Jo McGawley, regional business manager for the North, Princess Cruises, on student drinkers, strolling down Las Ramblas and why her job keeps extending her bucket list.
Why is your cruise line the best of all cruise lines?
I genuinely believe that Princess is the best cruise line as we consistently exceed our guests’ expectations and deliver on the promise to ‘come back new’ whilst they’re onboard. Having been there myself – I cruised on Emerald Princess with my husband back in 2015 – and gone from customer to employee, I know this first-hand. Cruising with Princess made me fall in love with the brand. I love having the opportunity to share my experiences with agents. Making people happy is at the heart of everything we do – and ultimately that is what makes Princess Cruises the best!
If your cruise line was a famous person, who would it be and why?
It’s definitely got to be HRH Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. She is not only the Godmother to one of our ships, Royal Princess, she is also a real-life Princess!
I think her understated elegance and dedication to providing a great service fits perfectly with our brand.
How long have you worked for your cruise line?
I have been with Princess for just over six months now and have loved every minute!
What was your very first job?
My first full-time job was running a student pub up in Manchester which was pretty full on. I’ve always had part-time jobs since I was 12 but nothing could have prepared me for working with hundreds of very thirsty students.
Which geographical area do you cover?
The North West, Yorkshire and North East – it’s amazing how different they all are!
What three things can you not get through the working day without?
My morning green smoothie, my address book of the best car parks across my region and my daily singalong on Absolute Radio 80s.
What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you on the road?
It’s not what’s happened but what you see – a skateboarding granny in York, a man jogging with a wheelie bin on his back in Sunderland and a dog wearing a wig and shades in Liverpool – I’ve seen it all!
How many of your cruise line’s ships have you sailed on? Do you have a favourite?
I’ve sailed on three. My favourite will always be Emerald Princess as she was my first and stole my heart.
Do you have a favourite onboard restaurant and why?
It’s got to be Crown Grill, our speciality steakhouse restaurant.
Which port would you definitely disembark in? What would you do there?
I absolutely love Barcelona. You can’t beat a good stroll down Las Ramblas followed by lunch at El Quim de la Boqueria. All the food they serve is freshly made.
And which port would you opt to stay onboard – and why?
I never stay onboard as there is always somewhere new to discover and explore!
Which cruise is on your bucket list?
As with most people, it has to be Alaska. The hard thing about doing my job though is that every cruise I discuss or sell leaves me adding it to my bucket list.
If you didn’t work in the cruise industry, what do you think you would do?
I guess I would just be back working in my husband’s property business. Nowhere near as much fun as selling dream holidays though!
If you could name a ship, what would you call it?
Daydream Princess – because all I seem to do since I went on my first-ever Princess Cruise is daydream about getting back onboard!