Meet the Crew: Customer Experience Manager Roshan Tajdini

Ro emcees Mariposa Cruises 30th Anniversary Voyage

Meet Customer Experience Manager, Roshan Tajdini, master of ceremonies and people person extraordinaire!  Roshan (aka Ro) has a background in entertainment and recreation that includes an 8-year tenure coordinating entertainment and events for Disney Cruise Lines, which gave him the opportunity to cruise all over the world. Two years ago, he left Disney Cruise Lines at the end of his contract to take an extended break and attend a family wedding. He took some time to travel around Canada and get his land legs back before returning to his hometown Toronto. Ro’s experience and warm & friendly personality was welcomed at Mariposa Cruises, where he has worked for two seasons.

Describe the role of Customer Experience Manager.

My role is to that ensure that guests who come aboard our Scenic Dining Cruises have the best cruise experience possible. That begins with our Hospitality Crew: recruiting, hiring, training and mentoring our staff, and supporting them with the delivery of onboard service on every voyage. I coordinate and oversee the onboard entertainment and activities, troubleshoot and generally make sure that the service on each cruise unfolds as smoothly as possible. My role involves a great deal of interaction with our guests, talking to them, answering their questions and making sure they leave happy customers

No two cruises are alike. Every cruise brings a different crowd with different expectations. How do you gauge the mood of our passengers on a typical voyage?

Our public cruise program offers different onboard experiences, from lunch, brunch and dinner, to our Sip & Sail Cruises and Special events. The type of cruise determines the expectations a lot of the time. Guests who come on board for lunch or brunch want a relaxing afternoon. It’s a daytime experience, an opportunity to dine together, experience the scenery and view, take pictures of the harbour. Cruising through the islands and lagoons is really picturesque and calming.  I meet a lot of tourists on my job  and enjoy hearing about their travels, if they’re enjoying Toronto, answering their questions. I love Toronto, so I’m always happy to offer suggestions about what to visit, where to eat, what’s happening in the city.  Sometimes I can feel the mood and start a trivia game or a giveaway; other times I know the guests just want to be left alone to do their own thing.

Dinner cruises on the weekdays are a little different than on the weekends; the energy is much higher on a weekend. People want to watch the sunset and see Toronto light up at night from the water. They want to enjoy music. There are couples on dates, families, private celebrations. Each cruise brings a different mix, but weekends have a certain vibe, whether our guests just want to keep to themselves or dance, mix with the crowd and participate in the onboard entertainment, I try to meet all these expectations.

Our Sip & Sails are shorter two-hour cruises, only two hours and perfect for the after-work crowd who don’t necessarily want to dine, they just want an alternative to a bar or patio or to experience Toronto in a different way.  A special event like our Fireworks Cruise is very high energy, so I communicate with the crowd throughout the cruise, building up the excitement to the Fireworks display, encouraging participation. This summer’s Fireworks Cruise was absolutely electric because of the Canada 150 celebrations. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cruises have a different feel. They are family events, so I have to know how to balance family time with keeping the crowd entertained. Our annual Santa Brunch is one of my favorite cruises because families come ready to play games and have their children participate in the holiday festivities.

2016 Santa Brunch Cruise

Have you ever read a crowd wrong?

No. Not yet.

Not surprising…Ro has a magical gift; there’s always a few tricks up his sleeve. He used to be a magician, and because he’s got a way with the kids, he enjoys dazzling them with his magic tricks. “I remember on one cruise a little boy was so fascinated with seeing me perform magic tricks, he told his parents he wanted to become a magician. I gave his parents tips to help him learn magic and where they could go to get a basic magician’s starter kit.”

What inspires you about your job?   

There is always something unique about every cruise. I have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and from all walks of life. I’ve learned to meet what comes with every voyage. We sail rain or shine, and it’s amazing how much impact the weather can have on the mood of a cruise.  I’m thankful for those instances when the rain suddenly stops and the clouds clear.  That’s when you see the craziest sunsets, and just like that, the mood of the cruise lifts and the energy changes. Moments like that inspire me, because I never know what to expect. No cruise is ever the same way twice on any given day.

Views on the job. Photos courtesy Roshan Tadjini

 

 

 

 

What’s Cooking? The scoop on revamped menu offerings this season!

Andrew Vilhena, Director of Hospitality at Mariposa Cruises, talks about new onboard menu offerings this season. Our culinary team have developed a fresh take on our traditional buffet offerings.

Menu-wise, what can our guests anticipate in 2017?

