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Meet the team: Ian ‘Gerry’ Miller

20/04/2017

Personal Cruise Specialist Ian Miller (known as ‘Gerry’) talks about how he got into the business and why he thinks cruising makes such a great holiday

Ian in Olden, Norway

Ian in Olden, Norway

How long have you worked for P&O Cruises and where are you based?

I’ve worked for P&O Cruises for five and a half years. I’m primarily based in Southampton but I also attend cruise shows in places like London, Birmingham and Liverpool.

 

Can you tell us about your role? What is a personal cruise specialist?

Essentially, my job is a mixture of telesales and the role of a new business executive. I get to form relationships with guests, which is something I really enjoy doing. I’m passionate about the P&O Cruises brand and believe the product is a quality one. 

 

What does a typical day at work involve?

I start with a drink of peppermint tea while checking my emails and working out what I need to do that day in terms of calls or meetings. Then I get on with doing what I do best – selling cruises! 

 

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

The rewards of the role are various and plentiful, including talking to some lovely people and gaining access to the cruise ships when they are in port – I’ve fully explored each and every ship in order to familiarise myself with their individual charms. 

I also get to travel to some fabulous places. When I first started, I was sent to work on board Azura and Cunard’s Queen Victoria in order to familiarise myself with the ships. We attended meetings, were introduced to the crew and got to visit the bridge – all of this knowledge helps us inform our customers. 

I’ve been on a lot of cruises and visited many different destinations over the years. These holidays give me the opportunity to experience the glitz and glamour of cruising while also getting first-hand experience that I can enthusiastically pass on to my clients.

 

Did you always want to work in the travel industry?

Before working for Carnival UK, I spent a long time in the energy industry, working for British Gas. I then did a short stint in the financial sector with Barclays. It was while there, on the waterfront in Southampton seeing all the cruise ships come and go, that I developed my desire to work in the travel industry and decided I wanted to become a photographer on a cruise ship. I never did get to work in photography, but I still have a passion for it and enjoy it as a hobby, taking lovely pictures of the beautiful places I get to visit.

 

Why is cruising so popular and what are the reasons you’d give a prospective first-timer about why to book a cruise?

It’s just such a relaxed and stress-free way to travel. If you haven’t travelled much, as I hadn’t when I started, you get to see lots of places so easily – in most cases, you embark in Southampton at a sensible time of day, your luggage is looked after for you and then you’re off on your adventure! It’s great value for money, too – just think about how much it would cost if you were travelling to all of those destinations separately – and you get to travel in style on one of our beautiful ships.

 

Which is your favourite P&O Cruises ship and why?

I think it has to be Azura, for several reasons, really. Once I had set my sights on working in the travel industry, she was the first ship I remember being launched. Later, she was the first one I sailed on. And my wife and I had our honeymoon on board, too. We flew to the Caribbean and then sailed around the islands before travelling across the Atlantic, calling at the Canary Islands on the way home. Like me, my wife loves cruising – it’s such a relaxed way to travel.  

 

Finally, given that your name is Ian, why are you known as Gerry?

While I was in training, the gentleman who was to become my team leader sent me a rather unusual email, asking whether I had another name besides Ian that I could use. This was because when I joined the company there was another Ian on the team. My middle name is Gerald, but I thought Gerry sounded friendlier – and it’s just stuck. 

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