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Matt O has left Princess Cruises


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42 minutes ago, TNTLAMB said:

I remember Matt O. The job of CD has evolved a lot since we started cruising in the 90's. far less of a "host/entertainer" and Stage personality and much more a manager and requiring a strong staff leadership role and the quirky out front personality more fitting to the ADC's. Reading his post which is a bit disjointed I get the impression this was a situation/example of the Peter Principle at work and difficulty adapting to the administrative responsibilities more than anything. It is indeed a sad loss. Even sadder is he appears to have burned his bridges with the industry.

This is an interesting, and logical thought.  Too bad if this is so.

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7 minutes ago, voljeep said:

is the ED above the CD ? - what about/is a ADC , and where do they fit in ?

The ED is a position created a few years ago that is above the CD and stands for Entertainment Director. 
 

I know of Assistant Cruise Directors and Deputy Cruise Directors, but I’ve never figured out who’s above who in that hierarchy. I just know they’re the Cruise Staffers under the CD.

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2 hours ago, AnyMajorCruiseDude said:

Celidh1

we sailed with you and Matt a few times and know you were a friend of his.  Any idea what his next move is?

I think he just needs time to heal. No plans as yet. Whatever he decides to do, he will smash it!

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Matt O was by far our favorite cruise director. What a great loss for Princess and their passengers. 

On one of our last cruises before the pandemic hit, the cruise director we had (won’t mention their name) spent a lot of time trying to “sell” the passengers on the benefits of the Medallion program. During one very scripted and fake sounding presentation, I couldn’t help but think “I bet this is not what they signed up for”. This CD used to be a lot of fun, but they sure weren’t on that cruise. I’m wondering if this is the situation that drove Matt O to leave. If so, good for him. 

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Just now, Knittinkittin said:

Matt O was by far our favorite cruise director. What a great loss for Princess and their passengers. 

On one of our last cruises before the pandemic hit, the cruise director we had (won’t mention their name) spent a lot of time trying to “sell” the passengers on the benefits of the Medallion program. During one very scripted and fake sounding presentation, I couldn’t help but think “I bet this is not what they signed up for”. This CD used to be a lot of fun, but they sure weren’t on that cruise. I’m wondering if this is the situation that drove Matt O to leave. If so, good for him. 

This is EXACTLY the situation! 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, cruisequeen4ever said:

The ED is a position created a few years ago that is above the CD and stands for Entertainment Director. 
 

I know of Assistant Cruise Directors and Deputy Cruise Directors, but I’ve never figured out who’s above who in that hierarchy. I just know they’re the Cruise Staffers under the CD.

The whole area is changed and a bit cloudy . As ships have gotten larger,, there are likely to be several assistant or deputy cruise directors, each with their own staff to assist and specific areas of concern. The term cruise director/entertainment director is almost interchangeable. The Entertainment Director is an outgrowth of the Medallion Program. While he has many of responsibilities of the CD he has a much larger responsibility in terms of being the onboard Brand/Marketing manager. In fact in a recent job posting the terms were used interchangeably: https://www.allcruisejobs.com/i34314/entertainment-director/ But the job sure isn't..... Like I said Matt O was the victim of the Peter Principle.

 

 

Edited by TNTLAMB
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13 minutes ago, Knittinkittin said:

Matt O was by far our favorite cruise director. What a great loss for Princess and their passengers. 

On one of our last cruises before the pandemic hit, the cruise director we had (won’t mention their name) spent a lot of time trying to “sell” the passengers on the benefits of the Medallion program. During one very scripted and fake sounding presentation, I couldn’t help but think “I bet this is not what they signed up for”. This CD used to be a lot of fun, but they sure weren’t on that cruise. I’m wondering if this is the situation that drove Matt O to leave. If so, good for him. 

 

12 minutes ago, ceilidh1 said:

This is EXACTLY the situation! 

 

They ought to have the exec's in charge of this fiasco come on board and talk to the guests instead of having the CD's feed us BS marketing crap.  I do think the Medallion and the App have been a good idea to move into modern technology, but this latest set of moves was ill-conceived and terribly executed.  If they want to seriously discuss the short-comings and what they are doing to fix it fine.  But don't tell me the air is sweet when I am standing in the barnyard.

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1 hour ago, TNTLAMB said:

 Even sadder is he appears to have burned his bridges with the industry.

Maybe.  Maybe not.  A cruise personality with his following should be attractive to another line, I'd think.  I usually don't pay much attention to a cruise director, but Matt was so special.  I even watched The Wake Show every day!😉

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so when the position of ED was created prior to the 'rona - was Matt passed over for that position ?

 

I read a lot of bitterness toward Princess in his farewell address

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Part of the problem is long time cruisers think the new ships are just bigger "Love Boats" as opposed to the floating Mega Resorts with a larger management Staff on Board.  What we used to consider the "Cruise Director" is now a departmentalized staff of Associate Cruise directors each with a different Area of responsibility. This is Staff area is where the "personalities" exist above that area is something entirely different.  The biggest problem IMO is PCs attempt to try and keep up appearances of the old days while going a different and necessary direction. There will be sadly more than likely more turnover with existing staff/titles as the changes morph.

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3 minutes ago, voljeep said:

so when the position of ED was created prior to the 'rona - was Matt passed over for that position ?

