Kimberley Wells has been to Alaska and the Caribbean with Holland America, and will soon embark on a 73-day trip around Africa.

Kimberly Wells started working on cruises as a performer in 1987 when she was 20 and fell in love. 
After a hiatus on Broadway and the Home Shopping Network, Wells returned to cruise work in 2020. 
She shares the pros of working on cruises: the people, the places, and the cons: no days off. 

This as-told-to essay is from an interview with Kimberly Wells about working as a 57-year-old cruise director. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I sang and danced my way into my first job on a cruise ship at age 20, working as part of the entertainment team in 1987. I fell in love during that first voyage, with a man and with a way of life. After that contract ended, I knew I had to figure out a way to stay aboard. I became a fitness director, then a social hostess.

My biggest passion is the stage, and I couldn’t say no when I received the call from Broadway. I worked in New York City for 10 years, before becoming a host on the Home Shopping Network. 

My job with HSN ended a couple years ago, and I wasn’t ready to retire. 

I’d stayed in contact with friends and my former bosses in the cruise industry and made some calls. I was quickly connected with Holland America, who flew me out to audition for a cruise director role in April 2020. I got the job but, due to COVID, had to sit through a two-year waiting period before returning to the seas.

As cruise director, Wells often hosts the evening entertainment.

Now, as of 2022, I’m the cruise director for Holland America, working aboard several ships, including most recently on Zuiderdam. 

A day in my life as a cruise director 

As the cruise director, I’m the first and last face that any guest sees on any sailing. They serve as the main connection point between ship crew and guests, keeping all passengers up to speed on all available entertainment and goings-on as well as the nuts and bolts of days at port.

My day starts at 6 a.m. I hit the ship’s gym, then I’m out on the floor at 8 a.m., grabbing a coffee and chatting with guests before my first meeting at 8:30 a.m. Then I host a coffee …read more

Source:: Business Insider


I’m a cruise director for Holland America. Our crew lives in its own little world that passengers don’t see.

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