May 11, 2009
John’s University students enrolled in the College of Professional
Studies’ course “Cruise Operations Management” have returned from
an amazing field trip on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Pearl
and are writing rave reviews about their extraordinary
The students, all pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in
Hospitality Management, may have been cruising but it was all
business for them. Each was required to participate in all of the
class activities and events, during which professional or business
attire was a must. They were also required to keep a field-trip
journal during the eight-day Caribbean cruise, which took them from
Miami to Honduras, Belize, Cozumel, Great Stirrup Cay and back to
Miami. Guest speakers joined the group for educational seminars and
some of the activities.
While on board, in addition to their class work, students
accompanied cruise personnel on site inspections—to the front desk,
the bridge, and the housekeeping, engineering and food and beverage
departments. They were also able to take part in optional
excursions while in the various ports.
This fantastic “backstage” glimpse of the cruise industry was
arranged by Associate Professor Heidi Sung, Ph.D., of the
Hospitality Management Department. Dr. Sung says that field trips
such as this give students the “real-world” experience so necessary
in today’s competitive job market.
The students testify to the value of their field trip:
Ashley Fallon, HMT Junior
The field trip was awesome in all aspects – not only with so much
fun but also with benefits and values. How many people can say that
they have to take a required field trip on a cruise ship, and on
that trip you get to meet the most important people on the ship,
the Captain and the General Manager, see the areas that normally
wouldn't be accessible, get invited to the Captain's private
pre-party before his dinner, and get special treatment and
recognition from the entire crew? As a matter of fact, when other
cruisers asked us where we were from and the reason for being on
the cruise, they didn't believe our response: We were on a
“required” field trip! I think that alone shows how very lucky we
were to have had this experience.
I appreciated and enjoyed every part of this trip very much, but
what I am most appreciative for the fact that it helped me figure
out what direction I want to head in when choosing my career.
Before the class I was unsure, but now I am certain that I want to
end up working for a cruise line. I am certain that on a job
interview mentioning this class and the field trip experience would
help my chances of obtaining a position within the industry, and
hopefully put me a foot ahead of other people who may not be so
informed. Maybe Dr. Sung can take her class on the ship where I am
onboard and I can be one of those officers to speak to her
Jasmine Fourquet, HMT Junior
The Norwegian Cruise Line Pearl field trip with HMT 1073 and Dr.
Sung was the one I will never forget. I can say this course has
given me a 360-degree educational experience.
We spent eight days and seven nights in four different destinations
(Bahamas, Belize, Mexico and Honduras), while enjoying hands-on
experience with operations as they were happening. While aboard, we
met with and shadowed key personnel, including the ship’s captain,
cruise director, executive chef, and many others. Our group also
had the privilege of taking behind the scenes tours of various
places on the ship including the state-of-the-art Garden Suite,
kitchens (Galley), the storage rooms for food, the bridge, and the
backstage of the theater.
Besides our invaluable educational experience, we also had the
opportunity to enjoy the cruise during our spring break. This was a
“required” field trip for us to gain a contemporary cruise
experience. What a field trip! From Honduras to the Bahamas, we
sampled different destinations and cultures. We also had a blast on
the ship with many activities and dining in over 12 different
restaurants. We enjoyed every bit of the itinerary!
Anthony Desanno, HMT Senior (Staten
The cruise experience this time for me was nothing like any other
six cruises that I went on in the past. I was completely engaged in
learning from top officers of a cruise ship. We met the cruise
director, the General Manager, executive housekeeper, executive
chef, beverage manger, restaurant director, head steward, and more.
The best part of this learning experience was being able to go
behind the scenes of the cruise ship. The seminar with the Cruise
General Manager was very special to me because this is the position
I want to pursue. This would be the ultimate dream job for
Overall, this class including a field trip has been a great
experience and will benefit me in a big way. I have made a decision
about my professional career path in the cruise industry. In
addition, I will become CLIA-certified after attending classroom
lectures, which will shine in my resume when applying for a
position in the cruise industry. This trip really made me
understand how the hospitality industry works within cruise ships,
hotels, and restaurants. I will always have amazing memories of the
best trip in my life.
