We spoke to former seafarer Gill about her time on board and her return to life ashore.
What made you choose to work in the cruise industry?
After gaining my dance degree I started to audition for any job in the industry but figured a Cruise Ship contract would be a pretty good place to start. I would get paid to travel and perform! What’s not to like about that?!
Which company did you work for?
Carnival Cruise Line
What was your job onboard and how long did you spend in the industry?
I started off as a dancer, progressed to dancer/singer then became Cast Manager and completed 11 years with the company.
What did you enjoy most about shipboard life?
I loved meeting people from all over the world, the friendliest people you will ever meet are crew members! The number 1 thing however was definitely getting to see the most amazing places in the world. Places I never thought I would visit and some of which I never even knew existed!
I completed 11 years onboard and would have happily done more but always knew I wanted to build another career on land in the fitness industry so thought it better to start sooner rather than later. Since coming home I’ve now retrained as a Pilates Teacher, Animal Flow Instructor, Level 2 Fitness Instructor and I’m currently working towards a full PT qualification. I’m passionate about promoting the importance of movement, improving overall mobility and educating people on how it can help prevent pain and injury keeping you young and healthy in both body and mind. I currently run online classes and 1 to 1s through Zoom and love the fact that working through an online platform allows me to be able to reach all the wonderful people I met on ships no matter what country they’re now based in.
What was the hardest thing about returning to a life ashore?
The comradery that comes along with ship life is definitely something I miss. On ships your team becomes your family as you spend every day together and support each other through everything. As I am now self employed I do find it a little lonely and definitely miss feeling part of a team… also not being able to go to the beach or sit out in the sun everyday was pretty hard to take!
What piece of advice do you have for anybody considering a career on cruise ships?
Do it! It will be the best experience of your life!
Which country are you originally from and where do you live now?
I’m originally from Scotland and living back there now however definitely have aspirations to live somewhere a little more exotic eventually… ship life definitely made me prefer hotter climates!