We pay close attention to our customers’ requests, their preferences in menu selections, and the important feedback from post-cruise reviews and customer surveys. Buffets continue to be the most popular choice, however our Food Stations and cocktail style menus are becoming increasingly in demand.

Our 2017 menus consistently offer a vegetarian main, in addition to our traditional beef or chicken. We feature a variety of choices, different salads and sides for more vegetarian and vegan friendly options. Our delicious gluten-free tomato and edamame salad, or the cranberry and baby spinach stuffed tortilla (Gluten- Free & Vegetarian) with wild rice and butternut squash, are some examples.

Tell us about how Mariposa Cruises is revamping its cocktail-style menus:

We host a lot of cocktail style events for both our charter and scenic dining programs.  Our Sip & Sail Cruise program is a great alternative to a patio and a relaxed way to experience Toronto. We offer a variety of hors d’oeuvres, appetizers and platters on the menu. Guests can decompress from their work day, mingle, & take in the views and enjoy some food and cocktails.  (more…)

6 Helpful Tips for Planning your Wedding

Events Manager, Lauren Matunin talks wedding planning.  She’s been to over 100 weddings! Well not exactly…she’s coordinated that many during her tenure at Mariposa Cruises; plus many more special occasions on the water–so it sure feels that way! Lauren makes wedding dreams come true; and with so many happy nuptials behind her–and her own wedding to plan this year– she’s got plenty of insights & good advice to impart. (more…)

Tips for Holiday Party Planning

pictureMariposa Cruises talks to Leisure Program Coordinator, Courtney Mayer, who offers party planning advice that takes the stress out of planning and puts you on track to throwing a successful holiday gathering this season.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to throw a holiday party?

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Meet the Crew – Senior Sales Manager Sophie Watson

Meet-the-CrewAt Mariposa Cruises we strive to exceed expectations and provide our guests with the highest levels of quality and service. It’s what sets us apart from our competition and why we are recognized as Toronto’s best recreational cruise by Consumer Choice Award and voted one of the top attractions in Toronto by Trip Advisor. It would be impossible to achieve this without the dedication and hard work that each of our team members exemplifies. For this reason, we want to celebrate our team members and let you get to know them a little bit better.

This month we would like to introduce you to one of our Senior Sales Managers Sophie Watson.

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Meet the Crew – Leisure Sales Director Sue Vivanco

Meet-the-CrewAt Mariposa Cruises we strive to exceed expectations and provide our guests with the highest levels of quality and service. It’s what sets us apart from our competition and why we are recognized as Toronto’s best recreational cruise by Consumer Choice Award and voted one of the top attractions in Toronto by Trip Advisor. It would be impossible to achieve this without the dedication and hard work that each of our team members exemplifies. For this reason, we want to celebrate our team members and let you get to know them a little bit better.

This month we would like to introduce you to our Leisure Sales Director Sue Vivanco.

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Meet the Crew – Galley Chef Faye Valenzuela

Meet-the-CrewAt Mariposa Cruises we strive to exceed expectations and provide our guests with the highest levels of quality and service. It’s what sets us apart from our competition and why we are recognized as Toronto’s best recreational cruise by Consumer Choice Award and voted one of the top attractions in Toronto by Trip Advisor. It would be impossible to achieve this without the dedication and hard work that each of our team members exemplifies. For this reason, we want to celebrate our team members and let you get to know them a little bit better.

This month we would like to introduce you to one of our Galley Chefs, Faye Valenzuela.

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Meet the Crew – Senior Sales Manager Brenda Tucker

Meet-the-CrewAt Mariposa Cruises we strive to exceed expectations and provide our guests with the highest levels of quality and service. It’s what sets us apart from our competition and why we are recognized as Toronto’s best recreational cruise by Consumer Choice Award and voted one of the top attractions in Toronto by Trip Advisor. It would be impossible to achieve this without the dedication and hard work that each of our team members exemplifies. For this reason, we want to celebrate our team members and let you get to know them a little bit better.

This month we would like to introduce you to one of our Senior Sales Managers Brenda Tucker.

(more…)

Meet the Crew – Cruise Manager Allison Batic

Meet-the-CrewAt Mariposa Cruises we strive to exceed expectations and provide our guests with the highest levels of quality and service. It’s what sets us apart from our competition and why we are recognized as Toronto’s best recreational cruise by Consumer Choice Award and voted one of the top attractions in Toronto by Trip Advisor. It would be impossible to achieve this without the dedication and hard work that each of our team members exemplifies. For this reason, we want to celebrate our team members and let you get to know them a little bit better.

This month we would like to introduce you to one of our Cruise Managers Allison Batic.

(more…)