Michael Rasmussen, hotel director of the massive Quantum of the Seas, explains his title and why his 'floating hotel' is the best thing for corporate events
You are called a hotel director when you aren’t managing a hotel. What’s the story behind this?
That is because we are managing a floating hotel. This is a hotel with all the amenities a hotel has, and more. With over 2,000 staterooms, 20 bars, multiple restaurants, three swimming pools, live entertainment with Broadway-style shows all onboard, there must be a person taking charge of this entire operation. The responsibilities of this person is very similar to that of a hotel general manager.
As hotel director, I handle everything with my team of 1,400 employees.
What excites you most about the cruise product in general, and in particular the Quantum of the Seas?
I’ve worked in the hotel industry for a decade prior to being with cruise ships, and I found that there is a different motivation behind why people spend time at hotels and on cruise ships. Those on a cruise are there for a vacation of a lifetime.
That’s not the case for hotels, as guests may be there for business, a flight layover or a conference. Staying at a hotel is more of a necessity, and not always to have a good time.
That’s what keeps me inspired and interested in my job. It is always a good feeling to be surrounded by good spirited people.
Quantum of the Seas itself is an exciting product with interesting itineraries. Royal Caribbean International has a great commitment to Asia, and the cruise market is growing â€“ I want to be part of it all.
Royal Caribbean International has been reaching out to business event planners to get more corporate events onboard it ships. What would you say to convince business event planners to take their events onboard Quantum of the Seas?
We are more than a hotel which means corporate guests will have so much more to do in their spare time. In addition, everything is available in a single environment, which means event planners can be sure of their guests turning up for the meeting the next morning on time.
Imagine, it is like Vegas but with so much more to offer in a short time frame. For example, the group can meet in the day and take in a Broadway show, have fun with bumper cars, go on the Ripcord by iFly or FlowRider, or dine at one of many speciality restaurants at night.
Furthermore, everyone wakes up in a new destination every day.
I cannot think of a better place to host a corporate event than on a cruise ship. I am sure people will be thrilled to know they are going on a cruise for their conference.
The Quantum of the Seas is a real giant, which allows both holidaymakers and corporate groups to share the space onboard. How do you and your crew ensure both segments of passengers can enjoy the ship equally and feel they are all special guests?
There is something for everybody onboard Quantum of the Seas. We are able to cater to all customer segments because we have so many activities going on at the same time.
We can create a programme that suits the corporate group and also meets the needs of our regular guests.
We have a very good understanding of traffic flow during Days at Sea and Port days, so we can advise event planners on the best time for specific activities and use of specific locations.
For corporate groups onboard, we have done cool pool parties with entertainment, full restaurant buyouts, private bumper car sessions, and exclusive use of the North Star.
Keen to see how the Quantum of the Seas can work for your next corporate event? Royal Caribbean International and TTGmice are hosting an onboard showcase in November. Watch this space for details!