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Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America cruise ship recently served as a floating classroom for 30 Hawai‘i Community College students who are enrolled in the college’s Hospitality & Tourism (HOST) program.

While it was docked in Hilo on November 27, the students toured the ship to learn about the facilities and operations of this large passenger vessel. After touring the ship’s public areas, they were treated to refreshments and the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) educational program, “How to Operate a Floating Hotel.” During this program, the cruise director and departmental managers from hotel operations, housekeeping, food and beverage, and banquets discussed their separate areas of operations and responded to questions from the students.

Isabella Panem is a first-year HOST student and shared her experience: “The NCL excursion was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. It’s opened my eyes to different jobs that I never thought I’d like to do before. Every single part of it was captivating. Our NCL guide made it seem like even though she doesn’t know me or my experience, she knew I could do it if I set my heart to it. I’ve loved being in this major and taking all the classes, but being able to apply my knowledge and see what I’ve been learning about all semester really made it that much better. It was unbelievable, and I will be forever thankful.”

The Pride of America is operated by NCL and, unlike many other cruise ships, is registered (flagged) with the United States. It travels round trip from Honolulu bringing guests to Hawai'i Island, Maui and Kaua‘i. Nearly 1,000 feet long, the ship features 15 restaurants, 12 bars and lounges, can accommodate 2,186 guests, and is the only cruise ship that boasts a year-round itinerary.

Joining the students on the tour were Rachel Solemsaas, Chancellor of Hawai'i CC; Ross Birch, Executive Director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau; Frecia Cevallos, Tourism Specialist at the Department of Research and Development, County of Hawai'i; and Lynn Erdmann, event organizer, who recently joined Hawai‘i CC as the new HOST program coordinator and instructor.

Erdmann shared that, “What made this excursion so very special was that it provided an opportunity for local industries, governmental authorities, and tourism providers to collaborate to support local hospitality education. It also offered the students the opportunity to see career possibilities that they may never have before imagined.”

About the HOST Program

The Hospitality & Tourism (HOST) program prepares students to thrive in careers in hospitality and tourism, Hawaii’s largest industry. Offering an Associate of Applied Science degree as well as certificates of competence and achievement, the program delivers courses such as Housekeeping Operations, Food and Beverage Operations, Meeting and Convention Management, and many more. Graduates of the program are prepared to enter the hospitality and visitor industry at entry level positions or as first-line supervisors. Registration is now open for the Spring 2019 semester and prospective students are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is December 14. For more information, please call the Hawai‘i CC Paepae Haumana (Welcome Center) at 934-2800.