with Brenda Yeomans, Strategic Market Manager/Canada: Celebrity Cruises
were you born? In
Regina, Saskatchewan. I’m a prairie girl!
long have you been in the business? 35
did you get started? I was travelling the world and
worked two years based in Australia as a
stewardess on the Fair Star, sailing the South Pacific. “Stewardess” meant doing
check-in, kids’ programs, performing, serving drinks – you name it! It was a wonderful experience. And I have been with the Royal Caribbean family
now for 33 years.
many people work for you? I have six in my sales
team across Canada.
the best part of the job? Oh! The best part? Forging relationships with all
these travel partners and having them create these dream vacations for their
customers. For me it’s all about the
did you want to be as a kid? I was always athletic,
so I thought I might become a trainer. I’ve
been a lifeguard and have also taught fitness classes.
was your first ever job? (laughs) Working at Ponderosa, a buffet steak restaurant.
the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Being pregnant with twins and trying to
prevent their being born prematurely - they were eventually born at 29 weeks.
Kate and Logan are now 13, perfectly fine and taller than me!
guilty pleasures? Chocolate!
hotel chain? I personally
really like the Fairmonts. And when
travelling on business the Marriotts are good for us.
on your tablet? Photos, videos, jazz, pop, R&B. Pretty
much anything except country!
do people not know about you? That I was the first
female cruise director with RCCL. I
would even sing with an orchestra and try to be comedian!
hobbies or interests? I’m a big runner – including in races – and
swimmer. Skiing, sailing, anything outdoors.
from something to eat, what was the last thing you bought? Tights for my daughter.
were you happiest? When I found out I was pregnant with the twins. They were a gift. A miracle.
would you tell your 20 year old self? Be brave.
Take chances. Experience everything and…make it happen!
do you most admire in the industry? Our CEO Richard
Fain. He’s an incredible leader who has
taken our company from four small ships to 12 in the Celebrity brand alone, not
to mention our Azamara and RCL brands. He
truly makes you feel a part of the family, it’s not just talk.
skill or talent do you admire in someone? Being able
to take risks.
at the top of your bucket list? It was Galapagos,
but I’m going there this month!
had a brush with fame? Oh yes, lots! When I was cruise director we had a celebrity
entertainment program with Phyllis Diller, the Temptations, Don Rickles…all
those old Vegas acts. One of my
favourites was Petulia Clark.
keeps you awake at night? Trying to think how I can
make my kids’ lives more enriched and how to guide them better.
do you spend your frequent flyer points? Taking my kids travelling!
is your greatest extravagance? Do you call going on vacations an
extravagance? That – and front row Blue
Jays tickets for my kids! (laughs)
How do you stay fit when you travel? I always pack my shorts, runners, watch, iPod.
If you could change one thing about the industry what
would it be? To make travel accessible and
affordable for everybody. I believe
there’s so much to see and experience.
you could sit next to anyone on a long-haul flight, who would it be? Oprah Winfrey. She’s come so
far and she’s done so much.
you have a favourite charity? Sick
Kids Hospital in Toronto.
will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months? Here in Canada, the
perception that the Caribbean is not ready to return to.
do you hope to be doing in 10 years? Oh man! Sailing around Croatia. Travelling somewhere, on some sort of