A day in the life: Heike Berdos

A day in the life: Heike Berdos

She’s one of Azamara Club Cruises’ most popular crew members among guests and can speak five languages. Amie Keeley speaks to Heike Berdos.

My typical day at work involves . . .
I get up early and if we’ve just arrived at port I am in the gangway greeting guests. I then go to my office and catch up with admin. We have a team meeting every other day to make sure we’re on the same page. I then do a walkaround and check guest events are starting on time. I’ll catch up with guests at lunch because I love to get feedback directly from them and it’s easy to do on this ship because it’s quite small. I’ll have a short break between 2-4pm then from 4-6pm I catch up with more admin or have meetings. Then I’m back on the floor until 10pm or so, socialising with guests and checking attendance at the shows.

I’ve been in my job for…
Twenty-two years on ships including MSC Cruises and Celebrity Cruises and 10 years with Azamara. After high school I went to hotel school in Germany and worked at a hotel there for two years before moving to cruise ships where I have worked in front office and reservations and as concierge, hostess and translator for guests.

I got into my job…
Because I love people and languages. I was born in Bonn, Germany, and speak five languages and basic Greek. I wanted to be a volleyball player but my dad said I wouldn’t make much money and told me to find something else. When school asked me what I liked best, working as a travel agent or in the hotel industry seemed like the best fit. I knew the hotel industry would take me abroad and when a friend said MSC was looking for hostesses that could translate, I signed up.

The best part of my job is…
Meeting people from different cultures, the travelling and seeing satisfied guests.

The most challenging part is…
The weather. I have no control over it and when it’s bad it can change the whole mood of the cruise. Also, the documentation that goes with ship clearances and port agents.

My favourite destination is…
If it’s somewhere I would have to go again and again, the Mediterranean, because it’s so diverse, but I’m really looking forward to seeing Australia and New Zealand in 2018.

The one thing I would take to a desert island…
A volleyball.

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