Paul Baya, Celebrity Cruises’ Cruise Director, has been working on the high seas for almost two decades. Originally from Westchester County in New York, Paul attended Lynchburg College in Virginia, where he majored in communications and minored in theater performance. Though he’s appeared on shows such as “Regis and Kelly,” Paul now considers the ship his stage.
We recently spoke to Paul about what inspired him to become a part of the Celebrity Cruises team, his funniest onboard memories and more.
What inspired you to become a Cruise Director and work with Celebrity Cruises?
My inspiration to become a cruise director picked up pace over time since I started with the industry in the mid to late 90s. I love the CD position onboard; the interaction with the guests, surrounding myself in multiple facets of entertainment with some of the most talented and dedicated professionals on (and off) the high seas. I’ve always recognized Celebrity Cruises as a top leader in the cruise industry, and after over 10 years with another line, I wanted to raise the level of my career and be a part of new entertainment concepts. I feel as though I “graduated” up to Celebrity. I’m honored to be part of this exciting team.
What’s the funniest moment you can remember while working with Celebrity?
Not many guests know what takes place on board a ship during a “turn around” day (i.e., debarkation/embarkation day). During my recent contract on the Celebrity Equinox up in Ft. Lauderdale, it was about 30 minutes before embarkation of the guests began. I was asked to make a ship-wide announcement for the crew informing them of upcoming crew events, the number of back-to-back guests, some motivational words, etc. Something brief, yet fun. Well, on top of covering the details mentioned above I pretended to impersonate a celebrity, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who I said was onboard the EQ as a mode of transit to the Caribbean for some film awards ceremony. This apparently fooled everyone and the rumor spread all the way off the ship to our Miami office. Housekeeping staff rang up our Chief Housekeeper asking what cabin Mr. Schwarzenegger, was in and what amenities he was requesting. The impersonations are now a weekly occurrence, and the crew members say it’s one of their highlights and laughs during busy turnaround days. Perhaps it’s time for “Arnold and others” to say hello to the guests too. Hmmm.
What do your friends and family think of your job at sea?
They love it, as do I. When I told my friends that I was a Cruise Director they would say, “I can totally see that. That’s right up your alley.” My family sees the enthusiasm towards the job more than anyone. They all know I love it out on the ships.
Watch as Paul talks about how passengers don’t need to take a vacation from technology while at sea. In the spirit of technology and gaming at sea and beyond, enter to win a dream vacation for a family of four — plus an Xbox One and a Forza Motorsport 5 game — by August 13, 2014 at Celebrity Cruises Sweeps.
For more stories about Celebrity Cruise’s dynamic team, head over to our official Facebook page.