Ever wondered what the role of a cruise escort is?
Well here’s my guide based on doing the role several times over the course of my coach holiday career.
It may be a bit different from what you think!
What is a Cruise Escort?
What is a Cruise Escort?
A cruise escort is someone sent on a cruise on behalf of a holiday company to make sure the cruise is delivered as per their brochure and contract. They are there to assist guests and liaise with the cruise ship manager and crew.
A cruise escort is there to just accompany the cruise on behalf of the holiday company. In theory, there is little for them to do because everything should be organised and resolved with the cruise ship company, who will be arranging all the excursions, activities, accommodation, entertainment, and meals.
How the person operates the role will depend on the cruise and whether the ship or boat has been exclusively chartered for the holiday company or not.
If The Ship or Boat is not Exclusive for Holiday Guests
If the ship or boat is not exclusively chartered for just one holiday company the person may set up a desk for a set time each day so that guests know where to find them.
It may work out that there are several groups on the cruise and each takes separate coaches for excursions. This depends on the language of the people spoken, whether the excursions are included or optional etc.
If the cruise is not exclusively chartered this limits what the person can actually do, as the cruise company will be dealing with other groups and other passengers. If the holiday group is a small group then that reduces influence even further.
In such cases, the cruise escort is really there to ensure that the cruise is delivered as per the brochure. Any queries relating to the cruise program, cabins, meals, or excursions would be dealt with by the cruise manager and onboard team.
Guests can sometimes be frustrated because of the perception that the cruise escort isn’t doing anything to help them but actually, in these situations the cruise escort is limited. Their pay is also lower to reflect the lack of responsibility.
Exclusively Chartered Ship or Boat
If the ship or boat has been exclusively chartered by the holiday company this gives the cruise escort a bit more bargaining power in the event of any issues. This is because they effectively become the onboard holiday company representative.
That said the pay for a cruise escort is generally much lower than being a Tour Manager.
This is to reflect the fact that the role really is just to escort, or accompany the group, rather than get involved in any management or operation of the cruise.
However, with an exclusively chartered ship or boat it can be difficult to step back when there is a problem that needs addressing.
The pay is much less to reflect the difference in workload and responsibility.
Cruise escort work is pitched as exactly that – you escort or accompany the group and the cruise ship deals with everything related to the cruise.
I have worked as a cruise escort and have been paid £45 per day. Out of this, I needed to pay for drinks, optional tours, and any other cruise expenditure over and above meals which are generally included.
The Reality of the Role
I have worked as a cruise escort a few times and won’t do the role anymore.
The last time I was a cruise escort was for a holiday company that chartered a whole boat to do a cruise between St Petersburg and Moscow.
There were over 130 guests on board the cruise ship and just me as the holiday company representative.
There were lots of issues, including two people hospitalised on the first day of the cruise, one of whom had to leave the holiday. There was then an outbreak of norovirus on board the ship in a remoter part of Russia which was very difficult to deal with.
In Moscow, two more people needed hospital treatment.
It was a difficult and stressful situation all around with guests thinking that I was the cruise manager and becoming frustrated that I was so busy sorting out medical and other issues.
I did all that for £45 a day plus paying for all my drinks. It was some of the hardest work I have ever done and as a result of that trip, I won’t be a cruise escort anymore.
Cruise Escort Conclusion
- A cruise escort is just there to accompany the group, their role is to experience the holiday not run it.
- The responsibility for operating the cruise lies with the cruise manager and team.
- A cruise escort has limited bargaining power in the event of any issues with a cruise.
- The pay is much lower to reflect the supposed light workload and lack of responsibility.
You Might Also Like
If you have found the article about what a cruise escort is useful you might also like;
Douro River Cruise – an in-depth review of the lovely cruise
10 Things You Need to Know Before You Book a Coach Holiday Trip
Coach Trip Terminology – What does an orientation tour mean?
Lake Garda Coach Holiday – in-depth review of the itinerary
You can find lots more articles on my Coach Holidays page
- Coach Holidays – What is an Excursion? 🚍Heard the term coach excursion and not sure what it means? Here’s all you need to know about a coach holiday excursion and the different types available. Coach Excursion – What Does It Mean? When you book a coach holiday you will be booking a package of things. This may include the following; Coach Excursion… Read More »Coach Holidays – What is an Excursion? 🚍
- Crossing the Channel by Ferry Or Tunnel on a Coach HolidayCheck out this post if your coach holiday involves crossing the channel by ferry or by Eurotunnel and you want to know about the different ways of crossing the channel. Crossing the Channel by Ferry The ferry crossing from Dover takes 1.5 hours across the English Channel. The ferries are large with plenty of facilities… Read More »Crossing the Channel by Ferry Or Tunnel on a Coach Holiday
- What is a Cruise Escort and What Do They Do? 🚢Ever wondered what the role of a cruise escort is? Well here’s my guide based on doing the role several times over the course of my coach holiday career. It may be a bit different from what you think! What is a Cruise Escort? The Role A cruise escort is there to just accompany the… Read More »What is a Cruise Escort and What Do They Do? 🚢
- Coach Holiday Seating Policies – What You Need to Know 🚍Coach holiday seating is an important part of any holiday. There is nothing worse than spending a week or more in a seat on the coach with a column running through it so there is very little view (yes coaches do have these!). If you are worried about travel sickness you may want to read… Read More »Coach Holiday Seating Policies – What You Need to Know 🚍
- What’s the Difference Between a Tour Manager and a Tour Guide? 🚍Do you want to understand the difference between a Tour Manager and a Tour Guide? Well, this quick guide will explain both roles so you can understand them and know what to expect on your coach holiday. What’s the Difference Between a Tour Manager and a Tour Guide? Tour Manager The Tour Manager is responsible… Read More »What’s the Difference Between a Tour Manager and a Tour Guide? 🚍
- 11 Coach Holiday Hacks – For An Even Better Holiday 🚍Planning on taking a coach holiday? Here’s my list to give you a shortcut to an even better holiday experience. So let’s jump into my list of 10 coach holiday hacks to help you travel like coach holiday expert! 1. Coach Holiday Hacks – Do Your Coach Holiday Research! Coach holidays are great holiday experiences,… Read More »11 Coach Holiday Hacks – For An Even Better Holiday 🚍
- What A Coach Holiday Driver Actually Does – It’s Alot! 🚍Have you ever wondered what a coach holiday driver does? Over the years I have worked with more than 100 coach drivers, all over the world. Read on to learn much more about the role of a coach holiday driver in particular, including duties, responsibilities, and driving regulations. There’s a bit more to it than… Read More »What A Coach Holiday Driver Actually Does – It’s Alot! 🚍
- Busting the 4 Most Common Coach Holiday Myths 🚍Have you ever considered a coach holiday? There are many coach holiday myths about this type of holiday. Having spent 25 years taking coach holidays all over the world as a Tour Manager I’m here to help bust some of the most common coach holiday myths. Let’s crack on! Coach Holiday Myths – Let’s Get… Read More »Busting the 4 Most Common Coach Holiday Myths 🚍
- What Seat On a Coach Is Best for Travel Sickness? 🚍Are you planning on wanting to take a coach trip or holiday? Do you suffer from travel sickness? So do I and I have been taking coach trips for over 30 years as a coach holiday Tour Manager. Here are my tips on the best seats to help you avoid travel sickness. These tips are… Read More »What Seat On a Coach Is Best for Travel Sickness? 🚍