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Culinary Arts Center Host for a Day

Thanks to Ryndam’s Culinary Arts Center Host Sydney Ellis for sharing with us this fun story about a young cruiser with great aspirations!

Last summer on the Veendam, I met a lovely young lady by the name of Gabby. She approached me after a cooking demonstration and was curious about the “Party Planner” (now the Culinary Arts Center Host) position. We chatted for quite a bit and by the end of the conversation, she was determined to become a future party planner for HAL. I gave her my email in case she had any more questions that I could help her answer. Within a few months, Gabby had contacted me and explained that she was sailing aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam in April and wanted to see if it would be possible to shadow the party planner there and see what the job as well as ship life was all about. We arranged for her to get a hands-on experience and she had an incredible time. When she arrived home, I asked if she’d send me a little bit about her experience so that we could share it with the blog. Big thanks to Jacob and Blair aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam for making this one a happy and excited young lady!

In Gabby’s own words:

Gabby Wesley, center, stands between Nieuw Amsterdam's Culinary Arts Center Host Jacob Churchman, left, along with another member from Nieuw Amsterdam's culinary staff.

Gabby Wesley, center, stands between Blair and Jacob from Nieuw Amsterdam’s Culinary Arts Center.

From April 7 to the 14 I got to job shadow party planner Jacob Churchman on the Nieuw Amsterdam for my high school senior project. The experience was fabulous! I met a lot of people and learned new things, from towel folding to cooking demonstrations and much more. Jacob took me under his wing and gave me a behind-the-scene look and got into the details of working and living on a cruise ship.

I got interested in being a party planner because I enjoy hosting and presenting in the Culinary Arts Center, as it is very relaxed and intimate. You’re hanging out with a smaller audience rather than speaking to the entire ship like in the Show Room at Sea.

Overall, I can’t thank enough fellow party planner Sydney Ellis for setting this up for me after I met her on the Veendam this past summer. Without her, none of this would have been possible. Also big thanks to party planner Jacob Churchman for letting me shadow him. With this experience, I am locked into becoming a party planner (name soon to be changed to a Culinary Arts Center Host) with Holland America Line. Happy 140 years Holland America!

  • Leane Mawhinney

    Holland America Line should be proud for offering a hands-on experience for Gabby! This was a great opportunity for her to try it out and learn first hand from the experts!

  • Lori Bergren

    Gabby is my Niece and she had nothing but great things to say about her experience while shadowing. It is so great that a company such as Holland America was willing to give her an opportunity like this, to pursue her career path…I have no doubt it truly has confirmed it!

  • Steve J. Garrod

    This is outstanding!

  • Sarah

    Not only is she a beautiful girl; she will have a beautiful career! Great job HAL!

  • Sara Morrison

    Jacob is a gem!! Well done, HAL!

  • Dean Wesley

    A huge ”Thank you” to HAL for letting my daughter realize her dream. During the cruise Jacob kept her so busy I hardly ever saw her! He really took this as seriously as Gabby did, and for that a want to personally thank him. Also a big shout out to Sydney for taking the time to set this all up. HAL is very lucky to have employees like you!

  • Gil R Glover

    As a long-time HAL cruiser, I find this exemplary of the HAL approach to customer interaction and sharing of the unique environment of cruise ships. And Ms. Wesley’s initiative and focus will take her a long way in her career. It was an especially good idea to share this on Twitter, where I saw it as a HAL follower.

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