Cruise Sales Spe­cial­ist,

Seabourn Club Herald - - MEET THE CREW -

Se­abourn Club mem­bers re­turn­ing on board are of­ten sur­prised and de­lighted to en­counter Mi­haela Co­toanta in some new and un­ex­pected set­ting. That’s be­cause in the seven years since she first joined Se­abourn, she has ex­celled at a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent roles on board dif­fer­ent ships.

“Since 2009, I have gone from be­ing a spa ther­a­pist to a re­cep­tion­ist on our small sis­ter ships, then moved on to the po­si­tions of Guest Ser­vices Spe­cial­ist, As­sis­tant Des­ti­na­tion Man­ager, and now I’m a Cruise Sales Spe­cial­ist,” she says.

Mi­haela was born and raised in Bucharest, Ro­ma­nia. Grow­ing up, aside from a school trip to Italy, she didn’t have much op­por­tu­nity to travel. She had never been over­seas un­til, when she was 18, she took a trip to Is­rael with her fa­ther, a jour­ney that proved to be a real eye-opener.

“That truly changed my life,” she says. “It was the first step to­wards the count­less pos­si­bil­i­ties of the world. I earned a Mas­ter’s De­gree in Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion at the Bucharest Univer­sity of Eco­nomic Stud­ies and sub­se­quently worked as a Sales Man­ager in a Health Cen­ter. But there was some­thing miss­ing. I wanted to travel to other coun­tries, dis­cover the world and ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent re­al­i­ties and cul­tures, get to know the peo­ple liv­ing in other coun­tries. I started to dream big­ger, to en­vi­sion a life filled with ad­ven­ture. So, one day I just de­cided to stop dream­ing and start act­ing. That’s when I started to work on cruise ships.”

Mi­haela is an avowed sun-wor­shiper and beach lover, who is “ad­dicted to trav­el­ing.” She en­joys surf­ing the beaches of Fuerteven­tura in the Ca­nary Is­lands, bask­ing in the Greek Isles and the Adri­atic Coast, but she says that Antarc­tica will al­ways have a spe­cial place in her heart since she vis­ited there on Se­abourn Quest.

She still lives in Bucharest, which she de­scribes as “…rather like an awk­ward teenager who is stuck be­tween child­hood and adult­hood. It is not un­com­mon to find beau­ti­ful French-style build­ings right next to grey blocks of ce­ment.” She goes home there to visit her friends and fam­ily, and her pet rab­bit Micha.

It is no­table that, in all of her var­i­ous roles with Se­abourn, Mi­haela has al­ways had ex­ten­sive guest con­tact. She says it makes her feel proud and hon­ored that re­turn­ing guests whom she has known since she was a spa ther­a­pist of­ten com­pli­ment her on her progress in the com­pany. She also takes pride in know­ing that her par­ents are proud of her de­ci­sions and ac­com­plish­ments.

“Be­ing with Se­abourn for so many years has been an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, my col­leagues be­came my (sec­ond) fam­ily and the guests have be­come my friends,” she says. “At this point in time, I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing my jour­ney with this great com­pany that I now call home.”

When asked whether there is any­thing else she’d like Se­abourn guests to know about her, Mi­haela re­sponds, “Just tell them to al­ways check in with me, be­cause I know where all the best beaches are on ev­ery Se­abourn itin­er­ary!”

MI­HAELA CO­TOANTA

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