Please join us in welcoming seasoned sailor, Andrea Penfold, to our #ShipMates Ambassador Programme.

Andy will be representing Cruise Academy in South Africa – helping to build our international presence & inspire, educate and cultivate the next generation of seafarers.

As with many who work at sea, I started my career signing on for ‘one contract’ in May 2007.  Thirteen years down the line it seems like the idea of one contract was underestimated.  I started out as a sales associate, working for Starboard Cruise Services on Carnival Cruise Line.  Working up through the ranks, I became Gift Shop Manager in 2012 and enjoyed nine years in total working for the shops onboard.


In 2016 I decided to make a career move into something that I had always been interested in and envied as a position onboard.  I joined the Shore Excursions department for Carnival Cruise Line in August 2016 and immediately felt at home.  The highlight was definitely being selected for the inaugural season of the Carnival Horizon, which set sail in April 2018.


From the Horizon my path diverged and I decided to try out another cruise line for various reasons.  I joined Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas in January 2019 and was pleasantly surprised, if not amazed by the grandeur and opulence of this mega-ship.  I was promoted to Shore Excursions Manager during the latter part of 2019 and was privileged to complete my final contract on the Jewel of the Seas in the Mediterranean, Holy Land and Dubai.


Covid-19 unexpectedly brought everything to a halt in March 2020 and led me to pursuing consultancy work on land.  Ship-life has been an epic adventure and one that I will always recommend to anyone who has itchy feet paired with ambition.