FCCA Travel and Cruise Magazine – 4th Quarter 2022

Life at sea is very different from life on land, and the objective is for this training to prepare participants for the inevitable changes to the way you live, and what to expect of life onboard, so they can make informed decisions during the recruitment process. Aquila is responding to our FCCA partner members’  needs in conjunction, launching training modules to help prepare teams on land to be recruited to work onboard ships. The main focus of the program will be expectations of life onboard, Foundational English Language training and understand cruise and the importance of service.

Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence has partnered with Teresa Kerrigan, a respected industry consultant and trainer, who created the first formal language training and testing to meet STCW95 requirements back in 1997. She has over 30 years in the industry both shipboard and shoreside and has been a consultant partner with most of the leading lines, including Carnival and Royal Caribbean, since 2007. Her expertise has been in developing branded in-person and online trainings for crew at every level, from entry to officers.

It is important to Aquila and the FCCA that this training be sustainable long term for member destinations, therefore, this training will focus on potential seafarers having a better understanding of life onboard and English speaking skills including English testing and training so they have foundational English language skills. Another important aspect of the program’s sustainability will be a Train the Trainer component that will allow hospitality and marine schools in the countries we work with to prepare interns to continue the program with our guidance, eventually using locals to deliver most of the training. Trainer interns will require exceptional English language skills and a teaching background. This means the destinations become more self-sufficient and this ensures viability of the program long-term, as cruise lines continue to recruit in the Caribbean and Central America.

For Latin destinations, where English is not the first language, the Foundational English Language course consists of 40 lessons over five weeks, including basic grammar, conversational terminology, basic ship safety words, and review sections. This will include English language evaluation prior to the training and following the training. Using a custom-created system, our trainers will test speaking and listening skills, and gauge the ability to follow simple instructions in English.  

The final module in this training will include an Aquila full day Service Excellence and Understanding the Cruise Industry, ensuring an understanding of the cruise industry today, responsible tourism, respect of other cultures and lifestyles, the expectations of cruise lines and their guests and why service excellence can make such a difference.

Once all modules are completed, students will receive an Aquila “Prepare for Life at Sea” certificate and the FCCA and member lines will be advised when destinations have completed all components of the training.

It is important that you know we value our clients, and our team of creative and innovative professionals commit to help your destination raise the level of excellence and be successful. Aquila will be working with the FCCA, VShips and the Employment committee to ensure that the levels of retention are higher because of the additional training. We look forward to working with your team!

Beth Kelly Hatt is the President of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, the FCCA’s official training partner. Aquila’s approach to training is one of assessing the needs of a destination or operator and developing a strategic training plan that helps raise the level of excellence throughout the destination. Contact Beth for more information at Beth@CruiseExcellence.com

Aquila is celebrating 40 Years as a tour operator in Port Saint John, Canada and 15 years as a trainer and coach for the cruise industry.