Marella Cruises affirms its reputation as the Friendliest Fleet On The Sea

Appoints its first Head Of Nautical Smiles

As new research shows people smile over three times more at sea than on-shore*, Marella Cruises is making a pledge to give passengers even more smiles per nautical mile.

The leading cruise line today announced the appointment of its first Head of Nautical Smiles, Nic Spanoudis, and the introduction of a staff-wide smile induction.

Nic, General Manager of Marella Explorer 2, has 18 years’ service at sea, sailing from the Mediterranean to the Pacific, and is famous with crew and passengers alike for his contagious smile. Nic’s first job as Head of Nautical Smiles was to work with renowned smile expert, psychologist, Emma Kenny, to share his expertise and create a new smile induction video that will become part of the staff training programme.

Research conducted by Kenny on-board Marella’s newest ship, Explorer 2, found that 83% of guests smile 60+ times a day – that’s more than three times the average on land (20 times). And 95% agreed that their family members and friends smiled more at sea than on-shore.

To improve these ratings even further, the pair have devised a short training film demonstrating some easy to follow exercises to enhance Marella staff’s smile giving abilities, along with hints and tips on how to spread more smiles amongst passengers and colleagues.

Commenting on his appointment, Nic said : “I’m thrilled to have been selected as the new Head of Nautical Smiles. Undoubtedly, the most satisfying part of my job is seeing happy guests and happy crew. Emma’s research shows just how happy people are on-board our ships and that’s because they really become part of our on-board community. I am looking forward to our smile induction video rolling out so we can all deliver more smiles per nautical mile.”

Kenny, who is well known as the resident psychologist on ITV’s This Morning, was struck by the unusual camaraderie amongst cruise travellers commenting: “The interaction of strangers was high and passengers appeared to engage with new people consistently. From a psychologically observant position, it is inescapable to note the optimism level on-board appeared higher than in the general population. There was an altruistic climate, resulting in a really positive atmosphere. I can see why Marella has a reputation for being the friendliest fleet on the sea.

Her research reveals that in addition to spending time with friends and family, the things that make people smile the most on a Marella Cruise are service, with people appreciating that everything is taken care of, and the amazing diversity of sightseeing on offer. Meeting new people and doing something different every day and friendly staff are also amongst the most smile-inducing things about life at sea.

Chris Hackney, Manager Director of Marella Cruises said: “We pride ourselves on the friendly atmosphere on-board our ships and our staff are key to that. It’s incredibly pleasing to be able to prove people smile significantly more on a Marella Cruise and with Nic at the helm of our smile giving training we can look forward to an even friendlier crew delivering more smiles per nautical mile. He is the perfect person for the job with an exuberant personality, passion for people and a beaming grin that simply cannot fail to make others smile. I wish him all the very best in his new role.

* Research conducted by Emma Kenney in June 2019 on-board Marella Explorer 2.