Matthew Salamone, HMT Senior
This was an amazing field trip. I learned a lot about what happens
behind the scenes on a Cruise Ship. I am very grateful that I was
offered the opportunity to go on this field trip. Not only learned
a great deal about the actual cruise and what it takes to make
everything so successful but also enjoyed the cruise experience
during spring break. Every activity that the class did as a group
was amazing and very informative. If I could go back I would do it
in a heartbeat. I enjoyed every minute of my trip.
Emily Golembieski, HMT Junior (Staten
All in all, this turned out to be the most educational vacation
imaginable. I learned the processes, necessities, and difficulties
of cruise travel. The staff did an excellent job of explaining the
different things that went on such as room organization, security,
food and beverage, as well as health controls. This trip further
increased my interest in not only the cruise industry, but overall
travel as well. The course including the field trip opened me up to
more possibilities of career path in the future.
When first registering for the Cruise Operations Management course
I was not sure if this were a profession that I would want to look
deeper into. When asking the staff what they thought of their job,
most of them said that they love it and that it was the best
decision they have ever made. By hearing this, it made me more
interested in the industry. I really enjoy the idea that you work
for eight months straight then you have four months off to do
whatever you please with your time, and the fact that those four
months are paid vacation only make the deal seem more
The part of the trip that I most enjoyed was when we were able to
actually go on the bridge. I felt privileged to be able to go
behind the scenes and see how the ship is operated. When being on
the bridge I was nervous because of all the buttons that you can
press. We were told what is used for what and how the things each
work. What was extremely fascinating to me was being able to look
out and seen nothing in front of you. Also on the one side of the
ship there was a sheet of glass that you could stand on and when
you look down all you saw was the crystal blue water underneath
Overall everything about the cruise was simply fantastic. When we
were let out in Honduras I had such an amazing time just being able
to see another country. Everything was absolutely beautiful and
amazing. This course offered many different outlooks on the cruise
industry. Although that was not my first experience on a cruise, it
was definitely my most enjoyable one.
Amanda Tang, HMT Senior (Queens)
Norwegian Pearl is the ship's name I will not forget. I experienced
for the first time in my life a cruise trip with backstage passes
to see what is behind those closed doors. I have to admit that I
was very surprised to learn this much about the cruise operation
while we were onboard. This field trip was simply beyond what I had
thought it would be like. It has opened my eyes to a thought of
maybe actually wanting to work for a cruise line.
The best part of the trip was when our class went behind the scenes
to see the bridge, kitchen, laundry room, storage area, and the
Villa. I was very impressed while we were at the bridge.
The cruise ship itself is a moving hotel. What is there in a hotel
that the cruise does not have? Nothing, the cruise is basically a
hotel with food and beverage, customer service, maintenance, and
housekeeping. The only difference is that the cruise gets to move
around and visit so many different places, always have different
people and have different internal employees. It has always been my
dream to travel and visit all over the world. With the experience
and the knowledge that I have gained from this class, I can knock
two birds with one stone. That is something I have to
Janet Wu, HMT Junior (Queens)
Being on the Norwegian Pearl has taught me a lot. Even though the
time was short-lived, the experience will last me a lifetime.
Before majoring in Hospitality Management, I did not see the
intricate workings and the extensive planning needed to make the
guest’s stay pleasant. After going “behind-the-scenes” I am pleased
to say I am beginning to understand the importance of teamwork in
Everyday was a nice experience during the field trip on a cruise.
Not only the scheduled seminars and group meeting even while having
fun on the shore excursions taught me a lot – of the different
destinations and cultures of the people living there.
What I loved about this field trip was that I felt like I was a
part of the crew after seeing all these “back of the house” spots.
I felt like I knew something that the other guests didn’t. It
sounds weird but it was just a feeling I got every time I was in a
restaurant ordering, or at the buffet eating I would think “Oh, yes
I know where they keep the eggs.” I was really glad to be able to
partake in such a fun & informative field trip.