Like New York and Chicago, Toronto provides great opportunities for cruising in the fall and winter. As a busy summer season winds down, many of our seasonal staff departs, but it’s still business as usual at Mariposa Cruises as we move into our fall and winter cruise season.

Recently our Hospitality Department hired a small group of staff see us through to New Year’s Eve.  September Orientation consisted of a small group of new hires. Very different from April Orientation, during which we welcome and train our crew in large numbers, this orientation session was smaller and afforded us the opportunity to take a more experiential, hands-on approach to introducing our new hires to Mariposa Cruises.

Orientation began in the morning on the Captain Matthew Flinders, led by Director of Hospitality, Andrew Vilhena. Service training opened with an overview of company policies and procedures.

Training, Captain Matthew Flinders

Fall Orientation on the Flinders.

Afterwards the group headed over to the Northern Spirit for a working lunch and an opportunity to  experience Mariposa Cruises’ hospitality and service first-hand. Prior to lunch everyone ordered their drink of choice, and Andrew briefed them on the bar menu items, which included teaching them the difference between a typical Caesar and Mariposa Cruises’ signature Captain’s Caesar, served up spicy with Chipotle-infused vodka.

Bartending Training Session

Bartending Session on the Northern Spriit

After we set sail the lunch service commenced. Everyone had a chance to taste and familiarize themselves with the items on the buffet lunch menu and experience the lunch service.  The crew was briefed on all our product offerings, types of menus, service and selling techniques, followed by some time for feedback and questions. Many members of our crew are either in college pursuing a career in hospitality, or have years of experience behind them, and their comments and observations were welcomed and added so much more to the training session.

Lunch Cruise, Northern Spirit

Lunch Cruise on the Northern Spirit

Once Northern Spirit returned to dock and passengers disembarked, the group helped with cleaning and preparing the vessel for a scheduled charter in the evening. Next on the agenda was a bartending session that covered bar set-up and how to take inventory, followed by a tour of the Mariposa fleet before calling it a day.

Training is on-going throughout each season to maintain the best possible standards of service. In addition to  general orientation and safety training, we encourage professional development: crew are welcome to participate in cross training sessions throughout the season in order to gain new skills, from hospitality essentials to bartending to Cruise Manager training. Anyone who is willing can hone their skills or learn something new, whether they seek to move to a new position within Mariposa Cruises, or gain experience that will help them in the next step along their career path.

Interested in a position with Mariposa Cruises? We’re always looking for talent! Send us your resume at for consideration.