Interview of Cruise Director Alicia Hill
Q: Tell us about your background and how you became Cruise Director.
I’ve been singing and performing since the age of five. Church choirs, school talent shows, you name it, I’ve done it. Throughout my career I’ve held leading roles in touring musicals and plays, symphony appearances, and most recently, performed as a guest entertainer aboard some of the world’s leading cruise lines before joining Azamara.
I started working with Royal Caribbean as a featured singer for their production cast in 2004 and was given the opportunity to join the corporation’s boutique line, Azamara Club Cruises. I’ve always had a love for performing and wanted to have more guest interaction, which is what attracted me most to the brand! I joined the beautiful Azamara Journey in November 2017 as a featured singer and then became one of the brand’s first Assistant Cruise Directors. This new role gave me the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds—entertaining while also directly enhancing the guest experience.
Q: Where do you call home when you’re not on the ship?
I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is quite a fast-paced environment when you’re working onboard a ship. So, when I’m home, I like to relax and spend time with family and friends. I also sing at local venues with my sister, which is always fun. We have great entertainment in Tulsa!
Q: What can guests expect from your show on Azamara?
I’m more of a pop/rock type of girl. My show, which is called “Expect the Unexpected” is different from the previous entertainment Azamara has had, which focuses more on Broadway and musical theatre. “Expect the Unexpected” is the soundtrack to the intriguing tale of one woman’s unusual life choices and will have you tapping your feet, clapping, and smiling in spite of yourself. Be prepared, the show is titled this way for a reason!
Q: What are your favorite shows to perform?
The guest entertainer show I was previously doing was a MoTown show with Marcus and the Serenades on Royal Caribbean. I’ve always wanted to have my own guest entertainer show.
Q: What is a day in the life of a Cruise director?
Every day is different, which is something I really enjoy. As the Cruise Director, you’re responsible for making sure the entertainment is running smoothly and more importantly, that guests are enjoying their voyage. It’s not a job you can do by yourself – it’s a team effort.
I work very closely with the Assistant Cruise Director and I love being able to interact with guests on a regular basis.
Q: What’s been your favorite port that you’ve visited to date?
One of the best parts of my job is being able to travel to so many new places. My favorite port I’ve visited so far has been Bangkok, more specifically the Floating Market. It was fascinating to see this unique shopping experience along the winding waterways. The cultural ambiance filled with locals, fresh food, and locally-produced handicrafts is intoxicating!
Q: What type of music can we find on your personal playlist?
I don’t have a lot of the current music although I listen to it on the radio. You’re likely to find a wide range of artists on my list including Whitney Houston, Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, Bonnie Raitt, Dooby Brothers, Beyoncé, and Toby Mack. My music really changes depending on the mood I’m in.
Q: What’s been your most memorable experience to date?
That’s a tough one. I would say one of my most memorable experiences was when I went to Hoi An, Vietnam. Hoi An is such a beautiful city full of history, charm, and lots of colorful lanterns. I went ashore with the Journey team and had one of the best Vietnamese meals I’ve ever had at a famous local restaurant. My favorite dish was sautéed Morning Glory with garlic. Morning Glory, which is from the same family as water spinach, is a popular vegetable used in Vietnam. It was absolutely amazing!