Jon Schofield, regional sales manager for the North and Scotland, Crystal Cruises, sells six-star luxury, but it all could have gone horribly wrong when he had a close encounter with the law
Why is Crystal the best of all cruise lines?
There are so many exciting developments happening with Crystal, with the brand now offering six-star all-inclusive luxury with ocean cruises, European river cruises, yacht cruises and now Crystal Air Cruises on a Boeing 777. Crystal can best be summed up in four words: Service, Space, Quality and Choice. I think they are the best kept secret in luxury cruise.
If your cruise line was a famous person, who would it be and why?
Crystal has to be like good old 007 James Bond…..suave, sophisticated, elegant, stylish, enjoys the finer things in life, good food, likes a drink, always plenty of good looking women around and travels to the best places in the world…
How long have you worked for your cruise line?
I have worked in the cruise sector for 14 years and for Crystal for almost two years.
What was your very first job?
I’ve always worked in travel – my first job when I was a young scallywag was with Hertz UK at the Liverpool car rental office.
What three things can you not get through the working day without?
My iPhone – to keep in touch with the office and agents; my car radio – always tuned to the local BBC Radio Station for the area that I am in; and the regular coffee and teas made by my friendly agents, which boost the energy levels.
What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you on the road?
Being tracked for 30 minutes by the Police Scotland helicopter and then surrounded and stopped by four armed response units who thought I was a big time Liverpool drugs gangster. My boss Mick Dupont now calls me Mad Jonny Scho.
What’s the strangest question you have ever been asked about cruise, either by an agent or a potential customer?
You do get some great questions from customers at travel shows and my two favourites are ‘will I be seasick on a river cruise?’ and ‘will the ship sink?’
Do you have a favourite onboard restaurant?
Silk Road – the Asian Restaurant onboard both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. It features the cuisine of famed master chef Nobu Matsuhisa and also has a lovely Sushi Bar. It is a total dining experience and even though I am not a big meat eater, the Wagu Beef is to die for. Best of all, a visit to Silk Road is complimentary for our guests.
Which port would you always disembark in?
Monte Carlo is still a favourite place to visit. It’s just magical and doesn’t feel quite real. On a summer’s day, you can’t beat strolling around, from the Palace to Casino Square, and soaking up the atmosphere.
And which port would you opt to stay onboard – and why?
I wasn’t too keen on Casablanca, which I visited last year and it didn’t live up to my expectations.
Which cruise is on your bucket list?
I have been so lucky to visit some fantastic places on the ships, but I would love to visit Japan. Ever since school, when we studied Japan in geography, it’s been right up there.
If you didn’t work in the cruise industry, what do you think you would do?
If finances allowed, I would love to work for Guide Dogs for the Blind or be involved in some way with the Royal National Institute for the Blind. I know all our senses are crucial to us, but to have no sight is just dreadful. This comes from personal family experience.
If you could name a ship, what would you call it?
The “SS Happy Wanderer” from the film Carry On Cruising….my favourite film series.