A group of ten Hospitality and Tourism students took part in a unique study-at-sea opportunity during the recent Study Week. The trip involved a seven-night eastern Caribbean cruise on board the world's largest cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas, that set sail February 6.
Conestoga’s first study-at-sea course included hands-on hospitality and tourism training aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and meetings with tourism officials at each port of call.
“A cruise ship provides exposure to multiple sectors in one spot,” explained faculty member Cora Roselli, who accompanied the group. “Within the ship you have the hotel component, as well as exposure to 25 restaurants that range from fine dining to buffet style. The ship itself also serves as an attraction, providing the guest service and event management element as well.”
Throughout the week students met and worked with a full range of staff - from housekeeping to management - and received hands-on exposure to each sector. “The experience was absolutely fabulous,” said Roselli. “You can explain theory in class, but students get the most out of learning when they can fully immerse themselves in the field. Working within each sector will also help students focus their career goals because they had a chance to determine where their interests lie.”
Ports of call included the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Maarten where students also met with tourism ministries and various tourism marketing organizations.
According to Roselli, student response was very positive to Conestoga's first-ever study-at-sea course.Their experiences and feedback will help refine future course offerings.
To earn a credit for their respective programs, students were required to undertake research and complete various assignments before the departure date. The week at sea involved intense study, with students completing one to two assignments each day. They were also responsible for assignments after the cruise. Assessments, presentations, reports and group work were required throughout the semester.
Conestoga’s School of Business and Hospitality provides a broad range of culinary and hospitality programs to prepare students for successful careers in the growing hospitality industry. For more information, visit the School’s website