Guest and Crew Contact Key for TUI General Manager

With some 900 crew on the hotel side of the newest Mein Schiff ships, General Manager Susanne Hazenber is responsible for housekeeping, reception, food and beverage, the spa, entertainment, shore excursions, onboard marketing, finance, human resources and much more.

After a land-based career Hazenber moved to sea, taking a general manager (essentially the hotel director position) post with TUI Cruises.

She said her day starts when she leaves her stateroom, meeting guests and crew in a friendly and cheerful mood, according to a blog post on TUI’s website.

“My working day begins with a tour of the ship. I check if everything is alright, monitor and coordinate all processes in the hotel sector, by checking whether all employees are in their spots, whether tasks have to be clarified, but also whether they are doing well,” she said. “At 9:00 am, I talk to the department heads and then with the captain.

“With 3,000 people aboard daily, I have to deal with new needs of guests and crew. This is one of the exciting aspects of the job,” Hazenber continued.

Working with various departments, she may need to manage the loading of provisions (200 tons every two weeks), or look for an alternative location for a pool party due to strong winds.

The best way to relax aboard? Walk around the ship, she said. And that is usually on Deck 5, where Hazenber said she would do three or four laps.

That walking is part of an estimated 17,000 steps aboard daily, she added.

A good general manager should have hotel experience, leadership training and patience, she advised, along with a positive attitude.

“Since 2000 I have been managing director of various hotel chains worldwide,” added Hazenber. “Onboard a cruise ship, however, I have much more guest contact. And that’s why I chose this profession, because I like to take care of guests. In addition, the profession of general manager is very exciting. We work together with crew from around 50 nationalities, you have to deal with many different mentalities.

“And then I have the great moments where I’m standing on the deck watching the sunset, watching the waves and making my dreams come true. There is no other job for me.”

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