finer points of a particular destination.

Every presentation needs to be cross referenced on the geography and history at least three times per fact -  the historical details are the most difficult to compile. Not surprisingly, it can take several days to create an engaging and informative 45 minute lecture and I am constantly updating and improving my presentations. I have an office on land to house thousands of pieces of reference material and a mobile office for when I’m at sea. There are also times when I need to be in contact with embassies and consulates prior to the cruise to source the best information.

Photo Library

Over the years, I have built up a digital photo library of over 40,000 images and it grows with every trip! I capture the unique qualities of the location including the culture, events and attractions. I have all the professional equipment and knowledge to take, prepare, sort and file digital images. A specialist production team are on hand to assist me with the more technical aspects of each presentation, for example the editing of video footage and music.

Portable Office

I have a portable office that travels with me on every worldwide cruise. It includes essential items such as laptops, printers, digital camera’s, books, stationery and chargers etc. Other essentials like two GPRS mobile phones.

I never go on a trip without sharing it with my husband Richard who is a great help with cross referencing my travel material. He is a chartered building surveyor, is multi-lingual, and is a key contributor to features on the fascinating architecture of a destination - We have recently created a wonderful series of cruise ship lectures entitled “The London Collection” The history, architecture and palaces of London, England.

Clothing Essentials

Clothing needs are a major consideration for my working trips - imagine I have to have a wardrobe of clothes to cope with such diverse climates as the tropics and the Arctic Circle. I require pre-prepared outfits for each lecture, documentary footage and photographic shots.

Additionally, evening dresses are required for the formal nights, and suitable outfits for cocktail wear, casual evenings, themed evenings, gym wear and swimwear - let alone all the shoes. My own bedroom houses three double wardrobes for clothes and a separate large double bedroom includes a converted walk-in wardrobe used purely for mine and my husband’s cruise clothes and cases. A Destination Lecturer never travels light!


Travel planning

There is of course the need to arrange visas, vaccinations, and car parking at ports, as well as regular liaison with relevant agents and the ship/shore staff. We need to work closely with the ship's entertainment team, captain and crew.


Destination Lecturer Presentations

There are three rehearsals per lecture, required to ensure the production equipment functions correctly. I do two on shore and one final practice lecture onboard ship prior to the live theatre presentation. I usually set-up and do a final check about one hour before the lecture starts. It’s a great feeling seeing all the cruise passengers arrive to listen to your presentation.

As well as having to work closely with the technicians of each ship I also provide 15 minutes of relevant music that is researched in advance, purchased, compiled without any breaks and then ‘burned’ onto CD ready for the technician to load prior to the presentation. Editing music isn’t my strong point so Charlie in our team produces and arranges my choices.


Immerse yourself in the local culture

On an approach to the destination, I may be asked to go to the bridge by the captain to provide a talk to the whole ship via the ship's speaker systems. On arrival, I divide my time between volunteering as a “tour escort” for the cruise ship's shore excursion department, and gathering additional documentary footage and photographs. I immerse myself in the local culture and research the area to enhance future presentations on that particular destination.

I conduct interviews, and can be either interviewer or interviewee. There is also many-a-time I have been asked by the ship’s Captain to head tour parties to difficult destinations with the ‘request’ to ensure we are back at a particular time, as ship departure timings are imperative.

My greatest pleasure is time spent with the passengers during the voyage and when at the end of the cruise they say "I’ve made their holiday". There is no greater feeling!


Cruises are fantastic value for money

I think cruises are fantastic value for money, a wonderful way to see the world and waking up every day in a different destination is so exciting.

I started cruising when I was the youngest onboard by far. Things have changed so much and the cruising experience itself is a holiday for all to enjoy, but one that comes with the added excitement of visiting previously unknown destinations and experiences one could only dream of. Enhancing the enjoyment of the cruise for passengers is a joy and a privilege and I never forget how lucky I am.

 

Genevieve Dawid

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