We’re catching up with Cast Members across Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, learning about their roles and memorable experiences on the job. Here, Cruise Director Clayton Lyndsey shares some of his favorite memories, what he enjoys most about his job, and what’s in store for guests on this summer’s itineraries.
When did you first join Disney Cruise Line?
Throughout my career, I’ve held various Entertainment Leadership positions. In 1998, I was one of the first onboard host deejays on the Disney Magic. I then helped launch the Disney Wonder as the Shore Excursion Manager, and later became an official Cruise Director in 2010.
What does a cruise director do?
The Cruise Director is the Executive Entertainment leader responsible for all shipboard entertainment, Port Adventures and Youth Activities. I keep guests informed of safety drill announcements, the latest activities, and the ship’s progress to ports of call to ensure our guests have a wonderful cruise experience. Cruise Directors also serve as members of the shipboard Steering Committee. It’s a big job, but a lot of fun!
You’ve sailed all over the world. What is your favorite itinerary and why?
I’m very fortunate to have been on board during our first transatlantic sailing, our first season in Alaska, and our first cruise in the Mediterranean. Speaking from experience, guests sailing with us to those two very special places this summer are in for a treat.
On an Alaskan sailing, we experience the beauty and majesty of nature up close. Where else can you fly to a glacier, go whale watching, and see mountain goats as you sail through fjords.
In the Mediterranean, it’s all about the history and culture of the amazing places we visit. In ports like Civitavecchia, you can take a train to Rome and see the Coliseum (one of my favorites!), and the next day visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The best part of a Disney Cruise Line itinerary is that everything is planned for you, so all you have to do is enjoy sightseeing!
What is your favorite part of your job?
There are so many things! I love seeing the joy on our guests’ faces as they experience all we have to offer – especially entertainment. Disney is known for excellent entertainment, and we tell incredible stories from stem to stern. I also love working with my fellow Crew Members. Our guests always have fantastic experiences with their stateroom hosts, dining team and cruise staff – and that’s what makes our jobs so memorable.
Disney Cruise Line recently announced plans to enhance the Disney Magic. What will that mean for guests onboard?
I know our guests will be excited to see all of the amazing changes we’re making to the Disney Magic, including some favorite elements from the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, but also some unique features such as the AquaDunk thrill slide and the Avengers Academy in the Oceaneer Club. There’s something for everyone onboard each of our ships, and these new experiences will be pure magic.
What advice would you give to someone interested in working onboard a Disney Cruise Line ship?
Just do it! I’ve loved my career with Disney Cruise Line because of the experiences I’ve had and the friends I’ve made. We have Crew Members from more than 60 different countries, and the friends you make onboard our ships are for life. It’s definitely a special place to work.