 

I read a lot of bitterness toward Princess in his farewell address

Not sure he was passed over but rather he wasn't and didn't realize what he had gotten into.....

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Sounded to me that the position of CD changed since the pandemic started.  Matt was a CD for, I think, just over two years.  That means he had several contracts and apparently succeeded at his job.  Then pandemic hits.  Home for more than a year.  Plenty of time for someone at Princess HQ to decide some changes in the CD position.  Matt got onboard and found out those changes do not suit him at all.   

 

Anyways, that is the way it seemed to me.  It is too bad.  He was great.

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I too am extremely sad to see Matt O leave Princess.  I was on the epic Royal relocation cruise around South America from FLL on the east coast to LA on the west coast with Matt O.  He was amazing, what else can I say.

 

Reading his letter made me think that there is something not so good going on internally at Princess and a move to likely an even more on board income producing culture, not like what we passengers are used to.  I know that several other of my favorite CDs and staff have also left Princess who were star quality like Matt O.  Some have gone to other cruise lines, some to Effy, some quit the cruise industry.  I will sure miss all these great people Princess is losing and sincerely wish them the best.  Princess should just produce a blah slide show of all the"stuff" they want to throw at us and show it on the screen and not bother with the CD interaction with the passengers if they don't want allow the individual personalities to shine through. If I understand Matt's letter, I for one am not looking forward to this new direction Princess seems to want to be going.

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Like many on this board, we're long-time Princess cruisers and have been quite loyal to the brand. We currently have three future cruises booked, with an additional one on Celebrity.

Frankly, we don't really know how different the experience will be when we finally return, but we expect it to be different - noticeably different. We hope it's not different in a negative way, but if it is...c'est la vie.

Mr. O'Brien's sudden departure - at such a early stage in the return - is not a good omen, imo. While we don't necessarily care much as to who is the CD or ED on our cruises, we do notice that some are much more - let's say - corporately orientated than others. The job clearly isn't for everyone and if you take it, you are expected to carry the water for corporate, like it or not. MattO clearly did not.

But the bigger point is competition. After we tried another couple of lines, we did miss the things we're used to with Princess, but we also really enjoyed the differences. 

Things change, people change. cruise lines change. We're all free to come and go as we please. I suspect that the long disruption of service will change the concept of "loyalty" in cruising as well. After all, even Princess has changed their concept of loyalty as noted on other threads.

Best of luck to Matt in his future endeavors though.

 

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Posted (edited)

 

10 minutes ago, cruzsnooze said:

In my 40+ cruises on Princess the cruise director has never had an impact on my cruise. What am I missing?

nothing nor do most cruisers care either...... Entertainment decisions are way above their pay grade

Edited by TNTLAMB
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Awww. We absolutely loved Matt. Best cruise director and multi tasker of all time. Not only was he CD he let Zumba classes and I've never seen such a crowded floor. He was pure fun, entertainment and joy to be around. Will definitely miss him!!

 

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4 hours ago, cruisequeen4ever said:

The ED is a position created a few years ago that is above the CD and stands for Entertainment Director. 
 

I know of Assistant Cruise Directors and Deputy Cruise Directors, but I’ve never figured out who’s above who in that hierarchy. I just know they’re the Cruise Staffers under the CD.

 

Several years ago, Princess re-designed job descriptions and created the split.

 

Entertainment Director (1/2 staff officer star above CD).  Responsible for anything back stage including putting together the patter, scheduling, activities, etc.

 

Cruise Director (below ED).  Front of house, introduces Princess Theater acts, on the floor, visual to passengers.

 

Assistant Cruise Directors (below CD).  In charge of specific activities (napkin folding, Piazza performances, games, etc).  Not a staff/officer position).

 

I am guessing this might works...IF you have a CD/ED that can work together.  I book my voyages too far out to know who will be where, when.  But Princess has lost a few really good Cruise Directors.  The "new" will bring energy to Princess and they will be more "moldable" to what Princess wants to "sell".  I've had some really good and some really bad.  

 

Wishing Matt O success in his next adventure.  He will be good at whatever he moves on to.

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1 hour ago, cruzsnooze said:

In my 40+ cruises on Princess the cruise director has never had an impact on my cruise. What am I missing?

 

I would agree with you with a couple of exceptions, one of them being Matt O.  He just made us smile every time we participated in an event that he was leading.  He made us want to attend some of the games and other things that we would normally skip over.  He had a great personality and really enhanced our cruise experience.

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2 hours ago, cruzsnooze said:

In my 40+ cruises on Princess the cruise director has never had an impact on my cruise. What am I missing?

Most are pretty invisible, but Matt wasn't.  Some CDs made my cruise better, Matt among them.  And Sammy.  Remember her?  She was the best.  There are many CDs I can't remember from all my trips, so I guess their impact isn't that important overall.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, cruzsnooze said:

In my 40+ cruises on Princess the cruise director has never had an impact on my cruise. What am I missing?

unless you've experienced a CD like Matt you don't know what you're missing and you can't appreciate a GOOD CD from a mediocre one...one who is so energetic, friendly and outgoing makes you WANT to watch the Wake Show and attend the activities (just to watch him dance was entertaining enough for me). His enthusiasm was contagious and he made a cruise FUN.

Edited by andio2of5
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