Taking education to the high seas! Fourth-year BSTM and BSHM students gained practical exposure to the cruise industry in an immersive experience through the shipboard training program of the university under the School of Accountancy, Business, and Hospitality.
Aboard the 2GO Maligaya cruise ship from March 22-29, 2023, the voyage took the students from Manila to Cebu to Cagayan De Oro and back, where they were exposed to various aspects of shipboard operations, including safety procedures, customer service, basic shipboard maintenance, food and beverage services, housekeeping, and other hospitality services. Students were also encouraged to engage with the crew and ask questions to gain a better understanding of the industry’s various roles, enriching their practical knowledge.
The conceptualization of the training was organized by Ma. Sherelyn S. Tama, HTM Program Chair, and Mrs. Alicia S. Tuliao, Academic Dean, and it was successfully conducted through USL’s industry partners, Merck-MLI Travel and Tours and Negrense Marine Integrated Services Inc. Ensuring the program’s success, the program had two faculty chaperones, Mr. Jean Aidan Pierre P. Tolentino and Mr. Hans C. Casauay, both HTM instructors.
The shipboard training program received excellent feedback from both the students and the organizers. One of the trainees, Leuelynne Napitan, BSTM-4, shared that her shipboard apprenticeship experience provided her with valuable hands-on experience and skills. “It has given me the opportunity to see so much more about the tourism field, have a greater understanding of what I have learned at school, and apply it to real-life situations. I also experienced a wide range of career possibilities,” she remarked.
Kathrinna Lopez, BSHM-4, also shared the lessons she learned in the training. “One of the training officers taught us the importance of giving good service to passengers. He told us that inspiring customer loyalty and making workers’ duties easier are two reasons why providing excellent customer service is crucial. Thus, firms are able to expand. Businesses may recoup the costs of acquiring new customers, keep talent, and promote brand loyalty by offering excellent customers,” she stated.
“The transition from online to hands-on experience, along with working with professionals on the ship, challenged me vastly; nonetheless, I have conquered it with passion, interest, and confidence. It was such a remarkable experience that I will always be proud of,” shared Maria Mercedes Bayo, BSTM-4.
The resounding success of the program is a testament to USL’s commitment to providing its students with exceptional learning experiences. The university looks forward to organizing more programs in the future that will offer hands-on experience and real-world knowledge. With such exciting and rewarding opportunities, USL is confident that the future of the industry is looking bright and is proud to be a part of shaping it.