The Hotel Director's Many Hats

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013

An interview with Carnival Triumph's Henry D' Roza reveals the wide-ranging aspects of the job.

The stripes on the shoulders of his uniform and the title on his brass name tag identify Henry D' Roza as Hotel Director on Carnival's Triumph, but his duties go far beyond guest rooms and restaurants

"Actually I oversee 22 business units on this ship," explained the Melbourne, Australia native. "That includes food and beverage, housekeeping, office staff, entertainment, gift shops, golf, shore excursions -- just about everything except the navigation and engineering."

click on pictures below for larger images:

 
Henry D' Roza oversees 22 separate departments   Carnival Triumph "HotMan"

His Background

The road to such an important position was neither easy nor quick for this affable Australian, who speaks of his job with great affinity and enthusiasm. For 18 years D' Roza served as a food and beverage manager, and for the past five years he has been a hotel director. He has worked on all of Carnival's vessels -- even the new ships built in Finland.

Prior to cruise ship employment, D' Roza worked on offshore oil rigs and platforms, then changed careers and studied to become a prestigious five-star chef. But he did not stop there; ambition drove him to earn a PhD in Quality Service and Maritime Management, plus an MBA in Finance, as well as a degree in Management Accounting. Also included in his stellar resume: D' Roza had the awesome responsibility of being coordinator for 39 venues at the 2000 Olympics, held in Sydney, Australia.

Hired by Carnival in 1989, D' Roza's zeal and dedication for his important and demanding position is mirrored by the enthusiasm in his voice when he talks about his work.

Security Matters

On this particular cruise to the western Caribbean, there were 1,379 guests onboard. Of that number, 700 were children or teenagers. I mentioned that I had observed several instances of rowdiness among some teens, and D' Roza lamented that, unfortunately, some parents were so busy having fun themselves that they did not keep up with the whereabouts of their children or monitor their behavior.

"But we do have security guards out and about at all times," he said, "and 14 security guards are on duty all night, keeping an eye on things and not just watching the young people. For instance, if a bartender thinks that a passenger has had too much to drink, he notifies security and an officer is dispatched to check out the situation and will then decide whether to deactivate the passenger's sign and charge card so they can't keep buying liquor."

"And," he continued, "if necessary, we do have a jail onboard, but, fortunately, we do not have to use it often."

D' Roza explained Carnival's policy about bringing alcoholic beverages onboard. "We don't mind a bottle or two of celebratory beverages, like wine or champagne, but beyond that we have to say no in order to provide alcohol in a controlled environment." Excess liquor and beer is confiscated at check-in on sailing day, and so is alcohol bought in ports. Bottled water is allowed.

No Ocean Pollution Allowed

A day earlier I had observed a child of three or four years of age on the outside part of the Lido Deck where the pizza, hot dogs, and hamburgers are served. With no parents in sight, the child was having a fun time running back and forth from the stacks of clean dishes to the railing to throw plates and cups overboard. A security guard quickly appeared to put an end to the "fun." I mentioned the incident to Mr. D' Roza, who was already aware of it, and he said the parents had been identified, charges had been sent via e-mail to Miami, and they would be arrested when the ship returned.

"We take throwing things overboard very seriously," he said firmly. "We do not tolerate anything illegally going into the ocean. Carnival is very dedicated to not polluting in any way." Security cameras, he said, were all over the ship -- some obvious, some discreet -- for 100 percent observation of all public areas. Plus an officer is always on both sides of the extended section of bridge known as the 'flying bridge' that juts out over the water, to keep watch for anything - or anyone - going overboard.

Cleanliness is also a top priority with Carnival and D' Roza. "Everything, everywhere, is scrubbed down and sanitized after each cruise, and cleaning is constantly being done all during the cruise."

A Popular Boss

My conversations with crew members indicated that Henry D' Roza is well-liked and respected, as they had only nice things to say about their "boss." And he was quite proud that of the 611 crew members onboard, an average of 40 percent had returned after vacations to renew their contracts.

"We have excellent facilities for our crew," he said. "They have several discos of their own, and I allow them to use the passenger swimming pools on quiet days and also after 11 p.m. They can eat at the passenger buffets and the dining rooms if space is available. They have a well-equipped gym, lounges, and we also arrange for them to have tours ashore." Another perk, he added, is that there are only two crew members in a cabin, and they share a bathroom with the next cabin, so there is no crowding.

Having regular meetings with his department heads is of vital importance for D' Roza to keep all systems in place. "But I like to limit the time so it does not take away from their jobs. I try to motivate and empower all of my people. It is a friendly bunch, no pressure, and everyone seems happy."

Like most people who work on cruise ships, Henry D' Roza misses his family - a wife and two daughters - who live in Melbourne, and always looks forward not only to his vacation but to the special times when they can come onboard and cruise with him.

Carnival's fleet has long been known as "The Fun Ships," and, with a dedicated, energetic, and highly-qualified hotel director like Henry D' Roza, passengers can board the Triumph and be assured of quality service in all departments, as well as the utmost in security, cleanliness, and a friendly, courteous crew.


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