In case you’re not familiar with the term “major domo” the dictionary defines it as ” chief steward of a large household.” That’s a pretty accurate term for Donna’s role in the family business. She’s in charge of making sure each cruise is executed to the highest standards, handling the staff, keeping peace in the family. And a few other things!
“Basically my full-time, year-round job is to fill the seats on the boat- to have as many sold-out cruises and private charters as possible between June and October. There are numerous strategies I use to try to accomplish this. First and foremost is to ensure each cruise we do is the best one we’ve ever done. You never know who is scoping us out for a wedding or private party or thinking about a gift certificate to give someone. Word-of-mouth is our best advertising!
I also am busy all year updating the website, posting on various social media platforms, updating brochures and other collateral material and placing ads in print and digital media.
During the off season I recruit staff, answer the phone, cost out and book private charters for weddings and other happy celebrations, confirm group cruises, fulfill gift certificate orders, attend group travel trade shows and book moonlight cruise musicians. As a receptive operator I create one day and multi day itineraries for groups. In November Rachel, Wendy and I brainstorm new special events for the coming season, ways to tweak the system to make it better, review what worked and what didn’t work the last season. In early June I’m on the road doing brochure distribution.”
- Daily operations manager when we’re cruising June through October.
- Update our Personnel Handbook
- Oversee staff training
- Cleaning and dining room set-up inspections before boarding
- Boarding of guests
- Food check before sailing
- In charge of timing during a cruise
- Expediting food service
- Greeting guests before, during and after a cruise.
- Any advertising and marketing that must be done on a regular basis, including social networking posts, website updates and weekly newspaper advertising.
Hey, it’s a small family-owned and operated business. Wearing many hats and hard work goes with the territory!
For fun Donna likes travel, reading, active outdoor stuff like hiking, snowshoeing, skiing and kayaking and TRX and other forms of exercise.