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Junior Achievement students gained valuable insights into cruise industry during an in-depth panel discussion on January 31, 2024 at Disney Cruise Line new terminal at Port Everglades. Dozens of local students took a trip outside of the classroom to Broward County’s Port Everglades to meet with Disney Cruise Line crew members and learn about careers in the maritime industry.

While the Disney Dream was docked at the port, Disney Cruise Line partnered with Junior Achievement of South Florida to host an interactive career panel for students participating in JA Career Bound, a program designed to help students build work-readiness skills and gain knowledge of local industries. Students spoke to several Disney Cruise Line crew members and officers who work aboard the ship, in a range of areas, including human resources, guest services, and entertainment. Crew Members shared details with students about their roles, life at sea and tips for pursuing a maritime career.

One of the panelists, Gabe Biser, human resources manager aboard the Disney Dream, is also a former Junior Achievement student. He said he appreciated his mentors in the program who encouraged him to learn about different career paths. “Being part of the cruise industry has been an incredible experience, and I am grateful for the mentors who guided me along my career journey,” said Biser. “It’s an honor to share my experiences with these students, and I hope to inspire them to explore industries they may not be familiar with.”

Following the career panel, students explored Port Everglades, touring unique spaces, and getting a behind-the-scenes look at port and terminal operations. “We appreciated the opportunity to showcase our port’s diverse operations, including cargo, as part of the wealth of maritime careers available to our youth,” said Glenn Wiltshire, Acting Director of Port Everglades.

“I joined the Junior Achievement Career Bound program because I want to learn about how to advance in a professional work environment to pursue my dream jobs,” said Tyler Hilaire, a senior student at McArthur High School and a Junior Achievement Career Bound Ambassador. “I learned today from Disney Cruise Line that there are so many interesting careers in this industry.”

This initiative is part of Disney Cruise Line’s commitment to creating lasting, positive impact in its port communities by investing in youth education initiatives that provide awareness, access, and hands-on learning opportunities. Most recently, Disney Cruise Line announced new community investments with Junior Achievement of South Florida in celebration of its arrival into Broward County and the grand opening of its dedicated cruise terminal this past November. Disney’s donation supports the Junior Achievement Career Bound and Pre-Apprenticeship programs, including a special marine service technician track that educates students about the maritime industry, marine basics, and engine fundamentals.

“We’re grateful for Disney Cruise Line’s ongoing support,” said Laurie Sallarulo, president & CEO of Junior Achievement of South Florida. “These initiatives play a pivotal role in shaping the future workforce by offering valuable insights and opportunities, and empowering young minds to navigate their career paths successfully.”

Disney Cruise Line and Broward County previously announced a 15-year agreement that includes a minimum 10.6 million passenger movements, and three 5-year extension options that could add another 11.25 million passenger movements. The agreement provides for one ship to homeport in Port Everglades year-round, joined by a second, seasonal ship in 2025.

Those interested in growing their career with Disney Cruise Line may visit DCLJobs.com to explore available roles and to learn more about cast and crew benefits.

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