A day in the life: Matt Mitcham

A day in the life: Matt Mitcham

With more than 27,000 followers on social media, Matt is making a name for himself with cruise guests from around the world after taking on the cruise director role for Carnival’s newest ship, Carnival Vista.

my typical day at work involves . . .
I have to be ready to go as soon as I wake up. The first thing I try to do is smile and say a morning prayer because I feel so blessed in my job. As cruise director I live by one rule, which is to go out and make people forget the stresses and worries of what their life may be like at home. You never know what people have going on, so to make someone smile can make all the difference.

A day at sea will involve a morning show to welcome people to the day and get them up on the lido deck to dance. Afterwards, I will maybe grab a burger and do an afternoon event in the main lounge, such as a game show or quiz. I finish the day with a main show that is often themed, such as an 80s music night or white dress code.

Our cruises are about having fun and that is what I expect from my guests too.

I have been in my job for…
10 years, since I was 21. Before that I worked in a psychiatric ward where my job was to restrain people.

I became a cruise director…
After meeting a girl and following her to work on cruise ships. She left after three weeks but I stayed because I loved it. I did two contracts as entertainment staff, then became assistant cruise director. When I was 23 the cruise director fell down some stairs and broke his wrist – I filled in during the emergency and the rest is history.

The most rewarding part of my job is…
Seeing people smile and laugh. I don’t want to ever take that for granted.

I have so many conversations that start with a guest saying “I almost didn’t come on this cruise because…” and then they explain and say why they are so happy they came. Helping people in a way you didn’t even realise is so rewarding.

The most challenging part of my job is…
Keeping an open mind, because we have clientele from all over the world. A lot of people like different things and of course we try to include everyone, which has even extended to introducing more themed nights such as the Motown evening.

My favourite destination is…
Saint Kitts, for personal reasons because my grandma lives there. Any island that begins with Saint is usually amazing.

The questions I am most commonly asked are…
‘Why doesn’t the microwave in my room work?’ No madam, that’s a safe. Or, ‘Do the elevators go to the front of the ship?’ And ‘What does SPA stand for?’ That’s the spa, sir.

My social media following is important because…
Guests just want to stay in touch. A big part of a cruise director’s job is to make the experience really personable, and I want people to feel like I am part of their family while they’re here.

The one thing I would take to a desert island is…
Company – preferably a strong woman who would be happy to climb a tree in order to collect food.

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